TAMPA, Fla. — Connor Shaw led No. 11 South Carolina to the brink of victory and Dylan Thompson carried the Gamecocks over the hump in the Outback Bowl.
Thompson came off the bench to throw a 32-yard touchdown pass with 11 seconds remaining Tuesday, enabling South Carolina to match a school record for victories in a season with a 33-28 win over No. 19 Michigan.
Thompson replaced Shaw during the winning drive, covering the final 43 yards after Shaw begin the march from his own 30. Devin Gardner's third TD pass of the game had given Michigan a 28-27 lead.
Shaw threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns after missing South Carolina's regular season finale with a left foot sprain. Thompson led the Gamecocks (11-2) to a victory over their archrival, and threw for 117 yards and two TDs a backup Tuesday.
Gardner threw for 214 yards in his fifth start for Michigan (8-5) since Denard Robinson injured his right elbow late in the season. Robinson took some snaps at quarterback and even attempted his first passes in a game since Oct. 27, but lined up mostly at running back and rushed for 100 yards on 23 carries.
Ace Sanders caught TD passes of 4 yards from Thompson and 31 yards from Shaw, who completed 18 of 26 passes before limping off on the final drive. The speedy receiver had nine catches for 92 yards and also scored on a 63-yard punt return — one of four plays over 50 yards that Michigan yielded.
Gardner was 18 of 36, including TD passes of 5 yards to Drew Dileo and 10 and 17 yards to Jeremy Gallon, who gave Michigan its late lead and finished with career bests of nine receptions and 145 yards. Robinson set the NCAA record for career yards rushing by a quarterback, hiking his four-year total to 4,495.
by Oklahoma State
DALLAS (AP) — Patrick Higgins made a big decision right away in his only chance to be in charge of Purdue.
The interim coach called for a fake punt just 13 yards from his end zone on the Boilermakers' first possession, and it worked. He just never got another chance to influence the outcome.
Clint Chelf threw three of Oklahoma State's five touchdown passes and the Cowboys shook off a tough Big 12 finish by rolling up 524 yards and forcing five Purdue turnovers in a dominating 58-14 victory in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Tuesday.
"When you turn the ball over five times, you don't take advantage of your opportunities, the game can turn out like this," Higgins said.
Higgins might have unintentionally awakened the Cowboys soon after the late-morning kickoff on a cold, overcast day when he called for the fake and punter Cody Webster easily picked up the first down on a 16-yard run.
Webster ended up punting anyway five plays later, and Josh Stewart returned it 64 yards to the Purdue 19 to set up Oklahoma State's first score on a 4-yard pass from Chelf to Charlie Moore. Robert Marve threw his first interception on the next possession, and a 26-yard drive ended with Chelf's 7-yard pass to Blake Jackson.
"When they faked that punt on their own 13, they certainly got our attention they'd be willing to do anything," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said.
Higgins welcomed fired coach Danny Hope into the locker room and said he hadn't seen new coach Darrell Hazell, who attended the game just shy of a month after he was hired from Kent State. Higgins still doesn't know what's next for him.
"This whole situation has been awkward, you know," Higgins said. "There's nothing normal about where the head coach gets let go, the new coach is there. I'm holding the water out till the new guy comes in."
Gundy didn't hide the disappointment of Oklahoma State sliding down the bowl priority list with an overtime loss to Oklahoma when the rival Sooners scored in the final seconds of regulation, followed by another narrow defeat at Baylor to finish the regular season.
The Cowboys (8-5), a year removed from finishing the best season in school history with a win in the Fiesta Bowl, sure didn't seem to lack motivation. They put together the biggest bowl win for Oklahoma State since Gundy was the quarterback in a 62-14 rout of Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl.
'Cats rep Big Ten in Gator Bowl
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The stuffed monkey spent the last year in storage, out of sight but still in everyone's mind.
Coach Pat Fitzgerald dusted it off for the Gator Bowl and even had it on the sideline Tuesday as a reminder of Northwestern's decades-long, bowl losing streak — the ol' monkey on their backs.
Now, it's in pieces.
Behind huge interceptions early and late, No. 21 Northwestern beat Mississippi State 34-20 and snapped college football's longest postseason losing streak. The Wildcats (10-3) hadn't won a bowl game since 1949, a nine-game skid that was tied with Notre Dame for the longest in NCAA history.
It's history now. And as a reward, Fitzgerald let his players rip the monkey to shreds in the locker room.
"We've never been here before, but now we're here and here to stay with a new streak you can talk about in a positive fashion," Fitzgerald said.
Quentin Williams returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game and Nick VanHoose set up another touchdown with a 39-yard interception return in the fourth. Those plays were the difference in a back-and-forth game that featured more interceptions (seven) than touchdowns (six).
In between, Northwestern's two-quarterback system kept the Bulldogs (8-5) off balance most of the day.
Scrambler Kain Colter ran for 71 yards, making up for his two interceptions. Backup Trevor Siemian threw for 120 yards and an interception, and also ran for a score.
Even with the turnovers, they were more efficient than Mississippi State's Tyler Russell.
Russell completed 12 of 28 passes for 106 yards, with two touchdowns and four interceptions. He had only thrown six picks in the first 11 games this season.
He threw interceptions on Mississippi State's first two possessions and tossed another one early in the second quarter. After falling behind 13-0, Russell settled down and got the Bulldogs back in the game.
No. 6 Stanford comes up roses
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Stepfan Taylor rushed for 89 yards and an early touchdown, Kevin Hogan passed for 123 yards, and No. 8 Stanford's dominant defense shut out Wisconsin in the second half of a 20-14 victory in the 99th Rose Bowl on Tuesday night.
Usua Amanam made the decisive interception near midfield with 2:30 to play as the Pac-12 champion Cardinal (12-2) won their first Rose Bowl since 1972.
Stanford didn't score many style points, but the Big Ten champion Badgers (8-6) couldn't score many points at all while losing the Granddaddy of Them All in heartbreaking fashion for the third consecutive season.
Wisconsin still stayed in position for an upset in the one-game return of Hall of Fame coach Barry Alvarez, who returned to the Wisconsin sideline for one game after hanging up his whistle.
Montee Ball rushed for 100 yards and his FBS-record 83rd touchdown for the Badgers, who managed 82 yards after halftime.