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NCAA College Football Bowl Recap — Dec. 17-23

Doug Martin
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Bowl season is in full swing. Here’s a look back at what went down in the first week of games.

Thursday, Dec. 22

Maaco Bowl; Las Vegas, NV

NO. 8 BOISE STATE 56 – ARIZONA STATE 24

Doug Martin returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and he also ran for 151 yards and another score, as the eighth-ranked Boise State Broncos routed the Arizona State Sun Devils 56-24 on Thursday night in the Maaco Bowl in Las Vegas. Thanks to Martin’s return, Boise State (12-1) had a seven-point lead 14 seconds into the contest. Arizona State (6-7) never mounted a serious rally, though the Sun Devils scored a touchdown on a 97-yard kickoff return by Rashad Ross to start the second half.

The Broncos led 28-3 at halftime on the way to quarterback Kellen Moore’s 50th win as a starter, the most ever at his position. Moore passed for 292 yards and two touchdowns, adding two interceptions and a fumble. Arizona State gained only 17 net yards rushing on the game, as the early deficit forced departing coach Dennis Erickson’s team to throw often. Sun Devils’ receiver Gerell Robinson had a bowl-record 241 yards receiving on 13 receptions, including a touchdown. ASU quarterback Brock Osweiler passed for 390 yards and two touchdowns, but he also had an interception returned 100 yards for a score by Jamar Taylor in the third quarter that halted any chance of a Sun Devils’ rally.

Earlier bowls:

Saturday, Dec. 17

New Mexico Bowl; Albuquerque, N.M.

Temple 37 – Wyoming 15

Bernard Pierce ran for two first-half touchdowns, and the Temple Owls beat the Wyoming Cowboys 37-15 in the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque, N.M. on Saturday. Temple (9-4) led 28-7 at the half on the way to recording its second bowl win in school history. The Owls defense had three interceptions and held Wyoming (8-5) to just 269 total yards on the game.

Temple’s Pierce carried 25 times for 99 yards, while quarterback Chris Coyer threw for 169 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown pass to Rod Streater just before halftime. In addition to the interceptions, Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith passed for 128 yards and two touchdowns and added 60 yards on 15 carries. The Cowboys’ Dominic Rufran caught nine passes for just 25 receiving yards as Temple’s defense consistently shut down the Wyoming offense.

 

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl; Boise, ID

Ohio 24 – Utah State 23

Quarterback Tyler Tettleton scored on a 1-yard run with 13 seconds remaining, and the Ohio Bobcats rallied to beat the Utah State Aggies 24-23 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho on Saturday. Making its first bowl appearance since 1997, Utah State (7-6) led 23-10 in the third quarter. However, the Aggies’ defense could not stop Tettleton, who passed for 220 yards and two touchdowns in addition to his go-ahead score for Ohio (10-4).

LaVon Brazill, who caught a 44-yard touchdown pass from Tettleton in the third quarter, led the Bobcats with eight receptions for 108 yards. Michael Smith ran for 157 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns for Utah State. Robert Turbin added 101 yards on 20 carries for the Aggies, who finished the game with 345 yards on the ground.

 

New Orleans Bowl; New Orleans, La.

Louisiana-Lafayette 32 – San Diego State 30

Brett Baer kicked a 50-yard field goal as time expired, and Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns beat the San Diego State Aztecs 32-30 in the New Orleans Bowl in New Orleans on Saturday night. Louisiana-Lafayette (9-4) led for the entire contest, but San Diego State (8-5) had gone ahead on a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Lindley to Colin Lockett with under a minute to play. Quarterback Blaine Gautier led the Ragin’ Cajuns down the field to the Aztecs’ 38-yard line for a 55-yard field goal attempt. A 5-yard penalty on San Diego State moved the ball closer for Baer, who nailed the kick before racing into the stands to celebrate.

Gautier passed for 470 yards, three touchdowns and an interception for Louisiana-Lafayette, which was playing in its first bowl game as a Division I FBS team. Javone Lawson caught nine passes for 193 yards and two scores for the Cajuns, while teammate Ladarius Green had five catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. Lindley threw for 413 yards and three scores for the Aztecs. Dylan Denso caught five passes for 109 yards for San Diego State, while Lockett finished with six catches for 85 yards and three touchdowns.

 

Tuesday, Dec. 20

Beef O Brady’s Bowl; St. Petersburg, Fla.

Marshall 20 – Florida International 10

A blocked punt helped the Marshall Thundering Herd beat the Florida International Golden Panthers 20-10 in the Beef `O’ Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida on Tuesday night. Tied 10-10, Marshall (7-6) used the blocked punt from special teams player Zach Dunston to move into position for a 39-yard field goal by Tyler Warner, which put them ahead to stay with about six minutes to play. Florida International (8-5) turned the ball over on its next possession, leading to the second touchdown pass of the game from quarterback Rakeem Cato to Aaron Dobson, which assured the victory for the Thundering Herd.

Cato threw for 226 yards and touchdown passes of 31 and 35 yards to Dobson, who had seven receptions for 81 yards for Marshall. All-purpose threat T.Y. Hilton caught eight passes for 88 yards and ran for 23 yards and a touchdown for the Golden Panthers.

 

Wednesday, Dec. 21

Poinsettia Bowl; San Diego, Calif.

No.16 TCU 31 – Louisiana Tech 24

Casey Pachall threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Skye Dawson with 4:26 left, and the TCU Horned Frogs rallied to beat the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 31-24 in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego on Wednesday night. Mountain West conference champion TCU (11-2) entered the game ranked 16th in the AP Top 25. The Horned Frogs trailed 24-17 entering the fourth quarter before rallying to tie, and then win. Champions of the Western Athletic Conference, Louisiana Tech (8-5) seemed to have the game in hand when quarterback Colby Cameron threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Myles White late in the third quarter, but it could not hold the lead.

Pachall passed for 207 yards, a touchdown and an interception for TCU, while Dawson paced the team with 86 receiving yards on four catches, including the go-ahead score. Ed Wesley led the Horned Frogs with 77 yards on 16 carries, including a touchdown. Cameron threw for 264 yards, two scores and an interception for the Bulldogs. White caught seven passes for 110 yards, including a touchdown, while Hunter Lee ran for 70 yards and a score for Louisiana Tech.

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