Bowl Preview Part 1

Bowl Preview Five!!

Bowl Preview Five!!

I love college football and I love the TV show Scrubs, so in anticipation of 34 bowl games in a 20-day span here is part one of my bowl preview blowout with a quote from the series tied to each bowl game. As always, read this with a sense of humor as we are going to poke fun at people. Special thanks to the Bossman and the Douger for helping out with the quotes. Find a comfortable chair – this may take a while.



Eagle Bank Bowl, December 20th, Washington, D.C.


Wake Forest vs. Navy


 “Listen, Reid, normally any damage to Dr. Cox’s oversize ego would be cause for celebration. And yet, for some reason I’m not wearing a party hat sitting bare-ass on the hospital’s copier machine. You know why? It’s not because I have ‘Johnny’ tattooed on my butt. He was an old Navy buddy and if you went through what we did you’d understand.”

This rant by Dr. Kelso applies because I think it’s funny and he mentioned Navy. And it’s my column.


Players to know:

Navy – Shun White, RB – The most dangerous and productive of the backs in Navy’s option offense, White ran for 1,021 yards, averaging 8.7 yards on 112 carries and scoring 8 touchdowns.

Wake Forest – Alphonso Smith, CB – Smith was named first team All-America by the AFCA and the Walter Camp Football Foundation and was also honored as 1st team all-ACC. He intercepted six passes this season and tied the ACC record with 20 for his career.

Other stats to be aware of:

Navy leads the nation in rushing with an average of 298.3 yards per game. The Midshipmen have run the ball 667 times, second in the nation to Air Force, while throwing only 86 passes. Wake Forest is 103rd in the nation in total offense, ranking ahead of only Kentucky, Virginia Tech, and Vanderbilt among bowl teams. However, the Demon Deacons finished 19th in total defense and tied for 3rd in turnover margin, making up for the porous offense.


Random Thought:

The three service academies combined to throw 334 passes all season. Ninety-one D-I teams threw more than 334 times. They finished 1-2-3 in most rushes and 1-5-9 in rushing yards per game.



New Mexico Bowl, December 20th, Albuquerque, NM


Fresno State vs. Colorado State


 “To me, you’ll always be that geeky kid with the Pat Benatar t-shirt on.” “Dude, she rocks.”

Pat Benatar’s song “Love is a Battlefield” has been featured twice on South Park (set in Colorado, much like Colorado State). Did you know? The music video for Benatar’s hit “Shadows of the Night” featured Judge Reinhold and Bill Paxton, both unknown at the time. And yes, this quote was an excuse to mention Judge Reinhold.


Players to know:

Fresno State – Bear Pascoe, TE – Along with having a great name, Pascoe was 2nd team all-WAC this year after being 1st team all-conference last season. He has 109 catches for 1,255 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career. The Bear was injured and missed part of this season or he may have been 1st team all-WAC again.

Colorado State – Gartrell Johnson, RB – Johnson put up the 5th best single-season rushing total in Colorado State history this season and was named 1st team all-MWC. He gained 1,191 yards and scored 10 touchdowns in leading the Rams in rushing for the 3rd straight season.


Other stats to be aware of:

Colorado State finished 6-6 and is playing in a bowl game despite being outscored by 71 points during the regular season. They finished tied for 88th in the nation in scoring defense – which placed them two spots ahead of Fresno State. Only four teams who allowed more points than Fresno State also reach a bowl – Central Michigan, Houston, Nevada, and Rice.


Random Thought:

Bear Pascoe vs. Gartrell Johnson – not sure who is going to win the football game, but the name game is a draw.


St. Petersburg Bowl, December 20th, St. Petersburg, FL


Memphis vs. South Florida


“Sir, whatever happened to Bunny? We gotta know.” “Well actually, the music came before Bunny. I learned to play the guitar growing up as a young rap-scallion in Mississippi but things didn’t really take off until I moved to Memphis. Then I met the Colonel and the hits just kept coming. Unfortunately, it went to my head, I gained a lot of weight, started wearing a white jump suit, and ate tranquilizers like they were trail mix.” “Sir…” “Then, in 1977, I died on the toilet. Or did I?”

