Notes on the 2007-2008 Bowls
Thoughts on the
2006-2007 Bowl Season
Utah 35 ... Navy 32
Thoughts & Notes ... It was amazing that Navy was able to
stay in the game as long as it did with the Utah defense doing a
great job against the run. Yes, the Midshipmen gained 316 yards on
the ground, but more often than not, the offense had to deal with
second and third and long situations and had a hard time keeping the
chains moving. ... As the game went on, it seemed like Utah QB Brian
Johnson started to trust his injured shoulder a little bit more.
While he avoided several big hits, he started to run harder and
harder in the second half. ... Utah never provided the big break
Navy needed to change the game around, but it came close on a late
fumble that hit the pylon that should've been called a touchback,
but wasn't. Instead of having the ball on the 20, Navy had to start
on its one after a tough goal line stand. After having to go for it
on fourth down, and missing, Utah easily marched for what would turn
out to be the game-winning touchdown. ... In his debut as the Navy
head coach, Ken Niumatalolo kept things going as usual. Including
several gutty calls on fourth down (even though only one worked), it
was if Paul Johnson was still on the sidelines.
2007 New Orleans
Florida Atlantic 44 ... Memphis 27
Thoughts & Notes ...
held up well against the Memphis lines. While it didn't get to
Martin Hankins too often, it pressured him just enough to hurry a
few key throws early on, while the Tigers almost never touched Rusty
Smith. Smith got time, the FAU receivers ran by the Tiger defensive
backs, and it became a simple game of pitch and catch all game long
for the Owl attack. ... Memphis needed to run the ball successfully
to win, and while it tried to pound the ball in the second half and
wear down the smallish Owl defensive front, it became too tempting
to stop throwing the ball. That proved to be a problem. Memphis only
outgained FAU 117 to 115. ... The Sun Belt has to start getting more
and more respect after responding in the spotlight games. FAU didn't
just beat Memphis, it won with a breathtaking offensive display. ...
Talk about pressure on the rest of the Sun Belt. If Howard
Schnellenberger can walk through the door and make a football
program form scratch, then why can't the rest of the Sun Belt teams
have similar success?
2007 Motor City Bowl
Purdue 51 ... Central Michigan 48
Notes & Thoughts ... Central Michigan's secondary was
awful all year long. Curtis Painter was able to throw without a problem with
little pass rush to worry about and receiver after receiver getting behind the
D. It also helped that the Chippewa defensive back seven couldn't tackle in the
first half. ... CMU's Dan LeFevour became just the second player, Florida's Tim
Tebow the other, to run and throw for 20 touchdowns in the same season. ...
Yeah, Purdue broke its bowl drought and ended the season on a high note, but to
struggle to survive against a MAC team it already beat by 23 earlier in the year
isn't exactly impressive. If the Boilermakers had choked away the loss, would
Joe Tiller be on a red hot seat or would he be gone? ... Defense schmefense.
This is what you want in a bowl game. High-octane offense, lousy defense, and a
game that goes right down to the wire.
Cincinnati 31 ... Southern Miss 21
Thoughts and Notes ...
Southern Miss played hard in head coach Jeff Bower's final game. The
defense was flying around against the run, and QB Jeremy Young tried
to do his best to keep the team in the game, but Cincinnati was
simply the better team. QB Ben Mauk overcame his rough patches,
settled down, and showed why he took the team from good to great
this year. ... A ten-win season in Brian Kelly's first season has
set the bar high. Now Cincinnati has to use a win like this, a
relatively easy one over an overmatched team, to go into next year
with even more of an attitude. This team should win games. This
program should be able to beat average ones when it's not playing
its sharpest or its best. ... Southern Miss RB Damion Fletcher will
be overshadowed next year if UCF RB Kevin Smith returns as expected,
but he's every bit as good. He got a bit banged up early against the
Bearcats, but he was able to still carry the offense as both a
runner and a receiver. He gained 155 rushing yards, and led the
Eagles with seven catches for 50 yards, while UC only gained 71 net
New Mexico 23 ... Nevada 0
and Notes ...
New Mexico won its first bowl game since the 1961 Aviation Bowl, and Nevada was
shut out for the first time since 1980 and a span of 329 games. ...
