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Ranking and Recaps of the 2007-2008 Bowls
Michigan RB Mike Hart
Michigan RB Mike Hart
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 8, 2008


The bowl season was far better than it'll get credit for. The BCS games stunk, and there weren't a lot of gripping matchups and no all-timers, but 17 of the 32 were decided by seven points or fewer with eight decided by three points or fewer. Here are quick recaps and a ranking of all 32 games from the god-awful to the best of the bunch.

2007-2008 Ranking of the Bowls

Which were the best games of the post-season?

The bowl season was far better than it'll get credit for. The BCS games stunk, and there weren't a lot of gripping matchups and no all-timers, but 17 of the 32 were decided by seven points or fewer with eight decided by three points or fewer. Here are quick recaps and a ranking of all 32 games from the god-awful to the best of the bunch.

Flat-out sucked

If you sat through all sixty minutes of these games, you're either a fan of one of the teams playing, have no life, are just plain nuts, work for CFN, or all of the above.

32. New Mexico Bowl
New Mexico 23 ... Nevada 0

New Mexico blew past Nevada with 548 yards of total offense, while the defense allowed a mere 210. Marcus Smith took a pass 66 yards for a score on the third play of the game, and Travis Brown caught a 39-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter. John Sullivan was the Lobo scorer the rest of the way with a 53-yard field goal, a 45-yarder and a 37-yard kick. The Lobo defense never let the Wolf Pack offense get close allowing just 73 rushing yards and forced 11 punts. The two teams combined to convert a mere six of 26 third down chances.
Offensive Player of the Game: New Mexico QB Donovan Porterie completed 20 of 36 passes for 354 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
Defensive Player of the Game: Nevada LB Joshua Mauga made 11 tackles, forced a fumble and made a tackle for loss
Stat Leaders: Nevada - Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 13-31, 137 yds
Rushing: Luke Lippencott, 10-40. Receiving: Marko Mitchell, 6-96
New Mexico - Passing: Donovan Porterie, 20-36, 354 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
Paul Baker, 22-167. Receiving: Travis Brown, 7-120, 1 TD

31. 2008 Sugar Bowl
Georgia 41 ... Hawaii 10

Georgia destroyed Hawaii with eight sacks, several other pressures, and holding the high-octane Warrior attack to a mere 306 yards with most coming late. Hawaii turned it over six times leading to several easy scores, but Georgia had now problems moving the ball on its own with Knowshon Moreno running for scores from 17 and 11 yards out in the first quarter, Sean Baliey catching an 11-yard scoring pass in the second, and Marcus Howard recovering a fumble off a sack in the third. Brandon Coutu blasted field goals from 52 and 45 yards out for the Bulldogs on the way to a 31-3 lead before Hawaii finally got in the end zone on a Tyler Graunke touchdown pass to Ryan Grice-Mullen in the fourth. The two teams combined for 22 penalties for 190 yards.
Offensive Player of the Game: The entire starting Georgia offensive line
Defensive Player of the Game: Georgia DE Marcus Howard made four tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, forced two tumbles, and recovered one for a touchdown.
Stat Leaders: Georgia - Passing: Matthew Stafford, 14-23, 175 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Thomas Brown, 19-73, 1 TD. Receiving: Mo Massaquoi, 5-54
Hawaii - Passing: Colt Brennan, 22-38, 169 yds, 3 INT
Rushing:
Kealoha Pilares, 7-26. Receiving:
Jason Rivers, 10-105

30. 2008 GMAC Bowl
Tulsa 63 ... Bowling Green 7
Bowling Green lost four fumbles in the first half and Tulsa was happy to take advantage on the way to a 35-0 first half lead and a 42-0 start before the Falcons finally got on the board. With a few trick plays and the passing of Paul Smith, the Golden Hurricane rolled at will with five Smith scoring passes, including two to Trae Johnson, and a touchdown catch, run, and throw from RB Tarrion Adams. The normally high-powered Bowling Green offense was held to just 229 yards with the lone score coming on a kickoff return after a 14-yard Johnson catch. This was the biggest blowout in bowl history.
Offensive Player of the Game: Tulsa QB Paul Smith completed 27 of 45 passes for 312 yards and five touchdowns, and ran nine times for 46 yards and a score.
Defensive P
layer of the Game: Tulsa LB Chris Chamberlain made 17 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss and forced a fumble
Stat Leaders: Bowling Green - Passing: Tyler Sheehan, 14-19, 141 yds
Rushing: Tyler Sheehan, 7-21. Receiving: Anthony Turner, 6-33
Tulsa - Passing: Paul Smith, 27-45, 312 yds, 5 TD
Rushing:
Tarrion Adams, 17-112, 1 TD. Receiving:
Charles Clay, 11-69, 1 TD

29. 2008 Cotton Bowl
Missouri 38 ... Arkansas 7

Everyone expected to see a big-time running game, but the wrong one showed up. Missouri's Tony Temple set a Cotton Bowl record with 281 rushing yards scoring from 22, 4, 4, and 40 yards out in the stunning rout. Arkansas turned the ball over five times and only managed a three-yard Darren McFadden touchdown run late in the third quarter, but by that time it was 28-7 Missouri and the outcome had basically been decided. The Tigers outgained the Hogs 323 yards to 164 on the ground.
Offensive P
layer of the Game: Missouri RB Tony Temple ran 24 times for 281 yards and four touchdowns
Defensive Player of the Game: Missouri S William Moore made 13 tackles, picked off a pass and forced a fumble
Stat Leaders: Arkansas - Passing: Casey Dick, 19-32, 197 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Darren McFadden, 21-105, 1 TD. Receiving: Peyton Hillis, 5-52
Missouri - Passing: Chase Daniel, 12-29, 136 yds, 1 INT
Rushing:
Tony Temple 24-281, 4 TD. Receiving: Will Franklin, 5-77

