Nevada's trademark pistol offense didn't produce many points, but it provided enough to help the Wolf pack squeeze by Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Nevada wide receiver Rishard Matthews caught a touchdown pass and returned a punt for another score to cap off the school's most successful season in history. Nevada snapped a four-game bowl losing streak by snagging its 13th victory of the season, tying the school record.
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A bad day at the office for the special teams wound up dooming the Widcats' chances. Craig McIntosh (93) connected from 50 yards, but missed another field goal and Pittsburgh scored touchdowns off two mistakes by Kentucky's punting team. Pittsburgh (8-5) players dedicated the win to Dave Wannstedt, who was forced to resign following a disappointing regular season. Kentucky (6-7), playing without suspended quarterback Mike Hartline, fell far below its average of 33 points per game.
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An up-and-down season ended in a definite upswing for LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson. The dual-threat Tiger threw three touchdowns (all to wide receiver Terrence Toliver) and ran for another in LSU's 41-24 victory over Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl. Running back Stevan Ridley rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown and fellow back Spencer Ware added 103 on the ground in the win.
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Austin Boucher threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns in his fourth career start and Miami of Ohio capped a historic turnaround season. The RedHawks (10-4) are the first team in Football Bowl Subdivision history to win 10 games one season after losing 10. Miami finished a dismal 1-11 in 2009, but recovered to win the Mid-American Conference title and finish this season on a six-game winning streak. MTSU (6-7) won three games in a row to become bowl eligible, but was hurt by five turnovers.
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Dane Sanzenbacher (12) scored two touchdowns, including one on this fumble recovery as the Buckeyes withstood an Arkansas rally to end a nine-game bowl losing streak against SEC teams. It was Ohio State's sixth win in nine trips to BCS games.
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Tyrod Taylor dazzled to keep it close early, but it was all Andrew Luck and Stanford in the second half. Luck (18 of 23, 284 yards, 4 TDs), the Heisman runner-up, led the Cardinal on four straight touchdown drives after halftime, taking a 13-12 edge to a 28-point blowout. Stanford, which was 1-11 four years ago, completes its best season in 70 years at 12-1. Tight end Coby Fleener had a huge game, hauling in six passes for 172 yards and three of Luck's touchdowns.
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The Oklahoma Sooners don't have to hear about their BCS losing streak anymore. They busted it up in a big way. Landry Jones threw for a school bowl-record 429 yards and three touchdowns, and OU ended a five-game BCS bowl losing streak in convincing fashion. Oklahoma (12-2) carried plenty of BCS baggage after losing three straight title games and two Fiesta Bowls. The Sooners avoided the setback six pack behind Jones and Ryan Broyles, who had team records of 13 catches and 170 yards to go with the sealing touchdown.
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The ferocious Horned Frogs proved they can play with anybody on college football's biggest stages. Linebacker Tank Carder (left) swatted down a 2-point conversion pass attempt with 2 minutes to play, and TCU completed a perfect season with its first Rose Bowl victory.
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This one won't help Rich Rodriguez's cause. Mississippi State handed Michigan its worst bowl loss in school history thanks to three touchdown passes from Chris Relf and three rushing scores from Vick Ballard. The Bulldogs entered the game with the SEC's No. 10 scoring offense, but looked unstoppable against Michigan's putrid defense.
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Florida sent Urban Meyer out in style. The Gators got rushing touchdowns from Omarius Hines and Mike Gillislee, three second-half field goals from Chas Henry and an 80-yard interception return from Ahmad Black -- one of five Florida picks of Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin. This was Meyer's last game before retirement; Penn State's Joe Paterno vows he'll return next season.
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So much for all the talk about the Spartans deserving to play in a BCS bowl. Alabama annihilated Michigan State in every facet of the game and wound up sitting most of its starters midway through the third quarter. The Tide scored on their first four possessions, held the Spartans to 171 total yards and delivered the most lopsided win in the history of the Capital One Bowl, which dates back to 1947 under different names.
