Tag Archives: Biggest

Biggest Wins in 1st Four 2007 Bowl Games Belong to Utah and Florida Atlantic – Part 1


Coming into the 2007 college football 32-bowl game extravaganza that men love and women generally hate, here are some interesting facts to impress your friends:

Which team playing this year has made the most bowl game appearances? Here are the Top 10: 1) Alabama with 54, 2) Texas and Tennessee, both 46, 4) Southern California 45, 5) Georgia 42, 6) Oklahoma 40, 7) Penn State 39, and 8) Louisiana State, Michigan and Ohio State, all three at 38.

Which team playing this year has the most bowl game victories? Here are the Top 8: 1) Alabama with 30, 2) Southern California 29, 3) Penn State 25, 4) Oklahoma and Tennessee, both 24, 6) Georgia and Texas, both 23, and 8) Georgia Tech, 22.

Which team playing this year has the best bowl game won-loss percentage? Here are the Top 7: 1) Utah 9-3 at 75%, 2) Boise State and Hawaii, both 5-2 at 71%, 4) Penn State 25-12-2 at 67%, 5) Boston College 12- 6 at 66%, and 6) Oklahoma State 11-6 and Southern California 29-16, both at 64%.

Here are the first 4 winners of this year's 2007 college football bowl game results:

Poinsettia Bowl – Utah Beats Navy by a Field Goal, 35-32

Navy led Utah 10-7 at the half, fell behind 35-24 in the 4th quarter, and then roared back to score on a 58-yard touchdown pass and 2-point conversion, making it 35-32. Navy even recovered the expected onside kick, but Utah's Joe Dale intercepted a pass on the ensuing drive to seal the victory.

Utah's win should have come as no surprise because among the 64 teams that competed in 32 bowl games, Utah came into the game with the best bowl game winning percentage-75-with a 9-3 record that is now 10-3 (77% rounded). Utah finishes its season at 9-4; Navy drops to 8-5.

New Orleans Bowl – Florida Atlantic Beats Memphis Easily, 44-27

Florida Atlantic University, its 73-year-old coach Howard Schnellenberger, and the Owls' players have officially and emphatically answered the question, "FA-who?" by whipping Memphis 44-27. The New Orleans Bowl victory was the first bowl game for Florida Atlantic, which has only had a football team for 7 years and did not become a Division 1A team until 2005.

None of this was new to Howard Schnellenberger, who build the Florida Atlantic program from scratch. Schnellenberger's New Orleans Bowl victory was his 5th straight. He remains a perfect 100% (5-0) in bowl games during his 23 years as a head coach. It would be difficult to fault Schnellenberger on this bowl game preparation.

Schnellenberger led Miami (FL) to the 1983 national championship with an Orange Bowl triumph over Nebraska. He also won the 1980 Peach Bowl with Miami, and another two bowl games with Louisville, the 1990 Fiesta Bowl and the 1993 Liberty Bowl. Schnellenberger may be the only college coach in history with a 5-0 record when playing in only 5 bowl games.

Rusty Smith threw for 336 yards and a New Orleans Bowl-record 5 touchdowns to lead the Owls to victory. That was excellent news for the Owls, but even better news for Florida Atlantic was this: Smith finished the season with 3,688 yards passing and 32 touchdowns, and he is a sophomore. Florida Atlantic finished the year at 8-5 while Memphis dropped to 7-6.

Pappajohns.com Bowl – Cincinnati Beats Southern Mississippi 31-21

Shifty Ben Mauk passed for 334 yards and 4 touchdowns, and DeAngelo Smith intercepted 3 passes to lead the Bearcats to a 31-21 win against Southern Mississippi. The victory gave Cincinnati its second 10-win season at 10-3, its first 10-win season since 1951, and virtually assured the Bearcats of a spot in the final rankings for the first time.

