E.J. Manuel threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to stop a South Carolina comeback and lead Florida State to a 26-17 victory over the turnover-plagued Gamecocks in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Friday.
Chris Thompson ran for 147 yards and a touchdown, while Dustin Hopkins kicked four field goals for the Seminoles (10-4), who reached 10 wins for the first time since 2003. Hopkins tied his own school record for a bowl, and the four field goals also matched the Chick-fil-A Bowl record.
Manuel took over for senior quarterback Christian Ponder, who left early in the second quarter with a concussion. South Carolina lost running back Marcus Lattimore when he was hit hard on the Gamecocks’ first drive.
Manuel completed 11 of 15 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown and had seven carries for 46 yards. He was 7 for 7 passing on the fourth-quarter touchdown drive.
In El Paso, Texas, Brian Kelly became the first Notre Dame coach to win a bowl game in his first season, leading the Fighting Irish to a 33-17 victory over Miami.
Tommy Rees passed for 201 yards and two touchdowns to Michael Floyd, as Notre Dame (8-5) reached the end zone on three of their first four possessions.
Rees tossed touchdown passes of 3 yards and 34 yards to Floyd, while Cierre Wood broke free on a 34-yard scoring run before David Ruffer added field goals from 40 yards, 50 yards and 19 yards.
The Fighting Irish closed with four victories to cap an up-and-down season under Kelly. They beat Utah, Army and USC late, then handled Miami (7-6) easily for Notre Dame’s second straight postseason victory.
In Memphis, Tennessee, Central Florida capped the best season in school history with the program’s first postseason victory with a 10-6 defeat of Georgia.
The Knights (11-3) had never won more than 10 games in a season and had lost their first three bowl games, including their last visit here in 2007.
Latavius Murray scored on a 10-yard touchdown run with 9 minutes, 1 second left to seal Central Florida’s win.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, B.J. Daniels threw two touchdown passes and ran for a third as South Florida defeated Clemson 31-26.
Mo Plancher also ran for a score for the Bulls (8-5), who took control after Tigers quarterback Kyle Parker left at halftime with broken ribs. South Florida finished coach Skip Holtz’s first season with victory, secured their fifth straight eight-win season and earned their first bowl win over a team from a BCS automatic-qualifying league.
Clemson backup quarterback Tajh Boyd was picked off by JaQuez Jenkins on the first play of the fourth. His 48-yard return set up Daniels’ 8-yard touchdown run to make it 31-13 and gave the Tigers (6-7) their first losing season in 11 years.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first