There is an obvious tie-in to Memphis in Dr. Kelso’s sarcastic rant about singing “My Tuscaloosa Heart”.


Players to know:

Memphis – Curtis Steele, RB – The Conference USA Newcomer of the Year ran for 1,175 yards and 7 touchdowns for the Tigers. Steele’s total ranks as the 4th highest single-season total in school history with current Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams holding the top 3 totals. (Bonus quote: “Mr. Steele, first name – Man Of.” “That’s it. You’re done.”)

South Florida – George Selvie, DE – Selvie was named 1st team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association and 2nd team by the Walter Camp Foundation. Selvie missed most of three games this year but still racked up 12.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. He leads current NCAA players with 60 tackles for loss and is in the Top 7 with 25.5 sacks. Selvie was a 1st team Walter Camp All-American last year.


Other stats to be aware of:

South Florida QB Matt Grothe needs 77 yards of total offense to pass 10,000 for his career. The junior is also one touchdown away from tying Andre Hall’s school record for career rushing touchdowns. South Florida boasts the 9th best rushing defense and 13th best total defense in the nation.


Random Thought:

While on their website I learned that the University of South Florida prefers to never be referred to as South Florida. They request “when referring to the University please be aware of the following policy regarding usage. First references to the school and its intercollegiate athletics program should always be the University of South Florida. The only secondary reference used should be USF or Bulls. Please refrain from using South Florida, S. Florida, South Fla. or any other similar combination.” I’ll call you what I want.

Las Vegas Bowl, December 20th, Las Vegas, NV


Brigham Young vs. Arizona

“To tell you the truth there is only one person here who is funny no matter what he says.” “Are my new boxers made of wool? ‘Cause my weasel’s getting’ heat stroke.”

Dr. Kelso delivers one of the best lines of the whole series during a soliloquy from Dr. Cox. The quote fits this game because I’ve been to Vegas and dry heat or not, the potential for heat stroke is a fact of life out there.


Players to know:

Brigham Young – Austin Collie, WR – The first team all-MWC wideout leads the nation in receiving yards with 1,419, is 2nd in receptions with 95, and 4th in touchdowns with 15. Collie is working on a current streak of 10 consecutive 100-yard receiving games and set school records for single-season and career (3,136) receiving yardage. The 15 touchdowns also represent a school and conference record for a single season.

Arizona – Mike Thomas, WR – Thomas was named 1st team all-Pac 10 for the second consecutive season, notching 70 receptions for 796 yards and 4 scores. Thomas is Arizona’s all-time leading receiver with 255 catches and needs just four in the bowl game to break former Arizona State receiver Derek Hagan’s conference mark.


Other stats to be aware of:

Arizona TE Rob Gronkowski has 10 touchdown receptions in just 9 games this season and was also named 1st team all-conference. Just a sophomore, he is already Arizona’s all-time leader at tight end in all receiving categories. BYU ranks 7th in the nation in pass offense and 17th in total offense while Arizona’s defense is currently 20th in total defense.


Random Thought:

BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl? “Mormons in Vegas” sounds like an HBO documentary.


New Orleans Bowl, December 21st, New Orleans, LA


Southern Mississippi vs. Troy


 “Oh my God! I care so little I almost passed out.”

With all due respect to both teams, this match-up doesn’t get me too hot and bothered.


Players to know:

Southern Mississippi – DeAndre Brown, WR – Brown was the only freshman named 1st team all-C-USA, recording 66 receptions for 1,108 yards and 12 touchdowns. He needs one catch, 79 yards, and two touchdowns in the bowl game to set single-season school records in all categories. The true freshman has at least two more seasons to team with starting QB Austin Davis, also a freshman, and both promise to rewrite the Golden Eagle record books.