Nevada got badly outprepared and badly outcoached. The Wolf Pack
attack never established any sort of consistency, while the
offensive line had a nightmare of a time in pass protection. Will
this game serve as a motivating factor for next year? The pieces are
in place to be far better, and far more consistent. ... New Mexico
might have been missing top RB Rodney Ferguson, but WRs Marcus Smith
and Travis Brown turned their games up a notch, and QB Donovan
Porterie came up with his best performance as a Lobo. Now the bowl
monkey is off the program's back, and it'll be interesting to see if
this turns into a confidence-builder in the Rocky Long era. ...
Considering there was probably going to be a quarterback battle
going into 2008 anyway at Nevada, Colin Kaepernick's 13 of 31,
137-yard game opened things up even more. He hardly staked his claim
to the full-time job.
BYU 17 ... UCLA 16
and Notes ...
While BYU certainly
won't give the win over UCLA back, but this was hardly a bright
shining moment for the Mountain West. The Bruins were down to an
untested third string quarterback, is dealing with all the coaching
turmoil, and it still came within a an Eathyn Manumaleuna mitt from
pulling off the upset. This might not have been enough of a showing
for Dwayne Walker to win the UCLA head coaching job, but he had the
defense playing at a high level. ... In several ways, this BYU
season might have been even more impressive than last year when it
ripped through almost everyone. Bronco Mendenhall and his staff got
11 wins out of a team with a less talented offense, and was able to
pull off tight wins over UCLA, New Mexico, Utah and TCU. ... If only
UCLA had a healthy Ben Olson or Pat Cowan. McLeod Bethel-Thompson
wasn't always helped out by his receiving corps, and he did a great
job of getting the team in a position to win the game on a great
final drive, but he was too inconsistent throughout. ... The pass
rushing stars didn't disappoint. UCLA's Bruce Davis played at
another level, and BYU's Jan Jorgensen was terrific.
East Carolina 41 ... Boise State 38
Thoughts & Notes ... Did Boise State start to believe its own
hype? After everyone picking the Broncos to walk past East Carolina,
the Hawaii Bowl turned out to be a shocker early on as the Pirates
and Chris Johnson came out roaring. This appeared to be a fully
focused ECU team, but once Boise State settled down, it showed a
little of the magic expected with the fantastic comeback. In the
end, this wasn't the same Bronco defense as it was in past years,
getting shoved around way too easily up front. ... The loss of Ian
Johnson to an ankle problem isn't an excuse for Boise's loss, but
with the offense already reeling after not having burgeoning star
receiver Jeremy Childs, who was out for violating team rules, the
team struggled to find a go-to playmaker. Taylor Tharp started to
play well late, but he's not the type of quarterback who could carry
the offense by himself. ... Lost in the heroics of a last-second
field goal for the ECU win, and the wild fourth quarter, was a
tremendous day from both punters. ECU's Matt Dodge put it in the end
zone four times, but he showed great blast averaging 43.1 yards on
seven kicks. Boise State's Kyle Brotzman averaged 42.2 yards on four
Texas 52 ... Arizona State 34
Thoughts & Notes ... The pressure would've been on Mack Brown
had the Longhorns lost to Arizona State, and now it'll be on after
the team showed what it could do when properly motivated. Playing
with an attitude, the offense came out roaring, the entire team
appeared to be in it for the full sixty minutes, and now the job
will be for everyone to play that way game in and game out in 2008.
... ASU QB Rudy Carpenter spent the week popping off to the Texas
team, and he paid the price. The Sun Devil offensive line couldn't
come close to keeping Carpenter upright with Texas getting in shot
after shot. ... Is there a quarterback controversy at ASU going into
next year? While Texas could afford to let up somewhat with the game
in hand, ASU backup Danny Sullivan still looked impressive in a
relief role completing seven of 14 passes for 118 yards and a
touchdown with an interception. He also showed off a much, much
better deep arm than Carpenter.
