Bowl roundup: Mississippi State earns fight-marred win
Will Rogers threw for one touchdown and ran for another as Mississippi State held off No. 24 Tulsa 28-26 in a rainy Armed Forces Bowl on Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas.
Emmanuel Forbes had a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown and Lideatrick Griffin, who caught Rogers’ touchdown pass, contributed 138 kickoff return yards to help the Bulldogs (4-7) overcome a sluggish offensive performance that produced just 271 yards.
Zach Smith passed for 347 yards and a touchdown but threw two crucial interceptions for the Golden Hurricane (6-3).
The contest was marred by an ugly postgame brawl in which punches and kicks were plentiful.
Ball State 34, No. 22 San Jose State 13
The Spartans were in a bind before the Arizona Bowl started with eight coaches and players not available for undisclosed reasons, contributing to a loss to the Cardinals in Tucson.
Behind Drew Plitt’s 217 yards on 12-of-19 passing, Ball State (7-1) achieved the first bowl victory in program history. The Cardinals are now 1-7 in Division I bowls. They jumped out to a 27-0 lead in the first quarter and cruised to the victory.
A few minutes before kickoff, San Jose State (7-1) announced that its offensive and defensive coordinators — Kevin McGiven and Derrick Odum — and Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Cade Hall, a defensive end, as well as other players were unavailable for the game.
Also not in Arizona Stadium were receiver Bailey Gaither, running back/kickoff returner Shamar Garrett, safety Tre Jenkins and offensive linemen Kyle Hoppe and Tyler Stevens.
West Virginia 24, Army 21
Backup quarterback Austin Kendall threw two second half touchdown passes, including the game-winner to T.J. Simmons with 5:10 remaining in the Liberty Bowl, as the Mountaineers rallied to defeat the Black Knights in Memphis, Tenn.
Taking over for starter Jarret Doege, who was 15 of 25 for 159 yards with a touchdown, an interception and a lost fumble, Kendall had an instant impact. He connected with Mike O’Laughlin on a 3-yard scoring strike with 3:23 left in the third quarter that pulled the Mountaineers within 21-16, then hit Simmons for a 20-yard pass for West Virginia (6-4).
Tyhier Tyler rushed 24 times for 76 yards and three scores for Army (9-3). Christian Anderson completed 4 of 6 passes for 57 yards.
–Field Level Media