College Football Bowl Wrap-Up: Northwestern Beats Mississippi State to Win Gator Bowl 34-20
Winning their first bowl since the 1949 Rose Bowl, the 21st-ranked Wildcats snapped their nine-game bowl losing streak by beating Mississippi State 34-20 in the Gator Bowl. That had been college football's longest postseason losing streak. It's the first time the 10-3 Wildcats finished with double-digit victories since the 1995 season.
Quentin Williams returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game. Nick Vanhoose set up a late touchdown with a 39-yard interception return. Those plays were the difference in a back-and-forth game that featured seven interceptions and six touchdowns.
Mississippi State finished 8-4.
In other New Year's Day bowls:
--Stanford's Rose Bowl drought is over, while Wisconsin's losing streak in the Granddaddy of Them All continues.. The eighth-ranked Cardinal won the game for the first time since 1972, capping a 12-2 season by allowing just 82 total yards in the second half of a 20-14 win over the Badgers. Stepfan Taylor and Kevin Hogan led the Stanford ground game by combining for 212 yards. Taylor ran for 89 yards and an early touchdown, and Hogan finished with a game-high 123 rushing yards for the Pac-12 champs. Kelsey Young rushed for a touchdown on Stanford's opening possession, and Taylor scored on the second. Montee Ball rushed for 100 yards and his FBS-record 83rd touchdown for the Badgers, who lost the Rose Bowl for the third consecutive season.
--Sixth-ranked Georgia outscored No. 23 Nebraska 45-31 to win the Capital One Bowl. Aaron Murray threw five touchdown passes to set a Georgia bowl record, including two in the fourth quarter. Murray passed for 427 yards for the 12-2 Bulldogs.
--Eleventh-ranked South Carolina captured the Outback Bowl by rallying past 19th-ranked Michigan 33-28. Dylan Thompson came off the bench to throw a 32-yard touchdown pass with 11 seconds left to rally the Gamecocks, who finished 11-2.
-- Clint Chelf threw three of Oklahoma State's five touchdown passes and the Cowboys shook off a disappointing Big 12 finish by dominating Purdue 58-14 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. It was the biggest bowl win for Oklahoma State since coach Mike Gundy was the quarterback in a 62-14 rout of Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl. The Cowboys finished 8-5. Purdue wound up 6-7.
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