College football highlights: Milton leads Tennessee to Orange Bowl victory

The college football bowl season continued with a host of high-profile matchups on Friday, highlighted by Tennessee‘s impressive victory over Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

In the first game of the day, Maryland defeated NC State in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, which meant it was mayo bath time for head coach Mike Locksley!

Pittsburgh followed that with a thrilling win over UCLA in the Sun Bowl, while Notre Dame came from behind to beat a red-hot South Carolina team in the Gator Bowl.

Here are the highlights from Friday’s bowl slate.

Orange Bowl: Tennessee 31, Clemson 14

Going airborne!

Clemson’s Cole Turner turned heads early in the first quarter with an unbelievable pick out of the air, good for a 33-yard gain, and an obvious nomination for play of the day.


Tennessee was without its All-SEC quarterback Hendon Hooker, but backup Joe Milton sparked a stellar start for his squad early in the first, finding pay dirt on Tennessee’s second possession courtesy of a laser to receiver Bru McCoy.

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a flying squirrel!

Milton faked a handoff and launched a 50-yard pass to Squirrel White, who made a diving catch at the goal line. Jabari Small punched it in from 2 yards out on the next play to give Tennessee a 14-0 lead.

Feeding the squirrel

White was eating good all night long, and he chowed down on another hearty helping of points as he scored Tennessee’s third TD of the night on a 14-yard dime from Milton. The reception put Tennessee up 21-6 as the third quarter came to a close.

Cade keeps it himself

After being held without a touchdown for the first three quarters, Clemson finally found the end zone on its first possession of the fourth quarter. The Tigers put together a 10-play drive, capped by a 4-yard rushing score from Cade Klubnik. Will Shipley ran it in for the two-point conversation to make it 21-14.

Vols answer back!

Tennessee answered right back as Milton dropped a picture-perfect pass to Ramel Keyton for a 46-yard touchdown. The score gave the Volunteers a 28-14 lead.

Tennessee added a field goal and then sealed the deal when Wesley Walker picked off Klubnik in the end zone to secure a 31-14 win for the Volunteers. 

Gator Bowl: Notre Dame 45, South Carolina 38

Gamecocks on the board

South Carolina got on the board first as Spencer Rattler threw a screen pass to Xavier Legette, who took it in for a 13-yard touchdown.

Calling his own number

Notre Dame answered right back as Tyler Buchner called his own number, taking it 15 yards for the score to tie the game.

Razzle Dazzle

South Carolina pulled off a trick play as punter Kai Kroeger took the snap and threw a pass to long snapper Hunter Rogers for a touchdown.

Defensive TD!

Buchner dropped back and threw a pass, but it was picked by South Carolina’s DQ Smith, who returned it 47 yards for the touchdown.

Taking it to the house!

After both teams added field goals, Notre Dame got a huge play from running back Logan Diggs, who caught a pass from Buchner and took it 75 yards to the house. 

X-man again

Legette somehow kept his feet in bounds to complete the 42-yard score to go up 31-24.

Braden answers back

Braden Lenzy caught a 44-yard pass and turned it into a touchdown to tie the game up at 31-31.

Diggs showing off the diggs

The Notre Dame running back took off for a 39-yard score to give the Irish a 38-31 lead.


Right as the Irish were about to double their lead, O’Donnell Fortune came up with the big interception at the goal line and ran it all the way back to tie the game.

Notre Dame takes the lead!

Buchner dropped back and threw across his body to a wide open Mitchell Evans for a 16-yard score. The touchdown gave the Irish a 45-38 lead with 1:38 remaining.

Sun Bowl: Pittsburgh 37, UCLA 35

Honoring an old pirate

UCLA coach Chip Kelly paid tribute to his friend, late Mississippi State coach Mike Leach, with a special patch on his visor.

Bruins on the board

Trailing 3-0, UCLA found the end zone first, as Dorian Thompson-Robinson found Logan Loya on a short scoring pass.

Something special

After Pitt added another field goal to cut UCLA’s lead to 7-6, the Bruins struck again. DTR connected with Titus Mokiao-Atimalala on a long pass, which set up a touchdown.

Tie game!

Pitt capitalized on an interception when QB Nick Patti connected with Bub Means for a 15-yard touchdown. Patti found Konata Mumpfield for the two-point conversion to tie the game.


Thompson-Robinson dropped back and threw a dart to Mokiao-Atimalala, which resulted in a 28-yard touchdown to give the Bruins a 21-14 lead.


The Bruins got a huge boost from their defense when Jaylin Davies picked off Patti’s pass and returned it 52 yards to the house. The pick-six gave UCLA a 28-14 lead.

Welcome to the Rodney Hammond Jr. show

After the pick-six, Pitt turned to the run game and Hammond delivered. The sophomore running back punched in a 1-yard TD run with 3:04 remaining in the third quarter to make it 28-21. He then added a 7-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 28-28.

UCLA takes the lead!

Pitt added back-to-back field goals to take a 10-point lead late in the fourth quarter. But UCLA answered right back as the Bruins put together an eight-play, 70-yard drive that was capped by an 8-yard TD run by T.J. Harden with 34 seconds remaining in the game. 


Pitt got the ball back and Patti went right to work, connecting on back-to-back big-play passes and adding an 11-yard run to put them in field-goal range. Ben Sauls drilled a 47-yard field goal with four seconds remaining, which sealed the victory for the Panthers.

Duke’s Mayo Bowl: Maryland 16, NC State 12

It’s all about the mayo

Let’s be honest, the teams are fun and all, but this game is really about the appreciation (or not) of mayonnaise.

This is what happens when the game starts slowly

We’re presenting this tweet without comment.

Sticky fingers!

The Terrapins found the end zone first in this game, taking a 10-3 lead on a gorgeous pass from Taulia Tagovailoa to Octavian Smith.

Mr. Automatic

Meanwhile, the Wolfpack stayed in the game thanks to the reliable foot of Christopher Dunn, who won the Groza Award as the nation’s best kicker. Dunn made three field goals in the first half, and the Terps led 10-9 at the break.

Steady diet of field goals

The Terps added a field goal of their own and held a 13-9 lead through three quarters.

What a pick!

With Maryland backed up deep in its own territory, Tagovailoa took a deep shot downfield, but NC State’s Rakeim Ashford made an incredible interception to give the Wolfpack great field possession. Dunn added another field goal to make it 13-12.

After Maryland added another field goal, the teams traded punts before NC State got the ball back with under three minutes remaining and a chance to put together a game-winning drive. However, Jakorian Bennett picked off NC State QB Ben Finley to seal the win for the Terrapins.

And with that … it was time for a MAYO BATH for Mike Locksley!

Stay tuned for highlights.

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