Saturday, January 30, 2016

Lucky Pouches? No Problem, Been There, Won That.



I didn't get stiffed by the 2015 Lucky Pouches this weekend on Pangya Global. Decided to buy five pouches and ended up winning my first set of Elemental Ears and a bath towel set for Spika. Yay, so now Spike can finally golf barefoot on my main account! She joins Kooh and Nell as the golfers who can golf in the game with no shoes or socks on. If only Madoka can join them as well. Combine with winning three other rare items off Premium Memorial Coins, I went 5/8 this weekend, which is pretty good given how much I get nerfed by Pangya's RNG.



I've gotten some nasty complaints about the RNG and it's amusing at times to read the feedback. Here's one you'll like.

---

Hello,

first: sorry about my english, it isn't that good, i hope you understand.

i am really, really, really mad at this game. i am so mad, i think about quitting forever. seriously.

this day i spend 50 (FIFTY!!!!) euro for premium memorial coins and lucky pouches.

i had 19(!!!) premium memorial coins and 6 lucky pouches.

what i won? i guess it was 1 set. ONE. ONE DARN SET! out of 19 PREMIUM(!!!!!!!) memorial coins!!

are you kidding me pangya?! seriously! 50 DARN EURO FOR ONE SET!??!?!

btw i got NOTHING in my 6 lucky pouches!

really, i feel fooled. i feel Pang!, Pang! FOOLED!

i will never again spend ONE darn euro in this game!

thanks for NOTHING!

---


You know, some players have won nothing from their run of pouches. So the fact that I had won something from these pouches means that it was money well spent. Oh yes, and did I mention that I finally got that Band Set (H) from the Opened Spinning Cubes? Hair looks great with a swimsuit. Reminds me of Juri from Aikatsu or something.




Up next, I think, should be another character Grand Prix event, or the Valentine's Day promotion. I may consider keeping some cash to buy my alternate account some chocolate boxes to accelerate the training of the caddies and get them to Level 4. Alternatively, I hope they bring back the Choco Sticks for this one. I never got a Choco Stick because I wasn't playing the game the last time they had it, so bringing this back would be fantastic.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Op-Ed: An Open Letter To Central Coast Mariners Membership

Dear Central Coast Mariners Membership:

The Webster's Dictionary defines the term "petulance" as "the quality of being childishly sulky or bad-tempered." Such is the case of all of you as a supporter group. Now, this past weekend, Mark Rudan, who I have respect for as a broadcaster and expert on the game of soccer in Australia, is, to put in vulgar terms, "taking the piss" for a hot take on the sending off of Nick Montgomery during the Western Sydney Wanderers' 2-1 win over your side. The Telegraph had this to write on the matter...

THE sending off of Mariners captain Nick Montgomery has sparked an angry row between the Central Coast and A-League broadcasters Fox Sports, with the club making a formal complaint about comments made in the wake of Saturday’s defeat to Western Sydney.

Montgomery was dismissed late in the game for an ugly, studs-up tackle on Wanderers winger Golgol Mebrahtu, a challenge described as a “terrible tackle” by Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic after the game.

Though Mebrahtu wasn’t badly injured, Fox analyst Mark Rudan said during the post-game broadcast that it was “about as bad a tackle as you will see, especially against a fellow professional who’s just come back from a long-term injury”.

Asked on air if Montgomery would know about Mebrahtu’s injury history, Rudan replied: “Absolutely he would.”

So, here is the response from you, and I quote...

On behalf of our Members, players and staff the Central Coast Mariners have today issued a formal complaint to Fox Sports Australia and Football Federation Australia in regards to inappropriate comments against our Club and players following our most recent match against Western Sydney Wanderers.

The Mariners have been inundated with Members expressing their concerns and demanding that the Club takes appropriate steps to ensure that the integrity of the Mariners and its players are protected against unwarranted and totally unfounded comments.

This was also raised officially by the Club’s supporter groups who recently held meetings with Mariners Chairman, Mike Charlesworth.

The Mariners will be updating our Members on any formal response we receive from Fox Sports Australia or Football Federation Australia on the matter.

Any Member wishing to express their views are encouraged to contact the club via email on memberships@ccmariners.com.au so we can contact you directly to discuss your concerns.

Here's my thoughts on this: Mark Rudan's hot take on Montgomery's tackle on Mebrahtu is the last thing you should worry about, Central Coast. You mates are at the bottom of the A-League ladder, facing a Wellington Phoenix team that is desperate to stay in the race for Finals Series football. I strongly recommend you focus on this week's match and leave Mark Rudan out of this.

Mark Rudan is not Rebecca Wilson, a journalist that I personally give you clearance to go after. This petulance from you and the entire Mariners organization is wasted energy that will diminish you as a relevant organization in the country going forward. This is where you should just let the media do their job because in this instance, they aren't going after you. They're going after a harsh challenge that resulted in a well-deserved red card. In short, a football play.

So, drop your complaints, on behalf of The Stoppage Time, Central Coast and steady on. Wellington will love a distracted team because that's akin to going upstream on a semi-inflated raft without a paddle. Don't pay the price for your petulance. Worry about the trip to Christchurch, or, quite frankly, dare I say it, you will be feeling the aftershocks of another defeat away all the way from the South Island of New Zealand, to the cozy confines of Gosford. Just so you know...and that, mates, is the bottom line.

Signed,

Jo-Ryan Salazar, columnist, The Stoppage Time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Aftermath Of The January 2016 Play To Win Campaign



I wasn't too thrilled with what little I won from the January 2016 Play To Win campaign on Pangya Global. Across both accounts, I went 8/40 on rares won from Lucky Pouches and Premium Memorial Coins. On my main account, I went winless on the Pouches but went 5/10 on the Premium Memorial Coins, with the highlight get being the Ruby Air Knight Set, which has now been ranked up to a A-rank Level 5 (it started as an A-Rank Level 3) with impressive control, accuracy, curve and spin. Meanwhile, on my alt account, it went 2/10 on the pounches and 1/10 on the Premiums, the highlight being a Parasol Club Set.

But with my main account earning most of the gets, I focused on that. First, as a result of a new club set arriving, I had to shuffle some cards around. The Spika SC card was eventually moved over to my Lucia, and the two Titan Cham (N) cards were split among Madoka (Classic Hana) and Hana R. Madoka ended up with the Spika SR card as a replacement, and my Hana R ended up with two Hana SR cards and a Lucia SR to bump up the curve stat.

All of my Pang Mastery that I earned from the Lucky Sets and Premium Memorial Coins were burned up to improve the stats of the Ruby Air Knights but I have now some more characters that need upgrading. The only thing that I didn't take care off was the glut of spinning cubes received; that's because my Papel Box wouldn't arrive until the next server reset. However, I am not anticipating a jackpot get from the cubes despite seeing notices of people winning jackpots left and right while I exhausted my GP tickets.



As I have said before, I don't need Black Papel other than having a new caddie to train. My alt account is currently busy with handling three other caddies that were acquired through points. Tiki on my alt is now fully trained, and Quma is now next. He won't reach Level 4 until next month, and after that, I will go to training Lolo, and after that, Mingti. That will take the span of about three or four months, unless I acquire a second computer so I can go back to doing VS. matches with my two accounts, like I did months ago.

