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Georgia Tech 21, USC 7
Southern California was ranked No. 1 at the beginning of the season, and Matt Barkley was a strong contender for the Heisman Trophy. The year ended with Barkley on the sideline as the Trojans lost to Georgia Tech.
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to lead the Yellow Jackets to a victory on Monday in front of a crowd of 47,922 at Sun Bowl Stadium at El Paso, Texas.
Washington's 1-yard touchdown run in the third made it 14-7, and he found Orwin Smith for a 17-yard touchdown pass in the fourth.
Barkley, the first three-time captain in team history, injured his right shoulder in a loss to UCLA and was not cleared to play. He clapped as the Trojans (7-6) took the field to face the Yellow Jackets.
Max Wittek tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Silas Redd in the second quarter, but also threw three interceptions. Redd also had 88 yards rushing on 17 carries.
The Trojans struggled to contain Georgia Tech's triple-option attack. The Yellow Jackets (7-7) rushed for 294 yards on 63 carries while stopping a seven-bowl losing streak.
David Sims had 99 yards on 17 carries, but he got plenty of help. Zach Laskey added 60 yards on six carries, Lee had 52 on 10 carries and Washington had 16 attempts for 46 yards for the No. 4 rushing team in the nation.
Sims also caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Vad Lee in the first quarter.
Lee and Washington combined to go just 5-for-10 passing, but two completions went for TDs passes and two more covered 26 and 49 yards and keyed two of the team's scoring drives.
High-powered USC finished with 10 first downs and eight punts as Georgia Tech shut down the Trojans' big-play threats all afternoon.
Wittek had four passes deflected at the line. His second interception came in the Tech end zone with 6:22 to go and the last came inside the Tech 10-yard line in the game's final minute. He was 14 for 37 for 107 yards.
Tulsa 31, Iowa State 17
Tulsa made the most of its second chance.
Trey Watts rushed for 149 yards, Alex Singleton ran for three scores and Tulsa avenged a season-opening loss to Iowa State with a victory in rainy Memphis, Tenn.
The Golden Hurricane (11-3) posted the second 11-win season in school history. Tulsa, which has the smallest enrollment of any Football Bowl Subdivision program, also finished 11-3 in 2008.
Iowa State (6-7) rallied to beat Tulsa 38-23 on Sept. 1, but the Golden Hurricane put together the comeback in the rematch. Tulsa trailed 17-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Both teams had changed quite a bit since that regular-season opener.
Iowa State's Steele Jantz, who threw two touchdown passes and ran for a third score in the season opener, lost his starting job to redshirt freshman Sam Richardson. The Cyclones' leading rusher (Shontrelle Johnson) and top tackler (Jake Knott) from the Sept. 1 game missed the Liberty Bowl with injuries.
Tulsa linebacker Shawn Jackson, a three-year starter, was serving a three-game suspension during the last meeting with Iowa State. Jackson sacked Richardson on consecutive plays late in the first quarter Monday and forced a fumble in the game's closing minutes.
After going 6 for 7 for 114 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter, Richardson was 4 of 14 for 15 yards with an interception the rest of the game. Iowa State didn't pick up its initial first down of the second half until after Jantz replaced Richardson with under 13 minutes left in the game.
The teams combined for 38 points in the first 19 minutes of the game before settling into more of a defensive struggle.
Iowa State capitalized on big plays to take an early 17-7 lead in front of a partisan crowd. About 80 percent of the fans were dressed in Iowa State cardinal-and-gold.
After Edwin Arceo capped Iowa State's opening series with a 33-yard field goal, Jeremy Reeves put the Cyclones in front 10-0 with a 31-yard interception return midway through the first quarter.
Tulsa answered with Alex Singleton's 2-yard touchdown dive, but Richardson connected with tight end Ernst Brun for a 69-yard score on Iowa State's ensuing possession.
The Golden Hurricane got back in the game by relying on its ground attack and pass rush, two strengths that helped Tulsa win the Conference USA championship.
