Tuesday, 1 January 2013

College Bowl Season Week 3 Review: Part 2



BELL HELICOPTER ARMED FORCES BOWL: Rice 33 - Air Force 14

Rice completely dominated the game and accumulated over 500 yards of offence to put the Falcons to the sword. The telling stat of the day was the a Air Force team that prides itself on running the ball only had 22 minutes worth of possession.
Player of the Game: Driphus Jackson. A very nice day for Jackson who was pressed into action after McHargue went down, he had 264 yards passing and 2 TDs.

Players to Watch: Well, McHargue went down with an injury, but did have one TD pass, whilst Getz’s only had 7 carries and 35 yards. I think I jinxed them!

Pick: Wrong – 16 points lost. Another unsuccessful pick, does anyone else want to be the ‘expert’?


NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL: Syracuse 38 - West Virginia 14

Whatever happened to the Mountaineers I will not know, but they got owned by the men in Orange and Prince-Tyson Gulley’s performance on the ground and looked nothing like the team that was meant to be an offensive dynamo.

Player of the Game: Tyson-Gulley. Accounted for 3 total TDs and had 208 yards on the ground.

Players to Watch: Geno Smith was very average but not poor, whilst Nassib also had a underwhelming performance under center. However, the weather conditions in New York were never going to lend themselves towards stellar QB play.

Pick: Wrong – 22 points lost. I guess I can look at the fact that I expect the game to be dominated by passing, which West Virginia would take 9 times out of 10. As it was, it was all about the run game and a great performance by Tyson Gulley.


KRAFT FIGHT HUNGER BOWL: Arizona State 62 - Navy 28

The blowout that most expected as the Sun Devils totaled up 648 offensive yards and made quick work of the Midshipmen.

Player of the Game: Taylor Kelly. Four touchdowns and 268 yards with his arm along with another 81 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Players to Watch: Reynolds had a shoddy day but did register a score whilst Magee had 9 tackles and a tackle for a loss.

Pick: Correct – 15 points won. I wonder why I didn’t put more points on this one, but in the end it’s points in the bag and adds to my total.


VALERO ALAMO BOWL:  #23 Texas 31 - #13 Oregon State 27

A fantastic game to watch as the Longhorns kept battling back from behind to win it late in the fourth quarter. Oregon State will be gutted to miss out on a 10 win season for the program but in the end the Longhorns made the plays when it mattered.

Player of the Game: David Ash. Having had a rough season, he accounted for three scores with his two TD passes coming in the fourth quarter.

Players to Watch: Gray didn’t get much of a look in for the Texas offence but did manage to catch the first of Ash’s touchdown passes whilst Mannion didn’t even play because Vaz got the start and had 2 picks. Maybe the Beavers should have listened to me.

Pick: Wrong – 26 points lost. I had a lot on this one and lost out big time.


BUFFALO WILD WINGS BOWL: Michigan State 17 - TCU 16

The Spartans and Horned Frogs didn’t disappoint me in what I predicted to be a close game by having the contest come down to Birmingham’s own Dan Conroy slot a 47 yard field goal to put Michigan State up by one (note, I know it’s not that Dan Conroy). In what is a rare sight for college football, it’s fun to see a primarily defensive battle turn out to be such a good game.

Player of the Game: Le’Veon Bell. It may have taken him a while to get going but in the end he reached 145 yards and had the touchdown that pulled the Spartans level in the 4th.

Players to Watch: Boykin had one turnover on the night but didn’t do much to harm his team chances whilst Bell was the player I expected him to be by having a player of the game performance.

Pick: Wrong – 23 points lost. Once again I lost out by a very small margin but it’s still 23 points down the drain.


Bowl Season: 1st January


Mississippi State vs #20 Northwestern
Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl – 17:00 on ESPN


The Bulldogs were one of the trending teams in the SEC early on before getting beaten down by the conferences big boys whilst the Wildcats have been a nice surprise in the BIG 10 and have finished a respectable 9-3. Can the Wildcats 15th ranked rushing attack break the SEC front?

Players to Watch
Mississippi: Johnthan Banks, CB #13. As most corners do he talks the talk, but this guy has the elite talent to back up his big talk. He is excellent in run support so look for him to be flying to the ball tonight.

Northwestern: Venric Mark, RB #5. Dangerous in both the running and return game as he has taken two punts back from punts, he will need to have his A game against an SEC defence.

