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Ranking the 2011/2012 Bowls - The Good

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 10, 2012


Ranking the bowls - Decent games that were fine, but hardly special.


  

Ranking the 2011/2012 Bowls

The Good


- 2011-2012 Bowl Central, Thoughts, Recaps & Scoreboard 

- Ranking the 2010/2011 Bowl Season
- Ranking the 2009/2010 Bowl Season  
- Ranking the 2008/2009 Bowl Season

- Ranking the 2011/2012 Bowl Season - The Classics 
- Ranking the 2011/2012 Bowl Season - The Excellent 
- Ranking the 2011/2012 Bowl Season - The Above-Average 
- Ranking the 2011/2012 Bowl Season - The Good  
- Ranking the 2011/2012 Bowl Season - The Mediocre  
- Ranking the 2011/2012 Bowl Season - The Duds 

The Good
Decent games that were fine, but hardly special.

20.
Orange Bowl
West Virginia 70 … Clemson 33


- CFN Thoughts on the Orange
It might have been a train wreck, and it might have been the least-watched BCS game ever, but it was hard to pull away from. How many points would West Virginia put up after hanging 49 on the board in the first half? Could it hit 80? 90? Down 21-17 early in the second, Clemson looked like it was going in, but Darwin Cook took a fumble 99 yards for a score and the route was on. The Mountaineers converted 10-of-16 third down chances and never let up.

West Virginia: Total offense: WVU 589 – Clemson 443 … Geno Smith completed 31-of-43 passes for 401 yards and six scores. … Shawn Alson ran 20 times for 77 yards and two scores. … Tavon Austin caught 11 passes for 117 yards and four scores. … Eain Smith made 12 tackles.

Clemson: Average yards per rush: Clemson 7.1 – WVU 4.3 … Tajh Boyd completed 24-of-46 passes for 250 yards and two scores and two picks. … Andre Ellington ran ten times for 116 yards and a score. … DeAndre Hopkins caught ten passes for 107 yards and a score. … Sammy Watkins caught five passes for 66 yards and a score. … Rashard Hall made eight tackles with a pick.

19.
Meneke Car Care of Texas Bowl
Texas A&M 33 … Northwestern 22


Northwestern showed up with a big stuffed gorilla – representing the bowl monkey on the team’s back – but the team played like a dog getting down 30-7. The Wildcats started to mount a big comeback, and there was some thought that it might be yet another Texas A&M fourth quarter choke, but a 32-yard Randy Bullock field goal in the final minute finally ended the drama. Texas A&M didn’t exactly start playing like it was supposed to, but it helped ease the major disappointment of the Texas loss.

- CFN Thoughts on the Meineke
Texas A&M: The Aggies held NU to 52 rushing yards. … Ryan Tannehill completed 27-of-40 passes for 329 yards and a score with a pick. … Ben Malena ran 23 times for 77 yards and two scores. … Jeff Fuller caught seven passes for 119 yards and a score, and Ryan Swope caught eight passes for 105 yards. … LB Jonathan Stewart made nine tackles a sack and a forced fumble, and DE Damontre Moore made nine tackles with a sack, two tackles for loss, and a forced fumble.

Northwestern: The Wildcats kept A&M to 80 rushing yards. … Dan Persa completed 25-of-37 passes for 213 yards. … Kain Colter ran 17 times for 65 yards and as score. … Demetrius Fields caught seven passes for 73 yards. … Jeravin Matthews made 12 tackles.

18.
Cotton Bowl
Arkansas 29 … Kansas State 16

It was supposed to be a bad matchup for the Wildcats, and it turned out to be exactly that. It seemed like an extra BCS game with the night of January 6th all to itself, and played in Jerry Jones’ palace in Arlington, but it quickly became all about the Arkansas defense. The Hogs got up 19-0 in the first half, but the Wildcats roared back after returning a blocked extra point for a two-point conversion. However, Kansas State had one offensive option, and quarterback Collin Klein was taken out of the game with just 42 yards as he couldn’t keep the momentum going.

- CFN Thoughts on the Cotton
Arkansas: The Hogs outgained Kansas State 129 rushing yards to 87 … Tyler Wilson completed 20-of-31 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns …Broderick Green ran seven times for 60 yards. … Greg Childs caught five passes for 48 yards, and Jarius Wright caught three passes for 88 yards with a touchdown and returned three punts for 62 yards and a score. … Jerry Franklin made eight tackles. … Jerico Nelson made seven tackles with an interception for 61 yards.

