Bowl season is in full swing, and we’re breaking down all of it.
Beneath you may discover takeaways from each contest in addition to recreation MVPs and the unbelievable performs and more and more weird celebrations from every recreation.
On the finish of every day, we’ll crown the present MVP of bowl season. Ohio freshman working again Rickey Hunt set the bar fairly excessive with 5 touchdowns within the Myrtle Seashore Bowl to open bowl season, however after a 22-game reign, we now have a brand new king of the hill. In his first profession begin, USC quarterback Miller Moss threw for six touchdowns and 372 yards in a 42-28 win over Louisville within the DirecTV Vacation Bowl. Caleb who?
Wednesday, Dec. 27
Over three seasons at USC, backup quarterback Miller Moss had thrown solely 59 passes for 301 yards and one landing. However Wednesday evening in San Diego, with Caleb Williams sitting out the DirecTV Vacation Bowl, Moss lastly bought his huge second and made probably the most of it. In a 42-28 win over Louisville, Moss threw for 372 yards and 6 touchdowns on 33 cross makes an attempt, with just one main mistake — an finish zone interception — in what in any other case was a dream evening for the Trojans’ longtime backup.
Down a number of gamers at a number of positions, USC put collectively one in all its full performances of the season and gave Lincoln Riley and this system a much-needed win because it heads into an all-important offseason following a disappointing 7-5 common season. Of their bowl recreation final 12 months, the Trojans adopted up a formidable 11-1 12 months with a letdown loss to Tulane within the Cotton Bowl. That foreshadowed a few of their struggles this previous season, and USC can solely hope that this 12 months’s victory over the Cardinals can set the tone for subsequent 12 months.
Williams’ anticipated departure to the NFL will go away a void that USC is predicted to fill with one, if not two, switch quarterbacks, however after a breakout efficiency from Moss on the Vacation Bowl, USC’s 2024 season might function a fierce quarterback competitors because the Trojans attempt to bounce again. — Paolo Uggetti
MVP: Moss, whose six landing passes not solely have been a Vacation Bowl document however probably the most ever by a USC quarterback in his first begin and probably the most for the Trojans in any bowl recreation.
7️⃣ placing on a present! pic.twitter.com/uPYqqKp96o
— USC Soccer ✌️ (@uscfb) December 28, 2023
Duke’s Mayo Bowl: West Virginia 30, North Carolina 10
When the Massive 12 unveiled its preseason media ballot and slotted West Virginia to complete useless final, coach Neal Brown did not maintain again.
“It actually sort of pissed me off as a result of I actually assume it is sort of lazy reporting in some senses,” Brown advised ESPN at Massive 12 media days in July. “We cannot end the place we’re predicted to complete.”
Brown completed the season Wednesday evening doused in mayonnaise, a redemptive reward for a coach who got here into the autumn feeling some job strain however left with the very best wins complete (9) in his WVU tenure. Already having invalidated the Massive 12’s preseason outlook by tying for fourth within the league, West Virginia thumped North Carolina 30-10 within the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. The Mountaineers eclipsed eight wins for simply the second time since 2011, once they ended a stretch of seven consecutive seasons with 9 or extra victories.
The Mountaineers excelled in all three phases. That they had a 75-yard landing cross from Garrett Greene to freshman Traylon Ray on the sport’s first play. They recorded two interceptions deep in their very own territory, together with an insane one-handed decide by junior Tyrin Bradley early within the third quarter, and hounded UNC ball-carriers for six sacks and 10 tackles for loss. That they had a 78-yard punt return landing by star defensive again Beanie Bishop Jr., and added three Michael Hayes discipline targets, the final after efficiently executing a pretend discipline purpose regardless of a 17-point lead.
North Carolina bought an prolonged take a look at freshman quarterback Conner Harrell after Drake Maye opted out, and ran the ball decently with Omarion Hampton and others. However the Tar Heels fell effectively in need of expectations, dropping 5 of their remaining seven video games. — Adam Rittenberg
MVP: Greene, who confirmed his versatility with 292 complete yards (228 passing, a team-high 64 dashing).
Honorable point out: The mayo dumpers!
MAYO DUMP. pic.twitter.com/pEqLT19Zc5
— Duke’s Mayo Bowl (@DukesMayoBowl) December 28, 2023
Virginia Tech was sitting at 1-3 heading into the ultimate Saturday of September earlier this season, and the Hokies’ solely win throughout that stretch was over Outdated Dominion. It might have been tough at that time to seek out anyone in Hokie Nation occupied with the postseason.
