College Football Bowl Game Results—December 24-January 2
The second week of bowl season has given us plenty of upsets and wild finishes. Here are the highlights from the final week of college football.
(Note: we will separate recaps here for each of the New Year’s Six bowl games.)
Hawai’i 52, Middle Tennessee 35
The Rainbow Warriors scored their first bowl win since 2006 thanks to 500 yards of total offense and their first turnover-free game of the season. Hawai’i quarterback Dru Brown threw for four touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Warriors back from an early 14-0 deficit.
St. Petersburg Bowl
Mississippi State 17, Miami (OH) 16
Mississippi State blocked what would have been the game-winning 37-yard field goal with five seconds left to secure the Bulldogs’ sixth win of the season and their fifth bowl win in coach Dan Mullen’s eight seasons. Bulldog quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, who led the SEC in total offense, rushed for 142 yards and two scores in the victory.
Quick Lane Bowl
Boston College 36, Maryland 30
Boston College jumped out to an early 16-0 lead and held off a fourth quarter rally by the Terrapins to secure the Eagles’ first bowl victory since 2007. BC running back Ty Johnson went for 159 yards and two touchdowns while the Eagle defense recorded four turnovers and eight sacks in the win.
Camping World Independence Bowl
North Carolina State 41, Vanderbilt 17
NC State receiver Jaylen Samuels caught six passes for 104 yards and an Independence Bowl-record three touchdown passes as the Wolfpack rolled to an easy win. Vanderbilt running back Ralph Webb, already the school’s all-time career leading rusher, set the school single season rushing record (1,283 yards) in the loss.
Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
Wake Forest 34, No. 24 Temple 26
Wake Forest jumped out to an early 31-7 lead in the second quarter and then held off a late Temple rally to upset the Owls. The win gave the Demon Deacons their first winning season since 2008.
Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl
Army 38, North Texas 31 (OT)
Army rushed for 480 yards and broke up a fourth down pass in overtime to secure the Black Knights’ first bowl victory since 2010. Army’s ten wins are its most in a season since 1996 and its 46 total touchdowns this season broke a school record set by the 1945 national championship team that featured two future Heisman winners in the backfield.
National Funding Holiday Bowl
Minnesota 17, Washington State 12
Minnesota was without two suspended defensive backs, but their replacements stepped up big as the Golden Gopher defense stymied the potent Wazzu offense. Cougar quarterback Luke Falk, who came in ranked second in the nation in passing, didn’t crack the 200-yard mark until well into the fourth quarter and finished with just 264 passing yards, his second-lowest total of the season.
Motel 6 Cactus Bowl
Baylor 31, Boise State 12
The Bears snapped a six-game losing skid in convincing fashion, rolling up 515 total yards despite playing without their starting quarterback and top running back. Baylor receiver KD Cannon did most of the damage, catching 14 passes for two touchdowns and a Cactus Bowl-record 226 yards.
Russell Athletic Bowl
Miami 31, No. 16 West Virginia 14
Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya threw for 282 yards and a school bowl-record four touchdowns to lead the Hurricanes to their first bowl win since 2006. West Virginia averaged nearly 507 yards this season, but was held to just 229 yards—its lowest total since a 37-0 loss to Maryland in September 2013.
Foster Farms Bowl
No. 19 Utah 26, Indiana 24
Utah running back Joe Williams rushed for 222 yards and a touchdown and kicker Andy Phillips kicked the winning 27-yard field goal with 1:24 play to secure the win. Utah is now a remarkable 13-1 in bowl games going back to 1999.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Northwestern 31, No. 23 Pittsburgh 24
Running back Justin Jackson rushed for 224 yards and three touchdowns and the Wildcats came from behind with 10 fourth quarter points as Northwestern won just its third bowl game in program history.
Advocare V100 Texas Bowl
Kansas State 33, Texas A&M 28
Kansas State quarterback Jesse Ertz threw one touchdown and ran for two more to lead the Wildcats to just their second bowl win in the last 13 years. Aggie receiver Josh Reynolds had a school bowl-record 12 receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
No. 22 Virginia Tech 35, Arkansas 24
Bowl games can often be wild, but this might be one of the craziest we’ve seen. Arkansas jumped out a 24-0 lead midway through the second quarter. But whatever Hokie coach Justin Fuente did at halftime worked as Virginia Tech exploded for 35 unanswered points to score the biggest comeback win in school history. Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen was 13/16 for 215 yards and two scores in the first half but was held to 63 yards and three interceptions in the second.
Valero Alamo Bowl
No. 12 Oklahoma State 38, No. 10 Colorado 8
Mason Rudolph passed for 314 yards and three touchdowns as the Cowboys rolled over Colorado’s potent but injury-plagued defense. Oklahoma State’s 338 passing yards were the second-most the Buffs had surrendered this season.
South Florida 46, South Carolina 39 (OT)
South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers racked up 366 total yards and five touchdowns as the Bulls won their first bowl game since 2010. South Carolina closed regulation with 18 unanswered points to force overtime, but quarterback Jake Bentley (who threw for 390 yards and three touchdowns in the loss) was sacked and fumbled on fourth down to end the Gamecocks’ comeback hopes.
Hyundai Sun Bowl
No. 18 Stanford 25, North Carolina 23
Playing without Christian McCaffrey posed no problem for the Cardinal as sophomore Bryce Love racked up 164 total yards and a touchdown to key Stanford’s third consecutive bowl win. The Tarheels actually led going into the fourth quarter, but Stanford got a 19-yard interception return touchdown to take a lead they would not give back.
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
No. 21 Tennessee 38, Nebraska 24
Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs racked up 409 total yards and four touchdowns to lead the Volunteers past the injury-plagued Cornhuskers. He ends his career as just the third player in SEC history (after Tim Tebow and Dak Prescott) with 15 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing scores in multiple seasons. The Volunteers have won three straight bowl games for the first time since Peyton Manning was under center in 1994-96.
Autozone Liberty Bowl
Georgia 31, TCU 23
Nick Chubb and Sony Michel combined to rush for 229 yards and two touchdowns as Georgia scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter for the come-from-behind win. The loss gave TCU (6-7) just its third losing season in 16 years under coach Gary Patterson.
Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl
Air Force 45, South Alabama 21
Air Force’s triple-option struggled early, falling behind 21-3 in the second quarter. But sophomore quarterback Arion Worthman took over, throwing for a career-high 207 yards to lead the Falcons on a 42-0 run to win going away. The victory gives Air Force its second ten-win season since 1998.
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
No. 20 LSU 29, No. 13 Louisville 9
Replacing star running back Leonard Fournette, Derrius Guice rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown to earn offensive MVP honors. But the real hero for the Tigers was a defense that shut down Heisman winner Lamar Jackson. Jackson was sacked eight times (once for a safety) and totaled a season-low 186 total yards.
Georgia Tech 33, Kentucky 18
Yellow Jacket running back Dedrick Mills rushed for a career-high 169 yards and a touchdown while the Georgia Tech defense and special teams also got in on the action with a 38-yard fumble return touchdown and a blocked punt that set up a field goal. Georgia Tech closed the season on a four-game winning streak and won just its second bowl game since 2005.
No. 17 Florida 30, Iowa 3
Florida quarterback Austin Appleby threw interceptions on his first two possessions but, after working through those kinks, took over from there, throwing for 222 yards and two touchdowns to end a two-game losing streak. Appleby’s second quarter 85-yard touchdown pass to Mark Thompson was the longest reception and scoring play in Outback Bowl history.