It was a tough day for the Big Ten in bowl games Monday, as Michigan State’s triple OT win over Georgia (recap | Dienhart) marked the conference’s lone victory. In other action, Wisconsin lost to Oregon in the Rose Bowl’s highest-scoring game ever (recap | Dienhart), Penn State was no match for Houston (recap | Dienhart) Nebraska lost to South Carolina (recap | Dienhart), and Ohio State fell to Florida (recap | Dienhart).
(AP) Connor Shaw threw two touchdown passes and No. 11 South Carolina had six sacks as the Gamecocks shut out the Nebraska in the final three quarters of 30-13 win in the Capital One Bowl on Monday. The victory gave South Carolina 11 wins for the first time in school history and snapped a string of three straight bowl losses. Nebraska lost its second consecutive bowl game and drops to 12-6 all-time in bowl matchups against SEC foes. Both teams lost standout players in the third quarter when Gamecocks’ leading receiver Alshon Jeffrey and Cornhuskers’ cornerback Alfonzo Dennard were ejected for a post-play skirmish in which both players threw punches. Read the full AP recap, get Tom Dienhart’s reaction, see the box score and view our photo gallery.
(AP) Florida’s special teams came up big in the Gator Bowl, scoring twice as the Gators beat Ohio State 24-17 on Monday in a game between Urban Meyer’s old team and his future one. Andre Debose returned a kickoff 99 yards – the longest scoring play in bowl history – and Chris Rainey blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown. The speedsters helped the Gators (7-6) avoid their first losing season since 1979. Ohio State (6-7) finished below .500 for the first time since 1986. The Buckeyes can take solace in knowing that Meyer, who officially takes over at Ohio State this week, will make it a priority to improve special teams. Read the full AP recap, get Tom Dienhart’s reaction, see the box score and view our photo gallery.
(AP) Penn State’s tumultuous year ended with a 30-14 loss to Houston in the TicketCity Bowl on Monday, a dispiriting finish to a season in which coach Joe Paterno was fired as part of a child sex-abuse scandal that shook college sports. The 24th-ranked Nittany Lions were picked apart by Cougars star Case Keenum, who threw for 532 yards and three touchdowns. Penn State was allowing 162 yards passing per game, but Keenum threw for more than double that by halftime. He burned the Nittany Lions’ veteran secondary with touchdown passes of 40 and 75 yards to build a 24-7 lead by halftime. It was the school’s first bowl game without Paterno as head coach since the 1962 Gator Bowl, a 17-7 loss to Florida. Read the full AP recap, get Tom Dienhart’s reaction, see the box score and view our photo gallery.