WhatIfSports 2015 college football bowl previews: box scores and predictions for all games

WhatfSports.com used its college football simulation engine to play every bowl matchup 501 times.

Using the same college football simulation engine that accurately predicted 80.0 percent of all 2015 FBS games, WhatIfSports.com simulated each of the 40 bowl matchups and the College Football Playoff National Championship 501 times. For predictions of just the College Football Playoff bowls, view our New Year’s Six bowl previews.

View each team’s winning percentage, average score and sample box score. If you would like to simulate any bowl game yourself, every 2015 bowl team is available using our free NCAA College Football SimMatchup feature.

Note: The box score recap is just an example of what could happen based on the average score from 501 simulations. For more statistics, click here or view results from our 2015 college football game predictions.

If any depth chart changes or injuries occur between now and a team’s bowl game, you have the ablity to adjust the depth chart using College Football SimMatchup.

CFP Championship1/11/2016
SCORE
WIN %
Alabama Crimson Tide
27
45.5
Clemson Tigers
33
54.5
Alabama Crimson Tide A season ago, Alabama blew a 21-6 lead over Ohio State in the College Football Playoff semifinals. Michigan State did not share the same fortune as its Big Ten brethren, as Alabama turned a 10-0 halftime lead into a 38-0 victory. The Crimson Tide have some history against their title game opponent, leading the all-time series against Clemson 12-3. Clemson Tigers After trailing Oklahoma 17-16 at the half in the College Football Playoff semifinal, the Tigers scored 21 second-half points while shutting out the Sooners. If Clemson can top Alabama, it will be the school’s first national championship since a perfect season in 1981 that concluded with a 22-15 victory over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.Box Score In the excitement of Deshaun Watson’s Heisman campaign, Wayne Gallman’s excellent season had been relatively overlooked. After the National Championship, that was no longer the case. Gallman found the end zone in the first quarter for an early 7-0 Clemson lead. His 61-yard end zone excursion in the third quarter extended Clemson’s lead to 24-12. Finally, after Alabama fought back to force overtime, Gallman needed just two plays to reach the end zone for the game-winning score. Player of the Game

RB Wayne Gallman, CU

24 carries, 158 yards, 3 TD

2 catches, 17 yards

New Mexico Bowl12/19/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Arizona Wildcats
27
56.5
New Mexico Lobos
23
43.5
Arizona Wildcats Coming off a 10-win season and an AP preseason rank of 22, Arizona envisioned something more than a .500 season. The year began with a promising 3-0 start, but the Wildcats struggled with the meat of the Pac-12 schedule, dropping four of their last five games. A Week 11 double-overtime victory against No. 10 Utah salvaged the season and ensured bowl eligibility. UPDATE: Running back Nick Wilson is expected to miss Arizona’s bowl game. New Mexico Lobos In 2011, Bob Davie inherited a New Mexico team coming off three consecutive 1-11 seasons. It’s been a slow climb but he’s finally got the Lobos bowling again, the team’s first postseason appearance since 2007. New Mexico employs a run-heavy offense that generated 2,959 rushing yards in 2015, 10th-most in the country.Box Score With leading rusher Nick Wilson out, Arizona turned to Jared Baker to fill the void. Baker did just that, totaling 161 yards on the ground and 46 receiving yards. He was responsible for both of Arizona’s second-half touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 4:53 to play. The Wildcats won 27-23. Player of the Game

RB Jared Baker, UA

17 carries, 161 yards, TD

3 catches, 46 yards, TD

Las Vegas Bowl12/19/2015
SCORE
WIN %
BYU Cougars
24
49.2
Utah Utes
29
50.8
BYU Cougars Quarterback Taysom Hill, who amassed 4,282 yards of total offense in 2013, saw his season abbreviated by injury for the second year in a row. Freshman Tanner Mangum filled in, proving to be a capable passer but not a threat on the ground. Top target Mitch Mathews turned 52 receptions into 11 touchdowns. Utah Utes The Utes used a 6-0 start that included victories over Michigan, Oregon and Cal to vault the team from unranked to No. 3 in the AP poll. Slip-ups down the stretch included losses at USC and Arizona, and a home loss to UCLA. But with a victory over BYU, Utah can achieve 10 victories for the first time as a member of the Pac-12.Box Score In the battle for Utah between these two rivals, Utes QB Travis Wilson stepped up as the best player on the field. Wilson connected with 10 different receivers and threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns, and the Utes defense survived a late charge by BYU to gain bragging rights and secure their second straight Las Vegas Bowl win. Player of the Game