28. 2008 International Bowl
Rutgers 52 ... Ball State 30

Ray Rice ran for 280 yards and four scores highlighted by a 90-yard scoring dash on the third play in the second half to give Rutgers a 31-9 lead. Ball State kept the pressure on with Nate Davis and the passing game, with two fourth quarter touchdown passes to Darius Hill and a ten-yard scoring toss to Dante Love, but balanced Scarlet Knight offense proved to be too much to overcome. Along with the big dash, Rice also scored three times for one yard out, but it was the passing attack that made it a blowout with Mike Teel starting off the game with a 36-yard touchdown pass to Tim Brown on the opening drive, and putting it away with a 47-yard strike to Kenny Britt late in the fourth. Rutgers rolled up 595 yards of total offense, 292 on the ground and 303 through the air, while Ball State amassed 460 total yards.
Offensive Player of the Game: Rutgers RB Ray Rice ran 35 times for 280 yards and four touchdowns.
Defensive Player of the Game: Rutgers S Courtney Greene made ten tackles and broke up a pass
Stat Leaders: Ball State
- Passing: Nate Davis, 25-49, 291 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Chris Clancy, 12-98. Receiving: Dante Love, 13-169, 1 TD
Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 16-25, 303 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
Ray Rice, 35-280, 4 TD. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 6-125, 1 TD

27. 2007 Sun Bowl
Oregon 56 ... South Florida 21

Oregon ran for 353 yards on the supposedly stout USF defense with Jonathan Stewart running for 243 with a 71-yard touchdown dash and an eight-yard scoring catch. USF hung tough in the first half with a 35-yard Delbert Alvarado field goal making it 18-14 Ducks at halftime, and then the Oregon attack blew up with 31 straight points on three of Justin Roper's four touchdown passes and a 25-yard interception return for a score form Walter Thurmond. USF's Matt Grothe came up with a miraculous 21-yard touchdown pass to Taurus Johnson in the second quarter after spinning out of a defender's grasp, but he got banged up in the third quarter and gave way to Grant Gregory, who led the team with 42 yards on four carries.
Offensive Player of the Game: Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart ran 23 times for 253 yards and a touchdown with two catches for 29 yards and a score
Defensive Player of the Game: Oregon CB Jairus Byrd led the Ducks with eight tackles with two interceptions, four broken up passes, and a forced fumble,
Stat Leaders: South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 18-35, 197 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Grant Gregory, 4-42. Receiving: Taurus Johnson, 4-51, 1 TD
Oregon - Passing: Justin Roper, 17-30, 180 yds, 4 TD
Rushing:
Jonathan Stewart, 23-253, 1 TD. Receiving: Jaison Williams, 4-40, 1 TD


26. 2008 Rose Bowl
USC 49 ... Illinois 17

USC got up 21-0 in the first half on two Chauncey Washington scores and a 34-yard touchdown catch by Desmond Reed off a gadget play from Garrett Green, but Illinois made it interesting for a few moments. On the first drive of the third quarter, Rashard Mendenhall tore off a 79-yard touchdown run to pull the Illini within ten. And then came the game's drama as Mendenhall took a pass 55 yards into scoring range, but soon after Jacob Willis lost a fumble in the end zone, and after a mad battle, USC LB Brian Cushing recovered and things were never the same. On USC's ensuing drive, John David Booty threw a lateral to Joe McKnight, who took it off the turn and ran 65 yards leading to a Fred David two-yard touchdown catch to open up the floodgates. The Trojans scored 28 straight points on two Booty scoring passes, a six-yard McKnight run, and a three-yard Hershel Dennis scoring run. Illinois had one last interesting moment with a 56-yard touchdown catch from Arrelious Benn, but it was far too little, far too late.
Offensive Player of the Game: USC RB Joe McKnight ran ten times for 125 yards and a touchdown, caught six passes for 45 yards, and returned three punts for 36 yards.
Defensive Player of the Game: USC LB Rey Maualuga made four tackles, three sacks, forced a fumble and came up with an interception
Stat Leaders: Illinois - Passing: Isiah Williams, 21-35, 245 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: Rashard Mendenhall, 17-155, 1 TD. Receiving: Arrelious Benn, 5-80, 1 TD
USC - Passing: John David Booty, 25-37, 255 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
Joe McKnight, 10-127, 1 TD. Receiving:
Fred Davis, 7-87, 1 TD

A bowl game. Nothing more.

You watched, were mildly amused, and then moved on to something better and more entertaining. Like standing in line at the DMV.

25. 2007 Insight Bowl
Oklahoma State 49 ... Indiana 33

Indiana got up 3-0 on a 43-yard Austin Starr field goal on its opening drive of the game, and then it was all Oklahoma State as Dantrell Savage ran for a three-yard score and Zac Robinson threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more as the Cowboys took a 35-10 lead into halftime. Indiana mounted a little bit of a comeback in the second half with Kellen Lewis and Josiah Sears each running for short touchdowns and James Bailey catching a 30-yard touchdown pass with one second to play, but it was way too little, too late. Dez Bryant caught touchdown passes from 24 and 11 yards out for OSU, and Robinson finished with 372 yards of total offense and accounted for five scores. The two teams combined for 20 penalties for 183 yards.
Offensive Player of the Game: Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson completed 24 of 34 passes for 302 yards and three touchdowns with an interception, and ran 15 times for 70 yards and two scores
Defensive Player of the Game: Oklahoma State SS Andre Sexton made ten tackles and a tackle for loss
Stat Leaders: Oklahoma State - Passing: Zac Robinson, 24-34, 302 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Dantrell Savage, 23-100, 1 TD. Receiving: Dez Bryant, 9-117, 2 TD
Indiana - Passing: Kellen Lewis, 22-43, 204 yds, 2 TD
Rushing:
Kellen Lewis, 10-83, 1 TD. Receiving: James Hardy, 5-50