Troy – Jerrel Jernigan, WR – Jernigan was one of eight Trojans named 1st team all-Sun Belt, racking up 803 yards receiving, 232 yards rushing, and 96 yards in returns. Jernigan needs four catches against Southern Miss to break a 40-year old Troy record for receptions in a season.


Other stats to be aware of:

Both teams averaged over 30 points per game this season with Troy ranking 23rd in the nation and Southern Miss placing 33rd. Troy suffered one of the toughest losses this season, losing to LSU after leading 31-3 in the 3rd quarter. QB Levi Brown threw 72 passes in that game, the 3rd highest total in Division I-A this year.


Random Thought:

Entering the name game competition is Troy linebacker Bear Woods. There is definitely an off-color joke in there somewhere. Memphis counters with Britt Barefoot – yes, he is a kicker but I’m not sure if he indeed kicks barefoot.

Poinsettia Bowl, December 23rd, San Diego, CA


Texas Christian vs. Boise State


 “Janitor, have you ever looked at yourself and wished you were different in every single way?” “No, I’m a winner.”

A great exchange between Elliot and the Janitor befits a great match-up between two non-BCS powers. The winning portion of the quote is especially fitting for Boise State, the winningest program in Division I-A over the previous 10 years, as ranked by winning percentage (102-24, .810). That percentage will only rise after this year as they head into the bowl season at 12-0.


Players to know:

Texas Christian – Jerry Hughes, DE – Hughes has already been listed on three different All-American teams as a 1st teamer, as well as being named Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year. More awards will likely follow for the junior defensive end. He led the nation with a conference record 14 sacks and six forced fumbles. Hughes also finished with 18.5 tackles for loss, three fumbles recoveries, and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

Boise State – Kellen Moore, QB – Just a freshman, Moore was a question mark to start the season but ended it as 2nd team all-WAC, throwing for 3,264 yards and 25 touchdowns. Moore completed 259 of 370 passes and finished with a 161.53 pass efficiency rating. With an average game against TCU, which would be no small feat, Moore would finish his freshman year with school single-season ranks of 3rd in pass yards, 2nd in completions, 3rd in attempts, 6th in touchdown passes, and 6th in pass efficiency.


Other stats to be aware of:

TCU’s defense ranks 1st in run defense, 2nd in total and scoring defense, and 3rd in sacks, while also sporting the 13th best run offense in the nation. Boise State ranks in the top 15 in most offensive categories, but also 3rd in scoring defense. Boise State outscored its opponents by 336 points this season (28.0 per game) while TCU outscored theirs by 289 (24.1 per game).


Random Thought:

This has all the making of one of the best of all the bowl games. The matchup features strength vs. strength, pitting the TCU defense against the Boise State offense. It is a shame it is being played so early but it will have the spotlight all to itself on Tuesday, the 23rd. If you like college football at all, this game should be a can’t-miss this bowl season.


Hawaii Bowl, December 24th, Honolulu, HI


Notre Dame vs. Hawaii


 “Oh, I know exactly what you’re trying to do. But you will not ruin my Christmas. Not this year.” “But I’ve only worked here for three months.”

Just as the Janitor will not let J.D. ruin his Christmas, I will not let Notre Dame’s presence ruin mine. Just because an awful 6-6 Notre Dame team gets to spend the holiday in Hawaii shouldn’t make the season any less joyful for me. Of course, it would be much, much better if Hawaii stomps them.


Players to know:

Notre Dame – Golden Tate, WR – Tate has clearly been the Fighting Irish’s best option on offense this season, making 52 receptions for 903 yards and 7 touchdowns. The 903 yards accumulated in his sophomore season rank 8th all-time at Notre Dame for a single season.

