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Fiction: I-A Playoff Results, 12/16/2004

Outback Bowl
In Tampa. the Hawkeyes of Iowa dominated a Pitt team 31-7 that really reflected Iowa's strong finish to the year. Pitt QB Tyler Palko was running for his life all day, going 19-40 with a fumble and two interceptions. Hawkeye QB Drew Tate on the other hand passed for 300 yards, with a pair of TDs to MVP Ed Hinkel. Hinkel ended the day with 11 receptions for 186 yards as well.

The Hawkeye faithful who made the trip got their money's worth in a stadium with 45,000 strong, and will be looking forward to next week's matchup.

Alamo Bowl
In a sold-out Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, TX, the WAC representative Boise St. put a major scare into USC, but ultimately lost a shootout 42-34 to the Trojans. QB Jared Zabransky surprised the Trojans on the first play of the game with a bomb to WR Drisan James, and took a 21-10 lead into the half against a stunned USC squad.

After recieving the kickoff in the second half, however, USC's QB Matt Leinart and RB Reggie Bush came out determined to score, and they did with Bush's 46 yard TD scamper the third play from scrimmage, cutting the lead. The Broncos' 3-and-out then led to Leinart's big TD pass to WR Dwayne Jarrett., putting the Trojans up 24-21.

The Broncos' weren't done, however. On the next drive, set up by big a big rush by Zabransky, RB Jon Helmandollar punched it in to give the Broncos' a short-lived lead, 28-24. Then Reggie Bush returned the following kick for a TD, putting momentum in USC's court going into the 4th quarter, 31-28.

Zabransky then lost a key fumble at the 20, but the Broncos' defense held firm, holding the Trojans to a field goal, making the score 34-28. Then Zabransky and Helmandollar did it again, this time Zabransky rolling out to punch it in and go ahead 35-34 with six minutes to play.

Leinart then showed why he's the Heisman winner, leading the Trojans down the field, chewing up 5 minutes, converting 3 third-down conversions. With 3rd and goal on the 15, he calmly threw a tight spiral to WR Dwayne Jarrett for his second TD on the game to give USC a lead with 20 seconds to play.

Zabransky's hail-mary pass was batted down, and the Trojans escaped the Alamo with a win. Bush got the Alamo Bowl MVP with 2 TDs and 192 all-purpose yards.

Second-Round Matchup
USC will face Iowa in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas on December 24th. With all of USC's fans only across the state, Cotton Bowl officials are optimistic about a sellout - and another great game.

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