Ohio State tops Washington 28-23 in Urban Meyer's Rose Bowl finale
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Dwayne Haskins passed for 251 yards and three touchdowns, and Urban Meyer finished his coaching career at Ohio State with a 28-23 victory after the Buckeyes held off Washington’s thrilling fourth-quarter comeback in the 105th Rose Bowl on Tuesday.
Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon and Rashod Berry caught TD passes in the first half for the fifth-ranked Buckeyes (13-1), who took a 25-point lead into the fourth.
But Myles Gaskin threw a touchdown pass and rushed for two more scores for the No. 9 Huskies (10-4), scoring from 2 yards out with 42 seconds left.
The Buckeyes intercepted Jake Browning’s pass on the 2-point conversion attempt and then recovered the Huskies’ onside kick to wrap up the final game of Meyer’s seven-year tenure.
“I’m a very blessed man,” Meyer said. “I’m blessed because of my family, (but) this team, this year, I love this group as much as any I’ve ever had.”
The 54-year-old coach is walking away after going 83-9 at Ohio State with one national championship, three Big Ten titles and this Rose Bowl victory, the Buckeyes’ eighth overall in the Granddaddy of Them All.
Meyer cited his health last month in his decision to step down. A cyst in Meyer’s brain causes severe headaches that are even worse in a high-stress job.
Browning passed for 313 yards and Gaskin rushed for 121 in the final game of the four-year starters’ landmark careers at Washington, which has lost three straight New Year’s Six bowl games.
But after three poor offensive quarters, the Pac-12 champions made it awfully interesting late. The Huskies racked up 266 yards of offense in the fourth, but they had fallen too far behind in their first Rose Bowl game appearance in 18 years.
After this big finish in Pasadena, Meyer formally turns over the Ohio State program to Ryan Day, his 39-year-old co-offensive coordinator. These Buckeyes are Meyer’s eighth team to finish with one loss or fewer in his 17 seasons as a head coach.
No. 11 LSU 40,
No. 7 UCF 32
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Joe Burrow shook off a vicious early hit to throw for 394 yards and four touchdowns, helping No. 11 LSU end No. 7 Central Florida’s 25-game winning streak with a 40-32 victory in the Fiesta Bowl on Tuesday.
LSU (10-3, No. 11 CFP) started its first Fiesta Bowl without several key players on defense and fell into an early 11-point hole against the high-scoring Knights (12-1, No. 8 CFP).
The Tigers clawed back behind Burrow and a defensive front that made life difficult for UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr.
Burrow was slow getting up after being blindsided by 313-pound defensive lineman Joey Connors on an interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter. LSU’s junior quarterback returned to the game and picked apart UCF’s secondary, hitting 21 of 34 of passes, including two touchdowns to Justin Jefferson.
LSU sacked Mack five times and made him rush numerous throws, holding the nation’s third-best offense to 250 total yards — 295 below its average — while spoiling the Knights’ bid for a second-straight self-proclaimed national title.
Taj McGowan scored on a 2-yard run and the Knights converted a 2-point conversion to pull UCF to within 40-32. After LSU recovered the onside kick, the Knights’ last-ditch attempt ended on a tipped interception.
UCF declared itself national champions after finishing as the only undefeated FBS team a year ago. The Knights earned another shot at an undefeated season by staging a massive rally to beat Memphis in the American Athletic Conference title game.
Just like last year, UCF was on the outside looking in when the CFP final four was announced, adding to the boulder-sized chip on its shoulder and only a self-awarded national title in its reach.
The Speedy Knights got the Fiesta Bowl off to a fast start, going up 14-3 on Joe McCrae’s 25-yard TD run and Brandon Moore’s 93-yard interception return.
The Tigers roared back behind Burrow and their disruptive defensive front.
Burrow shook off the big hit on the pick six, finding Jefferson on a pair of scoring passes and a 49-yard TD to Derrick Dillon.
UCF sputtered offensively after its opening drive, but Mack hit Gabriel Davis on a 32-yard pass to pull UCF to within 24-21 at halftime.
Burrow opened the second half with a 32-yard TD pass to Ja’Marr Chase, and Cole Tracy hit three field goals to put LSU up 40-24. Tracy’s final kick, the 97th of his career, broke the NCAA all-division record and sent LSU to its first 10-win season since 2013.
No. 16 Kentucky 27,
No. 13 Penn State 24
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Benny Snell Jr. ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns to become Kentucky’s career rushing leader and help the 16th-ranked Wildcats wrap up their best season in more than four decades with a 27-24 victory over No. 13 Penn State in the Citrus Bowl on Tuesday.
Snell scored on runs of 2 and 12 yards in the second half, then carried for a couple of crucial first downs to help Kentucky (10-3) run out the clock after Penn State’s Trace McSorley trimmed a 27-7 deficit to three points despite playing with a foot injury.
McSorley threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns, and the Nittany Lions’ career passing and wins leader also rushed for a team-high 75 yards on 19 attempts.
Lynn Bowden Jr. scored on a 58-yard punt return for Kentucky, and Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year Josh Allen had three of the Wildcats’ six sacks.
Penn State (9-4) trailed 27-7 entering the fourth quarter, but McSorley’s wasn’t finished. His 1-yard TD run capped a 75-yard drive, and he followed with an 18-yard TD pass to Pat Friermuth to cut Kentucky’s lead to six.
The Nittany Lions marched to the Kentucky 14 on their next possession to pull to within 27-24 with 4:12 left.
Thanks to Snell, a junior who already has declared for the NFL draft, McSorley didn’t get the ball back until just one second was left on the clock.
Kentucky finished with its first 10-win season since 1977, when the Wildcats went 10-1.
Snell broke Sonny Collins’ career rushing record on his 12-yard TD run that made it 27-7 late in the third quarter. Collins rushed for 3,835 yards from 1972-75.
No. 18 Mississippi St 22.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Safety Jake Gervase made an interception in the end zone to help preserve a late lead, and ball-hawking Iowa Hawkeyes beat No. 18 Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl 27-22 Tuesday.
Gervase also batted down an errant fourth-down pass to end the Bulldogs’ final drive at the Iowa 32 with 25 seconds left. Two earlier Mississippi State threats in the fourth quarter led to only three points.
The Hawkeyes totaled just 199 yards, with 75 coming on a touchdown pass from Nathan Stanley to Nick Easley, but they converted three takeaways into 17 points.
Stanley threw for 214 yards and three scores. The Hawkeyes won despite netting minus 15 yards rushing, and their three running backs totaled 4 yards in 15 carries.
Iowa (9-4) earned its biggest postseason victory since an Orange Bowl win over Georgia Tech to cap the 2009 season. Mississippi State (8-5) lost to a team outside the top 15 for the first time.
Trailing 24-19, the Bulldogs had a first down at the Iowa 1 early in the fourth quarter, but three quarterback draws lost 2 yards and they settled for a field goal.
They were again on the verge of taking the lead with nine minutes left, but receiver Stephen Guidry bobbled a pass in the end zone, and Gervase snatched it away. The Hawkeyes then drove 50 yards for a field goal to go up 27-22.
The Hawkeyes scored two touchdowns in 97 seconds for a 17-6 lead. The Bulldogs rallied with two touchdowns in 18 seconds to go up 19-17, with quarterback Nick Fitzgerald giving them the advantage on a nifty 33-yard touchdown run — his 100th career score rushing or passing.
But on their next possession, Fitzgerald’s tipped pass was intercepted by defensive lineman Chauncey Golston. Stanley then scrambled to convert a fourth and 1, and on the next play he hit Easley to put Iowa ahead to stay, 24-19.