Hawaii – Solomon Elimimian, LB – Elimimian was named WAC co-defensive player of the year after amassing 101 tackles, including 9.5 for loss and 3 sacks. He is also the school’s all-time tackle leader with 414 entering his final game. This was Elimimian’s second 1st team all-conference honor.


Other stats to be aware of:

Total offense – Hawaii 74th, Notre Dame 75th. Scoring offense – Hawaii 68th, Notre Dame 86th. Fewest turnovers – Notre Dame 102nd, Hawaii 117th. This one has all the makings of an instant not-classic.


Random Thought:

Clearly drunk on the company Kool-Aid, here is a quote from Pete Derzis, ESPN Regional Television Vice President and General Manager, “To be able to attract Notre Dame as an at-large team in only our 7th year is a real testament to Hawaii being a world-class destination and the quality of our previous games.” Dude, Notre Dame sucks, that’s why you get them in your bowl game. But, he does work for ESPN so that may be the lobotomy talking.

Motor City Bowl, December 26th, Detroit, MI


Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan


 “What has two thumbs and doesn’t give a crap? Bob Kelso.”

See Southern Mississippi vs. Troy.


Players to know:

Florida Atlantic – Frantz Joseph, LB – In addition to having perhaps the best name in college football (if you don’t know what a Franz Josef is, look it up), Joseph was named 1st team all-Sun Belt for the 2nd year in a row. Joseph ranks 1st in the conference and 2nd in the nation with 141 tackles, including nine for loss. The senior also broke his own record for tackles in a season and also holds the career record with 333, accumulated in just three seasons.

Central Michigan – Antonio Brown, WR – Brown was named to the all-MAC 1st team on offense and as the kick returner and punt returner, as well as being named Special Teams Player of the Year. Brown leads the nation in punt returns, averaging 20.7 yards on 18 returns. Just a sophomore, he also caught a team-leading 82 passes for 906 yards and 6 touchdowns. The receptions and yards rank 3rd and 6th in school history, respectively. For good measure, Brown added 103 yards rushing, 716 yards on kickoff returns, and threw a 2-yard touchdown.


Other stats to be aware of:

The game also showcases two prolific but little-known junior quarterbacks in Central Michigan’s QB Dan LeFevour and Florida Atlantic’s Rusty Smith. LeFevour has already thrown for more than 9,000 yards and 72 touchdowns in his career. He’s also run for 2,179 yards and 32 touchdowns in his career, including 1,122 and 19 in 2007. Smith’s career passing totals currently stand at 7,891 yards and 60 touchdowns with one season of eligibility remaining.


Random Thought:

Sadly, Frantz Joseph does not have a Franz Josef but he does win the name competition in this one. On most occasions, CMU’s Tommy Mama would come out a winner but not against Mr. Joseph. Well done to both of you.

Meineke Car Care Bowl, December 27th, Charlotte, NC


North Carolina vs. West Virginia


 “What kind of shirt is that?” “It’s a white t-shirt.”

One of my favorite throwaway lines from the show is assigned here because of Pat White and the “Whiteout” West Virginia staged for their last home game, in which nearly the entire crowd was adorned with white t-shirts.


Players to know:

North Carolina – Hakeem Nicks, WR – The junior wideout posted the first 1,000-yard receiving season in school history this year, with 1,005 yards on 60 catches. Nicks also has tied the touchdown record with nine scoring grabs. With one year of eligibility remaining, Nicks is already the all-time leading receiver in Tar Heel history with 2,623 yards. Nicks needs five receptions and two touchdowns to become the all-time leader in those categories as well.

West Virginia – Pat White, QB – White was named 1st team all-Big East for the 3rd straight season and will finish his career as the NCAA all-time leading rusher at quarterback. White has 4,425 yards rushing and 47 TDs heading into his final game to go along with 5,717 yards passing and 53 scores.


Other stats to be aware of:

The 919 yards rushing White has this year currently rank as his career low. West Virginia ranks 12th in rush offense, the only major offensive category in which either team ranks higher than 50th. The Mountaineers also rank 9th in scoring defense, the only defensive ranking higher than 29th for either team.


