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
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
Griffin said he’ll start looking, too, soon enough.
For now, there was still the craziness of this game to sort
”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
”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
”I think we’ll have a hard time this bowl season to see a
quarterback play as well as he did,” Washington coach Steve
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
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
Griffin acknowledged this week his parents are looking at his
draft prospects but denies having any substantial talks with
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.