Bowl Roundup

Ending is no good for UCLA

BYU's Ben Criddle celebrates after a field goal attempt by Kai Forbath (15) was blocked. BYU's Ben Criddle celebrates after a field goal attempt by Kai Forbath (15) was blocked. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Associated Press / December 23, 2007

Eathyn Manumaleuna blocked a field goal as time expired to give No. 19 Brigham Young a 17-16 victory over UCLA last night in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Kai Forbath made field goals of 52 and 50 yards to keep the Bruins in it and UCLA drove almost the length of the field in the final two minutes to line up Forbath for a 28-yard attempt that would have won it. But Manumaleuna got his hand on the kick and the Cougars got their first win over the Bruins since Steve Young was BYU's quarterback.

Max Hall threw for two touchdowns and the Cougars (11-2) closed the season with their 10th straight win despite getting shut out in the second half and having their lowest offensive output of the year.

BYU managed just 265 yards against the Bruins (6-7), who were playing for interim coach and defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker. If it was Walker's only game as UCLA's coach, it was a memorable one.

The Bruins forced two turnovers, pressured Hall all game, and nearly pulled off the upset with their fourth-string quarterback.

Walk-on McLeod Bethel-Thompson drove the Bruins from their 2 in the final two minutes, completing a 36-yard pass to Logan Paulsen on a third-and-8 play with 30 seconds left to give UCLA a chance at finishing with a winning record.

It didn't quite happen. Forbath's kick was low enough for Manumaleuna to get a piece of it and keep the ball from getting through the uprights. Forbath had three field goals.

New Mexico Bowl - Paul Baker ran for 167 yards in his first start, and Donovan Porterie threw for a career-high 354 yards and two touchdowns to help New Mexico beat Nevada, 23-0, in Albuquerque.

The Lobos (9-4) ended a 46-year span without a postseason victory and gave Rocky Long, the team's 10th-year coach, his first bowl win in five tries.

John Sullivan made field goals from 53, 39, and 37 yards, and New Mexico delivered just the second shutout loss for Nevada under Hall of Fame coach Chris Ault.

The Wolf Pack (6-7) hadn't gone scoreless since losing, 10-0, to Weber State Sept. 27, 1980, a span of 329 games - the longest current streak in college football and the second longest in history.

It's the first time Nevada was shut out since moving to Division 1-A in 1992. The Wolf Pack had only 210 total yards - 73 rushing.

"It's certainly a compliment to their defense," Ault said. "They played a great game. At the other end of the spectrum, we played as poorly on offense as we've played in a long time."

It was New Mexico's first bowl victory since beating Western Michigan, 28-12, in the 1961 Aviation Bowl at Dayton, Ohio. The Lobos also notched a nine-win season for just the fourth time in school history. Bowl - Ben Mauk passed for 334 yards and four touchdowns, and DeAngelo Smith intercepted three passes, leading No. 20 Cincinnati to a 31-21 victory over Southern Miss in Birmingham, Ala.

The victory gave Cincinnati (10-3) its second 10-win season and first since 1951, while virtually assuring a spot in the final rankings for the first time.

Mauk completed 30 of 52 passes and overcame three interceptions to become only the third Bearcats player to have a 3,000-yard passing season. It was a nice finish for the former Wake Forest starter, but a difficult one for Southern Miss (7-6) and coach Jeff Bower.

It was the final game for Bower after 17 seasons at his alma mater, a stay that ranks behind only that of Joe Paterno, Bobby Bowden, and Frank Beamer among current coaches. Bower was forced to resign after a disappointing regular season, leading to the hiring of Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Larry Fedora.

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