Random Thought:

When in doubt, play the name game. Here we have a tag team match that is quite a tussle but I give a split decision to North Carolina’s Cooter Arnold and Richie Rich (I kid you not) over West Virginia’s Guesly Dervil and Selvish Capers.

Champs Sports Bowl, December 27th, Orlando, FL


Florida State vs. Wisconsin


 “Oh, so you’re going to sock me again. Good God, Perry, at a certain point you’re just beating up an old man.”

Wisconsin hopes to beat up an old man is this one, figuratively if not literally. Plus, Bret Bielema seems unbalanced enough to smack Bobby Bowden much like Dr. Cox did to Dr. Kelso, leading to this later exchange.


Players to know:

Florida State – Graham Gano, K/P – The Lou Groza Award winner leads the nation in field goals made (24), field goals per game (2.0), and field goal percentage (.923) after going 24-26 this season. Gano also made 27 of 28 extra point attempts to head into the bowl game with 99 points. He has also run for 24 yards on two carries.

Wisconsin – P.J. Hill, RB – Despite being nicked up for much of the season, Hill notched his 3rd consecutive 1,000-yard season, running for 1,021 yards and 13 touchdowns. The junior was named honorable mention all-Big Ten, a conference replete with good running backs. Just a junior, Hill’s career totals of 3,826 yards and 42 touchdowns rank 3rd and tied for 3rd in school history. With another year, Hill would likely move into 2nd in both categories but has no chance of catching school record holder Ron Dayne.


Other stats to be aware of:

The best team ranking for either team is Florida State’s 12th in total defense. Wisconsin is 14th in rushing offense


Random Thought:

Wisconsin had one of the most fortunate wins I have ever seen against Cal Poly late in the regular season. Cal Poly’s kicker missed three extra points in the game, including one mid-way through the 4th quarter to keep it a one possession game and another miss in OT that allowed the Badger to win on an extra point of their own. Living in Wisconsin now, I can attest the natives were no more impressed by the win than they would have been if the kicker had made all of the extra points.

Emerald Bowl, December 27th, San Francisco, CA


Miami vs. California


 “Don’t listen to her Brown Bear, your body is fierce!” “Is it?” “Like Taye Diggs!”

The Cal Bears hope to be fierce like Taye Diggs against “The U” in this quasi-home game. This typical exchange between J.D. and Turk would work best with the Brown Bears but does seem fittingly tied to a bowl game in San Francisco.


Players to know:

Miami – Matt Bosher, K/P – The only Hurricane to be named 1st or 2nd team all-ACC made 17 of 19 field goals and was perfect on 38 PATs during the season. Bosher was named 2nd team all-conference at kicker and punter and was a Lou Groza Award semifinalist. He averaged 41.1 yards per punt this year and had a 76-yard punt against Duke, the longest of his career and 4th-longest in school history.

California – Jahvid Best, RB – Best ran for 1,394 yards, 13 touchdowns, averaging 8.0 yards per carry, and was named 1st team all-Pac 10. He also led the team with 27 receptions and averaged 29.1 yards on 13 kickoff returns. Best set a school record with 311 yards rushing against Washington and is 5th in the country in rushing yards per game (126.7) and 2nd in all-purpose yardage per game (183.45).


Other stats to be aware of:

Both teams finished in the top 25 in the nation in total defense, but had far different seasons as far as turnover margin. In that crucial category, California ranks 7th in turnover margin (+14) while Miami is 101st (-9).


Random Thought:

California center Alex Mack deserves recognition for being named the winner of the 2008 Draddy Trophy as the nation’s top football scholar-athlete. The Draddy is also referred to as the “Academic Heisman” and Mack earned a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship in addition to the trophy.


Independence Bowl, December 28th, Shreveport, LA


Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech


 “I don’t dislike you. I nothing you.”