QB Travis Wilson, Utah

20-38, 327 yards, 3 TD, INT

Play College Football Gridiron Dynasty Simulation GamePlay College Football Gridiron Dynasty Simulation Game
Camellia Bowl12/19/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Ohio Bobcats
24
48.6
Appalachian State Mountaineers
36
51.4
Ohio Bobcats The Bobcats were denied a bowl in 2014 despite qualifying with six wins. No such issues this year, as Frank Solich’s squad rolled to an 8-4 record. Ohio’s best win of the season was perhaps its last, a 26-21 road victory over Northern Illinois. Ohio also handed Marshall one of its three defeats. Appalachian State Mountaineers The Mountaineers used to dominate the FCS level, with three consecutive national champions in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The transition to the FBS has been a smooth one for Appalachian State, with seven wins a season ago and 10 this year. Appalachian State finished second to Arkansas State in the Sun Belt. Box Score Appalachian State wasted no time capturing a bowl victory in its first year of eligibility. The Mountaineers defense took care of business, picking off Ohio QB Derrius Vick three times and holding the Bobcats offense to just a single score in the second half. Player of the Game

RB Marcus Cox, ASU

22 carries, 158 yards, TD

3 catches, 29 yards

Cure Bowl12/19/2015
SCORE
WIN %
San Jose State Spartans
28
46.7
Georgia State Panthers
31
53.3
San Jose State Spartans With 77 eligible teams and 80 spots to fill, three 5-7 squads –San Jose State, Nebraska and Minnesota — made the cut thanks to their high Academic Progress Rates. That means one more go-around for senior running back Tyler Ervin, who rushed for 1,469 yards and 13 touchdowns while adding 44 receptions for 337 yards and two more scores. Georgia State Panthers The Georgia State program took a big step forward in its third year at the FBS level. After going winless and 2013 and getting just one victory in 2014, the Panthers reached six wins in 2015. A bowl game did not appear to be in the cards for Georgia State after a 2-6 start, but the squad went 4-0 the rest of the way.Box Score Now here’s how you stage a comeback. Despite being down 21-0 at the half thanks to three touchdown passes from Spartans QB Kenny Potter, Georgia State came storming back late with three straight scoring drives on its last three possessions, capped off by a game-winning 28-yard field goal as time expired. Player of the Game

QB Nick Arbuckle, GSU

18-31, 265 yards, 2 TD, INT

New Orleans Bowl12/19/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Arkansas State Red Wolves
40
53.3
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
37
46.7
Arkansas State Red Wolves The Red Wolves struggled with the non-conference portion of their schedule, dropping three of four games. But Sun Belt opponents were no match for Arkansas State, as the team went 8-0 in conference play. Arkansas State led the nation in interceptions and turnovers gained, picking off opposing passers 26 times and adding eight fumble recoveries. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs With a victory over Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech would reach nine wins and a bowl victory for the second year in a row. Three offensive stalwarts will be tasked with paving the way. Jeff Driskel, formerly of Florida, threw for 3,575 yards and 24 touchdowns. His favorite target, Trent Taylor, pulled in 89 receptions for 1,133 yards. Running back Kenneth Dixon netted 1,322 total yards with 22 touchdowns.Box Score After a back-and-forth offensive battle, Louisiana Tech took the first possession in overtime and was in good shape with first and goal on the five yard line. But after three failed attempts to cross the goal line, the Bulldogs opted to kick a field goal. Big mistake. Arkansas State quickly took advantage, with Warren Wand scoring from 12 yards out for the overtime victory. Player of the Game

RB Michael Gordon, ASU

17 carries, 74 yards, 2 TD

Miami Beach Bowl12/21/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
28
49.3
South Florida Bulls
33
50.7
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers The C-USA champion Hilltoppers were one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation, averaging 44.2 points per game. Quarterback Brandon Doughty threw for 4,594 yards and 45 touchdowns while completing 71.8 percent of his passes. Top receiver Taywan Taylor hauled in 79 catches for 1,363 yards and 17 scores. South Florida Bulls Following a 1-3 start, the Bulls won seven of eight games, including victories over bowl teams UConn, Temple and Cincinnati. South Florida hasn’t been to a bowl since 2010, but the team has earned wins in its last three bowl appearances. Running back Marlon Mack gained 1,273 yards while averaging 6.6 yards per carry.Box Score It was a back-and-forth battle between the Hilltoppers and Bulls in Miami. Western Kentucky struck first, as Doughty completed a six-yard TD pass to Taylor. Quinton Flowers responded immediately. His drive was capped off by a 15-yard TD pass to Chris Barr. The boxing match continued well into the second half. In the third quarter, it was Doughty to Taylor again, this time for a 26-yard score. That put WKU up by five. The fourth quarter was all USF. After Emilio Nadelman delivered on a 20-yard field goal, Mack scored from three yards out, making the score 33-28. On the Hilltoppers’ final drive, Doughty drove all the way to the 26-yard line. With 15 seconds left, the Bulls defense rushed and got to the QB before he could release the pass. This is the fourth-straight bowl victory for the Bulls. Player of the Game