Boston College 24 ... Michigan State 21
& Notes ...
lived on ball control offense all year long with a great running
game and a mere 13 turnovers, but it gave the ball away five times
to BC, only ran for 172 yards, and couldn't find much of an
offensive rhythm. It didn't help that Javon Ringer and Jehuu
Caulcrick each appeared to be bothered by little injuries. ... Even
without Jonal Saint-Dic, who was suspended, MSU got consistent
pressure on Matt Ryan and came up with three sacks. The defense did
enough to win the game allowing just 276 yards with 68 coming on one
play. ... BC's defense never let the great MSU backs break off the
type of big runs that could've changed the game around. With QB
Brian Hoyer struggling, MSU needed Javon Ringer to hit a home run or
two, and he didn't. ... MSU star return man Devin Thomas started the
game off with a 79-yard kickoff return leading to an early Spartan
touchdown, but BC kept him under wraps the rest of the way. A few
bobbles helped, but Eagle punter Johnny Ayers had a great game
pinning MSU deep.
Oregon State 21 ... Maryland 14
Thoughts & Notes ... Oregon State beat Maryland despite
average quarterback play from both Sean Canfield and Lyle Moeavo. To
be fair, the offensive line that did a tremendous job for the
running game was blown past in pass protection, but the quarterbacks
didn't do anything special. That Maryland could sell out against the
run and still couldn't stop Yvenson Bernard and James Rodgers showed
how tough things were for the defensive front. ... Where was the
Maryland running game? The setup was there with big pass plays early
on to open things up, but it didn't happen. The Beaver defensive
line was dominant, Derrick Doggett led a linebacking corps that
cleaned everything up, and the secondary was tight after the first
quarter. Bernard and Rodgers will get the headlines, but the defense
more than did its job.
Car Care Bowl
Wake Forest 24 ... Connecticut 10
& Notes ...
UConn's defense was
solid all season long, and while it forced two turnovers, including
a beauty of a hit by Darius Butler to stop a sure touchdown drive,
the offense couldn't provide any help. Tyler Lorenzen did the best
he could under pressure, but he couldn't make enough plays with his
feet, and he struggled to get any consistent offense going. The
Huskies simply couldn't get behind, and they did in the second half.
... With 20 wins in the last two years is a lot for anyone, but for
Wake Forest, this represents the best era in the school's football
history. Jim Grobe continues to be the coach's coach, the one who
gets the utmost respect for what he does with less talent than most,
but he's had some players over the last few years. Kenneth Moore
grew into a top pass catcher, the offensive line has been terrific,
and the defense has had a few great college talents here and there.
Now the program has expectations, and that's not a bad thing. ...
Once the Demon Deacons took control in the second half, never once
did it seem like the Huskies had a shot to make a comeback. There
were a few chances, and the defense wasn't awful, but the passing
game was too off and the ground game didn't provide any pop. Outside
of a few big runs, Donald Brown and Andre Dixon never got going.
Mississippi State 10 ... UCF 3
Thoughts & Notes ... Yes, the defenses played great, but the
2007 Liberty Bowl will be remembered for the completely inept
offenses. Check that; the completely inept passing games. UCF RB
Kevin Smith and MSU RB Antony Dixon were fine, but the two
quarterbacks, UCF's Kyle Israel and MSU's Wesley Carroll, were
miserable. How bad were the passing attacks? The two quarterbacks
combined to complete 18 of 44 passes for 127 yards (with MSU getting
just 39) and four interceptions. Credit the defenses for generating
plenty of pressure, but the quarterbacks, at this point in the year,
needed to be better. ... The storyline around Smith will be about
how he didn't set the single-season rushing record, but his 119
yards on the ground should be viewed as the glass being half full.
MSU threw everyone at him and he still cranked out 100 yards. ...
The offensive numbers: 23 combined first downs. Six of 30 on third
downs. 3.1 yards per play for UCF, 3.3 yards per play for MSU.
Penn State 24 ... Texas A&M 17
controlled the game up front, Texas A&M didn't. It's as simple as
that. The Aggies needed to win the rushing yard margin by a lot, at
least 50 yards, and they were outgained 270 to 164. ... Penn State
QB Anthony Morelli struggled in the final game in an interesting
career. He got the win, and he came up with a few decent passes, but
he was too erratic and didn't take advantage of the coverages A&M
showed him. He just never got better over the last few years. ...
The unsung heroes were the punters. Penn State's Jeremy Boone
averaged 51.4 yards per kick, while Texas A&M's Justin Brantly
averaged 55 yards per shot. ... It'll be interesting to see how the
Penn State offense revolves around Daryll Clark next year, if he
wins the starting job. His running ability might be even more
dangerous than former starter Michael Robinson's. ... A&M played
hard and played well considering the coaching issues. The Aggies
lost to a better team.
