30 Days of Blog, Day 12: BCS bowl recap
With bowl season over, we now have a national champion. This national champion contains a legend and Jameis Winston, the legend being their ball boy “Red Lighting.” All jokes aside, this bowl season may have been one of the best. Every BCS game was great and maybe the greatest National Championship game ever. So we will look back at this bowl season and talk about some of our favorite games. For the people that didn’t get the opportunity to watch the games we will try to discuss what happened the best we can.
I will discuss the Discover Orange Bowl. The Orange Bowl featured two high-powered offenses with both being quarterbacked by a dual-threat quarterback. Tajh Boyd had himself a day throwing for 378 yards and running for 127 yards with six total touchdowns while throwing two interceptions. Sammy Watkins, who won the MVP for this game caught 16 balls for 227 yards and two touchdowns, as both Boyd and Watkins led Clemson to a 40-35 win over Ohio State. Ohio State was led by Braxton Miller who throw for 234 yards and also ran for 35 more yards. Miller had four total touchdowns but also threw two interceptions. Carlos Hyde also ran for 113 and ran in a touchdown.
Now, time to talk about something you wouldn’t have known by looking at the box score. This game came down to the end of the fourth quarter. See, this game was back-and-forth for the whole night and was really exciting. So the reason the Ohio State Buckeyes lost in my eyes was on one hit late in the fourth quarter Braxton Miller got hit and hit hard. He appeared to be in a lot of pain while he was getting up, later to find out he had a cracked rib and a shoulder problem. Miller would then throw a game deciding interception with a minute left after Boyd would throw an interception that caused Ohio State to have the ball. It was a great game by both teams and if you have a chance to watch it I would go back and do so if you haven’t. You can see the pain and fire in Miller’s eyes at the end of the game which in my opinion made him come back for last year.
The last game I want to discuss may have been the best comeback during the bowl season. This comeback was led by Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M as they ended up beating Duke 52-48. Now a game that featured 100 points combined where can I watch this game again? Let me start by summing this game up for you Johnny Manziel led A&M throwing for 382 yards and adding another 73 yards rushing, Manziel also had five total touchdowns. Duke featured multiple key players but their quarterback Anthony Boone who passed for 427 yards with three touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions.
Now what made this game intriguing was the fact that A&M was down 38-17 at halftime. Yeah Texas A&M was down by three touchdowns and Duke looked virtually unstoppable on offense as A&M couldn’t dream to stop them. Now Duke started to turn the ball over and when you put the ball in the majestic Manziel’s hands he will lead a comeback. A comeback like Gandalf the White Wizard in Lord of the Rings II. Just watch this play. This play in my opinion is the play of the bowl season and it just shows that Manziel is just unbelievable.
This play basically tells you what happened in the game. Toney Hurd Jr. for A&M would give them the go ahead score with a little over 3 minutes to go with a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown. Duke would then fail on a fourth-down attempt to take the lead and the game giving A&M the victory.
How can I not talk about the National Championship Game? It was the final BCS Championship game, and it was between Auburn and Florida State. The game started out with Auburn dominating in all phases. The Tigers led 21-10 at the break and it could have been even more. Quarterback Nick Marshall had receiver Ricardo Louis wide open over the middle, and he would have strolled in for an easy touchdown, but the pass was underthrown. Throughout the first half Auburn made it tough for the FSU offense to get any sort of rhythm. For the first time in his college career. Jameis Winston did not look in control of the tempo of the game. This included a fumble that led directly to an Auburn touchdown. The game began to swing on a fourth down situation right before halftime. With the Seminoles down 21-3 and looking listless, Coach Jimbo Fisher called a fake punt, which was converted for a first down. Quickly after that, the ‘Noles scored a touchdown and made it a game at the half.
Fast forwarding to the fourth quarter, FSU had pulled within 24-20. On an Auburn kickoff, Seminole kick returner Levontae Whitfield returned the ball 100 yards for a touchdown to give FSU the lead in what would become a game of “who has the ball last.” On the next Auburn drive, running back Tre Mason scampered for a 37 yard touchdown. With only 1:19 to go, and Auburns history for clutch wins this season, it looked to be close to a lock for the Tigers. Heisman winner Jameis Winston had other ideas. Winston looked calm and collected as he led his team down the field and the Seminoles scored the game winning touchdown on a 2 yard pass to Kelvin Benjamin. Florida State won the National Championship and completed their perfect season. 34-31.
The other bowl game I wanted to spotlight is one from the other end of the spectrum. It was one of those bottom tier bowls that no one talks about, but may have produced the best finish to bowl season. Believe it or not it was the New Mexico Bowl between Colorado State and Washington State. Now, I only want to talk about this game because of the game itself, not the legacy it will leave in the grand scheme of college football, because frankly, there is none.
To recap, the Cougars led throughout the game, led by a spread passing attack coached by Mike Leach. In the final minutes, they were up 45-37 and trying to run out the clock. All they needed was a first down and the game would be theirs, but running back Jeremiah Laufasa fumbled. Colorado State marched right down the field and scored a touchdown to bring the game within 2. The two point conversion was a statue-of-liberty play that ended with CSU running back Donnell Alexander stretching across the pylon to tie the game.
The game at that point appeared destined for overtime. But Washington State fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Colorado State lined up for the winning field goal and converted, winning the game in stunning fashion. It was one of those bowl games that you watch the end and go, “Oh that was pretty cool.” And that is what makes bowl season so exciting.