However the Hokies, in Brent Pry’s second season, confirmed their mettle the second half of the season in profitable 4 of their final six video games to make a bowl recreation. It was an identical story Wednesday within the Army Bowl, as Virginia Tech dominated the second half in a 41-20 victory over Tulane in a driving rainstorm. There have been 9 free balls within the recreation, and Virginia Tech got here up with three turnovers. However the story of the sport was the one-two punch of quarterback Kyron Drones and working again Bhayshul Tuten on the bottom. The Tulane protection could not deal with them, as they mixed for 312 dashing yards.
The strain was on Virginia Tech going into the sport. Tulane, which gained 11 video games, was gutted with head coach Willie Fritz leaving to take the Houston job. Quarterback Michael Pratt, the varsity’s all-time main passer, opted out to arrange for the NFL draft together with 4 different starters, and high receiver Chris Brazzell II entered the switch portal. Certainly one of Tulane’s two touchdowns was a fumble return for a landing within the recreation’s first three minutes. After that, Virginia Tech took management of the rain-soaked recreation.
The win offered some much-needed momentum for Virginia Tech coming into the offseason. It was the Hokies’ first profitable season since 2019 and their first bowl win since 2016. — Chris Low
MVP: Drones, the Hokies’ 234-pound quarterback, bulldozed his solution to a career-high 176 dashing yards and likewise threw a pair of landing passes, the final one a 10-yarder within the fourth quarter to provide his group a two-touchdown lead.
Tuesday, Dec. 26
For a second within the fourth quarter, it appeared like UNLV, which fell behind 28-7 within the second, simply might need what it took to tug off a comeback. The Rebels scored a landing to make it 35-30 with 12:06 left and went for 2 to tug inside a discipline purpose. Optimism was warranted. Then the ball was snapped — and fumbled. Not a lot went UNLV’s method the remainder of the sport.
Kansas scored on landing drives of two (61 yards) and three performs (46 yards) on its subsequent two possessions, placing the sport away en path to a 49-36 win. Kansas’ 9 wins are probably the most wins the Jayhawks have had since 2007 (12) and third most in additional than 50 years.
UNLV’s unwillingness to go quietly meant Jayhawks quarterback Jason Bean bought to maintain slinging it. Bean completed with six touchdowns passes, which doubles as a Kansas and Massive 12 bowl document. He shook off three interceptions and threw for a career-high 449 yards.
It was an entertaining solution to cap a resurgent 12 months for each applications. UNLV’s 22-year streak of shedding seasons ended, whereas Kansas had gone 14 seasons and not using a profitable document. — Kyle Bonagura
MVP: Bean completed with 449 passing yards and 6 landing passes, which have been break up nearly evenly between Luke Grimm (4 catches, 160 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Lawrence Arnold (6 catches, 132 yards, 3 touchdowns).
Texas State’s protection got here up huge with 5 interceptions in its 45-21 win over Rice, two of which have been pick-sixes by linebacker Brian Holloway. Rice quarterback AJ Padgett threw three interceptions, and Shawqi Itraish threw one other two within the loss.
The 2 groups mixed for 45 factors in a 24-21 first half. Texas State then scored 21 factors within the second half to tug away and win huge.
It was a recreation of errors for Rice with the 5 interceptions and a fumbled kick return that led to a turnover. The Rice offense had simply 112 passing yards and 85 dashing yards. Texas State made few errors and bought a ton of assist from the run recreation and star working again Ismail Mahdi, who had 122 yards on the bottom.
Jahmyl Jeter had solely eight carries for 36 yards, however he had three of Texas State’s 4 offensive touchdowns. The Bobcats’ win was a formidable solution to end their 8-5 season. — Tom VanHaaren
MVP: Holloway. The senior recorded two pick-sixes in opposition to Rice in an excellent efficiency for the Bobcats as he grew to become the primary FBS participant with a number of pick-sixes in a bowl recreation over the previous 10 seasons.
Massive Man TD!: Texas State offensive lineman Nash Jones scored a landing for the primary time this season, and we won’t get sufficient of massive man TDs.
🚨 BIG MAN TD 🚨
— Texas State Soccer (@TXSTATEFOOTBALL) December 27, 2023
Quick Lane Bowl: Minnesota 30, Bowling Inexperienced 24
The sport was tight by means of the primary half with Minnesota holding a 10-9 lead. The Gophers scored 21 factors after halftime to take a convincing lead, however Bowling Inexperienced scored late within the fourth to tug inside six factors.
The Gophers gained 30-24 to go 6-7 on the season. With Athan Kaliakmanis within the switch portal, Cole Kramer began at quarterback for Minnesota and accomplished 8 of 16 passes for under 26 yards however had two passing touchdowns and a dashing landing.
