Boise St. shakes doldrums

LAS VEGAS — Doug Martin shook Boise State out of its brief funk with an 84-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and the 10th-ranked Broncos dominated the rest of the way Wednesday to beat No. 20 Utah 26-3 in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Boise State (12-1) had turned the ball over three times and was trailing 3-0 when Martin went up the middle and outran defenders down the left side to give the Broncos a spark. From there, Boise State's defense shut out the Utes (10-3) and Kellen Moore threw for two touchdowns.

The victory was small consolation for Boise State, which missed out on a possible Rose Bowl appearance because of two missed field goals last month against Nevada.

Martin's run came after a mistake-prone first quarter in which Boise State kept giving the ball away and making mistakes. Utah wasn't much better, and when the Broncos began finding their stride, the game quickly turned one-sided.

Moore, who fumbled on the third play of the game and threw an interception later in the first quarter, rebounded with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Shoemaker in the closing seconds of the first half to give Boise State a 16-3 lead. He added an 18-yard scoring pass to Austin Pettis in the third.

Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman, whose chip-shot misses cost his team a BCS bowl game and his school millions of dollars, became the all-time NCAA leader in points kicking with a 29-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Paterno: Meyer's finale adds intrigue

CLEARWATER — Penn State coach Joe Paterno and his Nittany Lions continued preparations to play Florida and coach Urban Meyer in the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl in Tampa, using the Phillies' spring training complex.

Meyer will be coaching his last game with the Gators. He announced his resignation earlier this month to spend time with his family and because of health concerns.

"It ought to be an interesting game because of that," a spry-looking Paterno said the day after his 84th birthday. "I hate to see Urban get out of it because he's been a good coach, and he's been a good person. You hate to see college (football) lose guys like that."

Paterno, major college football's winningest coach, is wrapping up his record 45th season and shows no signs of stepping down. He's under contract through the 2011 season.

Buckeyes' tattoos draw wrong attention

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State is investigating allegations that several players traded autographs for tattoos, according to multiple reports.

WBNS-TV and the Columbus Dispatch both reported on their websites that the school was looking into the possible NCAA violations just two weeks before the Buckeyes face Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4.

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, not mentioned in either report, responded on Twitter: "I paid for my tattoos. GoBucks."

Coach Jim Tressel and athletic director Gene Smith did not reply to messages seeking comment.

LSU back could miss bowl: LSU running back Stevan Ridley may miss the Cotton Bowl against Texas A&M because of an academic violation. Coach Les Miles, who declined to discuss specifics, said LSU is appealing to the NCAA in hopes that Ridley, who is currently ineligible, can be reinstated before the Jan. 7 game. Ridley, who had 1,042 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns, is still practicing. Miles said there was no clear time frame for when the NCAA will hear the appeal or rule on it.

Newton AP player of year: Cam Newton, Auburn's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, added Associated Press player of the year to his collection of awards. Newton received 51 votes from the 60-member panel. Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore received three votes, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck got two and four ballots went unreturned.

Friedgen on his future: Two days after his ouster that is effective after next week's Military Bowl, Maryland's Ralph Friedgen says he's still eager to coach somewhere next year.

Friedgen, whose remaining year on his contract was bought out by athletic director Kevin Anderson, began his news conference in preparation for playing East Carolina by saying he wouldn't talk about his future until after the game. But Friedgen, 63, relented a bit to say: "For the most part, I've been holding in my emotions pretty good. You all know I'm emotional. It'll be tough."

He went 74-50 in 10 seasons Maryland, 8-4 this year.

Friedgen admitted he wants to coach again, "Maybe back at Byrd Stadium, who knows?"

FSU sellout: The Seminoles' matchup against former nemesis coach Steve Spurrier and South Carolina has given the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta its 14th consecutive sellout, matching the Fiesta Bowl for the second longest in the nation, trailing the Rose Bowl.

Boise St. shakes doldrums 12/22/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 23, 2010 12:18am]

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