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chowderhead9

BBCF 2015 and Beyond

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Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl

The University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers have been looking for respect all season long. Despite having 11 wins coming into the 2015  Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl game, the Blazers have received very little attention by the National press. While it is doubtful that they will finish the year within the Top-25 poll, their convincing 39 to 10 win over the Georgia State Panthers might just be enough for this 12 win UAB team to finally get a national mention.  The Blazers jumped out to an early 16 - 0 1st Quarter lead, and cruised to an easy victory. Led by junior QB Justin Warner (263 passing yards & 3 TD's), UAB racked up nearly 450 yards in total offense.

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Camping World Independence Bowl

The 2015 Camping World Independence Bowl brought together the Wyoming Cowboys and the Boston College Eagles. While neither team had a particular good season, this game was a chance for the teams to showcase to their recruiting classes what might be. The BC Eagles did just that, as they jumped out to a 21 point lead early in the 2nd quarter & cruised to a dominating 49 to 7 win over the Cowboys.

In whole, BC put together 526 yards in total offense and 31 first downs. Leading the way for the Eagles was junior QB Edward Rodriguez who tossed for 283 yards and 4 TD's. I Also noteworthy was the team also had two running backs who each topped the 100 yard mark: Joseph Burnette (116 yards on 10 carries) and Kenneth Barnes (109 yards on 19 carries). #buttkicking

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Northrop Grumman Military Bowl

While you might think a bowl game with the term "military" in its name would actually have a "military" team playing, yet you would be wrong. The 2015 Northrop Grumman Military Bowl saw the University of South Florida Bulls taking on the North Carolina State Wolfpack.  As a Top-25 ranked, 12 win team, the Bulls came into this game heavily favored over the Wolfpack. While the game stayed tight through 3 quarters, the Bulls pulled away with a 19 point 4th quarter to get the 33 to 18 victory. Finishing with 13 wins and a likely Top-15 ranking is something the USF fans should be proud of. What should not be overlooked in this game was the solid Bulls' defensive and special team play which had a 76 yard punt return, a 30 yard INT return, and a 80 yard INT return. #whoneedstheoffense

 

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Birmingham Bowl

Always fun to have a match-up between the service academies. The 2015 Birmingham Bowl brought together the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen.  While the Black Knights had the better regular season, records never matter when these teams square off. Army jumped out to a 9 to 0 lead, but the Midshipmen went into the 4th quarter with a slim 10 to 9 lead. With each team scoring two (2) TD's in the quarter, the game turned on the fact that Navy failed to convert both of its two-point attempts.  Smart play resulted in Army getting the 24 to 22 win. They were led by sophomore RB Michael Lewis' 147 rushing yards; bringing his season total to 1,230 rushing yards.

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Quick Lane Bowl

The 2015 Quick Lane Bowl featured the Minnesota Gophers and the Utah Utes. While not necessarily must see TV, it still brought together two talented teams who had experienced a disappointing season and were looking to end on a good note. Aside from the 2nd quarter which the Gophers owned, the teams were fairly evenly matched. Leading the ground-game for the Gophers was sophomore RB Louis King who gained 104 yards on 24 carries & 2 TD's. This brought King's season rushing total to 1,454 yards and 13 TD's.

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

Nothing like watching a couple of 5-Win teams playing in a rather obscure bowl game in late December, but such was the case when the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders squared off against the Purdue Boilermakers. While it might be easy to dismiss such a game, this was actually a fun one to watch play out. Both sides played solid defense and the score was 16 to 14 late in the 4th quarter. It was not until the 5:15 mark when Purdue QB Justin Hickman connected with WR Jon Walker that the game was finally put away. The real star of the game though was Boilermaker ILB Kyle Coronado who had 11 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 stuffs, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass deflection, and 1 QB hurry. #beast

         

 

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl

The final bowl game of the week had the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles taking on the Central Florida Knights in the 2015 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. While the Golden Eagles jumped out to an early 1st quarter lead, the Knights simply dominated this game on both sides of the ball. UCF had 19 more 1st downs (28 to 9) and controlled the ball for nearly 15 minutes more (37:16 v. 22:44) than the Golden Eagles. Leading the way for UCF in the 37 to 20 victory was the standout junior RB Richard Hill, who rushed for 166 yards on 33 carries. This brought his season total to 1,818 rushing yards and 13 TD's.

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Week 19 Offense & Defense Leaders

Week 19 Offense & Defense top game performances.

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Edited by chowderhead9

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TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

The 2015 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl featured a match-up between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Michigan Wolverines. The Gamecocks were on  roll and stormed out to a 16 to 0 lead midway through the 3rd quarter. It was all down hill there from there for South Carolina. From that point on, the Wolverines put up 27 points to get the 27 to 19 victory.  The solid play of QB Michael Winters (272 passing yards, 2 TD's) and WR Lonnie Fleming (117 receiving yards) led the Michigan offense.

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Ticket City Cactus Bowl

If you love field goals, this was your game. The 2015 Ticket City Cactus Bowl brought together the Colorado Buffaloes and the Massachusetts Minutemen to showcase their respective kicking games. The teams combined for 6 field goals in 7 attempts, with CU kicker Phillip Wall going 4 for 5.  It is worth pointing out that Colorado RB Ray Phillips rushed for 90 yards on 19 carries, raising his season total to 1,037 rushing yards. Not to be outdone, UMass RB Michael Suarez gained 86 yards on 16 carries; raising his season total to 1,000 rushing yards. Not sure how many fans stuck around to see the Buffaloes get the 20 to 6 victory. #snoozefest

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Edited by chowderhead9
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AutoZone Liberty Bowl

The 2015 AutoZone Liberty Bowl had the Missouri Tigers taking on the New Mexico State Aggies. The teams traded FG's through the 3rd quarter. Heading into the 4th quarter tied 6 to 6,  the Tigers connected on a 3 yard TD pass from QB Raymond Finley to WR Jason Caldwell at the 4:52 mark. With time running out, Aggies QB Aaron Romano tossed a 2 yard pass to RB Kurtis Farmer to send the game into overtime. The teams traded TD's in OT, but thanks to a big defensive stop and a QB TD sneak by Finley the Tigers pulled out the 26 to 20 win.

 

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Valero Alamo Bowl

There is a lot of history between these two teams; none more so than the 2006 National Championship game that ended with a stunning Texas victory. Fast forward nearly a decade and the teams, while not playing for a championship, are still stacked with next-level talent. The 2015 Valero Alamo Bowl pitted the #6 USC Trojans against the Texas Longhorns. For the first 3 quarters, this game was all about UT as they manhandled the Trojans to the tune of a 23 to 6 lead. Yet something changed in the 4th quarter, as USC put up two quick TD's to bring the game to 23 to 20 at the 10:00 mark. That is when the Trojans defense took over; returning a fumble 23 yards for a TD and a pick-6 INT 60 yards to put the game out of reach. The Trojans 28 point 4th quarter was enough to seal the 34 to 23 victory. #nohookemhornstoday

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

The 2015 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl brought together the #8 Georgia Bulldogs and the Michigan State Spartans. Not to diminish what the Spartans did in this game, but what a complete letdown by the Bulldogs. Despite having had an outstanding year where they were in the hunt for a playoff spot, Georgia played this game like they wanted to be anywhere but on the field. The Spartans jumped out to a 20 to 0 lead and were up 23 to 3 early in the 3rd quarter. While the Bulldogs put up a couple of late TD's to bring the score to 23 to 17, they could not close the gap. What a disappointing end to an otherwise outstanding season for the Georgia Bulldogs.

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

The 2015 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl saw the #4 Miami Hurricanes square off against the #16 Oklahoma State Cowboys.  The Hurricanes were angry after being leapfrogged by TCU in the playoff polls, and they took that out on the Cowboys. Miami led 24 to 3 heading into the 4th quarter, and cruised to a 31 to 10 victory. Junior standout QB Charlie Barth led the Hurricanes offense, passing for 241 yards and 1 TD, while sophomore RB James Walker rushed for 135 yards on 25 carries. Depending on how things shake out, Miami may sneak back into a Top-4 final ranking when all is said and done.  

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Outback Bowl

The #14 LSU Tigers faced off against the #19 Wisconsin Badgers in the 2015 Outback Bowl. In a game that several early lead changes and a desperate last minute comeback attempt by the Badgers, the Tigers had just enough fire power and discipline to get the 27 to 19 victory.  Leading the way for LSU was standout RB Thomas Woodard who rushed for 114 yards on the day; bringing his season total to 1,757 and 13 TD's. #geauxtigers 

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BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl

A strange match-up of teams for the 2015 BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl. Not sure why the bowl Committee selected the teams, but nonetheless the #23 Marshall Thundering Herd faced off against the University of Ohio Bobcats.  While the teams kept the score close early on, the Bob pulled away for an easy 29 to 12 victory. The star of the day was freshman Bobcat RB Kenneth Gates who rushed for 162 yards and 1 TD on 35 carries. to go along with another 42 receiving yards. In finishing off an amazing first season, Gates season rushing total was 1,487 yards and 9 TD's. #starinmaking

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Northwestern Mutual Rose Bowl Game

The 2015 Northwestern Mutual Rose Bowl Game brought together the #17 Boise State Broncos and the #9 Iowa Hawkeyes. If you were to ignore the final score and only look at the underlying numbers, you might guess that Boise State won this game. Despite having more first downs, better 3rd down efficiency, more total plays, better net punting average, fewer penalties, and a better time of possession by more than 5 minutes, the Broncos got absolutely destroyed on the scoreboard.

