SAN DIEGO - This was a Holiday Bowl to remember.
Texas coach Mack Brown's stepson, Chris Jessie, won't forget it, after he reached out from the sideline to touch a live ball and drew an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty that took away a big turnover.
Colt McCoy won't, either, because how often does a quarterback fumble four times and lead his team to a win?
McCoy led the way last night as the No. 17 Longhorns beat the mistake-prone and 12th-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils, 52-34, in the first game between the schools and their successful coaches.
McCoy threw for a touchdown, ran for another, and fumbled into the end zone at the end of a 30-yard run, with tight end Jermichael Finley recovering for a score. The Longhorns recovered two other fumbles by McCoy, with ASU (10-3) getting one. Jamaal Charles carried 27 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns for the Longhorns (10-3).
The 86 points were the fourth-most in the Holiday Bowl's 30-year history.
ORLANDO, Fla. - Boston College (10-3) lost three of its last five games, including two straight and the conference championship to Virginia Tech, to leave the Eagles out of the big bowls.
Still, there's something to play for today against Michigan State. A victory in the Champs Sports Bowl would give Boston College its first 11-win season since 1940 and extend the nation's longest bowl winning streak to eight.
"It's the last game for 17 fifth-year seniors, which is an extraordinarily high number of fifth-year guys, and it's the last time we will get to play together as a team," said quarterback Matt Ryan, the Penn Charter graduate who was the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year. "So there is plenty of motivation."
Michigan State (7-5) is just happy to be there, playing in its first bowl in four years. But it will be without four academically ineligible players.
SAN FRANCISCO - Hollywood is a good 300 miles away from the San Francisco Giants' waterfront ballpark, but quarterback Chris Turner hopes Maryland (6-6, 3-5 ACC) can create a little showtime in a tough postseason matchup tonight against the Beavers (8-4, 6-3 Pacific Ten).
The Terps embraced the chance to travel cross-country to end a disappointing season that began with conference-title hopes. Coach Ralph Friedgen, who has won his last three bowl games since losing the Orange Bowl in his first season at his alma mater, hopes Maryland's injury woes and a string of tough losses will be tempered by a strong finish.
HOUSTON - Houston is in between coaches and dragging around a seven-game bowl losing streak.
Interim coach Chris Thurmond doesn't want his Cougars worrying about any of that stuff tonight in the Texas Bowl against Texas Christian.
"Players and coaches are expected to win, no matter when it is," Thurmond said. "We aren't looking back."
The Cougars (8-4) of Conference USA haven't won a bowl game since the 1980 Garden State Bowl. They lost their coach, Art Briles, in late November when he left to replace Guy Morriss at Baylor.
Kevin Sumlin was hired as Briles' permanent replacement two weeks ago, but for now he's still Oklahoma's offensive co-coordinator and Thurmond, the secondary coach, is in charge.