West Virginia flattens Oklahoma 48-28

Thursday, January 3, 2008
Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford protected the ball as West Virginia linebacker Marc Magro came in for the hit during the Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday in Glendale, Ariz. (MATT YORK ~ Associated Press)

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Rich who?

The West Virginia Mountaineers didn't need coach Rich Rodriguez. They had Pat White, and their elusive quarterback led them to a surprising 48-28 romp over No. 3 Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday night.

White ran for 150 yards and threw for 176 and two touchdowns for the 11th-ranked Mountaineers, who rushed for 349 yards, most allowed by Oklahoma in a bowl game.

Since arriving in the desert last week, the Mountaineers (11-2) said they had bonded behind interim coach Bill Stewart, who took over when Rodriguez bolted for Michigan in mid-December. And they vowed to rebound from a 13-9 loss to Pitt that knocked them out of the Bowl Championship Series title game.

The Mountaineers were right on both counts, turning in an emotional effort and overcoming the loss of star tailback Steve Slaton to a first-quarter leg injury. Noel Devine replaced Slaton and ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns -- a 17-yarder and a 65-yarder that clinched the game in the fourth quarter.

The Mountaineers became the first of six teams to win under an interim coach in this bowl season. They improved to 2-0 in the Bowl Championship Series.

"It's a great night to be a Mountaineer," Stewart said as he accepted the Fiesta Bowl trophy as thousands of West Virginia fans celebrated in the grandstand.

Stewart said his players "never, ever quit believing."

Oklahoma (11-3) endured another disappointment on the same field where the Sooners lost a classic Fiesta Bowl to Boise State one year ago. The Sooners have dropped four straight BCS games.

Sugar BowlNo. 4 Geogria 41,No. 10 Hawaii 10

NEW ORLEANS -- There was no repeat of the Boise State Miracle. The Georgia Bulldogs were simply too big, too fast and too strong for the team from paradise.

Hawaii's bid at perfection ended with a thud in the Sugar Bowl, where the black-clad Bulldogs took out their frustration at getting passed over for a shot at the BCS championship with a rout of Colt Brennan and the overmatched Warriors on Tuesday night.

Getting a headstart on next season on the first day of the new year, No. 4 Georgia (11-2) established itself as a leading contender in 2008 with a dismanteling of the 10th-ranked Warriors (12-1), who cracked the BCS with an unbeaten run through the Western Athletic Conference.

Knowshon Moreno ran for a pair of touchdowns in the opening quarter and the Bulldogs' defense made life miserable for Brennan, a Heisman Trophy finalist and catalyst for the nation's highest-scoring team. He was sacked eight times, threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles, one of them recovered for a Georgia touchdown.

After getting slammed to the Superdome turf one last time by Geno Atkins, Brennan staggered to the sideline, his night mercifully done. The junior had the worst showing of his career in a game played to the finish, going 22-of-38 for just 169 yards -- less than half of his 348-yard average this season.

The Bulldogs led 24-3 by halftime.

-- The Associated Press

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