No. 1 LSU 42, No. 12 GEORGIA
ATLANTA — Tyrann Mathieu returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown and set up other scores with a fumble recovery and another dazzling return, leading No. 1 LSU to a rout of No. 12 Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday.
The Tigers (13-0) locked up a spot in the Jan. 9 BCS title game in New Orleans, a trip they might’ve gotten even with a loss to the Bulldogs (10-3). But, after a dismal first half in which they managed only 12 yards and failed to pick up a first down, they outscored Georgia 35-0 over the final two quarters.
Mathieu, the fearless sophomore known as “Honey Badger,” sparked the comeback from a 10-0 deficit with his punt return for a touchdown midway through the second quarter.
Aaron Murray was 16 of 40 for 163 yards with two interceptions for Georgia. Georgia’s running game was non-existent with Isaiah Crowell hobbling on a sore ankle. The freshman had only 15 yards on 10 carries.
No. 24 SOUTHERN MISS 49,
No. 7 HOUSTON 28
HOUSTON — Austin Davis threw four touchdown passes and Southern Mississippi ruined Houston’s perfect season and Bowl Championship Series hopes in the Conference USA title game.
Case Keenum completed 41 of 67 passes for 373 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions for Houston (12-1). He became the first quarterback to reach 5,000 yards passing in three seasons, one more record to tack onto his magnificent career.
Tracey Lampley caught two touchdown passes and the Golden Eagles (11-2) became the first team to hold Houston, averaging more than 50 per game, below 35 points this season.
No. 18 TCU 56, UNLV 9
FORT WORTH, Texas — Greg McCoy returned a kickoff 99 yards and Kris Gardner had a 16-yard interception return for a touchdown in a 12-second span for TCU in its Mountain West Conference finale.
TCU (10-2, 7-0 MWC) wrapped up its third consecutive outright Mountain West title, winning its last 24 games in that league before moving to the Big 12 next season.
The consecutive TD returns by McCoy and Gardner just before halftime came about the same time Southern Miss was wrapping up a 49-28 victory at previously undefeated Houston in the Conference USA championship game.
If the Frogs move up two spots into the top 16 of the final Bowl Championship Series standings Sunday, they will be virtually guaranteed to go to their third consecutive BCS game.
UNLV (2-10, 1-6) finished with five consecutive losses.
No. 9 BOISE STATE 45,
NEW MEXICO 0
BOISE, Idaho — Kellen Moore threw three touchdowns in the final home game of his brilliant career and Doug Martin ran for two more for Boise State.
Moore was 28 of 33 for 313 yards before heading for the sideline midway through the third quarter. His three touchdowns give him 41 for the season, setting a new school single-season record. He also set a new school record for completions in a season with 300.
Martin rushed for 110 yards on 19 carries, and his 40-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave the Broncos a 38-0 lead.
The victory gives the Broncos (11-1, 6-1) their second straight season with a single loss and looks to clear the way for another trip to the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas, where they dismantled No. 20 Utah a year ago 26-3.
New Mexico (1-11, 1-6) managed only 197 total yards on offense and the offense only crossed midfield twice.
No. 19 BAYLOR 48, TEXAS 24
WACO, Texas — Robert Griffin III ran for two touchdowns and passed for two more to lead Baylor, which capped its best regular season in 25 years.
Baylor’s defense, ranked among the worst in nation, gave up a 14-0 lead but forced also forced six turnovers, three of them setting up Baylor touchdowns.
Baylor fans will now wonder if Griffin has played his last home game for the Bears (9-3, 6-3 Big 12). Griffin, a fourth-year junior who has already graduated, must decide if he will leave for the NFL.
Griffin also bolstered his Heisman resume with 320 yards passing.
Case McCoy passed for 356 yards and three touchdowns for Texas (7-5, 4-5) but had five turnovers.