Cincinnati rallies to win 2nd straight Big East title

Pike's last-minute TD pass to Binns caps comeback from 21-point deficit

December 06, 2009|By From Sun news services

Hunter Lawrence made a 46-yard field goal as time expired, giving Colt McCoy and the No. 3 Texas Longhorns a 13-12 victory over No. 21 Nebraska in the Big 12 championship Saturday night in Arlington, Texas, and a ticket to the BCS championship game.

McCoy returned for his senior season in hopes of matching predecessor Vince Young's feat of leading Texas to a national championship. Now he'll get that shot Jan. 7 in Pasadena, Calif., against No. 2 Alabama, the Southeastern Conference champion.

McCoy was hit, hurried and hassled by waves of Cornhuskers, dazing the winningest quarterback in college football history into a guy who made a bunch of freshman mistakes - including the nearly costly flub of letting time run out on his chance of reaching the title game.

Officials put 1 second back on the clock and Lawrence converted to keep the Longhorns undefeated.

"We're excited about being Big 12 champs, and we'll see you in Pasadena," Texas coach Mack Brown said at the end of a confetti-filled celebration at midfield.

McCoy was sacked nine times, 4 1/2 by Ndumakong Suh, but he drove the Longhorns (13-0) from their 40 after a kickoff out of bounds to the Nebraska 26. Losses on the next two snaps left only a few ticks left and Texas seeking a few more yards. McCoy ended up throwing the ball out of bounds and time ran out.

While Nebraska players swarmed the field, officials went to a video replay that determined there was still one tick left. With McCoy covering his eyes, the pro-Texas crowd of 76,211 let him know the kick was good the second it left Lawrence's foot.

McCoy was 20 of 36 for 184 yards with three interceptions.

No. 12 Georgia Tech 39, No. 25 Clemson 34: The Yellow Jackets' swift turnaround under Paul Johnson now includes their first Atlantic Coast Conference title in more than a decade.

Jonathan Dwyer's 15-yard touchdown run with 1:20 remaining gave Georgia Tech a victory over the Tigers in the ACC championship game in Tampa, Fla.

Josh Nesbitt threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to DeMaryius Thomas, and Scott Blair kicked a title game-record four field goals to help the Yellow Jackets (11-2) win the crown - Tech's first since sharing it with Florida State in 1998 - in their second season under Johnson.

ACC Player of the Year C.J. Spiller rushed for 233 yards and four TDs for Clemson (8-5), which has lost two straight after a six-game winning streak that revived its season.

No. 5 Cincinnati 45, No. 14 Pittsburgh 44: The Bearcats (12-0, 7-0) trailed the host Panthers (9-3, 5-2) by 21 points late in the first half, a perfect season and BCS bowl berth in peril.

But Tony Pike's 29-yard touchdown pass to Armon Binns with 33 seconds left finished the comeback from a three-touchdown deficit, and 12-0 Cincinnati stunned the Panthers to secure its second straight Big East title.

East Carolina 38, No. 18 Houston 32: Dominique Lindsay and Giavanni Ruffin each ran for two touchdowns while the Pirates' defense hung in against the Cougars' powerful offense to help East Carolina (9-4) beat Houston (10-3) in the Conference USA championship game.

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