Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather

News Nuggets, 12.31.04
 —  —  —  —  —

Previous Day Nuggets...             Next Day Nuggets...

Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Offensive juggernauts collide in Liberty Bowl


12.30.04: Boston College tests ACC waters in Tire Bowl ... Syracuse reverses field, ousts Pasqualoni... More...
12.29.04: Petrino flirts with LSU on eve of Liberty Bowl ... Power indexes: Conference ratings... Team ratings... More...
12.28.04: Utah carries banner of have-nots into Fiesta Bowl ... Tampa slaying perplexes victim's friends ... More...
12.27.04: Vanderbilt football star slain by gunfire in Tampa ... Tulsa coach resigns with C-USA on horizon ... More...
12.26.04: Tulane rewards Scelfo with contract extension ... Big Ten pushes for instant replay for all of I-A ... More...
12.25.04: Chang, Hawaii spoil UAB's bowl debut in shootout ... Memphis bumps West up to $800K per year ... More...
12.24.04: BCS produces sequel to 'Night of the Living Dead' ... Cincy torches Herd in frigid Ft. Worth Bowl ... UAB makes bowl debut against prolific Warriors ... More...
12.23.04: Bowling Green shakes off Memphis in GMAC Bowl ... Primetime bowl preview: Bearcats vs. Herd ... Tranghese: BCS not interested in playoff ... More...
12.22.04: Up-and-coming programs tangle in GMAC bowl ... Petrino hits jackpot with new pact at U of L ... College basketball power indexes ... More...
12.21.04: Cold, hard facts about health swayed Majerus ... Basketball panel tinkering with RPI formula ... More...
12.20.04: GMAC Bowl history sets stage for Tigers-Falcons shootout ... Memphis reinstates Banks after one game ... Mounting attrition challenges Pitino, Cards ... More...
12.19.04: Houston AD livid with Nebraska over cancellation ... Duke cans offensive coordinator Galbraith ... Majerus retreats back to TV booth ... More...
12.18.04: Wolfpack's Hodge not short on self-esteem ,,, James Madison rushes to I-AA championship ... More...
12.17.04: Nebraska icon Osborne irked with aloof AD's ... William & Mary QB captures Payton Award ... More...
12.16.04: Pirates hawking hoops tickets with a twist ... Majerus ditches TV gig to rescue Trojans ... More...
12.15.04: Bowl season kicks off with Southern Miss victory ... Marshall linebacker suspended for bowl game ... More...
12.14.04: Preview: USM, North Texas kick off bowl season ... Former ECU assistants McFarland, Brindise land jobs ... McLendon to bolt Wolfpack for NFL draft ... More...
12.13.04: Musical chairs at full tilt as coaches change jobs ... List of Division I-A coaching changes ... Heisman Trophy chronology 1935-2004 ... More...
12.12.04: Title game of the Heismans set ... All-time Heisman winners list ... Blue- Gray Classic scratched again ... More...

DEC. 31, 2004, 3:30 PM



65 Idaho 7
53 Oregon St. 34
47 at UTEP 31
28 BYU 27
38 SMU 20
45 at Tulsa 42
33 Fresno St. 16
69 Hawaii 3
56 at San Jose St.,2OT 49
55 Louisiana Tech 14
58 at Nevada 21

28 Kentucky 0
52 at Army 21
55 at Tulane 7
34 at North Carolina 0
59 East Carolina 7
38 at Miami 41
41 South Florida 9
56 at Memphis 49
55 TCU 28
65 at Houston 27
70 Cincinnati 7

Rushing Offense
Car Yds Yds Pg
Boise St. 558 2670 242.7
Louisville 484 2676 243.3
Passing Offense
Att Cp Yds Yds Pg
Boise St. 324 206 2958 268.9
Louisville 328 235 3228 293.5
Total Offense
Plays Yds Yds Pg
Boise St. 882 5628 511.6
Louisville 812 5904 536.7
Rushing Defense
Car Yds Yds Pg
Boise St. 323 918 83.5
Louisville 381 1220 110.9
Pass Efficiency Defense
Att Cp Yds Tds Pts
Boise St. 401 209 2812 18 115.36
Louisville 354 180 2167 17 109.08
Total Defense
Plays Yds Yds Pg
Boise St. 724 3730 339.0
Louisville 735 3387 307.9
Net Punting
No. Yds Net
Punts Avg Ret Ret Avg
Boise St. 33 43.3 17 176 38.0
Louisville 28 40.9 18 221 33.0
Punt Returns
No Yds Avg
Boise St. 42 698 16.6
Louisville 43 447 10.4
Kickoff Returns
No Yds Avg
Boise St. 42 962 22.9
Louisville 30 623 20.8
Turnover Margin
Gained Lost
Fum Int Tot Fum Int Tot Mar/Gm
Boise St. 6 21 27 9 12 21 .55
Louisville 10 16 26 9 3 12 1.27
Scoring Offense
G Pts Avg
Boise St. 11 547 49.7
Louisville 11 553 50.3
Scoring Defense
G Pts Avg
Boise St. 11 264 24.0
Louisville 11 196 17.8

MEMPHIS — Louisville and the Boise State consider today's Liberty Bowl (3:30 p.m., ESPN) the biggest game in the history of each program.

Based on the teams' offenses, it certainly could be the highest scoring game.

The first Liberty Bowl to match Top 10 teams also features the top two offenses in both yards and points scored.

No. 7 Louisville is attempting to become the fifth team to average 50 points a game for a season, while No. 10 Boise State is trying to lead the nation in scoring for the fifth straight year.

That's why Boise State quarterback Jared Zabransky knows exactly what to do on offense.

``Every time we touch the ball we want to put it in the end zone,'' Zabransky said.

