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Saturday’s bowls roundup: Appalachian State edges Toledo

DetroitNews-Unknown

Montgomery, Ala. — Marcus Cox, Taylor Lamb and the Appalachian State kicker came through again in the Camellia Bowl.

Cox rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown, Lamb ran for 126 yards and Michael Rubino kicked the go-ahead, 39-yard field goal to lift the Mountaineers to a 31-28 victory over Toledo on Saturday night.

The Mountaineers (10-3) won the bowl in Alabama’s capital city on a late field goal for the second straight year, this one coming with 5:14 left.

“We’re getting used to this Camellia Bowl trophy right here,” said Satterfield, adding that it rode next to him on the return flight last year and probably would again.

“We have so much fight and so much integrity in our football team. They do things right on and off the field. You can’t win close games like this if you don’t do things right on and off the field.”

The Mountaineers got a couple of fourth-quarter reprieves after failing on a fake field goal.

Cox became the ninth FBS player with four 1,000-yard seasons and the 22nd to top 5,000 in his career. Game MVP Lamb passed for 119 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score and some key third- and fourth-down conversions.

Kareem Hunt covered 42 yards on four straight rushes to propel Toledo (9-4) down the field after the field goal. Damion Jones-Moore was stopped on third down.

Toledo took a delay of game penalty to line up the potential tying kick. Jameson Vest pushed his 30-yard field goal attempt wide right with 1:48 remaining.

“If we had to go out and do it again, I’d kick the field goal again,” first-year Rockets coach Jason Candle said. “I trust in our kicker and I trust in our protection. That was not the reason why we lost the game.”

Each of the first three Camellia Bowls have gone down to the final minutes, decided by a combined 10 points.

Rubino, a freshman, opened the season with two missed field goals and a missed extra point attempt in an overtime loss to Tennessee. He finished in much better fashion.

“He’s come a long way,” Satterfield said.

The teams traded a pair of touchdowns during an 8-minute span of the third quarter, forging a deadlock heading into the fourth.

The Mountaineers converted two fourth-down plays to jump ahead the first time, including Lamb’s 13-yard run off a play fake to Cox.

“All 11 guys on defense went to Marcus,” Lamb said. “I just went around the edge and there was nobody in sight.”

They also got a 94-yard kick return down the right sideline by freshman Darrynton Evans, who skipped away from the grasp of one final diving defender.

Toledo answered with Thompson’s 4-yard touchdown catch and a 1-yard plunge by Hunt. Woodside set up the second touchdown with a 58-yard bomb to Thompson.

“This senior class had a storied career,” Candle said. “Guys like (senior safety) DeJuan Rogers have no reason to hang their head.”

On the Mountaineers’ fake, holder Bentlee Critcher’s pass to Collin Reed fell incomplete.

Las Vegas Bowl

San Diego State 34, Houston 10: Donnel Pumphrey broke the NCAA career rushing record, running for 115 yards and a touchdown. Pumphrey passed former Wisconsin star Ron Dayne’s mark of 6,397 yards on a 15-yard run early in the fourth quarter, with teammates swarming him on the sideline, and wrapping up his sensational career in his Nevada hometown with 6,405 yards. Pumphrey’s senior total of 2,133 yards rushing ranks in the top 10 for an FBS player. Ron Smith returned an interception 54 yards for a touchdown, Curtis Anderson caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Christian Chapman, Juwan Washington ran for a touchdown, and John Baron kicked two field goals for the Aztecs (11-3). They overcame a 10-0 first-quarter deficit against the Cougars (9-4) for their second consecutive bowl win.

New Mexico Bowl

New Mexico 23, Texas-San Antonio 20: At Albuquerque, New Mexico, Richard McQuarley ran for two short touchdowns and New Mexico posted its second bowl victory in a half-century. The Lobos’ only win since taking the 1961 Aviation Bowl had been a 2007 victory over Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl. Lamar Jordan rushed for 81 yards and threw a 34-yard pass to Dameon Gamblin that set up McQuarley’s 1-yard burst for a 23-13 lead in the fourth quarter. The Lobos (9-4) gave coach Bob Davie his first bowl win — he lost three times at Notre Dame and also last year with New Mexico in this bowl. Jarveon Williams ran for 125 yards for the Roadrunners (6-7), who lost in their first bowl appearance in the program’s six-year history.

Celebration Bowl

Grambling State 10, North Carolina Central 9: At Atlanta, Grambling State won the Celebration Bowl when it blocked an extra-point kick set back 15 yards by an excessive celebration with just over two minutes left. Joseph McWilliams surged in and swatted Brandon McLaren’s 35-yard try with 2:14 remaining to preserve the Tigers’ edge. Down 10-3, North Carolina Central had a chance to pull even after Quentin Atkinson shook loose and caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from scrambling Malcolm Bell. But Atkinson took off his helmet while reveling with the crowd, drawing a personal foul penalty. Martez Carter’s 32-yard touchdown run to open the second half gave Grambling State (11-1) its first lead. The Tigers earned the bowl bid by winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship to complete a dramatic resurgence by the program. The Eagles (9-3) won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference under third-year coach Jerry Mack.

Cure Bowl

Arkansas State 31, Central Florida 13: At Orlando, Florida, Justice Hansen threw three touchdown passes to Kendall Sanders. Hanses and Sanders hooked up for touchdown strikes of 12, 75 and 17 yards, but the biggest plays of the night came from the Red Wolves’ special teams. They scored on a blocked punt and produced two turnovers that were turned into touchdowns. Hansen completed 12 of 26 passes for 205 yards. The Red Wolves (8-5) sealed the victory when they went up 31-13 on Sanders’ 17-yard scoring reception early in the fourth quarter. That touchdown was set up after UCF returner Chris Johnson mishandled a punt and it was recovered by Logan Moragne at the Knights 37. The tone for the special teams was set in the first quarter when Johnston White broke through the line to block Caleb Houston’s punt and B.J. Edmonds fell on the ball in the end zone to put the Red Wolves ahead 7-0 in the first 4 minutes. The Red Wolves took a 17-0 lead over the Knights (6-7) in the first quarter after a UCF fumbled kickoff return set up Hansen’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Hansen.

New Orleans Bowl 

Southern Mississippi 28, Louisiana-Lafayette 21: Allenzae Staggers set New Orleans Bowl records with 11 catches for 230 yards and scored a touchdown. Nick Mullens, the Southern Miss all-time leader in yards passing and passing touchdowns, finished his distinguished career by throwing for 346 yards and two TDs. One of Mullens’ TD tosses was a 6-yarder to running back Ito Smith, who also rushed for 138 yards and two scores. However, Mullens’ turnovers helped the Ragin’ Cajuns keep the game competitive despite the Golden Eagles (7-6) outgaining ULL (6-7) 481 yards to 252.