RB Marlon Mack, USF

24 carries, 127 yards, TD

2 catches, 28 yards

Idaho Potato Bowl12/22/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Akron Zips
17
46.3
Utah State Aggies
27
53.7
Akron Zips The Zips are bowl-bound for the first time since 2005 and just the second time in program history. Head coach Terry Bowden, son of former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, has built a program that is particularly strong defensively. Akron surrendered 2.83 yards per rush and 89.8 rushing yards per game, figures that rank in the top five nationally. Utah State Aggies A 6-6 record is Utah State’s worst since 2010, but the Aggies still accomplished enough to compete for their fourth straight bowl victory. Anchoring the defense is linebacker Nick Vigil, who followed in the footsteps of older brother Zach by finishing second in the nation in tackles, a feat Zach achieved in 2014.Box Score The Aggies had a difficult time cracking the Akron defense and trailed by as much as 17-3 following a 52-yard run from the Zips’ Donnell Alexander early in the second half. The tide turned in the fourth quarter though, when Utah State found the end zone three times, including two touchdown passes from Chuckie Keeton. Utah State notched the 27-17 victory. Player of the Game

QB Chuckie Keeton, USU

21-30, 325 yards, 2 TD, INT

Boca Raton Bowl12/22/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Temple Owls
27
58.8
Toledo Rockets
21
41.2
Temple Owls The Owls reached 10 wins for the first time since 1979 and enjoyed a 7-0 start to the year. With a 7-1 conference record, Temple played in the AAC championship game, losing to Houston by a score of 24-13. Temple’s best offensive weapon is Jahad Thomas, who ran for 1,257 yards with 17 rushing touchdowns. Toledo Rockets The Rockets began the season 7-0, including a win over a ranked Arkansas squad, and ascended to No. 19 in the AP poll. However, Toledo dropped games to MAC West foes Northern Illinois and Western Michigan, thus missing a shot at the MAC title. The Toledo offensive line allowed a remarkable four sacks all season.Box Score In a battle between a good offense and a good defense, the latter prevailed in Boca Raton. Going into the matchup, the Rockets averaged 35.3 points per game (26th-best) and the Owls only allowed an average of 19.2 points per game (16th-best). Temple took an early lead behind two P.J. Walker touchdown passes. As for the aforementioned stout defense, Temple held the Rockets’ running back, Kareem Hunt, to only 65 rushing yards. Prior to the bowl game, Hunt submitted over 110 rushing yards per game in four-straight games. The Owls’ Thomas tallied 134 rushing yards against Toledo. Player of the Game

QB P.J. Walker, TU

21-29, 297 yards, 3 TD

Poinsettia Bowl12/23/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Boise State Broncos
37
54.9
Northern Illinois Huskies
30
45.1
Boise State Broncos The Broncos have only played at college football’s top division since 1996 but the Poinsettia Bowl marks their 16th bowl appearance in 20 years, a run that includes 10 bowl wins. Boise State has an active streak of 14 consecutive bowl appearances, tied with Wisconsin for the sixth-most in the nation. Northern Illinois Huskies The Huskies will be without the services of quarterback Drew Hare, who suffered a season-ending injury in a win over Toledo in Week 10. Backup quarterback Ryan Graham was hurt in a Week 13 loss to Ohio and missed the MAC championship. If Graham can’t go, the Huskies will turn to freshman Tommy Fiedler.Box Score The Broncos put the pedal to the metal in this year’s Poinsettia Bowl. Boise State scored the first 34 points of the game. Three of which came through the air via Brett Rypien. The air wasn’t the only place Boise State did its damage though. Sophomore running back Jeremy McNichols rushed for 163 yards on 31 carries. The Huskies did their best to make the game close in the end. Well, Joel Bouagnon did his part. He scored three touchdowns in the second half and tallied 161 yards in the game. Boise State has now won six of its last seven bowl games. Player of the Game

QB Brett Rypien, BSU

19-27, 285 yards, 3 TD, INT

Play College Football Bowl PickemPlay College Football Bowl Pickem
GoDaddy Bowl12/23/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Georgia Southern Eagles
35
46.1
Bowling Green Falcons
42
53.9
Georgia Southern Eagles The Eagles competed at the FBS level for the second year and will appear in their first bowl game. No team accumulated more rushing yards then Georgia Southern. The performance included 6.5 yards per carry and 47 rushing touchdowns. Running back Matt Breida totaled 1,540 yards with 8.2 yards per carry and 16 touchdowns. Bowling Green Falcons For a third year in a row, the MAC championship game pitted Bowling Green against Northern Illinois. The Falcons captured the title with a 34-14 victory and will play in a bowl for the fourth straight year. Quarterback Matt Johnson completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 4,700 yards and 43 touchdowns.Box Score It was a slow first half in Mobile, Alabama, but the tempo picked up and the points were aplenty. Bowling Green started the game with a pair of field goals by Tyler Tate, leading the Eagles 6-0. Then, momentum shifted back and forth in the final quarters. Down by 13, Georgia Southern went on a run. More specifically, Breida went on a run. Breida rushed for three touchdowns in the third quarter (58, 9, and 78 yards). In the fourth quarter, it was BGSU’s time to respond. There was a total of 33 points scored in the final 15 minutes of regulation. But, the allotted 60 minutes weren’t enough to settle this matchup. In overtime, the Falcons only needed three plays to produce points. Georgia Southern went back to Breida, but Bowling Green was prepared. Of the four plays, Breida recorded three carries, including the final play, and BGSU shut down the Eagles’ ground game. In a losing effort, Breida notched 235 yards and three TDs. Player of the Game

