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‘College Football’ Articles

5 Bowl Games for Saturday: Peach Bowl kicks it off; #8 Michigan and #10 Florida do battle

 

Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia 2017 photo By Atlanta Falcons via webmPlay media, CC BY 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, there will be five bowl games on television for all of you college football fans to enjoy. Peach, Belk, Arizona and the two College Football Playoff Games, Cotton and Orange. Enjoy yourselves!

Kicking it off will be the Peach and Belk Bowls at 12 noon.

The Peach Bowl in Atlanta will be played at the home of the Atlanta Falcons, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, an artificial surface. The game is on ESPN.

The game features the Big Ten’s Michigan Wolverines (10-2) and the SEC’s Florida Gators (9-3). Should be a good one, although Michigan has a 4-0 advantage all-time against Florida.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh 2014 photo By Eric Upchurch - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

In his fourth season at his alma mater, head coach Jim Harbaugh has definitely improved the team from where it was when he took over for Brady Hoke back in 2015. He has returned the program to national prominence but like all of his prdecessors, has a tough time trying to beat their most-hated rival, the Ohio State Buckeyes. He is 0-4 against them, with three of the four games being blowouts.

This season, the Wolverines steamrolled everyone in what they called “The Revenge Tour” which meant beating Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Ohio State. They beat everyone but the latter.

Their only other loss was to Notre Dame.

A couple of weird things about Michigan is that they have never won the a Big Ten Division title or have advanced to the Big Ten Championship Game. Two things their fanbase is upset about.

The Wolverines offense has definitely benefitted from the transfer of QB Shea Patterson from Mississippi. His abilities upgraded a position that was a problem spot for years since the graduation of Denard Robinson.

Michigan has a great defense. Was stout all year and its only blemish was the 62 points against Ohio State, where they had issues with the Buckeyes speedy wide receiver corps. Overall, they still have the nation’s number 1 defense and the pass defense was ranked #2.

Florida head coach Dan Mullen 2018 photo By University Athletic Association, Inc. - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

The Gators are coached by Dan Mullen, who shocked Mississippi State fans when he left to go to SEC rival Florida. But it makes sense. He used to be an assistant to Urban Meyer when he was head coach at the Gainesville school.

Mullen has made progress in just one year for a team that did not make a bowl last year. He has doubled the win total, motivated the team and won the games he was suppose to win and re-invigorated a fanbase that was literally disgusted with former head coach Jim McElwain. Another high point was beating LSU and his former team, Mississippi State. The only low time was losing to Kentucky which ended a 31-game win streak for the Gators against that team.

Friday night’s final game is the Alamo Bowl, Washington State and Iowa State

 

Alamodome aerial view 2014 photo By Billy Hathorn - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas will be the sight for Friday night’s final TV game on ESPN.

The 9 pm start will pit the Washington State Cougars (10-2) of the Pacific 12 Conference against the Iowa State Cyclones from the offensive-minded and exciting, Big 12 Conference.

The Cyclones are always a team who can get an upset at anytime, just ask Oklahoma State and West Virginia. But the question for this game is can their defense, which is has been banged up late in the season, stop a very potent Cougars offensive attack? Iowa State’s defense is very good leading the conference in allowing just 22.5 points a game. It is led by safety Greg Eisworth who as a sophomore, was named Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year. He had 84 tackles and two forced fumbles leading the team in both categories.

The 13th-ranked Cougars, who only lost to USC and Washington, has one of the nation’s best offenses, ranking in the top 25 in both yards 462 per game and points 38.3. Furthermore, they also led the nation in passing yards per game 379.8 and number 2 in completion percentage 70.5.

The Cyclones have a very dangerous offense led by RB David Montgomery and WR Hakeem Butler. Both players were all-Big 12 second team gaining more than 1,000 yards each.