See Southern Mississippi vs. Troy.


Players to know:

Northern Illinois – Larry English, DE – English became the first defensive player named the MAC MVP in back-to-back season and was honored as the conference Defensive Player of the Year. He totaled eight sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles in 2008, and is the nation’s active career leader in sacks with 31.5. The 1st-team all-conference designation he earned marked the 3rd of his career.

Louisiana Tech – Antonio Baker, S – Baker earned 1st team all-WAC honors for the second consecutive year after his stellar junior season. He led Louisiana Tech with 111 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.


Other stats to be aware of:

After finishing 11th in the MAC in total defense last year, Northern Illinois finished 1st in the league and 20th in the nation in total defense. The teams scored a near-identical number of points (NIU – 304, La. Tech – 303), but Northern Illinois allowed 81 fewer points (217 to 298), ranking 16th in scoring defense.


Random Thought:

When I have nothing else, I go to the name game – Louisiana Tech’s Dusty Rust and RB’s coach Chino Fontenette vs. Northern Illinois’ Panan Tense and head coach Jerry Kill. The winner – Louisiana Tech. Bowl, December 29th, Birmingham, AL


Rutgers vs. North Carolina State


 “Dr. Reid, you may have an exciting new look and a boyfriend who smells vaguely like my tackle box, but I remain, as always, underwhelmed.”

Dr. Kelso’s shot at Elliot fits this game which, despite pitting recent national darling Rutgers and BCS-conference team N.C. State, leaves me feeling underwhelmed.


Players to know:

Rutgers – Kenny Britt, WR – Britt ranks second in the nation with 1,252 receiving yards, a number that ranks as the best single season in school history. He was named 1st team all-Big East after leading the conference in reception (80) and yards, and needs 81 yards in the bowl game to set the conference record for career receiving yards. Britt, a junior, is already 3rd in Rutgers history in receptions and tied for 2nd in touchdowns in addition to the yardage record.

North Carolina State – Russell Wilson, QB – Wilson became the first freshman since they became eligible in 1972 to be named 1st team all-ACC despite missing two games with injury. He led the ACC in passing efficiency (134.3), total offense (211.1) and touchdown passes (16). While the quarterback talent in the ACC is not to be confused with the Big XII, Wilson still had an excellent freshman campaign, having thrown only one interception all season.


Other stats to be aware of:

Rutgers ranks at least 39 spots ahead of North Carolina State in total offense, scoring offense, total defense, and scoring defense. One stat in the Wolfpack’s favor – turnover margin – in which N.C. State ranks 16th and Rutgers ranks 71st.


Random Thought:

Rutgers: Zaire Kitchen and Jabu Lovelace.

North Carolina State: Marty Stoner and Loid Atkinson IV.

Winner: Rutgers

Alamo Bowl, December 29th, San Antonio, TX


Northwestern vs. Missouri


 “So, you do a lot of cardio?”

This jab from Elliot to J.D. might be repeated by Northwestern defenders any time Chase Daniel runs more than three or four yards at a time.


Players to know:

Northwestern – Corey Wootton, DE – The lone Wildcat to be named 1st team all-Big Ten, Wootten ranked in the top 30 nationally with nine sacks and 15 tackles for loss. He was the first Northwestern player to make the all-conference 1st team since 2005.

Missouri – Chase Coffman, TE – Coffman won the John Mackey Award and has been named 1st team All-American by the AFCA. The son of former NFL tight end Paul Coffman, Chase has 83 receptions for 920 yards and 10 touchdowns this season despite missing two games because of injury. He has 240 career receptions, a Division I-A record among tight ends.


Other stats to be aware of:

For this game, it’s not other stats to be aware of, but another superstar – Missouri’s Jeremy Maclin. Maclin led the Tigers with 95 receptions for 1,221 yards and 12 touchdowns and ran for 250 yards and two scores. He also returned 41 kickoffs for 987 yards and one touchdown and 19 punts for 188 yards. Maclin’s 2,646 all-purpose yards (203.5 per game) rank #1 in the nation.