Alabama 30 ... Colorado 24
& Notes ...
For about 20
minutes, Alabama QB John Parker Wilson showed why he has the
potential to be one of the SEC's best offensive weapons, and then
for the last 40 minutes he showed why there might be a big battle
for the starting job going into next year. Consistency is his
problem, but when he's on, the Bama offense hums. ... Colorado QB
Cody Hawkins wasn't always sharp, but he's a gamer, and was tough as
nails against a good Tide pass rush, which showed up with decent
pressure for one of the few times this year. He did a fantastic of
spreading the ball around and taking what the Tide defense gave him.
He'll be an interesting player to keep an eye on over the next few
years. He's only a freshman. ... This is a young Buff team that's
still rebuilding, and while ending the season with a loss is never a
positive, it was a good showing after a rough start. ... Nick Saban
can breathe a big sigh of relief. Of course he's not an any sort of
a hot seat, but after the way the team finished out the regular
season with four straight losses, including the gaffe to UL Monroe
and the defeat at Auburn, this would've been a disaster had the Tide
blown a 27-0 lead. Saban hand the coaching staff had the best of all
possible worlds getting the win, but being able to rail on the team
all offseason for not putting it away earlier.
California 42 ... Air Force 36
& Notes ...
Cal's win over Air
Force was a textbook definition of want-to vs. talent. Air Force
came out roaring and with everything working perfectly, and then the
Bears turned up their skill level a few notches and roared back for
the win. ... Kevin Riley showed why he'll probably be Cal's leader
over the next few seasons. Getting time to throw, he worked
perfectly with his tremendous receiving corps to spark the comeback,
and most importantly once the momentum was all Cal's way, he didn't
make mistakes and didn't turn the ball over. ... The option works at
the highest levels. Air Force was able to move the ball, but it was
the defense that proved to be the problem in the second half. The
offense did a nice job of keeping relative control when Cal started
bombing away. ... Where was this fight in Cal over the second half
of the season? If it had showed the fight and the efficiency it had
in the last three quarters against Air Force, it would've been in a
much better bowl.
Fresno State 40 ... Georgia Tech 28
& Notes ...
interim head coach Jon Tenuta didn't exactly come through with a
strong defensive gameplan against Fresno State. There was little of
the pass rush that dominated at times throughout the year, there
were too many big plays allowed, and not enough stops on third
downs. Fresno State played a better first half and Tech couldn't
scramble to get back. The fight appeared to be there as the game
went on, but the Bulldogs were too sharp. ... FSU QB Tom Brandstater
has been teetering on the verge of greatness, and this game might be
the one that makes him the WAC's signature star going into 2008 (if
Boise State's Ian Johnson leaves early). The offensive line gave him
time and he came through with a brilliant game. ... Even though the
coaching situation made Georgia Tech understandably uneven, this was
still a bad, bad loss for the ACC. The WAC has been mediocre in the
bowl season, and Fresno State is certainly nothing too special, but
the Yellow Jackets got their doors blown off. Fresno State outgained
Tech 571 yards to 379.
Oregon 56 ... South Florida 21
Thoughts & Notes ... Oregon apparently needed a time out.
After the disappointment following the Dennis Dixon injury, and the
ugly three-game losing streak to end the season, the team got some
time off to regroup and played like the Oregon that was in the
national title hunt deep into the season. It started with the lines
with tackle Geoff Schwartz and center Max Unger dominated USF front
four. ... Where were the South Florida linebackers? Ben Moffitt was
non-existent with a mere four tackles and Tyrone McKenzie made ten
stops, but not enough meaningful ones. Jonathan Stewart and the Duck
runners spent way too much time in the Bull secondary. ... Oregon's
only problem was with penalties committing 13 for 138 yards. South
Florida committed eight for 64 yards. ... Justin Roper might not be
Dixon running the ball, but he showed a little bit of mobility and
threw extremely well. It helped that he got time, and it really
helped that the Duck running game took away all the attention, but
he turned the game into a rout in the third quarter.
