Dec 30, 2023; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Kendall Milton (2) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half in the 2023 Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6 Georgia throttles No. 5 Florida State in Orange Bowl rout

Carson Beck passed for two touchdowns in two quarters of action and No. 6 Georgia steamrolled No. 5 Florida State 63-3 on Saturday in a record showing at the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Beck completed 13 of 18 passes for 203 yards before exiting as the Bulldogs won by an Orange Bowl-record 60 points. The previous largest margin of victory was 55 when Alabama routed Syracuse 61-6 on Jan. 1, 1953.

Kendall Milton rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns and Daijun Edwards also ran for two scores as Georgia (13-1) pummeled a previously unbeaten Florida State squad. The Seminoles were missing several key players on both sides of the ball, most of them either declaring for the NFL draft or entering the transfer portal.

Georgia backup quarterback Gunner Stockton was 6-of-10 passing for 96 yards and two scores. Daylen Everette and Malaki Starks had interceptions for the Bulldogs, who have won 46 of their past 48 games.

Freshman Brock Glenn completed 9 of 26 passes for 139 yards and two interceptions in his second straight start for Florida State (13-1). Glenn became the starter after star Jordan Travis broke his leg and Tate Rodemaker sustained a concussion and later entered the portal.

The shellacking ended Florida State’s 19-game winning streak, which was second-longest behind Washington (20).

The Bulldogs rolled up an Orange Bowl-record 673 total yards and limited the Seminoles to 209.

Georgia blew the game open with a 35-point, second-quarter blitz.

Milton scored on a 15-yard run with 4:05 left in the first quarter and tacked on a 5-yard touchdown run three seconds into the second to make it 14-0.

After Ryan Fitzgerald kicked a 22-yard field goal for the Seminoles, Edwards scored on a 15-yard run for the Bulldogs to make it 21-3.

Florida State’s Deuce Spann fumbled away the ensuing kickoff when hit by Chaz Chambliss and Cole Speer recovered for Georgia at the Seminoles’ 27-yard line. On the next play, Ladd McConkey scooted 27 yards on a reverse to give the Bulldogs two touchdowns in 20 seconds and a 25-point advantage with 10:18 left in the half.

Beck threw two touchdowns passes later in the half, first hitting Arian Smith from 12 yards out and then tossing a 2-yarder to Dominic Lovett to make it 42-3 with 24 seconds to go.

Stockton replaced Beck at the outset of the second half and guided Georgia on a 10-play, 75-yard drive. Edwards capped it with a 2-yard run.

Stockton threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Lawson Luckie to make it 56-3 with 2:30 left in the third quarter. He added a 14-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Evans III with 12:10 left in the game.

–Field Level Media

Dec 27, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Garrett Greene (6) in action during the first half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia’s defense stuffs North Carolina in Mayo Bowl

Lee Kpogba’s 12 tackles led the West Virginia defense as the Mountaineers defeated North Carolina 30-10 in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl on Wednesday evening in Charlotte, N.C.

The Tar Heels came into the game averaging 36.6 points per contest, good for 16th in the FBS. West Virginia (9-4) sacked North Carolina quarterback Conner Harrell seven times.

WVU quarterback Garrett Greene was 11-of-22 passing for 204 yards and a touchdown. He also led the Mountaineers with 75 yards rushing.

North Carolina (8-5) lost for the fifth time in its past seven games. Harrell was 18-of-27 passing for 199 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Neither team could generate much offense in the third quarter, but UNC’s best drive ended in an interception. Michael Hayes later gave West Virginia a 20-10 lead with a 34-yard field goal with 2:40 left in the quarter.

After forcing a North Carolina punt, the Mountaineers went 78 yards in two plays to open a three-score advantage. Jahiem White ran to the end zone from 11 yards out to give West Virginia a 27-10 lead with 12:48 left in the game. Greene opened the drive with a 48-yard run.

Hayes then connected on a 29-yard field goal to give WVU its final points.

West Virginia jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the first play from scrimmage. Greene found Traylon Ray behind the secondary and Ray ran untouched to the end zone for a 75-yard TD.

Both teams soon had drives ended by turnovers. Harrell threw an interception in the end zone to stop North Carolina’s second drive. On the Mountaineers’ ensuing possession, DJ Oliver rushed for a first down on third-and-1 and fumbled, with UNC securing the loose ball.

Harrell again moved North Carolina down the field. But a false start on fourth-and-1 at the West Virginia 6-yard line kept the Tar Heels from attempting to punch it in. UNC settled for a 28-yard field goal by Noah Burnette.

