South Carolina salvages win

Last-second field goal clinches Outback Bowl after No. 14 Gamecocks squander 28-0 lead

Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2002

TAMPA, Fla. -- Daniel Weaver's 42-yard field goal with no time left barely cleared the crossbar, giving No. 14 South Carolina a 31-28 win over No. 22 Ohio State in the Outback Bowl Tuesday.

The Gamecocks (9-3) blew a 28-0 lead. But Ohio State's Steve Bellisari, playing for the first time since his November arrest and suspension on drunken-driving charges, was intercepted by Sheldon Brown. Brown's return to Ohio State's 29 with 23 seconds left set up Weaver's kick, sending the Gamecocks to their second straight Outback victory.

Phil Petty, the game's MVP, threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns, and Andrew Pinnock scored twice for South Carolina.

Bellisari, who was 21-of-35 for 320 yards, brought the Buckeyes (7-5) back. He ran for a 2-yard score to close the third quarter, then hit Darrell Sanders with a 16-yard TD pass with 10:18 to go that cut the lead in half.

Jonathan Wells' 1-yard run made it 28-21 with 5:02 to go. Ohio State got the ball back on its 11 with 3:56 to play and Bellisari was magnificent. He went 6-of-6 for 86 yards, tying the game on Sanders' 9-yard catch.

Then with a chance to win after Cie Grant intercepted Petty with 1:12 left, Bellisari's long pass was picked off by Brown, whose twisting, cutback 37-yard return set up Weaver's winning kick.

Cotton Bowl No. 10 Oklahoma 10, Arkansas 3

DALLAS -- Although they weren't playing in the Rose Bowl, the Oklahoma Sooners sure showed a national championship-caliber defense.

The No. 10 Sooners tied a school record with nine sacks and Rocky Calmus made 11 tackles and recovered a late fumble, leading Oklahoma over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.

The Sooners (11-2), who might have been able to defend their national championship with a better offense, didn't get much this time, either -- only a 1-yard touchdown run by Nate Hybl in the first quarter and a 32-yard field goal by Tim Duncan to open the second half.

But the OU defense made that lead seem insurmountable. The Razorbacks (7-5) gained only 50 yards on 55 plays and made just six first downs, two by penalties.

Hybl set a Cotton Bowl record with 24 completions, most on short passes. He finished 24-of-32 for 175 yards.

Oklahoma's sacks, which cost Arkansas 55 yards, were its most in a bowl and matched the most in any game. Roy Williams, Jimmy Wilkerson and Brandon Moore each had two sacks. Williams had only two all season while Moore had none.

Gator Bowl No. 24 Florida State 30, No. 15 Virginia Tech 17

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Bobby Bowden matched Bear Bryant's victory total, leading No. 24 Florida State past No. 15 Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl.

The victory extended to 16 Bowden's unbeaten streak in bowl games that don't decide the national championship, and gave quarterback Chris Rix and the Seminoles a solid finish on what has been a year for learning.

Rix, a redshirt freshman almost benched by Bowden during the year, made the play of the day when he wrist-flicked a pass that Javon Walker turned into a 77-yard touchdown to give the Seminoles the lead for good.

The pass, which came as Rix was being leveled by a Hokies blitz, sparked a 17-point fourth quarter that allowed the Seminoles (8-4) to put the Hokies (8-4) away, much like they had done in the 1999 Sugar Bowl.

Bowden will begin next season with 323 career victories, tied with the longtime Alabama coach and four behind Penn State's Joe Paterno in Division I-A history.

Citrus Bowl No. 8 Tennessee 45, No. 17 Michigan 17

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Casey Clausen helped end No. 8 Tennessee's bowl slump, and No. 17 Michigan couldn't do anything to stop him.

Clausen threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more Tuesday in the Volunteers' romp over the Wolverines in the Citrus Bowl.

Clausen who completed 26 of 34 passes for a career-high 393 yards, threw two touchdown passes to Kelley Washington and connected on a 64-yarder with Jason Witten for Tennessee (11-2). During one stretch in the second half, he completed 10 straight passes.

Travis Stephens scored a 3-yard touchdown run, and Alex Walls had a 32-yard field goal to complete the wipeout of Michigan (8-4).

Sugar Bowl No. 12 LSU 47, No. 7 Illinois 34

NEW ORLEANS -- Domanick Davis, Josh Reed and Rohan Davey stirred up LSU fans so much, only a rare plea from coach Nick Saban settled them down.

In the highest-scoring Sugar Bowl ever, Davis ran for four touchdowns, Reed caught two scoring passes from Davey and No. 12 LSU beat No. 7 Illinois.

