Graham Watson

  • Sun Bowl: Arizona State and Duke can clinch back-to-back 10-win seasons

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 5 hrs ago

    Hyundai Sun Bowl Arizona State (9-3) vs. Duke (9-3) El Paso, Texas Dec. 26, 2014

    It’s hard to believe there was a point where Arizona State and Duke were contending for division titles with 8-1 records, but both teams unexpectedly lost two of their final three games to hand over their divisional title hopes.

    In the case of No. 15 Arizona State, the Sun Devils were poised to possibly play in the College Football Playoff if it could have won out in November and then toppled Oregon.

    While the Sun Bowl is a tough consolation prize after being in the running for a shot at the national title, it does give Arizona State a chance at its first back-to-back 10-win seasons since the early 70s and Duke has a chance for back-to-back 10-win seasons for the firs time in program history.

    Duke boasts a similar offensive weapon in receiver Jamison Crowder, who has 78 catches for 942 yards and six touchdowns and also is a threat on special teams. However, Crowder does not have a consistent quarterback who can get him the ball. Anthony Boone was one of the worst passers in the ACC and struggled mightily in the Blue Devils’ two losses down the stretch with three interceptions to two touchdowns.

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  • Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State tries to break its bowl losing streak against Rice

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 3 days ago

    Hawaii Bowl Fresno State (6-7) vs. Rice (7-5) Honolulu Dec 24, 2014

    The reason this bowl was ranked the worst of all the bowls this season by the Dr. Saturday staff is pretty simple — it’s not a good game and these are not good teams.

    Both team’s records are products of subpar teams playing even worse teams and scraping by with wins. Fresno State got into its conference title game just because it wasn’t as bad as everyone else, though it did nearly blow a 28-0 lead against Hawaii, which would have cost the Bulldogs that championship spot. Rice had a chance to play for its conference title but lost 76-31 to Louisiana Tech in the final game of the regular season. In fact, of Rice’s seven wins, only one came against a team with a winning record and that was UTEP.

    So now we bring these mediocre teams together and hope that the beautiful backdrop of Hawaii will somehow make this game just a little bit better.

    Vegas odds: Rice (-2.5)

    FUN FACT

    Fresno State is the only team to earn a bowl berth this season despite a sub .500 record.

    PREDICTIONS

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  • Dr. Saturday's most popular posts in 2014

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 3 days ago

    It’s been a great year for college football as we’ve made our way through the first season that will culminate in the inaugural College Football Playoff. In the months since the season began, there have been several stories that have made an impression on Dr. Saturday readers and generated our highest traffic of the season.

    Here’s a look at the top 20 stories that made Dr. Saturday successful in 2014:

    1. Ranking the bowl 1-38 (excluding the national championship) (Dec. 7) Following the announcement of the bowl matchups, Dr. Saturday looked at each game and decided which were the ones worth watching and which ones were a pass. Here’s a hint, spend your Christmas Eve with your family, not watching the Hawaii Bowl.

    And here is the best of the rest:

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    And don’t forget to keep up with all of Graham’s thoughts, witty comments and college football discussions on Facebook

  • Bahamas Bowl: Western Kentucky set to put on an offensive display abroad

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 3 days ago

    Miami Beach Bowl Central Michigan (7-5) vs. Western Kentucky (7-5) Nassau, Bahamas Dec 24, 2014

    There is probably no better reward for finishing 7-5 than heading to the Bahamas to play a bowl game.

    Both teams were overjoyed at the opportunity to spend a week in the Caribbean, but will the bowl appreciate having two middling teams duke it out in Thomas Robinson Stadium?

    The positive is f you were looking for a high-scoring bowl, this is it. Western Kentucky set 25 different school records this season, including total yards (6,303) and points scored (528). It comes into the game ranked third in the FBS in passing yards per game (365.0) and sixth in total offense (525.3) and scoring offense (44.0).

    Most of those fantastic numbers are thanks to quarterback Brandon Doughty, who was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year after leading the FBS with school records of 4,344 passing yards and 44 touchdowns.

    However, for as good as the Hilltoppers are on offense, they are equally as terrible on defense. They finished tied for 119th out of 125 FBS schools with 39.3 points allowed per game.

    Vegas odds: Western Kentucky (-3)

    FUN FACT

    PREDICTIONS

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  • Ugly brawl mars Memphis' 55-48 overtime win against BYU in Miami Beach Bowl

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 3 days ago

    If the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl wanted to set the bar high for its future contests, it may have outdone itself.

    The first bowl game for Miami Beach and the Marlins stadium went to double overtime before Memphis claimed a 55-48 win.

    The win gave Memphis it’s first 10-win season since 1938. The program had combined to win 10 games during the past four seasons.

    Unfortunately, the end of the game was marred by a bench-clearing brawl that included as much violence as the game had offense, still it was a contest for the ages and easily the best game of the early bowl season.

    Memphis had a 38-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter and BYU looked all but out of it as it struggled to generate any consistent offense. The Tigers rallied from a 28-24 halftime deficit to take control of the game.

    However, in the fourth quarter, three big mistakes by Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch and Memphis' special teams led to 17 points and BYU headed into the waning minutes of the game with a seven-point lead.

