Dorsett record falls in Pitt victory

DETROIT — James Conner rushed for 229 yards to break a Pittsburgh bowl record held by Tony Dorsett, and Chris Blewitt kicked a tiebreaking field goal with 1:17 left, lifting the Panthers to a 30-27 win over Bowling Green on Thursday night in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.

Conner also played a handful of snaps on the defensive line, and fellow freshman Tyler Boyd gave Pitt (7-6) a boost with eight catches for a school bowl-record 173 yards. Boyd also scored on a punt return in the first half.

Bowling Green (10-4) tied it at 17 when BooBoo Gates took the second-half kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.

Dorsett rushed for 202 yards in Pitt's win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 1977. The school's bowl receiving record came the next season in a Gator Bowl win over Clemson, when Gordon Jones, who turned into a second-round draft pick of the Bucs in 1979, had 163 yards receiving.

The 6-foot-2 Conner rushed for 165 yards in the second half, helping Pitt overcome the loss of quarterback Tom Savage, who didn't play after halftime because of a rib injury. Savage completed eight passes in the first half. Seven went to Boyd, for 111 yards.

Conner and the Panthers drove 51 yards in seven plays late in the game to set up a 39-yard kick by Blewitt.

"I was pretty tired by the end, but I wasn't going to tap out,'' Conner said. "They kept giving me the ball, so I just kept running."

Aaron Donald, Pitt's All-American defensive lineman, helped thwart any comeback with a sack deep in Bowling Green territory in the final minute.

Chad Voytik relieved Savage and put Pitt ahead 27-20 with a 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth. The Falcons tied it on Matt Johnson's 15-yard strike to Ryan Burbrink with 4:42 to play.

"They were without question the most physical team we faced all season," said Adam Scheier, Bowling Green's interim coach. "The offensive line was tough, and the running back was obviously a bear to tackle."

Clowney ticketed again: South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was pulled over for speeding for the second time in three weeks, with Columbia (S.C.) police saying he was going 84 mph in a 55 zone.

Clowney was stopped around 10:30 a.m. Thursday on Interstate 26 near Interstate 126, about 5 miles from campus. The traffic stop happened about an hour before the Gamecocks flew out for the Capital One Bowl against Wisconsin on Jan. 1 in Orlando.

On Dec. 7, state troopers say Clowney was going 110 mph in a 70 zone. "He needs to go to driving school, doesn't he?" coach Steve Spurrier said from Orlando. "Somebody told me he got another speeding ticket today. At least he'll have enough money to pay for it a week or so from now. He needs to go to driving school. Hopefully they'll send him there after the bowl game."

Spartan done: Senior linebacker and Michigan State defensive leader Max Bullough was suspended for the Rose Bowl, ending his college career. The two-time team captain violated unspecified team rules. Coach Mark Dantonio emailed the news to reporters at 12:19 Thursday morning. "Max will forever remain a Spartan and a valued member in this team's achievements," he said.

Michigan QB out: With starter Devin Gardner ruled out, freshman quarterback Shane Morris will start Saturday for Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Morris, who has played in three games, is left-handed and more of a pocket passer than Gardner. Gardner's injury, sustained against Ohio State, is a broken foot, reports said. "It's probably just a little more than just the turf toe," coach Brady Hoke said.

Penn State coach to interview? Nittany Lions coach Bill O'Brien agreed to interview with the NFL's Texans about their opening, reported.

Fresno State: Leading receiver Davante Adams, a redshirt sophomore, hired an agent and will leave for the NFL draft, reports said.

Massachusetts: Coach Charley Molnar was fired after going 2-22 in two seasons. He is owed $836,000.

Dorsett record falls in Pitt victory 12/26/13 [Last modified: Thursday, December 26, 2013 11:39pm]

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