Kansas State: The Wildcats held on to the ball for 33:51. … Collin Klein completed 16-of-30 passes for 173 yards and a score with a pick, and he led the team with 24 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown. … Sheldon Smith caught five passes for 50 yards. … David Garrett led the team with ten tackles with two tackles for loss. … Adam David made four tackles with two sacks and three tackles for loss.

17.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
Illinois 20 … UCLA 14


It was the bowl game that gave bowl games a bad name, but it actually turned out to be okay. It took a little while, but the last 16 minutes were great with Terry Hawthorne giving Illinois the lead with a pix-six and A.J. Jenkins finally, and cathartically, giving the offense a big play with a 60-yard touchdown catch. Both teams were going through coaching turmoil – with Illini assistants threatening to walk out after not liking the severance deal – but both teams plays surprisingly hard in a competitive game.

- CFN Thoughts on the Kraft Fight Hunger
Illinois: The Illini came up with five sacks and held UCLA to 18 rushing yards. … Nathan Scheelhaase completed 18-of-30 passes for 139 yards and a score with a pick. He also ran 22 times for 110 yards. … A.J. Jenkins caught six passes for 80 yards and a score. … Ian Thomas made seven tackles with a sack, a broken up pass, and two tackles for loss. … Whitney Mercilus made five tackles with 1.5 sacks and three tackles for loss. … Terry Hawthorne made five tackles with a 39-yard pick six and 1.5 tackles for loss.

UCLA: The Bruins average 6.9 yards per pass attempt. … Kevin Prince completed 14-of-29 passes for 201 yards and two scores with a pick. … Derrick Coleman ran nine times for 39 yards. … Joseph Fauria caught five passes for 36 yards. … Jordan Zumwalt made ten stops with a pick and two tackles for loss. … Glen Love made eight tackles with a sack and two tackles for loss.

16.
Liberty Bowl
Cincinnati 31 … Vanderbilt 24


The Bearcats hit the ten-win mark, but it didn’t go quite like they planned. The return of quarterback Zach Collaros from injury was supposed to provide a spark, but he was awful completing just 12-of-29 passes for 80 yards and a score with two picks. Fortunately for UC, Isaiah Pead was unstoppable and the defense held firm late. Vandy turned the ball over three times and gave up a fourth quarter kickoff return for a score in a dead-even battle.

- CFN Thoughts on the Liberty Bowl
Cincinnati: The Bearcats ran for 221 yards. … Zach Collaros completed 12-of-29 passes for 80 yards and a score with two picks. … Isaiah Pead ran 28 times for 149 yards and a score. … Adrien Robinson caught four passes for 16 yards. … J.K. Schaffer made nine tackles with a sack.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores outgained the Bearcats 168 yards to 80 though the air. … Larry Smith completed 8-of-19 passes for 142 yards and a score with a pick, and Jordan Rodgers completed 4-of-14 passes for 26 yards with a pick. .. Zac Stacy ran 18 times for 57 yards and a score. … Jordan Matthews caught four passes for 56 yards. … Archibald Barnes made ten tackles with a blocked kick. … Casey Hayward made eight tackles with a tackle for loss and two picks.

15.
Music City Bowl
Mississippi State 23 … Wake Forest 17


It might have been a disappointing season for Mississippi State, but touchdown runs from 60 and 72 yards out from Vick Ballard were enough to overcome the team’s four turnovers. It wasn’t always a tight game – Wake Forest only converted 2-of-14 third down chances – but it was a battle throughout with the Demon Deacons taking advantage of their opportunities and hanging on to the ball for close to 60 minutes. This turned out to be a nice win for the SEC’s midlevel, but it did more to help MSU head coach Dan Mullen going into the offeseason.

- CFN Thoughts on the Music City
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs outgained Wake Forest 253 yards to 63. … Chris Relf completed 12-of-19 passes for 129 yards and a score with two picks. … Vick Ballard ran 14 times for 180 yards and two scores. … Chris Smith caught five passes for 57 yards. … Safety Corey Broomfield made nine tackles with two tackles for loss and a sack. … DE Fletcher Cox made seven tackles with a sack and two tackles for loss.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons were +4 in turnover margin. … Tanner Price completed 24-of-46 passes for 214 yards. … Brandon Pendergrass ran 24 times for 73 yards and a score. … Michael Campanaro caught ten passes for 128 yards, and Chris Givens caught nine passes for 54. … Safety Merrill Noel made seven tackles and a pick.

