SAN ANTONIO — David Ash threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, the last a 36-yard strike to Marquise Goodwin with 2:24 left, to give Texas a 31-27 comeback victory over No. 15 Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl on Saturday night.
The Longhorns (9-4) never led before Goodwin scored his second touchdown on a deep post pattern, just a down after Texas converted a fourth-and-1 play to keep its chances alive.
Storm Woods ran for 118 yards and scored two touchdowns for Oregon State (9-4). The Beavers left stunned after looking as though they would wrap up their first 10-win season since 2006.
Down 20-10 at halftime, Texas coach Mack Brown said he told his players they would win.
“I told them this wasn’t going to be easy, but I told them this game was ours and we would win it,” Brown said. “This one is really special.”
The victory was a dose of much-needed good news for Texas after coming into the game under a cloud of questions following the suspensions of backup quarterback Chase McCoy and injured linebacker Jordan Hicks.
Ash, whose been pulled at times for McCoy this season, was 21 of 33 for 241 yards. Ash sputtered until the fourth quarter, when he went 9 for 11 for 146 yards. Texas had no choice but to stick with the only backups two redshirt freshmen who haven’t taken a snap all season.
Brown announced the suspensions Friday but wouldn’t reveal which players were sent home. A person with knowledge of the suspensions told The Associated Press the players were McCoy and Hicks, speaking on condition of anonymity because Texas wasn’t releasing the names.
Brown addressed the suspensions during a previously schedule news conference and referred to a local TV report that police were investigating two unidentified Texas players in an alleged sexual assault at a San Antonio hotel. Police released a heavily redacted incident report that only identifies the suspects as two students, one 20 and the other 21.
Authorities are still investigating and no charges have been filed.
Brown said he would not address the suspensions further.
Oregon State quarterback Cody Vaz was 15 of 28 for 194 yards. The Beavers had negative 4 yards in the fourth quarter as they were muffled by the Longhorns defense that was led by Alex Okafor, who finished with 4 1/2 sacks.
Syracuse 38, West Virginia 14
NEW YORK — The weather made passing at the Pinstripe Bowl perilous, so Syracuse sent Prince-Tyson Gulley and Jerome Smith dashing through West Virginia and the snow.
Gulley ran for a career-best 208 yards and had three touchdowns, Smith added 157 yards, and the Orange bid a blustery farewell to the Big East with a 38-14 victory Saturday.
Syracuse (8-5) will enter the Atlantic Coast Conference on a roll after finishing this season with six wins in its last seven games, capped by its second postseason victory at Yankee Stadium in the last three years.
In a bowl played in a baseball stadium, with weather more suited for a playoff game in Green Bay, the team that plays in a dome ended up being better equipped to handle the elements.
Syracuse finished with a season-high 369 yards on the ground and beat its former Big East rival from West Virginia, now playing in the Big 12, for a third straight time.
“They just did a better job than us at the line of scrimmage,” Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said. “To be in a game like this when you’ve got to rely on your run defense to help you win and you’re not able to do it, it’s frustrating.”
Geno Smith connected with Stedman Bailey for two touchdown passes for West Virginia (7-6), but the Mountaineers’ quarterback also was sacked in the end zone in the first half and called for intentional grounding in the end zone in the third quarter to give Syracuse a second safety.
Smith, who was an early Heisman Trophy front-runner as the Mountaineers got off to a 5-0 start this season, was 16 for 26 for 197 yards in the final game of his record-breaking career. The NFL awaits.
Same goes for Ryan Nassib, though Syracuse didn’t ask much of its talented senior quarterback. He threw two touchdown passes and an interception. His most impressive feat on this day was surviving being driven into the cold turf by Terence Garvin on a sack in the first half. Nassib missed only one play.
Fight Hunger Bowl
Arizona State 62, Navy 28
SAN FRANCISCO — Taylor Kelly, Marion Grice and the rest of the Arizona State offense put an emphatic finish on coach Todd Graham’s successful first season with the Sun Devils.
Kelly threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth score to lead Arizona State to its first bowl win in seven years, a 62-28 victory over Navy in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Saturday.
Offensive MVP Marion Grice ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns for the Sun Devils (8-5), who used their fast-paced spread offense to score touchdowns on their first nine possessions.
“Our guys came to play today and dominated,” Graham said. “I’m proud of them.”
The Sun Devils won their most games since 2007 and won a bowl for the first time since the 2005 Insight Bowl against Rutgers. They also capped their season by beating rival Arizona and winning a bowl, a feat they had accomplished just once in the past 33 seasons.
The Midshipmen (8-5) have lost five of their last six bowl games. Among the few highlights for Navy were Keenan Reynolds’ 3-yard TD pass to Matt Aiken in the first half and a 95-yard kickoff return for a score by Gee Gee Greene in the third quarter.
Rashad Ross, who grew up in nearby Vallejo, started and ended the first-half outburst with touchdown receptions. His 16-yard catch from Kelly capped a 75-yard game-opening drive and he got behind the Navy defense for a 52-yard score in the final minute of the half to make it 34-7. Ross then caught a 50-yard TD pass on Arizona State’s first drive of the second half to make it 41-7.
Grice, playing with a heavy heart after his brother was murdered last week in Houston, scored on a 10-yard run in the first quarter and a 39-yarder in the third. He had 19 touchdowns this season, with 11 coming on the ground.
Armed Forces Bowl
Rice 33, Air Force 14
FORT WORTH, Texas — When Rice freshman quarterback Driphus Jackson was suddenly thrust into action in the Armed Forces Bowl, he drove the Owls within 2 yards of a tying touchdown before his errant pitch.
Jackson more than made up for that miscue that ended the first half.
After starter Taylor McHargue was knocked out the game because of a concussion, Jackson threw for 264 yards with two second-half touchdowns to Jordan Taylor, and Rice beat Air Force 33-14 on Saturday.
“I couldn’t get down (after the fumble). The guys had all the confidence in the world in me,” Jackson said. “Things slowed down for me in the second half.”
Rice (7-6), which had to win four in a row just to get bowl eligible, has won both of its bowl games under sixth-year coach David Bailiff.
Before their 2008 Texas Bowl victory, the Owls had lost their only four bowl games since winning the 1954 Cotton Bowl.
And this is a Rice team with only seven seniors, three of them tight ends.
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Michigan State 17, TCU 16
TEMPE, Ariz. — Dan Conroy kicked a 47-yard field goal with 1:01 left, Le’Veon Bell ran for 145 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown, and Michigan State rallied to beat Texas Christian 17-16 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Saturday night.
Michigan State (7-6) labored through the first half before going on the longest drive in the school’s bowl history, a 90-yard march capped by freshman Connor Cook’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Burbridge in the third quarter.
The Spartans recovered a muffed punt by TCU’s Skye Dawson at the 4-yard line midway through the fourth quarter and Bell scored two plays later by racing around left end for a 14-13 lead.
TCU (7-6) rallied to set up Jaden Overkrom for a 53-yard field goal with 2:42 left, but left Conroy too much time for his second straight postseason game-winner after beating Georgia with a 28-yard kick in the third overtime of last year’s Outback Bowl.
Trevone Boykin threw for 201 yards on 13-of-29 passing with an interception for the Horned Frogs.