Working again Darius Taylor led the Minnesota offense with 208 dashing yards and one landing. The Gophers’ protection was capable of restrict Bowling Inexperienced to 82 yards dashing and 221 yards by means of the air to complete the season on the fitting foot. — Tom VanHaaren
MVP: Taylor. He made play after play with 35 carries for 208 yards.
Saturday, Dec. 23
Northwestern accomplished a outstanding season with a win over a troublesome Utah group, beating the Utes 14-7 to complete 8-5 below first-year head coach David Braun.
It is one factor to win a bowl recreation after going 4-20 the earlier two seasons, but it surely’s one other behind the story of Braun, who got here to Evanston this offseason from North Dakota State to function defensive coordinator and was thrust into the pinnacle teaching gig after a hazing scandal ended the 17-year tenure of Pat Fitzgerald.
The Wildcats’ hero on this recreation was one other newcomer: Ben Bryant, a castoff from Cincinnati who transferred to Northwestern after the Bearcats’ teaching change, and went 23 of 34 for 222 yards and two touchdowns regardless of taking punishment from the Utes all night.
The Wildcats’ protection allowed simply 73 passing yards to the Utes, 211 complete yards and had 5 sacks whereas permitting simply 3.2 yards per play. They held Utah scoreless on its first 10 drives of the sport, the longest streak to begin a recreation for the Utes previously 10 seasons, based on ESPN Stats & Data.
Utah’s Bryson Barnes, the walk-on who famously was a pig farmer rising up and have become a cult hero this 12 months, could not discover a rhythm, going 8 of 13 for 55 yards and two touchdowns because the Utes completed 8-5. — Dave Wilson
MVP: Quarterback Ben Bryant, Northwestern. Bryant threw for 222 yards and each Northwestern scores.
Northwestern this preseason:
• Contemporary off a 1-11 season
• Handled a Hazing Scandal
• Longtime HC Pat Fitzgerald fired
• Anticipated to be the WORST P5 Program this season
• Completed 8-5
• Las Vegas Bowl Champs
BRIGHT future for Notthwestern. pic.twitter.com/hy93gb6irf
— Faculty Soccer Report (@CFBRep) December 24, 2023
Coastal Carolina WR makes spectacular one-handed TD seize
Coastal Carolina QB Ethan Vasko lobs the ball into the top zone, the place Sam Pinckney hauls within the landing with one hand.
After gaining a commanding 17-0 lead within the third quarter, Coastal Carolina almost allowed San Jose State to depart the island with a comeback victory. Led by quarterback Chevan Cordeiro with 274 all-purpose yards, the Spartans mounted a rally, scoring 14 unanswered factors to make it a three-point recreation with 8:30 to play. However the Chanticleers responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ate up almost six minutes off the clock and was punctuated by maybe one of the best play of bowl season thus far. Going through a 3rd down within the crimson zone, CCU quarterback Ethan Vasko dropped again and slung the ball towards the fitting nook of the top zone. There, a tightly coated Sam Pinckney rose up and snagged the ball out of the air with one hand. The landing, Vasko’s third scoring strike of the evening, not solely grew to become an on the spot spotlight, it secured the bowl win for the Chanticleers, who completed their 8-5 season on a excessive observe. — Paolo Uggetti
MVP: Vast receiver Sam Pinckney, Coastal Carolina. Pinckney had eight catches for 123 yards and a one-handed landing late within the fourth quarter to seal the Chanticleers’ victory.
— Coastal Soccer (@CoastalFootball) December 24, 2023
68 Ventures Bowl: South Alabama 59, Jap Michigan 10
South Alabama, which started taking part in soccer in 2009, had by no means gained a bowl recreation. However the Jaguars broke by means of in an enormous method, crushing Jap Michigan 59-10, an exclamation level on coach Kane Wommack’s constructing undertaking in his third 12 months on the helm in Cellular.
South Alabama’s 7-6 season included a 33-7 win over Oklahoma State in Stillwater and ended the second profitable season in program historical past since they grew to become members of an FBS convention in 2012, behind final 12 months’s historic 10-2 run. The 59 factors have been probably the most scored by the Jaguars. The 49-point margin of victory tied for seventh all time amongst bowl season blowouts.
The Jaguars did not permit a passing yard within the first quarter, allowed only one first down within the first half, and outgained Jap Michigan, 627 yards to 150. The Jaguars handed for 307 (Gio Lopez went 14 of 19 for 192 yards with three touchdowns) and rushed for 320 (Lopez led all rushers with 88 yards and a landing on simply seven carries).