Another big play extended the lead for West Virginia. Beanie Bishop Jr. grabbed a line-drive punt on his own 22-yard line and raced up the left sideline before cutting across the field around midfield. He wound up going 78 yards for a score that put the Mountaineers up 14-3.

Harrell found J.J. Jones for a 16-yard touchdown with 27 seconds left in the first half to draw UNC within 14-10, but Hayes kicked a 30-yard field goal on the final play of the period to send WVU into the locker room with a 17-10 lead.

–Field Level Media

Dec 23, 2023; Fort Worth, TX, USA;  Air Force Falcons wide receiver Jared Roznos (13) catches a touchdown reception late in the second quarter with James Madison Dukes safety Jacob Thomas (27) defending at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force runs all over James Madison

Emmanuel Michel rushed for 203 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 35 carries as Air Force beat James Madison 31-21 on Saturday at the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas.

Michael headlined a fierce rushing attack for the Falcons (9-4), who totaled 351 yards on the ground. John Lee Eldridge III had 78 of those yards on eight touches, and quarterback Zac Larrier ran for a touchdown.

Larrier attempted just five passes, completing three for 45 yards and a touchdown.

Meanwhile, the Dukes (11-2) totaled just 35 yards on 19 carries in their first-ever bowl game in program history. Jordan McCloud went 20-for-33 passing for 248 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

Elijah Sarratt had eight catches for 115 yards for James Madison. Phoenix Sproles was on the receiving end of two of McCloud’s scoring passes.

McCloud’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Kaelon Black pulled the Dukes within 21-14 with 9:11 remaining in the third quarter.

But Air Force kept JMU at arm’s length, as Larrier’s scoring plunge from 1 yard out punctuated a 75-yard march and re-established the Falcons’ 14-point cushion.

Matthew Dapore provided some insurance with a 26-yard field goal with 8:20 left in the game to make it 31-14.

McCloud forged the final score with 3:10 remaining, connecting with Sproles for a 7-yard touchdown.

Michel gave Air Force a 7-0 lead when he rushed for a 1-yard touchdown with 8:11 left in the first quarter.

The Dukes responded with a seven-play, 75-yard drive that ended with McCloud’s 18-yard scoring strike to Sproles.

McCloud was picked off by Johnathan Youngblood early in the second quarter, and the Falcons turned the takeaway into points, going up 14-7 thanks to another 1-yard TD from Michel. Eldridge had rushed for a gain of 51 two plays earlier.

Larrier closed the first half with a bang, finding Jared Roznos for a 42-yard touchdown that sent Air Force into the break with a 21-7 advantage.

–Field Level Media

Dec 23, 2023; Birmingham, AL, USA; Duke Blue Devils quarterback Grayson Loftis (12) hands the ball off to Duke Blue Devils running back Jaquez Moore (9) during the first half against the Troy Trojans at Protective Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Defense carries Duke past Troy in Birmingham Bowl

Todd Pelino kicked three field goals and Duke relied mostly on defense to defeat Troy 17-10 in the Birmingham Bowl on Saturday in Birmingham, Ala., where interim coaches guided both teams.

Troy didn’t score until the second half but made a game of it until a late interception doomed the Trojans’ final chance.

Pelino had second-quarter field goals from 34 and 37 yards, including the latter on the last play of the first half. Combined with Jaylen Coleman’s 1-yard run late in the first quarter and Nicky Dalmolin’s two-point conversion run, the Blue Devils carried a 14-0 lead to halftime.

Quarterback Grayson Loftis finished the game 19-for-29 for 183 yards with an interception for the Blue Devils.

Duke (8-5) received 73 rushing yards from running back Jaquez Moore and 66 yards from running back Jordan Waters.

Troy quarterback Gunnar Watson completed 21 of 36 passes for 230 yards, and running back Kimani Vidal gained 79 yards on 17 carries. The Trojans (11-3), the Sun Belt Conference champions, had a 10-game winning streak end.

Both teams saw their previous coaches depart for other jobs after the regular season. Mike Elko left Duke to go to Texas A&M, while Jon Sumrall departed Troy for the Tulane position.

Trooper Taylor, the running backs coach, was in charge for Duke. Defensive coordinator Greg Gasparato oversaw Troy.

Troy finally got on the board on Scott Taylor Renfroe’s 44-yard field goal with 1:36 remaining in the third quarter. That capped a 10-play, 53-yard drive.

