MEMPHIS, Dec. 29 (UPI) --
Blake Mitchell threw four touchdown passes Friday night as South Carolina beat Houston, 44-36, at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis.
South Carolina -- which trailed, 28-27, at the half -- out-scored Houston, 14-8, in a pivotal fourth quarter.
Mitchell completed 19-of-29 passes for 323 yards. Cory Boyd scored twice and picked up 94 yards on 18 carries.
Sidney Rice scored once and picked up 139 yards on eight catches, and Kenny McKinley caught two fourth quarter touchdown passes for the Gamecocks (8-5), who won their final three games of 2006.
Kevin Kolb passed for three touchdowns and 386 yards for Houston. Jackie Battle scored twice and gained 85 yards on 11 carries, while Mark Hafner caught a TD pass and Vincent Marshall caught two scoring passes for the Cougars (10-4), who had a six-game winning steak snapped.
Marshall caught nine passes for 201 yards.
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