ROSE BOWL •
NO. 4 MICHIGAN STATE 24, NO. 5 STANFORD 20
PASADENA, Calif. • Connor Cook passed for a career-high 332 yards and hit Tony Lippett with a tiebreaking 25-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, leading No. 4 Michigan State to a 24-20 victory over No. 5 Stanford on Wednesday night in the 100th Rose Bowl.
Cook also threw a TD pass to Trevon Pendleton, and Jeremy Langford rushed for 84 yards and a score in the first Rose Bowl victory in 26 years for the Big Ten champion Spartans (13-1), who finished the season with 10 straight wins.
Michigan State's defense capped its dominant season with one more old-school, smash-mouth performance during the centennial celebration of the Granddaddy of Them All.
The nation's best defense ended it by stopping the Pac-12 champion Cardinal (11-3) on fourth-and-1 with 1:46 to play, utterly stuffing a run play up the middle. Kyler Elsworth, who started in place of suspended senior leader Max Bullough, hurdled the pile to deliver an electrifying, head-on hit to fullback Ryan Hewitt.
Tyler Gaffney ran for 91 yards and an early TD for Stanford, and linebacker Kevin Anderson returned an interception 40 yards for a score late in the first half. But the Cardinal couldn't follow up last season's victory in Pasadena with back-to-back Rose Bowl wins, managing just three points from their offense after the first quarter.
FIESTA BOWL •
NO. 15 CENTRAL FLORIDA 52, NO. 6 BAYLOR 42
GLENDALE, Ariz. • Blake Bortles threw for 301 yards and accounted for four touchdowns, Storm Johnson ran for three more scores, and No. 15 Central Florida pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the bowl season by outlasting No. 6 Baylor 52-42 in the Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday night.
A 17-point underdog, Central Florida (12-1) didn't back down from the Bears, racing past the nation's top offensive team with an array of big plays. The Knights jumped out to an early 14-point and kept rolling, piling up 556 total yards in the highest-scoring game in Fiesta Bowl history.
Rannell Hall had four catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns, and Johnson ran for 124 yards to give the Knights a rousing BCS bowl debut.
Baylor (11-2) had a hard time keeping up with the Knights, gaining 550 total yards but losing 135 on 17 penalties.
Bortles threw for three touchdowns on 20-of-31 passing and ran for another score.
Bryce Petty ran for three touchdowns and threw for 356 yards and two more scores for Baylor. Lache Seastrunk ran for 117 yards.
GATOR BOWL •
NEBRASKA 24, NO. 23 GEORGIA 19
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. • Tommy Armstrong Jr. connected with Quincy Enunwa for two touchdowns, including a 99-yarder in the third quarter, and Nebraska held on to beat Georgia in the rain-soaked Gator Bowl.
Playing in their 50th bowl, the Cornhuskers (9-4) ended a four-game losing streak against teams from the Southeastern Conference. The streak included a 45-31 loss to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl last season.
The rematch was much different.
Nebraska did a solid job against running back Todd Gurley, who ran for 125 yards and a touchdown last year. Gurley finished with 86 yards on the ground.
Gurley was more effective in the passing game, catching seven passes for 97 yards and a score. His 25-yard scoring receptions on the first play of the fourth quarter cut Nebraska's lead to 24-19.
But the Huskers stopped Georgia (8-5) twice on fourth down in the closing minutes.
CAPITAL ONE BOWL •
NO. 8 SOUTH CAROLINA 34, NO. 19 WISCONSIN 24
ORLANDO, Fla. • Connor Shaw was responsible for five touchdowns, including three passing, and South Carolina outlasted Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl.
The senior was selected the game MVP after picking apart the Badgers' defense, completing 22 of 25 passes for 312 yards. Shaw also had rushing and receiving scores.
The game also turned out to be the final college contest for South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who said afterward that he would forgo his senior season to enter the NFL draft.
South Carolina (11-2) won its third straight bowl game to cap its third straight 11-win season.
Bruce Ellington caught six passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns.
The Badgers (9-4) lost their fourth straight bowl game, failing to capitalize on 100-yard rushing games from both Melvin Gordon and James White, and struggling after quarterback Joel Stave left in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. Backup Curt Phillips threw two interceptions.
OUTBACK BOWL •
NO. 14 LSU 21, IOWA 14
TAMPA, Fla. • Jeremy Hill ran for 216 yards and two touchdowns, helping LSU and inexperienced quarterback Anthony Jennings hold off Iowa in the Outback Bowl.
Craig Loston's fourth-quarter interception stopped a potential tying drive, giving Hill a chance to put the game out of reach by carrying four times for 87 yards on a 92-yard march that gave LSU (10-3) a 21-7 lead.
Iowa (8-5) pulled within a touchdown after Jordan Cotton returned the ensuing kickoff to the Tigers 4.
Jennings rushed for one touchdown, but the freshman threw for only 82 yards and was intercepted once and sacked four times while standing in for the injured Zach Mettenberger in his first college start.
C.J. Beathard replaced Jake Rudock at quarterback for Iowa on the first play of the fourth quarter. His fourth-down interception stopped one promising drive, but he also tossed a 4-yard TD pass to Kevonte Martin-Manley that cut it 21-14 with 1:42 remaining.
Safety John Lowdermilk set up Iowa's other TD Mark Weisman's 2-yard run in the third quarter with an interception and 71-yard return to the 1. Officials initially ruled Lowdermilk, who was untouched on the return, scored. But the TD was reversed when a replay review determined the Iowa defender dropped the ball before crossing the goal line.
HEART OF DALLAS BOWL
NORTH TEXAS 36, UNLV 14
DALLAS • Derek Thompson threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns, Brelan Chancellor scored twice and North Texas dominated the second half to beat UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Both of Chancellor's touchdown runs came in the fourth quarter after he keyed the go-ahead scoring drive in the third with some nifty footwork on a first-down catch. He had 121 yards combined rushing and receiving.
The Mean Green (9-4) were making their first postseason appearance since a 2004 New Orleans Bowl loss to Southern Miss and won a bowl for the first sice New Orleans in 2002.
UNLV (7-6) drove 95 yards for a touchdown on its opening possession but didn't score again until the Mean Green were up 28-7 in the fourth quarter.