Bowl Season Recap – Who had the most impressive win?

With Monday night’s National Championship upon us, the end of the season is officially here.

Clemson and Alabama will face off for the National Championship on Monday night…..again. After that, there will be no more college football until late August, unless of course you’re a CFB junkie like me. In that case spring games are usually range from Mid-March to April. Can’t freakin’ wait, but I digress. Let’s hop into the recap.

Pre-Christmas games:

Tulane 41- Lousisiana Laffeyette 24 : Tulane running back Darius Bradwell ran for a career high 150 yards, as the Green Wave started and ended this game strong putting up 21 in the first quarter and 14 in the 4th.

Utah State 52- North Texas 13: Utah State is perenially a solid team that does not get enough credit. The entire game they moved the ball with ease as North Texas just didn’t have the personnel to match up. Credit to Utah State coach Matt Wells for turning a strong season into a job oppritunity with Texas Tech.

Arizona State 20- (21)Fresno State 31: ASU head coach Herm Edwards begins his bowl career with a loss to Mountain West champions Fresno State. The Bulldogs ran the ball with ease, averaging 7.4 yards per carry en route to an 11-point win.

Georgia Southern 23- Eastern Michigan 21: A battle of directional schools! In all fairness as bad as this game sounds, it had one of the better endings. Ga southern kicker Tyler Bass hit a 40- yard field goal as time expired.

Middle Tennessee 13- Appalachian state 45: Why do people continue to sleep on App state. They’re best known for knocking off Michigan a few years ago but they are always a good team. They were down 3-0 at the end of the first quarter and then turned it on and won with ease.

UAB 37- Northern Illinois 13: If you aren’t aware of the story around UAB this year, let me educate you real quick. in December of 2014 the President of UAb decided to nix the football program to cut costs to the school. People were pissed. One player wore his football helmet to graduation as a sign of protest. They were shut down for a few years and in 2017 they returned. This year they won a conference title and their bowl game. Hats off to you UAB.

San Diego State 0- Ohio 27: Ouch. Getting shut out in a bowl game is never a good look. The Ohio Bobcats had a balanced attack as they threw for 206-yards and ran for 215-yards.

Marshall 38- USF 20: Marshall jumped out to a 28-7 lead and crusied to the win. South Florida had a bit of a weird season, they won their first 7-games of the season but lost their last 6-games. The win streak included victories over two power five teams.

FIU 35-Toledo 32: This game wasn’t as close as the score shows as Toledo got a last second touchdown to give the game some better optics. Anthony Jones ran for three touchdowns for the Panthers to givethem the win.

Western Michigan 18- BYU49: Who wouldn’t tune in to watch the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl? BYU cruised to a victory but just an interesting side note, BYU backup quarterback Tanner Mangum has been at that school for like 15 years I think. He’s wicked old.

Memphis 34- Wake Forest 37: Memphis’s star running back Henderson sat out this game to prepare for the NFL draft which was a major blow. On the other side, Wake Forest freshman QB Sam Hartman was out with an injury, so what does the backup QB do? Throws for 328-yards and runs for another 91-yards. Baller.

Houston 14- Army 70: You have to salute the performance Army put out there today(haha see what I did there). They ran for 507-yards and 8-touchdowns! Ed Oliver didn’t play for Houston to prepare for the draft, and because he and now former Houston head coach Major Applewhite hate each other.

Buffalo 32-Troy 42: Troy finished a strong season with a win thanks to a big fourth quarter. An interesting side note is Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson announced his intentions to transfer. He’s definetley a name to watch for at a major program. The kid is a moose.

Hawaii 14- Louisiana Tech 31: Hawaii Qb Cole McDonald set the CFB world on fire ealry in the season with big stat lines, but was quiet in this one passing for only 85-yards and two picks. LA Tech had a big third quarter, putting up three scores.

Post Christmas, pre New Years bowls:

Minnesota 34- Georgia Tech 10: Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim ran wild for 224-yards and two scores. This was the final game for Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson, as he, and hopefully the triple option they run, ride off into retirement.

Cal 7- TCU 10: What a Thriller! Absolute barn burner! Seriously though, if you didn’t fall asleep watching this game you deserve a medal. There are some good games with this type of score… this was not one of them. The two teams combined to throw nine interceptions.

California wide receiver Kanawai Noa (9) makes a catch between TCU safety Vernon Scott (26) and safety Niko Small (2) during the first half of the Cheez-It Bowl NCAA college football game Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Boston College- (25)Boise State: Well BC was winning. That should count for something right? Unfortuanetly Mother Nature didn’t want to see this one play out, and the game was cancelled due to continuous lighting.

Temple 27- Duke 56: Duke Quarterback Daniel Jones finally showed why he’s considered a top QB prospect in this years weak Quarterback class. He threw for 423-yards and five touchdowns. Over half of those yards went to receiver T.J. Rahming, who finished 240-yards.

Miami 3- Wisconsin 35: This was technically the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, but it was really the underachiever bowl. Both teams came into the season with big expectation and both, well, didn’t live up to them. at least Wisconsin showed up to this game, apparently Miami didn’t even get off the plane at LaGuardia. The Badgers ran all over the Hurricanes, who couldn’t get out of their own way, throwing four interceptions.

Baylor 45- Vanderbilt 38: Matt Rhule has done a great job turning this Baylor program around after all the scandals. Sophomore QB Charlie Brewer carried this team on his back throwing for 384-yards and running for 109-yards. Vandy QB Kyle Shurmur(Son of NFL coach Pat Shurmur) tried his best to match Brewer, but came up short.