QB Matt Johnson, BGSU

22-31, 351 yards, 4 TD

Popeyes Bahamas Bowl12/24/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
27
47.3
Western Michigan Broncos
29
52.7
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders The Blue Raiders boast one of the top receiving tandems in the country. Richie James’ 100 receptions and 1,220 yards ranked third and 11th, respectively, while Ed’Marques Batties pulled in 13 touchdowns, tied for sixth-most nationally. Quarterback Brent Stockstill (3,678 yards, 27 touchdowns) is the son of head coach Rick Stockstill. Western Michigan Broncos Some quarterbacks have a favorite target. Zach Terrell has two. Daniel Braverman led the Broncos with 103 receptions for 1,266 yards and 12 touchdowns, but teammate Corey Davis was nipping at his heels, totaling 82 grabs for 1,253 yards and 11 touchdowns. Western Michigan is bowl-bound in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history. Box Score It’s usually not a good sign if your best offensive weapon is your kicker, but don’t tell Western Michigan that. Despite their struggles capitalizing in the red zone, Broncos kicker Andrew Haldeman shined by burying all five of his field goal chances, including a 40-yard game-winner with time expiring. Player of the Game

K Andrew Haldeman, WMU

5-5 FG, 2-2 XP

Hawaii Bowl12/24/2015
SCORE
WIN %
San Diego State Aztecs
26
56.6
Cincinnati Bearcats
24
43.4
San Diego State Aztecs The Aztecs are built around an effective ground game and a stifling defense. With 235.3 rushing yards per game, San Diego State ranks 15th nationally. Leading rusher Donnel Pumphrey totaled 1,554 yards and 16 touchdowns. San Diego State’s defense held opponents to 17.2 points per game. Cincinnati Bearcats The Bearcats’ offense was among the most prolific in the country in 2015, generating the fifth-most yards with 559.4 per game. However, the scoring output of 36.1 points per game, ranked 24th, was not as robust. Cincinnati struggled with turnovers, giving it away 30 times, sixth-most nationally. UPDATE: Quarterback Gunner Kiel will not play in the Hawaii Bowl.Box Score Aside from a Tion Green rush for 63 yards, the Cincinnati offense struggled to generate big plays. Quarterback Hayden Moore accumulated only 213 yards on 23 pass completions, with a long of 16 yards to Chris Moore. Meanwhile, the Cincinnati defense had no answer for Pumphrey, who churned out 208 rushing yards on 32 carries. A late San Diego State field goal helped the Aztecs to a 26-24 win. Player of the Game

RB Donnel Pumphrey, SDSU

32 carries, 208 yards, TD

4 catches, 37 yards

St. Petersburg Bowl12/26/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Connecticut Huskies
25
46.4
Marshall Thundering Herd
27
53.6
Connecticut Huskies An offensive juggernaut Connecticut is not. The Huskies scored 17.8 points per game in 2015, good for a rank of 118th. The defense kept UConn afloat by surrendering just 19.8 points per contest. Keep an eye on sophomore cornerback Jamar Summers, who paced the Huskies with seven interceptions. Marshall Thundering Herd From 2012 through 2014, Marshall ranked seventh or better in points per game, including last season’s high water mark of 45.6. But with the graduation of Rakeem Cato, the school’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns, the output dropped to 32.6 points per game in 2015. Marshall instead relied on a defense that surrendered just 18.4 points per contest.Box Score Marshall has won nine of their last 10 bowl appearances, but the Huskies looked to have this one locked up with a two-point lead late in the game and Marshall failing to march down the field. Ultimately, it came down to a desperation field goal attempt with just seconds remaining, but Nick Smith’s 53-yarder split the uprights and gave the Thundering Herd a crazy win in the clutch. Player of the Game