But it would be nice to get Black Papel because to me, that is a sign that I have established myself as a user on the Global server. At Top Master E rank, this is overdue. I would love to get Black Papel from the batch of cubes at midnight tonight. I won't expect it, but if I get it, it will be my caddie for a while.



Anyway, now I have three A-rank clubs. I am waiting for a massive injection of cash coming in next month so that I can get rid of a huge chunk of club mastery from my Miracle Voice Club Set and perhaps send that to my Club Set of Wisdom so that it can finally reach S-rank. The Spika Voice Club Set will be next, and then the Ruby Air Knight will be next. How about that. Five S-rank clubs in my main account, possibly by year's end. Another two achievements out of the way.

Going back to the Lucky Sets, I ended up recycling a lot of comets and active items that I don't really need. I salvaged the Pang Mastery, Power Potions, Time Boosters and Auto Calipers. I have enough Power Potions to wrap up the achivements for that but I need to play games. But I ended up respawning my Auto Calipers and now I can do some more beaming, even though I already cleared the final Beam Shot Master achievement days ago.



Mutsuki from Kantai Collection...in Winning Putt.

Oh yes, one more thing, a new golf game has now been released and is currently on open beta. Winning Putt is a game by Bandai Namco and has great graphics and has potential to be a good golf MMO. However, it needs some modes of play that are established in Pangya, with one of them being a one-player tournament mode similar to Grand Prix where the player takes on the opponent AI on the maps available in game and can also face that and other players. Thus, if a player decides to play alone, he or she can still get experience, Gold and Platinum for every hole cleared and of course, higher difficulty yields better rewards.

Kisaragi from Kantai Collection...in Winning Putt.

In a game with potential like Winning Putt, you want to have more options available for the player to use so that he or she can master the skills in grinding for rewards and so forth. So it has promise, but I won't be rushing to return to that game until I get my second computer. Also, on that game, I am playing as Mutsuki and Kisaragi from Kantai Collection. Okay, so they aren't that close to how they look like in the anime but considering that they are Japanese, I decided to make it look natural and realistic. Mutsuki with the short hair, Kisaragi with the long hair...you know what I mean.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Lay All Your Love On Me


I wasn't jealous before we met
Now every woman I see is a potential threat
And I'm possessive, it isn't nice
You've heard me saying that smoking was my only vice
But now it isn't true
Now everything is new
And all I've learned has overturned
I beg of you

Don't go wasting your emotion
Lay all your love on me


It was like shooting a sitting duck
A little smalltalk, a smile and baby I was stuck
I still don't know what you've done with me
A grown-up woman should never fall so easily
I feel a kind of fear
When I don't have you near
Unsatisfied, I skip my pride
I beg you dear

Don't go wasting your emotion
Lay all your love on me
Don't go sharing your devotion
Lay all your love on me


I've had a few little love affairs
They didn't last very long and they've been pretty scarce
I used to think I was sensible
It makes the truth even more incomprehensible
'Cause everything is new
And everything is you
And all I've learned has overturned
What can I do


Don't go wasting your emotion
Lay all your love on me
Don't go sharing your devotion
Lay all your love on me

Don't go wasting your emotion
Lay all your love on me
Don't go sharing your devotion
Lay all your love on me
Don't go wasting your emotion
Lay all your love on me

Monday, January 18, 2016

Panasonic Impulse: 2016 Rice Bowl Champions




The Panasonic Impulse came out on top at the end of a thrilling contest to win the Rice Bowl national championship game for the first time in eight years with a 22-19 victory over collegiate champion Ritsumeikan University at Tokyo Dome on Sunday.

Panasonic, which defeated the Fujitsu Frontiers in December’s Japan X Bowl, was victorious in the annual game for the fourth time.

Trailing 19-15 with 1 minute, 31 seconds left in the game, the X League squad took the lead on a spectacularly designed play.

Operating in their own territory, the Impulse ran a 55-yard scoring play that saw quarterback Tetsuo Takata sling a pass to wide receiver Koji Honda, who quickly lateraled the ball to wideout Taiji Koyama, who ran it into the end zone.

Ritsumeikan, which won the Koshien Bowl collegiate championship for the first time in seven years last month, tried to take the lead back in the waning moments but the Panasonic defense stood tall.

Ritsumeikan missed a 49-yard field goal that would’ve tied the game in the final seconds.

“There was no way I’d think this game would be like this, and it gave me a stomachache,” said veteran defensive lineman Yasuo Wakisaka, who has competed in all five IFAF World Championships. “(Ritsumeikan) had great chemistry and it’s been a while since we struggled like this. They were a really great team.”

Ritsumeikan, nicknamed the Panthers, was nearly the first collegiate team to win the Rice Bowl since 2009, when it beat Panasonic.

Quarterback Yuto Nishiyama completed a 54-yard pass to wide receiver Seiya Inokuma for a touchdown that gave the Panthers their first lead with 4:19 remaining in the fourth quarter.

But the more experienced Impulse weren’t rattled and capped the ensuing drive with their dazzling game-winning play.

“We still had time on the clock, so we just tried to play our kind of ball and retake the lead,” Panasonic head coach Nobuyoshi Araki said. “Things didn’t really go well for us today, but our players performed in the way they always do no matter what situation they face.”

The retiring Takata, a Ritsumeikan product who played the last game of his career, said he wasn’t able to play as well as he would’ve hoped, but was still happy to get the winning trophy in his hands because of the effort from the entire team.

“We played as a team, including our defense, today,” Takata said. “Indescribable emotions are pouring out of my heart right now.”

Takata completed 12 of 17 passes for 183 yards with one TD and an interception.

Panasonic running back Sho Yokota was named the Rice Bowl MVP. He finished with 88 yards rushing and scored a touchdown in the third quarter.

The Panthers’ Nishiyama threw for 207 yards, while Chuck Mills Trophy-winning running back Nanato Nishimura rushed for 97 yards and had a touchdown.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

My Alt Account On Pangya Takes The Piss

So I had a fun conversation with this one user on Pangya named Maztrysum while selling a fragment of time. Some users on this game make a big deal over trivial things. Here are some excerpts from the chat which have been capped.









Here's why I find this conversation to be absolutely hilarious.
1. He's talking to my alternate account. Not my main account. You're essentially chatting with a puppet. Of course he doesn't know this yet but I look forward to him finding it out.
2. This alleged spamming of buying/selling items happens all the time. It's common. To voice any faux outrage is unfounded and should be dismissed.
3. I do tell him my age in real life but he chooses to not believe me, saying that I am five years old. It is clear that his definition of a five-year old is extremely skewed and deliberately inaccurate. Not my problem.
4. He calls me a homophobic slur. Absolutely reportable offense as per the Super Genius Games Terms of Use. A massive 1:1 has been filed, so I would like to see what the Game Master does here on Monday.
5. English is not his first language. Mic drop.
6. He professes his hate towards me openly. That means I have been on this game quite a lot and I have made it. And this is my alt account he is despising! What will he think when he goes after my main account? There Will Be Haters. By the way, I return feelings for anyone, anywhere, anytime, whether in game or not.  So if he hates me, it's returned.
7. It's a Spring Fragment of Time. Not Fall or Winter. Spring and Summer Fragments are more expensive. This guy must be new to how the market works in game. Again, not my problem.