Kentucky 35 ... Florida State 28
& Notes ...
played its guts out. With no depth and missing a slew of starters,
the Noles hung tough for a full sixty minutes rarely playing like a
short-handed team. ... Kentucky will obviously be happy about
getting a second straight Music City Bowl win, but considering the
circumstances, this wasn't exactly an impressive performance. The
Wildcats should've been able to pound the ball and worn down the FSU
defensive front, but couldn't do it. The Noles held on to the ball
for almost 11 minutes in the third quarter. ... What is it about
Florida State and running the ball in bowl games? After having no
ground game last year, it ripped up UCLA in the Emerald Bowl, and
this year it struggled all year long on the ground but got 156 yards
out of Antone Smith against the Wildcats. ... FSU QB Drew
Weatherford needed to be perfect, and he wasn't. To be fair, he
didn't get a whole bunch of help on several key plays that could've
changed the game. ... Andre Woodson became UK's all-time leader in
touchdown passes with 40 for his career after tossing four against
the Seminoles. ... Penalties killed Florida State with ten for 102
yards. Kentucky committed seven, but for just 45 yards.
Oklahoma State 49 ... Indiana 33
Thoughts & Notes ... Oklahoma State couldn't be going into
the offseason on a higher note. After an uneven and inconsistent
season, all the parts were working against Indiana with 211 rushing
yards and 302 through the air in an offensive explosion that many
thought would happen game in and game out. Make no mistake about it;
this is Zac Robinson's offense now. The attack revolved around him
more and more as the season wore on, and he showed against the
Hoosiers that he could be a potential superstar. ... Indiana got
whipped on the lines. Early on, Kellen Lewis appeared to be more
worried about the OSU defensive front than he was about making
plays, and the Hoosier line that was so great at getting into the
backfield throughout the year did absolutely nothing to disrupt the
OSU offense despite making seven tackles for loss. ... IU's number
one priority this offseason has to be getting more of a running
game. Lewis can't do it all on his own. Marcus Thigpen is productive
when he gets the ball, but he's not a workhorse who'll carry it 25
times a game. ... Building on this is a must for Oklahoma State.
Indiana might not be a juggernaut, but getting a win like this sets
the bar that much higher for a program with a T. Boone Pickens and
his mighty expectations (and checkbook) putting the pressure on.
Auburn 23 ... Clemson 20 OT
For not being any
sort of an offensive shootout, this might have been one of the most
entertaining of the 207 bowl games. The two defenses played
extremely well, while the offenses came though with key drives in
the second half just when they needed them. ... Teams have to play
the seniors and have to reward years of hard work, but there's no
reason to not play next year's quarterback in a bowl like this.
Auburn handled the situation perfectly putting in Brandon Cox on key
passing drives, and in the most pressure packed situations, and
allowed next year's likely main man, Kodi Burns, to sink or swim on
several key moments. ... There's no question that James Davis is a
next-level back, but why did Clemson only run C.J. Spiller eight
times? Spiller was more of a playmaker and appeared to be the
quicker of the two rushing options when he was able to get into
space, but Davis got the bulk of the workload with 23 carries.
Spiller tore off the big 83-yard touchdown run right off the bat and
barely touched the ball the rest of the way. ... So what did we
learn about Tony Franklin as the Auburn offensive coordinator? Not
too much. It's going to be an offseason of immense scrutiny around
the Tigers to see if there can be some pop to the passing game along
with the running of Burns, if he turns out to be the main man. Cox
might not have been anything special, but he came through time and
again this year with a good drive when needed.
Tennessee 21 ... Wisconsin 17
Thoughts & Notes ...
5 Thoughts on the Outback Bowl ... Erik Ainge was
phenomenal on third downs for about three quarters. While the
Tennessee offense struggled to keep drives going late in the second
half, it finished converting nine of 18 third down chances and
killed any Badger defensive momentum time and again... Where were
the carries for P.J. Hill? While the Badger rushing star wasn't
quite 100%, he was effective every time he touched the ball, and
even showed a burst of speed with a 50-yard run. The Wisconsin
offensive line got into a lather and was fantastic when it could
line up and blast the Tennessee defensive line on rushing plays, but
the Badger offense went away from the ground game in too many key
spots. ... Tennessee got a pass rush, with three sacks and several
big hits on Tyler Donovan, and Wisconsin didn't lay a finger on
Ainge for long stretches. That proved to be the difference. ... The
Tennessee defensive line had great stretches, but every time the
Badgers wanted to run the ball, tackle Kraig Urbik and guard Andy
Kemp steamrolled the right side. However, Badger left tackle Gabe
Carimi had a rough game.
