Ohio coach Frank Solich knew his Bobcats were better than their record showed. You’ll get no argument from UAB.
Dorian Brown rushed for 152 yards on just 12 carries and scored four touchdowns, Nathan Rourke threw for two scores, and Ohio beat the Blazers 41-6 in the Bahamas Bowl on Friday in Nassau.
It was a stirring comeback for the Bobcats, who lost their last two games of the regular season to miss a shot at the Mid-American Conference title.
“I feel like eight wins were not enough with this football team, so this ninth win puts a little icing on the cake,” Solich said.
Ohio (9-4) averaged 38.9 points per game during the season, setting a school record with 467 points, and the Bobcats exhibited that prowess in the opening half, using big plays to build a 27-3 lead.
Brown scored on runs of 74, 9, 25 and 14 yards as he carried the load for injured A.J. Ouellette.
“It was very important” to go out on a high note, Brown said. “I had to step up and take my role.”
Brown’s heroics were too much for the Blazers (8-5), a feel-good team seeking its first bowl victory on just its second try.
UAB President Ray Watts had cut the football program in December 2014 because a university report deemed it too expensive. After a public outcry, football was reinstated, but NCAA rules required the school to skip the 2016 season to help the players who stuck it out readjust to competing at the top level of college football.
The Blazers, under Conference USA Coach of the Year Bill Clark, responded by winning a school-record eight games and finished second in its division.
Wyoming 37, Central Michigan 14: Josh Allen threw three touchdown passes in his final game for Wyoming, and the Cowboys took advantage of Central Michigan’s eight turnovers to cruise to a victory Friday in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise.
During the postgame award ceremony, Allen, the game’s MVP, said he would give up his final season of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. Wyoming (8-5) rebounded after losing its last two regular-season games with Allen sidelined by a sprained right shoulder.
He was 11 of 19 for 154 yards with no interceptions. He showed off his arm strength on a perfect 45-yard pass that hit receiver C.J. Johnson in stride in the end zone.
Central Michigan (8-5) had won five straight. T
Temple 28, FIU 3: Geoff Collins has lofty expectations for Temple.
“The future is bright,” the first-year coach said after Frank Nutile threw for 254 yards and a touchdown Thursday night to lead the Owls to a 28-3 victory over Florida International in the Gasparilla Bowl at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Nutile teamed with Isaiah Wright on a 45-yard TD in the fourth quarter. Nutile also scored on a 4-yard run to give the Owls (7-6) an early lead.
FIU (8-5) matched a school record for victories in its first year under Butch Davis, the former Miami, North Carolina and Cleveland Browns coach.
The Panthers played most of the night without quarterback Alex McGough, who left in the opening quarter with what Davis said was a fractured collarbone. Maurice Alexander replaced him but had limited success throwing the ball and was intercepted twice.
Florida: Former Ohio State receiver Trevon Grimes has enrolled at Florida. The Gators announced the addition of Grimes on Friday, giving new coach Dan Mullen a lanky receiver to help rebuild Florida’s lackluster offense.
The 6-foot-4 Grimes had three receptions for 20 yards in two games with the Buckeyes. He will have to sit out the 2018 season under NCAA transfer rules.
Grimes had 42 receptions for 770 yards and 11 touchdowns at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale. He helped his team win the state title in 2015 and also was a two-time state hurdles champion.
He is the second receiver to transfer to Florida this week, following Mississippi’s Van Jefferson. The son of former NFL receiver Shawn Jefferson caught 42 passes for 456 yards and a touchdown for the Rebels this season. He also will have to sit out next season.