As you can see, I do welcome people taking shots at me, as long as it's clean and it's not deliberate harassment. I really wish the TOU at Gamerage did not exist, this way, I'll allow his choice words, but they exist and action had to be taken. People on this game make big deals over nothing and conduct does put these people at risk of being in poor standing. Humanity issue. Humanity has declined. Other than that, I completed the Play to Win Event and may get some decent rares from the pouches and Premium Memorial Coins this Wednesday.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Alabama Crimson Tide: 2016 NCAA Division I FBS National Champions



GLENDALE, Ariz. -- What a game. Alabama and Clemson gave fans an entertaining back-and-forth show before the Crimson Tide eventually claimed a 45-40 victory over the Tigers in the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T on Monday at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Tide are back atop the college football world. Let's review how it all unfolded.

What the win means for Alabama: It’s the Crimson Tide’s fourth national championship in seven seasons (the others came in 2009, 2011 and 2012) and their 16th overall in school history. It’s the fifth national title for head coach Nick Saban, further cementing his status in college football history. He trails only the late Paul “Bear” Bryant in national titles since 1936 (Bryant has six). It’s Alabama’s fourth consecutive win over a No.1-ranked team in the Associated Press poll, a streak that dates back to 2011. For running back Derrick Henry, he becomes only the fifth running back in Heisman Trophy history to add a national title to the honor in the same season. And the SEC is back on top for the first time since 2012. It’s the league’s eighth national title since 2006 (the SEC won seven straight from 2006-12). The Tide won while overcoming a brilliant performance by Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, who finished 30-of-47 passing for 405 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 73 yards.

What the loss means for Clemson: The Tigers were seeking their second overall national title and their first since 1981 but came up short. The loss breaks up a school-record 17-game winning streak, which is tied for the second-longest such streak in ACC history. They become the second team since major classification began in 1937 to start 14-0 and not win a national title (Boise State was the other, who went 14-0 in 2009). The Tigers are now 3-13 all-time against Alabama. It’s a disappointing end Dabo Swinney's team, one that accomplished a lot this season by putting together an impressive campaign to win the ACC title and be the last undefeated team standing before Monday.

The game turned when…: Saban had the guts to call for an onside kick with the game tied at 24 and the Crimson Tide recovered with 10:34 on the clock. Two plays later, tight end O.J. Howard was a wide open for a 51-yard touchdown catch from Jake Coker and it gave Alabama a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. It’s a call you wouldn’t necessarily expect from the typically risk-averse Saban, but it paid off by shifting the momentum in Alabama’s favor.

Player of the game: Throughout his career, Howard has sometimes been a forgotten man in the game plan, but not on Monday. The 6-foot-6, 242-pound junior found himself wide open several times -- sometimes on Clemson coverage busts -- and scored two critical touchdowns on two of those occasions. His 53-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter gave Alabama a 21-14 lead at the 12:53 mark and his biggest play of the night came on the 51-yard scoring reception after the onside kick in the fourth. For the night, Howard finished with five catches for 208 yards and averaged a whopping 41.6 yards per reception. He had 210 receiving yards in nine SEC games.

Top play: After Clemson trimmed Alabama’s seven-point fourth-quarter lead to four with a field goal, Crimson Tide running back Kenyan Drake delivered the knockout blow with a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. It was the third kick return touchdown in a national championship game (Florida State’s Kermit Whitfield had one in 2013, Ted Ginn had one in 2006 for Ohio State) and it gave Alabama a 38-27 lead, too much to overcome for the Tigers in the final 7:31.

Stats of the game:The 85 combined points by the Tigers and Crimson Tide are the most combined points in a national championship game, surpassing the 65 scored by Auburn and Florida State in the 2013 BCS national championship game…The Drake touchdown return was Alabama’s sixth special teams touchdown this season, tied with Tennessee for most in the FBS….Henry finished with 36 carries giving him 395 for the season, surpassing Herschel Walker's SEC record (385).

Saturday, January 09, 2016

North Dakota State: 2015 NCAA Division I FCS Champions



FRISCO, Texas -- Carson Wentz got one more game as North Dakota State's quarterback before the NFL draft -- and another FCS title.

A potential first-round pick, Carson threw for a touchdown and ran for two more scores in his first game since breaking his right wrist in mid-October, and the Bison won their unprecedented fifth consecutive FCS championship with a 37-10 victory Saturday over top-seeded Jacksonville State.

"I felt good. I felt good for the last couple weeks now. That kind of showed a little today," said Wentz, a two-time champion after Brock Jensen won three in a row for the Bison. "The rust people might have wanted to talk about it, that didn't show."

Five days after a CT scan showed his wrist was completely healed, Wentz was 16-of-29 for 197 yards with two interceptions. He accounted for two touchdowns in an 86-second span early in the second quarter.

"So happy for Carson to come in and play the way he did," coach Chris Klieman said. "A lot of people may have questioned if he was going to be rusty. I didn't question it at all. I know what kind of competitor he is. I know what kind of player he is."

The Bison (13-2) won their 20th consecutive playoff game, including all five times they have made the trip from Fargo to Frisco for the title game at a professional soccer stadium. Fans clad in green and gold made up a majority of the stadium-record crowd of 21,836 -- and stormed the field to celebrate once again.

Jacksonville State (13-2) was playing in the title game for the first time. It had won 12 games in a row since an overtime loss Sept. 12 at Auburn, one of the two SEC teams from its home state of Alabama. The other, the Crimson Tide, plays No. 1 Clemson on Monday night in the College Football Playoff championship game.

The Gamecocks were held to a season-low 204 total yards, 325 below their average and 181 under their previous season low. North Dakota State held all four of its playoff opponents well below their season averages, but this was the most dominant.

"It was not our best day, of course," JSU coach John Grass said. "But take my hat off to North Dakota State. They played a great game. We just didn't give them a good game today."

Eli Jenkins, the dual-threat quarterback for the Gamecocks, finished 7-of-20 passing for 57 yards with two interceptions, and ran 15 times for 88 yards and their only touchdown.

"We needed to hop up him early and try to get him off schedule and stop the run game. So, that was huge," said middle linebacker Nick DeLuca, who had nine tackles, an interception and a forced fumble.

Cam Pedersen had field goals of 29, 31 and 38 yards for North Dakota State after making only one of seven attempts the first three playoff games.

There were seven turnovers in the game, including three consecutive plays early in the fourth quarter that ended any chance of a Jacksonville State rally.

Jenkins fumbled at the end of a run before Easton Stick, a redshirt freshman who had won all eight games starting in place of Wentz, threw an interception on his first play in the game. But Jacksonville State gave it right back when Jenkins threw an interception, leading to a 1-yard TD keeper by Wentz for a 34-10 lead.

Northwest Missouri State last month won its fifth NCAA Division II championship, matching the record number of titles North Dakota State won at that level before moving up to Division I in 2004. But the Bearcats' titles have come since 1998, and only once have they won consecutive championships -- 1998 and 1999.

