Hines carries N.C. State to Sun Bowl victory


Highlights

Northwestern hangs on to beat Kentucky in Music City Bowl.

Michigan State routs Washington State as QB Luke Falk is sidelined.

Nyheim Hines had three 5-yard touchdown runs to help No. 24 North Carolina State beat Arizona State 52-31 Friday in the Sun Bowl at El Paso.

Hines finished with 72 yards on 16 carries for North Carolina State (9-4). The Wolfpack played in their fourth consecutive bowl game and sixth in seven years under coach David Doeren.

Reggie Gallaspy had 79 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries for the Wolfpack, Ryan Finley completed 24 of 29 passes for 318 yards and a score, and Stephen Louis had three catches for 115 yards.

Arizona State (7-6) played its final game under fired coach Todd Graham. Former NFL coach Herm Edwards is taking over the program.

Manny Wilkins was 25 of 40 for 352 yards and three touchdowns for the Sun Devils, but he also threw three interceptions. Arizona State had won its previous three Sun Bowl appearances in 1997, 2004 and 2014.

North Carolina State played without standout defensive end Bradley Chubb, a projected top-10 pick in the NFL draft. The school announced a few hours before the game that he wouldn’t play.

It was the second year in a row that the biggest star didn’t play in the Sun Bowl. Last year, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey skipped it.

No. 21 Northwestern 24, Kentucky 23: Justin Jackson ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns as Northwestern held off Kentucky on Friday in a Music City Bowl that might be remembered more for injuries, ejections and a wild finish.

Both starting quarterbacks left in the first half with injuries, though Kentucky’s Stephen Johnson returned early in the third quarter. Kentucky lost running back Benny Snell Jr. to an ejection for contact with an official early in the second quarter, and Northwestern lost leading tackler and linebacker Paddy Fisher before halftime for targeting.

Northwestern (10-4) still finished off back-to-back bowl wins in consecutive years for the first time in program history, and the Wildcats notched their second 10-win season in three years under coach Pat Fitzgerald.

Kentucky (7-6) had a chance to win after Northwestern tried to convert its fifth fourth down of the game only to turn it over for the fourth time on downs — this time at his own 39 with 2 minutes, 31 seconds left. Johnson ran for his second touchdown of the second half with 37 seconds left. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops went for the two-point conversion rather than play for overtime, but Johnson couldn’t connect with Tavin Richardson on the pass.

No. 16 Michigan State 42, No. 18 Washington State 17: Brian Lewerke threw for 213 yards and three touchdowns, and LJ Scott ran for 110 yards and two scores for the Spartans, who took advantage of Luke Falk’s absence to rout the Cougars in the Holiday Bowl on Thursday night in San Diego.

Lewerke also rushed for 73 yards for Michigan State (10-3), which rebounded from a 3-9 record last year to reach double digits in wins for the eighth time in program history.

Falk, who was photographed earlier in the week with a cast on his left wrist, went through warmups but came out in street clothes at game time. He was replaced by redshirt sophomore Tyler Hilinksi, who made his first start and eighth appearance of the season.

It’s unclear precisely when Falk injured the wrist on his non-throwing hand, but he had problems with it throughout the season. Coach Mike Leach refused to give specifics during the week.

Washington State (9-4) got a pair of touchdown passes from Hilinski and a 45-yard field goal from Erik Powell.

Hilinski was 39 of 50 for 272 yards, with one interception.

Arkansas: The buyout for fired coach Bret Bielema’s contract has been set at $15.4 million.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette obtained a copy of the agreement between Bielema and the Razorback Foundation on Thursday under the state’s open records law. The foundation’s executive director said the agreement hasn’t been finalized.

The buyout matches an amount listed in Bielema’s public employment contract with the university, which fired him on Nov. 24 after the team went 4-8. He had three years left on his contract.

The information was released after Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge ruled that Bielema’s contract with the Razorback Foundation had a high level of public interest.

The foundation is funded by donors supporting university athletics and is responsible for paying Bielema’s severance.



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