Sunday, January 8, 2012

BCS Bowl Results

The first set of BCS Bowls, the ones before the National Championship Game, are over. The first one, played last Monday, featured the Oregon Ducks against the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl. Oregon, in its Space Age headgear, won the game 45-38 after holding off one last Wisconsin drive at the end and getting two long-distance touchdowns from their speedy freshman De'Anthony Thomas. Oregon's LaMichael James led the Ducks with 159 yards rushing and one touchdown in what will be his last game at Oregon, and Montee Ball led the Badgers with 164 yards and added a touchdown, one that tied Barry Sanders' record for most touchdowns in a season.

The Fiesta Bowl, played immediately after the Rose Bowl, pitted the Stanford Cardinal against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. In what will (probably) be future number 1 pick Andrew Luck's last game, Luck had an 87.1% completion percentage, 347 yards, and two touchdowns, but it still wasn't enough to defeat Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon, and Oklahoma State. After Jordan Williamson missed a kick that would have won the game for Stanford at the end of regulation, the game went into overtime, where Williamson missed another big kick. Oklahoma State didn't have these kicking problems, and Quinn Cook nailed a 22 yarder to win the game for Oklahoma State, 41-38. Justin Blackmon hauled in 8 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns from Brandon Weeden, who finished the game with 399 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Then came Tuesday and the Sugar Bowl. Michigan and Virginia Tech dueled it out in New Orleans in a very interesting game. It was a game of field goals, Virginia Tech scored one touchdown the whole game, Michigan score two. Although Logan Thomas had 214 yards passing and one rushing touchdown, and David Wilson added 82 on the ground, Michigan, with only 184 TOTAL yards of offense, beat Virginia Tech 23-20 in overtime. Virginia Tech made three field goals in this game before tying the game on a Logan Thomas touchdown run and two-point conversion. Virginia Tech, down 20-17 got the ball back late in the game, and went on a great drive before Frank Beamer made a huge coaching mistake by taking away all of his team's momentum and making his team play for overtime. Virginia Tech's field goal kicker, Justin Meyer, made the kick and sent the game into overtime. After a touchdown was controversially called back after a review, Meyer missed a 37 yard field goal kick. Michigan, playing unusually conservative, played for the field goal, ironically another 37 yarder. Brendan Gibbons, the Michigan kicker, sank it through, and Michigan won, 23-20. Denard Robinson had 117 yards and two touchdowns passing in the game, and that was enough to pull out a win. This gives Michigan the big-time win that they were looking for, and they could be a dangerous team next year.

The Orange Bowl, played on Wednesday in Miami, didn't need any overtime or kicker heroics, it was just an absolute rout by West Virginia against Clemson, 70-33. Geno Smith threw for 401 yards and six touchdowns to lead West Virginia, and Tavon Austin caught 11 passes for 117 yards and four touchdowns. West Virginia scored the most points in one quarter in bowl history by scoring 35 points in the second quarter. On the other side, Tajh Boyd threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns for Clemson, and Andre Ellington rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Although not technically a BCS bowl, the Cotton Bowl featured the sixth ranked team in the country, Arkansas, against the eighth ranked team, Kansas State. Although Collin Klein, who has taken the country by storm, threw for 173 yards and a touchdown and added 42 yards and another touchdown on the ground, his efforts fell short, and Arkansas won 29-16. Tyler Wilson led Arkansas by throwing for 216 yards and two touchdowns. This game featured two special teams "touchdowns", Joe Adams of Arkansas returned a punt 51 yards at the beginning of the second quarter, and Nigel Malone returned a blocked extra point for a "touchdown". (It only counted for two points). It's been an interesting bowl season so far, which makes the National Championship Game even more hyped.

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