Richardson, making his second career start, didn't have nearly as much time to throw after the first quarter. After moving the ball at will in the opening period, Iowa State's offense did virtually nothing right the rest of the day. Iowa State missed a field goal and committed three turnovers in the final three quarters.
The Golden Hurricane took the lead for good with a pair of touchdown runs - an 8-yarder from quarterback Cody Green and a 2-yarder from Singleton - in the first four minutes of the second quarter. Tulsa extended the lead to 28-17 in the third quarter on Singleton's 1-yard dive on fourth-and-goal.
Music City Bowl
Vanderbilt 38, North Carolina State 24
The Southeastern Conference is so strong that now even Vanderbilt, yes Vandy, is winning like the Commodores haven't in nearly a century.
Jordan Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as the Vanderbilt Commodores capped their best season since 1915 by beating North Carolina State in the Music City Bowl at Nashville, Tenn.
The Commodores finished 9-4 for their best record since going 9-1 in 1915, and it's only the third time the smallest and only private university in the Southeastern Conference has won as many as nine games in a season. They also finished with seven straight wins, their longest streak since winning eight in 1948.
Vanderbilt forced a season-high five turnovers, including four in the first half, and turned those into 17 points.
N.C. State (7-6) wrapped up the season under interim coach Dana Bible snapping a two-game bowl winning streak. The Wolfpack had their fifth game this season with at least four turnovers, and that helped wipe out a 424-225 advantage in total offense.
This was the 27th bowl all-time for N.C. State, and the Wolfpack had every coach working this game except Tom O'Brien, who was fired at the end of the regular season. But a team that ranked second in the Atlantic Coast Conference in turnovers couldn't overcome its own mistakes, which also included a bad shotgun snap that cost the Wolfpack 21 yards on the opening drive.
Vandy coach James Franklin got a contract extension a month ago for guiding the Dores to a second straight bowl game for the first time in school history. Franklin didn't change anything that got his Commodores here as he went for it on fourth down, used the wildcat repeatedly and even had senior running back Zac Stacy attempt a halfback pass to Rodgers.
The Commodores took control from the opening drive, moving 65 yards for a touchdown that put them ahead to stay. Officials initially called Chris Boyd out of bounds, but review showed the sophomore got the toes of his right foot down for a 5-yard TD pass from Rodgers.
Commodores safety Kenny Ladler picked off a Glennon pass at the North Carolina State 45 for Vanderbilt's fifth interception in three games.
It was just a sign of what was to come in the first half. Johnell Thomas stripped Wolfpack freshman Shadrach Thornton of the ball late in the first quarter, and Derreon Herring stripped N.C. State tight end Asa Watson of the ball after a nice catch. Ladler recovered that ball.
And safety Eric Samuels intercepted Glennon with 54 seconds left in the first half.
Vanderbilt finally converted the third turnover as Stacy, Vanderbilt's all-time leading rusher, carried four straight times with the last three off the wildcat. Stacy scored on a 6-yard run with 10:08 left in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead.
Tony Creecy scored on a 1-yard TD run for the Wolfpack. But Vanderbilt stuck with the wildcat, and Wesley Tate scored on a 7-yard TD run for a 21-7 lead with 3:47 left in the second quarter.
Tobias Palmer, who struggled catching the ball on his first two kickoff returns, caught the next cleanly and ran untouched 94 yards for a TD to keep the Wolfpack within 21-14.
But Vanderbilt led 28-14 at halftime when Rodgers tossed his second TD pass, a screen that Jordan Matthews took 18 yards to the end zone. That matched the most points the Commodores had scored in any of their five previous bowl games. Rodgers ran for a 15-yard TD with 5:11 left that sealed the victory.
Trey Wilson picked off a Glennon pass intended for tight end Charlie Hegedus in the end zone on the opening drive of the third quarter only to be stopped by his own teammate, tackle Jared Morse, at the N.C. State 35. It was the kind of mistake that cost Vandy in years past.