24. 2007 Humanitarian Bowl
Fresno State 40 ... Georgia Tech 28

Fresno State gave up a 35-yard touchdown catch to Demaryius Thomas on the opening drive of the game, and then rolled from there with 27 straight points on a 43-yard Clifton Smith run, a six-yard run from Marlon Moore, two Clint Stitser field goals, and a three-yard Drew Lubinsky scoring grab. With star RB Tashard Choice hurt, the Yellow Jackets got production out of Jonathan Dwyer in the third quarter on touchdown runs of 36 and two yards out, but it was hardly enough as Tom Brandstater was too sharp throughout. His 24-yard touchdown dash late in the third put it away, while Smith closed things out with a 32-yard scoring run. The two teams combined to convert 18 of 27 third down chances.
Offensive Player of the Game: Fresno State QB Tom Brandstater completed 23 of 30 passes for 285 yards and a touchdown, and ran three times for 40 yards and a score
Defensive Player of the Game: Fresno State DE Tyler Clutts made seven tackles, two sacks and broke up a pass
Stat Leaders: Fresno State - Passing: Tom Brandstater, 23-30, 285 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Clifton Smith, 18-152, 2 TD. Receiving: Marlon Moore, 7-80
Georgia Tech - Passing: Calvin Booker, 7-15, 116 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
Tashard Choice, 12-69. Receiving:
Demaryius Thomas, 4-69, 1 TD

23. 2007 Meineke Car Care Bowl
Wake Forest 24 ... Connecticut 10

Wake Forest gave up a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown to Larry Taylor in the first quarter, and allowed a 29-yard field goal in the second. Then it was all Demon Deacons scoring 24 unanswered points while the defensive shut down the Husky attack. Riley Skinner connected with John Tereshinski for a 20-yard score and Josh Adams tore off a 38-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, Sam Swank connected on a 43-yard field goal in the fourth, and Micah Andrews put it away with a nine-yard touchdown run in the final minute. UConn was held to just nine first downs and 213 yards of total offense, while the Demon Deacon had 23 first downs and 412 yards.
Offensive Player of the Game: Wake Forest WR Kenneth Moore made 11 catches for 112 yards, returned four punts for 26 yards, and two kickoffs for 33 yards
Defensive Player of the Game: Wake Forest LB Stanley Arnoux made eight tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, half a sack, broke up a pass and came up with an interception
Stat Leaders: Wake Forest - Passing: Riley Skinner, 29-38, 268 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Josh Adams, 19-66, 1 TD. Receiving: Kenneth Moore, 11-112
Connecticut - Passing: Tyler Lorenzen, 13-26, 98 yds, 1 INT
Rushing:
Donald Brown, 13-72. Receiving: Brad Kanauch, 3-36

22. 2007 New Orleans Bowl
Florida Atlantic 44 ... Memphis 27

Florida Atlantic couldn't be stopped as Rusty Smith threw five touchdown passes to five different receivers, and DiIvory Edgecomb scored on a touchdown catch and a four-yard run in the offensive shootout. Memphis battled back to pull within three in the third quarter on Martin Hankins' third touchdown pass of the game, a six-yarder to Carlos Singleton, but that would be as close as it would come. Hankins went down with a leg injury, twisting his knee and ankle and the Tiger offense stopped moving the ball. The game changed for good on an FAU blocked punt leading to a 16-yard Jason Harmon touchdown grab, and then the Owl defense stiffened the rest of the way. In all, the two teams combined for 631
Offensive Player of the Game: Florida Atlantic QB Rusty Smith completed 25 of 32 passes for 336 yards and five touchdowns with an interception
Defensive Player of the Game: Florida Atlantic LB Frantz Joseph made ten tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and broke up a pass
Stat Leaders: Florida Atlantic - Passing: Rusty Smith, 25-32, 336 yds, 5 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Charles Pierre, 11-49. Receiving: Jason Harmon, 7-97, 1 TD
Memphis - Passing: Martin Hankins, 25-39, 281 yds, 3 TD
Rushing:
Joseph Doss, 20-91. Receiving: Joseph Doss, 5-42


21. 2007 PapaJohns.com Bowl
Cincinnati 31 ... Southern Miss 21

Cincinnati QB Ben Mauk overcame a rough start to throw four touchdown passes including two to Dominick Goodman in the second quarter, and put the game away late in the third quarter with a ten-yard scoring pass to Antwuan Giddens. Bearcat corner DeAngelo Smith came up with three interceptions, including one to stop the final USM drive, but the Golden Eagles had their moments with Jeremy Young throwing two short touchdown passes and running for a one-yard score. The two teams combined for seven sacks, 17 penalties and seven turnovers.
Offensive Player of the Game: Cincinnati QB Ben Mauk completed 30 of 52 passes for 334 yards, and four touchdowns with three interceptions
Defensive Player of the Game: Cincinnati CB DeAngelo Smith made five tackles, broke up a pass and picked off three passes
Stat Leaders: Cincinnati - Passing: Ben Mauk, 30-52, 334 yds, 4 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Ben Mauk, 12-41. Receiving: Dominick Goodman, 7-95, 2 TD
Southern Miss - Passing: Jeremy Young, 18-32, 122 yds, 2 TD, 3 INT
Rushing:
Damion Fletcher, 29-155. Receiving: Damion Fletcher, 7-50

Very Good. Worth the watch.

Entertaining games, for one reason or another, worthy of your four-plus hours of time and effort.

