HONOLULU — Rashaad Reynolds scored two defensive touchdowns Tuesday and Oregon State handed the Broncos a 38-23 defeat in the annual Hawaii Bowl at Aloha Stadium.
The Beavers (7-6) limped into the postseason with five consecutive losses after a promising 6-1 start, but ended the campaign on a high note.
Sean Mannion threw for 259 yards with an interception and a scoring strike to Biletnikoff Award-winner Brandin Cooks, while Storm Woods and Terron Ward each ran for touchdowns.
“We are excited to have won this game,” Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. “It’s been a while since we’ve won, but this team never quit and we’ve had plenty of disappointment, quite a bit of adversity through the year and I’ve always enjoyed coaching them because every week they came back and went to work. We played a good football team and feel really good about the win.”
Chris Petersen bolted Boise State earlier this month to become the head coach at Washington, and his replacement, Bryan Harsin, watched from afar as the Broncos (8-5) fell behind by 32 points en route to having their four-game bowl winning streak snapped.
Interim head coach Bob Gregory sent starting quarterback Joe Southwick home prior to the game for a violation of team rules, and backup Grant Hedrick did not lead a touchdown drive until the game was already out of reach.
“I don’t believe there was any loss of focus by the team given the distractions this week. We had good bowl practices, but we just didn’t make enough plays to stay in the game,” Gregory said.
Hedrick completed 32-of-44 passes for 382 yards with a long touchdown pass to Matt Miller, who finished with a whopping 206 yards on 11 receptions. Jay Ajayi ran for 97 yards and a score in defeat.
Utah State 21, Northern Illinois 14
SAN DIEGO — Joey DeMartino rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown to lead Utah State to a 21-14 win over 24th-ranked Northern Illinois in the Poinsettia Bowl on Thursday.
Darell Garretson completed 17-of-28 passes for 121 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions and Brandon Swindall finished with four catches for 28 yards and a score for the Aggies (9-5), who finished the season with wins in six of their final seven games. Utah State beat a ranked opponent for just the third time in school history. Heisman finalist Jordan Lynch struggled in his final collegiate game, completing 20-of-35 passes for 216 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The Huskies added a quick touchdown as Lynch found Juwan Brescacin in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown, but were unable to recover the onside kick and the Aggies were able to run off the remaining time.
“We had our chances,” Lynch said. “We had our chances to make some plays and score some points. We were in the red zone three times or so and we didn’t come away with points. We just didn’t capitalize on it.”
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Pittsburgh 30, Bowling Green 27
DETROIT — Chad Voytik came on in relief and helped lead Pittsburgh to a postseason victory, as Chris Blewitt’s 39-yard field goal with 1:17 remaining gave the Panthers a 30-27 win over Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field.
Voytik, a redshirt freshman, ran for a key touchdown after relieving injured starting quarterback Tom Savage in the second half and played mistake-free ball as James Conner and Tyler Boyd carried Pitt (7-6) to its first bowl victory and winning season since 2010.
Bowling Green’s Tyler Tate opened the scoring on a 28-yard field goal with 4:26 to go in the opening quarter, and Conner punched one in from 15 yards out to cap a 7-play, 50-yard drive.
Boyd was the star of the second quarter, as his 46-yard reception set the stage for Blewitt’s 25-yard field goal 6:31 into the period. Less than two minutes later, Boyd took back a punt 54 yards for a score after tiptoeing down the left sideline. The punt return for a TD was Pitt’s first since Darrelle Revis pulled off the feat against West Virginia on Nov. 16, 2006.
The Falcons gained some momentum going into the break when Johnson found Alex Bayer for a 29-yard score on a fourth-down play. The 10-play, 67-yard march was kept alive when Donald was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct following a sack on third down.
The game was suddenly tied when Gates opened the second half with a remarkable 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown — the second-longest in Little Caesars Pizza Bowl history.
Tate and Blewitt exchange field goals later in the third quarter to send the game tied at 20-20 heading to the fourth.
Marshall 31, Maryland 20
ANNAPOLIS — Rakeem Cato threw for 337 yards and three touchdown passes, including two to Gator Hoskins, to lead Marshall to a 31-20 Military Bowl victory over Maryland in the Terrapins’ final game as an ACC member.
Cato completed 28-of-44 attempts and Hoskins finished with 104 yards on six receptions to help the Thundering Herd bounce back from a disappointing loss to Rice in the Conference USA Championship Game.
“I tell the guys all the time, big time players make big time plays in big time games. I just wanted to come out here and lay everything out on the line and bring my team to a victory,” Cato said.
Marshall (10-4) scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to rally from a 20-17 deficit, with Essray Taliaferro’s 7-yard run putting the Thundering Herd on top with 12:05 left.
C.J. Brown went 14-of-24 for 197 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for Maryland (7-6), which will end its 61-year association with the ACC for the Big Ten in the 2014-15 academic year.
Justin Haig restored the Herd’s 7-point edge with a 27-yard field goal on Marshall’s next trip, with Cato’s 27-yard connection to Hoskins setting up the kick.
Maryland was able to close the gap prior to the conclusion of the first half, with Braddock’s 33-yard field goal concluding a 10-play, 81-yard drive highlighted by Jacobs’ 33-yard grab into Marshall territory.
Syracuse 21, Minnesota 17
HOUSTON — Terrel Hunt’s 12-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter — his second of the game — propelled Syracuse to a 21-17 victory over Minnesota in the Texas Bowl.
Hunt passed for 188 yards on 19-of-29 efficiency and rushed for 74 yards on 15 carries for the Orange (7-6).
Jerome Smith added 74 yards and a score on 16 rushes, while Brisly Estime led the receiving corps with 47 yards on five catches but posted a long punt return which led to the winning TD.
Mitch Leidner finished 11-of-22 for 205 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Gophers (8-5).
Philip Nelson got the star but was pulled early after completing just two of his seven attempts for 18 yards.
Drew Wolitarsky and Maxx Williams each posted a TD grab, while David Cobb racked up 91 yards on 18 carries in defeat.