The loss dropped Jap Michigan to a 6-7 end a season after going 9-4 with simply the second bowl win at school historical past and first since 1987. — Wilson
MVP: The protection, South Alabama. The Jaguars did not permit a passing yard and held Jap Michigan to at least one first down within the first half and 150 complete yards.
Sorry, however #TheFactory is closed till additional discover 😬
— South Alabama Soccer 🏈 (@SouthAlabamaFB) December 24, 2023
After ending the common season with a four-game slide, Air Power completed sturdy by beating a JMU group that ranked twenty fourth within the AP Ballot.
The Dukes got here into their bowl recreation with out head coach Curt Cignetti, who left to move this system at Indiana. A variety of injured and transferring defensive starters additionally made this a shorthanded JMU squad. Air Power (which had switch departures of its personal) took full benefit and confirmed why they gained eight consecutive video games to begin the season.
Air Power quarterback Zac Larrier, who struggled with harm points all through the season and hadn’t performed since Nov. 11 in opposition to Hawaii, made his return for the Falcons and accomplished three of 5 passes for 45 yards and a landing, whereas including 26 yards and a landing on the bottom. Regardless of simply 45 passing yards on the afternoon, Air Power outgained JMU on offense 396 to 283.
James Madison was lacking plenty of gamers, however they did have their star quarterback Jordan McCloud, who completed the sport 20-of-33 for 257 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
Troy Calhoun’s group has now gained three consecutive bowl video games, with seven complete victories in his tenure, courting again to 2007. — Harry Lyles Jr.
MVP: Working again Emmanuel Michel, Air Power. In a recreation the place the Falcons struggled by means of the air, Michel ran for 203 yards and two touchdowns.
Georgia State coach will get french fry tub for Well-known Idaho Potato Bowl win
Shawn Elliott will get a french fry tub dumped on him as Georgia State wins the Well-known Idaho Potato Bowl.
Georgia State knocked off Utah State to earn the fourth bowl victory at school historical past.
Shawn Elliott’s group got here out quick within the first half, highlighted by the bottom recreation. Freddie Brock — taking part in instead of Marcus Carroll who transferred to Mizzou — had 141 yards dashing within the first half alone. Quarterback Darren Grainger added 99 yards and two touchdowns on the bottom (and two extra within the air) within the half as effectively, giving the Panthers a 31-14 lead.
Georgia State would not let Utah State again into the sport within the second half. Grainger added one other landing cross to Cadarrius Thompson within the third quarter to increase the result in 38-14. Brock added a fourth-quarter landing to make it 45-14 and full his afternoon. He completed with 276 yards on 24 carries after having simply six carries for 31 yards coming into the sport. Grainger completed the sport 19-of-22 for 257 yards and 5 complete touchdowns.
For Utah State, quarterback Levi Williams completed 12-of-21 for 131 yards with one landing and one interception. McCae Hillstead additionally accomplished 7 of 11 passes for 57 yards and a landing. — Lyles
MVP: Working again Freddie Brock, Georgia State. Not solely did Brock set the varsity document for many dashing yards in a recreation, however he ran for 276 yards after getting simply six carries for 31 yards all season.
This senior at Utah State can be a three-time Samoan fireknife champion 🔥 pic.twitter.com/wXorQH2O5j
— ESPN Faculty Soccer (@ESPNCFB) December 23, 2023
Camellia Bowl: Northern Illinois 21, Arkansas State 19
The Camellia Bowl bought off to a faster begin than the Birmingham Bowl, the opposite recreation within the early Saturday window. Practically the entire recreation’s scoring befell within the first half, and the sport’s first punt did not come till there was simply over a minute remaining within the second quarter. NIU led 21-13 at halftime after which maintained that lead for a lot of the second half — seven of the primary eight drives after halftime resulted in punts.
Arkansas State made a push within the final two minutes of the sport, scoring a landing to make it 21-19 with 1 minute 14 seconds left after Jaylen Raynor related with Corey Rucker for a 13-yard landing. However the Pink Wolves didn’t convert on the two-point try and have been pressured to line up for an onside kick, which they recovered. A flag was thrown for an offsides penalty, regardless that replay didn’t clearly present any of the Arkansas State gamers lined up previous the 35-yard line. Arkansas State head coach Butch Jones was furious.
However that decision successfully iced the sport. On the re-kick, Northern Illinois recovered and subsequently ran out the clock. — Lyles
MVP: Working again Antario Brown, Northern Illinois. Brown ran for 132 yards on 25 carries.
Duke bought one of the best of Troy in a matchup of two groups being led by interim coaches. Troy’s Jon Sumrall and Duke’s Mike Elko left for Tulane and Texas A&M, respectively, after the common season.
