Thursday’s football: Oklahoma State routs Colorado
San Antonio — Mason Rudolph passed for 314 yards and three touchdowns and No. 13 Oklahoma State’s defense smothered No. 11 Colorado in a 38-8 Alamo Bowl victory Thursday night that gave the Cowboys their fifth 10-win season in seven years.
James Washington caught nine passes for 171 yards and a touchdown before leaving in the third quarter with an apparent hand injury. Rudolph and Washington have already announced they will return for their senior seasons, putting the Cowboys (10-3) among the favorites to win the Big 12.
Rudolph even set up Oklahoma State’s first touchdown when he caught a throw-back pass for 24 yards. His 5-yard TD pass to Washington made it 17-0 in the second quarter. Rudolph had scoring throws to Blake Jarwin and Jhajuan Seales in the third to make it 31-0.
“We felt like their secondary hadn’t really been challenged all year,” Rudolph said.
Colorado’s best season in more than a decade —dubbed “The Rise” — ended with a thud: consecutive losses in the Pac-12 title game and the program’s first bowl appearance since 2007.
Senior quarterback Sefo Liufau passed for 195 yards and ran for a touchdown for the Buffaloes (10-4), but was sidelined for part of the second and third quarters after limping off following a sack.
“We did something special. We didn’t finish with an exclamation point … but I wouldn’t trade this season for anything,” Liufau said.
No. 18 Virginia Tech 35, Arkansas 24: At Charlotte, North Carolina, Jerod Evans threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two scores and No. 18 Virginia Tech pulled off the largest comeback in its 124-year history, erasing a 24-point halftime deficit. After being limited to 180 yards in the first half, the Hokies (10-4) took advantage of three of Austin Allen’s interceptions and scored touchdowns on five of their first seven possessions of the second half.
Evans scored on a 4-yard run and threw touchdown strikes to Sam Rogers and Chris Cunningham to cut it to 24-21 In the third quarter. Travon McMillan put the Hokies ahead for good with 12:03 left in the game when he scored on a 6-yard run. Evans sealed the win with an 8-yard touchdown scamper
Virginia Tech came in averaging 35 points, but the Razorbacks (7-6) set the tone early by turning Evans’ fumble and interception into 10 points to take a 17-0 lead in the first quarter. Arkansas extended the lead to 24-0 at halftime and it looked as if it might cruise to an easy victory.
But Evans had other ideas. He completed 12 of 16 passes for 129 yards and two TDs in the second half, helping Justin Fuente became the first coach in school history to win 10 games in his first season.
No. 25 South Florida 46, South Carolina 39, OT: At Birmingham, Alabama, Quinton Flowers ran for three touchdowns and threw for two more. South Florida (11-2) squandered a 39-21 lead in the second half, but recovered for its school-record 11th victory. Flowers threw a 25-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime, finding Elkanah Dillon in the end zone.
South Carolina’s overtime drive ended after Jake Bentley was sacked by Mike Love on fourth down. Bentley fumbled and Khalid McGee recovered to end the game.
Flowers, who was selected the game’s Most Valuable Player, completed 23 of 32 passes for 261 yards and ran for 105 yards on 21 carries.
The Bulls controlled the game for most of the afternoon, but the Gamecocks rallied to tie it at 39 with 1:11 remaining on A.J. Turner’s 1-yard touchdown run and a 2-point conversion.
Bentley completed 32 of 43 passes for 390 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Deebo Samuel caught 14 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown.
South Carolina (6-7) was hurt by five turnovers, including a pick-six thrown by Bentley that Tajee Fullwood returned 47 yards.
Georgia vs. TCU
Kickoff: noon, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tenn.
Records: Georgia 7-5, TCU 6-6
Outlook: TCU is trying to avoid just the third losing season in Gary Patterson’s 16 full seasons as coach. ...Georgia is seeking to earn a bowl victory for the third straight season.
Stanford vs. North Carolina
Kickoff: 2, Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, Texas
Records: Stanford 9-3, North Carolina 8-4
Line: Stanford by 3
Outlook: Stanford seeks its sixth 10-win season in the past 10 years without star RB Christian McCaffrey, ...North Carolina trying to end two-year bowl skid.
Nebraska vs. Tennessee
Kickoff: 3:30, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tenn.
Records: Nebraska 9-3, Tennessee 8-4
Line: Tennessee by 61/2
Outlook: Nebraska can finish off an impressive turnaround in coach Mike Riley’s second season and assure the Cornhuskers a spot in the Top 25 going into the offseason. ... Tennessee can salvage a season that started off with such high promise.
Air Force vs. South Alabama
Kickoff: 5:30, Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.
Records: Air Force 9-3, South Alabama 6-6
Line: Air Force by 131/2
Outlook: Air Force’s 32-member senior class is playing for its second 10-win season in two years. ...South Alabama is vying for the program’s first bowl win.