|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 01 January 2008 20:20|
Hawaii's bid at perfection ended with a thud in the Sugar Bowl, where the black-clad Bulldogs took out their frustration at getting passed over for a shot at the BCS championship with a 41-10 rout of Colt Brennan and overmatched Hawaii on Tuesday night.
Getting a headstart on next season on the first day of the new year, No. 4 Georgia (11-2) established itself as a leading contender in 2008 with a total whippin' of the 10th-ranked Warriors (12-1), who cracked the BCS with an unbeaten run through the Western Athletic Conference.
They are perfect no more. This night was nothing but a four-hour-plus rendition of ``Glory, Glory To Ol' Georgia.''
Knowshon Moreno ran for a pair of touchdowns in the opening quarter and the Bulldogs made life miserable for Brennan, a Heisman Trophy finalist and catalyst for the nation's highest-scoring team. He was sacked eight times, threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles, one of them recovered for a Georgia touchdown.
After getting slammed to the Superdome turf one last time by Geno Atkins, Brennan staggered to the sideline, his night mercifully done. The junior had the worst showing of his career in a game played to the finish, going 22-of-38 for just 169 yards - less than half of his 348-yard average this season.
On Hawaii's first possession of the second half, Brennan was sacked by Roderick Battle, then picked off by Asher Allen. The Warriors held, getting an interception of their own on a tipped ball, but that merely set up Brennan for more misery.
Marcus Howard, who spent as much time in the Hawaii backfield as the guys wearing white, sped by tackle Keoni Steinhoff like he wasn't even there and crashed into Brennan. The ball rolled loose in the end zone and Howard recovered, giving him as many touchdowns as the vaunted run-and-shoot offense that was averaging 46.2 points a game.
No. 6 Southern California 49, No. 13 Illinois 17
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Southern California was every bit as good as advertised and the Rose Bowl was even more lopsided than expected, with freshman tailback Joe McKnight gaining 170 of Southern California's 633 yards in a record-setting romp.
USC (11-2) tied a Rose Bowl record with the 49 points and the total offense was a record, too. The blowout gave the Trojans 11 wins for an unprecedented sixth straight season and made them 5-1 in their last six bowl games, all of them BCS affairs.
The game featured 1,078 yards of offense. Despite the margin, things were truly competitive for a brief moment. Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall broke a 79-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter to trim what had been a three-TD deficit to 21-10.
Minutes later, Mendenhall scooted 55 yards with a screen pass from Juice Williams, and Ron Zook's Illini (9-4) were looking as if they might really complete the impossible dream, from 2-19 over the last two years to Rose Bowl champions.
But after an Illini turnover the Trojans answered with John David Booty, who threw for 255 yards and three scores to set a Rose Bowl career record with seven TDs. USC linebacker Rey Maualuga had three sacks and an interception for a defense that allowed only 79 yards in the first half.
Capital One Bowl
Michigan 41, No. 9 Florida 35
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Chad Henne threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns, Mike Hart ran for 129 yards and two scores and Michigan sent Lloyd Carr out a winner by beating Florida for its first bowl win since 2003.
Henne, Adrian Arrington and Mario Manningham torched Florida's secondary all game. Arrington caught nine passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns, and Manningham added five catches for 78 yards and a score.
The Gators (9-4) kept it close thanks to four turnovers and big plays by Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin, who ran 13 times for 165 yards and a TD, and caught nine passes for 77 yards and a score.
Florida failed to convert a fourth-down play at its 25 yard line, and K.C. Lopata's 41-yard field goal put Michigan (9-4) ahead 41-35 with 2:21 remaining.
The Gators got another shot, but Tebow threw four straight incompletions to end any chance of a comeback.
Playing with a broken bone in his non-throwing hand and facing constant blitzes, Tebow was 17-of-33 passing for 154 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran 16 times for 57 yards.
No. 7 Missouri 38, No. 25 Arkansas 7
DALLAS (AP) - Missouri made its case for having deserved a chance in one of the elite bowl games, routing Darren McFadden and Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl to cap a magical season.
The biggest surprise is that the damage was done by running back Tony Temple, not quarterback Chase Daniel, a Heisman Trophy finalist like McFadden.
Temple, a 5-foot-9 senior who is often overlooked in Missouri's pass-heavy offense, broke long-standing Cotton Bowl records with 281 yards and four touchdowns. Both records fell on his last run, a spinning, tackle-breaking, 40-yarder into the end zone.
Mizzou (12-2) was ranked No. 1 after beating Kansas in the regular-season finale, then lost badly to Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game.
The No. 25 Razorbacks (8-5) made a horrible impression on incoming coach Bobby Petrino, from the defense allowing the most yards rushing by a single player to the sloppiness of five turnovers.
No. 16 Tennessee 21, No. 18 Wisconsin 17
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Erik Ainge threw for 365 yards and two touchdowns to keep No. 18 Wisconsin from joining Michigan as the only Big Ten teams to beat SEC opponents in bowl games three consecutive seasons.
Ainge completed 25 of 43 passes without a turnover to win MVP honors and help the No. 16 Vols (10-4) erase unpleasant memories of a 10-point loss to Penn State in last year's Outback game.
Antonio Wardlow sealed Tennessee's first 10-win season since 2004 when he intercepted Tyler Donovan's deep throw intended for Paul Hubbard in the end zone in the final minute.
Receiver Gerald Jones took a direct snap from center and scored on a 3-yard run, then Ainge tossed TD passes of 29 yards to Josh Briscoe and 31 yards to Brad Cottam to help Tennessee build a 21-7 lead.
Donovan's 4-yard TD to Andy Crooks trimmed Wisconsin's deficit to 21-14 at the half. The Badgers (9-4) pulled within four on Taylor Mehlhaff's 27-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the third quarter.
Donovan completed 14 of 24 passes for 155 yards. P.J. Hill returned to Wisconsin's offense after sitting out two games and missing part of two others, running for 132 yards on 16 carries.
Texas Tech 31, No. 21 Virginia 28
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Alex Trlica kicked a 41-yard field goal with 7 seconds left to give Texas Tech a come-from-behind victory over the No. 21 Cavaliers in a wild Gator Bowl.
Tech overcame pivotal penalties and a fumble to come back from a 28-14 fourth quarter deficit. Its aggressive pass offense couldn't score much for three quarters, but Graham Harrell still managed to completed 44 of 69 passes for 407 yards, all records, plus three TDs.
The comeback started when Harrell found Michael Crabtree for a touchdown - despite an interference call.
Tech scored its next touchdown after knocking the ball out of backup Virginia quarterback Peter Lalich's hands at the 4 yard line. Tech recovered and Aaron Crawford's 4-yard run a play later tied it at 28.
The Red Raiders overcame a tremendous effort by Virginia tailback Mikell Simpson, who ran for 170 yards on 20 carries - including a NCAA bowl-record 96-yard TD run - and caught another touchdown.
Virginia's offense wasn't the same after losing Jameel Sewell at the start of the fourth quarter. His statistics weren't outstanding - 14-of-23 passing for 78 yards and a TD - but he commanded the offense well.