Monday, December 19, 2011

Last Saturday's Bowl Games

While anticipating the games coming up this week, let's look back at those that were played on Saturday.

Last week I said: "None of these three pit so-called Top Teams against one another. None of the teams even won their own conference. Each game, however, looks to be pretty competitive." That last sentence proved true for two out of the three.

Only the Wyoming--Temple match proved to be a blow out with the Owls pounding the Cowboys in the New Mexico Bowl 37-15 in a game that wasn't that close. Temple had a 21-0 lead as the first half neared its close before Wyoming put 7 points on the board with 37 seconds to go. Bernard Pierce ran for 100 yards and two TDs to lead the Owls to their second ever bowl victory.

The other two games proved to be real nail biters as each came down to the closing seconds.

Ohio's Tyler Tettleton led a 61-yard drive in the final 2:02 and scored on a one-yard keeper with 13 seconds left to give Ohio its first bowl victory, 24-23 over Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. It was Ohio's sixth bowl appearance. Michael Smith rushed for 157 yards on just 12 carries for the Utah State Aggies. He also scored two TDs--one of them on a 67-yard run from scrimmage. Smith's teammate, Robert Turbin, added 101 yards on 20 carries. The day, however, belonged to Tyler Tettleton. In addition to scoring the winning TD, he completed 19 of 26 pass attempts for 220 yards and two TDs of 26 and 44 yards.

The late night game (at least here in the east) saw the Ragin' Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette squeak out a victory over the San Diego State Aztecs 32-30 in the New Orleans Bowl when the Cajuns' place kicker Brett Baer connected on a 50-yard attempt with time running out to end an aerial shootout in which both teams had over 400 yards passing.

This one started out slow--it was just 13-3 at the half--but ended with everyone panting for breath. Baer had missed two extra point attempts earlier in the game--one blocked and one flat out missed--so his making a field goal from 50-yards out was anything but a sure thing! For the Cajuns, Blaine Gautier completed 24 of 40 passes for 470 yards and three TDs, receiver Darryl Surgent returned a punt 87 yards for a first half TD and finished the day with 283 all-purpose yards, while Javone Lawson made 9 catches for 193 yards and two TDs. The Aztec's Ryan Lindley completed 28 of 49 passes for 413 yards and three TDs--all to Colin Lockett. A failed 2-point conversion pass on San Diego State's final TD proved costly, however. This was the Ragin' Cajun's first bowl appearance in 41 years and being played in New Orleans, gave them something of a home field advantage as there were nearly 43,000 fans on hand setting a New Orleans Bowl attendance record.

So, there you have it. One game a blow out and two nail biters. Switching channels or--GASP--turning off a game at half time--as I did the New Orleans Bowl (Hey! It was after 10 PM already!), may cause you to miss some exciting finishes.

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