Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Sports

Ga. Tech thumps USC

EL PASO, Texas — Southern California was ranked No. 1 at the beginning of the season, and Matt Barkley was a strong contender for the Heisman Trophy. The year ended with Barkley on the sideline as the Trojans lost to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.

Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for ascore to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 21-7 victory Monday.

Washington's 1-yard touchdown run in the third made it 14-7, and he passed to Orwin Smith for a 17-yard touchdown in the fourth.

Barkley (right shoulder) was not cleared to play.

Max Wittek tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Silas Redd, but also threw three interceptions.

The Trojans (7-6) struggled with Georgia Tech's triple-option attack. The Jackets (7-7) rushed for 294 yards on 63 carries.

David Sims had 99 yards on 17 carries, Zach Laskey added 60 yards on six carries, Lee had 52 on 10 carries and Washington had 16 attempts for 46 yards for the nation's No. 4 rushing team.

Lee and Washington combined to go just 5-for-10 passing, but two completions went for TDs and two more covered 26 and 49 yards to key two scoring drives.

USC finished with 10 first downs and eight punts.

"I'm really proud of our football team," Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. "I thought that they played with a lot of heart and a lot of determination, and I know Southern California has some really good players."

Wittek had four passes deflected at the line. His second interception came in the Tech end zone with 6:22 to go and the last came inside the Tech 10.

USC is the first preseason No. 1 to lose six games and will be the first preseason No. 1 to finish unranked since Mississippi in 1964.

Trojans coach Lane Kiffin took responsibility for the lost season.

"All of it," he said. "We can't be 7-6. That's not USC, and that's not our expectations. That's not why we came here. Obviously, we have some work here to get that fixed.

"Even if we'd won this game, we'd still be very disappointed in this season."

Asked if he thought the loss could cost him his job, Kiffin answered flatly, "No."

clemson edges lsu: Clemson, trailing 24-13 in the third quarter and seemingly unable to stop LSU's pass rush, rallied to win the Chick-fil-A Bowl 25-24 on Chandler Catanzaro's 37-yard field goal as time expired in Atlanta. "These guys, they fought every play, they fought for every blade of grass,'' coach Dabo Swinney said of Clemson (11-2). "This is a national championship team. I've been telling them they were at the doorway of greatness.'' LSU ends the season 10-3.

music city bowl: Jordan Rodgers threw two touchdowns and ran for one as Vanderbilt beat N.C. State 38-24 in Nashville.

The Commodores (9-4, their best record since 9-1 in 1915) won nine games for the third time and finished with seven straight wins, their longest streak since eight in 1948.

"When you're throwing out dates like 1915, you know that's a very, very, very long time," Vandy coach James Franklin said. "Talk about these guys great-great grandparents.''

Vanderbilt forced a season-high five turnovers, including four in the first half, and turned those into 17 points.

The Wolfpack (7-6) had its fifth game with at least four turnovers, which negated a 424-225 advantage in total offense.

liberty bowl: Trey Watts rushed for 149 yards, Alex Singleton ran for three scores and Tulsa beat Iowa State 31-17 in Memphis, avenging a season-opening loss to the Cyclones.

The Golden Hurricane (11-3) posted its second 11-win season. Tulsa was 11-3 in 2008.

Iowa State (6-7) was seeking its second winning season in the past seven years.

AUBURN: Defensive end Corey Lemonier will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

nevada: Running back Stefphon Jefferson will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft. He ranked second nationally in rushing yards per game (144.9) and points (11.5).

rutgers: Cornerback Logan Ryan, a two-time All-Big East selection, will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

texas: An attorney representing linebacker Jordan Hicks, one of the two players suspended before the Alamo Bowl, said a sexual assault allegation against Hicks is "completely false." Backup quarterback Case McCoy was reportedly also suspended.

snyder honored: Kansas State's Bill Snyder was the unanimous choice for Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year by a panel that includes previous winners.

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