Duke working again Jaylen Coleman bought the sport going after the 2 groups traded off the primary 5 drives scoreless, punching in a 1-yard run to cap off a drive that went for seven performs and 64 yards.
After a string of punts, discipline targets, and turnovers on downs, Troy’s Damaje Yancey gave the sport a second wind within the fourth quarter with the Trojans down 17-3, intercepting Grayson Loftis whereas Duke was within the crimson zone 13. The Troy offense then marched down the sector on a 10-play, 87-yard drive –finished by a 2-yard Derrick Graham landing run — to make it a 17-10 recreation.
Troy had 14 comeback wins going again to final season, however they did not have another left in them. After stopping Duke and getting the ball again with just below two minutes left, Troy quarterback Gunnar Watson threw an interception to Jeremiah Lewis to seal the win for the Blue Devils.
The win gave Duke bowl victories in consecutive years for the primary time for the reason that 2017 and 2018 seasons. They’re going to enter a brand new period below Manny Diaz on a constructive observe. — Lyles
MVP: Working again Jaquez Moore, Duke. Moore ran for 73 yards on 14 carries.
— 76® Birmingham Bowl (@Birmingham_Bowl) December 23, 2023
Friday, Dec. 22
Within the run-up to the Union Dwelling Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl, Georgia Tech head coach Brent Key insisted this was merely an ending to the 2023 season, a solution to ship out his seniors on a excessive observe and make sure the Yellow Jackets their first profitable document since 2018. All of that, after all, was true. However given the variety of gamers returning for the Jackets — simply two within the portal thus far, and no opt-outs for the bowl — it is also simple to see how Georgia Tech’s 30-17 win over UCF on Friday may very well be a harbinger for issues to return, too.
Haynes King mixed for 176 yards of offense and two touchdowns. Jamal Hayes had 128 yards on 18 carries. Malik Rutherford’s 41-yard landing seize was one of many recreation’s highlights. And the Jackets’ D held UCF and not using a dashing landing, one thing Key’s group had finished to only one different opponent all season. Add in the truth that Tech erased a 10-0 first-quarter deficit within the course of, and there was a lot to love — and most of it again for 2024.
For UCF, the sport was a bitter ending to a blended season — the Knights’ first in a Energy 5 league. Wins over Boise State and Oklahoma State confirmed the promise of this group, however a five-game shedding streak in the midst of the season — together with a one-point loss to Baylor and a two-point loss to Oklahoma — scuttled any hopes of an explosive Massive 12 debut. RJ Harvey (15 carries, 120 yards) and Javon Baker (9 catches, 173 yards and a landing) do supply a basis for UCF’s 2024 although. — David Hale
MVP: Working again Jamal Haynes, Georgia Tech. Although he did not rating a TD, Haynes rushed for a career-high 128 yards and went over the 1,000-yard mark in dashing this season.
— Georgia Tech Soccer (@GeorgiaTechFB) December 23, 2023
Thursday, Dec. 21
USF made an emphatic assertion in its first bowl look since 2018, dominating Syracuse from begin to end in a 45-0 win that featured a number of record-setting performances.
First-year coach Alex Golesh did a outstanding job turning round a program that gained eight video games complete within the 4 years earlier than his arrival. USF finishes this season with seven wins — its first profitable season since 2017 — and the biggest margin of victory in a bowl recreation at school historical past. Just like the Bulls did all season, they did it behind quarterback Byrum Brown and receiver Sean Atkins.
Brown threw for 213 yards and three landing passes to achieve 26 on the season, breaking Quinton Flowers’ single-season faculty document of 25 set in 2017. Brown additionally joined Flowers as the one two gamers in program historical past with 4,000 complete yards in a season.
In the meantime, Atkins had six catches for 93 yards and two scores, changing into the primary participant at school historical past to go over 1,000 receiving yards.
However the USF protection took heart stage. The Bulls got here into the sport ranked No. 128 out of 130 FBS groups in complete protection however utterly shut down the Orange, who have been taking part in with out beginning quarterback Garrett Shrader (shoulder surgical procedure).
Syracuse turned as soon as once more to transformed tight finish Dan Villari and Braden Davis at quarterback, however nothing was working. USF pressured 4 turnovers — together with a strip-sack fumble that Tramel Logan Jr. returned for a 61-yard rating. USF particular groups bought concerned, too, when Syracuse muffed the maintain on a discipline purpose try, and Aamaris Brown returned the fumble 64 yards for a rating. These two scores helped USF construct a 31-0 lead at halftime, and the Bulls by no means regarded again.
