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College football notebook

LSU takes Cotton Bowl

Associated Press / January 8, 2011

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With rumors swirling about coach Les Miles’s future at LSU, Jordan Jefferson threw three touchdown passes to Terrence Toliver and ran for a score to help the 11th-ranked Tigers rally for a 41-24 victory over No. 18 Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl last night in Arlington, Texas.

Miles is likely a leading candidate for the coaching vacancy at Michigan, where he played and was an assistant coach.

In the days leading up to the Cotton Bowl, Miles said his focus was on his Tigers and that he enjoyed where he was. When asked after the game if he’d back next season, Miles responded, “It’s a wonderful place. I love it here.’’

LSU (11-2) completed its fourth season with at least 11 wins in Miles’s six years. The Tigers had only two 11-win seasons before that.

Texas A&M (9-4) had its six-game win streak snapped after leading, 10-0, in the first quarter.

Eastern Washington rallies Bo Levi Mitchell directed three straight touchdown drives, the final one coming with 2:47 left to lead Eastern Washington to a 20-19 victory over Delaware in Frisco, Texas, and give the Eagles (13-2) their first Championship Subdivision title.

Eastern Washington trailed, 19-0, and had gained only 92 yards midway through the third quarter. Facing the defense that gave up the fewest points per game in the FCS, their title hopes looked shot.

But Mitchell took them on TD drives of 80, 89, and 69 yards. He converted on fourth and 8 on the second of those series and needed two video replays to uphold a fourth-and-1 conversion a few plays before the winning touchdown.

Delaware (12-3), seeking its second title in eight years, had one last chance but turned the ball over on downs with 47 seconds left.

Alabama hit by exodus Three of Alabama’s top players — running back Mark Ingram, defensive lineman Marcell Dareus, and wide receiver Julio Jones — said they are leaving school early to enter the NFL draft.

Ingram, Dareus, and Jones all are projected to be drafted in the first round.

Ingram won the Heisman Trophy during Alabama’s 2009 national championship season, but was hampered part of this season as he recovered from knee surgery. The 6-foot-4-inch, 306-pound Dareus was the star in Alabama’s championship win over Texas and had 34 tackles this season as a premier pass rusher. Jones led Crimson Tide receivers with 1,133 yards and seven touchdowns this season.

Elsewhere, standout Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith and Wisconsin running back John Clay will enter the NFL draft.

Patterson extended TCU extended coach Gary Patterson’s contract two years through the 2018 season a week after the third-ranked Horned Frogs completed a 13-0 season with a victory in the Rose Bowl. Patterson is 98-28 in 10 seasons with the Horned Frogs, and has six seasons with at least 11 wins . . . The NCAA put Texas Tech on two years of probation for a series of recruiting violations, saying 16 coaches or assistants sent nearly 1,000 impermissible text messages to football, softball, and golf prospects . . . Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor had surgery on his right foot. Pryor was injured in the Sugar Bowl Tuesday.