Ge­or­gia St. earns 1st bowl win

The Standard Journal - - NATIONAL SPORTS - The As­so­ci­ated Press Ge­or­gia State de­fen­sive end Mack­endy Cheri­dor (left) sacks Western Ken­tucky quar­ter­back Mike White dur­ing the first half of the Cure Bowl game Satur­day in Or­lando, Fla.

OR­LANDO, Fla. — Conner Man­ning threw for 276 yards and a touch­down to lead Ge­or­gia State a 27-17 vic­tory over Western Ken­tucky in the Cure Bowl on Satur­day.

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 — Bran­don Sil­vers passed for four touch­downs and ran for an­other, Troy pro­duced five turnovers and the Tro­jans beat North Texas 50- 30 in the New Or­leans Bowl on Satur­day.

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 56yard fum­ble re­turn to make it 22-13. Fine later con­nected from 13 yards with Michael Lawrence for a div­ing catch on the edge of the end zone, mak­ing it 22-20.

UNT opened the sec­ond half with the ball, but Fine’s short pass was de­flected back­ward to line­backer Hunter Reese, who in­ter­cepted it to give the Tro­jans the ball on the North Texas 27. That set up Sil­vers’ keeper to make it 29-20.

Troy widened the lead when Sil­vers ri­fled a pass deep down the mid­dle to Te­varis Mc­Cormick for a 59yard TD. Mc­Cormick’s 107 yards on five catches.

AT­LANTA — 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 21-14 on Satur­day.

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.

Gram­bling was try­ing for a sec­ond straight HBCU na­tional ti­tle as the Tigers edged North Carolina Cen­tral 10-9 last year.

Gram­bling quar­ter­back DeVante Kin­cade, also a fi- nal­ist for player of the year, com­pleted 19 of 36 passes for 225 yards and two touch­downs while also scram­bling for 93 yards on the ground.

Franklin McCain III ended a Gram­bling drive fol­low­ing the sec­ond- half kick­off with an in­ter­cep­tion at the goal line and N.C. A&T marched down the field to go ahead 14-7 on Mar­quell Cartwright’s 30-yard run.

Gram­bling tied it early in the fourth quar­ter as Martez Carter teamed with Kin­cade on a 29-yard TD pass to cap an 80-yard drive.

N. C. A& T’s Lyn­demian Brooks re­cov­ered a fum­ble at the Gram­bling 8 in the fourth quar­ter, but the Ag­gies came up empty when Cartwright tried to punch it in from a yard out on fourth down and was stopped by de­fen­sive end Bran­don Varner.

Gram­bling went six plays on its fi­nal drive of the game but Kin­cade’s pass over the mid­dle was in­com­plete as time ex­pired.

LAS VE­GAS — Cedrick Wil­son caught 10 passes for 221 yards and a touch­down, Kekaula Kaniho re­turned an in­ter­cep­tion 53 yards for a score and No. 25 Boise State beat Ore­gon 38-28 in the Las Ve­gas Bowl on Satur­day.

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 in­ter- cep­tions 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.

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