Outgoing Golden Eagles coach Jeff Bower, who has coached Southern Mississippi for 17 seasons, had to endure a last-game loss after being pushed out the door after a disappointing season. The Golden Eagles were 7-6, hardly golden but all eagles.

"We played extremely hard," said Bower after the loss, "but obviously we did not make enough plays to win the game." Bower and his Golden Eagles were done in by first-year coach Brian Kelly and his spread offense.

It has been all offense this year with a lot of teams. Some college football fans mistakenly thought that defense had been cut out of the game by the NCAA. Actually, defense was allowed this year, but most teams did not play defense all season. That includes Southern Mississippi that was 1 of 93 among 119 Division 1A teams (78%) which gave up at least 3 touchdowns a game (21 points).

Cincinnati gave up an average of 18 a game to rank 11th nationally in scoring defense.

New Mexico Bowl – New Mexico Shuts Out Nevada 23-0

Paul Baker ran for 167 yards in his first start, Donovan Porterie threw for a career-high 354 yards, and the New Mexico Lobos defeated Nevada 23-0 for their first postseason victory since 1961.

After a long 46-year wait, Lobo fans saw their team win another bowl game and hold the vaunted Wolf Pack-which averaged nearly 500 yards a game and 36+ points-to zero, zip, nada. New Mexico sprinted to a 20-0 halftime lead and never looked back. New Mexico finished the year at 9-4 while Nevada dropped to 6-7, a losing season.

(Editor's Note: This is the 1st article of a series on the 2007 bowl game results.)

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley


Source by Ed Bagley

Biggest Wins in Next Three 2007 Bowl Games – Michigan, Southern California and Georgia – Part 6


Here are the next 3 winners of this year’s 2007 college football bowl game results:

Capital One Bowl – Michigan Outlasts Florida, 41-35, as Lloyd Carr Wins His Last Game

If the Michigan Wolverines had wrapped it up and put it under the tree, outgoing coach Lloyd Carr could not have received a better Christmas gift from his players as they overcame 4 turnovers to turn back No. 9 Florida, 41-35, in the Capital One Bowl.

The longtime, popular Michigan coach announced his retirement after another loss to Ohio State in November. Had he not retired, he would probably have been asked to leave. Michigan hired Rich Rodriguez who bolted from his head coaching job at West Virginia to take over Michigan’s storied football program.

The win was huge for Michigan’s seniors as they won their first bowl game in 4 tries. Chad Henne threw for 373 yards and 3 touchdowns and Mike Hart pounded out 129 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Gators kept the game close thanks to Michigan’s 4 turnovers and plenty of big plays by sophomore Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and his speedy teammate Percy Harvin. Tebow was playing with a broken bone in his non-throwing hand and was under constant blitz pressure yet was still 17-of-33 for 154 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also ran for 57 yards and another score.

Harvin picked up 165 yards on 13 carries (12.6 yards per carry), scored once, and also caught 9 passes for another 77 yards and a second touchdown. In the end, it was not enough as Michigan won one for Carr.

The Gators failed to convert a 4th-down play at its 25-yard line and K. C. Lopata’s 41-yard field goal put Michigan ahead 41-35 with only 2:21 remaining. Florida got another shot but Tebow threw 4 straight air balls. Both Michigan and Florida finished the season with 9-4 marks.

BCS Rose Bowl – Southern California Crushes Illinois, 49-17, to Make a Statement

Pete Carroll and his Southern Cal players still are thinking BCS national championship game, but the Trojans are going to have to wait another year for that to happen. They might have finished at 11-2, the same as Louisiana State that will play in the title game, but the Trojans lost at the wrong time to the wrong team-Stanford at home.

In a display of frustration and unrest, Southern Cal literally stomped Illinois 49-17 in the BCS Rose Bowl game to make a statement. Freshman tailback Joe “Where Do They Find These Guys?” McKnight ripped through the Illini defense for 170 yards (125 yards rushing and 45 yards receiving). McKnight’s output was part of the Trojans’ 633 yards of offense.

