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Bowl roundup: Trickery lifts Northern Illinois over Arkansas State


Kicker Kanon Woodill scored a 32-yard touchdown on a trick play to help Northern Illinois notch a 21-19 victory over Arkansas State in the Camellia Bowl on Saturday at Montgomery, Ala.

Rocky Lombardi passed for one touchdown and rushed for another as Northern Illinois (7-6) ended a seven-game bowl losing streak. Ironically, the previous win also came against Arkansas State in the Bowl following the 2011 regular season.

Antario Brown rushed for 132 yards on 25 carries for the Huskies. Lombardi completed 18 of 29 passes for 200 yards and two interceptions in his final game to end a seven-year college career (2017-20 at Michigan State, 2021-23 at NIU).

Jaylen Raynor was 16-of-30 passing for 250 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the Red Wolves (6-7). Corey Rucker had five catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns, the latter one coming with 1:14 left to bring Arkansas State within 21-19.

On the ensuing two-point conversion play, Raynor’s pass was high and out of the end zone. The Red Wolves recovered the ensuing onside kick, but it was nullified due to a controversial offside penalty. Grayson Barnes recovered the next try and the Huskies ran out the clock.

Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force 31, James Madison 21

Emmanuel Michel rushed for 203 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 35 carries as the Falcons beat the Dukes in Fort Worth, Texas.

Michel headlined a fierce rushing attack for the Falcons (9-4), who totaled 351 yards on the ground. John Lee Eldridge III had 78 of those yards on eight touches, and quarterback Zac Larrier ran for a touchdown. Larrier attempted just five passes, completing three for 45 yards and a touchdown.

Meanwhile, the Dukes (11-2) totaled just 35 yards on 19 carries in their first-ever bowl game in program history. Jordan McCloud went 20-for-33 passing for 248 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

68 Ventures Bowl: South Alabama 59, Eastern Michigan 10

Gio Lopez threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Jaguars notched their first-ever bowl victory by pounding the Eagles at Mobile, Ala.

Lopez had 192 passing yards and 88 rushing yards for South Alabama (7-6). Desmond Trotter had a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown. Jamaal Pritchett caught eight passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns and DJ Thomas-Jones also caught two touchdown passes.

Cam’Ron McCoy had a 10-yard rushing touchdown for Eastern Michigan (6-7). The Jaguars outgained the Eagles 417-27 in the first half while roaring to a 38-3 halftime lead.

Birmingham Bowl: Duke 17, Troy 10

Todd Pelino kicked three field goals and the Blue Devils relied mostly on defense to defeat the Trojans in Birmingham, Ala., where interim coaches guided both teams.

Troy didn’t score until the second half but made a game of it until a late interception doomed the Trojans’ final chance. Pelino had second-quarter field goals from 34 and 37 yards. Combined with Jaylen Coleman’s 1-yard scoring run late in the first quarter and Nicky Dalmolin’s two-point conversion run, Duke carried a 14-0 lead to halftime.

Quarterback Grayson Loftis finished 19-for-29 for 183 yards with an interception for the Blue Devils (8-5), who received 73 rushing yards from Jaquez Moore. Troy quarterback Gunnar Watson completed 21 of 36 passes for 230 yards, and Kimani Vidal gained 79 yards on 17 carries. The Trojans (11-3), the Sun Belt Conference champions, had a 10-game winning streak end.

Idaho Potato Bowl: Georgia State 45, Utah State 22

Darren Grainger threw for three touchdowns and ran for two while Freddie Brock rushed for 276 yards and a score as the Panthers walloped the Aggies in Boise, Idaho.

Grainger was 19-for-22 in the air for 257 yards while rushing for 111 yards on 24 carries as the Panthers (7-6) emphatically snapped a five-game losing streak, rolling up 395 yards in the first half and 643 for the game as they did anything they wanted against the Aggies’ leaky defense.

Utah State (6-7) saw quarterback Levi Williams, the MVP of this game two years ago when playing at Wyoming, hit on 12 of 21 passes for 131 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He was knocked out of the game late in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury.

Las Vegas Bowl: Northwestern 14, Utah 7

Ben Bryant passed for 222 yards and two touchdowns and Jaheem Joseph hauled in two interceptions to help the Wildcats edge the Utes in Las Vegas.

Bryant connected with Bryce Kirtz for a go-ahead 19-yard touchdown with 6:19 remaining. The Wildcats (8-5) forced the Utes into a turnover on downs at the Northwestern 38-yard line on the ensuing possession and ran out the clock to seal the victory.

Utah (8-5) has lost five straight bowls, including two against Northwestern. The Utes punted seven times, threw two interceptions, lost a fumble and had two turnovers on downs on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

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