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