QB Chase Litton, MU

20-37, 251 yards, 2 TD

Sun Bowl12/26/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Miami (FL) Hurricanes
34
46.5
Washington State Cougars
37
53.5
Miami (FL) Hurricanes Al Golden was dismissed following Miami’s 3-3 start, handing the reigns to interim coach Larry Scott. Under Scott, the Hurricanes went 4-1 down the stretch. Miami found its fulltime replacement in Mark Richt, who was recently fired from Georgia despite a 145-51 record there. Richt played quarterback at Miami from 1979 to 1982. Washington State Cougars Mike Leach’s fourth season in Pullman was his best yet. The air raid offense fired on all cylinders, with Luke Falk tossing for 4,266 yards and 36 touchdowns. However, Washington State will be without Gabe Marks (99 receptions, 1,125 yards, 14 touchdowns), leaving Dom Williams (73 receptions, 997 yards, 11 touchdowns) as the top receiver. UPDATE: Marks has been upgraded to probable vs. Miami.Box Score Miami owned the first quarter, racing to a 17-0 lead that included a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. The next two quarters belonged to Washington State though, as the Cougars narrowed the deficit to 24-20. A 17-yard TD pass from Falk to River Cracraft with 1:37 to play tied the game at 34-34. The game appeared to be heading to overtime, but Washington got the ball back and moved 57 yards down the field in 30 seconds. Powell connected on a 41-yard field goal as time expired for a 37-34 Washington State win. Player of the Game

QB Luke Falk, WSU

29-40, 361 yards, 4 TD

Heart of Dallas Bowl12/26/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Washington Huskies
35
61.3
Southern Miss Golden Eagles
29
38.7
Washington Huskies The Huskies needed to beat No. 20 Washington State in the season’s final game in order to capture six victories. A 45-10 route more than did the job, as freshman running back Myles Gaskin took 32 carries for 138 yards and two scores. On the year, Gaskin totaled 1,121 yards and 10 touchdowns. A pesky Washington defense recovered 12 fumbles and had 15 picks in 2015. Southern Miss Golden Eagles What a difference a year makes. In 2014, the Golden Eagles dropped the last five games of the season and finished 3-9. This year, they earned a spot in the C-USA championship game, a 45-28 defeat at Western Kentucky. Jalen Richard and Ito Smith each rushed for more than 1,000 yards, while Nick Mullens was one of seven quarterbacks to throw for more than 4,000 yards.Box Score The Huskies and Golden Eagles finished regulation tied at 29. Throughout the game, both teams had success on the ground (482 combined rushing yards), but ultimately Washington got the win in overtime through the air, with Jake Browning finding Brayden Lenius in the end zone to win. Player of the Game

RB Myles Gaskin, UW

22 carries, 152 yards, TD

Pinstripe Bowl12/26/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Indiana Hoosiers
38
51.5
Duke Blue Devils
34
48.5
Indiana Hoosiers The Hoosiers won the last two games of the season, at Maryland and at Purdue, to improve to 6-6 and ensure bowl eligibility. If they can make it three wins in a row, it will be the school’s first bowl victory since 1991. Indiana hasn’t been to the postseason since a 49-33 loss to Oklahoma State in the Insight Bowl in 2007. Duke Blue Devils After winning six of seven to start the year, Duke dropped four straight before winning the season finale at Wake Forest. David Cutcliffe has his squad bowling for the fourth consecutive year, but a postseason victory remains elusive. In fact, Duke hasn’t won a bowl game since a 7-6 victory over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl in 1960.Box Score The Hoosiers’ offense had a big day in Yankee Stadium. Senior Nate Sudfeld threw for 442 yards and three TDs against the Blue Devils. He was able to spread the wealth as nine different targets tallied double-digit yards. The game nearly got away from Indiana as Shaun Wilson scored on a 20-yard touchdown run, putting Duke up by 13 late in the third quarter. However, the Hoosiers would end the game on a 17-0 run. After a 36-yard field goal by Griffin Oakes, Sudfeld connected with Damon Graham (five-yard TD) and Michael Cooper (55 yards) to ultimately give Indiana the lead. On the ground, Jordan Howard tallied 126 rushing yards for Indiana, also finding the end zone twice. Player of the Game

QB Nate Sudfeld, IU

26-39, 442 yards, 3 TD

Play College Football Bowl PickemPlay College Football Bowl Pickem
Independence Bowl12/26/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Tulsa Golden Hurricane
20
27.6
Virginia Tech Hokies
30
72.4
Tulsa Golden Hurricane After going a combined 5-19 in 2013 and 2014, Tulsa’s six wins and a bowl berth under new coach Philip Montgomery represent serious progress. However, Tulsa’s 38.6 points allowed are the second-most among bowl-eligible teams. On offense, Tulsa’s best weapon is quarterback Dane Evans, who threw for 3,958 yards, including 1,451 yards to top receiver Keyarris Garrett. Virginia Tech Hokies Frank Beamer’s 29-year tenure as Virginia Tech’s head coach will come to an end following the Independence Bowl. He’ll retire as one of the winningest in college football history. Though the Hokies have won just six regular-season games during three of the last four years, they’ve kept alive a bowl streak that now spans 23 seasons.Box Score It was the Travon McMillian’s show in Shreveport, Louisiana. The freshman rushed for 213 yards on 21 carries, leading the Hokies to victory. Though the game was tied 13-13 at the half, it was all Virginia Tech in the final 30 minutes. Michael Brewer threw a three-yard TD pass to Sam Rogers, putting the Hokies up 20-13. In the fourth quarter, it was Demitri Knowles finding the end zone on a 10-yard pass and catch from Brewer. On the day, Brewer threw for 281 yards and three TDs. Beamer leaves the Virginia Tech program with one final win. Player of the Game