2018 Pac-12 football standings
Conf Overall
Team W L W L
North Division
No. 9 Washington xy$ 7 2 10 3
No. 12 Washington Statex 7 2 10 2
Stanford 6 3 8 4
Oregon 5 4 8 4
California 4 5 7 6
Oregon State 1 8 2 10
South Division
No. 20 Utah xy 6 3 9 4
Arizona State 5 4 7 6
USC 4 5 5 7
Arizona 4 5 5 7
UCLA 3 6 3 9
Colorado 2 7 5 7
ChampionshipWashington 10, Utah 3
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant

As of December 28, 2018; Rankings from AP Poll

 

2018 Big 12 football standings
Conf Overall
Team W L W L
No. 4 Oklahoma y$^ 8 1 12 1
No. 14 Texas y 7 2 9 4
No. 25 Iowa State 6 3 8 4
No. 15 West Virginia 6 3 8 3
TCU 4 5 7 6
Baylor 4 5 7 6
Kansas State 3 6 5 7
Texas Tech 3 6 5 7
Oklahoma State 3 6 6 6
Kansas 1 8 3 9
ChampionshipOklahoma 39, Texas 27
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
  • y – Championship game participant

As of December 28, 2018; Rankings from AP Poll

 

 

CONFERENCE STANDINGS COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

 

Today’s Camping World Game featuring teams with high-powered offenses, West Virginia & Syracuse

Camping World Stadium in Orlando 2015 photo By Kitch - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

This afternoon’s contest between West Virginia and Syracuse will feature two teams with high-powered offenses and suspect defenses.

The last time these two teams faced each other was in 2012 in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl where there was 52 points scored. However, Syracuse collared West Virginia, 38-14.

The Mouintaineers (8-3) from the Big 12 Conference, are ranked 16th in the recent polls, are led by QB Will Grier, senior WR’s Gary Jennings Jr. and David Sills V. That offensive unit is ninth nationally in scoring 42.3 points per game and third best passing attack at 358.1 yards per game and eighth in offensive yards per game with 520.4.

17th-ranked Syracuse (9-3), has made incredible strides under head coach Dino Babers. They have won more games in a season since 2001 and making their first bowl appearance since the 2013 Texas Bowl, a 21-17 win over Minnesota.

The Orange have had a successful season due to their record-breaking senior QB Eric Dungey. Their offense ranks 12th nationally in points per game 40.8, tied for 18th in total offensive yards 468.8.

Both teams hold their breath when it comes to defense.

The Mountaineers rank 74th in yards allowed 405.5 per game. The Orange rank even worse, 89th in total defense 426.8 per game.

West Virginia QB Will Grier had a stellar game against Oklahoma throwing for 539 yards and 4 touchdowns in the 59-56 loss in the regular season finale

Orange QB Eric Dungey threw for 2,565 yards and 17 touchdowns. Athletic and very mobile, He rushed for 732 yards and led the team with 15 rushing TD's. Has 17 school records

Music City Bowl kicks off Friday’s bowl action: improved Purdue takes on tough SEC opponent in Auburn

(file photo)

 

Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee 2009 photo By Kaldari - Own work, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The College Football Bowl season continues today with the Music City Bowl leading off at the home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, Nissan Stadium, a grass surface.

Game time is 1:30 pm on ESPN with the Big Ten representative taking on Auburn of the Southeastern Conference.

Purdue at 6-6, had an up and down season. They pulled three upsets over Boston College, 30-13; Ohio State, 49-20; and Iowa, 38-36. Almost pulled off a fourth in triple overtime before losing to Wisconsin, 44-44.

But the Boilermakers also had a downward trend, losing three games in four weeks, including a head-scratching, 41-10 embarrassment at Minnesota.

Purdue can be exciting and can also be very inconsistent. The rushing offense is shaky, averaging only 141 yards a game, but their passing game is the second best in the Big Ten. It is even better than Auburn’s. Their front defense is solid, but the pass defense is leaky allowing 277 yards per game.

But Purdue has come a very long way on the improvement scale since Jeff Brohm came from Louisville to take the job.

Auburn, (7-5), a disappointment to their fans and followers, has an offense that struggles at times too.

QB Jarrett Stidham will be playing in the NFL next season. He has the tools but the offensive coordinator never let him show all of his talents and it showed in the team stats. The Tigers passing game averaged only 210 yards a game, 10th in the SEC.