Mount Union this season won its NCAA-best 12th title in Division III since 1993, but its longest streak was three in a row. The most consecutive titles at that level were four by Augustana from Illinois (1983-86).

But none can match the Bison's streak of five in a row.

"I can't put it into words. It's remarkable what these guys have done," Klieman said. "We meet every January and talk about staying hungry."

Pedersen's 29-yard kick ended a game-opening 15-play drive. It was 17-0 early in the second quarter after Wentz threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Andrew Bonnet and then after an interception by DeLuca ran for an 11-yard score, shaking off a defender and getting to the sideline before planting his foot near the 3 and diving into the end zone.

"I was fired up all day to be out there," Wentz said. "It was just a lot of fun."

Saturday, January 02, 2016

West Virginia Mountaineers: 2016 Cactus Bowl Champions

PHOENIX — If late-night football was your thing, the Cactus Bowl summoned you toward the desert for a final bowl fix of the season. West Virginia flew cross-country, Arizona State drove crosstown and Chase Field operators opened the giant moonroof for this one … a 43-42 Mountaineers victory that was worth the lost sleep.

Skyler Howard threw for 532 yards and rallied West Virginia to the go-ahead touchdown with 2:19 remaining.

The Mountaineers (8-5) opened as slight underdogs, then transitioned to three-point favorites in a game that projects as the consummate tossup. Not surprisingly, the partisan Sun Devil crowd made this a Pac-12 home game. (Yes, there was the obligatory “In Todd We Trust” sign, though we trust no one thought ASU would finish as a 6-7 team this season.)

A recap of the in-game updates and analysis:

FIELD GOAL: Josh Lambert 21-yard kick (12:02) WVU leads 3-0
Shelton Gibson was dinged for 15 on a personal foul and Adam Pankey jumped for 5 more, but none of that mattered after Skyler Holgorsen dropped a 53-yard bomb to Ka’Raun White (proving the ASU secondary can be burned by East Coast receivers too). WVU nearly had first-and-goal after Daikiel Shorts was interfered with on an end zone fade route, but refs waved off the flag, setting Dana Holgorsen on fire. Then, on third-and-9, Wendell Smallwood gained 6 and WVU kicked. (Drive: 9 plays, 78 yards in 2:58)

— Arizona State goes three-and-out, all incompletions by Mike Bercovici.

FIELD GOAL: Lambert 31-yard kick (8:57) WVU leads 6-0
White caught another one for 26, Rushel Shell reeled off a 14-yarder and Shorts caught a twice-tipped pass that was jarred loose from Gibson and nearly picked by ASU linebacker Salamo Fiso. West Virginia was humming with first-and-goal at the 9 when Shell was dropped for a 5-yard loss. After Howard overthrew Shell in the end zone, he missed a wide-open White crossing the middle, though in fairness to Howard he was flushed by the blitz. WVU has 142 yards to Arizona State’s 1 but hasn’t cashed in a TD. (Drive: 8 plays, 56 yards in 2:25)

— Nothing doing on the Sun Devils’ second series. Another three-and-out.

— WVU started at the 27 and faced third-and-3 when Fiso made his second interception attempt stand up. He picked Howard’s pass intended for Gibson at the 40 and returned it to the 22.

FIELD GOAL: Zane Gonzales 37-yard kick (5:06) WVU leads 6-3
The Sun Devils committed an illegal motion penalty, but the backed-up West Virginia defense made a nice stand and forced a field goal. Not much room for Arizona State to do anything so far. (Drive: 4 plays, 2 yards in 1:30)

FIELD GOAL: Lambert 27-yard kick (3:13) WVU leads 9-3
Between the 20s, West Virginia is killing it. A 31-yard strike from Howard to Gibson and a 17-yard run by Elijah Wellman have WVU over the 200-yard mark in the first quarter. The red zone has become a desert wasteland, however. This drive ended on a third-and-3 incomplete fade route to the 5-11 Gibson. (Drive: 6 plays, 55 yards in 1:53)

— Devin Lucien tip-toed the sideline for a 19-yard catch against Rick Rumph, before ASU’s drive petered out at the West Virginia 48. Bad, bad quarter of offensive football for the Sun Devils.

— Jordan Thompson caught a 32-yarder before West Virginia’s Nick O’Toole punted into the end zone from the ASU 46.

— Bercovici hit Lucien for 29 and ASU was on the move temporarily. But Nick Kwiatkoski flattened the ASU quarterback on a third-down incompletion.

—Pinned inside its 10, WVU retreated further after a Cody Clay holding penalty. In a strange twist, Smallwood ran for 19 yards on three carries but the Mountaineers failed to gain a first down. O’Toole followed with a 38-yard punt that Tim White returned 16 yards.

TOUCHDOWN: Lucien 19-yard pass from Bercovici (9:59) Arizona State leads 10-9
Taking advantage of a short field, Lucien took advantage of Rumph for two catches that covered 40 yards. On the touchdown, he took a quick out and weaved across the goal line after Rumph slipped trying to make a shoestring tackle. (Drive: 4 plays, 40 yards in 1:06)

— Howard had Sills on a deep cross only to overthrow him by inches. The three-and-out culminated in Howard overshooting Gibson deep, though the receiver curiously stopped his route amid complaints he was grabbed by the cornerback. Assistants Ja’Juan Seider and Lonnie Galloway chewed him out for pulling up.

— After, a 16-yard pass to Foster was mostly wiped out by a holding flag on receiver Tim White, Arizona State punted.

TOUCHDOWN: Gibson 59-yard pass from Howard (6:02) WVU leads 16-10
White eclipsed the 100-yard mark on a 21-yard catch before Gibson made his third-longest gain of the season to put West Virginia ahead. Howard now up to 271 yards passing. (Drive: 3 plays, 80 yards in 0:39)

FIELD GOAL: Gonzales 19-yard kick (2:53) WVU leads 16-13
Not often does a defense celebrate an 80-yard drive, but this was one such occasion because ASU had first-and-goal at the 5 and failed on two cracks from the 1. The big third-down stop came from K.J. Dillon and Christian Brown on running back Demario Richard, and after flirting with a fourth-down gamble, Todd Graham robbed us of some late-night bowl drama by sending on the kicker. (10 plays, 80 yards in 3:00)

TOUCHDOWN: Shorts 10-yard pass from Howard (0:28) WVU leads 22-13
Howard now up to 334 yards passing IN THE FIRST HALF after winging a few more through the Arizona State secondary. White had a 16-yarder, Shorts caught one for 22 on the deep out and Thompson gained 17 over the middle, which led to the vaunted fade route … AND IT WORKED. (Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards in 2:25) But about that PAT …

PAT RETURN: Tim White 98-yard kick (0:28) WVU leads 22-15
Arizona State spilled through to bat down Lambert’s extra-point try and White provided the scoop-and-score. (No drive)

FIELD GOAL: Gonzales 35-yard kick (0:01) WVU leads 22-18
Nick O’Toole appeared to mis-hit a squib kick—the kind WVU could’ve used 27 days ago—and gifted Arizona State the ball at midfield. Bercovici threaded three short passes to move the Sun Devils into chip-shot range. (4 plays, 34 yards in 0:26)   

_________________________________

HALFTIME STATS: Howard has 334 yards and two TDs on 15-of-26 passing, and West Virginia has two 100-yard receivers: White with four for 116 and Gibson with three for 106. The Mountaineers have 61 yards rushing on 18 attempts. (Smallwood held to 20 yards on eight carries.)

