Marshall, Cato upend Maryland in Military Bowl
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Marshall accomplished everything it set out to do in the Military Bowl.
With an uplifting 31-20 victory over Maryland on Friday, the Thundering Herd provided their seniors with a lasting memory and laid the groundwork for success in 2014.
Marshall (10-4) doubled its win total of a year ago and reached double digits in victories for the first time since 2002.
"It's a great way to send the seniors out and it's a great way to carry the momentum over to the offseason and into next year," coach Doc Holliday said.
The Thundering Herd will miss senior Gator Hoskins, who closed out his college career with six catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Hoskins scored 15 TDs this season, most in the NCAA among tight ends.
But quarterback Rakeem Cato and wide receiver Tommy Shuler, both juniors, will be back. That does not bode well for the rest of Conference USA.
Cato went 28 for 44 for 337 yards and three touchdowns against Maryland, and Shuler caught nine passes for 68 yards and a score. For the season, Cato threw 39 touchdown passes and Shuler caught 106 passes for 1,165 yards.
Cato was at his best when it mattered most. After C.J. Brown led Maryland (7-6) on a 99-yard drive to put the Thundering Herd in a 20-17 hole early in the third quarter, Cato calmly directed a 63-yard march that put Marshall ahead for good.
"I told the guys that when we get back on the field following their drive, we have to capitalize," he said. "I saw that they were able to keep us off the field from time to time, but in the end we just need to have the mindset to get on the field and score."
Cato added a touchdown pass to Hoskins with 3:42 left to clinch it, setting off a wild celebration on the Marshall sideline and among the spirited, green-clad fans in the crowd of 30,163.
Making its first bowl appearance under third-year coach Randy Edsall, Maryland closed out its association with the ACC with a disappointing defeat.
Despite the loss, Maryland had its first winning season since 2010 and finished with more victories than in Edsall's first two years combined.
"I think this season really helped us as we leave the ACC and enter the Big Ten," Edsall said.
Brandon Ross rushed for 116 yards for Maryland, and Brown went 14 for 24 for 197 yards. Although the Terrapins amassed 391 yards, they converted only two of 14 third-down tries.
Marshall totaled 475 yards and converted six third-down attempts -- four in the fourth quarter.
"We just weren't able to get off the field on third down, defensively," Edsall said. "Offensively, we had some opportunities to make some plays. We just didn't make enough of them."
Fight Hunger Bowl
Washington 31, BYU 16
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Bishop Sankey ran for 95 yards and two scores to tie Washington's career touchdown record and the Huskies went on to beat BYU 31-16 in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Friday night.
Keith Price added a 16-yard TD pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and John Ross returned a kick 100 yards for another score to help the Huskies (9-4) win their most games since going 11-1 and winning the Rose Bowl in 2000.
Taysom Hill threw for 293 yards and ran for 133 yards and a score for the Cougars (8-5), who had their four-game bowl winning streak snapped. Justin Sorensen kicked three field goals but also missed one in the third quarter after an interception by Robertson Daniel gave BYU prime field position.
The game capped a whirlwind month for the Huskies that began with coach Steve Sarkisian leaving for the same job at Southern California. Chris Petersen was hired away from Boise State to take over at Washington and quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo coached the bowl game on an interim basis. The Huskies won just their second bowl game since Tuiasosopo led them to that Rose Bowl win over Purdue 13 years ago.
The defense led the way this game, holding the Cougars to four field goal attempts and one touchdown on five drives inside the Huskies 30.
The game made history by being the first ever in the FBS with two female officials. Sarah Thomas was the line judge and Maia Chaka was the head linesman based on their work in Conference USA.
Syracuse 21, Minnesota 17
HOUSTON (AP) -- Terrel Hunt scrambled 12 yards for a touchdown with 1:14 remaining to lift Syracuse past Minnesota in the Texas Bowl.
Brisly Estime set up Hunt's touchdown with a 70-yard punt return.
Syracuse (7-6) led 14-3 entering the fourth quarter before Mitch Leidner threw two touchdown passes and a 2-point conversion to put the Golden Gophers up 17-14.
After the Orange regained the lead, Minnesota attempted two long passes to the end zone on the final plays. The first slipped through Drew Wolitarsky's arms and the second, as time expired, was knocked down near the end zone.
Minnesota (8-5) got a boost to start the second half when coach Jerry Kill returned to the sideline for the first time since Sept. 28.
Kill began game in press box, where he has observed his team since returning from a leave of absence because of his epilepsy.