Another New Year’s, another substandard performance by Big Ten teams.
Here’s what happened:
Houston 30, Penn State 14
The final score makes the Cotton Bowl look entirely closer than it actually was. Houston had all the points they needed 12:25 into the game, when they had built a 17-0 lead and well on their way to put the Nittany Lions out of their misery after a – ahem – trying season.
With starting quarterback Matt McGloin (out, beaten up) unavailable, Penn State turned to backup Rob Bolden. Here’s what happened with the resulting quarterback matchup:
- Houston quarterback Case Keenum: 45 of 69, 532 yards and three touchdowns.
- Bolden: 7 of 26, 137 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
Then again, McGloin only totaled 424 yards and four touchdowns in his two best games combined, so his presence likely wouldn’t have helped all that much.
Michigan State 33, Georgia 30
Georgia led 16-0 at halftime of the Outback Bowl, and the game looked all but over. In fact, I stopped paying attention.
Instead, the Spartans dominated the second half and tied the game with 14 seconds to play on a Le’Veon Bell touchdown run with 14 seconds to play.
After neither team scored in the first overtime, the Bulldogs and Spartans traded field goals in the second overtime, before Michigan State won the game 28-yard field goal by Dan Conroy in the third extra period.
Kirk Cousins completed 27 of 50 passes for 300 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, while Bell had 87 total yards and two rushing touchdowns.
Florida 24, Ohio State 17
In what once would have been a big game, Florida ended a lousy and scandal-ridden Ohio State season in the
Gator Urban Meyer Bowl – and get to feel superior for at least a little while.
Like the Penn State game, this one wasn’t all that close, either. The Buckeyes added a garbage touchdown with under a minute to play to close within a touchdown. That didn’t impact gambling considerations in any way.
South Carolina 30, Nebraska 13
The Cornhuskers proved they belong in the Big Ten by stinking up the joint in a bowl game – though they actually led 13-9 after the first quarter before opting not to score the rest of the game.
The best part of the Capital One Bowl: The MVP of the game – South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffrey – got kicked out for getting in a mini-fight with a Nebraska defender. Jeffrey caught a 51-yard Hail Mary at the end of the first half to give the Gamecocks a 16-13 lead.
Oregon 45, Wisconsin 38
We summed up the
Rose Bowl Wisconsin season here. Hell of an entertaining game, though.