MORE HALFTIME STATS: Bercovici threw for 205 yards on 15-of-25 passing. Lucien has seven catches for 116.

_________________________________

TOUCHDOWN: Tim White 2-yard pass from Bercovici (11:34) Arizona State leads 25-22
Gotta give it to Bercovici—he zipped the TD pass just a nanosecond before getting popped on a scramble. Earlier in the drive, his play-fake psyched out the WVU combo of Rumph and Dillon, who abandoned Tim White on what became a 40-yard gain. (8 plays, 66 yards in 3:17)

TOUCHDOWN: Gary Jennings 64-yard pass from Howard (10:02) WVU leads 29-25
Soooooo, about that “Air Raid” … Howard hit the freshman on a deep post and Jennings carried a defensive back the final 10 yards into the end zone. Big answer for WVU. Probably won’t be the last time an answer is required. By the way, Howard now has 395 yards passing—bettering the career-high of 359 he compiled against Georgia Southern. (5 plays, 5 yards in 1:32)

— Arizona State’s three-and-out ended a string of six possessions with points.

— West Virginia also punted. After three measly plays. Game turning into a yawner.

TOUCHDOWN: Tim White 33-yard pass from Bercovici (4:35) Arizona State leads 32-29
Bercovici has heated up and it’s looking like it’ll take 50 points to win this one. White’s scoring catch featured more YAC than Tony Gibson can stand after the receiver ran through a Dillon tackle and scooted along the sideline. Earlier in the drive Lucien absorbed a crushing tackle by Dravon Askew-Henry on a 19-yard catch. It was a Hit Tribute for Karl Joseph. (6 plays, 66 yards in 2:26)

TOUCHDOWN: Shorts 17-yard pass from Howard (3:01) WVU leads 36-32
Nevermind the fade route that Shorts caught for the score—which was an acrobatic grab, by the way. Of more consequence was the 37-yarder Gibson caught on the previous play, a catch he appeared to make out-of-bounds according to everybody except the replay official. The wild, wild night continues. (4 plays, 75 yards in 1:34)

— Tim White’s 59-yard kick return (which followed Shorts being penalized 15 for a post-touchdown spike) set up ASU at the Mountaineers 28. But alas, the trusty Gonzales missed wide right from 40 yards.

— When Howard overthrew Ka’Raun White on the deep post, Arizona State made its second interception of the night. Kareem Orr chewed up 25 yards on the runback before Wendell Smallwood’s tackle at the WVU 35.

FIELD GOAL: Gonzales 48-yard kick (14:09) WVU leads 36-35
Bercovici missed Lucien on a third-and-5 out-route and West Virginia mitigated the damage from Howard’s turnover. (4 plays, 5 yards in 1:09)

— Wendell Smallwood ran around the right edge for 16, his best run of the night. (He has 11 carries for 41 yards and stands 4 shy of Texas Tech’s DeAndre Washington for the Big 12 rushing crown.) On a less personal note, WVU had to punt after Howard’s third-down pass for Gibson was broken up by Kweishi Brown. ASU will have the ball and a chance to retake the lead.

— Sun Devils punted.

— West Virginia punted, but only after Howard overthrew David Sills on what could’ve been a 70-yarder.

TOUCHDOWN: Gary Chambers 58-yard pass from Bercovici (4:56) Arizona State leads 42-36
The drive started ominously with backup QB Manny Wilkins bouncing up from a no-gain carry and taking off downfield, where linebacker Jared Barber popped him and drew a 15-yard penalty. On a third-and-10 play, against one of the best third-down defenses in the nation, Bercovici flipped a pass out to Chambers, who juked Askew-Henry on the sideline and went the distance. (4 plays, 73 yards in 1:23)

TOUCHDOWN: David Sills 15-yard pass from Howard (2:19) WVU leads 43-42
Just your average come-from-behind drive on which WVU converted a third-and-22 by handing off to Smallwood for 24. (This game is officially nuts.) With WVU struggling to protect Howard, the long-yardage run actually made sense. (10 plays, 75 yards in 2:37)

— Arizona State’s shot at a comeback ended on a fourth-and-10 incompletion from the 50. Ballgame.

FINAL

TCU Horned Frogs: 2016 Alamo Bowl Champions



After trailing Oregon 31–0 at halftime of the Alamo Bowl, the TCU Horned Frogs staged an incredible rally, scoring 31 unanswered points of their own to match the largest comeback in bowl-game history, force overtime, and eventually go on to win a 47–41 thriller.

Trailing by three late in the fourth and looking to cap off an incredible second half performance, the Horned Frogs drove the field effectively but were stopped at Oregon’s five yard-line and forced to kick a field goal. The kick tied the game at 31, and more chaos ensued.

TCU’s Bram Kohlhausen found Emanuel Porter in the back of the end zone on the first drive of overtime, followed by an extra point for a 37–31 lead. The Ducks responded on the following drive, with Jeff Lockie finding Royce Freeman on a critical fourth-and-four for a first down. The play set up Freeman’s third rushing touchdown and tied the game.

Oregon received the ball next, but was unable to gain positive yardage on their first set of downs. Aidan Schneider kicked a 44-yard field goal for the 41–38 lead, positioning TCU to win it with a touchdown. Two incomplete passes and a big stop by the Ducks forced a 46-yard attempt by TCU’s Jaden Oberkrom to tie things at 41.

In the third overtime, TCU ran the ball successfully with Aaron Green on its first two plays and scored a touchdown on an option-style run by Kohlhausen along the right side of the field to take a 47–41 lead. But the Horned Frogs could not convert the two-point try that followed, leaving the door open for Oregon.

And that was where it ended, with the Ducks coming up incomplete on fourth-and-eight, following a muffed snap on third down by Lockie.

Kohlhausen, quarterbacking the Horned Frogs in place of suspended Trevone Boykin, completed 28 of 45 passes for 351 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.  He also ran for two scores and added 45 yards on the ground. Aaron Green led TCU with 101 rushing yards and a touchdown.

After a strong start, Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams was injured in the second quarter and replaced by Lockie, who completed 7 of 16 passes for 36 yards. Freeman carried 26 times for 130 yards and three scores for the Ducks.

The Horned Frogs at one point scored 37 unanswered points, and with the win completed the largest comeback in FBS play this season, surpassing Rutgers’ 25-point comeback win over Indiana. It was the first triple-overtime bowl game since Penn State’s 26–23 win over Florida State in the 2006 Orange Bowl.

- Jeremy Woo

Arkansas Razorbacks: 2016 Liberty Bowl Champions



MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The biggest storyline coming into Saturday's Autozone Liberty Bowl was the relationship between the two head coaches, Bill Snyder and Bret Bielema. Afterward, it was all about Alex Collins.

The Arkansas running back rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Razorbacks past Kansas State 45-23.