After Pelino’s 45-yarder with 13:29 remaining, the Blue Devils made a fourth-down stop that seemed critical at the time.

But Damaje Yancey’s interception gave the Trojans the ball back. They got going and moved 87 yards in 10 plays to score on Derrick Graham’s 2-yard run with 5:54 left.

Troy forced a Duke punt and started their last possession at its own 11-yard line with 1:40 left. Two plays later, Jeremiah Lewis intercepted Watson as Duke sealed the outcome to push its bowl winning streak to five games.

–Field Level Media

Dec 21, 2023; Boca Raton, FL, USA; South Florida Bulls quarterback Byrum Brown (17) drops back to pass against the Syracuse Orange in the first quarter during the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl at FAU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

South Florida throttles Syracuse in Boca Raton Bowl

Byrum Brown threw three touchdown passes and two South Florida players scored on long fumble returns as the Bulls trounced Syracuse 45-0 on Thursday night in the Boca Raton Bowl in Boca Raton, Fla.

Brown twice found Sean Atkins for a touchdown as part of a 19-of-26 passing performance in which he threw for 214 yards without an interception. Atkins finished with six catches for 93 yards, while Brown also registered a team-high 64 rushing yards for the Bulls (7-6).

The Orange (6-7) played without their top two quarterbacks due to injuries. Freshman Braden Davis made his first college start and finished 6 of 13 for 84 yards. The team also ran much of their offense out of a wildcat formation that featured running back LeQuint Allen (20 carries for 2 yards) and tight end Dan Villari (11 rushes for 37 yards and 4-of-11 passing for 55 yards).

Syracuse went 1 for 17 on third downs and had four turnovers in losing its bowl game for the second straight season.

After the teams exchanged punts to begin the contest, South Florida marched 64 yards on 10 plays, capped by Brown’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Atkins in the back of the end zone.

The Bulls doubled their lead late in the first quarter on Aamaris Brown’s 64-yard fumble return for a touchdown. The Orange were attempting a field goal, but they botched the hold, leading to the fumble.

Early in the second quarter, Byrum Brown found Khafre Brown deep over the middle for a 31-yard score, making it 21-0. John Cannon added a 40-yard field goal with 2:40 left in the period.

The cherry on top of the first-half uprising was Tramel Logan’s 61-yard fumble return with nine seconds left. Daquan Evans sacked Davis on the play, and Logan made the recovery.

Byrum Brown’s 35-yard pass to a wide-open Atkins made it 38-0 early in the third quarter. Nay’Quan Wright’s 2-yard touchdown run accounted for the only points of the fourth quarter as South Florida rolled to its first bowl win since 2017.

–Field Level Media

Dec 4, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) runs with the ball after the catch against Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Darious Williams (31) in the first quarter at EverBank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals pull off OT win as Jags lose Trevor Lawrence (ankle)

Evan McPherson kicked a 48-yard field goal with 1:45 left in overtime to lift the visiting Cincinnati Bengals to a 34-31 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night.

The Jaguars (8-4) lost quarterback Trevor Lawrence to a right ankle injury after left tackle Walker Little stepped on Lawrence late in the fourth quarter. The QB tossed his helmet aside in frustration and left the game for backup C.J. Beathard. Lawrence could not put any weight on his ankle as he left the field.

Lawrence completed 22 of 29 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns before exiting the game.

Beathard fumbled on his first play, but it was recovered by Jaguars receiver Parker Washington. Beathard then directed a drive that ended when Brandon McManus connected for a 40-yard field goal with 26 seconds left in regulation to make it 31-31 and force overtime.

Beathard completed a 43-yard pass to Calvin Ridley down to the Cincinnati 2 in overtime, but Anton Harrison was called for holding to bring the play back. Two plays later, Jacksonville punted.

Cincinnati quarterback Jake Browning, making his second career start due to Joe Burrow’s season-ending wrist injury, then led the Bengals (6-6) on a drive that ended with McPherson’s game-winning field goal.

Browning had a career game, completing 32 of 37 passes for 354 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a score.

Cincinnati receiver Ja’Marr Chase had 11 catches for 149 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown.

McPherson kicked a 54-yard field goal with 2:28 left in regulation to give the Bengals a 31-28 lead.

The Jaguars went down the field with little resistance on their first drive of the game, which was highlighted by a 26-yard pass to Christian Kirk. However, Kirk sustained a groin injury on the play. He left the game and did not return.