20. 2007 Poinsettia Bowl
Utah 35 ... Navy 32

Utah seemingly had the game put away on a one-yard Darrell Mack touchdown run with 1:27 to play on the way to a ten-point lead, but Navy wouldn't go away with a 58-yard Zerbin Singleton touchdown catch, followed by a recovered onside kick. Utah's Joe Dale finally ended it with an interception. Brian Johnson ran for a 19-yard touchdown and threw a 40-yard scoring pass to Derrek Richards as the Utes overcame a 17-7 deficit with 21 straight points before the Midshipmen got back in it on a ten-yard catch on a pitch from Shun White. Navy ran for 316 yards to Utah's 213.
Offensive Player of the Game: Utah QB Brian Johnson completed 20 of 25 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown, and ran 11 times for 69 yards and a score.
Defensive Player of the Game: Utah S Joe Dale made 12 tackles (8 solo) and sealed the win with an interception.
Stat Leaders: Utah - Passing: Brian Johnson, 20-25, 226 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Darrell Mack, 22-76, 2 TD. Receiving: Brian Hernandez, 5-63
Navy - Passing: Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, 7-14, 122 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
Eric Kettani, 12-125, 1 TD. Receiving: Zerbin Singleton, 2-64, 1 TD

19. 2007 Liberty Bowl
Mississippi State 10 ... UCF 3

Mississippi State came up with its fourth turnover of the day on a Keith Fitzhugh interception in the fourth quarter, and then the offense went on its best drive of the game going 59 yards in ten plays culminating in a one-yard Anthony Dixon touchdown run. The only other scoring came in the second quarter on a 45-yard Michael Torres field goal giving UCF a 3-0 lead, but MSU answered with a 22-yard Adam Carlson field goal off a Knight turnover. UCF RB Kevin Smith didn't break Barry Sanders' single-season rushing record coming up 62 yards short, but he ran for 119 yards. The rest of the Knight attack gained a mere 88 finishing with only 219 yards, but MSU didn't do much better gaining 199. 
Offensive Player of the Game: UCF RB Kevin Smith ran 35 times for 119 yards, and led the Knights with three catches for 12 yards
Defensive Player of the Game:
Mississippi State CB Derek Pegues made four tackles, a tackle for loss and picked off two passes
Stat Leaders: Mississippi State - Passing: Wesley Carroll, 8-18, 39 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Anthony Dixon, 24-86, 1 TD. Receiving: Christian Ducre, 3-10
UCF - Passing: Kyle Israel, 10-24, 88 yds, 3 INT
Rushing:
Kevin Smith, 35-119. Receiving: Kevin Smith, 3-12


18. 2008 Fiesta Bowl
West Virginia 48 ... Oklahoma 28

In the stunner of the bowl season, West Virginia ran for 349 yards with home run after home run. Up 6-3, the Mountaineers got a 57-yard touchdown run from Owen Schmitt in the second quarter, and the passing game helped out with Pat White hitting a wide open Darius Reynaud with a 21-yard touchdown pass and later on a 79-yard strike to Tito Gonzalez. Reynaud ran for a 30-yard touchdown dash late in the third quarter, and Noel Devine tore off scoring runs from 17 and 65 yards. Oklahoma had a few chances to get in the game, but rarely took advantage of its opportunities. A one-yard Chris Brown touchdown run midway through the third quarter got the Sooners within five, but Sam Bradford misfired on a two-point conversion attempt, an onside kick attempt was recovered by West Virginia, and the Mountaineers opened the game up from there going 39 yards in six plays culminating in Devine's first scoring dash.
Offensive Player of the Game: West Virginia QB Pat White completed 10 of 19 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns and ran 20 times for 150 yards
Defensive Player of the Game: West Virginia LB Reed Williams made nine tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and forced a fumble
Stat Leaders: Oklahoma - Passing: Sam Bradford, 21-33, 242 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Allen Patrick, 14-82. Receiving: Juaquin Iglesias, 8-43, 1 TD
West Virginia - Passing: Pat White, 10-19, 176 yds, 2 TD
Rushing:
Pat White, 20-150. Receiving: Darius Reynaud, 5-42, 1 TD

17. 2007 Alamo Bowl
Penn State 24 ... Texas A&M 17

Texas A&M took an early 14-0 lead on two Mike Goodson touchdown runs, with the second on the first play following a fumble, and then the Penn State running game took over. The Nittany Lions finished with 270 yards on the ground, while the Aggie rushing attack managed just 164 with a few key late plays getting stuffed including a fourth and one misfire on the Penn State two late in the fourth quarter. Deon Butler started off the scoring for Penn State on a diving 30-yard catch early in the second quarter, and following a Goodson fumble, Daryll Clark ran for an 11-yard score with a dive that just got the ball over the goal line before fumbling. Evan Royster capped off the scoring with a 38-yard dash late in the third. The two teams combined to turn the ball over five times, and each went six for 16 on third down chances.
Offensive Player of the Game: Penn State RB Rodney Kinlaw ran 21 times for 143 yards
Defensive Player of the Game: Penn State LB Sean Lee made 14 tackles, a tackle for loss and broke up a pass
Stat Leaders: Penn State - Passing: Anthony Morelli, 15-31, 143 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Rodney Kinlaw, 21-143. Receiving: Derrick Williams, 5-39
Texas A&M - Passing: Stephen McGee, 19-31, 164 yds, 1 INT
Rushing:
Mike Goodson, 14-65, 2 TD. Receiving: Mike Goodson, 7-30