Random Thought:

Missouri ranks 6th in total and scoring offense but 75th in scoring defense and 99th in total defense. In fact, their defense faced the most plays per game in the nation (77.7) and was the only defense on the field for more than 1,000 plays. OK, so that’s more stats instead of a random thought or the name game. Sue me.

Humanitarian Bowl, December 30th, Boise, ID


Maryland vs. Nevada


 “You know, Bob, I’ve been thinking of all the times you manipulated and toyed with me and I can’t help but recall that children’s fable about that race between the tortoise and the pain-in-the-ass-chief-of-medicine-that-everybody-hates. You see, Bob, the pain-in-the-ass-chief-of-medicine-that-everybody-hates kept running out in front of the tortoise and taunting him, but right at the end…oh, gosh I’m sure you remember what happened Bob. The tortoise bit clean through the chief of medicine’s calf muscle, dragged him to the ground, where he and all the other turtles devoured him alive right there on the racetrack. It’s a disturbing children’s book, Bob, I know, but it’s one that stuck with me nonetheless.”

A classic rant from Dr. Cox to Dr. Kelso, the Terps hope to fend off the Wolfpack and avoid having their calf muscle bitten clean through. Plus, if Nevada does bite clean through Ralph Friedgen’s calf muscle, they better hope they are out of the way when he falls.


Players to know:

Maryland – Da’Rel Scott, RB – A redshirt sophomore, Scott finished record in the ACC in rushing (87.2 per game) and was named 1st team all-conference. Scott needs 41 yards in the bowl game to pass 1,000 for the season and his season ranks 10th in school history with 959 yards.

Nevada – Colin Kaepernick, QB – Kaerpernick, a sophomore, was named 1st team all-WAC and honored as the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. He has thrown for 2,479 yards and 19 touchdowns while running for 1,115 yards and 16 scores, becoming just the 5th different player in NCAA history with more than 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in a season.


Other stats to be aware of:

Nevada averaged 169 more yards per game of total offense than Maryland, ranking 5th to the Terrapins’ 76th. The Wolfpack ranks second in the nation is rushing offense (291.42), lead the nation in yards per rush (6.24), and are 4th in rushing touchdowns (37). Maryland ranks 72nd in rush offense and 65th in pass offense, but even worse in scoring offense, coming in at an even 100th.


Random Thought:

With the economic downtown, many bowls have chosen to select a team reasonably near the site of the game, with quite a few inviting a team in the same state. It will be interesting to see how many Maryland and Nevada fans make the trip to Boise for this one.

Holiday Bowl, December 30th, San Diego, CA


Oklahoma State vs. Oregon


 “So you do scary little speeches. How adorable!”

Mike Gundy does scary little speeches, too.


Players to know:

Oklahoma State – Dez Bryant, WR – The sophomore wideout was named 1st team all-Big XII and won the award for Special Teams Player of the Year in the conference. Bryant ranks 3rd in the country in punt returns (17.9 per return) and receiving yards per game (109.4). He finished the regular season with 74 catches for 1,313 yards and 18 touchdowns. The touchdown total ranks tied for 2nd in nation behind Rice’s Jarett Dillard.

Oregon – Patrick Chung, S – Chung was named 1st team all-Pac 10 at defensive back and special teams specialist, his 2nd consecutive honor at DB. He finished his career as the all-time leading tackler among defensive backs at Oregon. Chung had 82 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, and an interception return for a touchdown, and averaged 26.5 yards on 13 kickoff returns.


Other stats to be aware of:

Oregon used five different quarterbacks this year because of multiple injuries at the position. One of them, Chris Harper, ran 35 times while throwing only nine passes. As for this matchup, both team averaged over 41 points per game, ranking 7th and 8th in the nation. The defenses did not fare as well, ranking 70th and 78th in scoring defense. I am not big on predictions but this one has all the making of a shootout.