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  • Miami Beach Bowl: BYU will have a challenge against Memphis' defense

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 5 days ago

    Miami Beach Bowl BYU (8-4) vs. Memphis (9-3) Miami Dec 22, 2014

    Both Memphis and BYU could be considered success stories this season considering the obstacles they’ve overcome to get into this bowl game.

    Memphis had not had a winning season since 2007 and had not been to a bowl game since 2008. In fact, the Tigers were 4-31 in the three years prior to coach Justin Fuente taking over, and this season, the Tigers finished in the three-way tie for the American Athletic Conference title.

    BYU had a stellar start to the season before star quarterback Taysom Hill suffered a season-ending knee injury during the fifth game of the year. The Cougars stumbled a bit as they tried to get their footing with new quarterback Christian Stewart, but managed to finish the regular season on a four-game winning streak.

    This contest is a classic strong offense versus strong defense matchup. BYU is 19th in the country in scoring offense with 36.2 points per game and averages 463.4 yards per game. Memphis is fifth in the country allowing just 17.1 points per game. Only UCLA scored more than 28 points on the Tigers this season and only two teams in the past six games managed 20 points.

    FUN FACT

    PREDICTIONS

  • Bowling Green tops South Alabama on late TD in Camellia Bowl

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 5 days ago

    The sound of stunned silence was even noticeable during the television broadcast.

    The nearly sold out crowd at the Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., most of whom were there to watch South Alabama play in its first-ever bowl game, had just seen the Jaguars take the lead late in the fourth quarter against Bowling Green only to give it right back on a 78-yard bomb that ultimately sealed the game.

    Bowling Green, which led almost the entire game, escaped with a 33-28 win in the most exciting bowl game on the inaugural day of the 2014-15 bowl season.

    With 1:20 remaining, South Alabama running back Terrance Timmons scampered three yards to give the Jaguars a 28-27 lead, its first lead of the game.

    But the moment lasted all of two plays as Bowling Green quarterback James Knapke found receiver Roger Lewis on a 78-yard bomb down the middle of the field. Lewis broke one tackle before heading into the end zone.

    South Alabama threw an interception and then ran into Bowling Green’s punter on the ensuing possession to end the game.

    Knapke’s heroics weren’t exactly unforeseen.

    Knapke, who threw for 368 yards and two touchdowns, was named the bowl’s MVP.

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  • South Alabama coach Joey Jones gets kicked in the face by his own player (Video)

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 5 days ago

    As the Camellia Bowl between South Alabama and Bowling Green got close in the fourth quarter, things also turned unexpectedly bloody.

    South Alabama coach Joey Jones was trying to stop tight end Ryan Onkaa, who was falling out of bounds. However, Onkaa did a partial somersault and kicked his coach in the face not once, but twice.

    Jones emerged bleeding with what announcers speculated was a bloody nose. He was seen multiple times with a towel trying to clean the blood from his face.

    But he never took a moment away from the sidelines and continued to coach even through medical attention.

    That play alone — and the trading of touchdowns in a hectic fourth quarter — made the Camellia Bowl the best game of the opening day of bowls.

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    Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!Follow @YahooDrSaturday

  • Colorado State's current staff given termination papers

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 5 days ago

    Dave Baldwin’s chances of being hired as Colorado State’s next coach went out the window Saturday when the former offensive coordinator turned interim head coach told media he and the rest of the CSU staff had been handed termination papers.

    “That’s the profession,” Baldwin said. “… You deal with it. Life is never fair, and you deal with it. We’re going to deal with it.”

    Baldwin was one of several names in the mix for the Rams head coaching vacancy that was opened when Jim McElwain left for Florida. The termination papers don’t mean Baldwin or any other members of Colorado State’s staff can’t or won’t be hired to stay at Colorado State.

    Baldwin did himself no favors Saturday by being outcoached in a 45-10 loss to Utah in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. Still, his work as offensive coordinator made the Rams one of the most offensively prolific teams in the country this season and helped them to a 10-win campaign.

    As for the players, they’re trying to stay away from the coaching rumor mill and are just anxious to learn whom they’re playing for next.

  • Air Force notches 10-win season with Idaho Potato Bowl win

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 5 days ago

    Quietly, Air Force capped one of the best seasons in program history following a 38-24 win against Western Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

    The win was the team’s first bowl win since 2010 and the first 10-win season for the Falcons since they won 12 in 1998.

    Air Force took the lead in this game early in the second quarter and never relinquished it. The Falcons option offense gained chunks of yardage led by Shayne Davern, who had 12 carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

    The Air Force defense kept Western Michigan’s high-powered attack mostly in check. Running back Jarvion Franklin, who came into the game with nearly 1,500 yards, was bottled up and held to just 26 yards on 12 carries. It tied his second-lowest output of the year.

    While the Western Michigan ground game was quiet, quarterback Zach Terrell did have some success in the air with star receiver Corey Davis, who eight catches for 176 yards and three touchdowns, including a 51-yard score late in the game.

    Terrell, finished with 297 passing yards and three touchdowns.

    For more Western Michigan news, visit BroncoBlitz.com.

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