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Northwestern made it interesting late, moving within a touchdown two times in the fourth quarter, but Texas Tech prevailed to give Tommy Tuberville a bowl win in his first season as head coach. Taylor Potts threw four touchdown passes and scored another on a trick play and the Red Raiders picked off Northwestern's final pass attempt to win the inaugural TicketCity Bowl.
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EJ Manuel came off the bench to lead two touchdown drives and Chris Thompson ran for 147 yards and a score as the Seminoles reached 10 wins for the first time since 2003. South Carolina lost its third consecutive bowl and coach Steve Spurrier fell to 1-4 in bowl games since taking over the Gamecocks.
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Latavius Murray scored on a 10-yard touchdown run with 9:01 left, and Central Florida held on to beat Georgia in the Liberty Bowl, capping the best season in school history with the program's first postseason victory. The Knights (11-3) had never won more than 10 games in a season and had lost their first three bowl games. The Bulldogs (6-7) snapped a four-game bowl winning streak with its first loss since the 2006 Sugar Bowl.
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It didn't take Brian Kelly long to carve out a place in Irish lore. Kelly became the first Notre Dame coach to win a bowl game in his first season at the helm with a 33-17 win over Miami in unseasonably chilly El Paso. Freshman quarterback Tommy Rees connected with Michael Floyd on two touchdown passes and the Irish built a 30-3 on a Miami team that couldn't find its swagger under its interim coach.
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Meineke Car Care Bowl
Make it five straight eight-win seasons for South Florida, which outlasted Clemson to finish Skip Holtz's first season as head coach with a 31-26 bowl victory. Quarterback B.J. Daniels passed for two touchdowns and ran for another to help the Bulls give the Tigers their first losing season in 11 years.
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Jake Locker bounced back from an injury and scored on a 25-yard run in the third quarter, and tailback Chris Polk (No. 1) ran for 177 yards and a score to help Washington topple listless Nebraska. The Huskies (7-6) avenged a 56-21 loss to the Huskers (10-4) in Seattle on Sept. 18. The Cornhuskers piled up 533 yards of total offense in that game, including 383 rushing. Washington was a winner in its first bowl game since 2002, while the Huskers imploded under 12 penalties for 102 yards.
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This bowl will be remembered much more for the crazy finish of regulation than how it ended. Casey Barth kicked a 39-yard field goal after officials reviewed what had been the final play of the game and decided to penalize the Tar Heels (8-5) for having "more than 11 men" on the field. The Big Ten officiating crew also announced T.J. Yates had spiked the ball with 1 second left. That allowed Barth to run out and kick the field goal that tied it at 20. The Vols (6-7) were stunned at the sudden switch that cost them an apparent victory to cap Derek Dooley's first season.
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In a bowl season filled with blowouts so far, the first bowl game in New York in 48 years turned out to be a hit. Marcus Sales (center) caught five passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns, Delone Carter ran for 198 yards and two touchdowns, and Syracuse (8-5) got some help from a late celebration penalty on Kansas State (7-6) to beat the Wildcats 36-34 at Yankee Stadium.
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Armed Forces Bowl
Army (7-6) completed its first winning season since 1996 by earning its first bowl victory since the 1985 Peach Bowl. The Black Knights led 16-0 at halftime on SMU's home field, then ran out the game's final four minutes after Matt Szymanski was wide left on a 47-yard field goal attempt that would have put the Mustangs (7-7) ahead.
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It was just too much Justin Blackmon and too many mistakes for Arizona. Blackmon caught two touchdown passes -- the 12th straight game in which he had at least one TD and 100 yards receiving -- and No. 16 Oklahoma State picked off three Arizona passes, including one that Markelle Martin returned 62 yards for a touchdown. The Cowboys never looked back after taking a 23-7 halftime lead.
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Mikel Leshoure and Illinois spoiled Baylor's first bowl appearance since 1994. Leshoure ran for 184 yards and a career-high three touchdowns and set five school records as Illinois earned its first bowl victory in 11 seasons. Robert Griffin III threw for 306 yards and a touchdown for Baylor, but his two first-half fumbles helped put the Bears in a hole they couldn't get out of.