Travis Etienne ended up capping the drive with a 4-yard TD run for a 7-0 lead.

Things were tied at 14-all at the break after a pair of rushing touchdowns by the Bengals’ Joe Mixon — from 6 and 2 yards out — sandwiched Lawrence’s 22-yard scoring strike to Evan Engram.

The Bengals captured the momentum early in the third quarter when Browning tossed a perfect pass down the left sideline to Chase, who gave Cincinnati a 21-14 lead with his 76-yard TD.

Lawrence threw for a touchdown and rushed for another to put the hosts ahead 28-21 with 3:10 left in the third quarter. Browning plunged into the end zone from the Jacksonville 1 early in the fourth to set up the tight finish.

–Field Level Media

Dec 2, 2023; Detroit, MI, USA; Miami (OH) Redhawks quarterback Aveon Smith (2) runs up the sidelines against the Toledo Rockets in the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Miami (Ohio) knocks off Toledo for MAC title

Aveon Smith passed for 109 yards and rushed for 99, and Miami (Ohio) scored the final 10 points to rally past Toledo 23-14 in the Mid-American Conference Championship game Saturday in Detroit.

The RedHawks (11-2) avenged a 21-17 loss on Oct. 21 to the Rockets (11-2), who were seeking a second consecutive MAC title and a potential New Year’s Six bowl game bid.

Miami has not lost since, winning four regular-season games and Saturday’s conference championship, its first since 2019.

Smith replaced injured starting quarterback Brett Gabbert in the first game against Toledo. He was selected the Offensive Most Valuable Player after Saturday’s effort, with 6-of-16 passing and 21 rushes, including a 50-yarder.

Miami’s Graham Nicholson made three field goals, including a 40-yarder with 13:37 remaining in the fourth quarter for a 16-14 lead.

Rashad Amos ran for his second touchdown of the game, a 10-yarder with 2:41 remaining to complete a six-play, 72-yard drive and push the advantage to 23-14. Amos also had a 1-yard score in the opening quarter and totaled 74 yards on 15 carries.

Toledo trailed 10-0 after the first quarter, then outscored Miami 14-3 in the next two quarters before being shut out 10-0 in the final period.

Dequan Finn was 18 of 36 for 273 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Rockets. Kicker Luke Pawlak missed two field goals and one extra point.

–Field Level Media

Nov 18, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix (10) throws a touchdown pass with pressure from Arizona State Sun Devils defensive lineman B.J. Green II (35) in the first half at Mountain America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic

Bo Nix throws for career-high 6 TDs, No. 6 Oregon crushes Arizona State

Bo Nix passed for 404 yards and tied a school record with six touchdown passes in a little over two quarters and No. 6 Oregon rolled over Arizona State 49-13 in a Pac-12 matchup Saturday afternoon in Tempe, Ariz.

Nix completed 24 of 29 passes and matched the school-record of six TD throws shared by Joey Harrington, who did it twice, and Justin Herbert, Vernon Adams, Marcus Mariota, Darron Thomas, and Danny O’Neill. Nix’s bid for a seventh was negated by an offensive pass interference penalty in the end zone on the opening drive of the third quarter.

Ty Thompson then took over for Nix as the Ducks (10-1, 7-1 Pac-12) continued their march to the conference championship game Dec. 1 in Las Vegas. Thompson also threw a touchdown pass, giving the Ducks a team record-tying seven for the game.

Troy Franklin (eight catches, 128 yards) and Patrick Herbert (three, 78) had two touchdown receptions each, while Tez Johnson (six, 80), Gary Bryant Jr. (three, 82) and Casey Kelly (one, 19) each had one touchdown reception.

The Sun Devils (3-8, 2-6) scored on Dario Longhetto’s two second-half field goals and Melquan Stovall’s 15-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Trenton Bourguet was 20-of-37 passing for 142 yards for the Sun Devils, and Cam Skattebo and Jalin Conyers combined to go 5 of 10 for 63 yards. A 270-pound tight end, Conyers gave a brief life to the Sun Devils offense in the second quarter taking snaps in the wildcat formation and rushing six times for 34 yards to go with his 38 receiving yards.

The Ducks finished the game with 603 yards in total offense to 316 for the Sun Devils. The Ducks scored on each of their six drives in the first half, including one that started at their 2-yard line with just 1:06 left in the second quarter.

Herbert and Franklin each had two touchdown receptions in the first half while Bryant had a 71-yard touchdown catch-and-run and Johnson capped that late 98-yard drive with a 16-yard reception.

