- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday16 mins 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.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday54 mins ago
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen took a little time away from his Capital One Orange Bowl preparation to have a staff Christmas party.
A party, at which, he wore the greatest National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation-themed sweater ever.
Merry Christmas from the staff party. pic.twitter.com/dYRYlVOWmD
Some of you might remember a segment on College GameDay earlier in the season where coaches read mean tweets about themselves. One of those tweets said, “Cousin Eddie (from Christmas Vacation) is a fictional version of Dan Mullen.”
Of course, Mullen responded with, “Merry Christmas, (expletive) full.”
And, as you already noticed, the line on Mullen’s sweater.
I really hope Mullen got this sweater just to troll the person on Twitter. That would just add to the lore.
Well played, Dan Mullen. Well played.
For more Mississippi State news, visit BulldogBlitz.com.
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- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday2 hrs ago
For one game, Utah showed flashes of the team coach Kyle Whittingham hopes he has in the future.
The Utes defeated Colorado State 45-10 in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, a surprising score considering the Utes offense had been pretty cold for most of the season.
But it scored a Las Vegas Bowl record 24 points in the first quarter and the defense, which has been steady all season, never gave Colorado State a chance to find rhythm and get back into the contest.
The 45 points were the most the Utes had scored in a game since scoring 59 against Fresno State on Sept. 6. They also scored 56 in the season opener against FCS opponent Idaho State.
Most of Utah offensive struggles stemmed from incinsistent quarterback play, but Travis Wilson was steady, especially while running the read option, something he hadn’t done a lot of because of past head injuries. But he accounted for 91 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns — more rushing touchdowns that he had the rest of the season combined — in his best rushing game of the season.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday4 hrs ago
If you missed Utah State's 21-6 win over UTEP in the New Mexico, we hate to break it to you, but you didn't miss much.
UTEP was overmatched, both on defense and on offense, and when Utah State went up 7-3 on a 48-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kent Myers, the Aggie lead was insurmountable.
Myers, Utah's fourth quarterback this season, wasn't incredibly effective as a passer, finishing 5-12 for 68 yards with 70 on the ground. But he didn't need to be, thanks to the strength of Utah State's defense. And because of that defense, Utah State now has its second 10-win season in program history, a remarkable feat given the quarterback stat listed above.
The Miners struggled both rushing the football and attempting to pass it. Running back Aaron Jones compiled 25 carries, but they went for 88 yards, less than four yards a carry, as he struggled to find space on the edges against Utah State's defense. Quarterback Jameill Showers had barely more than 100 yards until a final garbage-time drive and his end-game total of 126 included a scramble-and-chuck it 53-yard completion to Ian Hamilton in the first quarter.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday7 hrs ago
Louisiana-Lafayette’s offense got out to fast start and put up 10 points on its first two possessions. That was all ULL’s defense would need in a 16-3 win over Nevada.
The Ragin’ Cajuns held a Wolf Pack offense that averaged 413 yards and 31 points per game to just 214 yards and three points en route to a fourth straight New Orleans Bowl victory Saturday at the Superdome.
In his final game with the program, ULL senior quarterback Terrance Broadway completed 26-of-31 passes for 227 yards and a score while running backs Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris combined for 169 yards rushing on 29 carries.
Broadway completed his first 14 passes of the game and helped the Cajuns jump out to a 10-0 lead. ULL’s first drive was an effective mix of run and pass that culminated in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Broadway to C.J. Bates.
After forcing a Nevada three-and-out on the Wolf Pack’s first possession, ULL added on to its lead with a 46-yard field goal from Hunter Stover, the first of his three field goals on the day.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday1 day ago
The Hawaii athletic department has asked the state of Hawaii for $6 million over two years to cover anticipated budget shortfalls.
The school made the request on Thursday. From Hawaii News Now:
"We do need additional support for athletics,” UH Manoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman told the State House Higher Education Committee Thursday.
UH asked lawmakers for two years worth of two mandatory expenses: $3.4 million for the gender equity costs of women's sports and $2.6 million to help cover the travel costs of its opponents, as required in its agreements with the two athletic conferences to which UH belongs.
