COLLEGE FOOTBALL Saturday’s bowl games
NEW MEXICO BOWL
Marshall 31, Colorado State 28
Keion Davis rushed for 141 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown run, and Marshall had two other big scoring plays in a over Colorado State. 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. For Colorado State, it was another disappointing postseason. The Rams have lost four straight bowl games, and lost four of their last five this season after a 6-2 start. 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, but Stevens was unable to connect consistently with standout Michael Gallup. Colorado State’s offense began to surge in the fourth quarter with 14 points, but Marshall’s defense was able to hold the Rams. Colorado State is 6-11 in bowl games.
LAS VEGAS BOWL
No. 25 Boise State 38, Oregon 28
Cedrick Wilson caught 10 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown, Kekaula Kaniho returned an interception 53 yards for a score and Boise State beat Oregon. 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. 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. 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.
Georgia State 27, Western Kentucky 17
Conner Manning threw for 276 yards and a touchdown to lead Georgia State. The Panthers (7-5) finished with a winning record with the first bowl win in Georgia State’s eight-year football history.Manning threw a 42-yard TD 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 TD run that put Georgia State up 27-10. Mike White tossed TD passes of 54 and 4 yards to Deon Yelder, finishing with 351 yards — the senior’s eighth consecutive 300-yard game passing — for Western Kentucky (6-7). Yelder had five receptions for 112 yards for the Hilltoppers. Georgia State star Penny Hart, the Sun Belt Conference leading receiver, did not start and played sparingly because of an ankle injury. His lone reception — for 27 yards midway through the third quarter — came on the play before Manning threw his TD pass to Carter.
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. 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. Troy largely dominated the second half after its own turnover trouble gave North Texas hope at halftime. The Trojans were threatening to take a three-touchdown lead in the second quarter when a bad snap sailed over Silvers’ head and linebacker Colton McDonald scooped it for a 56-yard fumble return to make it 22-13.
North Carolina A&T 21, Grambling State 14
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, defeating Grambling State. N.C. A&T (12-0) won its fourth Historically Black College and University national championship. The Aggies claimed titles in 1990 and 1999 in addition to 2015, when they defeated Alcorn State 41-34 in the first Celebration Bowl. Raynard, one of four finalists for the Black College Hall of Fame player of the year, completed 23 of 43 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown and had 17 yards on eight carries. The junior quarterback drove the Aggies 56 yards in seven plays for the winning touchdown, shaking off nearly throwing his third interception. Grambling (11-2) challenged, but the pass was ruled incomplete.