Texas Tech 31 ... Virginia 28
Thoughts & Notes ...
5 Thoughts on the Gator Bowl ... Virginia got pressure
early on the Texas Tech passing game and forced several mistakes and
misfired. Star WR Michael Crabtree didn't get the ball enough, and
there were few long drives. And then the attack woke up in crunch
time and went on a tear. The Virginia defense couldn't do anything
to slow down the momentum. ... Virginia didn't have much of a
passing game, but Jameel Sewell was effective until he was knocked
out of the game. .Peter Lalich was effective for a short spurt, but
his fumble proved to be too costly to overcome. ... Mikell Simpson
once against established himself as one of the premier overall backs
in college football. Just a sophomore, he has size, speed, and great
hands to become a national star over the next few seasons. ... Texas
Tech converted just nine of 20 third down chances, Virginia
converted nine of 18.
Missouri 38 ... Arkansas 7
Thoughts & Notes ...
5 Thoughts on the Cotton Bowl ... Talk about your dud
matchups, the Heisman stars failed to shine. Darren McFadden wasn't
awful with 105 yards and a touchdown, but he was hardly special.
Chase Daniel only completed 12 of 29 passes for 136 yards with an
interception. ... Arkansas looked like a team that underwent a
coaching change. Missouri had no problems stopping the Hog attack
time and again, and five turnovers showed just how unfocused the
team appeared to be. All the drama about the McFadden agent
situation couldn't have helped. .... 7.5 yards per carry for
Missouri and 3.3 yards per run for Arkansas. Even in Mizzou's
wildest dreams they never could've thought this would happen. Who
could've imagined the Tigers winning in such a blowout without any
pop from Daniel, Jeremy Maclin and the passing game?
Michigan 41 ... Florida 35
& Notes ...
5 Thoughts on the Capital One Bowl ... Michigan took
things to a level it hasn't been at in years. It was flying around
on defense, dominant on offense, and with Chad Henne and Mike Hart
healthy, the attack was unstoppable by everything but turnovers.
Sure, wanting to send head coach Lloyd Carr out with a bang was a
motivation, but for Henne, Hart and Jake Long, is was about ending
their careers with a real, live big win. ... Third down conversions:
Michigan 10 of 15, Florida 2 of 11. ... The Florida secondary might
be young, but it has to be a whole heck of a lot better going into
next year. It gave up too many big plays and had a nightmare of a
time against the big Wolverine receivers. ... If Mike Hart had been
100% all season long, would he have won the Heisman? As he showed
against the Gators, he's a special player when he gets to control a
USC 49 ... Illinois 17
Thoughts & Notes ...
5 Thoughts on the Rose Bowl ... The two teams combined for 1,078
yards of total offense with Illinois getting 190 of it 445 on three
plays. ... Illinois had no downfield passing whatsoever early on and
the USC defensive front seven teed off. The linebackers ate up
everything Juice Williams wanted to do. Outside of one big run and
the big screen pass to get in scoring range, Rashard Mendenhall
almost never got the ball in a place to do anything. ... This was
Mendenhall's showcase game. For all the talent on USC, Mendenhall
might turn out to be the best pro prospect. He showed speed and
hands to go along with his power and cutting ability. ... USC came
up with 14 tackles for loss and forced six fumbles, recovering two.
The defense was all over the Illinois running game. ... USC ran for
344 yards to 144. Illinois needed that number to be reversed.
Georgia 41 ... Hawaii 10
& Notes ...
5 Thoughts on the Sugar Bowl ...
Sugar Bowl Stream of Consciousness Quarter By Quarter Game Notes
... The Hawaii offensive line almost got Colt Brennan killed.
The Warrior's star quarterback never had time to operate with the
Bulldog defense hitting him on seemingly every play and throwing the
Hawaii offense off its rhythm all game long. Hawaii might have been
overwhelmed by the moment, but the biggest problem was the poor play
by the offensive line. ... Lost in the blowout win was the average
game by Matt Stafford and the passing game. Thomas Brown only
averaged 3.8 yards per carry, but Knowshon Moreno averaged 6.8 yards
a pop to get the running game going. They carried the day while
Stafford only completed 14 of 23 passes despite having all the time
he wanted. ... Because of the sacks, Georgia outgained Hawaii 159
yards to -5 on the ground.