In what was a scary moment late in the first half, Arkansas wide receiver Dominique Reed had to be carted off the field after he sustained an apparent head/neck injury. After the game Bielema said Reed was fine, but had been "knocked out."

What this win means for Arkansas: As an Arkansas fan, you can look at this season in two ways. One, the Razorbacks finished strong, winning six of their final seven games, including Saturday's bowl win. But there's always the what if? What if they didn't lose early to Toledo and Texas Tech? What if they hung on to second-half leads against Texas A&M, Alabama and Mississippi State? Regardless, just like last year, the bowl win will give this team momentum heading into 2016. It's clear Bielema has Arkansas moving in the right direction.

What this loss means for Kansas State: Give Snyder and this Wildcats team credit. They battled. Despite a former junior college wide receiver starting at quarterback -- Kody Cook played pretty well by the way -- they scored points and kept the game close until the fourth quarter. They were just outmatched at the end of the day. The 77-year-old Snyder intends to return in 2016, and that means Kansas State will once again be competitive.

Player of the game: OK, you already know this one. What a day for Collins. The junior has yet to declare early for the NFL, but it might be a foregone conclusion after Saturday. Just have NFL scouts go look at his touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. He broke five tackles as he powered through the Kansas State defense on a 14-yard touchdown run. With the score, Collins set the Arkansas single-season record with 20 touchdowns on the year. He also moved into second all-time with 3,703 career rushing yards.

Unsung hero: Collins stole the show, but Arkansas tight end Jeremy Sprinkle did his part in the victory. Playing second fiddle to Hunter Henry all season, Sprinkle has never gotten the credit he probably deserves. But the junior tight end finished with four catches for 81 yards and a touchdown and proved that if Henry opts to leave early for the NFL, the Razorbacks will be just fine at the tight end position next season.

Top play: There's open, and then there's Winston Dimel on this play. The Kansas State fullback must have been hiding behind his offensive lineman prior to the snap because when he slipped out to run a route, nobody on Arkansas picked him up. He was almost surprised with how open he was, but he caught the pass and took it in for a 48-yard touchdown, his second of the day.

Georgia Bulldogs: 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl Champions



Much of Saturday’s TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., had the feel of a bowl game college football could’ve done without. A post-New Year’s Day Bowl with two underwhelming teams “playing for nothing” in the minds of many college football fans, the game saw Georgia steadily build a lead on a Penn State team that lost quarterback Christian Hackenberg to an injury in the second quarter.

Yet a combination of diminishing production from Georgia’s offense and the ability of Penn State to steadily creep back in the second half kept the game closer than it seemed on pace to be. Georgia ultimately held on for a 24–17 win, but Penn State turning a 24–3 deficit after three quarters into a one-touchdown loss marks a solid silver lining for James Franklin’s Nittany Lions, and it gave the late bowl slate a jolt of energy.

Penn State’s chances seemed ruined when Hackenberg left in the second quarter after sustaining an apparent shoulder injury on a short run early in the Nittany Lions’ fifth drive of the game. His right shoulder appeared to be jammed into the ground on the tackle, but he briefly remained in the game and completed a 51-yard pass to Chris Godwin. Two plays later, he was pulled after continuing to favor the shoulder. Trace McSorley, a sophomore, entered in relief and PSU settled for a field goal on the drive.

McSorley did all he could, but he faced an unenviable task from the start in going against Georgia, which entered the bowl game with the nation’s top-ranked passing defense at just over 146 yards allowed per game. After the field goal, Penn State’s subsequent drives ended on a four-play turnover on downs, a punt, time expiring before halftime, another punt and another turnover on downs.

McSorley did throw a pair of impressive touchdown passes, first on a 17-yard bullet to Geno Lewis in the corner of the end zone on fourth down on the first play of the fourth quarter, and later on a 20-yard connection with DaeSean Hamilton with 6:14 remaining in the game. Penn State’s disappointing final drive of the game consisted largely of checkdowns and short passes over the middle of the field, although it’s hard to fault McSorley too much for being thrown into the fire. He finished 14 of 27 for 142 yards and the pair of touchdowns.

As for Hackenberg, he declared for the NFL draft after the game, ending his career at Penn State after three seasons. Long considered a top NFL prospect, an up-and-down season for both him and Penn State’s offense might have taken some steam out of his draft stock. The extent of his injury was also not immediately disclosed, outside of Penn State ruling him out for the game at the beginning of the second half.

Georgia is happy to get a bowl win despite the significant turnover on its coaching staff. After Mark Richt was fired and quickly hired by Miami, he elected not to coach in the bowl game. His successor, former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, is remaining with the Crimson Tide during their College Football Playoff run. The Bulldogs also lost offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, leaving wide receivers coach/associate head coach Bryan McClendon to coach the TaxSlayer Bowl.

A big-name program playing in a supposedly “meaningless” bowl game following a disappointing season and coaching transition can be a recipe for disaster, but credit McClendon for getting Georgia ready to play. Running back Sony Michel led all players with 20 carries for 85 yards with one touchdown, while Keith Marshall also rushed 14 times for 62 yards. Wide receiver Terry Godwin caught four passes for 62 yards and one touchdown, and also threw a 44-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter after lining up as a Wildcat quarterback.

The win moves Georgia to 10–3, and at least the Bulldogs can begin the Smart era coming off two consecutive 10-win seasons. A narrow win in the TaxSlayer Bowl won’t afford Smart too much leniency from Bulldogs fans, however, so he’ll need to start fast in 2016 to engender some early support.

Houston Cougars: 2015 Peach Bowl Champions





ATLANTA - Greg Ward Jr. showed off his dual-threat talents on a national stage as he ran for two touchdowns and threw for another, leading Houston past turnover-plagued Florida State 38-24 in the Peach Bowl on Thursday.


Ward, the nation's only player to run and throw for 1,000 yards this season, threw for 238 yards and ran for 67 yards as No. 14 Houston (13-1) scored the most points allowed by Florida State this season.
The No. 9 Seminoles (10-3), who trailed 21-3 at halftime, tried to rally with two fourth-quarter touchdown passes by Sean Maguire. It wasn't enough to overcome five turnovers.
Maguire, who was carted off the field with a lower left leg injury late in the first quarter, returned but threw four interceptions. Houston safety Trevon Stewart and cornerback William Jackson III each had two interceptions.

Gamba Osaka: 2015 Emperor's Cup Champions



Brazilian striker Patric scored twice as Gamba Osaka retained the Emperor’s Cup with a 2-1 win over Urawa Reds in the final in Tokyo on Friday, the last day of the Japanese soccer season.

Patric, who was also on target in Gamba’s 3-1 extra-time win over Reds in the J. League Championship playoff semifinal in late November, opened the scoring with a tasty strike after 32 minutes, only for Shinzo Koroki to equalize soon after.

A year after winning a domestic treble, Gamba finished second in the J-League Championship final and the Nabisco Cup, as well as reaching the semis of the Asian Champions League. Patric made sure they didn’t finish the season empty-handed, hitting the winner eight minutes into the second half.

“I am glad that I could make a contribution to the team as we welcome in the New Year,” said Patric. “Everyone on the team did well and I want to congratulate all of them.”

