BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Patton Robinette threw two 50-yard touchdown passes to Jordan Matthews, and Vanderbilt recovered after blowing a 24-point lead to beat Houston 41-24 on Saturday in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
Robinette, starting after senior Austyn Carta-Samuels had season-ending surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, also had an 8-yard scoring run as Vanderbilt built a 24-0 lead in the first half.
After Houston (8-4) pulled even by scoring 24 points in the third quarter, Vanderbilt reclaimed the lead on Brian Kimbrow’s 21-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Vanderbilt (9-4) closed the season with five straight wins, adding to third-year coach James Franklin’s status as a possible candidate for coaching vacancies, including at Penn State and with the NFL’s Browns and Redskins.
Southern Cal’s Lee to enter draft
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California receiver Marqise Lee said he’s passing up his senior season to enter the NFL draft.
The Biletnikoff Award winner made the long-expected announcement Friday night with a message posted on his Twitter account.
Lee was the nation’s top receiver as a sophomore in 2012, catching a school-record 118 passes for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. He struggled with injuries throughout his junior year, finishing with just 57 receptions for 791 yards and four TDs.
New USC coach Steve Sarkisian already has lost four key underclassmen to the NFL draft in the last three weeks since the Trojans’ victory in the Las Vegas Bowl. Lee joins safety Dion Bailey, defensive lineman George Uko and center Marcus Martin in the draft.
• COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State junior linebacker Ryan Shazier has decided to give up his senior season to make himself available for the NFL draft.
In a statement released by Ohio State, the first-team All-American said he just felt that this was “the perfect time” for him to move on.
A 6-foot-2, 230-pounder from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., he led the Buckeyes in tackles each of the last two seasons. His 143 tackles this season rank sixth nationally and in a tie for 13th on the Ohio State single-season charts.
His 22.5 tackles for a loss this year rank third nationally.