Surprising Blowouts, Late Game Drama Highlight Second Week of Bowl Season
It was another exciting week in college football, with four of this last week’s bowl games being decided in the final minute or overtime. Here are all the highlights from the last week in college football.
R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL: Louisiana-Lafayette 43, East Carolina 34
Terrance Broadway passed for 316 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 108 more plus another score to lead Louisiana-Lafayette to its second consecutive New Orleans Bowl victory. Alonzo Harris added 120 yards and two scores for ULL. The Ragin’ Cajuns jumped out to a 28-7 lead early in the second quarter only to see East Carolina go on a 24-3 run in the next 13 minutes to tie the game at 31. However, ULL rallied to close the game on a 13-3 run. Louisiana-Lafayette outgained the Pirates 591-421 and ECU didn’t have a first down until early in the second quarter. ECU running back Reggie Bullock rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
MAACO BOWL LAS VEGAS: #19 Boise State 28, Washington 26
Washington running back Bishop Sankey recorded 279 total yards—including a school bowl record 205 rushing yards—and a touchdown against Boise State’s tough defense, but it wasn’t enough for the Huskies to overcome three turnovers that led to six Boise points and, most importantly, ended a potential winning drive in the game’s final minute. Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick had his best game since September with 264 passing yards and two touchdowns in the win. This is the first of back-to-back games between these two schools, as Boise State will open the 2013 season at Husky Stadium.
SHERATON HAWAII BOWL: Southern Methodist 43, Fresno State 10
The Mustang defense could have won this game singlehandedly after recording a safety and returning two fourth-quarter interceptions for touchdowns. SMU defensive hand Margus Hunt forced two fumbles and sacked Fresno quarterback David Carr for a safety as SMU scored 22 unanswered points in the second quarter en route to the blowout win. The Bulldogs came into the game ranked 12th nationally in both total offense and scoring but turned the ball over four times and were held to just 346 total yards, including minus-16 yards rushing.
LITTLE CAESARS BOWL: Central Michigan 24, Western Kentucky 21
Central Michigan quarterback Ryan Radcliff found receiver Cody Wilson for the go-ahead touchdown with 5:11 left and then the defense held off a late Western Kentucky drive to secure the Chippewas’ first bowl win in three years. Radcliff finished with 253 yards and three touchdowns while running back Zurlon Tipton added 101 rushing yards in the win. Western Kentucky, appearing in its first-ever bowl game, had a chance for a game-tying field goal in the game’s final minute, but chose to go for the win and was stopped on fourth-and-two at the CMU 19 with 49 seconds left.
MILITARY BOWL-PRESENTED BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN: #24 San Jose State 29, Bowling Green 20
San Jose State quarterback David Fales, who led the nation in completion percentage, threw for 395 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Spartans to their first 11 win season since 1939. Bowling Green held a 13-10 lead midway through the third quarter before San Jose closed the game on the 19-7 run in the game’s final 20 minutes. Bowling Green came into the game ranked seventh nationally in pass defense, but the Falcons had no answer for Fales’ arm.
BELK BOWL: Cincinnati 48, Duke 34
Duke has suffered its share of crushing losses since its last bowl appearance in 1994, but this one might be the worst. Tied at 34 with 1:20 left, the Blue Devils had the ball inside the Cincinnati ten-yard line and appeared set for their first bowl win since 1961. Then, disaster struck when running back Josh Snead fumbled at the five-yard line. Four plays later, Bearcats quarterback Brendon Kay hit tight end Travis Kelce for an 83-yard touchdown, the longest pass play in Belk Bowl history. The Bearcats then added a pick-six touchdown just seconds later to seal the victory. Kay finished with 332 yards and four touchdowns in the win, while Duke quarterback Sean Renfree passed for a Belk Bowl-record 358 yards.
BRIDGEPOINT EDUCATION HOLIDAY BOWL: Baylor 49, #17 UCLA 26
Baylor quarterback Nick Florence broke Robert Griffin III’s school record for passing yards in a season as the Bears routed UCLA to close the season on a four-game winning streak. But Baylor did most of its damage on the ground, rolling up 306 rushing yards in the win. Running backs Glasco Martin and Lache Seastrunk combined for 236 yards and four touchdowns. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley passed for 329 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. But the biggest surprise of the game was a Baylor defense, which came into the game ranked next-to-last nationally in total defense, sacking Hundley six times, holding running back Jonathan Franklin, who averaged 130.8 yards per game, to just 34 yards on 14 carries and limiting the Bruins to just 1-of-17 on third-down conversions.
ADVOCARE V100 INDEPENDENCE BOWL: Ohio 45, Louisiana-Monroe 14
Ohio running back Beau Blankenship rushed for 104 yards and four touchdowns as the Bobcats routed the Warhawks to end a three-game losing streak. Bobcat quarterback Tyler Tettleton threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns and Ohio outgained Louisiana-Monroe 556-314 in the dominating win. Warhawk quarterback Kolton Browning, who threw just seven interceptions all season, was intercepted three times in this game. This was Louisiana-Monroe’s first-ever bowl game and, despite the loss, this was the Warhawk’s best season since moving to the FBS.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL: Virginia Tech 13, Rutgers 10 (OT)
Virginia Tech’s offense was virtually nonexistent for much of the game, but made the plays when it needed to, rallying for 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and overtime to avoid the Hokies’ first losing season since 1992. Virginia Tech finished with just three rushing yards in the game (the lowest total in a Hokies’ win under Frank Beamer), but quarterback Logan Thomas made the game’s biggest play with the only passing touchdown of the game to tie the score at 10 in the fourth quarter. Hokies kicker Cody Journell made a 22-yard field goal in overtime and Rutgers was unable to answer when Nick Borgese’s 42-yard attempt sailed wide right. Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova was just 17/40 for 129 yards and an interception in the loss.
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL OF TEXAS: Texas Tech 34, Minnesota 31
Texas Tech scored ten unanswered points, including a game-winning field goal as time expired, to win its first bowl after having an 18-year bowl streak snapped last year. Red Raider quarterback Seth Doege had one of his worst games of the season with just 272 yards (his third-lowest total of the season) and two interceptions. But he made the big play when he needed to, tossing his only touchdown pass to tie the game with just 1:10 to play in the game. The Texas Tech defense then stepped up, scoring an interception three plays later to set up the winning kick. Despite an exciting, back-and-forth affair, this will be remembered as an ugly game with the two teams combining for 20 penalties (including nine personal fouls) for 219 yards.