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BOWL ROUNDUP

Fresno State Runs Past Georgia Tech, 30-21

January 01, 2003|From Associated Press

Rodney Davis' phone rang in the locker room just before Fresno State took the field Tuesday at San Jose State for the Silicon Valley Classic.

It was his brother and teammate, calling to wish the Bulldogs good luck. Starting receiver Marque Davis was at home, one of seven players who couldn't participate because of academic problems.

So Rodney Davis ran for them. He carried 37 times for 153 yards and two touchdowns as Fresno State won its first bowl game in 10 years, defeating Georgia Tech, 30-21.

"This win was for the guys who couldn't make it," Davis said.

The Bulldogs (9-5) had not won a postseason game since beating USC in the 1992 Freedom Bowl, a string of four straight losses.

And they were even more proud they did it with a depleted roster. Fresno State suited only 45 players, and was playing without five starters.

A new Western Athletic Conference rule requires athletes to pass at least six credits to play in a bowl game, and seven didn't meet the requirement. They may have had incompletes or grades that had not yet been finalized, for example.

"For the nation to think we played with ineligible players is a misconception," Coach Pat Hill said. "We were playing with non-certified players. I'm so proud of this football team. We had some adversity this season."

Three seniors stayed home, some because their grades weren't posted.

Asen Asparuhov kicked a 33-yard field goal with 3:43 left, one of his three in the game, and Davis clinched the victory with a 28-yard touchdown run a little more than a minute later.

Texas Christian 17, No. 23 Colorado State 3 -- What was expected to be a game pitting the Horned Frog defense -- ranked first nationally against the run -- against a good Ram running game instead turned into a mistake-filled Liberty Bowl at Memphis, Tenn.

In the first half, the teams combined for three lost fumbles, two interceptions, a missed field goal and an unsuccessful fake field goal.

TCU led at halftime, 7-0, but the sloppy play made for the lowest scoring first half of a Liberty Bowl since Penn State led Tulane, 6-0, in 1979.

Ricky Madison ran for 111 yards and a touchdown to lead the Horned Frogs (10-2) over the Rams (10-4). The victory was the 500th in school history.

No. 18 Boise State 34, Iowa State 16 -- Brock Forsey scored three touchdowns to lead the Broncos in the Humanitarian Bowl at Boise, Idaho.

Forsey, who scored on runs of four, two and nine yards, finished the season with 32 touchdowns, the second-highest season total in Division I-A.

Barry Sanders has the record with 39 for Oklahoma State in 1988.

It was the third Humanitarian Bowl win in four seasons for the Broncos (12-1), who also won it in 2000 and 1999. The Western Athletic Conference champions went 7-0 at home this season.

The Cyclones (7-7), who opened the season at 6-1 and reached the top 10 for the first time in school history, had a 1-6 finish.

No. 21 Virginia Tech 20, Air Force 13 -- Lee Suggs rushed for two touchdowns, and Ronyell Whitaker forced a fumble near the goal line as time expired to lift the Hokies in the inaugural San Francisco Bowl at Pacific Bell Park.

Suggs extended his NCAA record by scoring in his 27th straight game as the Hokies (10-4) stuck to a deliberate game plan to grind out a victory over the Falcons (8-5).

Virginia Tech's swarming defense limited Air Force to three points after the game's first 7 1/2 minutes.

Quarterback Chance Harridge completed only one of his first 13 passes, but he drove Air Force to the Virginia Tech 10 with 17 seconds left on a fourth-and-10 completion to J.P. Waller.

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