14.
Belk Bowl
NC State 31 … Louisville 24


Considering the low expectations for a game between two midlevel BCS teams, the game was good. NC State came up with one of its better games over the first three quarters with Mike Glennon throwing for long second quarter touchdown passes – including a 68-yard scoring play to T.J. Graham – with pick-off artist David Amerson taking one of Teddy Bridgewater’s three interceptions for a pick six. But even with all the mistakes from the Louisville offense, there were still chances to pull out the win scoring 14 unanswered points before the Wolfpack D put the clamps down.

- CFN Thoughts on the Game
NC State: The Wolfpack made five sacks and 12 tackles for loss. … Mike Glennon completed 21-of-33 passes for 264 yards and three scores with a pick. … James Washington ran 14 times for 45 yards. … WR T.J. Graham caught seven passes for 116 yards and two scores. … Brandan Bishop made 12 tackles with a tackle for loss, while Audie Cole made ten tackles with two sacks and four tackles for loss. … David Amerson made five tackles with two picks to close out the year with 13 picks.

Louisville: The Cardinals outgained State 391 yards to 329. … Teddy Bridgewater completed 24-of-43 passes for 274 yards and two scores with three picks. … Victor Anderson ran 15 times for 61 yards. … Eli Rogers caught seven passes for 54 yards. … Adrian Bushell made seven tackles with a tackle for loss and a forced fumble with a broken up pass.

13.
Champs Sports Bowl
Florida State 18 … Notre Dame 14


Can Florida State find an offense and a running game in spring ball? The minor bowl got people talking with the game being used as a measuring stick for two programs expected to be bigger national players. It might not have been a good game, but it was great theater; Notre Dame always is. After getting down 14-0, Florida State scored 18 unanswered points with E.J. Manuel throwing two touchdown passes and Dustin Hopkins all but icing it with his second field goal. The Irish defense was solid, but it couldn’t overcome three turnovers from the offense – a fitting way to end a mistake-prone season – and now there are more questions. Who’ll be the Notre Dame starting quarterback next year? The game created a buzz.

- CFN Thoughts on the Game
Florida State: The Noles were held to 1.4 yards per carry. … E.J. Manuel completed 20-of-31 passes for 249 yards and two scores. … Devonta Freeman ran 13 times for 48 yards. … Rashad Greene made five catches for 99 yards and a score, along with a brilliant catch on his back. … Punter Shawn Powell averaged 47.2 yards per punt on eight kicks with two put inside the 20. …. LB Nigel Bradham made nine tackles with a pick and two broken up passes.

Notre Dame: The Irish made five sacks. … Tommy Rees completed 16-of-27 passes for 163 yards and a score with two picks. … Cierre Wood ran 18 times for 69 yards. … TE Tyler Eifert caught six passes for 90 yards, and Michael Floyd, before getting hurt, caught five passes for 41 yards with a juggling TD catch. … Manti Te’o made 13 tackles half a sack, forced a fumble that led to a score, and broke up a pass.

12.
San Diego Country Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
TCU 31 … Louisiana Tech 24


Other than TCU hanging on to the ball for well over 36 minutes, it was a dead even game. TCU was in for far more of a dog fight than it probably hoped for. Neither team held more than a one score lead, but Louisiana Tech seemed to take control late in the third quarter on a 67-yard Myles White touchdown catch> That would be it for the Bulldogs with TCU closing out with 14 unanswered points finishing off with a 42-yard Skye Dawson touchdown catch.

- CFN Thoughts on the Game
TCU: The Horned Frogs held on to the ball for 36:28. … QB Casey Pachall completed 15-of-29 passes for 206 yards with a touchdown and a pick, and he ran for 31 yards. … Ed Wesley ran 16 times for 77 yards and a score. … Josh Boyce led the Horned Frogs with 5 catches for 66 yards, but Skye Dawson caught four passes for 85 yards and the game-winning scoring pass. … Anson Kelton averaged 43.8 yards with two put inside the 20 on five kicks.

Louisiana Tech: QB Colby Cameron completed 21-of-43 passes for 264 yards and two scores with a pick. … Hunter Lee ran 20 times for 64 yards and a score. … WR Myles White caught seven passes for 110 yards and a score, and Quinton White caught five passes for 67 yards and a score. … Ryan Allen averaged 43.2 yards per punt with two put inside the 20. … LB Jay Dudley made ten tackles with a tackle for loss.

- Ranking the 2011/2012 Bowl Season - The Classics 
- Ranking the 2011/2012 Bowl Season - The Excellent 
- Ranking the 2011/2012 Bowl Season - The Above-Average 
- Ranking the 2011/2012 Bowl Season - The Good  
- Ranking the 2011/2012 Bowl Season - The Mediocre  
- Ranking the 2011/2012 Bowl Season - The Duds