It was a disappointing finish for Syracuse, which fired coach Dino Babers in November and had interim coach Nunzio Campanile in cost for the bowl. Incoming coach Fran Brown was in Boca to observe, and so was Ohio State switch quarterback Kyle McCord, whom the Orange hope will assist them enhance subsequent season. — Andrea Adelson
MVP: Quarterback Byrum Brown, USF. The freshman threw for 213 yards and three scores, and his third TD cross gave him 26 for the season, breaking the varsity’s single-season document.
ANOTHER ONE!!!!@TramelLogan10 with the SCOOP & SCORE!!!
— USF Soccer (@USFFootball) December 22, 2023
The pregame information that UTSA’s record-setting quarterback Frank Harris would sit out due to a shoulder harm — ending a transcendent seven-year profession that included 11,858 passing yards and 92 touchdowns — momentarily put a damper on the matchup. After Marshall intercepted UTSA backup quarterback Owen McCown on two of UTSA’s first 4 drives and stormed out to a 14-0 lead, a blowout appeared doable.
However McCown and the Roadrunners stormed again, scoring touchdowns on three consecutive drives in opposition to a veteran Marshall protection with star energy. In a matchup pitting two backup quarterbacks whose fathers performed QB within the NFL — Owen is the son of Josh McCown, whereas Marshall’s Cole Pennington is the son of former Thundering Herd nice Chad Pennington — UTSA pulled away within the second half to document the primary bowl win in group historical past. The Roadrunners outscored Marshall 35-3 within the remaining 41:26 as McCown had 251 passing yards and two scores, and a ferocious protection swarmed the backfield. Marshall’s second half was each dangerous and weird, because the Herd entered UTSA territory thrice with out scoring, and star working again Rasheen Ali (92 first-half dashing yards) sat out due to a coach’s resolution to protect his well being. — Adam Rittenberg
MVP: Quarterback Owen McCown, UTSA. Rather than one of the best quarterback in program historical past, McCown handed for 251 yards and two touchdowns.
Beginning QBs for tonight’s Frisco Bowl:
UTSA: Owen McCown – Son of Josh McCown
Marshall: Cole Pennington – Son of Chad Pennington pic.twitter.com/I38m2i6a0o
— PFF Faculty (@PFF_College) December 20, 2023
Famous Toastery Bowl: Western Kentucky 38, Outdated Dominion 35 (OT)
The inaugural Well-known Toastery Bowl was a basic, with Western Kentucky, with out star quarterback Austin Reed, rebounding from a 28-0 deficit to win 38-35 in extra time for the fourth-largest comeback in FBS bowl historical past.
The Hilltoppers began redshirt freshman Turner Helton, WKU coach Tyson Helton’s nephew (and son of Georgia Southern coach Clay Helton) however he was benched within the first quarter after shedding a fumble and throwing an interception. In got here Caden Veltkamp, who had made one look all season, going 1 of two for 4 yards in opposition to FIU. In opposition to ODU, Veltkamp went 40 of 52 for 383 yards with 5 touchdowns to at least one interception.
It marked the primary win after dealing with a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit since 2015 when Houston beat Pitt within the Armed Forces Bowl. In line with ESPN Stats & Data, every of the final 109 groups trailing by that a lot have misplaced.
This was Outdated Dominion’s eleventh recreation of the season that was determined by a single rating. The Monarchs completed 6-5 in such video games whereas ending 6-7 on the season, however they reached a bowl recreation for the third time at school historical past after changing into eligible in 2015. Western Kentucky (8-5) noticed its quarterback throw for greater than 4 TDs within the Hilltoppers’ third straight bowl recreation (Bailey Zappe with six in 2021, Reed with 4 in 2022 and Veltkamp with 5 this 12 months) and gained their third straight bowl recreation, tying the longest such streak in program historical past. — Dave Wilson
MVP: Quarterback Caden Veltkamp, Western Kentucky. The third-string Hilltopper threw for 5 touchdowns and 383 yards.
What a recreation, 28-point comeback by Western Kentucky, fourth-biggest in FBS historical past. We’re all Toast Guys in the present day. https://t.co/QY0451mQY9
— Dave Wilson (@dwil) December 18, 2023
Ohio secured consecutive 10-win seasons for the primary time in program historical past and prolonged its bowl recreation profitable streak to 5 behind a stifling first-half defensive effort in opposition to Georgia Southern. The Bobcats (10-3) intercepted quarterback Davis Brin thrice (twice within the first half) from the protection place — by sixth-year senior Jeremiah Wood, sophomore Adonis Williams Jr. and sixth-year senior Walter Reynolds. The Eagles (6-7) have been held to 35 complete yards within the first half, turning the ball over thrice because the Bobcats jumped out to a 20-0 benefit. Ohio freshman working again Rickey Hunt broke out by registering 133 complete yards (115 dashing) and 5 complete touchdowns (4 on the bottom).
