Arizona State trounces Navy, Air Force falls to Rice in Saturday college bowl action (+video)
Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press
Syracuse 38, West Virginia 14
NEW YORK — Prince-Tyson Gulley ran for a career-best 208 yards and had three touchdowns, Syracuse scored twice on safeties and the Orange bid a snow-covered farewell to the Big East with a 38-14 victory over West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday.
Syracuse (8-5) will enter the Atlantic Coast Conference on a roll after finishing this season with six wins in its last seven games, capped by its second postseason victory at Yankee Stadium in the last three years.
In a bowl game played in a baseball stadium with weather better suited for a playoff game in Green Bay, the team that plays in a dome ended up being better equipped to handle the elements.
The Orange leaned on their running game to plow through former Big East rival West Virginia (7-6) and the snow. Jerome Smith added 157 yards rushing, and Syracuse finished with a season-high 369 yards.
Geno Smith connected with Stedman Bailey for two touchdown passes, but the Mountaineers' quarterback also was sacked in the end zone in the first half and called for intentional grounding in the end zone in the second half as he tried to avoid another sack.
Smith, who was an early Heisman Trophy front-runner as the Mountaineers got off to a 5-0 start this season, was 16 for 26 for 197 yards in the final game of his record-breaking career. The NFL awaits.
Same goes for Ryan Nassib, though Syracuse didn't ask much of its talented senior quarterback. He threw two touchdown passes and an interception. His most impressive feat on this day was surviving being driven into the frozen turf by Terence Garvin on a sack in the first half. Nassib missed only one play.
Snow fell just about all game, giving most of the field a white dusting. Fans were bundled and players not in the game tried to do the same. It took a while for those potent offenses — both ranked in the top 25 nationally in yards per game — to heat up, which seemed appropriate considering the conditions.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
ASU 62, Navy 28
SAN FRANCISCO — Taylor Kelly, Marion Grice and the rest of the Arizona State offense put an emphatic finish on coach Todd Graham's successful first season with the Sun Devils.
Kelly threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth score to lead Arizona State to its first bowl win in seven years, a 62-28 victory over Navy in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Saturday.
Offensive MVP Marion Grice ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns for the Sun Devils (8-5), who used their fast-paced spread offense to score touchdowns on their first nine possessions.
"Our guys came to play today and dominated," Graham said. "I'm proud of them."
The Sun Devils won their most games since 2007 and won a bowl for the first time since the 2005 Insight Bowl against Rutgers. They also capped their season by beating rival Arizona and winning a bowl, a feat they had accomplished just once in the past 33 seasons.
"This win means a lot — 1978 is a long time," said Rashad Ross, who caught three touchdown passes. "I'm just glad to be on this team, the team that finally did it: Beat U of A and then go on and win a bowl game."
The Midshipmen (8-5) have lost five of their last six bowl games. Among the few highlights for Navy were Keenan Reynolds' 3-yard TD pass to Matt Aiken in the first half and a 95-yard kickoff return for a score by Gee Gee Greene in the third quarter.
Rice 33, Air Force 14
FORT WORTH, Texas — Freshman quarterback Driphus Jackson threw for 264 yards in relief of Rice's hurt starter, including two touchdown passes to Jordan Taylor, and the Owls beat Air Force 33-14 in the Armed Forces Bowl on Saturday.
Jackson's first series after taking over for Taylor McHargue ended with a bad pitch for a fumble near the goal line only 2 seconds before halftime, when the Owls (7-6) trailed 14-7.
But Jackson made up for it after halftime, when Rice scored 26 straight points. Taylor caught nine passes for 153 yards, with a 16-yard TD from McHargue in the first quarter.
McHargue never returned because of an apparent head injury after a helmet-to-helmet collision with about 5 minutes left in the first half.
Air Force (6-7), which scored on consecutive drives in the second quarter with backup quarterback Kale Pearson in the game, was held to a season-low 214 total yards.
- Dick Harmon: So, another Kaufusi goes hybrid...
- Morning links: BYU's Eric Mika returns from...
- Morning links: 4 Utahns on ESPN 300 football...
- 2016 NFL draft: Local players who might hear...
- BYU football announces full spring fireside...
- Niumatalolo and Navy make another trip to the...
- The BYU international basketball tracker: How...
- BYU basketball: Cougars to play USC Dec. 3 at...
- Morning links: BYU's Eric Mika returns... 67
- BYU basketball: Cougars to play USC... 45
- BYU volleyball: Cougars earn No. 1 seed... 26
- BYU's Kaufusi an intriguing NFL... 26
- Morning links: NFL Draft prospect news... 18
- Oakland Raiders owner says he will... 14
- 2016 NFL draft: Local players who might... 13
- Gobert 'disappointed' with 2015-16 but... 11