Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Georgia Southern: 2015 GoDaddy Bowl Champions

The third quarter did not go Bowling Green's way in Wednesday's GoDaddy Bowl.

The Falcons headed into halftime with a 27-23 lead over Georgia Southern. When the third quarter was over, Georgia Southern had a 44-27 lead on the way to a 58-27 win.

Bowling Green had the ball three times in the quarter. The first, after Georgia Southern took the lead 30-27, ended on a failed fourth down conversion in Eagle territory. On the very next play, GSU quarterback Favian Upshaw sprinted 80 yards for a touchdown.

On the next drive, BGSU quarterback Matt Johnson fumbled as he went to throw. Another Georgia Southern TD made it 44-27. Then, with less than a minute remaining in the third, Johnson dropped the ball again as he faked a handoff.

The fumbles were likely a product of a wet football from the driving rainstorms in Mobile, Alabama, that plagued the game. But it's of no consolation to Johnson, who was one of the most productive quarterbacks in college football in 2015. After racking up nearly 300 yards in the first half, Bowling Green had 70 in the second.

Upshaw, a redshirt junior, didn't start. But he had four touchdowns on 12 carries for 199 yards and his performance sets up an intriguing quarterback competition for 2015. Both he and starter Kevin Ellison will be redshirt seniors. Incoming coach Tyson Summers has said the Eagles will retain the option offense that now-Tulane coach Willie Fritz installed at the school. He could do far worse in looking for a leader for it.

Before the game got out of hand in the third quarter, the first half was all sorts of fun. Bowling Green's first touchdown came when Johnson ad-libbed a broken play on 4th and 1 and found Roger Lewis behind the defense for a 45-yard touchdown. The PAT after the score was blocked and Georgia Southern returned it for a 9-6 lead.

Ellison provided some magic of his own later in the half. He scrambled out of the pocket and to his left on a 4th and 5 play and heaved a 31-yard touchdown pass to Montay Crockett for a 23-20 lead.

The bowl win comes in Georgia Southern's second season at the FBS level and in its first season of bowl eligibility. The Eagles are the second such team to do so this season. Fellow Sun Belt Conference member Appalachian State won the Camellia Bowl in its first bowl game (and second season in FBS) on Saturday.

Boise State: 2015 Poinsettia Bowl Champions

Boise State dominated from start to finish Wednesday at the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego, taking less than a minute to get on the board, and never trailed in a 55-7 hamering of the Northern Illinois Huskies.
The Broncos (9-4) held a 654-33 advantage in total yardage, with the defense allowing the second-fewest yards in school history, and the least since Oct. 19, 1968 against Whitworth, when they allowed 30 yards.
Freshman quarterback Brett Rypien was the game’s offensive MVP after he completed 29-of-39 passes for 377 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Junior defensive end Kamalei Correa, who is expected to leave for the NFL Draft, was the defensive MVP after he had two sacks and forced a fumble.
The 654 yards of offense were ninth-most in a single game in school history. Sophomore running back Jeremy McNichols scored three touchdowns, rushing for 93 yards and adding 96 yards receiving, both team-highs.


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BSU—Jeremy McNichols 29 run (Tyler Rausa kick), 14:02. Key plays: Quarterback Brett Rypien hit McNichols on a streak down the right side of the field for 39 yards — the first deep ball the Broncos had hit since October. McNichols jogged into the end zone through a mammoth hole on the next play. Drive: 3 plays, 75 yards, :58. Boise State 7, Northern Illinois 0
BSU—McNichols 4 pass from Rypien (Rausa kick), 7:38. Key plays: Wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck broke a tackle attempt for a 23-yard gain on the first play. McNichols added an 11-yard run. The drive was set up by a fumble recovery by linebacker Tyler Gray. Drive: 7 plays, 67 yards, 2:18. Boise State 14, Northern Illinois 0
BSU—McNichols 1 run (Rausa kick), 3:28. Key plays: Rypien dropped a beautiful throw over an underneath defender to tight end Jake Roh for a 23-yard gain. Wide reciever Shane Williams-Rhodes broke a tackle to gain 21 yards on third-and-3 at the NIU 24-yard line. Drive: 7 plays, 53 yards, 2:36. Boise State 21, Norhern Illinois 0


BSU—Rausa 20 field goal, 9:44. Key plays: Gray stripped wide receiver Aregeros Turner and cornerback Jonathan Moxey recovered on the NIU 15. A holding penalty on first-and-goal at the 5 stalled the drive. Drive: 7 plays, 12 yards, 3:01. Boise State 24, Northern Illinois 0
NIU—Aregeros Turner 96 kickoff return (Christian Hagan kick), 9:32. Boise State 24, Northern Illinois 7
BSU—Chaz Anderson 16 pass from Rypien (Rausa kick), 1:51. Key plays: Defensive end Kamalei Correa stripped quarterback Ryan Graham and Gray crawled to the loose football at the Boise State 40. Williams-Rhodes gained 21 yards on an end-around and McNichols fought and reached to gain a yard on third-and-1. Drive: 8 plays, 60 yards, 3:35. Boise State 31, Northern Illinois 7


BSU—Rausa 27 field goal, 7:30. Key plays: Williams-Rhodes dominated the drive with a 12-yard catch, a 10-yard run and an 11-yard catch. Drive: 12 plays, 51 yards, 4:49. Boise State 34, Northern Illinois 7
BSU—Alec Dhaenens 18 pass from Rypien (Rausa kick), 3:29. Key plays: Sperbeck and Anderson also had 18-yard catches. Drive: 6 plays, 67 yards, 2:06. Boise State 41, Northern Illinois 7


BSU—Kelsey Young 24 run (Rausa kick), 14:52. Key plays: Rypien hit Williams-Rhodes for 13 yards and McNichols for 18. Drive: 5 plays, 61 yards, 2:07. Boise State 48, Northern Illinois 7
BSU—Stuart 1 run (Rausa kick), 9:52. Key plays: Ryan Wolpin bustsed a 49-yard run. Stuart had a 9-yard run. Boise State 55, Northern Illinois 7

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