Playing in a game more about poll position than national championship plans, the Tigers (10-3) won their school-record fifth straight bowl. Ahead 27-0 in the second quarter, they held on despite four TD passes by Kurt Kittner.

Davis starred while starting in place of injured star LaBrandon Toefield, gaining 122 yards on 28 carries. He nearly had a fifth TD, but his catch in the end zone was called back because of a penalty.

Reed, an All-American, was open all night and caught 14 passes for a Sugar Bowl-record 239 yards. A junior, the Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation's top receiver scored on grabs of 32 and 5 yards in what could have been his final college game.

Davey closed out his career by winning the MVP award. He was 31-of-53 for 444 yards and three TDs, guiding an offense that racked up 595 yards.

It was 34-7 at halftime and by then, the purple-and-gold LSU crowd had caused more problems for the Tigers than the Illini (10-2).

Monday's Games

Silicon Valley Football Classic Micigan St. 44, No. 20 Fresno St. 35

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Charles Rogers set a Michigan State record with 270 yards receiving -- and he wasn't even the most prolific pass-catcher on the field at the Silicon Valley Football Classic.

It was that kind of a day in San Jose, as Rogers caught two of Jeff Smoker's three touchdown passes during the Spartans' phenomenal first half in a victory over Fresno State.

In a matchup of two potent offenses that combined for 1,146 total yards, Smoker and Rogers outdueled Fresno State's high-profile combo of David Carr and Rodney Wright, who finished with 13 catches for a school-record 299 yards and two TDs.

After an inconsistent season in which they finished eighth in the Big Ten and barely qualified for a bowl, the Spartans (7-5) gained 405 yards and scored 37 points before halftime.

Carr threw for 531 yards to Smoker's 376, but the Spartans' big early lead proved too large to overcome for Fresno State (11-3).

Sun Bowl No. 13 Washington St. 33, Purdue 27

EL PASO, Texas -- Jason Gesser passed for 281 yards and ran for a touchdown to help Washington State rally in the second half over Purdue.

No. 13 Washington State (10-2) trailed 20-17 at halftime, but the Cougars held Purdue scoreless in the second half until the final two minutes.

Purdue (6-6) drew to 33-27 with 1:53 left and recovered the ensuing onside kick. The Boilermakers drove to the Washington State 22 before turning the ball over on downs.

Drew Dunning hit four of four field goal attempts and Nakoa McElrath caught five passes for 116 yards as the Cougars won their first bowl game in seven years.

Purdue freshman Kyle Orton was 38 of 74 for 419 yards passing and two touchdowns, but was intercepted four times.

Liberty Bowl No. 23 Louisville 28, No. 19 BYU 10

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Dave Ragone threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns as Louisville beat Brigham Young to finish off the best season in school history.

The Cardinals hadn't won a bowl game since the 1993 Liberty Bowl, a three-game skid that included a loss to Colorado State here last year. They improved to 11-2 for the most victories in a season, topping the 1990 mark of 10-1-1, their only other year with double-digit wins.

For BYU (12-2), the loss marked yet another disappointing end to a season that held the promise of an undefeated season just a month ago. The Cougars lost their third straight bowl game and 10th in their last 14.

Humanitarian Bowl Clemson 49, Louisiana Tech 24

BOISE, Idaho -- Woodrow Dantzler tied a school record with four touchdown passes and Clemson coach Tommy Bowden got his first postseason victory.

With snow falling from kickoff into the third quarter, Dantzler completed 15 of 23 passes for 218 yards. He ran 15 times for 57 yards before leaving with the Tigers leading 42-10 after the third quarter.

This fall, Dantzler became the first Division I-A player to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in the same season. He went out with a bang in his final performance, throwing two scoring passes in the first six minutes of the third quarter as the Tigers (7-5) extended a 14-10 halftime lead.

The Bulldogs (7-5), champions of the Western Athletic Conference in their first season in the league, tackled poorly in the cold weather and quarterback Luke McCown's two third-quarter interceptions led to two Clemson TDs.

Peach Bowl North Carolina 16, Auburn 10

ATLANTA -- North Carolina dominated on defense, while Ronald Curry provided just enough offense to beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl.

Curry scrambled for a 62-yard touchdown and the Tar Heels kept Auburn out of the end zone for nearly 59 minutes, holding on for a victory that capped a successful first season for coach John Bunting.

North Carolina (8-5), playing in its first bowl since 1998, built a 16-0 lead but got a scare at the end. After the Tar Heels botched a punt, backup quarterback Daniel Cobb threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Lorenzo Diamond with 1:18 remaining for Auburn (7-5).

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