How every SEC program fared during bowl season

Another bowl season is in the books.

Only one game remains before we close the final chapter of the 2022 season — a matchup between Georgia and a Cinderella TCU squad in the national championship at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Monday night. Georgia’s playing in that game by virtue of its 42-41 win in a thrilling Peach Bowl semifinal against Ohio State.

That victory was one of six during bowl season for the SEC, which finished at 6-5 and will look to stay above .500 when the Bulldogs go for their second-straight national championship.

In the meantime, here’s how every other league team fared.

Las Vegas Bowl: No. 14 Oregon State 30, Florida 3

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

The shorthanded Gators struggled to get anything going offensively in this one in quarterback Jack Miller’s first start. Florida falls to 6-7, finishing below .500 for the second-straight season, and it needed a field goal in the final seconds to keep its nation-high (and FBS record) shutout avoidance streak alive.

Gasparilla Bowl: Wake Forest 27, Missouri 17

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Mizzou got bowl eligible with an upset over Arkansas in rivalry week, but it was overmatched against Wake in Sam Hartman’s last hurrah with the Demon Deacons. Hartman threw for 280 yards and three touchdowns, including a score to make it a 10-point game with just over two minutes to play.

Liberty Bowl: Arkansas 55, Kansas 53 (3OT)

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Arkansas survived one of the wildest bowl games you’ll ever see despite squandering a 31-7 second-quarter lead. Kansas stormed all the way back and, thanks to a successful onside kick, sent the game to overtime with a touchdown and two-point conversion. The game went to three overtimes with the teams trading blows, but after the Hogs successfully converted on a two-point conversion in the third, Kansas came up short.

Texas Bowl: Texas Tech 42, Ole Miss 25

Syndication: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

This was a very disappointing result for the Rebels, who finish what began as a promising year at just 8-5 after dropping five of their final six games. Quarterback Jaxson Dart threw three interceptions while the defense had no answer for Tech’s Tyler Shough, who had more than 350 all-purpose yards and three total touchdowns. This game was never particularly close, and it served as something of an announcement for Joey McGuire’s Red Raiders against an SEC opponent.

Gator Bowl: No. 21 Notre Dame 45, No. 19 South Carolina 38

Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union

Another instant classic from bowl season, the Gamecocks couldn’t quite pull off a third-straight win against a ranked opponent. Spencer Rattler looked the part, but Notre Dame’s Tyler Buchner accounted for five touchdowns in place of Drew Pyne, who transferred to Arizona State. Buchner threw three interceptions, two of which went for touchdowns the other way, but the Irish still survived. South Carolina becomes just the second team in the FBS this season to lose while scoring twice on defense.

Orange Bowl: No. 6 Tennessee 31, No. 7 Clemson 14

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel

In a very orange Orange Bowl, the Vols proved that their offensive success doesn’t rely on quarterback Hendon Hooker playing under center. Joe Milton III seems to have finally honed his arm strength, and he had a fantastic game while torching a fairly tough Clemson defense. Meanwhile, the oft-criticized Tennessee defense showed up in Tigers quarterback Cade Klubnik’s first start. He made some big plays but also threw two interceptions. Josh Heupel is making a strong case as the best quarterback whisperer in the country, and it’s going to be a very confident summer in Knoxville.

Sugar Bowl: No. 5 Alabama 45, No. 9 Kansas State 20

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

It feels criminal that Bryce Young’s run at Alabama will end without a national title, but he and Will Anderson Jr. ended things on a high note. The Crimson Tide avoided the malaise the program is known for in non-CFP bowl games, delivering an absolute beatdown against Big 12 champion Kansas State. Young threw five touchdowns and may have cemented himself as QB1 in the 2023 NFL draft, while the Tide beat the checked-out allegations.

Music City Bowl: Iowa 21, Kentucky 0

Syndication: The Tennessean

I won’t waste any more time on this game than is absolutely necessary. Will Levis didn’t play, but that doesn’t excuse a 185-yard offensive performance that resulted in two of Iowa’s three touchdowns on pick-sixes. The Hawkeyes won this game in a shutout despite going 0 for 11 on third downs and managing only 206 yards of offense themselves. Embarrassing. Next.

Peach Bowl (CFP Semifinal): No. 1 Georgia 42, No. 4 Ohio State 41

Syndication: Online Athens

The Bulldogs got punched in the mouth by the Buckeyes, struggling much more defensively against CJ Stroud and Marvin Harrison Jr. than many expected. Coach Ryan Day had a brilliant game plan to attack the UGA defense, and Ohio State took a halftime lead and was still up 14 entering the fourth quarter. But Georgia got some timely stops, including thwarting what would have been a successful fake punt with a timeout at the last second. They took the lead on a touchdown pass from Stetson Bennett IV to AD Mitchell in the final minute, and a potential game-winning kick from OSU sailed way left as the final seconds ticked off.

ReliaQuest Bowl: No. 22 Mississippi State 19, Illinois 10

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulldogs honored late head coach Mike Leach’s legacy, winning one for the pirate in Tampa against a good Illinois team — though it didn’t have defensive coordinator Ryan Walters, who left to become the head man at Purdue. Zach Arnett’s first win as the head man at MSU also featured one of the worst beats you’ll ever see, as the four-point favorite Bulldogs returned a failed hook-and-ladder as time expired to win by nine instead of three. Still, it was a great moment for a program and group of players that have had a very difficult month.

Citrus Bowl: No. 17 LSU 63, Purdue 7

Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no denying the Tigers ended the regular season in disappointing fashion, but they bounced back in a big way against a very shorthanded Boilermakers team. This one was never close, as LSU led 35-0 at the half, and it was a huge game for both the offense and defense that featured several celebrations with the Cheez-It mascot. The Tigers will enter 2023 with quite a bit of momentum.

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire