Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Let’s Go Bowling: ACC Finishes 4-2

(Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Florida State and Virginia Tech win games they should have won while Georgia Tech and Clemson pulled off big upset victories that help the league’s beleaguered football reputation.

In short, Duke and N.C. State beat themselves with turnovers.

Complain all you want about your football coach, just be glad it’s not Lane Kiffin.

#13 FLORIDA STATE 31, #16 Northern Illinois 10 - Anxious to avoid an Orange Bowl shocker, the Florida State Seminoles kept getting tricked.

An onside kick fooled them, as did a fake punt, and a pooch punt by Northern Illinois' star quarterback.

But the final score was no surprise. Florida State had too much speed and depth for the Huskies and pulled away for a 31-10 victory Tuesday night.

Senior fullback Lonnie Pryor, voted the game's outstanding player, ran for a career-high 134 yards and two scores in only five carries. Senior EJ Manuel threw for 291 yards, while the Seminoles stuffed Huskies' QB and all-purpose threat Jordan Lynch for most of the night.

"We came out here and did what we had to do," Pryor said.

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(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
#14 CLEMSON 25, #9 LSU 24 - Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 14 Clemson a wild win over No. 9 Louisiana State in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Monday night.

Trailing 24-22, Clemson (11-2) took possession on its 20 with 1:39 remaining. Tajh Boyd completed a pass for 26 yards to DeAndre Hopkins on a fourth-and-16 play during the decisive 10-play drive.

Catanzaro's kick set off a wild celebration on the field and in the stands. Some players collapsed on the field in apparent disbelief while most of Clemson's orange jerseys met in a midfield circle.
Hopkins, who had 13 catches for 191 yards and two touchdowns, also had receptions for 7 and 13 yards in the final drive. LSU safety Greg Reid was flagged for pass interference while defending Hopkins.

Jeremy Hill ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns for LSU (10-3), which carried a 24-13 lead into the final quarter.

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(Mark Lambie/AP Photo)
GEORGIA TECH 21, USC 7 - Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 21-7 victory on Monday in front of a crowd of 47,922 at Sun Bowl Stadium.

"It was a really surprising day," Southern California coach Lane Kiffin said. "Coming down and turning the ball over, and with third-down efficiency, we really found no rhythm on offense. I thought we'd play much better on offense today. The storyline really came down to our inefficiency on offense, and obviously it starts with the head coach."

Washington's 1-yard touchdown run in the third made it 14-7, and he found Orwin Smith for a 17-yard touchdown pass in the fourth.

"I'm really proud of our football team," Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. "I thought that they showed up and played with a lot of heart and a lot of determination, and I know Southern California has some really good football players. It was a hard-fought game."

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(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Vanderbuilt 38, N.C. STATE 24 - Jordan Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as the Vanderbilt Commodores capped their best season since 1915 Monday by beating North Carolina State in the Music City Bowl.

The Commodores finished 9-4 for their best record since going 9-1 in 1915, and it's only the third time the smallest and only private university in the Southeastern Conference has won as many as nine games in a season. They also finished with seven straight wins, their longest streak since winning eight in 1948.

Vanderbilt forced a season-high five turnovers, including four in the first half, and turned those into 17 points.

N.C. State (7-6) wrapped up the season under interim coach Dana Bible snapping a two-game bowl winning streak. The Wolfpack had their fifth game this season with at least four turnovers, and that helped wipe out a 424-225 advantage in total offense.

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