RB Travon McMillian, VT

21 carries, 213 yards

2 catches, 28 yards

Foster Farms Bowl12/26/2015
SCORE
WIN %
UCLA Bruins
33
52
Nebraska Cornhuskers
27
48
UCLA Bruins The Bruins owned a 4-1 record against ranked opponents in 2015 and have an opportunity to win their third bowl game in as many seasons. Freshman quarterback Josh Rosen (3,351 yards, 20 TDs) benefited from playing with upperclassmen receivers Jordan Payton (1,069 yards, 4 TDs) and Thomas Duarte (820 yards, 10 TDs), as well as running back Paul Perkins (1,509 total yards, 14 TDs). Nebraska Cornhuskers The 5-7 Cornhuskers join Minnesota and San Jose State as bowl teams with losing records. The highlight of Nebraska’s season came in Week 10, a 39-38 victory over Michigan State that included a controversial go-ahead score with 17 seconds remaining. It was the Spartans’ only loss of the year.Box Score The Bruins never had a doubt about winning the bowl game in California. UCLA took charge by producing 13 points in the first quarter. Nebraska’s Tommy Armstrong tried his best to get his team close. He threw for a season-high 400 yards and completed three TD passes. However, Rosen had a good day of his own. He threw for 336 yards, with 121 of those going to Perkins. Whenever the Cornhuskers made the game interesting, Perkins would make a big catch, putting UCLA into field goal range. Ka’imi Fairbairn connected on four field goals in the win. Player of the Game

QB Josh Rosen, UCLA

22-36, 336 yards, TD

Military Bowl12/28/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Pittsburgh Panthers
23
48.1
Navy Midshipmen
24
51.9
Pittsburgh Panthers First-year coach Paul Narduzzi guided the Panthers to eight wins, which hasn’t been achieved in Pittsburgh since 2010. With a 6-2 conference record, Pitt finished second to North Carolina in the ACC’s Coastal division. Defensive end Ejuan Price is among the national leaders in sacks with 11.5. Navy Midshipmen Keenan Reynolds’ career at Navy has been remarkable. His resume includes 3,762 passing yards with 29 touchdowns and 4,279 rushing yards with 83 scores. Navy has won at least eight games and played in a bowl in each of Reynolds’ four years. In Week 10, he broke Montee Ball’s FBS record for career rushing touchdowns. Box Score Putting Navy in the Military Bowl didn’t give Pittsburgh much of a chance. However, they fought hard and took the early lead. At halftime, the Panthers were up 13-7 and threatening to add more. In the first drive of the third quarter, Pittsburgh was in the right place at the right time. Nathan Peterman passed to Dontez Ford who promptly fumbled the ball, yet it bounced right back to him and Ford scampered into the end zone for the touchdown. With Navy trailing by 13, Reynolds rallied the troops and threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jamir Tillman. Eventually, the Midshipmen took the lead but still needed to stop Pittsburgh. Chris Blewitt connected on a 23-yard field goal to bring the Panthers within one. On Pittsburgh’s final drive, they were right on the edge of Blewitt’s range, but rolled the dice with a pass. In the end, Peterman was intercepted by Brendon Clements to save the day for Navy. Player of the Game

QB Keenan Reynolds, Navy

2-4, 57 yards, TD

17 carries, 108 yards, 2 TD

Quick Lane Bowl12/28/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Central Michigan Chippewas
23
34.5
Minnesota Golden Gophers
28
65.5
Central Michigan Chippewas Offenses don’t come much more one-sided than Central Michigan’s. The Broncos’ 3,760 passing yards were the 14th-most in the country, while their 1,213 rushing yards ranked 126th out of 128 schools. Passing attempts only outpaced rushing attempts 465 to 392, but Central Michigan managed just 3.1 yards per rush. Minnesota Golden Gophers With 77 bowl-eligible teams and 80 spots to fill, 5-7 Minnesota was a lucky benefactor. The Gophers will compete in a bowl for the fourth year in a row, but haven’t been victorious since a 20-16 win over Alabama in the 2004 Music City Bowl. Minnesota was 2-0 against MAC schools this year, both three-point wins.Box Score The Golden Gophers might have a losing record, but they took advantage of the bowl game opportunity. Junior Mitch Leidner connected with KJ Maye on a one-yard TD pass before the half. In Maye’s final collegiate game, he caught five passes for 51 yards. Minnesota went on cruise control for the remainder of the game. Rodrick Williams Jr. may be known for having a pet lizard, but now he’ll also been known for bulldozing his way into the end zone in his final game for Minnesota. His two-yard TD run gave the Gophers an 11-point lead. Leidner put the game on ice with his six-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Player of the Game

