- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 1, 2009

From combined dispatches

CHICK-FIL-A

LSU 38, No. 14 GA. TECH 3: Charles Scott ran for three touchdowns and the Tigers (8-5) took advantage of Georgia Tech’s special teams mistakes in a surprisingly easy victory win over the Yellow Jackets (9-4) in Atlanta on Wednesday night.

LSU outscored Georgia Tech 28-0 in the second quarter and led 35-3 at halftime. Scott, who had 65 yards rushing, scored two touchdowns in the decisive quarter.

A year after winning the national championship, LSU lost three of its last four regular-season games but regrouped for its dominant bowl victory.

The biggest special teams plays all fell in LSU’s favor. LSU recovered an onside kick and a Georgia Tech fumbled punt return and made a fourth-down stop on the Yellow Jackets’ surprising fake punt from the Georgia Tech 22.

LSU turned the fumbled punt and stop on the fake punt into quick touchdowns, outscoring Georgia Tech 28-0 in the second quarter.

As if to affirm its mastery of special teams, LSU pulled off a successful fake punt in the fourth quarter, with punter Brady Dalfrey running for 21 yards for the first down. LSU led 38-3 when coach Les Miles called for the fake, and Georgia Tech fans booed the decision.

Georgia Tech was denied its first 10-win season since 1998.

The Yellow Jackets lost three turnovers, including a fumble by quarterback Josh Nesbitt on a fourth-down run from the LSU 10 with 2:37 remaining.

MUSIC CITY

VANDERBILT 16, BOSTON COLLEGE 14: The Commodores won a bowl game for the first time in 53 years. Bryant Hahnfeldt kicked a 45-yard field goal with 3:26 left to beat the Eagles in Nashville, Tenn.

Vanderbilt hadn’t even played in a bowl since 1982. The win gave the Commodores (7-6) their first winning season since then, too.

In its 10th consecutive bowl appearance, Boston College (9-5) snapped the nation’s longest bowl winning streak, eight straight games. The Eagles also missed a chance at finishing with at least 10 wins for a third straight season.

The Eagles got the ball twice after Hahnfeldt’s third field goal but had to punt the first time, then Myron Lewis picked off Dominique Davis with 1:36 left.

SUN

No. 24 OREGON ST. 3, No. 18 PITT 0: In the lowest-scoring major bowl game in a half-century, the Beavers (9-4) shut down the Panthers (9-4) in El Paso, Texas, on Justin Kahut’s 44-yard field goal late in the first half.

The defensive struggle included 20 punts and nine sacks. Pittsburgh kicker Connor Lee tried a 58-yard field goal in the closing minutes, but the ball, helped by a steady wind, dropped just short of the crossbar.

Not since Air Force and TCU played to 0-0 standoff in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1, 1959, had a bowl produced so few points.

Oregon State improved to 5-0 in bowls since coach Mike Riley began his second stint as coach in 2003. Pitt managed just 178 total yards.

It was the lowest-scoring Sun Bowl since a scoreless tie in 1940 between Catholic and Arizona State.

ARMED FORCES

HOUSTON 34, AIR FORCE 28: Houston coach Kevin Sumlin doesn’t have to hear any more about that nearly three-decade postseason winless drought for the Cougars. It’s finally over.

Case Keenum ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as the Cougars (8-5) wrapped up Sumlin’s first season with a victory against the Falcons (8-5) in Fort Worth, Texas, for their first bowl victory since 1980.

Houston ended an eight-game bowl losing streak, avoiding a record the Cougars didn’t want to share with Notre Dame. The Irish won the Hawaii Bowl last week to end their NCAA-record bowl losing streak at nine.

INSIGHT

KANSAS 42, MINNESOTA 21: Dezmon Briscoe caught a game-record 14 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns, and Todd Reesing threw for four scores for the Jayhawks (8-5) in their victory over the Golden Gophers (7-6) in Tempe, Ariz.

Reesing completed 27 of 35 passes, hitting on a school-record 14 straight passes in the first half. He threw for 313 yards and improved to 20-6 as a starter, and he was intercepted once.

Kerry Meier caught one touchdown pass and threw another for Kansas, which has won three straight bowl games for the first time.

Minnesota’s loss dropped the Big Ten to 0-3 in bowls, while the Big 12 improved to 2-1.

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