SHREVEPORT, Louisiana – Dylan Hopkins broke the Independence Bowl record for completion percentage, connecting on 19 of 23 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns in UAB’s 31-28 win over No.12 BYU Saturday.
With UAB (9-4) facing the fourth and seventh minutes with six minutes remaining, coach Bill Clark pulled off a field goal attempt and Hopkins threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Trea Shropshire, the only player in the field. Louisiana on either list.
BYU (10-3) appeared to be in a good position to at least tie the game, but Samson Nacua fumbled after making a catch in the UAB 25 with 3:36 remaining.
DeWayne McBride ran for 183 yards and a score on 28 carries for UAB.
BYU and running back Tyler Allgeier fought back from a 14-point deficit, tying twice and ultimately taking the lead in the fourth quarter. Allgeier ran 192 yards and had three touchdowns.
Allgeier pulled off a 62-yard touchdown run to tie it again 1:17 in the third quarter. His one-yard run gave the Cougars a 28-24 lead in the second play of the fourth quarter.
LIBERTY 56, EAST OF MICHIGAN 20
MOBILE, Alabama – Malik Willis had 231 yards and five touchdowns and Liberty rolled over Eastern Michigan in the LendingTree Bowl.
Willis, a potential NFL first-round pick, completed 13 of 24 passes, with touchdowns of 54 yards for DJ Stubbs, 20 yards for Johnny Huntley and 3 yards for Demario Douglas. Willis also ran for 58 yards, with touchdowns of 2 and 35 yards.
The Flames (8-5) improved to 3-0 in bowls, tying Appalachian State for the best playoff start by an FBS team.
Liberty also got a defensive touchdown in the first quarter on Skyler Thomas’ 27-yard intercept return. Thomas deflected a short pass from Ben Bryant, caught the ball and ran to the end zone.
Eastern Michigan finished 7-6.
NEW ORLEANS BOWL
NO. 16 LOUISIANE-LAFAYETTE 36, MARSHALL 21
NEW ORLEANS – Levi Lewis had 270 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 74 more yards, and Louisiana-Lafayette beat Marshall to end his season with a program-record 13-game winning streak.
Emani Bailey rushed for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to help new Ragin ‘Cajuns coach Michael Desormeaux win his first game in charge. He took over after the Cajuns (13-1) won the Sun Belt Championship under recently hired Florida coach Billy Napier.
Rasheen Ali ran for 160 yards and three touchdowns for Marshall (7-6). His 9-yard touchdown put Marshall ahead 21-16 at the end of the third quarter.
Marshall QB Grant Wells was 15 of 26 for 99 yards and was intercepted once by Bralen Trahan.
NEW MEXICO BOWL
STATE OF FRESNO 31, UTEP 24
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Jordan Mims ran for 165 yards and two touchdowns and caught five passes for 71 yards and another score to help Fresno State beat UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl.
Fresno State (10-3) won the bowl game for the first time in three tries.
Jake Haener finished 26 of 41 for 286 yards and a touchdown. His status had been somewhat questioned when he briefly entered the transfer portal after coach Kalen DeBoer took the post in Washington.
The Mims’ catch and 22-yard run late in the third quarter gave the Bulldogs a 26-17 lead.
The Miners (7-6) shot 26-24 early in the fourth quarter on a 51-yard touchdown pass from Calvin Brownholtz to Trent Thompson.
But Fresno State got a field goal, followed by UTEP security, before the Bulldogs ran out of time.
UTEP’s Gavin Hardison threw for 252 yards and a touchdown.
BOWL BOCA RATON
WESTERN KENTUCKY 59, APPALACHIAN STATE 38
BOCA RATON, Fla .– Bailey Zappe capped his record-breaking season with 422 yards and six touchdowns and West Kentucky handed Appalachian State their first bowl loss, beating the Mountaineers in the Boca Raton Bowl.
Zappe finished the season with 5,977 yards and 62 touchdowns for the Hilltoppers (9-5). He topped previous marks of 5,833 yards set by BJ Symons of Texas Tech in 2003 and 60 touchdowns set by Joe Burrow of LSU in the Tigers’ run to the national championship in the 2019 season.
Jerreth Sterns caught 13 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns, ending his season with 150 passes for 1,902 yards. Mitchell Tinsley had two touchdown passes for the Hilltoppers and Noah Whittington only needed seven carries to rush 150 yards, including 86 on a third quarter score.
Chase Brice had 317 yards and four touchdowns for Appalachian State (10-4) before leaving in the fourth quarter with a right leg injury. It was the first loss in seven bowl games for the Mountaineers.
SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 31, JACKSON STATE 10
ATLANTA – Cory Fields scored four touchdowns, three for Shaquan Davis, to lead South Carolina State to Jackson State in the Celebration Bowl in a game considered the historically black college and university national championship.
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion South Carolina State (7-5) dominated HBCU for the first time since 2009. Southwestern Athletic Conference winner Jackson State (11-2) did not win again. the title since 1996.
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