Antelope Valley Press

College Football | Bowl Game results | Thursday


THE VALERO ALAMO BOWL No. 14 Arizona 38, No. 12 Oklahoma 24

SAN ANTONIO — Gunner Maldonado returned a fumble 87 yards for a touchdown and also had an intercepti­on as No. 14 Arizona forced six turnovers in a comeback victory over No. 12 Oklahoma in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

Noah Fifita threw for 354 yards and two touchdowns for Arizona (10-3). The Wildcats closed with seven straight victories as they depart the Pac-12 to join the Big 12 next season. Leaving the Big 12 to join the Southeaste­rn Conference, Oklahoma also finished 10-3.

Tetairoa McMillan had 10 receptions for 160 yards for Arizona.

Oklahoma freshman Jackson Arnold threw for 361 yards and two touchdowns, but also had three intercepti­ons in his first career start. Arnold started in place of Dillon Gabriel, who is transferri­ng to Oregon after throwing for 3,660 yards and 30 touchdowns this season.

Sooners running back Gavin Sawchuk rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

Arnold opened the game 3 for 8 with two intercepti­ons before settling in behind the running game.

With Arizona holding a 13-0 lead, Sawchuk scored on an 18-yard rushing touchdown.

Oklahoma took a 14-13 lead when Arnold scrambled to his left to escape heavy pressure and tossed a 10-yard pass to a sliding Nic Anderson in the left corner of the end zone. The touchdown was set up by a 62-yard run by Sawchuk and 19-yard carry by Arnold.

Arnold’s second pass of the game was intercepte­d by freshman safety Genesis Smith, who jumped the route at the 35-yard line for his first career pick.

Fifita tossed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Cowing on the ensuing play to give Arizona a 10-0 lead with 4:27 into the game.

Arnold’s second intercepti­on of the first quarter came when Maldonado ran from the right hashmark to step in front of the receiver and then tapped both feet inbounds.

Arizona had 181 yards in the first quarter to Oklahoma’s 36.

Big Picture

Arizona: The young tandem of Fifita and McMillan continued to dazzle, especially early. McMillan had 74 yards receiving in the first quarter on five catches off six targets.

Oklahoma: Arnold demonstrat­ed at times why he was the 2022 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year at Guyer High School in Denton, but it was also apparent he had never started in college. Arnold stared down his receivers at times and floated passes, which led to the three intercepti­ons.

THE POP-TARTS BOWL Kansas State 28, No. 19 NC State 19

ORLANDO, Fla. — Avery Johnson threw for two touchdowns and ran for one, DJ Giddens rushed for 151 yards and scored twice, and Kansas State beat No. 19 North Carolina State in the Pop-Tarts Bowl.

Johnson, a freshman making his first start after Will Howard entered the transfer portal, threw for 178 yards, rushed for 71 and directed a 15-play, 72-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter that put the game away and closed out a solid season for coach Chris Klieman’s Wildcats (9-4).

Quarterbac­k Brennan Armstrong rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown and threw for 164 yards in his final game for the Wolfpack (9-4), who fell short of winning 10 games for the second time in program history.

Giddens had a 37-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter, his only catch of the game, and ran for a 4-yard TD early in the second that made it 14-0.

Kansas State led 21-7 late in the second quarter and 21-10 at halftime, but N.C. State rallied in the third quarter, thanks in part to some trickery. Trent Pennix ran for a 60-yard touchdown on a fake punt with 1:50 left in the period. But the 2-point try failed, allowing the Wildcats to maintain a 21-19 lead.

Johnson and Giddens took over from there. Giddens had six rushes for 25 yards on a drive that took 7:24 off the clock and concluded with Johnson’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Jayce Brown with 2:48 remaining.

Jacob Parrish intercepte­d Armstrong on N.C. State’s next play from scrimmage.

THE WASABI FENWAY BOWL Boston College 23, No. 17 SMU 14

BOSTON — Thomas Castellano­s had two fourth-quarter touchdown runs and Boston College beat No. 17 SMU 23-14 on Thursday in the Fenway Bowl at the home of the Boston Red Sox, snapping the Mustangs’ nine-game winning streak.

Castellano­s rushed for 156 yards and completed 11-of-18 passes for 102 yards. Ky Robichaux also had a scoring run for the Eagles (7-6), who have a main campus that’s located about 4 miles west of Fenway.

Kevin Jennings went 24 of 48 for 191 yards and a TD for SMU (11-3), which finished with its most victories since the 1982 squad also got 11.

With the Mustangs moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference next season in a sweeping list of realignmen­ts that have overtaken college football, it was a matchup of two teams that’ll see each other again next season in Dallas during league play.

Castellano­s’ 15-yard keeper up the middle moved BC ahead 17-14 early in the fourth. He stopped and posed briefly in the back of the end zone directly in front of Boston’s bullpen, where Hall of Famer David Ortiz belted many of his 541 career home runs.

On his second score, he broke around the right side and dove inside the pylon for a 14-yard score.


NEW YORK — Kyle Monangai rushed for 163 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries to help Rutgers beat Miami and secure its first winning season since 2014.

The Scarlet Knights (7-6) last had a winning campaign when they went 8-4 in their inaugural Big Ten season. Rutgers opened this season 6-2, but stumbled in November, losing four straight conference games by an average of 20 points.

Miami (7-6) has dropped five straight bowl games.

Rutgers took the lead for good at 21-17 after Trevor Yeboah-Kodie blocked a Miami punt that Timmy Ward recovered in the end zone.

Hurricanes quarterbac­k Jacurri Brown completed 20 of 31 passes for 181 yards and scored on a 1-yard keeper with 27 seconds to play to draw Miami within seven at 31-24. The Hurricanes recovered the onside kick, but the rally fell short when Miami turned the ball over on downs near midfield with seven seconds remaining.

 ?? Associated Press ?? Arizona safety Genesis Smith (12) celebrates with teammates after an intercepti­on against Oklahoma during the first half of the Alamo Bowl on Thursday in San Antonio. Arizona won 38-24.
Associated Press Arizona safety Genesis Smith (12) celebrates with teammates after an intercepti­on against Oklahoma during the first half of the Alamo Bowl on Thursday in San Antonio. Arizona won 38-24.

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