Saturday's college bowl roundup: No. 25 Boise State tops Oregon
Las Vegas — Cedrick Wilson caught 10 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown, Kekaula Kaniho returned an interception 53 yards for a score and No. 25 Boise State beat Oregon 38-28 in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday.
Brett Rypien threw for 362 yards and two touchdown passes — with two interceptions — to help the Broncos (11-3) break a three-game losing streak against Power 5 opposition. Ryan Wolpin rushed for two touchdowns.
Troy Dye and Tyree Robinson each scored a defensive touchdown, and Justin Herbert was 26 of 36 passing for 233 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Ducks (7-6) in new head coach Mario Cristobal’s debut.
Boise State forced four turnovers in the first half, taking a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on Wolpin’s 1-yard touchdown run and Rypien’s 26-yard scoring pass to Wilson, who was named the game’s most valuable player. Haden Hoggarth added a 39-yard field goal before an off-balance Herbert heaved a pass toward the sideline that was easily picked off and run back by Kaniho, who also had a strip-sack.
“I thought the defense was dominating today,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “We spotted them a few points, otherwise the score is completely different. I thought our offense moved the ball up and down the field, and Oregon had a very tough time stopping it.”
Oregon clawed back into it with two defensive touchdowns in the final minute of the first half. Dye recovered a fumble on a botched Statue of Liberty handoff and returned it 86 yards for a touchdown with 37 seconds remaining to get the Ducks on the scoreboard.
A 65-yard reception by Wilson to set the Boise State single-season record for yards receiving got the Broncos right back in the red zone, but Robinson picked off Rypien’s pass in the end zone and took it back 100 yards on the longest interception return in school history with 7 seconds remaining to make it 24-14.
Boise State outgained Oregon 294-77 in the first half and reached Ducks’ territory on eight of 10 possessions.
After Alec Dhaenens caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Rypien in the third quarter, the Ducks pulled back within 31-21 on a 24-yard scoring thrown from Herbert to Brendan Schooler with 10:07 remaining.
Oregon had a chance to cut it to a one-possession game but Herbert was sacked near midfield, and Boise State drove 86 yards in 11 plays capped by Wolpin’s second 1-yard touchdown run.
“They never stopped fighting,” Cristobal said. “Get down 24-0 with penalties and turnovers and that kind of stuff … it’s a lot of stuff to overcome. We didn’t.”
New Orleans Bowl
Troy 50, North Texas 30: Brandon Silvers passed for four touchdowns and ran for another, Troy produced five turnovers and the Trojans beat North Texas in New Orleans.
Josh Anderson, filling in for injured starter Jordan Chunn, rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns, and Silvers also scored on a short run to help Troy (11-2) win for the 21st time in two seasons.
Silvers passed for 306 yards. Two of his TD passes went to Damion Willis, who had 136 yards and two TDs receiving on a New Orleans Bowl-record-tying 11 catches.
Mason Fine passed for 303 yards and three touchdowns for North Texas (9-5), but was intercepted twice and fumbled twice. He finished with Mean Green single-season records of 4,052 yards and 31 TDs passing.
Georgia State 27, Western Kentucky 17: In Orlando, Fla., Conner Manning threw for 276 yards and a touchdown to lead Georgia State to a winning record with the first bowl victory in the school’s eight-year football history.
Manning threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Roger Carter, Demarcus Kirk scored on a 26-yard run, and Kyler Neal finished a 16-play drive consuming nine minutes of the fourth quarter with a 1-yard scoring run that put Georgia State (7-5) up 27-10.
Mike White had TD passes of 54 and 4 yards to Deon Yelder and finished with 351 yards for Western Kentucky (6-7). Yelder had five receptions for 112 yards.
New Mexico Bowl
Marshall 31, Colorado State 28: In Albuquerque, N.M., Keion Davis rushed for 141 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown run, and Marshall had two other big scoring plays.
Chase Litton threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Thundering Herd (8-5) hold off the Rams (7-6). Tyre Brady had 165 yards receiving and gave the Thundering Herd the lead in the second quarter with a 76-yard touchdown reception. Tyler King added a 90-yard rushing touchdown.
The Thundering Herd are 11-2 in bowl games — 5-0 under current head coach Doc Holliday.
Nick Stevens threw for 320 yards and ran for two touchdowns for the Rams, but was sacked five times. Olabisi Johnson had 119 yards receiving.
Middle Tennessee 35, Arkansas State 30: At Montgomery, Alabama, Brent Stockstill passed for 232 yards and two touchdowns and Middle Tennessee came up with some key stops. The Blue Raiders (7-6) ran out most of the final five minutes with a series of short passes from Stockstill after losing much of an 18-point lead over the Red Wolves (7-5).
North Carolina A&T 21, Grambling State 14: In Atlanta, Lamar Raynard scored on a 1-yard sneak with 38 seconds left and unbeaten North Carolina A&T won its second Celebration Bowl in three years.
N.C. A&T (12-0) won its fourth Historically Black College and University national championship. In 2015, the Aggies beat Alcorn State in the first Celebration Bowl. They also won titles in 1990 and 1999
Raynard completed 23 of 43 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown.
Grambling (11-2) beat North Carolina Central 10-9 last year in the title game.