A surging run by Gamba’s man of the moment, Takashi Usami, on target twice in both of the previous two rounds after a 15-match goal drought, had the alarm bells ringing in the Urawa defense after just four minutes, his pass setting up Patric, whose shot was turned onto the crossbar by Reds goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa.

Reds defender Tomoaki Makino then went close shortly after undergoing treatment for a hand injury on the sidelines, but Gamba keeper Masaaki Higashiguchi was equal to his downward shot.

Usami was again involved as Gamba threatened to break the deadlock on 25 minutes, feeding Hiroki Fujiharu, whose cross was flicked just wide of the right-hand post by Patric.

“I just wanted the game to hurry up and finish,” said Usami, who watched the last 11 minutes from the bench after being substituted.

“I didn’t score today and I am grateful to Patric (for his goals) and the defense dug in until the end. I didn’t play that well and I am grateful to the team for winning the title.”

Patric made it third time lucky and gave Gamba the lead, taking a pass from Shu Kurata and leaving Ryota Moriwaki for dead with a storming run down the right flank before smashing past Nishikawa at his near post.

But Gamba’s joy was short lived as Reds equalized four minutes later.

Tadanari Lee headed Tsukasa Umesaki’s cross from the right against the post, but Koroki snapped up the loose ball to beat Higashiguchi with a shot in off the underside of the crossbar.

Koroki nearly put Urawa in front in time added on at the end of the first half but his close-range header lacked enough purchase to beat Higashiguchi.

Patric swung the game back in Gamba’s favor when he buried a first-time effort in the 53rd minute, driving home an outswinging corner from Gamba captain Yasuhito Endo.

Higashiguchi had to dive full stretch to turn a deflected shot from Yuki Abe around the post and Lee headed narrowly wide as Reds looked to hit back once again.

Makino did have the ball in the back of the net eight minutes from time but referee Nobutsugu Murakami had already blown for a foul.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Ole Miss Rebels: 2016 Sugar Bowl Champions



NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Chad Kelly threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns — three to Laquon Treadwell — and No. 16 Mississippi beat No. 13 Oklahoma State 48-20 in the Sugar Bowl on Friday night.

Ole Miss (10-3) jumped out to a 34-6 lead by halftime, cruising up and down the field against an overwhelmed Oklahoma State defense. The onslaught was punctuated late in the second quarter when left tackle Laremy Tunsil had a 2-yard touchdown run on a trick play after a lateral from Kelly.

Oklahoma State (10-3) lost its final three games after 10 straight wins. The Cowboys fell into a 41-6 hole midway through the third quarter and never mounted a legitimate challenge.

Mason Rudolph was 18 of 31 for 179 yards for Oklahoma State. Ole Miss outgained Oklahoma State 554-366 in total yards.

Ohio State Buckeyes: 2016 Fiesta Bowl Champions




GLENDALE, Ariz.—Ezekiel Elliott ran for 149 yards and matched a Fiesta Bowl record with four touchdowns, sparking Ohio State’s prolific offense ast he No. 7 Buckeyes downed eighth-ranked Notre Dame 44–28 in the BCS bowl game Friday afternoon.

The Buckeyes (12–1) were left out of the College Football Playoff thanks to an inopportune loss. They may leave the desert wondering what could have been after blowing past another playoff contender.

Ohio State rolled past the Fighting Irish (10-3), quick-hitting its way to one scoring drive after another and 496 total yards.

Elliott was Ohio State’s drive capper in the first half, scoring on three short runs. He turned into the show stopper in the second, leaving Notre Dame defenders flailing as he raced for a 47-yard score.
The Fighting Irish had some good offensive moments behind DeShone Kizer, but couldn’t keep up with the Buckeyes. Kizer threw for 284 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-37 passing, but had an interception and lost a fumble.

Ohio State star defensive end Joey Bosa was ejected for targeting in the first quarter.

Notre Dame top linebacker Jaylon Smith, the Butkus Award winner as the nation’s best linebacker, had to be helped off four minutes in after suffering an apparent leg injury and did not return.

Will Fuller caught an 81-yard touchdown reception for the Fighting Irish.

Stanford Cardinal: 2016 Rose Bowl Champions



The 102nd Rose Bowl game was a blowout by the second quarter Friday, with Stanford well on its way to a 45-16 demolition of Iowa, when the Cardinal pulled the football equivalent of a three-card Monte on what seemed like a bunch of unsuspecting Midwest tourists.

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan dropped back from the Iowa 31-yard line and reached toward the ground with both hands on the ball, giving the impression he had fumbled.

Cardinal running back Christian McCaffrey, who got a head start on his 2016 Heisman Trophy campaign by racking up a Rose Bowl-record 368 all-purpose yards and scoring two touchdowns, added to the hoax, diving toward Hogan's hands as if he was recovering a fumble.

Stanford had never used the play in David Shaw's five years as coach, and the Hawkeyes bit on the fake like it was a hunk of prime rib at the Lawry's Beef Bowl. Hogan stepped back and lofted a high-arching pass to Michael Rector, who was wide open on a corner route in the right side of the end zone.

Rector hauled in the pass for a 31-yard touchdown and a 35-0 Stanford lead with 8 minutes 22 seconds left . . . in the first half. It was that kind of afternoon for the Hawkeyes, who hadn't been to the Rose Bowl in 25 years and looked like they had no business being there Friday.

Adding insult to Iowa and its faithful fans, who accounted for more than half of the crowd of 94,268 in the Rose Bowl, was the name Stanford coaches gave the trick play that made the Big Ten team look so foolish.

"We actually call it Hawkeye," said Rector, who caught two passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns. "We just made that up. We knew their defensive backs and linebackers flew down hard. We thought if we faked a fumble, they'd bite hard on it, and they did. It was a great throw by Kevin, and fortunately, I came down with it."

Shaw, who has coached the Cardinal to three Pac-12 Conference titles and two Rose Bowl wins in five years, said the play has "been in the works for six years," adding that he first saw Boise State run it under coach Chris Petersen.

"I always liked it and was looking for the right situation to do it," Shaw said. "We've worked on it at different times. For this game, if was a group effort. It's one of those things when you talk about it, everyone says, 'No, we can't do that.' Then we look at it again and say, 'Gosh, that could be really good.'"

There wasn't much Stanford couldn't do on Friday. The sixth-ranked Cardinal imposed its will on the fifth-ranked Hawkeyes, dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and running up a 38-0 lead early in the third quarter before Iowa finally got on the board.

Iowa gave up an average of 18.5 points a game during 12-1 season. Stanford (12-2) scored 21 points in the first quarter. The Cardinal racked up 429 yards compared to Iowa's 287. Stanford had seven sacks in the game, four coming on third down.

Hogan, a fifth-year senior, capped a stellar Stanford career by completing 12 of 21 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns, and his last pass in a Cardinal uniform was a beautiful 42-yard bomb down the left sideline to Rector for a touchdown with 1:54 left in the game.

The Hawkeyes spent much of the afternoon grasping at air in their attempts to corral McCaffrey, the speedy and elusive sophomore who became the first player in Rose Bowl history with at least 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving.

