Manziel, A&M win shootout
ATLANTA — Even by Johnny Manziel's Heisman-winning standards, his lead role in Texas A&M's comeback was one to remember.
It could prove to be a perfect ending to Manziel's college career.
Manziel threw four touchdown passes, and Toney Hurd Jr. returned an interception 55 yards for the late go-ahead touchdown in Texas A&M's 52-48 victory over Duke on Tuesday night in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Led by Manziel, the Aggies rallied after trailing 38-17 at halftime. It was the highest-scoring game in the bowl's history.
Manziel, playing in what might be his final college game, completed 30 of 38 passes for 382 yards and ran for 73 yards and a touchdown.
"I was in a zone I haven't been in before," Manziel said. "Ever. I just wanted this game."
Hurd's interception return gave the No. 20 Aggies (9-4) their first lead with 3:33 remaining.
No. 22 Duke (10-4) took a 41-31 lead into the fourth quarter. The Blue Devils couldn't hold off the comeback and are still looking for their first bowl win since beating Arkansas 7-6 in the 1961 Cotton Bowl.
Hurd stepped in front of receiver Johnell Barnes for the interception, the first turnover for either team. Texas A&M linebacker Nate Askew ended Duke's next possession with another interception.
Duke's Anthony Boone passed for 427 yards and three touchdowns but was left to regret the two interceptions, especially Hurd's.
"It hurt," Boone said. "It was a very unfortunate play on my part."
Manziel, a third-year sophomore who won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman last season, is widely projected as a first-round pick if he decides to enter the NFL draft. He wasn't ready to talk about his decision after the game.
"I can't even talk about anything other than this game," Manziel said. "This was unreal. ... I haven't made (the decision) yet. I'm in the moment right now."
Asked if this would be a perfect way to cap his college career, Manziel said: "I don't know. It's an unreal feeling, I know that. The way these guys fought, it was unreal. I'm proud of them."
Texas A&M's defense opened the second half with its first stop of the game. The Blue Devils, successful on two fourth-down calls in the first half, were stopped on fourth down from the Texas A&M 35.
That set the stage for Manziel's magic.
The elusive quarterback had runs of 12 and 14 yards before his highlight play of the game. On second down from the Duke 17, Manziel danced and shuffled in traffic before vaulting a defender and dumping a short pass to Travis Labhart, who scored easily for his third touchdown of the game.
"It looked like we had him down three times," Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. "He's just strong, so strong."
No. 17 UCLA 42, Virginia Tech 12
At El Paso, Texas, Brett Hundley threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores to help UCLA rout Virginia Tech Sun Bowl.
The UCLA quarterback had 86- and 7-yard touchdown runs and finished with 161 yards on 10 carries. Hundley also completed 16 of 29 passes for 226 yards and two scores.
Hundley and UCLA linebacker Jordan Zumwalt shared MVP honors. Zumwalt had 10 tackles and returned an interception 43 yards to set up a touchdown.
The Bruins (10-3) outscored the Hokies (8-5) 28-2 in the fourth quarter.
After Virginia Tech cut it to 14-10 on Michael Branthover's 22-yard field goal with 3:53 left in the third quarter, UCLA answered with a 12-play, 85-yard drive, capped by Paul Perkins' 5-yard run early in the fourth.
Hokies backup quarterback Mark Leal then threw a pass under heavy pressure that linebacker Myles Jack intercepted and returned 29 yards for a touchdown that made it 28-10.
Advocare V100 Bowl
Arizona 42, Boston College 19
At Shreveport, La., B.J. Denker threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns, Ka'Deem Carey rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns and Arizona had an easy time against Boston College in the Advocare V100 Bowl.
Arizona (8-5) never trailed, leading 21-6 by halftime and 42-6 early in the fourth quarter. Carey had his 16th straight game with at least 100 yards rushing while Denker added a 14-yard touchdown run.
The game was billed as a matchup between two of the nation's top running backs — Arizona's Carey and Boston College's Andre Williams. But the duel between AP All-America first team selections was one-sided.
Williams, who won the Doak Walker Award over Carey, was held to 75 yards rushing and a touchdown. Boston College (7-6) didn't score a touchdown until Williams' 4-yard run early in the fourth quarter.
Mississippi State 44, Rice 7
At Memphis, Tenn., Dak Prescott threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores and Mississippi State trounced Rice in the most one-sided Liberty Bowl victory in the game's 55-year history.
Mississippi State (7-6) wrapped up its fourth straight winning season and prevented Rice (10-4) from winning bowl games in back-to-back years for the first time.
Prescott accounted for five touchdowns to set a Liberty Bowl record. He was 17 of 28 for 283 yards and ran for 78 yards on 14 carries.