S. Carolina wins on FG at buzzer

Tuesday, January 1, 2002

The Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- Daniel Weaver's 42-yard field goal with no time left barely cleared the crossbar, saving No. 14 South Carolina a huge embarrassment in a 31-28 victory over No. 22 Ohio State in the Outback Bowl on Tuesday.

The Gamecocks (9-3) blew a 28-0 lead. But Ohio State's Steve Bellisari, playing for the first time since his November arrest and suspension on drunken-driving charges, was intercepted by Sheldon Brown. Brown's return to Ohio State's 29 with 23 seconds left set up Weaver's kick, sending the Gamecocks to their second straight Outback victory.

Phil Petty, the game's MVP, threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns, and Andrew Pinnock scored twice for South Carolina.

Bellisari, who was 21-of-35 for 320 yards, brought the Buckeyes (7-5) back. He ran for a 2-yard score to close the third quarter, then hit Darrell Sanders with a 16-yard TD pass with 10:18 to go that cut the lead in half.

Jonathan Wells' 1-yard run made it 28-21 with 5:02 to go. Ohio State got the ball back on its 11 with 3:56 to play and Bellisari was magnificent. He went 6-of-6 for 86 yards, tying the game on Sanders' 9-yard catch.

Then with a chance to win after Cie Grant intercepted Petty with 1:12 left, Bellisari's long pass was picked off by Brown, whose twisting, cutback 37-yard return set up Weaver's winning kick.

Cotton Bowl



DALLAS -- Although they weren't playing in the Rose Bowl, the Oklahoma Sooners sure showed a national championship-caliber defense.

The No. 10 Sooners tied a school record with nine sacks and Rocky Calmus made 11 tackles and recovered a late fumble, leading Oklahoma over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.

The Sooners (11-2), who might have been able to defend their national championship with a better offense, didn't get much this time, either -- only a 1-yard touchdown run by Nate Hybl in the first quarter and a 32-yard field goal by Tim Duncan to open the second half.

But the OU defense made that lead seem insurmountable. The Razorbacks (7-5) gained only 50 yards on 55 plays and made just six first downs, two by penalties.

Hybl set a Cotton Bowl record with 24 completions, most on short passes. He finished 24-of-32 for 175 yards.

Oklahoma's sacks, which cost Arkansas 55 yards, were its most in a bowl and matched the most in any game. Roy Williams, Jimmy Wilkerson and Brandon Moore each had two sacks. Williams had only two all season while Moore had none.

Gator Bowl



JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Bobby Bowden matched Bear Bryant's victory total, leading No. 24 Florida State past No. 15 Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl.

The victory extended to 16 Bowden's unbeaten streak in bowl games that don't decide the national championship, and gave quarterback Chris Rix and the Seminoles a solid finish on what has been a year for learning.

Rix, a redshirt freshman almost benched by Bowden during the year, made the play of the day when he wrist-flicked a pass that Javon Walker turned into a 77-yard touchdown to give the Seminoles the lead for good.

The pass, which came as Rix was being leveled by a Hokies blitz, sparked a 17-point fourth quarter that allowed the Seminoles (8-4) to put the Hokies (8-4) away, much like they had done in the 1999 Sugar Bowl.

Bowden will begin next season with 323 career victories, tied with the longtime Alabama coach and four behind Penn State's Joe Paterno in Division I-A history.

Citrus Bowl



ORLANDO, Fla. -- Casey Clausen helped end No. 8 Tennessee's bowl slump, and No. 17 Michigan couldn't do anything to stop him.

Clausen threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more Tuesday in the Volunteers' romp over the Wolverines in the Citrus Bowl.

Clausen who completed 26 of 34 passes for a career-high 393 yards, threw two touchdown passes to Kelley Washington and connected on a 64-yarder with Jason Witten for Tennessee (11-2). During one stretch in the second half, he completed 10 straight passes.

Travis Stephens scored a 3-yard touchdown run, and Alex Walls had a 32-yard field goal to complete the wipeout of Michigan (8-4).

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