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Orange Bowl remains big for FSU, Michigan

ARM’S LENGTH: Virginia Tech WR Cam Phillips stiff-arms Arkansas defensive back Santos Ramirez during the first half of the Belk Bowl.

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ARM’S LENGTH: Virginia Tech WR Cam Phillips stiff-arms Arkansas defensive back Santos Ramirez during the first half of the Belk Bowl.

MIAMI — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh finds oranges refreshing and has consumed at least two this week. And Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher used to break his bedtime as a kid to stay up late and watch bowl games.

On Thursday, those were their big revelations.

Tonight, neither will seem so relaxed.

Although not the game either wanted to be in when this season began, the Orange Bowl is no consolation prize for No. 6 Michigan and No. 10 Florida State. The Wolverines (10-2) and Seminoles (9-3) square off, Michigan aiming for perhaps a top-five ranking to end the season and FSU looking to avoid the first three-game bowl losing streak in school history.

"Winning the Orange Bowl championship is our goal now," Harbaugh said. "That's a lot, in our minds."

When FSU got off to a rocky 3-2 start and quickly fell out of the national title picture, Fisher kept getting asked what was left to play for this season.

The answer is now obvious.

It's not the College Football Playoff, but the Orange Bowl is still a pretty big deal. "Just because you lose a game here and there … things can be achieved," Fisher said.

BELK BOWL: Jerod Evans passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for two, as No. 18 Virginia Tech (10-4) pulled off the largest comeback in its 124-year history, erasing a 24-point halftime deficit to beat Arkansas 35-24 in Charlotte, N.C. After being limited to 180 yards in the first half, the Hokies took advantage of three of Austin Allen's interceptions and scored touchdowns on five of their first seven possessions of the second half against the Razorbacks (7-6).

Coroner: Salaam's death a suicide: Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam killed himself after struggling with depression, an autopsy report confirmed, but investigators will never know whether the former running back suffered chronic head trauma from playing football because his family did not consent to tests. Salaam was found dead Dec. 5 in a park near the University of Colorado, where he played from 1992 to 1994, becoming one of the greatest players in the program's history. He was 42. Salaam died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Investigators found a note at the scene. They also reported that Salaam's family said he had a history of depression and "recent life stressors." Salaam was Muslim, and Islam prohibits bodies from being defiled after death.

BYU GREAT DIES: LaVell Edwards, who led BYU to national prominence with his dynamic passing offenses and became one of the most successful coaches in the game, died. He was 86. The school confirmed his death but disclosed no details. Mr. Edwards coached the Cougars for 29 seasons before retiring in 2000. He had a record of 257-101-3, the seventh-most wins in Division I-A history. His 1984 team was voted national champion, and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

Women's basketball

No. 87 for UCONN: Katie Lou Samuel­son scored 17 of her 23 in the second half as No. 1 Connecticut (12-0) held off No. 4 Maryland (12-1) 87-81, the Huskies' 87th consecutive victory.

No. 7 FSU 81, No. 11 Miami 66: Imani Wright and Leticia Romero each scored 19, and the visiting Seminoles (13-1) pulled away after halftime against the Hurricanes (11-2) in the ACC opener for both teams. Shakayla Thomas scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for FSU, which has have won 12 straight.

N.C. State 70, No. 2 Notre Dame 62: Dominique Wilson scored 18 to help the host Wolfpack (11-3) snap the 35-game winning streak for the Irish (12-2) against ACC foes.

NO. 3 BAYLOR 87, KANSAS ST. 57: Kalani Brown had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Bears (12-1) in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

No. 8 L'ville 91, No. 25 Syracuse 76: Asia Durr scored a career-high 36, including 18 during a 36-point third quarter for the host Cardinals (13-2) in the ACC opener for both teams.

Men: Malik Monk scored 34, Isaiah Briscoe had a triple double and No. 8 Kentucky (11-2) rolled to a 99-76 victory over host Mississippi in the SEC opener for both teams.

Orange Bowl remains big for FSU, Michigan 12/29/16 [Last modified: Thursday, December 29, 2016 10:41pm]
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