DETROIT -- DeAngelo Williams set an NCAA record with his 34th 100-yard rushing game and scored three touchdowns, leading Memphis to a 38-31 victory over Akron last night in the Motor City Bowl.
Williams ran for 233 yards on 30 carries and finished his career with 6,021 yards rushing -- trailing only Ron Dayne, Ricky Williams and Tony Dorsett in Division 1-A history -- and an NCAA-record 7,568 all-purpose yards.
The Tigers (7-5) took a 21-point lead with 3:09 left, but needed to recover an onside kick with 55 seconds left to seal the win after Luke Getsy threw his fourth touchdown pass, cutting the lead to 7 points.
Getsy was 34 for 59 for a Motor City Bowl-record 455 yards, and tied Chad Pennington's mark for passing touchdowns in the bowl's nine-year history.
The Tigers led by 10 at halftime after scoring on three straight drives, then pulled away with three consecutive TDs in the second half before nearly collapsing in the final minutes.
Williams, who shared the 100-yard rushing record with Heisman Trophy winners Archie Griffin of Ohio State and Dorsett of Pittsburgh, broke the record in the third quarter when he ran up the middle and bounced to the outside on an 18-yard carry.
Griffin set the mark in 42 games, and Dorsett matched it in 43 games -- one fewer than Williams.
Williams, who finished seventh in voting for the Heisman, was taken out of the game midway through the fourth quarter while Memphis was driving for its third consecutive touchdown and a 38-17 lead.
It wasn't shocking to see Williams run through and around the Zips with his NFL-caliber speed after Northern Illinois' Garrett Wolfe ran for 270 yards against Akron (7-6), which was playing its first Division 1-A bowl game.