Monday, December 30, 2013

Texas Tech: 2013 Holiday Bowl Champions


Just when it looked like No. 14 Arizona State was starting to mount a comeback,Reginald Davis turned the tide. The Texas Tech receiver returned a kickoff 90 yards for a score to give Texas Tech a two-touchdown lead they would never relinquish in a 37-23 victory over the Sun Devils at the National University Holiday Holiday Bowl on Monday night in San Diego.
Texas Tech controlled the game from start-to-finish through the air. As is the Red Raiders' M.O., it was an aerial assault pacing the offense. Quarterback Davis Webb threw for 403 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.  He completed passes to 10 different receivers, led by Jace Amaro, who hauled in eight passes. Jakeem Grant added two touchdowns.
Arizona State was plagued by missed opportunities. On a first half drive, the Sun Devils had the ball at the one-yard line but failed to punch it in. Kicker Zane Gonzalez proceeded to miss the ensuing field goal. In the fourth quarter, quarterback Taylor Kelly hit wide open receiver Rick Smith with a perfect pass in the end zone, but Smith dropped the ball. It wasn't the Sun Devils' night.
Box Score Hero: Texas Tech quarterback Davis Webb: 403 yards and four touchdowns on 28-of-41 passing.
Texas Tech wide receiver Jace Amaro: eight receptions for 112 yards.
Texas Tech receiver Jakeem Grant: six receptions for 89 yards.Texas
Rankings Ramifications: ASU came into the game ranked No. 14, but they sure didn't play like it. The loss will surely drop them a couple of rungs in the final top-25 poll of the season. And while it was a really impressive performance from the Red Raiders, it likely won't be enough to get them back into the rankings.
But Did They Cover? Arizona State came in as a 17-point favorite. They did not cover.

Oregon: 2013 Alamo Bowl Champions


SAN ANTONIO — Mack Brown's finish at Texas was somehow fitting. The end came mercifully, with his overmatched Texas team beaten soundly – but not embarrassed – by Oregon, 30-7 Alamo Bowl.
A 16-year tenure fizzled in the last few years in large part because of a dearth of good quarterback play. Monday night, it was more of the same – right from the start. On the third play, Case McCoy's pass bounced off a receiver's hands, was intercepted by safety Avery Patterson, who returned it 37 yards for a touchdown.
And although Oregon didn't quite steamroll the Longhorns. the Ducks were in control most of the way from that point. Midway through the fourth quarter, another McCoy interception was returned for a touchdown, stretching the Ducks' lead to 30-7.
Fans wore burnt orange shirts with the message "THANKS MACK." As it played "One Day More" from Les Miserables, the Texas marching band spelled out "MACK BROWN." Even Bevo, the mascot, wore "MACK" on his halter.
New Texas athletic director Steve Patterson, while deflecting questions about his search for Brown's replacement – except to say he wanted a hire by the time recruiting reopens Jan. 15 – praised Brown and said he hoped for a nice ending.
"Mack's had a great 16-year career here," Patterson said before the game. "He brought a national championship. He's operated with class – no issues in terms of recruiting or academics or ethics. We'd all love to see him go out with a win."
None of it mattered. As 65,918 watched at the Alamodome, Texas fell to 8-5. Since losing to Alabama in the 2010 BCS national championship game, the Longhorns' cumulative record is 30-21 in the last four seasons. Texas is 4-16 in its past 20 games against Top 25 opponents.
Oregon (11-2) wasn't as smooth as it can be. But sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota appeared to have recovered from a knee injury that hampered him and the Ducks' offense in November. He rushed for 134 yards on 15 carries and was 18 of 26 for 253 yards and a touchdown. In the first half, he accounted for 262 of Oregon's 296 total yards; the Ducks led 20-7.

