el paso, texas
Southern California was ranked No. 1 at the beginning of the season, and Matt Barkley was a strong contender for the Heisman Trophy. The year ended with Barkley on the sideline as the Trojans lost to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 21-7 victory on Monday in front of a crowd of 47,922 at Sun Bowl Stadium.
“It was a really surprising day,” Southern California coach Lane Kiffin said. “Coming down and turning the ball over, and with third-down efficiency, we really found no rhythm on offense. I thought we’d play much better on offense today. The storyline really came down to our inefficiency on offense, and obviously it starts with the head coach.”
USC (7-6) became the first preseason No. 1 team to lose six games. It’s also all but assured of becoming the school to enter the season on top of The Associated Press poll and finish unranked since Mississippi in 1964.
Washington’s 1-yard touchdown run in the third made it 14-7, and he found Orwin Smith for a 17-yard touchdown pass in the fourth.
“I’m really proud of our football team,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. “I thought that they showed up and played with a lot of heart and a lot of determination, and I know Southern California has some really good football players. It was a hard-fought game.”
Barkley, the first three-time captain in USC history, injured his right shoulder in a loss to UCLA and was not cleared to play his final college game. He clapped as the Trojans took the field for their first bowl game after a two-year NCAA ban.
music city bowl
The North Carolina State Wolfpack struggled away from home this season, and nothing changed on a neutral site in Music City.
Mike Glennon was intercepted three times, and the Wolfpack also had two fumbles Monday in losing the Music City Bowl to Vanderbilt 38-24.
“We hurt ourselves and when you play against a team like Vanderbilt, you can’t do that,” N.C. State interim head coach Dana Bible said. “Nobody wanted to do that. Nobody was remiss in that area, but we practiced hard through December to make sure ball security was right at the top. But `obviously we didn’t get that done.”
The Wolfpack (7-6) came into the bowl with 28 turnovers this season, and they wound up with at least four for a fifth game. That snapped N.C. State’s bowl winning streak at two since dropping the Papajohns.com Bowl to Rutgers on Dec. 29, 2008.
Glennon finished his final game 35 of 53 for 383 yards and helped the Wolfpack outgain Vanderbilt 424-225 in total offense — but he was also sacked three times.
Trey Watts rushed for 149 yards, Alex Singleton ran for three scores and Tulsa beat Iowa State 31-17 in the Liberty Bowl, avenging a season-opening loss to the Cyclones.
Iowa State rallied to beat Tulsa 38-23 on Sept. 1, but the Golden Hurricane put together the comeback in the rematch. Tulsa trailed 17-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 14 Clemson a wild 25-24 win over No. 9 Louisiana State in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Trailing 24-22, Clemson (11-2) took possession on its 20 with 1:39 remaining. Tajh Boyd completed a pass for 26 yards to DeAndre Hopkins on a fourth-and-16 play during the decisive 10-play drive.
Catanzaro’s kick set off a wild celebration on the field and in the stands.