Hunt tied the NCAA bowl document for touchdowns from scrimmage because the twelfth participant in historical past with 5 and established a brand new Bobcats bowl recreation document. Ohio fifth-year senior quarterback Parker Navarro, taking on the reins of the offense after Kurtis Rourke entered the switch portal, managed the sport successfully, regardless of the group being outgained 383-352 in complete yards. Navarro accomplished 11 of 16 passes for 120 yards and threw an 18-yard landing cross to Hunt. — Blake Baumgartner
MVP: Working again Rickey Hunt, Ohio. The freshman scored 5 touchdowns and had 133 all-purpose yards.
OMG MAKE THAT FIVE!!!! RICKEY HUNT TOUCHDOWNNNNNNNN!
— Ohio Soccer (@OhioFootball) December 16, 2023
Florida A&M senior quarterback Jeremy Moussa did not hold his head lengthy after throwing a fourth-quarter pick-six that allowed Howard to reclaim the lead. Moussa recovered rapidly, using a flea-flicker to attach with sixth-year senior vast receiver Jah’Marae Sheread for a 38-yard game-winning rating. In guiding the Rattlers (12-1) to their first HBCU/FCS nationwide championship since 1998, Moussa accomplished 19 of 32 passes to 9 totally different receivers for 289 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. Howard (6-6) scored touchdowns on its first two possessions, and it did not path till Moussa discovered senior working again Kelvin Dean (three receptions for 87 yards and two scores) for a 21-yard rating early within the fourth quarter. Senior defensive again Carson Hinton had a fumble restoration and a 27-yard interception return for a Bison landing, which took Howard’s upset bid of the closely favored Rattlers all the way down to the wire. The Rattlers’ protection made life tough for Howard quarterback Quinton Williams, intercepting him thrice — leading to 14 factors — and holding the Bison to 187 complete yards (106 passing). Howard was up at halftime regardless of being outgained 107-98 and passing for under 41 yards. — Baumgartner
MVP: Vast receiver Kelvin Dean, Florida A&M. He scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns, together with a 53-yarder.
The Marching 100 is all the time spectacular pic.twitter.com/ABFPKh1gYF
— Marcus Matthews (@GOOCHAVELI) December 16, 2023
All Jacksonville State needed was a possibility. Afforded the possibility to play in a bowl recreation throughout its FCS to FBS transition as a result of not sufficient groups certified for bowls, coach Wealthy Rodriguez and his Gamecocks took benefit. Freshman Garrison Rippa‘s 27-yard discipline purpose — his second profession try — accomplished a win over Louisiana in extra time. Jacksonville State (9-4) ran 109 performs, the second most in a bowl recreation since main classification began in 1937. The Gamecocks held a 526-247 edge in complete yardage however almost misplaced as a result of they could not deal with the ball. Three of the group’s 4 turnovers have been returned for touchdowns, together with redshirt sophomore security Tyree Skipper‘s 43-yard pick-six with 5:32 left in regulation, which gave Louisiana its final lead of the sport at 31-24. The Ragin’ Cajuns (6-7) grew to become the primary group previously 20 years to attain three defensive touchdowns in a bowl recreation. With Jacksonville State quarterbacks Zion Webb (leg) and Logan Smothers (arm) each sustaining accidents throughout the recreation and rotating out and in, junior working again Ron Wiggins churned out 126 yards and a landing to hold the Gamecocks — Baumgartner
MVP: Cornerback Jalen Clark, Louisiana. Even in a shedding effort, it is price recognizing Clark, who returned a fumble 46 yards for a landing and an interception 16 yards for an additional rating.