QB Mitch Leidner, UM

16-23, 173 yards, TD

18 carries, 12 yards, TD

Armed Forces Bowl12/29/2015
SCORE
WIN %
California Golden Bears
34
64.1
Air Force Falcons
24
35.9
California Golden Bears When Sonny Dykes took over the Cal program in 2013, he handed the keys of the offense to freshman quarterback Jared Goff. The Golden Bears have improved each season under the Dykes-Goff pairing, culminating in this year’s trip to the Armed Forces Bowl. Goff’s 4,252 passing yards and 37 touchdowns were both top five nationally. Air Force Falcons Troy Calhoun’s Falcons lost the Mountain West championship game to San Diego State but the team will play in its eighth bowl game in nine years. Air Force’s ground attack, which ranked third in the nation with 322.1 yards per game, had 11 players with 100 or more rushing yards. Leading the way was Jacobi Owens (1,009 yards, six TDs). Box Score You know what you’re going to get with Air Force and the Cal defense was ready for it. The Golden Bears held Air Force to just 2.7 yards per carry on 53 attempts and managed to survive an ultra-rare 91-yard touchdown pass from Air Force as well. Leading the way for Cal offensively was Goff, who threw for 405 yards to help Cal win its first bowl game since 2008. Player of the Game

QB Jared Goff, Cal

23-38, 405 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT

Russell Athletic Bowl12/29/2015
SCORE
WIN %
North Carolina Tar Heels
37
62.7
Baylor Bears
30
37.3
North Carolina Tar Heels Had North Carolina defeated Clemson in the ACC championship, it may have gained entrance into the College Football Playoff. Instead, the Tar Heels face Baylor in the Citrus Bowl. Running back Elijah Hood accumulated 1,345 rushing yards and 17 scores this season, while quarterback Marquise Williams found the end zone 33 times. Baylor Bears When the Bears lost their star quarterback, Seth Russell, to a neck injury in Week 8, their season took a turn for the worse. With Russell behind center, Baylor was 7-0 and averaged 61.1 points per game. Without him, the team went 2-3 and averaged 29.6 points. Russell will miss the team’s bowl game but should be manning the Baylor offense again next year. UPDATE: Quarterback Jarrett Stidham is doubtful vs. North Carolina. WR Corey Coleman and RB Shock Linwood are expected to miss the game as well.Box Score The injuries were too much for Baylor to overcome. With the team’s top two quarterbacks, top running back and top receiver all sidelined, Baylor fell behind early, trailing 34-10 at the half. The Bears began the second half with 20 unanswered points but the comeback effort fell short, as North Carolina won 37-30. Hood paced the Tar Heels with 158 rushing yards. Player of the Game

RB Elijah Hood, UNC

19 carries, 158 yards, TD

1 catch, 17 yards

Arizona Bowl12/29/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Nevada Wolf Pack
26
49.4
Colorado State Rams
31
50.6
Nevada Wolf Pack The Wolf Pack boasts a one-two punch in the running back tandem of James Butler and Don Jackson. Butler took 184 carries for 1,156 yards and eight touchdowns, while Jackson totaled 1,025 yards and eight scores on 221 carries. In six wins, the duo accumulated 1,436 yards on 6.2 yards per carry. In six losses, they were held to 745 yards on 4.3 yards per carry. Colorado State Rams After leading Colorado State to a 10-2 record in 2014, Jim McElwain left to coach the Florida Gators. Mike Bobo, former offensive coordinator at Georgia, succeeded McElwain and led the program to a 7-5 record this year. A bowl victory would be the Rams’ third in their last four tries. Box Score Rams RB Jasen Oden Jr. hasn’t been a big contributor as of late, but he busted out in a big way in this one. Dalyn Dawkins may have received more carries for CSU, but Oden Jr. was the finisher, punching in two goal line touchdowns and catching a 1-yard score to give Bobo a bowl win in his first year as head coach of the Rams. Player of the Game

