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Published: Tuesday, 1/1/2008

Bowl roundup: Woodson leads Kentucky to win over Florida State

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson threw for 358 yards and four touchdowns in a victory over Florida State. Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson threw for 358 yards and four touchdowns in a victory over Florida State.
BILL WAUGH / AP Enlarge

NASHVILLE - Andre Woodson threw four TD paases against a depleted Florida State defense and Kentucky won its second straight Music City Bowl, beating the Seminoles 35-28 last night for Bobby Bowden's first bowl loss in December.

Kentucky hadn't ended back-to-back seasons with bowl wins since 1951-52, but the Wildcats pulled off the feat in Nashville one year after surprising Clemson, coached by Bowden's son, Tommy.

As for the elder Bowden, who has led the Seminoles to 26 straight bowls and two national titles, his December bowl record finally has its first blemish at 7-1-1. Bowden is major college football's winningest coach with 373 victories - one ahead of Penn State's Joe Paterno.

Florida State was playing three dozen players short due to injuries and suspensions stemming from an academic cheating scandal.

Woodson capitalized on the missing depth and finished the season with 40 touchdown passes, breaking Tim Couch's school-record 37 set in 1998.

It was the 19th consecutive game with at least 200 passing yards and a scoring pass for Woodson, a senior who figures to be among the first quarterbacks taken in the NFL draft.

The Wildcats took the lead for good midway through the third quarter on Woodson's two-yard slant to Rafael Little, who also ran for 128 yards on 28 carries. It was the 13th 100-yard rushing game for the senior running back, tying him for second on Kentucky's career list.

Florida State quarterback Drew Weatherford pulled the Seminoles to 28-21 with eight minutes left on a one-yard bootleg run. It was his first career game with two rushing TDs.

Woodson immediately answered, dumping off a short pass that Steve Johnson took for 38 yards for his second TD reception. Johnson led all receivers with 126 yards.

Weatherford would add a TD pass to Greg Carr with just over two minutes remaining, and Florida State got the ball back at the one-minute mark behind by one score.

Linebacker Micah Johnson appeared to come up with a game-icing interception, but a fumble gave the Seminoles another chance.

Weatherford's last-second pass fell incomplete in the end zone.

Oregon 56, S. Florida 21

EL PASO - Jonathan Stewart set a Sun Bowl record with a career-high 253 yards rushing and Justin Roper threw four touchdown passes in his first start as Oregon clobbered South Florida.

The Ducks (9-4) scored 28 straight points in the third quarter to snap a four-game postseason losing streak.

Oregon made it look easy against the Bulls (9-4), who boasted one of the nation's better defenses. Credit the steady play by Roper, a redshirt freshman, and Stewart, as smooth a runner as you'll find.

Fresno 40, Georgia Tech 28

BOISE - Add Georgia Tech - again - to Fresno State's list of conquests from BCS conferences.

Add Jon Tenuta to the list of winless interim coaches this postseason.

Clifton Smith rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns, Tom Brandstater threw for a score and ran for another as the Bulldogs beat Georgia Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl.

The Bulldogs have won four of their last five bowl appearances, all four wins - including two against Georgia Tech - coming against teams from the six conferences with automatic bids to the Bowl Championship Series.

Tenuta took the interim tag when Chan Gailey was fired after six seasons and became the fourth caretaker coach to lose this postseason, joining DeWayne Walker (UCLA), Gary Darnell (Texas A&M) and Chris Thurmond (Houston).

After punting on its opening possession, the Bulldogs (9-4) scored 27 straight points, taking a 34-14 lead midway through the third quarter.

California 42, Air Force 36

FORT WORTH - DeSean Jackson and Robert Jordan had touchdown catches to help California erase a three-TD deficit sustained while the starting receivers watched from the sideline, and the Bears rallied to beat Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl.

California (7-6), ranked No. 2 in the nation in October before losing six of seven games, managed to finish with its sixth straight winning season.

Jackson, Jordan and leading tackler Thomas DeCoud were held out of the starting lineup and didn't play the first quarter because of unspecified violations of team rules.

Helped by a botched kickoff, Air Force (9-4) led 21-0 after scoring twice in a two-minute span early in the second quarter - before Jackson and Jordan even got on the field. But Jackson made a 40-yard TD catch to cap his first drive, and Jordan had an 18-yard scoring grab in the third quarter. Jordan finished with 6 catches for 148 yards, and Jackson caught 5 passes for 81 yards.

Oklahoma St. 49, Indiana 33

TEMPE, Ariz. - Zac Robinson threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores, leading Oklahoma State over Indiana.

A sophomore making his 11th college start, Robinson completed 24-of-34 passes for 302 yards. He also threw an interception.

Dantrell Savage ran for 100 yards and a touchdown for the Cowboys (7-6, 4-4 Big 12), who matched their season-high point total.



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