Auburn’s defense is the reason it won seven games. It has a solid interior defense that can stop any offense and especially the running attack. They were third in the tough SEC in sacks and tackles for loss.

Purdue WR Rondale Moore is one of the nation's most exciting players. At only 5'9, 175, he caught 103 passes for 1,164 yards and 12 TD's. He can also run the ball out of the backfield and is return man on punts and kickoffs

Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham passed for 2,421 yards and 13 touchdowns this year. But the passing game just never clicked in consecutive games.

Two teams who can score, Vanderbilt & Baylor, play in tonight’s Texas Bowl

(file photo)

 

Site of the game, NRG Stadium in Houston 2017 photo By Ozzy Trevino of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Vandy QB Kyle Shurmur needs just 119 passing yards, seven completions and seven attempts to become the all-time school's leader in those categories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baylor QB Charlie Brewer leads the Bears offense eventhough he regressed some from his 2017 season as the Big 12 Co-Offensive Freshman of the Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two 6-6 teams, Vanderbilt and Baylor, will be the matchup in Thursday night’s Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl on the artificial turf of NRG Stadium in Houston, home of the NFL’s Houston Texans. 9:00 pm start on ESPN.

It will definitely be a home-field advantage for the Bears. Baylor, which is located 185.4 miles Northwest of Houston, has a roster of 110 players of which 87 are from the State of Texas and 12 from the Houston area itself. You know they want to do well and win the game.

The Baylor program, who is from the Big 12 Conference, has been in an improvement mode since the school hired head football coach Matt Rhule away from Temple University two years ago. He has resurrected the team from the embarrassing 1-11 2017 season to a bowl game. The Bears did not secure their bowl invitation until they beat Texas Tech at the end of the season, 35-24.

Baylor is led on offense by QB Charlie Brewer, but he has been aided by the Tennessee transfer in WR Jalen Hurd in his first season on the roster. Hurd has caught 69 passes for 946 yards, three TD’s each on the ground and in the air.

Vanderbilt, the SEC representative, are from Nashville, Tennessee. The Commodores have experience and firepower on offense led by four-year starting quarterback Kyle Shurmur. Shurmur, the son of NY Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, led the team to three wins in their last four games to secure the bowl bid.

During that stretch, the younger Shurmur was outstanding, completing 73.2 percent passing for 999 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Vandy’s running attack is led by Ke’Shawn Vaughn who led the SEC in yards per attempt at 7.0 and runs of 40 or more yards with 7.

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE 2018 STANDINGS

2018 SEC football standings
Conf Overall
Team W L W L
East Division
No. 6 Georgia x 7 1 11 2
No. 16 Kentucky 5 3 9 3
No. 10 Florida 5 3 9 3
South Carolina 4 4 7 5
No. 24 Missouri 4 4 8 4
Vanderbilt 3 5 6 6
Tennessee 2 6 5 7
West Division
No. 1 Alabama x$^ 8 0 13 0
No. 21 Texas A&M 5 3 8 4
No. 11 LSU 5 3 9 3
No. 18 Mississippi State 4 4 8 4
Auburn 3 5 7 5
Ole Miss 1 7 5 7
Arkansas 0 8 2 10
ChampionshipAlabama 35, Georgia 28
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • Ole Miss ineligible for postseason due to NCAA sanctions

As of December 25, 2018; Rankings from AP Poll

 

BIG 12 CONFERENCE 2018 FOOTBALL STANDINGS

2018 Big 12 football standings
Conf Overall
Team W L W L
No. 4 Oklahoma y$^ 8 1 12 1
No. 14 Texas y 7 2 9 4
No. 25 Iowa State 6 3 8 4
No. 15 West Virginia 6 3 8 3
TCU 4 5 6 6
Baylor 4 5 6 6
Kansas State 3 6 5 7
Texas Tech 3 6 5 7
Oklahoma State 3 6 6 6
Kansas 1 8 3 9
ChampionshipOklahoma 39, Texas 27
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
  • y – Championship game participant

As of December 27, 2018; Rankings from AP Poll

 

 

CONFERENCE STANDINGS COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

 

 

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