The Liberty Bowl record for most points scored in a game was set in 1969 when Colorado beat Alabama 47-33.

Louisville (10-1) averages 536.7 yards and 50.3 points. The Cardinals also led the nation with an average margin of victory of 32.47 points, and won an offensive shootout on this very field on Nov. 4, beating Memphis 56-49. They haven't scored fewer than 55 since October.

The Broncos (11-0), who have won 22 straight and 35 of the last 36 games, average 511.6 yards and 49.7 points.

``Who knows what's going to happen,'' Louisville quarterback Stefan LeFors said.

If not for a 41-38 loss at then-No. 3 Miami, Louisville might be playing in a bigger bowl. But a victory Friday would ensure the highest ranking ever in school history, a big boost for a program that leaves Conference USA for the Big East next season.

``We're certainly not disappointed,'' said Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, who is refusing to discuss his interview with LSU about its open coaching spot until after this game.

The Liberty Bowl, sponsored by AutoZone, usually pits the C-USA champion against the Mountain West champ. But Utah earned a BCS berth in the Fiesta Bowl, allowing bowl officials to invite Boise State, the Western Athletic Conference champ.

Competing in the program's fifth bowl game, Boise State is anxious to show just how good it is. Coach Dan Hawkins is 44-6 since taking over at Boise State and hopes this game helps attract attention to the Broncos' success.

``It's all the same,'' he said. ``We have to go back and reprove ourselves each week and each year.''

Zabransky said: ``As long as we keep winning, more and more people are going to start coming to the realization that we're for real.''

Louisville has the edge in quarterbacks with LeFors, the senior who leads the nation in passing efficiency and completion percentage (74.03). He has thrown just two interceptions in 231 attempts this season with 18 TDs.

Zabransky is a threat both running and passing. He has thrown for 2,728 yards and 15 touchdowns while running for 322 yards and 12 TDs. But Zabransky also has been intercepted 11 times.

``He makes good decisions from what I've seen on films, but sometimes when he's under pressure he stands and looks to run and then just throws the ball up,'' Louisville safety Kerry Rhodes said. ``That may be the key to the game. If we can get pressure on him, he may give up a few.''

There is the possibility the game won't evolve into the high-scoring affair most expect.

Boise State boasts the nation's fourth-stingiest run defense, giving up only 83.5 yards per game. Louisville has lost five of its last six bowl games, but the Cardinals' defense improved to 18th in the nation, up from 93rd in 2003. They allowed only 307.9 yards and 17.8 points a game.

``I know they'll be coming after us,'' Louisville linebacker Robert McCune said. ``We're just looking forward to playing them.''

Tire Bowl goes flat for North Carolina

CHARLOTTE — Headed off the field on a stretcher with a broken leg, Paul Peterson heard the roar of the crowd and knew his teammates were about to score.

He glanced up at the scoreboard just in time to see kicker Ryan Ohliger take a fake field goal into the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown run that sealed Boston College's 37-24 victory over North Carolina in the Continental Tire Bowl on Thursday.

Pumping his fists in celebration, the touchdown temporarily eased the pain for Peterson, the Eagles' hard-luck quarterback.

``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 I went out in the first quarter, but I made it to the fourth and we got the win. It's just awesome.''

The 25th-ranked Eagles (9-3) never wanted to be in this game, only needing a victory over Syracuse in the regular-season finale to secure their first outright Big East championship and earn a BCS berth.

But Peterson missed that game with a broken hand, and Syracuse beat the Eagles to send them to Charlotte.

So when he broke his left leg in the fourth quarter, coach Tom O'Brien huddled the team at midfield and delivered a passionate speech for his quarterback.

``Paul is the heart and soul of this team, and everyone went back to the huddle and Coach O'Brien said, `We're not going to lose. We're going to put it in the end zone for Paul,'' said holder Matt Ryan, who handed the fake to Ohliger.

Ryan then replaced Peterson at quarterback.

Clinging to a 27-24 lead over North Carolina (6-6) in the fourth quarter, Peterson was injured as he tried to run outside for a first down on third-and-1 and was brought down awkwardly by Tommy Davis.

As trainers removed Peterson's shoe and cut away his socks while awaiting a stretcher, O'Brien broke from his conservative nature and urged on the Eagles.

``He's not a big speaker, but this time he got us all pumped up,'' Ohliger said. ``And when he called the fake field goal, my eyes almost popped out my head. That is so not him.''

Ohliger, a 5-foot-9 freshman, took the handoff from Ryan and raced into the end zone, breaking a tackle along the way, for a 34-24 lead with 10:32 to play.

``We kind of expected them to do a fake, but we were more favoring the pass than the run,'' North Carolina linebacker Tommy Richardson said. ``That was a great call by Mr. O'Brien.''

And one that rarely comes out of O'Brien's play book. Although he said the Eagles practice the fake every day, an assistant suggested that O'Brien call it.

Because Ohliger had already missed one field goal and an extra point, O'Brien didn't hesitate.

``What went through my mind was, `We can't make a field goal, so we might as well run it,''' O'Brien said.

Peterson continued his trip to the locker room as the Eagles celebrated. X-rays showed a broken left tibia, and team officials said he would need surgery.

Before leaving, the quarterback 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.

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

Virginia represented the ACC in the first two Tire Bowls, so the inclusion of North Carolina was a welcome change of scenery. Tar Heels fans snapped up over 65,000 tickets, washing out the scattering of Boston College supporters in a sea of light blue.

They had plenty to cheer about early as North Carolina seized the momentum by scoring a pair of touchdowns after Peterson's fumble and Ohliger's missed field goal.

``We certainly had opportunities to win today and that's what it's about — winning,'' North Carolina coach John Bunting said.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2004 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:07 PM


©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.