Terrel Hunt scrambled 12 yards for a touchdown with 1:14 remaining to lift Syracuse to a 21-17 win over Minnesota in the Texas Bowl in Houston on Friday night.
Brisly Estime set up Hunt's touchdown with a 70-yard punt return. Estime would have scored if not for a tackle by punter Peter Mortell. It was the second-longest punt return in Texas Bowl history.
Syracuse (7-6) led 14-3 entering the fourth quarter before Mitch Leidner threw two touchdown passes and a 2-point conversion to put the Golden Gophers up 17-14.
Minnesota (8-5) got a boost to start the second half when coach Jerry Kill returned to the sideline for the first time since Sept. 28. Kill began the Texas Bowl in the press box, where he has observed his team since returning from a leave of absence because of his epilepsy.
"I felt I would do anything I can to help," Kill said about joining his team on the sideline. "I'm not sure if it helped or not. Evidently, it didn't because we didn't win the game."
Military Bowl: Rakeem Cato threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns, and Marshall (10-4) used two fourth-quarter scores to rally past Maryland 31-20 in the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Md. Making its first bowl appearance under third-year coach Randy Edsall, Maryland (7-6) closed out its association with the Atlantic Coast Conference by falling to the runner-up in Conference USA. The Terrapins will join the Big Ten next year.
Oregon: Longtime Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, a Walnut Creek native, announced that he will retire after next week's game against Texas in the Alamo Bowl.
Aliotti has spent 24 years with the Ducks, including 17 as defensive coordinator. He said it was time to step away from football after 38 years in coaching, including a brief stint in the NFL with St. Louis as an assistant in the 1990s.
Aliotti, 59, was born in Walnut Creek and is a Pittsburg High graduate. His defense allowed 21.6 points per game this season for the No. 10 Ducks.
Nebraska: Defensive end Avery Moss returned to his home in Arizona to attend to a personal issue and won't play in the Gator Bowl against No. 23 Georgia next week.
Early entries: Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith and Utah tight end Jake Murphy are leaving college early to enter the NFL draft. Also, USC junior center Marcus Martin announced on his Instagram account that he will forgo his final year of eligibility to declare for the draft, ESPN.com reported.