"I'm trying to think of a way that we can make athletics somehow sustainable. And I think it will require a partnership between us, the legislature, more external support," Bley-Vroman said.
Hawaii's athletic department isn't new to financial issues. The department has a predicted $3.5 million budget shortfall for this year and has operated in the black just three of the last 15 years.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday1 day ago
To boost a defense that allowed 59 points in the Big Ten Championship, Wisconsin will look toward a player who played primarily on offense this season.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, quarterback Tanner McEvoy was working with the first-team defense at linebacker and safety during practice on Thursday. McEvoy, who saw action in 11 games as a running quarterback this season, said he’d play both offense and defense when the Badgers take on Auburn in the Outback Bowl.
“I’ll be going both ways,” McEvoy said. “At the end of practice I had my normal QB package.”
After transferring to Wisconsin last season, McEvoy played safety in 11 games for the Badgers and made three starts. At 6-foot-6 and 222 pounds, McEvoy showed great athleticism and made 27 tackles with one interception.
McEvoy said he returned to the defensive side on Tuesday in efforts to match up with the speed of Auburn’s high-powered offense, which put up 489.2 yards and 35.8 points per game this season. To accomodate the change, McEvoy will change his jersey number from No. 5 to No. 11 or 14 since he shares No. 5 with cornerback Darius Hillary.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday1 day ago
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl South Alabama (6-6) vs. Bowling Green (7-6) Montgomery, Ala. Dec 20, 2014
This is not a good matchup, especially considering the way these teams finished their respective seasons.
South Alabama won just one of its final five games, and Bowling Green lost three straight to end the season, including a 51-17 defeat to Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference Championship game.
What’s going to hamper South Alabama in this game is its inability to score. During that five-game stretch, the Jaguars averaged just 19 points per game. Overall, they ranked 113th nationally in scoring offense with 20.2 points per game and 87th with 372.8 yards a game.
Those numbers are unfortunate considering Bowling Green’s defense has been one of the worst in the country, allowing 33.9 per game. The Falcons have allowed more than 40 points six times this season.
However, Bowling Green has the ability to put up points quickly, but it’s had trouble in the last month finding consistency at quarterback. Sophomore James Knapke has been the team’s go-to quarterback most of the season, but was replaced in the MAC Championship by freshman Cody Callaway, who didn’t fare much better.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday1 day ago
The demise of the UAB football program has left the Blazers’ players looking for new teams. Linebacker Jake Ganus, the team’s leading tackler in 2014, has found his.
Ganus tweeted on Friday morning that he would play his final season of college football with the Georgia Bulldogs.
I'm so blessed and honored to be able to finish my college football career at The University of Georgia!! #DawgsOnTop
In his junior season, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Ganus registered 70 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. He also had a 56-yard fumble return for touchdown en route to second team All-Conference USA honors.
According to UGASports.com, Ganus committed to Georgia over Marshall after finding out that “his eligibility would not count” toward Georgia’s mid-year scholarship numbers. He will enroll at Georgia in January.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday1 day ago
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Western Michigan (8-4) vs. Air Force (9-3) Boise, Idaho Dec. 20, 2014
Air Force is quite familiar with Boise.
Saturday's Potato Bowl will mark the third time the Falcons play at Boise State's home stadium in four years after trips to Boise in 2011 and 2013. It might not have been the preferred destination for Air Force players, but after going 2-10 last season, a bowl game after a seven-game turnaround shouldn't be complained about.
Western Michigan is a turnaround team too. The Broncos were 1-11 last season and also improved seven games. And the great 2014 netted coach P.J. Fleck a contract extension through the 2020 season, though if WMU keeps winning eight games a season, the odds of Fleck coaching there for six more years are very slim to none.
The Broncos were one of the better teams stopping the run this season, ranking 37th in the country. Air Force, with waterbug quarterback Kale Pearson and running back Jacobi Owens, average 272 yards per game and are the eighth-most prolific rushing team.