College Football 2015: Big Individual Performances Highlight First Week of Bowl Games
The corporate sponsors might not be household names and the stadiums might have been less than half full. But that didn’t stop some exciting action during the first week of bowl season. Here are some of the highlights from the last week on the gridiron.
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Arizona 45, New Mexico 37
Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon returned from a concussion that caused him to miss the last game of the regular season to throw for 329 yards and score three touchdowns (one rushing). Playing in front of a home crowd, New Mexico pulled to within five points early in the fourth quarter but turned the ball over on downs and threw an interception in its two remaining drives.
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl
No. 22 Utah 35, BYU 28
Utah jumped out to a 35-0 lead in the first quarter and, although the Utes never threatened again, it was enough to hold off their in-state rivals over the next three quarters. BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum had the worst day of his young career, fumbling once and throwing three interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) in the game’s first 14 minutes.
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
Appalachian State 31, Ohio 29
Appalachian State made a 23-yard field goal as time expired to win the Mountaineers’ first-ever bowl game.
Autonation Cure Bowl
San Jose State 27, Georgia State 16
San Jose State quarterback Kenny Potter threw one touchdown and ran for another in the fourth quarter to lead the Spartans to their fourth consecutive bowl win dating back to 1990.
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Louisiana Tech 47, Arkansas State 28
Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon accounted for 215 total yards and four touchdowns, breaking the NCAA record for career touchdowns (87) and points (522) in the process. Quarterback Jeff Driskel, a transfer from Florida, threw for 458 yards and three scores in the Bulldogs’ second consecutive bowl win.
Miami Beach Bowl
Western Kentucky 45, South Florida 35
Western Kentucky’s quarterback Brandon Doughty closed out his record-setting career in style with 461 yards and three touchdowns.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Akron 23, Utah State 21
The Zips’ defense forced three turnovers and placekicker Robert Stein became the school’s career points leader with three field goals to lead Akron to its first-ever bowl win.
Marmot Boca Raton Bowl
Toledo 32, No. 24 Temple 17
Toledo came into the game ranked third in red zone defense and it showed, as Temple was held to three short field goals and never found the end zone until the final three minutes of the game. Toledo running back Kareem Hunt rushed for 79 yards and two scores in the Rockets’ second straight bowl win.
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Boise State 55, Northern Illinois 7
Bronco quarterback Brett Rypien threw for 377 yards and three scores as Boise State routed the Huskies to secure its sixth bowl win in seven tries. This one was never in doubt as Northern Illinois managed just 33 total yards and seven first downs in the game. Its only score came on a second-quarter kickoff return.
Georgia Southern 58, Bowling Green 27
In just its second year in the FBS, Georgia Southern rolled up 534 yards in the rout for its first-ever bowl win. Georgia Southern leads the nation in rushing and Eagle quarterback Favian Shaw rushed for 199 yards and four scores in the win.
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl
Western Michigan 45, Middle Tennessee 31
Freshman running back Jamauri Bogan rushed for 215 yards and four touchdowns as the Broncos secured their first-ever bowl win. Western Michigan finished with eight wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history.
San Diego State 42, Cincinnati 7
The Aztecs locked up their second straight bowl win thanks to three interceptions that led to 14 points. San Diego State returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and never looked back as the Bearcats were held scoreless until 3:21 left in the fourth quarter.