Casey Pachall highlighted a record-setting game with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Skye Dawson with 4 minutes, 26 seconds left to play, lifting No. 16 TCU to a 31-24 victory against Louisiana Tech in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego on Wednesday night.

It was the eighth straight victory for Mountain West Conference champion TCU (11-2), which moves to the Big 12 next year. It was the third time this season TCU overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to win.

Pachall was 15 of 29 for 206 yards. He set school single-season records with 228 completions and 2,921 yards, breaking marks set by Andy Dalton.

Western Athletic Conference champion Louisiana Tech (8-5) had its seven-game winning streak snapped.

LeGrand on SI cover

Paralyzed Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated's year-end issue. His return to the field in October was picked as the 2011 moment of the year.

For the first time in the magazine's 57-year history, fans made the choice.

LeGrand garnered the most votes from fans in 178 countries and led more than 6,000 users to post comments on Facebook. The defensive lineman beat out soccer star Lionel Messi, surfer Kelly Slater, and New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter. LeGrand has been undergoing rehabilitation since he was paralyzed from the neck down making a tackle against Army last year.

Griffin is player of year

Robert Griffin III, already the winner of the Heisman Trophy and Davey O'Brien Award, was named the Associated Press player of the year.

The aspiring lawyer, who arrived at Baylor nearly four years ago as a 17-year-old after graduating high school early, is the nation's most efficient passer this season, throwing for 3,998 yards with a Big 12-leading 36 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He also ran for 644 yards and nine more scores.

Baylor (9-3) has a five-game winning streak, its longest in 20 years, going into the Alamo Bowl next week.


North Carolina interim coach Everett Withers is heading to Ohio State to become Urban Meyer's co-defensive coordinator and assistant head coach. Withers acknowledged he was a candidate to join Meyer's new staff last week and confirmed it was a done deal. . . . Norm Chow is going home. Hawaii announced it has hired the 65-year-old Chow as its new head coach. Chow, a native of Hawaii, is offensive coordinator at Utah. . . . Tom Williams resigned as Yale's football coach amid a university investigation into whether he lied on his resumé about being a candidate for a Rhodes scholarship while a student at Stanford. . . . Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes has agreed to a contract extension that runs through the next six seasons.