Today was the first day of bowl action and the first 4 four games were played. I was glad to see some college football this Saturday. I haven't seen any since the Conference Championships ended two weeks ago. You gotta love Bowl season, it's such a great time of the year. Right around Christmas and New Years. Let's break down the four Bowl games of the day.
December 20th at 11:00 AM ET
RFK Memorial Stadium, Washington D.C.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs Navy Midshipmen
This game kicked off bowl season and didn't disappoint, it was an early kickoff at 11:00 AM, so I'm not going to lie I turned it on in the 2nd Qtr, when I got up. This game was dominated by the Midshipmen early and they looked like they may win this game, opening up a 13-0 in the 2 Qtr. The Demon Deacons fought back and scored a TD before the half to go into the locker room down only 13-7. The 3rd Qtr was pretty even, but the Deamon Deacons scored the only points, taking a slim lead into the 4th Qtr, up 14-13. Both teams played hard through 3 Qtr's and I knew the 4th would be a show. The Midshipmen fought hard in the 4th but the Deamon Deacons scored 15 points in the final Qtr to close out the game and win 29-19. It was a fun game to watch and wasn't a bad opeing bowl season game. The Decmon Deacons were lead by QB Riley Skinner who went for 11-11 for 166 yards and 1 TD. He also won game MVP and deserving so. Well played game by both teams.
Demon Deacons won 29-19
New Mexico Bowl
December 20th at 2:30 PM ET
University Stadium, Albuquerque N. M.
Colorado State Rams vs Fresno State Bulldog
This was the second game of the bowl season and was just as exciting. In my mind, this was the best bowl game of the day. There was a lot of scoring as the final score was 40-35 Colorado State. The defenses really didn't show up during this one. Billy Farris had a decent daying throwing the ball in his teams victory as he went 17-29 for 257 yards and 2 TD's and an interception. The player of the game and who lead the Rams was Gartrell Johnson who rushed for 285 yards and 2 TD's and also caught the ball 5 times for another 90 yards. He ended the afternoon with 375 total yards. A great performance for the Senior RB. The Rams had 617 total yards in there win over the Bulldogs. Now the Bullsdogs offense showed up too, with 434 total yards, 248 of them coming on the ground. This was a very exciting game and was the best bowl game of the day.
Rams won 40-35
St. Petersburg Bowl
December 20th at 4:30 PM ET
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg Florida
Memphis Tigers vs South Florida Bulls
This was probably the the worst bowl game of the day. The 41-14 South Florida smashing of Memphis had a lot to do with. Memphis never really had a chance in this one. South Florida had the lead after every Qtr was basically dominated them on all 3 phases of the game. The Bulls were lead by Junior QB Matt Grothe who had a great performance today. He went 17-24 for 236 yards and 3 TD's. This game was barely worth watching.
Bulls won 41-14
Las Vegas Bowl
December 20th at 8:00 PM ET
Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas
BYU Cougars vs Arizona Wildcats
This was expected to be the best bowl game of the day, in my mind it wasn't and the New Mexico Bowl was, but this game was at 8:00 PM ET and fun to watch. This game was well played by both teams. The Wildcats were lead by Senior QB Willie Tuitama who went 24-35 for 325 yards and 2 TD's. Nic Grigsby racked up 87 yards and a TD on the ground for the Wildcats. BYU's Junior QB Max Hall didn't play too bad either. He went 30-46 for 328 and a TD. I'd say this game was played to all expectations.
Wildcats win 31-21
Player of the Day
No question, Gartrell Johnson is the player of the day. He really was the difference maker in the Rams 40-35 Win over the Bulldogs today. He played an amazing football game today. His game today will probably be looked at as the best overall performance in all of bowl season, let alone today. Johnson rushed 27 times for 285 yards and 2 TD's. Including a 77 yard rush in the 4th Qtr. He also was the Bulls leading reciever on the day. He caught 5 passes for 90 yards and ended the day with a total of 375 total yards. What a game.
Overall you can't complain from the first day of bowl season. We had three hard fought games that came down to the 4th Qtr and the South Florida 41-14 beating of Memphis. Usually on the first day or first couple days of bowl season, the games are played between 6-6 and 7-5 teams that you never watched all year but today we saw some good schools even #16 BYU play and the action was better then excepted. I'd say a great first day for bowl season. Can't wait for the rest!