16. 2007 Holiday Bowl
Texas 52 ... Arizona State 34

Texas dominated from the start with a 21-point first quarter on a two-yard touchdown catch from nose tackle Derek Lokey and scoring runs from John Chiles and Jamaal Charles, but the game will be remembered for how Arizona State got its first touchdown. Sun Devil quarterback Rudy Carpenter was under pressure and attempted to throw the ball away, it was ruled a lateral with the ball bouncing around towards Chris Jessie, part of the Texas football operations staff and Mack Brown's stepson, who inadvertently went to pick it up, missed, and Texas recovered. After originally being ruled Longhorn ball, the officials reversed the call saying Jessie touched it, Texas was issued an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and ASU got the ball back on the Texas seven and scored on a pass to Chris McGaha. Everything else went right for the Longhorns with Jermichael Finley recovering a Colt McCoy fumble in the end zone for a score for a 35-13 lead in the third quarter, and ASU wouldn't get any closer than 15 the rest of the way. UT outgained ASU 300 yards to 22 on the ground and forced five turnovers.
Offensive Player of the Game: Texas QB Colt McCoy completed 21 of 31 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown, and ran 16 times for 84 yards and a score
Defensive Player of the Game: Texas CB Brandon Foster made seven tackles, all solo, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble, broke up a pass and picked off two passes
Stat Leaders: Arizona State - Passing: Rudy Carpenter, 18-36, 187 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Dimitri Nance, 18-48. Receiving: Chris McGaha, 9-79, 1 TD
Texas - Passing: Colt McCoy, 21-31, 174 yds, 1 TD
Rushing:
Jamaal Charles, 27-161, 2 TD. Receiving: Nate Jones, 6-47


15. 2008 BCS Championship
LSU 38 ... Ohio State 24

Ohio State jumped out to a 10-0 lead on a 65-yard Chris Wells touchdown run and a 25-yard Ryan Pretorius field goal, and then it was all LSU with 31 straight points helped by three Matt Flynn touchdown passes and a one-yard Jacob Hester plunge for a score. The Buckeyes had their chances, but got a field goal blocked by Ricky Jean-Francois, dropped a touchdown pass, got sacked by Ali Highsmith on a key fourth down, and lost momentum on a roughing the punter penalty, to go along with other missed opportunities. Even so, they pulled within 14 going into the fourth quarter on a five-yard Brian Robiskie touchdown catch, but LSU held on time and again before finally putting things well out of reach with a TE Richard Dickson's second touchdown catch of the game. OSU outgained LSU 353 yards to 326.
Offensive Player of the Game: LSU QB Matt Flynn completed 19 of 27 passes for 174 yards and four touchdowns win an interception
Defensive Player of the Game: LSU DT Ricky Jean-Francois made six tackles, half a sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, and blocked a field goal
Stat Leaders: LSU - Passing: Matt Flynn, 19-27, 174 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Jacob Hester, 21-86, 1 TD. Receiving: Early Doucet, 7-51, 1 TD
Ohio State - Passing: Todd Boeckman, 15-26, 208 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing:
Chris Wells, 20-146, 1 TD. Receiving: Brian Hartline, 6-75, 1 TD

14. 2007 Emerald Bowl
Oregon State 21 ... Maryland 14

Oregon State outrushed Maryland 275 yards to 19 as the offense
held on to the ball for over 18 minutes in the second half and for 10:25 in the fourth quarter, while the defense came up with stop after stop. The Terp attack only converted two of 11 third down chances and got 11 first downs, but it held a 14-7 lead after the first quarter on a nine-yard Isaiah Williams scoring grab and a 63-yard Darrius Heyward-Bey touchdown catch. Yvenson Bernard, James Rodgers and the Beaver running game proved to be too much for the Terps to deal with as Bernard pounded his way inside and out, and Rodgers took end around after end around for big gains. Bernard ran for a two-yard score late in the first half and appeared to be on his way in for a third quarter score, but he fumbled, Rodgers recovered in the end zone, and the Beavers had the lead for good. Rodgers also caught a 14-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
Offensive Player of the Game: Oregon State RB Yvenson Bernard ran 38 times for 177 yards and a touchdown & WR James Rodgers ran ten times for 115 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 40 yards and a score
Defensive Player of the Game: Oregon State LB Derrick Doggett made eight tackles and a sack
Stat Leaders: Oregon State - Passing: Sean Canfield, 8-14, 68 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Yvenson Bernard, 38-177, 1 TD. Receiving: James Rodgers, 5-40, 1 TD
Maryland - Passing: Chris Turner, 17-29, 205 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing:
Keon Lattimore, 7-16. Receiving: Darrius Heyward-Bey, 3-99, 1 TD


13. 2007 Champs Sports Bowl
Boston College 24 ... Michigan State 21

Five Michigan State turnovers and a big bomb gave Boston College its eighth straight bowl win and its first 11 win season since 1940. Up 17-13 midway through the fourth quarter, Matt Ryan found Rich Gunnell for a 68-yard touchdown pass, but the Spartans wouldn't go away as Brian Hoyer, who threw four picks, threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Deon Curry and a pass for a two-point conversion to Kellen Davis to pull within three with 6:04 to play. BC's offense struggled to close, but punter Johnny Ayers did a good job of pinning the MSU offense deep. BC's Paul Anderson picked off an overthrown Hoyer pass to snuff out any late hopes of forcing overtime. Ryan threw three touchdown passes in all, including two to Gunnell, while Hoyer finished with two scoring passes.
Offensive Player of the Game: Boston College WR Rich Gunnell caught six passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns
Defensive Player of the Game: Boston College S Jamie Silva made ten tackles and intercepted two passes

Stat Leaders: Boston College - Passing: Matt Ryan, 22-47, 249 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Andre Callender, 12-33. Receiving: Rich Gunnell, 6-138, 2 TD
Michigan State - Passing: Brian Hoyer, 14-36, 131 yds, 2 TD, 4 INT
Rushing:
Javon Ringer, 21-101. Receiving: Kellen Davis, 4-38, 1 TD

12. 2007 Las Vegas Bowl
BYU 17 ... UCLA 16

UCLA rallied to get in position to win the game with a chip shot field goal, but BYU's Eathyn Manumaleuna got a hand on the kick to stop it just enough for it to go barely under the crossbar to preserve the Cougar win. The UCLA defense dominated for most of the game, holding BYU to just 265 yards, but a muffed punt led to a 14-yard Austin Collie touchdown catch and Michael Reed caught a 13-yard scoring pass to cap off a 55-yard drive late in the second quarter. The Bruins capitalized on a Harvey Unga fumble deep in BYU territory to get a four-yard Brandon Breazell scoring grab as time ran out in the first half, but they would only manage a 50-yard Kai Forbath field goal in the second half.
Offensive Player of the Game: BYU WR Austin Collie caught six passes for 107 yards and a touchdown
Defensive Player of the Game: UCLA DE Bruce Davis made seven tackles and three sacks
Stat Leaders: UCLA - Passing: McLeod Bethel-Thompson, 11-27, 154 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Chris Markey, 27-117. Receiving: Brandon Breazell, 4-44, 1 TD
BYU - Passing: Max Hall, 21-35, 231 yds, 2 TD
Rushing:
Manase Tonga, 3-21. Receiving: Austin Collie, 6-107, 1 TD


11. 2007 Independence Bowl
Alabama 30 ... Colorado 24

Alabama was unstoppable early on as QB John Parker Wilson hit 13 of his first 15 passes with a 15-yard touchdown throw to Keith Brown, and 34-yard play to Matt Caddell, and a 31-yard strike to Nikita Stover on the way to a 27-0 lead early in the second quarter. And then the Tide took its foot off the gas as Wilson went ice cold for the rest of the first half allowing the Buffs to get back in the game with two Cody Hawkins touchdown passes. Colorado pulled within ten on a 39-yard Kevin Eberhart field goal, but Alabama got up 13 on Leigh Tiffin's third field goal of the game coming with just under five minutes to play. Colorado wouldn't go away as Hawkins hit Tyson DeVree from 14 yards out for his second score of the game. The Buff D held, but there was only one second left on the clock. Alabama had to sweat out a few laterals on a final play, but got out with the win.
Offensive Player of the Game: Alabama QB John Parker Wilson completed 19 of 32 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns with an interception, and ran four times for 24 yards
Defensive Player of the Game: Alabama S Rashad Johnson made 13 tackles and broke up a pass, and DE Wallace Gilberry made eight tackles, a sack and five tackles for loss
Stat Leaders: Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 19-32, 256 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Glen Coffee, 19-72. Receiving: Matt Caddell, 4-76, 1 TD
Colorado - Passing: Cody Hawkins, 24-39, 322 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing:
Hugh Charles, 14-69. Receiving:
Tyson DeVree, 9-94, 2 TD

10. 2007 Texas Bowl
TCU 20 ... Houston 13

TCU held a seemingly comfortable 20-10 lead with two minutes to play, but Houston made it interesting with a 32-yard field goal, and after forcing a quick three-and-out, took the ball from its two and worked its way down to the TCU 19 with one second to play. On the final shot, TCU's Chase Ortiz blew into the backfield and hit Cougar QB Case Keenum to end it. The Horned Frogs stuffed the Cougar running game allowing just 32 net yards helped by five sacks, while the offense got short touchdown runs from Andy Dalton and Justin Watts along with two Chris Manfredini field goals. Houston started off the scoring with Andre Kohn catching a 67-yard scoring pass, but never got back into the end zone.
Offensive Player of the Game: TCU QB Andy Dalton completed 21 of 30 passes for 294 yards with an interception, and ran 11 times for 17 yards and a score
Defensive Player of the Game:
Houston SS Rocky Schwartz made 16 tackles and two tackles for loss
Stat Leaders: TCU - Passing: Andy Dalton, 21-30, 249 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Justin Watts, 12-46, 1 TD. Receiving: Ervin Dickerson, 3-57
Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 23-38, 335 yds, 1 TD
Rushing:
Anthony Alridge, 15-29. Receiving: Donnie Avery, 10-120

9. 2007 Music City Bowl
Kentucky 35 ... Florida State 28

Florida State was without 36 players due to academic suspension and/or injury, but it still battled down to the final play. UK QB Andre Woodson threw four touchdown passes with throws of 13 and 38 yards to Steve Johnson, a two-yard pass to Rafael Little, and a 14-yarder to Jacob Tamme early on, capitalizing off a blocked punt, to start the scoring. The Seminoles were helped by the defense with Tony Carter taking a Woodson pass 24 yards for a second quarter touchdown to tie it at 14, but it was all UK in the third quarter with the Little score and a four-yard Tony Dixon touchdown run. FSU's Drew Weatherford ran for two short scores and threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Greg Carr to stay alive, but was never able to get the lead. The Wildcats couldn't run out the clock after the Carr score, and Weatherford got a second chance after throwing an interception to Micah Johnson, who fumbled it back to FSU with 29 seconds to play. On their own 17, the Seminoles got a 24-yard catch from Carr and a ten-yard pass to Preston Parker to get to the UK 44 with a shot at a desperation pass with three seconds to play, but UK broke up the final desperation pass in the end zone.
Offensive Player of the Game: Kentucky QB Andre Woodson completed 32 of 50 passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns with an interception
Defensive Player of the Game: Kentucky LB Wesley Woodyard made 15 tackles
Stat Leaders: Florida State - Passing: Drew Weatherford, 22-48, 276 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Antone Smith, 17-156. Receiving: Preston Parker, 8-105
Kentucky - Passing: Andre Woodson, 32-50, 358 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
Rafael Little, 28-152. Receiving: Rafael Little, 8-50, 1 TD