The Sun Devils wasted two scoring opportunities in the first half. Longhetto’s 43-yard field-goal attempt at the end of their first series was wide right, and Cole Martin intercepted Skattebo’s pass to end a late second-quarter threat.

–Field Level Media

Nov 11, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) celebrates after a touchdown against the Arizona Wildcats in the second quarter at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

No. 21 Arizona beats Colorado on last-second FG

Jonah Coleman ran for a career-high 179 yards and Tyler Loop kicked a 24-yard field goal on the final play of the game to lift No. 21 Arizona over Colorado 34-31 on Saturday in Boulder, Colo.

The Wildcats (7-3, 5-2 Pac-12), who won their fourth consecutive game for the first time since early in the 2019 season, never led Saturday until there was no time left. Colorado (4-6, 1-6) lost its fourth game in a row and needs to win its final two to be bowl eligible.

The game was tied at 7, 14, 24 and then 31 when Arizona’s DJ Williams rushed for a 7-yard TD on the first play of the fourth quarter. It was still 31-all when Colorado had a chance to take the lead with five minutes left, but Alejandro Mata’s 44-yard field goal attempt barely slid right.

After Arizona took over at its 26-yard line, Coleman ripped off runs of 21 and 24 yards to get the Wildcats into scoring range. They reached first-and-goal from the 1 with 1:04 left and ran the clock down for the final kick.

Coleman rushed 11 times, including gains of 49 and 54 yards. Noah Fifita completed 21 of 35 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. Tetairoa McMillan caught nine passes for 107 yards and a score.

Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders was 22 of 35 for 262 yards and two touchdowns, also rushing for a team-high 42 yards on 13 attempts. Neither quarterback was intercepted.

Sanders often was masterful extending plays, including a fourth-and-7 scramble that kept alive a drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Michael Harris that put Colorado up 31-24 with 3:22 to go in the third quarter.

Colorado took advantage of favorable early field position, scoring touchdowns on two drives that started on Arizona’s half of the field and going up 14-7 late in the first quarter on Sanders’ 20-yard pass to Jimmy Horn Jr.

The teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter before exchanging field goals in the final 1:32. Loop connected from 52 for Arizona and Mata hit from 39 on the last play of the half to put Colorado up 24-17.

–Field Level Media

Nov 11, 2023; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA;  North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Brennan Armstrong (5) tries to outrun Wake Forest Demon Deacons defensive back Malik Mustapha (3) during the first half at Allegacy Federal Credit Union Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Brennan Armstrong returns as QB, leads NC State past Wake Forest

Brennan Armstrong was back as North Carolina State’s starting quarterback and he made time in that role count by throwing and rushing for touchdowns in the Wolfpack’s 26-6 road victory against Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Armstrong had been a backup for the previous four games as MJ Morris was at the controls, but Morris’ decision to sit out the rest of the season to qualify for a redshirt thrust Armstrong, a graduate transfer from Virginia, back into the starting position.

Armstrong completed 12 of 17 passes for 111 yards and rushed for 96 yards on 15 attempts.

The Wolfpack (7-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their third straight game. It marked just the second NC State victory in Winston-Salem in the last 11 trips to its in-state rival.

Morris was 3-1 as a starter this year before the midweek revelation that he has opted to take a redshirt season. Another game played would have put him over the maximum number of games permitted to preserve a redshirt season.

Wake Forest (4-6, 1-6) has dropped three in a row and six of its last seven games.

Wake Forest tried quarterbacks Mitch Griffis and Michael Kern. The Demon Deacons avoided a shutout when Kern’s fourth-down pass was caught by diving receiver Deuce Alexander for a 19-yard touchdown with 7:15 remaining. Even that thrill lasted only so long because Jaylon Scott intercepted a two-point conversion pass and raced 100 yards for a two-point defensive conversion.

NC State went 84 in three plays for the game’s first points on Armstrong’s 20-yard pass to Julian Gray. The big play was KC Concepcion’s possession-opening 65-yard run on a reverse.

The Wolfpack were up 14-0 early in the second quarter. Armstrong plowed into the end zone on a fourth-down run from 1 yard out.

Armstrong’s 38-yard run to the Wake Forest 1 set up Delbert Mimms III’s 1-yard plunge for a 21-0 lead.

The Wolfpack’s only second-half points on offense came when NC State turned Sean Brown’s interception and 33-yard return into Brayden Narveson’s 45-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

–Field Level Media