Griffin, Baylor win record-breaking Alamo Bowl

If that really was Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III’s

final college game, what an incredible way to go out.

Just ask him.

”We went out in style!” Griffin shouted to his teammates.

It was amazing the Baylor quarterback had any breath left at

all. Not after a record-shattering Alamo Bowl that might not only

be remembered as the highest-scoring regulation bowl game in

history, but also possibly as Griffin’s last addition to his legacy

in Waco.

The AP Player of the Year wasn’t dazzling Thursday night, but he

didn’t need to be as No. 15 Baylor still pulled out an incredible

67-56 victory over Washington.

If it was RG3’s final showcase before jumping to the NFL, it was

a gripping goodbye to watch. One of the nation’s most electrifying

players was upstaged by an even more exciting nail-biter that

shattered the previous record for points in regulation set in the

2001 GMAC Bowl.

Fans showered Griffin with chants of ”One more year! One more

year!” as he paraded the Alamo Bowl trophy around the field. He

stopped at the front-row stands and showed off his prize to his

mother, who has already been looking at her son’s NFL draft

prospects.

Griffin said he’ll start looking, too, soon enough.

For now, there was still the craziness of this game to sort

through.

”I want Baylor nation to enjoy this,” Griffin said. ”It’s not

about me. I’ve got about two weeks. I’ll enjoy this the next day,

and then the next day, and then I’ll make it.”

The previous bowl record for a regulation game was 102 points in

the 2001 GMAC Bowl between Marshall and East Carolina. That game

went to double overtime and ended with a combined 125 points, which

still stands as the overall bowl record.

Baylor, which a bowl game for the first time since 1992, and

Washington (7-6) also set a bowl record for total offense with

1,397 yards.

”We just knew we needed to score,” Washington quarterback

Keith Price said. ”We needed to score fast, just to give our

defense a boost.”

Griffin had an unremarkable night, throwing just one touchdown

pass and running for another score. But Terrance Ganaway starred

ably in his place, rushing for 200 yards and five touchdowns. His

last was a 43-yard run with 2:28 left to seal Baylor’s first 10-win

season since 1980.

Price outplayed his Heisman counterpart, going 23 for 27 with

438 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for another three

scores.

”I think we’ll have a hard time this bowl season to see a

quarterback play as well as he did,” Washington coach Steve

Sarkisian.

Griffin was 24 of 33 for 295 yards – and his only touchdown

throw came on the game’s opening drive.

Blown out in four other games against ranked opponents this

season, the Huskies finally made one interesting. Not that it

started that way after Baylor ran up 245 yards of offense alone in

the first quarter – awful even by the standards of Washington’s

defense, which is among the nation’s worst.

Price, a sophomore who threw a school-record 29 touchdown passes

in his first year as the starter, began cutting into a 21-7 deficit

with a 12-yard scoring strike to James Johnson. Seven minutes

later, Washington tied it when Devin Aguilar somersaulted over the

goal line after catching a 1-yard lob.

The overwhelming crowd of Baylor fans – decked in green-and-gold

Heisman shirts and armed with signs such as ”Superman wears RG3

socks” – stood in stunned silenced. That gave way to disbelieving

gasps on the next series, when the typically sure-handed Griffin

fumbled after getting popped by Andrew Hudson.

After that, it was practically a free-for-all of big plays.

A 56-yard touchdown dash by Chris Polk. An 80-yard touchdown

catch by Washington’s Jermaine Kearse two plays into the second

half. An 89-yard scoring rumble Ganaway. Kearse again, catching and

darting for 60 yards before getting dragged down, setting up

Price’s fourth touchdown toss the next play.

Back and forth, back and forth. One after another. In all, five

plays covered 50 or more yards, three of them for scores.

”That was crazy,” Baylor coach Art Briles said.

For an Alamo Bowl short on drama and light on matchups in recent

years, it was a thrilling scoring spree that overshadowed the mere

novelty of featuring the Heisman winner. And that in itself was a

rarity for a bowl of this stature. Not since Ty Detmer took BYU to

the Holiday Bowl in 1990, had a Heisman winner played in a bowl

before New Year’s Day.

Plenty came to see this one.

Anticipating a surge of Heisman gawkers, Alamo Bowl officials

added 800 temporary seats and opened up others with obstructed

views that required ticket-buyers to sign a form acknowledging the

poor sightlines. Those seats sold, anyway, and the announced

attendance of 65,256 was the fifth-largest in the bowl’s

history.

Others had better seats.

That includes Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, who

kicked for Baylor in the late 1980s but was here on business

scouting Griffin in case the fourth-year junior enters the draft.

Griffin’s parents, two sisters and fiancee watched from front-row

seats.

Griffin acknowledged this week his parents are looking at his

draft prospects but denies having any substantial talks with

them.

Win or lose, it was an impressive finale for Washington after

stumbling into the postseason losing four of its last six.

Particularly against a ranked team after then-Top 25 opponents

Nebraska, Stanford, Oregon and USC all crushed the Huskies by an

average of 24 points.