8. 2007 Armed Forces Bowl
California 42 ... Air Force 36

Air Force got the ground game going with 312 yards on the ground and a 21-0 lead on short touchdown runs from Shaun Carney and Jim Ollis and a seven-yard Travis Dekker catch. And then the Cal passing game showed up. Robert Jordan and DeSean Jackson were suspended for the first quarter for violating team rules, but they ripped up the Falcon secondary when they got in with Jackson starting off the Cal scoring with an acrobatic 40-yard touchdown catch fallowed up by a five-yard Lavelle Hawkins scoring grab. Jordan caught an 18-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, but two Ryan Harrison field goals kept Air Force ahead until late in the third when Justin Forsett ran for the first of two second half scores. With Carney out with a knee injury, the Falcon offense wasn't nearly as crisp, but it was able to go on a late scoring drive to pull within four. That was as close as the Falcons would get.
Offensive Player of the Game: California QB Kevin Riley completed 16 of 19 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns, and ran four times for 17 yards and a score
Defensive Player of the Game: California CB
Syd’Quan Thompson made six tackles and three tackles for loss.
Stat Leaders: California - Passing: Kevin Riley, 16-19, 269 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Justin Forsett, 23-140, 2 TD. Receiving: Robert Jordan, 6-148, 1 TD
Air Force - Passing: Shaun Carney, 5-8, 68 yds, 1 TD
Rushing:
Shaun Carney, 15-108, 1 TD. Receiving: Travis Dekker, 4-63, 1 TD

Tremendous. Very Entertaining.

The best games of the bowl season. Even the average sports fan could sit through this one. 

7. 2008 Orange Bowl
Kansas 24 ... Virginia Tech 21
In a strange game, Kansas started off the scoring with a 60-yard interception return for a score from Aqib Talib, and held a 17-0 first half lead after Marcus Henry caught a 13-yard touchdown pass. And then Virginia Tech found a groove, going 68 yards in 13 plays at the end of the half by running Branden Ore, who scored with a one-yard touchdown run. The Hokies got rolling in the second half on an 84-yard punt return for a score from Justin Harper on a reverse, but a blocked field goal and an interception gave the Kansas all the momentum as Todd Reesing scored on a two-yard run early in the fourth for the winning touchdown. Tech came up with a 15-play, 78-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown grab from Harper, but KU recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
Offensive Player of the Game: Virginia Tech RB Branden Ore ran 23 times for 116 yards and a touchdown
Defensive Player of the Game: Kansas P Kyle Tucker punted five times for 250 yards, averaging 50 yards per kick, putting three inside the 20
Stat Leaders: Virginia Tech - Passing: Sean Glennon, 13-28, 160 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Branden Ore, 23-116, 1 TD. Receiving: Justin Harper, 4-64, 1 TD
Kansas - Passing: Todd Reesing, 20-37, 227 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
Brandon McAnderson, 15-75. Receiving:
Dexton Fields, 7-101

6. 2007 Motor City Bowl
Purdue 51 ... Central Michigan 48

Purdue avoided a colossal collapse marching 39 yards in seven plays in the final minute leading to a 40-yard Chris Summers field goal to finally put CMU away. The Boilermakers, led by Curtis Painter, who finished with 546 passing yards, held a 34-10 halftime lead and was up 41-20 midway through the third, but CMU's Dan LeFevour led the comeback with a 28-point third quarter, starting off with a 76-yard Antonio Brown touchdown in the first minute, and a 19-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Anderson with 1:09 to play to tie it at 48 before Painter marched the Boilermaker offense in a position to win. Anderson caught three touchdown passes on the day, while LeFevour ran for two scores and threw for four. Purdue got up early helped by two one-yard Kory Sheets touchdown runs and a 62-yard touchdown catch from Dustin Keller. Purdue cranked out 587 yards of total offense to 435
Offensive Player of the Game: Purdue QB Curtis Painter completed 35 of 54 passes for 546 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions
Defensive Player of the Game: Central Michigan LB Nick Bellore made 11 tackles, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass
Stat Leaders: Purdue - Passing: Curtis Painter, 35-54, 546 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Kory Sheets, 12-27, 2 TD. Receiving: Greg Orton, 9-136, 1 TD
Central Michigan - Passing: Dan LeFevour, 17-34, 292 yds, 4 TD
Rushing:
Dan LeFevour, 33-114, 2 TD. Receiving:
Bryan Anderson, 7-129, 3 TD

5. 2007 Hawaii Bowl
East Carolina 41 ... Boise State 38

East Carolina avoided a huge collapse with a 44-yard drive in six plays finishing up with a 34-yard Ben Hartman field goal with no time left on the clock. Pirate RB Chris Johnson set the NCAA record for all-purpose yards in a bowl while scoring from 68 yards out on a first quarter run and caught an 18-yard scoring pass in the second. Down 38-14, and without star RB Ian Johnson, who was knocked out with an ankle injury, Boise State came roaring back with 24 straight points helped by a 25-yard Jeremy Avery touchdown catch, a one-yard D.J. Harper scoring run, and on a 47-yard fumble return for a touchdown from Marty Tadman with 1:25 to play after Chris Johnson put it on the turf. Dominique Lindsay scored on two three-yard touchdown runs in the second quarter. ECU outgained Boise State 322 yards to 98 on the ground.
Offensive Player of the Game: East Carolina RB Chris Johnson ran 28 times for 223 yards and a touchdown, caught three passes for 32 yards and a score, and returned six kickoffs for 153 yards. He set the NCAA record for all-purpose yards in a bowl with 408 yards
Defensive Player of the Game: Boise State S Marty Tadman made ten tackles and recovered a fumble for a 47-yard touchdown
Stat Leaders: Boise State - Passing: Taylor Tharp, 30-44, 270 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Jeremy Avery, 10-69. Receiving: Austin Pettis, 9-89
East Carolina - Passing: Pat Pinkney, 12-19, 118 yds, 1 TD
Rushing:
Chris Johnson, 28-223, 1 TD. Receiving: Jamar Bryant, 6-78


