ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Sporting Alert — College Football Bowl results from Boxing Day, Monday 26 December as the St. Petersburg Bowl, Quick Lane Bowl and Independence Bowl title were dished out.
Mississippi State Holds Off Miami (OH) 17-16
At Tropicana Field in Saint Petersburg, Florida, Mississippi State rallied to beat Miami (Ohio) 17-16 in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
The Bulldogs (6-7) trailed 9-0 midway through the first half and 16-7 in the third quarter but rallied to take a 17-16 lead early in the fourth and then blocked a field goal in the closing seconds to hold on for the win
Nick Fitzgerald rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns and went 13 for 26 on completed passes for 136 yards for Mississippi State.
“You know what, it’s been an interesting year. We’ve battled,” Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen said. “Throughout the year we’ve lost some tough games on the final play of the game.
“I told the guys in the locker room afterward, we’re here because we didn’t give up. We found a way to go make that final play.
“Even though we missed a lot of opportunities, we made the final play when it mattered.”
Gus Ragland threw for 257 yards on 22 for 30 passes with two touchdowns for Miami.
However, Ragland also threw his first interception of the season early in the fourth quarter and Mississippi State used the turnover to set up the go-ahead 36-yard field goal with 12:03 remaining.
James Gardner and Ryan Smith each caught passes for touchdowns for the RedHawks in the defeat.
“We were one play ahead of them for most of the game, if not more than one, but they were one play ahead of us at the end,” said Miami coach Chuck Martin.
“We had opportunities. When you look at it, it didn’t need to come down to that last kick, but it did. They made one more play than us. Tough way to end. That’s sports, and that’s competition.”
Miami (OH) started the season with a 0-6 record but won the next six games to grab a share of the MAC East Division title and became bowl eligible.
Boston College Holds Off Maryland – Quick Lane Bowl
Patrick Towles passed for 151 yards and two touchdowns and took a catch for a score in the first half, as Boston College defeated Maryland 36-30 in the Quick Lane Bowl on Monday.
The Eagles (7-6) entered the game with a 76.2 percent probability to take home the victory and they looked comfortable when building a 16-0 lead with 10:32 remaining in the first half.
Maryland managed to score twice in the second quarter, but it also couldn’t stop Boston College from picking up points as well and the Eagles went on to lead 29-13 at halftime.
Kevin Kavalec returned a fumble for a touchdown early in the third quarter to build Boston College’s lead to 36-13 and things were looking very comfortable for the ACC outfits.
However, Maryland began to fight back and scored 17 straight points to cut the score to a one-possession lead.
The Terrapins (6-7), though, turned the ball over on downs late in the game when Perry Hills was sacked and the comeback chance ended – paving the way for Boston College to secure its first bowl win since sealing the Champs Sports Bowl in 2007.
Michael Walker and Tommy Sweeney each caught a touchdown pass for the Eagles and Jon Hilliman also ran for a score in the win.
Meanwhile, Hills passed for 229 yards with an interception and threw TD passes to Teldrick Morgan and Levern Jacobs for Maryland.
Ty Johnson carried the ball 15 times for 159 yards and two scores in the defeat for the Terrapins (6-7).
NC State Hammers Vanderbilt 41-17 – Independence Bowl
Ryan Finley threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns without an interception to help North Carolina State pounded Vanderbilt 41-17 on Monday night in the 2016 Independence Bowl.
Finley went 19 of 30 on completed passes and linked up with Jaylen Samuels, who finished with an Independence Bowl record three touchdown catches for the Wolfpack (7-6), who led 14-3 at halftime before blowing the contest wide open after the break.
Nyheim Hines returned a kickoff for a 100-yard touchdown with 10:21 remaining and Niles Clark returned an interception 32 yards on the final play of the game to pile up the score for North Carolina State.
Ralph Webb ran for 111 yards and a score in the defeat for the Commodores.
College Football Bowl Scores
Monday, December 26
Miami (OH) 16, Mississippi State 17
ST. PETERSBURG BOWL – Box Score
Boston College 36, Maryland 30
QUICK LANE BOWL – Box Score
North Carolina State 41, Vanderbilt 17
CAMPING WORLD INDEPENDENCE BOWL – Box Score