McCaffrey, who broke the previous all-purpose mark of 346 yards set by Wisconsin receiver Jared Abbrederis against Oregon in the 2012 game, caught a short curl pass from Hogan in stride and raced 75 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.

"We dominated up front," said Joshua Garnett, Stanford's Outland Trophy-winning left guard. "We dominated all facets of the game."

Football players often look for motivation in perceived slights during the week leading up to bowl games. For Garnett, it was a declaration by Iowa cornerback Desmond King, who said he was going to "pancake" Garnett.

There were also comments from other Hawkeyes who said they hadn't heard of McCaffrey until the Heisman Trophy show and that Stanford's offensive line wasn't much different than those they face in the Big Ten.

"They know who McCaffrey is now," Garnett said. "They said we're like a regular Big Ten offensive line. When you challenge guys like us, when you light a fire under us . . . we're the wrong guys to do that to.

"For us to dominate up front and prove to people in the Big Ten that we can scrap with them, get down and dirty with them, that means a lot. We showed them what Stanford football is all about. Once the whistle blows, there's nowhere to hide on the field."

Michigan Wolverines: 2016 Citrus Bowl Champions




Orlando, Fla. — Mark Schlissel, the University of Michigan president, didn’t see it coming.

As he stood on a portable stage inside the Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium, with some 25,000 Michigan fans cheering in the stands and a victorious football team celebrating all around, there was an explosion behind him. And, quite naturally, he flinched.

“This is the first time I’ve been hit in the back of the head by a confetti cannon,” he explained later, laughing as he shook the last of the debris from his hair. “You know, if I was a real pro, I would know to stand a bit more to the right. I was a rookie.”

Understandably so, this being his first bowl trip as the university president. But exactly 18 months after assuming that post, and a year after the hiring of Jim Harbaugh as football coach was announced, Schlissel was beaming Friday after Michigan throttled Florida, 41-7, in the Citrus Bowl to cap a successful season.

“It’s exciting,” said Schlissel, who shared a hug and a few words with Harbaugh as he left the stage. “The kids worked so hard. The community cared so intensely. The alumni continued to support the team in good times and bad. And this is a great culmination of a fantastic year. A 10-win season. First year for the coach. More than anybody expected.”

And more than anything, Friday’s victory helped validate much of what we’ve seen in Harbaugh’s first year at his alma mater, from the tough, physical play on the field to the renewed energy in the stands.

The Wolverines certainly did exceed expectations, coming off a 5-7 season and the firing of Brady Hoke last fall. Friday’s bowl victory was Michigan’s first since the end of the 2011 season, and the third since 2002. And with the 10-3 finish, Harbaugh became the third coach in school history to win 10 games his first season.

That alone doesn’t mean much. (The other two — Hoke and Fielding Yost — don’t have a lot in common.) And Michigan needs no reminders it lost to its chief rivals again this season, dropping a heartbreaker on the final play to eventual Big Ten champ Michigan State and then getting drop-kicked again at home by Ohio State.

“We’re not saying this is the greatest year in the history of Michigan football,” Harbaugh said, doing his best to put it all in perspective. “But this team acquitted itself very well.”

Rudock’s best year

It was Harbaugh himself who had declared on New Year’s Eve this would be the “best year I’ve had in football” if the Wolverines could finish it off with a Jan. 1 victory over the Gators.

Friday, he wasn’t hedging one bit with that resolution.

“I thought long and hard before making that statement,” said Harbaugh, whose extended family was all on the field celebrating after the game. “And I told the team the same thing.”

At the postgame news conference, as Harbaugh was explaining all the reasons, he also turned to his quarterback, Jake Rudock, voted the game’s MVP after a “darn near flawless” performance, and asked him the same thing, “Jake, is this your best year in football?”

Rudock laughed, and replied, “Yeah, it’s hard to argue that.”

Indeed, it was, as Rudock, after losing his starting job at Iowa last January, opted to transfer for his fifth year as a graduate student, landing at Michigan in the spring and winning the No. 1 job in the fall.

By November, Harbaugh was calling him a “godsend” — citing his poise and his meticulous preparation — as the 22-year-old Florida native started rewriting the school record books. And after Friday’s 273-yard, three-touchdown day, Rudock, who says he’ll put off medical school to give the NFL a shot, sits No. 2 on the Wolverines' single-season list with 3,017 passing yards.

“The standard is just to play good, efficient football, and to do things right,” said Jedd Fisch, Michigan’s quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator. “And that’s what he does so well. He does things right, all of the time. It matters to him.”

This game mattered to all of them, though. That was obvious in the run-up, with spirited practices in the 80-degree Florida heat and a businesslike approach to the bowl, in spite of the Disney World surroundings.

And it showed Friday, as Michigan produced what Harbaugh called the team’s “most complete game of the season.”

The Wolverines scored on seven of their first eight possessions, while piling up more points and more yards (503) than the Gators had allowed all season. Michigan outgained Florida, 160-2, in the third quarter, and ended the game by running out the final 5 minutes 11 seconds on the clock.

“They took it to us, beat us up front,” Florida coach Jim McElwain, whose team also won 10 games this season, finished atop the SEC East and came in with the nation’s fourth-ranked defense.

Rushing returns

Yet, a Michigan running game that stalled late in the season looked suddenly rejuvenated, with the line opening holes and the backs — led by De’Veon Smith — exploding through them.

Smith finished with 25 carries for 109 yards, the first 100-yard effort for Michigan since a Sept. 19 romp of BYU, when he topped the century mark but also suffered a high-ankle sprain that nagged him for the next two months.

“De’Veon was a man possessed running the football,” Harbaugh said.

The defense was, too, even without injured star Jabrill Peppers, who sat out with a hand injury. Florida’s offense looked anemic late in the season, thanks to poor quarterback play and a porous line. And it did again Friday after an encouraging start, as Michigan held Florida to 28 yards and one first down after halftime.

In the end, it was simply a punishing performance by the Wolverines, which is exactly what the fans were promised when Harbaugh returned last winter.

“You saw the epitome of what he’s been trying to do since Day 1 when he got here in what was on the field today,” said linebacker Joe Bolden, one of the departing seniors. “It’s what he wants. It’s what you’ll see.”

And now that the Wolverines have found their footing, and know where to stand, joked Schlissel, “We’re thrilled to do this every year.”

john.niyo@detroitnews.com

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Tennessee Volunteers: 2016 Outback Bowl Champions



TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Joshua Dobbs threw for 166 yards and ran for two touchdowns Friday, helping Tennessee cap its best season in eight years with a 45-6 rout of No. 12 Northwestern in the Outback Bowl.
  
Dobbs scored on runs 14 and 18 yards, while Jalen Hurd ran for 130 yards and one TD for the Volunteers (9-4), who finished with at least nine wins for the first time since 2007.
  
Northwestern (10-3) sputtered offensively and was unable to keep up with the stronger, faster Vols defensively in falling short on a bid to finish with a school-record 11 victories.
  
Dobbs completed 14 of 25 passes. The dual-threat quarterback ran 12 times for 48 yards, including a highlight-reel burst around right end in which he dove for his second TD after picking up a bobbled snap and tight-roping his way up the sideline to make it 31-6 early in the fourth quarter.