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Bowl Roundup

Texas Tech's Holiday Is at No. 4 Cal's Expense

Associated Press
Friday, December 31, 2004; Page D09

Maybe Mack Brown isn't such a villain, after all.

If No. 4 California was angry and frustrated after being snubbed by the BCS and denied a Rose Bowl berth, it had to have been flat out humiliated after No. 23 Texas Tech pulled a 45-31 upset in the Holiday Bowl last night in San Diego.

The Golden Bears (10-2), who were 11 1/2-point favorites, simply had no answer against the Red Raiders (8-4) and their efficient spread offense, which uses four wide receivers most of the time.

Tech senior Sonny Cumbie threw for a career-high 520 yards and three touchdowns, including a 60-yarder to Joel Filani, and safety Vincent Meeks set up a score with a 48-yard interception return.

Cumbie was 39 of 60 and broke the Holiday Bowl attempts record of 59 set by Brigham Young's Ty Detmer in 1989. He was short of Detmer's Holiday Bowl record of 576 yards, also set in 1989.

Cal had been in position to go to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 46 seasons, but was leapfrogged in the final Bowl Championship Series standings by Brown's Texas Longhorns, who ended up in Pasadena to face Michigan on Saturday.

The day the BCS pairings were released, Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Brown "was a little classless" for begging for poll votes to help his Longhorns, and that the system was "faulty."

The Longhorns, by the way, beat Texas Tech, 51-21, at Lubbock on Oct. 23.

Texas Tech fans mocked Cal with chants of "Overrated!" in the closing minutes.

Cal's J.J. Arrington became just the third running back in Pac-10 history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. The senior from Nashville, N.C., carried 25 times for 173 yards, for 2,018 yards.

Southern Cal's Marcus Allen had 2,427 yards in 1981 and Charles White had 2,050 in 1979. Both won the Heisman Trophy.

Texas Tech (8-4) had four scoring drives that took less than two minutes each. Trailing 14-7 after the first quarter, the Red Raiders scored 24 straight points and had a commanding 31-14 lead by early in the third quarter.

• BOSTON COLLEGE 37, NORTH CAROLINA 24: Kicker Ryan Ohliger ran 21 yards for a touchdown on a fake field goal one play after quarterback Paul Peterson was taken off the field on a stretcher with a broken leg to lead the No. 25 Eagles in the Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte.

Before leaving, Peterson went 24 of 33 for 236 yards and two touchdowns, helping Boston College win a bowl game for the fifth straight season. But he wasn't able to return to the field to accept the game's MVP award. Instead, his wife went out to collect the trophy.

"I saw it on the screen when they were wheeling me off and I was so pumped," Peterson said. "I'd be pretty ticked off if I went out in the first quarter, but I made it to the fourth and we got the win. It's just awesome."

The Eagles (9-3) gave the Big East its first win in the three-year-old bowl game. It was BC's final game in the league -- it joins the Atlantic Coast Conference next season.

Darian Durant threw three scoring passes for North Carolina (6-6), completing 23 of 41 for 259 yards.

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