Sports Update Colorado crushes Boston College
TUCSON, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- There were three competitive bowl games played Friday and then there was the Insight.com Bowl.
The Colorado Buffaloes demonstrated they could be a force next season by overwhelming the Boston College Eagles, 62-28.
The other bowl contests played Friday saw Oregon score late to down Minnesota in the Sun Bowl, 24-20; Southern Mississippi fight fourth-quarter drives to outlast Colorado State in the Liberty Bowl, 23-17; and Les Binkley kicked a field goal at the gun to give Mississippi a 27-25 win over Oklahoma in the Independence Bowl.
Ben Kelly returned a punt for a touchdown, Cortlen Johnson ran for two scores and Colorado had two defensive touchdowns in its one-sided victory over Boston College. Colorado tied an all-time bowl record with 45 first-half points and made their first postseason trip under Gary Barnett a very successful one.
Colorado's 45 points in the first half equaled the total by Oklahoma State in a 62-14 victory over Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl. Jeremy Aldrich's 26-yard field goal with 29 seconds left before intermission accounted for the final three points.
The Buffaloes (7-5) set an Insight.com Bowl record for points while Boston College (8-4) had the worst defensive outing in school history.
Linebacker Jashon Sykes and defensive backRashidi Barnes both brought back interceptions for scores in a 5 1/2-minute span bridging the first and second quarters as the Buffaloes posted the most one-sided victory in Insight.com Bowl history.
In the second of the day's four bowl games, Oregon came up with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Joey Harrington to Keenan Howry with 1:32 to play to edge Minnesota. It was the first bowl victory in four tries this season for the Pac-10 Conference and just the second in nine attempts over the past two years. The Ducks came from behind three times during the contest with Harrington scoring twice to help offset three touchdown passes by Minnesota's Billy Cockerham.
In Memphis, Adalius Thomas and Leo Barnes keyed Southern Mississippi's defensive effort by knocking down fourth-down passes late in the game, allowing the 14th-ranked Golden Eagles to fight off Colorado State.
On the next-to-last possession for Colorado State (8-4), Thomas knocked down a fourth and two pass by Matt Newton from the Southern Mississippi 32 with 5:32 to play.
Colorado State forced a punt and again drove into Golden Eagles' territory before Barnes broke up a fourth-down pass at the 18 with 1:15 remaining. Southern Mississippi ran out the clock.
And in the final college football game of the 1900s, Binkley's 39-yard field goal ended what had been up to that time a duel between Mississippi's Deuce McAllister and Oklahoma's Josh Heupel.
Heupel completed 39 of 53 passes for 390 yards and three touchdowns as he overcame a sloppy first half with a terrific second half. The first half belonged to McAllister, who caught a touchdown pass of 25 yards and raced 80 yards for another score as Mississippi built a 21-3 lead.
There will be the traditional glut of bowl games today with the action getting started in Dallas and Tampa. Texas will play Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl while Purdue takes on Georgia in the Outback Bowl.
It will then be Georgia Tech vs. Miami in the Gator Bowl, Michigan State against Florida in the Florida Citrus Bowl, Wisconsin against Stanford in the Rose bowl and Alabama vs. Michigan in the Orange Bowl.
The Fiesta Bowl, pitting Nebraska against Tennessee, will be played Sunday night and then the national championship will be determined Tuesday evening in New Orleans between the unbeaten Florida State Seminoles and Virginia Tech Hokies.
--- Hull scores historic goals
DALLAS, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Brett Hull scored the tying and winning goals in Dallas' 5-4 win over Anaheim Friday night and they were historic for two reasons. They were the NHL's last two goals of the 20th Century and they were the 600th and 601st of his career.
Hull became the 12th player in league history to reach the 600-goal mark and one of the others was his father Bobby. He reached the milestone in his 900thth game and only Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux have scored 600 goals quicker.
"It is kind of neat to get the last NHL goal of the millennium," said Hull, who scored the goal that won the Stanley Cup for Dallas last season. "It has been great coming to Dallas (from St. Louis prior to last season) and helping out. It has been a wonderful year and a half and, hopefully, we can keep it going."
Hull then scored his 600th goal on the power play, taking a feed from Mike Modano and letting a blast go from the slot that beat goaltender Guy Hebert high to his right side.
Just 2:13 later, Hull scored on almost a carbon-copy play. Modano fed Hull out front and he beat a screened Hebert for the game-winner.
In the only other NHL game played Friday night, Brendan Shanahan scored his 21st goal of the season with 32 seconds remaining in regulation as the Detroit Red Wings rallied for a 4-4 tie with the Chicago Blackhawks.
--- Arrington to turn pro
PITTSBURGH, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Penn State junior linebacker LaVar Arrington, regarded by many to be college football's best defensive player, has announced he will go to the NFL next season.
Arrington officially announced he would forego his senior year and enter the NFL draft at a news conference at North Hills High School, his alma mater.
"I always thought one day I'm going to play on Sundays," Arrington said. "I don't know how many people get to live their dream. That chance is here for me now."
Arrington captured the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker and the Chuck Bednarik Award as the top defensive player in the country. He also was the only defensive player to finish in the top 10 in balloting for the Heisman Trophy.
NFL scouts rate Arrington and his teammate, senior defensive end Courtney Brown, as certain top five picks.
--- Lehtinen scores in return to ice
IRVING, Texas, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Before their game with Anaheim Friday night, the Dallas Stars activated left wing Jere Lehtinen, winner of the last two Selke Trophies as the NHL's top defensive forward.
Lehtinen missed the last 27 games after he broke his right ankle in a 3-2 loss at Nashville on Oct. 16.
He promptly scored the opening goal of the game in what turned out to be a 5-4 victory for the Stars.
--- NHL suspends Odjick
NEW YORK, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- New York Islanders enforcer Gino Odjick has been suspended, pending a hearing, for his actions against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Darius Kasparaitis in Thursday night's game at Pittsburgh.
Odjick elbowed Pittsburgh's Alexei Kovalev and then punched Kasparaitis from behind after the whistle with 8:32 left in the third period. He was assessed a major penalty and a game misconduct.
Odjick will not play in Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers. No date for the hearing has been set.
--- Ryan Leaf goes on injured reserve
SAN DIEGO, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- San Diego Chargers quarterback Ryan Leaf continues to experience soreness in his surgically-repaired right shoulder and was placed on injured reserve Friday.
Leaf, the second overall pick in the 1998 draft, never took a snap this season. He underwent surgery to repair torn cartilage in his shoulder last July and served a team-imposed four-game suspension for insubordination, making his second year a washout.
The Chargers had hoped to give Leaf some playing time at the end of the season, but he has not been able to throw in practice for weeks.NEWLN:-- --