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LSU Snaps Central Florida’s Winning Streak

UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr., middle, gets his face mask pulled by LSU linebacker Jacob Phillips (6) as UCF tight end Jake Hescock, right, attempts to make a block during the second half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. LSU defeated UCF 40-32. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Joe Burrow shook off a vicious early hit to throw for 394 yards and four touchdowns, helping No. 11 LSU end No. 7 Central Florida’s 25-game winning streak with a 40-32 victory in the Fiesta Bowl.

LSU (10-3) started its first Fiesta Bowl without several key players on defense and fell into an early 11-point hole against the high-scoring Knights (12-1).

The Tigers clawed back behind Burrow and a defensive front that made life difficult for UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr.

Burrow was slow getting up after being blindsided by 313-pound defensive lineman Joey Connors on an interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter. LSU’s junior quarterback returned to the game and picked apart UCF’s secondary, hitting 21 of 34 of passes, including two touchdowns to Justin Jefferson.

LSU sacked Mack five times and made him rush numerous throws, holding the nation’s third-best offense to 250 total yards — 295 below its average — while spoiling the Knights’ bid for a second-straight self-proclaimed national title.

SUGAR BOWL

No. 14 TEXAS 28

No. 6 GEORGIA 21

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Sam Ehlinger ran for three touchdowns, the Texas defense largely held Georgia’s offense in check, and the Longhorns earned their first 10-win season since 2009 by beating the Bulldogs 28-21 in the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday night.

Ehlinger was the star of a gritty win, running for a 2-yard touchdown in the first quarter, a 9-yard score in the second, and a 1-yard TD in the fourth. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound sophomore finished with 64 yards rushing on 21 carries and also threw for 169 yards.

No. 14 Texas (10-4) continued its quick rise under coach Tom Herman, capping his second season with a Sugar Bowl win that will surely send expectations soaring after nearly a decade of mostly mediocrity.

Texas stretched its lead to 28-7 with 11:49 left in the fourth quarter on Ehlinger’s 1-yard run, finally scoring on fourth down after his first three attempts at running for the score fell just short of the end zone.

No. 6 Georgia (11-3) was a 12¢-point favorite and claimed it would be ready for the Sugar Bowl despite just missing a spot in the College Football Playoff after a loss in the Southeastern Conference championship game. But a sloppy opening sequence indicated otherwise.

Texas jumped out to a 17-0 lead by early in the second quarter, largely because of Georgia’s mistakes on special teams and offense.

The most costly was when D’Andre Swift fumbled deep in Georgia’s own territory, giving Texas possession at the 12. Three plays later, Ehlinger deftly escaped trouble in the pocket and scored on a 9-yard run to give the Longhorns a 17-point advantage with 14:53 left in the second quarter.

Georgia got back into the game with a methodical 12-play drive that ended with Jake Fromm finding Brian Herrien for a 17-yard touchdown, but Texas still took a 20-7 advantage into halftime.

Fromm completed 20 of 34 passes for 212 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The Bulldogs scored a touchdown with 14 seconds left to pull within 28-21 but Texas recovered the ensuing onside kick.

OUTBACK BOWL

IOWA 27

NO. 18 MISS. STATE 22

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Safety Jake Gervase made an interception in the end zone to help preserve a late lead, and ball-hawking Iowa Hawkeyes beat Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl.

Gervase also batted down an errant fourth-down pass to end the Bulldogs’ final drive at the Iowa 32 with 25 seconds left. Two earlier Mississippi State threats in the fourth quarter led to only three points.

The Hawkeyes totaled just 199 yards, with 75 coming on a touchdown pass from Nathan Stanley to Nick Easley, but they converted three takeaways into 17 points.

Stanley threw for 214 yards and three scores. The Hawkeyes won despite netting minus 15 yards rushing, and their three running backs totaled 4 yards in 15 carries.

Iowa (9-4) earned its biggest postseason victory since an Orange Bowl win over Georgia Tech to cap the 2009 season.

Mississippi State (8-5) lost to a team outside the top 15 for the first time.

CITRUS BOWL

NO. 16 KENTUCKY 27,

NO. 13 PENN STATE 24

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Benny Snell Jr. ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns to become Kentucky’s career rushing leader and help the Wildcats wrap up their best season in more than four decades with a victory over Penn State in the Citrus Bowl.

Snell scored on runs of 2 and 12 yards in the second half, then carried for a couple of crucial first downs to help Kentucky (10-3) run out the clock after Trace McSorley of Penn State (9-4) trimmed a 27-7 deficit to three points despite playing with a foot injury.

McSorley threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns, and the Nittany Lions’ career passing and wins leader also rushed for a team-high 75 yards on 19 attempts.

Lynn Bowden Jr. scored on a 58-yard punt return for Kentucky, and Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year Josh Allen had three of the Wildcats’ six sacks.

Kentucky finished with its first 10-win season since 1977, when the Wildcats went 10-1.

Snell broke Sonny Collins’ career rushing record on his 12-yard TD run that made it 27-7 late in the third quarter. Collins rushed for 3,835 yards from 1972-75.

Oklahoma, coach Lincoln Riley agree to contract extension

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma and Lincoln Riley have agreed to a contract extension, which should quell speculation about the second-year coach being lured away by an NFL team.

Oklahoma announced Tuesday that contract terms were being finalized and would be subject to approval by the board of regents late this month.

The 35-year-old Riley has led the Sooners to consecutive Big 12 championships and College Football Playoff appearances. Oklahoma is 24-4 overall and 16-2 in the conference under Riley with two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks — Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.

Riley was promoted from offensive coordinator at Oklahoma in the spring of 2017 after Bob Stoops retired. Oklahoma’s creative and prolific offenses have drawn attention of NFL teams and made Riley a potential candidate to fill coaching vacancies in the league.

Purdue super fan who inspired with fight against cancer dies

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Tyler Trent, a former Purdue University student and college football super fan who inspired many with his battle against cancer, died Tuesday. He was 20 years old.

His family confirmed the death to The Indianapolis Star.

Trent wanted to be a sportswriter and was determined to attend Purdue despite suffering three bouts with a rare bone cancer, first diagnosed at age 15. He entered Purdue in the fall of 2017 while undergoing chemotherapy. He camped out with another student to get good seats to a Purdue-Michigan football game, just hours after chemotherapy.

He gained national attention in 2018 by becoming the adopted captain of the Boilermakers football team. He was in a wheelchair for Purdue’s upset win over Ohio State, which was ranked No. 2 in the nation at the time.

He became a social media star with his positive attitude and determination to live every day to the fullest despite the illness.

“Though I am in hospice care and have to wake up every morning knowing that the day might be my last, I still have a choice to make: to make that day the best it can be,” Trent wrote in a guest column for the newspaper in early December.

Trent earned an associate degree from Purdue in computer information technology.

Last year, Purdue created a scholarship, the Tyler Trent Courage and Resilience Award , for an undergraduate who has encountered adversity while pursuing a college degree.

The Tyler Trent Cancer Research Endowment also was set up to support cancer research at Purdue and received more than $100,000 in donations.

In December, Trent won Disney’s Wide World of Sports Spirit Award, given annually to college football’s most inspirational individual or team.

“Tyler Trent was among the biggest, strongest and wisest people you could ever meet,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said. “He reminded us what being good is all about.”

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