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College Football: Bowls roundup

Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — South Carolina and Houston put on a record-setting offensive show for the first 30 minutes of the Liberty Bowl. The Gamecocks provided the defense when it mattered most.

Defensive end Jordin Lindsey came up with two turnovers for a defense that slowed down Houston in the second half, and South Carolina beat the Cougars 44-36 Friday for its first bowl victory under coach Steve Spurrier.

Blake Mitchell tied a bowl record by throwing four touchdown passes, Cory Boyd ran for two more TDs as the Gamecocks (8-5) finished Spurrier’s second season with their best record since going 9-3 in 2001.

Kevin Kolb, making his 50th start at quarterback for Houston (10-4) and leading the nation’s sixth-best offense, finished 24-of-35 for 324 yards.

The Cougars and Gamecocks combined for 588 yards in the first half, much of it just before halftime. The second quarter took 61 minutes, and a game that was tied at 7 went haywire. In the final three minutes of the half, four TDs were scored in a span 12 plays — the last a 77-yard TD catch by Houston’s Vincent Marshall with 11 seconds left.

Houston outgained South Carolina 527-512, but the Cougars managed only 200 in the second half.

Ryan Succop kicked a 45-yard field goal into winds gusting up to 20 mph on the Gamecocks’ opening drive of the second half to put South Carolina ahead to stay at 30-28. Mitchell padded the lead with a pair of 43-yard TD passes to Kenny McKinley, the last with 7:39 to go for a 44-28 lead.

Mitchell, the game’s Most Valuable Player, was 19-of-29 for 323 yards.

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL

EORLANDO, Fla. — Sam Hollenbach passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns, Lance Ball rushed for 98 yards, and Marryland beat Purdue 24-7.

SUN BOWL

EL PASO, Texas — Yvenson Bernard barely pushed into the end zone on a gutsy 2-point conversion run after Joe Newton caught a 14-yard touchdown pass with 22.1 seconds left, and No. 24 Oregon State beat Missouri 39-38 in the Sun Bowl.

The Beavers (10-4) trailed by 14 points with 12:08 to go before rallying for their eighth victory in nine games.

INSIGHT BOWL

TEMPE, Ariz. — After spotting Minnesota a 31-point lead, Texas Tech rallied for a stunning 44-41 overtime victory in the Insight Bowl Friday night, the biggest comeback in Division I-A bowl history.

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