Random Thought:

If I were making a list of the bowl games I wanted to attend from most to least, this one would rank 3rd, behind only the Iowa game and the National Championship game. The combination of top-flight offense and the location in San Diego combine to make this a potentially excellent game to see in person.


Texas Bowl, December 30th, Houston, TX


Rice vs. Western Michigan


 “So, Mrs. Carter, it turns out your fever is just a reaction to the anesthetic we gave you during cataract surgery. I’m sending you home.” “Can I drive my Trans-Am?” “That’s not up to me Mrs. Carter, it’s up to the police and the owner of those horses you killed.” “They were everywhere!” “You were on a race track, Mrs. Carter.”

This quote has nothing to do with the Texas Bowl but I’m including it anyway.


Players to know:

Rice – Jarret Dillard, WR – Dillard has been named to several All-American teams and was named 1st team All-Conference USA. He is the all-time NCAA leader in touchdown receptions with 59 and is the 10th receiver to top 4,000 yards, with a league-record 4,052. Dillard has 79 catches for 1,224 yards and 19 touchdowns this season.

Western Michigan – Jamarko Simmons, WR – Simmons earned his 2nd straight 1st team All-MAC honors this season, hauling in 98 passes for 1,184 yards and seven touchdowns. He is the all-time school leader in receptions with 248, and needs one catch and 76 yards in the bowl game to eclipse both single-season marks.


Other stats to be aware of:

Rice receiver James Casey, not Dillard, leads the team with 104 receptions on the season, totaling 1,217 yards and 12 touchdowns. QB Chase Clement has thrown for 3,812 yards and 41 touchdowns, completing 66.4% of his passes, while also rushing for 621 yards and 11 scores. On the other sideline, Western Michigan QB Tim Hiller has thrown for 3,527 yards and 34 touchdowns, while completing 66.7% of his throws. Offense will likely carry the day as Rice has allowed the most points in the nation of any bowl team, allowing 34.9 points per game. Western Michigan ranks much better, but only 53rd in the country.


Random Thought:

Two prolific passing combinations face off against suspect (or worse than suspect) defenses, meaning this game could rival Oklahoma State-Oregon in resembling a track meet. If you enjoy passing offenses, watch this game. If you enjoy high scoring games in general, December 30th is the day for you.




~ by Bristol on December 18, 2008.

10 Responses to “Bowl Preview Part 1”

  1. FYI, I watched a great two-part Magnum Saturday morning that featured an awesome early Judge Reinhold cameo.


  2. Western Michigan is the Broncos, so that horse related quote does work pretty well.


  3. Boss, in regards to Magnum. I now get the Retro Television Network. Last nights lineup , Magnum – A-team – Incredible Hulk -Knightrider.

    In regards to Judge Reinhold I either saw him in a Lifetime X-mas movie that Mrs. Jimmy was watching or I dreamed about him. I can’t remember which but it was most likely the dream.

    And thank you for pointing out the Western Michigan Broncos. Bristol I’m disappointed.


  4. I thought of the Broncos connection while proofreading it this morning but was too lazy to make the change. I’m disappointed in the ability to format things I’m posting.


  5. This article deserves a Todd Five. It’s better than the Sports Guy because it actaully features valid statistics and doesn’t ramble on about Boston.


  6. I love that you are now dreaming about Judge Reinhold. Are you sure you didn’t just see him working at Fareway or something?


  7. [SCRUBS] RULES!!! Your use of quotes and small pictures is the only thing that made me read any of it.


  8. Hats off for you sorting through all of this. Lots of bad bowls


  9. […] ol bowl previews from Is Not a Waste Land. Part 1 | Part […]


  10. […] Bowl Preview Part 1 I love college football and I love the TV show Scrubs, so in anticipation of 34 bowl games in a 20-day span here is […] […]


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