Georgia, Nebraska get wins
Published 4:19 am Friday, January 2, 2009
No. 16 Georgia 24,
No. 19 Michigan St. 12
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Matthew Stafford threw three touchdown passes in the second half.
Ranked No. 1 early this season, the Bulldogs (10-3) gave coach Mark Richt his sixth bowl win in eight tries.
Stafford was just 6-for-14 and an interception in the first half. After that, he looked more like the quarterback that NFL teams covet — if he decides to pass up his senior season — in going 14-for-17 and the three scores in a span of 18 minutes.
Stafford was picked as the game’s MVP, completing his performance by showing a nice touch in threading a 21-yard TD pass to Moreno late in the fourth quarter. Stafford set a single-season school record with 25 touchdown passes.
The expected showdown between star running backs Javon Ringer and Moreno never materialized. Moreno ran for 62 yards on 23 carries; Ringer had 47 yards and a TD on 20 carries for Michigan State (9-4).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Joe Ganz threw for two touchdowns, Alex Henery kicked four field goals and Nebraska beat Clemson.
Nebraska (9-4) ended the season with a four-game winning streak, including a victory against rival Colorado, won six of its final seven games and had success in a January bowl game for the first time in nine years.
It capped quite a turnaround for the Cornhuskers, who hired Pelini to replace fired coach Bill Callahan after missing the postseason in 2007. The former defensive coordinator at LSU, Oklahoma and Nebraska led the Huskers to just their fourth New Year’s Day bowl in the last 11 seasons.
Clemson (7-6) was hoping to maintain its late-season momentum under new coach Dabo Swinney. The Tigers had won four of their last five games after a 3-3 start that prompted longtime coach Tommy Bowden to resign.
Iowa 31, South Carolina 10
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Shonn Greene rushed for 121 yards and three touchdowns, helping the Hawkeyes trounce South Carolina.
Greene, who sat out the 2007 season because of academic problems, ran for more than 100 yards in all 13 of Iowa’s games and scored in all but one. He finished with school single-season records of 1,850 yards and 20 TDs.
The 235-pound junior from Sicklerville, N.J., said after the game he will pass up his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
Iowa (9-4) won for the sixth time in seven games since losing three straight to fall to 3-3. South Carolina (7-6) lost three straight down the stretch while being outscored 118-30.
South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia, a highly regarded recruit from Tampa, turned the ball over four times in the first half and went 9-for-18 for 79 yards before being replaced.