4. 2008 Gator Bowl
Texas Tech 31 ... Virginia 28

Virginia appeared to have control of the game with a 96-yard Mikell Simpson touchdown run and an 11-yard scoring grab leading the way to a 28-14 fourth quarter lead, but Texas Tech scored 17 unanswered points in the final 3:31 to pull off the win. Michael Crabtree toed the line on a 20-yard touchdown grab, and following a Rajon Henry forced fumble of Virginia backup QB Peter Lalich, Aaron Crawford tied it up on a four-yard run. Texas Tech got one last shot and went 30 yards in seven plays leading to a 41-yard Alex Trlica field goal with two seconds to play.
Offensive Player of the Game: Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell completed 44 of 69 passes for 407 yards and three touchdowns
Defensive Player of the Game: Texas Tech DT Rajon Henry made seven tackles and forced the fumble that led to the game-tying touchdown

Stat Leaders: Virginia - Passing: Jameel Sewell, 14-23, 78 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Mikell Simpson, 20-170, 1 TD. Receiving: Mikell Simpson, 5-36, 1 TD
Texas Tech - Passing: Graham Harrell, 44-69, 407 yds, 3 TD
Rushing:
Kobey Lewis, 8-33. Receiving: Michael Crabtree, 9-101, 1 TD

3. 2008 Outback Bowl
Tennessee 21 ... Wisconsin 17

Wisconsin was marching on a final drive with a chance to win the game, but Antonio Wardlow picked off a Tyler Donovan pass on the five-yard line in the final minute to seal the win for the Vols. Tennessee held a 21-7 lead midway through the second quarter on two Erik Ainge touchdown passes and a three-yard Gerald Jones scoring run, but Wisconsin pitched a shut out the rest of the way. The Badger offense got a six-yard Donovan run and a four-yard Andy Crooks catch, but couldn't get in the end zone in the second half with Taylor Mehlhaff hitting a 27-yard field goal late in the third and the Vol D holding on a key fourth down play. Down four with under six minutes to play and on the Tennessee ten, the Badger chose to go for it on fourth and two and missed as Donovan, under pressure, threw his pass to Travis Beckum through the end zone. The Badgers had to go for a late touchdown instead of getting in field goal range for Mehlhaff.
Offensive Player of the Game: Tennessee QB Erik Ainge completed 25 of 43 passes for 365 yards and two touchdowns
Defensive Player of the Game: Wisconsin LB Jonathan Casillas made ten tackles, four tackles for loss and forced a fumble
Stat Leaders: Tennessee - Passing: Erik Ainge, 25-43, 365 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Montario Hardesty, 7-35. Receiving: Josh Briscoe, 7-101, 1 TD
Wisconsin - Passing: Tyler Donovan, 14-24, 155 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
P.J. Hill, 16-132. Receiving:
Garrett Graham, 7-75

2. 2007 Chick-fil-A Bowl
Auburn 23 ... Clemson 20 OT

Auburn QB Kodi Burns ran for a seven-yard score in overtime, answering a Clemson 25-yard field goal, to pull out the win in a defensive struggle. It took about three quarters for the offenses to warm up, and then they started to move when needed as Clemson scored the first ten points of the fourth quarter with a 22-yard Mark Buchholz field goal and a one-yard James Davis run to go up seven, but Auburn was able to answer with an 11-play, 70-yard drive with a key fourth down conversion and a one-yard Ben Tate run to tie it up. Auburn started off the scoring with a 36-yard Wes Byrum field goal, but Clemson roared back in the second quarter with a thrilling 83-yard C.J. Spiller touchdown dash. Auburn outgained Clemson 423 yards to 293 and got 24 first downs to Clemson's 12.
Offensive Player of the Game: Auburn QB Kodi Burns completed one of four passes for 22 yards and a score, and ran 13 times for 69 yards and the winning touchdown.
Defensive Player of the Game: Auburn DT Pat Sims made five tackles, a sack, and three tackles for loss
Stat Leaders: Clemson - Passing: Cullen Harper, 14-33, 104 yds
Rushing: C.J. Spiller, 8-112, 1 TD. Receiving: Aaron Kelly, 4-36
Auburn - Passing: Brandon Cox, 25-39, 211 yds, 1 INT
Rushing:
Kodi Burns, 13-69, 1 TD. Receiving:
Mario Fannin, 5-53, 1 TD

And the best bowl game was ...

1. 2008 Capital One Bowl
Michigan 41 ... Florida 35

Michigan rolled up 524 yards of total offense, but it needed to come back late and hold on to seal the stunning win. Florida stayed alive on four Wolverine turnovers, including two fumbles from Mike Hart, as Tim Tebow threw three touchdown passes and Percy Harvin scored twice on the way to a 35-31 fourth quarter lead. The Wolverines rallied late with an 18-yard touchdown catch from Adrian Arrington with 4:12 to play to take the lead, and a 41-yard K.C. Lopata field goal made it a six-point margin with just over two minutes to play. But Tebow would get one more shot with the ball on his own 23. Four misfires later, including an errant fourth down pass under pressure, and the Wolverines sent head coach Lloyd Carr out a winner. Chad Henne threw three touchdown passes and Hart ran for two short scores, but Florida was able to crank out yards in chunks thanks to Harvin, who amassed 242 yards of total offense.
Offensive Player of the Game: Florida WR Percy Harvin ran 13 times for 165 yards and a touchdown and led the team with nine catches for 77 yards and a score
Defensive Player of the Game: Michigan SS Jamar Adams made nine tackles, a sack, and had a quarterback hurry
Stat Leaders: Michigan- Passing: Chad Henne, 25-39, 373 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Mike Hart, 32-129, 2 TD. Receiving: Adrian Arrington, 9-153, 2 TD
Florida - Passing: Tim Tebow, 17-33, 154 yds, 3 TD
Rushing:
Percy Harvin, 13-165, 1 TD. Receiving: Percy Harvin, 9-77, 1 TD