— Jax State Soccer (@JaxStateFB) December 16, 2023
Little went Appalachian State’s method throughout the first half of 2023. The Mountaineers misplaced in extra time at North Carolina, blew a 19-7 lead at Wyoming and misplaced to Coastal Carolina on a discipline purpose as time expired and to Outdated Dominion on a landing with 48 seconds to play. The Mountaineers have been 3-4 by means of seven video games, and the season regarded misplaced. Then one thing clicked. App State gained its remaining 5 of the common season, bought a shot on the Solar Belt title recreation because of James Madison being ineligible and ended issues on a excessive observe within the bowl recreation. Anderson Castle carried 20 instances for 119 yards, and Kaedin Robinson caught eight balls for 118 yards regardless of tough wet circumstances. The Mountaineers have now hit the nine-win mark in eight of 10 seasons since transferring up from the FCS stage, they usually’re 7-1 in bowl video games as an FBS member. For Miami, it was a brutal solution to cap an in any other case outstanding season. The Redhawks end 11-3, probably the most wins by this system since 2003, when Ben Roethlisberger was the group’s quarterback. Their lone regular-season losses got here to Miami (Florida) and Toledo, a defeat the Redhawks avenged on Dec. 2 to assert the MAC championship. — David Hale
MVP: Mom Nature. The sport was performed in a downpour from begin to end, inflicting nonstop mishaps. But when we’re choosing a participant, it is Appalachian State quarterback Joey Aguilar, who someway managed to cross for 211 yards and rushed for his group’s solely landing.
Nick Ross pounces on the free ball in some Orlando snow paint!
Watch on ABC 📺 pic.twitter.com/Y2VIRWaIi2
— App State Soccer (@AppState_FB) December 16, 2023
Fresno State was with out coach Jeff Tedford, however the Bulldogs did not miss a beat in a win over New Mexico State. Tedford stepped other than bowl prep and training on account of well being issues, although he’s anticipated to return for the 2024 season. In his absence, the Bulldogs snapped a three-game skid and showcased their share of classic Tedford offensive fireworks. Quarterback Mikey Keene accomplished 31 of 39 passes for 380 yards and three touchdowns, including a fourth rating on the bottom, whereas seven totally different Fresno State receivers caught at the very least three passes every. In all, the Bulldogs racked up a formidable 491 yards of offense. For New Mexico State, it was a disappointing finish to a magical season. The Aggies opened the 2023 marketing campaign with an embarrassing residence loss to UMass then turned issues round and completed with 10 wins — together with a street victory in opposition to Auburn — and a berth within the Convention USA title recreation. The ten-win season was simply the second in program historical past, and thru two years on the helm, coach Jerry Kill has only one fewer victory (17) than the Aggies had within the six seasons previous his arrival. — Hale
MVP: Quarterback Mikey Keene, Fresno State. Accomplished 31 of 39 passes for 380 yards and had 4 general scores.
— Fresno State Soccer (@FresnoStateFB) December 17, 2023
Gronk sings particular rendition of nationwide anthem for the LA Bowl
NFL legend Rob Gronkowski reveals off his vocals as he sings the nationwide anthem forward of the Starco Manufacturers LA Bowl.
After ending their common season with a disappointing 33-7 loss to Cal that made many Bruins followers anticipate Chip Kelly’s firing, UCLA bounced again within the LA Bowl, beating Boise State not too far-off from the Bruins’ residence stadium. With Kelly nonetheless on the helm after UCLA introduced it will retain him, the Bruins compiled 510 yards of offense and ran the ball for 280 yards because of quarterback Collin Schlee‘s 128 yards on the bottom. After transferring from Kent State final offseason, Schlee noticed restricted time behind Ethan Garbers and Dante Moore, who’s now within the switch portal. However in opposition to the Broncos, Schlee confirmed precisely what he does greatest, main the Bruins’ dashing assault whereas additionally throwing for 2 touchdowns. Many questions stay for Kelly’s group because it heads to the Massive Ten, however Saturday evening’s bowl win was a robust ending observe after an up-and-down season. — Paolo Uggetti
MVP: Quarterback Ethan Garbers, UCLA. The Bruins turned to Garbers whereas trailing 16-7 to begin the second half, and he accomplished his first eight passes, leading to three consecutive landing drives.
— Boise State Broncos (@BroncoSports) December 17, 2023
On the heels of his announcement that he would return to Cal subsequent season, Golden Bears star working again Jaydn Ott struggled in opposition to Texas Tech’s protection. Ott, who totaled 1,260 dashing yards and 11 touchdowns this season, accounted for 45 yards on 16 carries and one landing within the bowl recreation. The Pink Raiders’ offense, in the meantime, scored 4 touchdowns thanks to 3 landing passes from Behren Morton. The sophomore quarterback unfold the ball round to seven totally different receivers, three of whom averaged greater than 12 yards per catch. Tech protection stepped up in its personal method, choosing off Cal quarterback Fernando Mendoza thrice and forcing him into two fumbles that proved an excessive amount of to beat. — Uggetti
MVP: Quarterback Behren Morton, Texas Tech. The sophomore tossed three first-half touchdowns.
Discovered him 🎯
That is three @BehrenMorton TD passes within the first half.
— Texas Tech Soccer (@TexasTechFB) December 17, 2023