NC Central wins Celebration Bowl in Sanders’ Jackson finale

ATLANTA (AP) — Quarterback Davius Richard scored on a 1-yard plunge in overtime and North Carolina Central beat Jackson State 41-34 on Saturday in the Celebration Bowl to spoil coach Deion Sanders’ bid for an undefeated season in his final game with the Tigers.

The Eagles made a goal-line stand on Jackson State’s first overtime possession to preserve the victory. Tight end Hayden Hagler’s drop on third down from the 1 set up an incompletion by Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders to end the game regarded as the championship of teams from historically Black college and universities.

Richard ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

Sanders’ 19-yard touchdown pass to Travis Hunter as time expired in regulation set up Alejandro Mata’s tying extra point to send it to overtime. It was the fourth scoring pass of the game for Sanders, who also ran for a score.

Jackson State (12-1) was denied its bid for the first undefeated season in school history. Coach Deion Sanders is taking over as coach at Colorado.

N.C. Central (10-2) gave the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference a 6-1 edge over teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference in the Celebration Bowl.

LENDINGTREE BOWL

SOUTHERN MISS 38, RICE 24

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Frank Gore Jr. ran for an NCAA bowl-record 329 yards and accounted for three touchdowns to help Southern Miss hold off Rice in the LendingTree Bowl.

Gore, the son of the former NFL star, had a 64-yard scoring run in the second quarter, threw an 18-yard touchdown pass in the third and ran for 55 yards for another score in the fourth. He also ran 59 yards to set up the go-ahead touchdown for the Golden Eagles (7-6).

Gore, who had 21 carries, broke the mark of 317 yards set by Appalachian State’s Camerun Peoples in the 2020 Myrtle Beach Bowl against North Texas. Gore broke the Southern Miss record of 304 by Sam Dejarnette against Florida State in 1982.

Rice quarterback AJ Padgett threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns — all in the third quarter — to give the Owls (5-8) a brief 24-17 lead. He threw 26 and 32 yards to Isaiah Esdale to tie a game Southern Miss led 17-3 at halftime, then connected with Bradley Rozner to put Rice up 24-17 with 5:06 left in the third.

LAS VEGAS BOWL

NO. 17 OREGON STATE 30, FLORIDA 3

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Deshaun Fenwick came off the bench to rush for 107 yards and Oregon State nearly dealt Florida a rare shutout, winning the Las Vegas Bowl.

The Beavers (10-3) reached 10 victories for the third time program history and the first time in 16 years. They first accomplished the feat in 2000, when coach Jonathan Smith was the quarterback. Oregon State won seven of its final eight games.

After the Beavers took control early in the third quarter by going up 17-0, the only real question was whether Florida (6-7) would keep its NCAA-record scoring streak intact. The Gators last were shut out in 1988, a span of 436 games and 57 games longer than any other team. The streak remained alive when Adam Mihalek made a 40-yard field goal with 37 seconds left.

The Gators closed their first season under coach Billy Napier with three consecutive losses.

FENWAY BOWL

LOUISVILLE 24, CINCINNATI 7

BOSTON (AP) — Jawhar Jordan ran for 115 yards, breaking free for two long touchdowns, and Louisville beat Cincinnati 24-7 oin the twice-delayed first edition of the Fenway Bowl at the chilly home of the Boston Red Sox.

With a gridiron laid out over the diamond and “Fenway Park” in the end zones using the baseball team’s traditional font, Jordan scored from 49 yards out at the end of the first quarter and 40 at the end of the second to help clinch the Keg of Nails for Louisville (8-5).

Brock Domann hit Marshon Ford for another score on a 40-degree day when both teams struggled to pass — or even hold onto the ball, with the Bearcats (9-4) fumbling three times (recovering one).

LA BOWL

FRESNO STATE 29, WASHINGTON STATE 6

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Jordan Mims rushed for a career-high 205 yards and two scores, Jake Haener threw two TD passes and Fresno State beat Washington State in the LA Bowl to complete the biggest in-season turnaround in Football Bowl Subdivision history.

Fresno State — which won the Mountain West Conference title — is the first team to get to 10 wins after dropping four of the first five. The Bulldogs (10-4) were 1-4 in early October before winning their final nine games.

Mims accounted for 232 all-purpose yards and outgained Washington State, which had 182 offensive yards. Both of Mims’ touchdowns were on direct snaps out of the Wildcat formation. Haener completed 24 of 36 passes for 284 yards in his final game for Fresno State.

Cameron Ward was 22 of 32 for 137 yards for Washington State (7-6).

FRISCO BOWL

BOISE STATE 35, NORTH TEXAS 32

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Boise State quarterback Taylen Green accounted for 256 yards and three touchdowns and the Broncos beat North Texas in a back-and-forth Frisco Bowl.

Green, who is from nearby Lewisville, ran for two touchdowns during Boise State’s bowl-program-record 22-point third quarter that saw five lead changes. He added 137 passing yards and one touchdown in Boise State’s first bowl victory since 2017.

Freshman running back Ashton Jeanty ran for 178 yards as Boise State (10-4) piled up a season-high 320 yards rushing.

The Broncos outscored North Texas 29-22 in the second half after the Mean Green led 10-6 at the break.

Both teams lost their conference championship games, Boise State in the Mountain West and North Texas (7-7) in Conference USA.

NEW MEXICO BOWL

BYU 24, SMU 23

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Cornerback Jakon Robinson stopped SMU quarterback Tanner Mordecai on a 2-point conversion try with eight seconds left and BYU held on in the New Mexico Bowl.

Mordecai, who finished with 218 passing yards and two touchdowns, tried to cut up the middle on a designed run and was dropped by Robinson, shutting down SMU’s comeback attempt from a 24-10 third-quarter deficit.

The 2-point try came after Jordan Kerley caught a 12-yard TD pass from Mordecai.

BYU finished 8-5 and SMU 7-5.

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