Pick: Northwestern
Confidence: 9

Purdue vs Oklahom State
Heart of Dallas Bowl – 17:00 on ESPN


One of the nations leading offences in Oklahoma State will take on a Boilermaker team that at one point lost five in a row. The BIG 10 team will have plenty to prove but is likely outmatched by an explosive Cowboys team, but I have been very wrong about these things before.

Players to Watch
Purdue: Robert Marve, QB #9. If Purdue are to have a chance, Marve needs a big game. The senior has been wobbly at times but has never been the reason for a loss, but will likely be playing from behind a lot so could face a lot of pressure.

Oklahoma State: Joseph Randle, RB #1. A big threat with the ball in hand whether it be from a handoff or a pass, his best game came against Texas with 199 yards on the ground.

Pick: Oklahoma State
Confidence: 32

#7 Georgia vs #16 Nebraska
Capital One Bowl – 18:00 on  ABC


After a very disappointing loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game the Bulldogs will look to take down a Cornhusker team that got embarrassed at the hands of Wisconsin in the BIG 10 Championship game. The Nebraska coaches will be glad they don’t have to gameplan around suspended Georgia DT John Jenkins but are still unlikely to have had much sleep thinking about the ferocious Bulldawg defence.

Players to Watch
Georgia: Aaron Murray, QB #11. Murray is the man that makes it all happen for Georgia, over 3000 yards and 30 TDs on the year, Murray will desperately want a big bowl win after how the ‘Bama game ended.

Nebraska: Eric Martin, LB #46. The man that will need to get to Murray has 8.5 sacks on the year and 2 forced fumbles.

Pick: Georgia
Confidence: 35


#10 South Carolina vs  #18 Michigan
Outback Bowl – 18:00 on ESPN


These two teams have a lot to prove in what is for them, a bowl game that may seem a little below where they wanted to end up this season. The best matchup of the day is going to be between Jadeveon Clowney and the Gamecocks D-Line against the QB/WR/RB tandem of Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner. In my opinion Clowney is unblockable, even by big time NFL talent Taylor Lewan, whilst Shoelace is the most elusive QB in the college game, but Gardner has brought a new dimension to the Wolverine offence so it should be interesting to watch how both QBs are rotated.

Players to Watch
South Carolina: With Clowney already highlighted and Lattimore not playing, two key figures to watch are the RB combo of Mike Davis and Kenny Miles who need to pick up some serious slack in the Gamecock running game.

Michigan: Devin Gardner, QB #12. Since replacing Robinson as the teams primary QB, Gardner has impressed, but having never played an SEC defence and struggling against Ohio State, his performance tonight is pivotal.

Pick: South Carolina
Confidence: 28

Wisconsin vs #6 Stanford
Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio – 22:00 on ESPN


Wisconsin are the first every 5 loss team to appear in the Rose Bowl and do so facing off against a near mirror image of themselves on offence. Both teams are known for their power running game and the running back matchup of Montee Ball against Stepfan Taylor is going to be a great one. Given what I just said, we know that both defences will be keying on the run game so this one is most likely to be decided by which QB makes the big play at the right time.

Players to Watch
Stanford: Kevin Hogan, QB #8. Big, strong athletic freshman who hasn’t yet lost a game as a starter, the offence seems to really click when he’s in there and I’ve seen him have the ability to make the big play.

Wisconsin: Curt Philips, QB #10. Hasn’t played in a lot of games during his career and did practically nothing in the BIG 10 Championship game, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts if he does start under center.

Pick: Stanford
Confidence: 31

#15 Northern Illinois vs  #12 Florida State
Discover Orange Bowl – 01:30 on ESPN


Probably the most controversial team selection in a BCS bowl game for quite some time, as the upstart Huskies take on the proverbial Goliath in a Florida State team that might come in a little overconfident. If the Seminoles bring their A-game then I don’t think this is much of a contest I’m afraid, but the beauty of the BCS is that you never know what you might get when a non-AQ conference battles a perennial powerhouse.

Players to Watch
Northern Illinois: Jordan Lynch, QB #6. The man that got the Huskies where they are today. If you’ve watched him you know that he is very Tebow-like (talking college days here) in his play and has the ability to make the play when it matters most.

Florida State: Bjoern Werner, DE #95. The man from Berlin has been so dominant a pass rusher this year, that the ‘Noles have barely noticed the absence of Brandon Jenkins. Look for him to be harassing Lynch all day.

Pick: Florida State
Confidence: 34

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