The output set a Rose Bowl record and the Trojans’ 49 points tied the record. The blowout game gave Southern Cal 11 wins for an unprecedented 6th straight year. Illinois Coach Ron Zook still finished the year at 9-4, an unreal turnaround after a 2-19 record in his first two years at Illinois.

Do not be confused here, Illinois was a 13.5 point underdog going in. Remember that it was Illinois which dealt Ohio State its only loss, 28-21, and the Buckeyes will be facing LSU in the national championship game. Hats off to Zook and his players for an incredible year.

BCS Sugar Bowl – Hawaii’s Unbeaten Streak Ends as Georgia Wins Easily, 41-10

Georgia’s Bulldogs were hopping mad that they were not invited to play in the BCS national championship game, and Hawaii’s Warriors were on the receiving end of their displeasure, losing 41-10 as their dream of a perfect season ended in the BCS Sugar Bowl.

Hawaii came into the game at 12-0, the only undefeated team among the NCAA’s 119 Division 1A schools. They did it with coach June Jones’ run-and-shoot offense that averaged 46+ points a game, the arm of junior quarterback Colt Brennan and some great receivers.

Brennan is the real deal. He has set more NCAA passing records than Carter has liver pills, but nothing seemed to impress Georgia, and especially Marcus Howard, who became the game’s MVP as he had 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and a tipped ball that teammate Dannell Ellerbe intercepted.

The truth is Georgia was simply too big, too fast and too strong for the Islanders this time around.

Howard and his defensive mates lived in Hawaii’s backfield as Brennan was sacked 8 times, threw 3 interceptions and lost 2 fumbles, one of which Georgia recovered for a touchdown. Georgia’s defensive line pushed Hawaii all over the field; Brennan was lucky to get out of New Orleans alive and well enough to be drafted for Sunday duty in the NFL.

“It was the fastest team I’ve probably ever seen,” said Brennan. To be fair, they would not have been so fast in the Warrior offensive line had played better and given Brennan more protection so Hawaii’s offense could be effective.

It was a good but difficult game for Hawaii to swallow, but the Warriors will live to fight another day. They had to know that their 12-0 record was against much weaker competition than every other BCS team faced. They had their way in the Western Athletic Conference, even taking down Boise State, which also lost its bowl game to lowly East Carolina 41-38. Even the Washington Huskies, who had a 21-point lead on Hawaii, could not beat the Warriors as their game ended with Hawaii on top.

The citizens of Hawaii fell in love with their Warriors and well they should have. Hawaii had a signature year. Other teams are now trying to steal June Jones away from Hawaii. It was worth the defeat when you know that Hawaii figures to make a $4 million payout for its appearance in the BCS Sugar Bowl. For a team whose recruiting budget was a paltry $50,000 a year, that is a lot of moola. Hawaii can now afford to recruit talent on the mainland.

June Jones has become an opportunity for some other teams. His run-and-shoot offense has resulted in a 76-41 record (64% win percentage) in 9 seasons, including this year’s 12-1 mark and BCS bowl appearance. Jones took over a Hawaii team that was winless in 1998 and went 9-4 in his first season. Translation: You do not need to stay awake nights praying for Hawaii’s success; the Warriors and doing just fine, thank you.

(Editor’s Note: This is the 6th article of a series on the 2007 bowl game results.)

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley


Source by Ed Bagley

Biggest Winners in Next Four 2007 Bowl Games Were Kodi Burns and Tony Temple – Part 5


Here are the next 4 winners of this year’s 2007 college football bowl game results:

Chick-fil-A Bowl – Auburn Tops Clemson 23-20 in Overtime

Freshman quarterback Kodi Burns made the most of his expanded role in Auburn’s new spread offense, scoring on a 7-yard run in overtime to give the Auburn Tigers a 23-20 overtime victory over the Clemson Tigers. The game ended at 17 up and Clemson kicking a successful field goal on its first OT drive and taking a 20-17 lead before Burns became an instant hero.