West Virginia 48 ... Oklahoma 28
Thoughts & Notes ...
5 Thoughts on the Fiesta Bowl ...
Fiesta Bowl Stream of Consciousness Quarter By Quarter Game Notes
...Penalties played a huge role. West Virginia committed eight for
110 yards, but OU didn't take full advantage. 13 Sooner sins
accounted for 113 yards with several killing promising drives and
kick returns. ... Oklahoma looked stunningly unprepared. West
Virginia executed perfectly for a full sixty minutes, but OU time
and again overran plays, were out of position, and made big
mistakes. ... West Virginia wasn't able to maintain the same
effectiveness in the pass rush for a full sixty minutes, but it
dominated early on and came up with the key hits on Sam Bradford
when it had to. ... OU's Curtis Lofton had one of the emptiest 15
tackle games you'll ever see. ... West Virginia averaged 8.9 yards
per carry. Let that sink in for a moment.
... Virginia Tech 21
Thoughts & Notes ...
5 Thoughts on the Orange Bowl ...
Orange Bowl Stream of Consciousness Quarter By Quarter Game Notes
... Virginia Tech survived several bad breaks and great Kansas field
position by fighting back into the game, but down three, it lost all
the momentum by not going for it on a key fourth and short deep in
Jayhawk territory in the third quarter, got the field goal attempt
blocked, and it was all KU the rest of the way. ... Kansas not only
matched the Virginia Tech pass rush, it bettered it five sacks to
four. Give a little credit to the mobility of KU QB Todd Reesing,
but also credit the Jayhawk defense that showed up with an attitude.
... While Tech came up with some big special teams plays, including
a touchdown on a punt return, it lost the battle. KU got the key
blocked field goal, got a first down off a fake punt, and got a
whale of a game from punter Kyle Tucker, who pinned the Hokies deep
time and again. The Hokies didn't connect on their two field goal
attempts, and that was the difference.
Rutgers 52 ... Ball State 30
Thoughts & Notes ... It was a more entertaining game than
it'll be remembered for. Ray Rice made a great final statement
showing he belongs in the 2008 NFL Draft, while Nate Davis had a
fantastic day throwing the ball under tremendous pressure
throughout. Even though Rutgers had command from the beginning,
there was a moment or two in the second half when it looked like the
Cardinals had a shot to turn it around. ... Rice was the star of the
game, but Mike Teel was terrific. He was on the mark most of the
day, and he threw a beautiful, perfect ball to Kenny Britt to seal
the win. ... Rutgers came up with six sacks, Ball State one. The
Cardinals didn't have the defensive line to hold up against the
solid Rutgers offensive front. ... The Scarlet Knights appeared to
care from the beginning. This was an overmatched Ball State team,
but Rutgers never played like it.
Tulsa 63 ... Bowling Green 7
Thoughts & Notes ... Paul Smith set an NCAA record with his
14th straight 300-yard passing game ... Bowling Green QB Tyler
Sheehan was knocked out in the first half with an ankle injury. He
still finished as the team's leading rusher. ... This has to be
considered among the ugliest bowl games of all-time. Tulsa's
normally porous defense didn't let Bowling Green have any sort of a
shot by getting into the backfield time and again. The Falcon
turnovers made it a laugher, while Todd Graham and the Golden
Hurricane coaching staff showed just how prepared they were. All the
gadgets, the execution, the defensive pressure; it all worked.
LSU 38 … Ohio State 24
Thoughts & Notes ...
5 Thoughts on the BCS Championship |
BCS Championship Stream of Consciousness Quarter By Quarter Game
Notes ... The key to the game was third down conversions. LSU
was 11 of 18 getting just about every third and short opportunity,
while Ohio State converted three of 13 chances. ... The Buckeyes
played a slightly better game than history will give them credit
for. All anyone will remember is another national title loss to an
SEC team, but they had several chances to turn the game around on
both sides of the ball and didn't come through. ... LSU was known as
the team that commits penalties, but it only committed four for 36
yards while OSU committed seven for 83 yards including five key
personal fouls. ... OSU LB James Laurinaitis made 18 tackles, Marcus
Freeman made 14.