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UAB knocks off No. 12 BYU in Independence Bowl

Appalachian State tight end Henry Pearson leaps over Western Kentucky defensive back Dominique Bradshaw as he runs for yardage during the second half ...

Appalachian State tight end Henry Pearson leaps over Western Kentucky defensive back Dominique Bradshaw as he runs for yardage during the second half ...

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Dylan Hopkins broke the Independence Bowl record for completion percentage, connecting on 19 of 23 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns in UAB’s 31-28 victory over No. 12 BYU on Saturday.

With UAB (9-4) facing fourth-and-7 with six minutes remaining, coach Bill Clark passed on a field-goal attempt, and Hopkins threw a 14-yard, go-ahead touchdown pass to Trea Shropshire, the only player from Louisiana on either roster.

BYU (10-3) appeared to be in good position to at least tie it game, but Samson Nacua fumbled after making a catch inside UAB’s 25 with 3:36 remaining.

DeWayne McBride ran for 183 yards and a score on 28 carries for UAB.

BYU and running back Tyler Allgeier fought back from a 14-point deficit, tying it twice and eventually taking the lead in the fourth quarter. Allgeier ran for 192 yards and had three touchdowns.

Allgeier ripped off a 62-yard touchdown run to tie it again 1:17 into the third quarter. His 1-yard run put the Cougars up 28-24 on the second play of the fourth quarter.

LENDINGTREE BOWL

LIBERTY 56, EASTERN MICHIGAN 20

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Malik Willis passed for 231 yards and accounted for five touchdowns and Liberty rolled over Eastern Michigan in the LendingTree Bowl.

Willis, a potential NFL first-round pick, completed 13 of 24 passes, with touchdowns of 54 yards to DJ Stubbs, 20 yards to Johnny Huntley and 3 yards to Demario Douglas. Willis also ran for 58 yards, with touchdowns of 2 and 35 yards.

The Flames (8-5) improved to 3-0 in bowls, tying Appalachian State for the best postseason start by an FBS team.

Liberty also got a defensive touchdown in the first quarter on Skyler Thomas’ 27-yard interception return. Thomas deflected a short pass by Ben Bryant, caught the ball out and ran to the end zone.

Eastern Michigan finished 7-6.

NEW ORLEANS BOWL

NO. 16 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 36, MARSHALL 21

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Levi Lewis passed for 270 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another 74 yards, and Louisiana-Lafayette defeated Marshall to end its season on a program-record 13-game winning streak.

Emani Bailey rushed for two TDs in the fourth quarter to help new Ragin’ Cajuns coach Michael Desormeaux win his first game in charge. He took over after the Cajuns (13-1) won the Sun Belt Championship under recently hired Florida coach Billy Napier.

Rasheen Ali rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns for Marshall (7-6). His 9-yard touchdown put Marshall in front 21-16 late in the third quarter.

Marshall QB Grant Wells was 15 of 26 for 99 yards and was intercepted once by Bralen Trahan.

NEW MEXICO BOWL

FRESNO STATE 31, UTEP 24

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Jordan Mims ran for 165 yards and two touchdown and caught five passes for 71 yards and another score to help Fresno State beat UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl.

Fresno State (10-3) won the bowl game for the first time in three tries.

Jake Haener was 26 of 41 for 286 yards and a touchdown. His status had been somewhat in doubt when he briefly entered the transfer portal after coach Kalen DeBoer took the job at Washington.

Mims’ 22-yard catch and run late in third quarter gave the Bulldogs a 26-17 lead.

The Miners (7-6) pulled to 26-24 early in the fourth quarter on Calvin Brownholtz’s 51-yard touchdown pass to Trent Thompson.

But Fresno State got a field goal, followed by a UTEP safety, before the Bulldogs ran out the clock.

UTEP’s Gavin Hardison threw for 252 yards and a touchdown.

BOCA RATON BOWL

WESTERN KENTUCKY 59, APPALACHIAN STATE 38

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Bailey Zappe capped his record-setting season by passing for 422 yards and six touchdowns and Western Kentucky handed Appalachian State its first bowl loss, beating the Mountaineers in the Boca Raton Bowl.

Zappe finished the season with 5,977 yards and 62 touchdowns for the Hilltoppers (9-5). He topped the previous marks of 5,833 yards set by Texas Tech’s B.J. Symons in 2003 and 60 touchdowns set by LSU’s Joe Burrow in the Tigers’ run to the national championship in the 2019 season.

Jerreth Sterns caught 13 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns, finishing his season with 150 catches for 1,902 yards. Mitchell Tinsley had two TD catches for the Hilltoppers and Noah Whittington needed only seven carries to rush for 150 yards — 86 of those on a third-quarter scoring run.

Chase Brice passed for 317 yards and four touchdowns for Appalachian State (10-4) before leaving in the fourth quarter with a right leg injury. It was the first loss in seven bowl games for the Mountaineers.

CELEBRATION BOWL

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 31, JACKSON STATE 10

ATLANTA (AP) — Cory Fields threw for four touchdowns, three to Shaquan Davis, to lead South Carolina State past Jackson State in the Celebration Bowl in a game considered to be the national championship of historically Black colleges and universities.

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion South Carolina State (7-5) topped the HBCUs for the first time since 2009. Southwestern Athletic Conference winner Jackson State (11-2) hasn’t won the title since 1996.