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Already boasting the Ray Guy Award winner (punter Drew Butler) and a Lou Groza Award finalist (kicker Blair Walsh), Georgia[up arrow] rode its special teams to a 44--20 blowout of Texas A&M[up arrow] in the Independence Bowl. The Dawgs got an 81-yard kickoff return for a TD from Brandon Boykin and blocked a punt to set up another score. Georgia also blocked a field-goal attempt and benefited from a botched A&M punt snap that set up another touchdown.
Trailing North Carolina[up arrow] 17--16 with 1:55 left in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, Pittsburgh[up arrow] lined up for a 47-yard field goal—two yards longer than Dan Hutchins's career best. Then the Panthers successfully employed an old draw-'em-offsides trick. Holder Andrew Janocko raised his hands as if asking for the snap, and three Tar Heels jumped across the line. Four plays later Hutchins kicked a 33-yarder, his fourth field goal in the 19--17 victory.
Virginia Tech[up arrow] whipped Tennessee[up arrow] 37--14 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, thanks largely to redshirt freshman Ryan Williams, who set or tied ACC single-season records for rushing touchdowns (21), total touchdowns (22) and 100-yard rushing games (10).
Keyed by a pair of true freshmen, Rutgers[up arrow] rolled to a 45--24 victory over Central Florida[down arrow] in the St. Petersburg Bowl. Tom Savage threw for 294 yards and two touchdowns, one of them to Mohamed Sanu, who also rushed for a pair of TDs out of the Wildcat formation.
By the Numbers
33 | Carries for Andre Dixon of UConn[down arrow], a record for the Papajohns.com Bowl. Dixon, the game's MVP, ran for 126 yards and a TD as the Huskies cruised to a 20--7 victory over South Carolina[up arrow].
12 | Turnovers in the Cotton Bowl, including six by Oklahoma State[down arrow] in the fourth quarter alone, as Mississippi[down arrow] won the errorfest 21--7. For the second straight year Rebels running back Dexter McCluster earned the game's offensive MVP award, rushing for 184 yards and two touchdowns,
0 | Field goals made, on attempts from 39, 39 and 35 yards, by Ben Hartman of East Carolina[down arrow] in the final 63 seconds and overtime in the Liberty Bowl; and the number of third downs converted by the SEC's top scoring offense, Arkansas[up arrow], on 13 tries, which nevertheless won 20--17.