Sun, Jan 02, 2005 - Page 24 News List

Louisville and Boise State run up score in Memphis

COLLEGE FOOTBALL The Cardinals went ahead in the final minutes of the Liberty Bowl for a 44-40 victory

AP , MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

Quarterback Stefan LeFors of the Louisville Cardinals rushes for a touchdown against the Boise State Broncos during the third quarter of the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee on Friday. Louisville defeated Boise State 44-40.

PHOTO: AFP

Eric Shelton scored on the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run with 6:48 left, and the seventh-ranked Louisville Cardinals held off No. 10 Boise State 44-40 Friday in the highest-scoring Liberty Bowl ever.

Stefan LeFors also threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third as the Cardinals (11-1), who have never finished ranked higher than 13th, ensured their best ranking ever by matching a school record for victories in a season.

The Cardinals won their third Liberty Bowl in their final appearance as Conference USA by snapping a 22-game winning streak by Boise State (11-1).

Boise State had one last chance to win after Art Carmody's 19-yard field goal with 1:10 left padded Louisville's lead.

Sophomore quarterback Jared Zabransky drove the Broncos to the Louisville 30 before his final pass into the end zone as time expired was intercepted by Louisville safety Kerry Rhodes.

Everyone expected a high-scoring game in a bowl pairing the nation's top two offenses, and the teams didn't disappoint as they swapped the lead five times. Their combined 84 points topped the 80 points by Colorado and Alabama in 1969 and was one of a handful of records set.

Minnesota 20, Alabama 16

In Nashville, Tennessee, Marion Barber III ran for 187 yards and a touchdown and teammate Laurence Maroney added 105 yards on the ground to lead Minnesota over Alabama in the Music City Bowl.

Barber and Maroney were the only runners to go over 100 yards in a game this season against the Crimson Tide, who entered the game with the nation's second-ranked defense.

The Golden Gophers (7-5) ran for 276 yards to overcome three turnovers -- including two by Barber -- on their first three drives. Still, they nearly gave the game away in the fourth quarter.

Rhys Lloyd, who made field goals from 27 and 24 yards, missed a 24-yard attempt with 5:34 left that would have sealed the victory.

On Minnesota's next possession, it was pinned deep in its own end and elected to take a safety to make it 20-16 rather than attempt a punt.

The decision nearly backfired.

Alabama's Tyrone Prothro returned the free kick to the Minnesota 48, and four completions by Spencer Pennington got the Crimson Tide to the 15. But Pennington overthrew an open receiver for a likely touchdown on third down and couldn't convert a fourth-and-5 with 1:14 to left, ending the game.

No. 21 Arizona St. 27, Purdue 23

In El Paso, Texas, Sam Keller showed remarkable poise in his first collegiate start, throwing a 19-yard touchdown pass to Rudy Burgess with 44 seconds left to lead Arizona State over Purdue in the Sun Bowl.

Starting for injured star Andrew Walter, the untested sophomore completed all four of his passes on the winning drive for 80 yards in a frantic finish that stunned the Boilermakers and the Sun Bowl-record crowd of 51,288.

Burgess caught Keller's final throw on a screen play, slipped two tackles along the sideline and cut back inside en route to the end zone to give the 21st-ranked Sun Devils (9-3) the lead.

Purdue (7-5) had one more chance to go ahead, but quarterback Kyle Orton's desperation heave into the end zone fell incomplete as time expired.

Keller put on quite a show in place of Walter, going went 25-of-45 for 370 yards and three touchdowns.

No. 14 Miami 27, No. 20 Florida 10

In Atlanta, Georgia Devin Hester returned a blocked field goal 78 yards for a touchdown and intercepted a pass to set up another score, helping the 14th-ranked Miami Hurricanes beat the No. 20 Florida Gators in the Peach Bowl.

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