The senior running back had his 34th 100-yard game to lead the Tigers in a 38-31 victory.
DETROIT -- DeAngelo Williams set an NCAA record with his 34th 100-yard rushing game and scored three touchdowns, leading Memphis to a 38-31 victory over Akron in the Motor City Bowl on Monday.
Williams ran for 233 yards on 30 carries and finished his career with 6,021 yards rushing -- trailing only Ron Dayne, Ricky Williams and Tony Dorsett in Division I-A history -- and an NCAA-record 7,568 all-purpose yards.
The Tigers (7-5) took a 21-point lead with 3:09 left, but needed to recover an onside kick with 55 seconds left to seal the win after Luke Getsy threw his fourth touchdown pass to cut the lead to seven points.
Akron (7-6) made a good showing in its first Division I-A bowl game.
Getsy was 34-for-59 for a Motor City Bowl-record 455 yards, and tied Chad Pennington's mark for passing touchdowns in the bowl's nine-year history.
The Tigers led by 10 at halftime after scoring on three straight drives, then pulled away with three consecutive TDs in the second half before nearly collapsing in the final minutes.
Williams, who shared the 100-yard rushing record with Heisman Trophy winners Archie Griffin of Ohio State and Dorsett of Pittsburgh, broke the record in the third quarter when he ran up the middle and bounced to the outside on an 18-yard carry.
Griffin set the mark in 42 games, and Dorsett matched it in 43 games -- one fewer than Williams.
Williams, who finished seventh in voting for the Heisman, was taken out of the game midway through the fourth quarter while Memphis was driving for its third consecutive touchdown and a 38-17 lead.