December 22, 2013

Football Roundup: CAA runner-up reaches title game

The Associated Press

CHENEY, Wash. — Backup quarterback Connor Frazier scored on a 1-yard run with 17 seconds left Saturday to lift Towson to a 35-31 victory against Eastern Washington in a Football Championship Subdivision semifinal in foggy, wet conditions.

click image to enlarge

Ty Isaac of Southern Cal runs Saturday afternoon during the Trojans’ 45-20 victory against Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl.

The Associated Press

Towson (13-2), which finished second to the University of Maine in the Colonial Athletic Association, took over on its 29 with 1:35 left and went 71 yards for the winning points.

Eastern Washington (12-3) got the ball back with 12 seconds left, but Vernon Adams’ first pass was intercepted.

Towson will play the two-time defending champion, North Dakota State (14-0,) in the national title game Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas.

Eastern Washington was making its third trip to the semifinals in four seasons, and won the 2010 national championship.

The Tigers have won 12 straight games on the road dating to last season, and have overcome the loss of starting quarterback Peter Athens to a shoulder injury.

Towson scored the first 21 points of the game, gave up 31 straight points and then scored the final two touchdowns for the win.

Adams threw for 394 yards and two touchdowns for Eastern Washington, which outgained the Tigers 580 yards to 483.

Frazier completed 6 of 10 passes for 98 yards, and also ran 18 times for 98 yards and the winning touchdown.

Towson marched 75 yards down the wet, slippery field on its first possession, with quarterback Peter Athens throwing a 1-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Holder to compile a 7-0 lead.

NEW MEXICO BOWL: Jared Roberts made a 41-yard field goal with three seconds left and Colorado State (8-6) overcame a 22-point deficit to beat Washington State (6-7) 48-45 at Albuquerque, N.M.

It was a dramatic comeback to open the bowl season and came as both quarterbacks threw for close to 800 years combined.

Garrett Grayson threw for 369 yards, and Kapri Bibbs ran for 169 yards and three touchdowns for Colorado State. The Rams overcame three early turnovers but were helped by Washington State’s two fumbles with less than three minutes remaining.

Connor Halliday threw touchdown passes to six receivers and finished with 410 yards for Washington State.

LAS VEGAS BOWL: Cody Kessler passed for 344 yards and a bowl-record four touchdowns as the Trojans (10-4) beat the 21st-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) 45-20 under Clay Helton, their third coach in less than three months.

Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor had two touchdown catches apiece, Javorius Allen rushed for two more scores, and the Trojans answered every question about their motivation by dancing on the sideline while routing a BCS contender for the storied program’s first postseason victory since 2009.

Derek Carr passed for just 217 yards and two TDs in his final game at Fresno State, which fell behind 35-6 at halftime and failed to secure the first 12-win season in school history.

From Kessler’s smooth offense to a dynamic defensive effort against Fresno State’s FBS-best passing game, USC was uniformly outstanding in its only game under Helton.

NOTES

DUKE: The school suspended its rushing leader, Jela Duncan, from school for an undisclosed violation of its academic policy.

School officials said Duncan, a sophomore, isn’t eligible to return until the spring 2015 semester.

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