Seminoles provide Bowden with one final victory
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Bobby Bowden capped his coaching career with one final win as Florida State rallied past West Virginia 33-21 in the Gator Bow.
The 80-year-old Bowden rode into retirement, carried on the shoulders of his Seminoles.
“It’s got to be memorable,” Bowden said. “It’s my last dadgum ballgame after 57 years of coaching.”
Jermaine Thomas ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns, and MVP E.J. Manuel threw for 189 yards and ran for another score.
Florida State (7-6) overcame a 14-3 deficit in the first half, giving Bowden his 33rd straight winning season at the school. Noel Devine ran for 168 yards and a touchdown for West Virginia (9-4).
Bowden finished 389-129-4 and left as major college football’s second-winningest coach – Joe Paterno earned his 394th victory in the Capital One Bowl as Penn State beat LSU 19-17 Friday. Next week, Jimbo Fisher takes over the Seminoles.
Deion Sanders, Warrick Dunn and more than 350 of Bowden’s former players were at the game.
Bowden took the flaming FSU spear from Chief Osceola and slammed the point into the turf at midfield, one of the school’s most revered pregame traditions. Near the end, Bowden jogged toward the Florida State band section and threw his autographed white cap into the crowd.
Capital One Bowl
No. 11 Penn State 19, No. 13 LSU 17
ORLANDO, Fla. – Collin Wagner kicked a 21-yard field goal with 57 seconds left and Penn State staved off a last-ditch drive by LSU on a muddy field.
Penn State (11-2) led by 13 points in the second half. But Stevan Ridley’s 1-yard touchdown run put LSU (9-4) ahead 17-16 with 12:49 left.
Quarterback Daryll Clark led the Nittany Lions on a 12-play drive in crunch time. Penn State had two third-down conversions to help set up Wagner’s fourth field goal of the game.
LSU then got to midfield but was called for a personal foul that pushed the ball back to its 40. Quarterback Jordan Jefferson hit Rueben Randle for a 25-yard gain on the game’s last play to the Penn State 35 but fumbled as time expired.
Penn State coach Joe Paterno posted his record 24th bowl win and handed Les Miles his first loss in five bowls as LSU coach.
Auburn 38, Northwestern 35, OT
TAMPA, Fla. – Auburn stopped Northwestern’s final trick play of the game and, after two earlier celebrations, the Tigers held on to win in overtime.
Wes Byrum kicked a 21-yard field goal in overtime, and the Tigers (8-5) overcame several mistakes that gave the Wildcats chances for their first bowl victory in 61 years.
On the last play, the Wildcats sent backup kicker Steve Flaherty onto the field to try to force a second overtime. He was subbing for Stefan Demos, who had been injured earlier in the overtime.
Northwestern faked a field goal, and receiver Zeke Markshausen took a handoff between the legs from holder Dan Persa and circled right end. Auburn’s Neiko Thorpe stopped him after a 3-yard gain to the 2.
The Wildcats (8-5) fell to 1-7 all-time in postseason games. The lone win came against California in the 1949 Rose Bowl.
Mike Kafka went 47-for-78 passing for 532 yards with five interceptions and four TDs for Northwestern. Walter McFadden returned one of two interceptions 100 yards for a touchdown.