Purdue 14- Auburn 63: Let’s be real here. Auburn could’ve dropped a hundred on Purdue. They were up 56-7 at the half and barely came out of the locker room in the 2nd half. Purdue is a team on the rise thanks to coach Brohm and freshman sensation Rondale Moore, but this game shows they still have work to do.

(16)West Virginia 18- (20)Syracuse 34: Had this game been played during the regular season, West Virginia would have won easily. In the bowl game however, they were without a bunch of key players, including star QB Will Grier. Syracuse QB Eric Dungey had a big game, as the Orange got their 10th win of the year. Regardless you can’t convince me they were a good team.

(24)Iowa State 26- (13)Washington State 28: This was a really good game. The biggest players for both teams had strong outings. This game came down to an Iowa State 2-pt conversion that they failed to convert. By the way if you’ve never heard a Mike Leach interview, do yourself a favor and look them up, you won’t regret it.

(10)Florida 41- (7)Michigan 15: It seems like every year these two matchup during bowl season. Unfortuanetly for the Wolverines, a bunch of their players chose to sit out, and they were stifled on the ground by a tough Florida run defesne. The Gators took this game over in the second half outscoring Michigan 28-5.

South Carolina 0- Virginia 28: Again, if you put in all the work to get to a bowl game, when you show up you better not get shutout. The Gamecocks had 43-yards on the ground, while the Cavaliers had 208-yards in the air and another 205 on the ground.

Arkansas State 13- Nevada 16 (OT): That’s right, we had an overtime game. Unfortuneately for these two teams, it was on at the same time as the first CFP game. In the first possession of OT Arkansas State settled for a field goal. Nevada responded with a touchdown pass to seal the win.

(3) Notre Dame 3- (2)Clemson 30: Not much to say here, I already blasted Notre Dame for not showing up. You can check out that article here.

(4)Oklahoma 34- (1)Alabama 45: This game was not as close as the eleven point margin would indicate. Bama jumped out to a dominant lead, took their foot off the gas a little bit, then finished the Sooners off. Tua was damned near perfect going 24/27 passing for 318-yards and four touchdowns. He showed why he would have likely been the Heisman winner had he not gotten hurt against Georgia.

New Years Eve games

“Nothing like pre-gaming for the night by drinking and watching football all day”- me and probably a lot of other people

Cincinnati 35- Virginia Tech 31: This was a back-and-forth game where the biggest lead was seven. The difference in the game was that the Hokies had to settle for a field goal in the 3rd-quarter, while Cincy went straight touchdowns.

Stanford 14- Pitt 13: This was a physical game won in the trenches with lots of runs between the tackles. Just as these two coaches wanted. Stanford running back Bryce Love, who was thought to be a Heisman candidate coming into the season did not play. He unfortunaly battled injuries all year which is too bad because he’s an electrifying player.

Michigan State 6- Oregon 7: Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, who would’ve been QB1 in the draft this year if he had decided not to go back to school, had a tough day. It’s hard to blame him because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team drop so many passes. Seriously, long balls, short crossing routes, you name it, Oregon dropped it. Meanwhile the Spartans continued to struggle to find an offensive identity, something that plagued them all year.

(23) Missouri 33- Oklahoma State 38: Mizzou almost made a great comeback in this game after being down 35-19. They got the game to within 2-points but a late field goal by Cowboys kicker Matt Amendola sealed the victory.

(22) Northwestern 31- (17) Utah 20: You can point to a few different things as to why Utah lost this game. I prefer to point to the 3rd-quarter. Northwestern outscored Utah 28-0 in the 3rd and that was the game.

NC State 13- Texas A&M 52: The Aggies ran all over the Wolfpack to the tune of 401-yards. perennially The win capped off a personnel season for Jimbo Fisher in his first season with the school.

New Years day games

(18) Mississippi State 22- Iowa 27: If you know anything about Iowa football you’ll understand what an anomaly this game was. Iowa is predicated on running the football. Well, in this game they had 20-rushes for negative 15-yards. They didn’t have a lot of total yards but made the most of their oppritunities

(11) LSU 40- (8)UCF 32: Down goes the reigning National Champions! LSU, despite losing every defensive back with any experience, held UCF to 120-yards passing on the day. Joe Burrow, QB for LSU, balled out. He threw for nearly four hundred yards and four touchdowns. This game may have been different had UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton not broekn his leg in the final weeks of the season.

(14)Kentucky 27- (12) Penn State24: Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley put this team on his back, as he often did throughout the season, and almost led the comeback. It just so happens that Benny Snell and the Wildcats were too determined to let their best season in a long time end in with a win.

(9) Washington 23- (6)Ohio State 28: Well, Urban Meyer goes out as a Rose Bowl champion. Think what you want about him, but he was a hell of a coach. Although the Buckeyes lost the fourth quarter 20-0, they did enough early in the game to get the W.

(15)Texas 28- (5)Georgia 21: Full disclosure I’m a HUGE Longhorns fan, but I can say with confidence that this was the biggest statement game of the bowl season The tone was set pre-game when beloved mascot Bevo charged the Bulldogs mascot Uga. That sentiment carried over to the game, as the Longhorns were clearly the more physical team. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger is a DUDE. Keep an eye on him next year as a dark-horse Heisman candidate. Georgia has a lot of internal drama right now, and they did not show the caliber of team they were. Whatever though, TEXAS IS BACK!!!


-Dillon Leary

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