Burns, who shared QB duties with senior starter Brandon Cox, also threw a 22-yard TD pass and led Auburn with 69 yards rushing on 13 carriers (a 5.3 yard average). Guess who’s going to be Auburn’s starting quarterback next season? The spread offense produced for Auburn as the Tigers gained 423 yards on 90 plays.

If you are wondering, Chick-fil-A is apparently the second largest fast-food chicken restaurant chain in the United States with 1,340 locations in 37 states doing $2+ billion in business a year. Near as I can tell, there is not a single location in the Pacific Northwest.

Outback Bowl – Tennessee Outlasts Wisconsin, 21-17

Phillip Fulmer’s Tennessee Volunteers overcame injuries, academic suspensions and the impending departure of two key assistant coaches to beat Wisconsin, 21-17, in the Outback Bowl, giving Tennessee its first 10-win season since 2004.

The Volunteers’ quarterback Erik Ainge was 25-of-43 for 365 yards and two touchdowns in his final game to win MVP honors. Tennessee’s defense stepped up when it had to, stopping Wisconsin on downs when the Badgers were10 yards from scoring in the last quarter. Tennessee ended the season at 10-4 and Wisconsin dropped to 9-4.

Fulmer and Tennessee fans were happy enough, but Fulmer will have to find replacements for offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe, who will be Duke’s next head coach, and receivers coach Trooper Taylor, who will become co-offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State.

Cotton Bowl – Missouri Routs Arkansas, 38-7, Behind Tony Temple

Tony Temple rushed for 281 yards and 4 touchdowns as Missouri routed Arkansas 38-7 in the Cotton Bowl. Coach Gary Pinkel’s crew finished at 12-2 and the Razorbacks dropped to 8-5. Missouri should have won this game and did. Temple’s 281 yards and 4 touchdowns were the best performance in the 72-year history of the Cotton Bowl.

Mizzou was ranked No. 1 after beating Kansas in their regular-season finale, but they lost badly to Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game, so badly that the Jayhawks ended up with an at-large berth in the BCS Orange Bowl game against Virginia Tech.

Missouri’s Heisman Trophy-finalist quarterback Chase Daniel went 12-for 29 and a season-low 136 yards passing with an interception, but thankfully Tony Temple had a career night on cue.

Temple’s final run of the night broke the Cotton Bowl rushing record of 265 yards by Rice’s Dicky Maegle in 1954 (now there is a name from the past that I remember!). Maegle had 3 touchdowns in that game as did Texas’ Bobby Layne in 1946 and Syracuse’s Jim Brown in 1957.

Layne would go on to quarterback the Detroit Lions and Jim Brown would be the unstoppable running back for the Cleveland Browns. Many believe Jim Brown was the greatest running back in the history of football. In 2002 The Sporting News named Brown as the greatest professional football player ever, regardless of position.

Gator Bowl – Texas Tech Rallies to Beat Virginia by a Field Goal, 31-28

Texas Tech, the nation’s top passing offense, took its sweet time overcoming a 14-point deficit but hung in there to stun Virginia, 31-28, on a late, 41-yard field goal by senior Alex Trlica with 2 seconds remaining. It was Trlica’s third game-winner of his career.

Red Raider quarterback Graham Harrell went 44-of-69 for 407 yards and 3 TDs while setting Gator Bowl records for yards, completions and attempts.

Virginia’s tailback Mikell Simpson ran for 170 yards on 20 carries, including a NCAA bowl-record 96-yard TD dash, and caught a touchdown pass, but Virginia could not recover after losing its quarterback Jameel Sewell at the start of the 4th quarter. Both teams finished the year at 9-4.

(Editor’s Note: This is the 5th article of a series on the 2007 bowl game results.)

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley


Source by Ed Bagley

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