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It was Ralph Friedgen's final game as Maryland's coach -- he was forced out after an 8-4 regular season -- and the Terps sent him out with a bang. D.J. Adams rushed for four touchdowns and Maryland scored 35 second-half points. Friedgen finished 75-50 at Maryland, including 5-2 in bowl games.
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Micah Hyde returned an interception 72 yards for a touchdown as Iowa overcame the arrests of its top rusher and top receiver -- and 434 passing yards from Missouri's Blaine Gabbert. It was the Hawkeyes' school record third straight bowl victory.
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Champs Sports Bowl
The ACC's leading passer ended his season in style as Russell Wilson threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns to lead NC State to its first nine-win season since 2002. The 23 points were the most West Virginia's second-ranked scoring defense had allowed all season.
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With Air Force and Georgia Tech's defenses used to seeing the triple-option, the nation's top rushing offenses never really got going. Instead it was special teams that loomed large as the Falcons scored the go-ahead touchdown after a blocked punt to reach nine wins for the second time in coach Troy Calhoun's four-year tenure. The loss extended the Yellow Jackets' bow losing streak to six games.
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Little Caesars Bowl
Florida International's first bowl appearance in history resulted in the school's first bowl victory in history. Thanks to a hook-and-ladder play on fourth-and-17 late in the game, FIU moved into field-goal range and set up Jack Griffin's 34-yard game-winning kick. Toledo went ahead late after converting a two-point conversion with less than two minutes remaining, but FIU's late drive turned the tide. Golden Panthers running back Darriet Perry (left) ran for 132 yards and two TDs in the victory.
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Tulsa entered the game with the No. 119 pass defense in the country, but it nevertheless managed to shut down Hawaii's nation-leading aerial attack. Tulsa capitalized on No. 24 Hawaii's six first-half turnovers along with a huge night from wide receiver Damaris Johnson (left) to cruise to a 27-point victory in the Hawaii Bowl. Johnson broke loose for 326 all-purpose yards to set the NCAA career record and carry the Golden Hurricane to the win.
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Torrential downpour forced workers to pump away 1.5 million gallons of rainwater at Qualcomm Stadium before the Poinsettia Bowl. Once it was cleared, San Diego State and Ronnie Hillman (left) ran all over Navy for the easy win. Hillman racked up four touchdowns and a career-high and Poinsettia-best 228 rushing yards to help the Aztects crush the Midshipmen by 21 points. The victory marked San Diego State's first bowl victory since 1969.
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Las Vegas Bowl
After a disappointing loss to Nevada forced No. 10 Boise State to fall just short of the Rose Bowl, the Broncos bounced back to record a near-shutout victory over No. 20 Utah. Heisman nominee Kellen Moore completed 28 of 38 passes for 339 yards and two touchdowns and wide receiver Austin Pettis (left) caught 12 passes (including one from himself) for 147 yards and a score.
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Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl
Charlie Strong put an exclamation mark on Louisville's turnaround season with an impressive victory over Southern Miss in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. Southern Miss quarterback Austin Davis passed for 205 yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort, but became the Golden Eagles' career touchdown pass leader with 53, passing Brett Favre and Lee Roberts.
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New Orleans Bowl
Troy quarterback Corey Robinson (left) stole the show, passing for 387 yards and four touchdowns while helping the Trojans set a New Orleans Bowl record with 48 points. Robinson completed 23 of 29 passes for 285 yards and four TDs in the first half alone and wide receiver Tebiarus Gill set a New Orleans Bowl record of his own with three TD catches.
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Northern Illinois closed out its best season in school history with a 23-point rout over Fresno State. The Huskies won 11 games for the first time in team history were boosted in the Humanitarian Bowl by quarterback Chandler Harnish, who threw for two touchdowns and scored another on the ground.
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New Mexico Bowl
After stumbling to a 1-4 start this season, Brigham Young finished the regular season by winning five of its last seven games. The Cougars carried that momentum into college football's first bowl game of the season with a 28-point victory over UTEP. Quarterback Jake Heaps passed for 264 yards and four touchdowns, three of which to Cody Hoffman (left).
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