Illinois routs Baylor; Maryland wins bowl
Mikel Leshoure ran for 184 yards and three touchdowns as Illinois earned its first bowl victory since 1999, beating Baylor 38-14 Wednesday night in the Texas Bowl.
The Illini spoiled the Bears’ first bowl appearance in 16 seasons. Both teams finished at 7-6.
Leshoure had a 5-yard TD run in the second quarter, a 13-yard score in the third quarter and another 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth period. The performance gave him the school single-season rushing record with 1,697 yards.
The Illini built a 24-0 lead and Leshoure’s last touchdown put the game out of reach.
Baylor’s Robert Griffin III threw for 306 yards and a touchdown, but his two fumbles in the first half put the Bears behind.
Leshoure was chosen the most valuable player and wore a cowboy hat as he hoisted the trophy above his head after the game while the small but vocal group of Illinois fans cheered.
The Bears cut the lead to 24-14 when Griffin found a diving Kendall Wright on a 39-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-14 early in the fourth quarter. But Illinois continued its dominance in the rushing game after that and extended its lead to 31-14 on Leshoure’s last touchdown.
Maryland 51, East Carolina 20
Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen ended his 10-year run at his alma mater with a victory over East Carolina in the Military Bowl.
Maryland forced four turnovers, and Da’Rel Scott ran for 200 yards.
New athletic director Kevin Anderson announced last week that Friedgen was being fired, effective after the bowl game, with the school buying out the final year of the 63-year-old coach’s contract for $2 million.
Scott had second-half touchdown runs of 61 and 91 yards on back-to-back Terrapins offensive plays and posted the school’s first 200-yard rushing game since 2003. D.J. Adams had four short touchdown runs for the Terrapins (9-4). Friedgen finished 75-50 in his decade at Maryland.
Dominique Davis completed 35 of 57 passes for 268 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for East Carolina (6-7).
Iowa 27, Missouri 24
Fill-in freshman Marcus Coker ran for 219 yards and two scores, and Micah Hyde scored on a meandering, 72-yard interception return in the fourth quarter to help Iowa beat Missouri in the Insight Bowl on Tuesday night.
Undermanned due to injuries and suspensions, Iowa (8-5) turned to Coker, who had 403 yards and touchdown as Adam Robinson’s backup during the regular season. The bruising freshman had no trouble taking over with Robinson gone to a suspension, setting school records for yards and carries (33).