In handing Boise State only its second loss on the season, the Hawkeyes utilized the "big play" to run up 34 points on its way to the 34 to 13 victory. Leading the way for Iowa was senior QB Roland Hernandez, who passed for 283 yards and 3 TD's. Hernandez, who is up for several National awards , finished off the season with 4,368 passing yards and 44 TD's.  While it was a disappointing finish to the Broncos season, the stellar play of true freshman RB James Brown (96 rushing yards on the day, with 1,366 total rushing yards for the season) has the Boise State faithful already looking forward to next season.

 

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Allstate Sugar Bowl

The 2015 Allstate Sugar Bowl brought together two powerhouse teams in the Auburn Tigers and the Oklahoma Sooners. While the teams came into this game evenly matched on paper, the Sooners quickly established its dominance; running up a 31 to 0 lead late into the 2nd quarter. While two TD's by the Tigers narrowed the gap to 31 to 13, Oklahoma put up another 20 points to complete the 51 to 13 blowout victory.

The Sooners dominated in every facet of the game, and were led on offense by senior RB Joseph Graham. In what was a special way to end his college football career, Graham rushed for 156 yards on 27 carries and 1 TD, to go along with his 45 receiving yards. On the season, Graham rushed for 1,880 yards and 12 TD's. He will be missed in Norman. #boomersooner

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

While bowl season is always fun, the games that seem to truly matter on a National scale are those which involve the CFB Playoffs. In the first semifinal game, the #2 Penn State Nittany Lions squared off against the #3 Washington Huskies.  While it was the Huskies that struck first thanks to a 67 yard bomb from QB Antonio Smith to WR Richard Martin, it was the Nittany Lions who dominated the game. With a comfortable 27 to 10 lead at the half, Penn State cruised to a 37 to 17 victory to propel them to the National Championship game. The Penn State attack was led by junior QB Michael Parker who tossed for 286 yards and 4 TD's.  To illustrate just how dominate Penn State was, their time of possession was 39:24 compared to just 20:36 for the Huskies. #readytowin

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Capital One Orange Bowl

This was supposed to be Clemson's year.  Everything had gone just right for them so far. Top teams losing otherwise winnable games, an easy ACC, and being relatively injury free on its way to an undefeated season. Even with the shocking omission of Miami from the playoff round played right into Clemson's hand. TCU had other plans!

This game was over within the first 10 minutes of the 1st quarter, as the TCU Horned Frogs jumped out to a 14 to 0 lead by the 5:35 mark. In fact, the score would get up to 33 to 0 before the Clemson Tigers could muster their first TD. With a final score of 33 to 13, the Horned Frogs advance to take on Penn State in the CFB Championship game.

The stars of the game were RB John Keller who rushed for 183 yards on 29 carries (giving him a season rushing total of 2,001 yards) and PR specialist Jacob Chavis who returned 2 punts (80 yards and 65 yards) for TD's. What a game by TCU!

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Grey Dog Championship Game Preview

The big game is here, with the #5 TCU Horned Frogs taking on the #2 Penn State Nittany Lions. Setting aside records and history, I am sensing an upset. My prediction:    

 

                                                           TCU 31  Penn State 27

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Edited by chowderhead9

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Grey Dog Championship Game

And then there was one... the TCU Horned Frogs are the 2015 CFB Champions!

Aside from a brief 1st quarter lead, Penn State never led again. With the Nittany Lions defense focusing much of their attention on standout RB John Keller, the Horned Frogs used a little razzle dazzle by having WR Roger Hart carry the ball on goal line situations. The strategy worked, as Hart scored 2 TD's on the day to go along with his 6 receptions. While the TCU offensive numbers were not huge, the team did just enough to secure the 27 to 18 victory.

What a game and what a season. Time to move onto the end of season awards & polls, final recruiting, and gear up for the 2016 season. Thanks for following the 2015 season and here's to another exciting year of college football.

 

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Edited by chowderhead9

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2015 Final Media Poll

The season is over and the collective "media" has spoken -- the final rankings are in.

And what a season is was. While no team finished undefeated, there were several truly memorable teams. While the story of TCU will not be soon forgotten and there is no shortage of traditional powerhouse teams at the top of the polls, we should also not overlook the success of the likes of #11 Troy, #18 Boise State, or #24 Ohio.

Along with the final rankings, I thought it would be fun to compare to the Week 1 poll to see which teams were the real deal, and which were paper tigers. Thank you for following the 2015 season and here is hoping to an equal fun 2016 season!

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Edited by chowderhead9

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National CFB First Team Offense

The season is over and the Awards are being handed out. First up are the "First Team Offense" winners. These are the best of the best:

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Edited by chowderhead9

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