Ole Miss: 2013 Music City Bowl Champions


Georgia Tech mounted a fourth quarter rally, but Ole Miss held on for an 25-17 win in the Music City Bowl.
The Rebels got off to a solid start, driving 75 yards for a touchdown on the opening possession of the game. Although Georgia Tech answered right back with a touchdown of its own, the first three quarters belonged to the Rebels. Ole Miss held a 13-7 lead at halftime and extended the advantage to 23-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
It appeared Ole Miss was well on its way another bowl win, but Georgia Tech made things interesting. The Yellow Jackets drove down for a field goal to open the fourth quarter, their first points since their opening drive. D.J. White then intercepted Bo Wallace on Ole Miss' third play, giving the ball right back to Georgia Tech. Vad Lee and the offense took advantage with Lee hitting Darren Waller for a 72-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive. Ole Miss' 16-point lead was cut to six in the span of five plays.
The defenses traded game-changing plays during the rest of the fourth quarter. The Rebels drove deep into Georgia Tech territory with a chance to make it a two-score game. The Yellow Jackets held strong in the red zone, however, and blocked Andrew Ritter's field-goal attempt. Ritter had a field goal and extra point blocked and missed a 29-yard field goal.
Ole Miss' defense came up with a big play of its own, forcing a fumble on Georgia Tech's next possession which resulted in a safety. Wallace hit Laquon Treadwell for 27 yards to convert a crucial 3rd-and-13 on the ensuing possession. The Rebels milked the clock to 37 seconds and intercepted Lee to end the game.
With the win, Ole Miss finishes the season 8-5 and extended its bowl winning streak to six games. Georgia Tech ends the year 7-6.
Box Score Hero: Donte Moncrief led the way for Ole Miss, hauling in six passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. Bo Wallace threw for 256 yards and set the single-season Ole Miss record for completions.
Rankings Ramifications: Neither team will crack the final polls.
But Did They Cover?
Mississippi State opened as a 4-point favorite and were able to cover.

Navy: 2013 Armed Forces Bowl Champions


FORT WORTH, Texas -- Keenan Reynolds ran for 86 yards with two more touchdowns and Navy won for only the second time its last seven bowl games, beating Middle Tennessee State 24-6 in the Armed Forces Bowl on Monday.
Reynolds had a 3-yard score to cap the opening drive for Navy (9-4) and added a 1-yarder in the fourth quarter. Already with the NCAA record for touchdowns rushing by a quarterback, Reynolds upped his total to 31 to match Colorado State running back Kapri Bibbs, also a sophomore, for the national lead this season.
Middle Tennessee (8-5) was held to a season low in points. The Blue Raidersfinished the regular season with a five-game winning streak, averaging nearly 43 points a game in that stretch -- since a 34-7 loss on Oct. 12 at North Texas, about 40 miles away from the TCU campus where the bowl was played.
The Midshipmen overcame two fumbles by Reynolds, their first turnovers in six games. Both came after Navy got inside the 20 and were recovered by T.T. Barber, though the Blue Raiders failed to convert either into points.
Barber knocked loose one ball after tackling Reynolds, jumping over the quarterback to pounce on it late in the first half. The other came late in the third quarter when the Midshipmen drove from their own 6 to the MTSU 14 after stopping Middle Tennessee short on a fourth-and-2.
Reynolds, who finished the season with 1,346 yards rushing leading the triple option offense, had lost only two fumbles during the regular season.
Navy won its fifth straight.
Down 10-6 at halftime, the Blue Raiders drove to the Navy 7 on the opening drive of the second half. They opted to go for it on fourth down instead of trying a short field goal. But fullback Corey Carmichael managed only a yard before getting taken down by Travis Bridges and George Jamison, who also had an interception.
The Midshipmen never trailed after 10 rushing plays on their opening drive, capped by Reynolds' first touchdown. Nick Sloan made a 32-yard field goal, and DeBrandon Sanders added a 41-yard TD run for Navy, which had 366 yards rushing.
Cody Clark kicked a 43-yard field goal on Middle Tennessee's first drive. He later made a 24-yarder.
There was a scary moment in the final minute before halftime when Middle Tennessee receiver Marcus Henry and Navy cornerback Lonnie Richardson each crumpled to the ground after a hard tackle. Players from both teams quickly motioned to the sideline, and trainers sprinted to the players.
Henry and Richardson were side-by-side on the ground surrounded by their respective teammates and medical personnel. Both eventually sat up, then got up and walked gingerly off the field with help.
Richardson was a second-teamer pressed into extra duty after the ejection of senior safety Wave Ryder for a borderline targeting penalty midway through the second quarter. Ryder appeared to make shoulder-to-shoulder contact on the hit of receiver Tavarres Jefferson at the end of a 22-yard gain, but officials upheld Ryder's ejection after the automatic review of the play.