RB Jasen Oden Jr., CSU

16 carries, 64 yards, 2 TD

1 catch, 1 yard, TD

Play College Football Gridiron Dynasty Simulation GamePlay College Football Gridiron Dynasty Simulation Game
Advocare V100 Texas Bowl12/29/2015
SCORE
WIN %
LSU Tigers
31
54.4
Texas Tech Red Raiders
27
45.6
LSU Tigers Les Miles’ 11th year in Baton Rouge produced an 11th season of eight-plus victories. Despite the success, the coach was on the hot seat. Miles can credit Leonard Fournette for keeping him gainfully employed. The sophomore running back totaled 1,741 rushing yards on 6.4 yards per carry with 18 touchdowns. Texas Tech Red Raiders Only one team, Baylor, outscored Texas Tech this season. But only three teams, Kansas, SMU and New Mexico State, gave up more points to the opposition. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes II led the nation in total offense, generating nearly 400 yards per game. He had a hand in 42 of the team’s 69 offensive touchdowns. UPDATE: WR Devin Lauderdale is out vs. LSU.Box Score Fournette may not have been a Heisman finalist, but he might be the best back in all of college football. He single-handedly helped the Tigers keep pace with the explosive Texas Tech offense, piling up 234 yards of offense. When Texas Tech scored a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, LSU fell behind 27-17. But two ensuing drives ended in Brandon Harris touchdown passes as LSU escaped with a 31-27 victory. Player of the Game

RB Leonard Fournette, LSU

32 carries, 203 yards, TD

3 catches, 31 yards

Birmingham Bowl12/30/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Auburn Tigers
31
54.9
Memphis Tigers
27
45.1
Auburn Tigers Gus Malzahn was the toast of Auburn in 2013, when he turned a 3-9 team into a 12-2 national championship runner-up. Since then, the Tigers have trended in the wrong direction, winning eight games in 2014 and six this season. A bowl victory would be a positive ending to an otherwise forgettable season. Memphis Tigers After enduring a stretch of five years that produced 12 total wins from 2009 through 2013, Memphis can achieve 10 wins for the second year in a row with victory over Auburn. The Tigers were ranked as high as 15th in the AP poll before dropping three straight games — to Navy, Houston and Temple — down the stretch.Box Score If you were watching this one, you’d probably turn the channel. Memphis had a 17-point lead going into the fourth quarter, and Auburn had failed to do much of anything offensively. That all changed in the fourth quarter. Jovon Robinson and Peyton Barber both scored on the ground for Auburn, and Ricardo Louis caught a 24-yard touchdown pass to complete the incredible come-from-behind victory. Player of the Game

QB Jeremy Johnson, AU

14-20, 193 yards, 2 TD

Belk Bowl12/30/2015
SCORE
WIN %
North Carolina State Wolfpack
14
41.5
Mississippi State Bulldogs
28
58.5
North Carolina State Wolfpack Though quarterback Jacoby Brissett doesn’t put up impressive yardage totals, the Florida transfer has demonstrated great decision-making. In two years at NC State, he’s thrown 42 touchdowns with just nine interceptions. NC State’s 11 total turnovers in 2015 tied for fifth-fewest in the nation. Mississippi State Bulldogs Senior quarterback Dak Prescott is the unquestioned leader of the Bulldogs’ offense. He was responsible for 25 of the team’s 29 touchdown passes and 10 of 18 rushing touchdowns. Against Kentucky, Prescott netted 465 yards of total offense with six scores — three passing and three rushing. Box Score In Prescott’s final game as a Bulldog, he went out as a winner. Prescott threw for 286 yards and two TDs. The Wolfpack continued to miss running back Matthew Dayes. Instead, Dakwa Nichols led NC State with 50 rushing yards on eight carries, including a seven-yard TD scurry before halftime to bring the Wolfpack within seven. After Prescott threw an interception on the first drive of the third quarter, Dave Doeren’s bunch couldn’t capitalize as Kyle Bambard hit the upright. He ended the day with three missed field goals, bringing his 2015 accuracy down to 41 percent. Player of the Game

QB Dak Prescott, MSU

19-23, 286 yards, 2 TD, INT

Music City Bowl12/30/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Texas A&M Aggies
20
43.6
Louisville Cardinals
23
56.4
Texas A&M Aggies The good: Texas A&M ranked fifth in the country is pass defense, surrendering 161.3 yards per game. The bad: the Aggies ranked 105th in rush defense with 205.9 yards allowed per game. The team is bowl-bound for the seventh consecutive season and Kevin Sumlin can improve his bowl record to 4-0 as Texas A&M’s coach. However, the team will be without quarterback Kyle Allen, who is transferring. UPDATE: QB Kyler Murray is transfering as well. Louisville Cardinals After dropping its first three games, Louisville righted the ship and rallied for a seven-win season. The Cardinals’ five losses came to opponents with a combined 47-13 record. One area in which the team struggled was keeping the quarterback upright. Louisville’s 43 sacks allowed ranked as the second-highest mark in the country. Box Score The Aggies were relegated to third-string quarterback Jake Hubenak following the surprising departures of would-be starters Murray and Allen. Hubenak avoided any costly mistakes, but struggled against a tough Louisville defense. He completed 16 of 30 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown. Still, A&M had a chance to send the game to OT but Taylor Bertolet missed the 40-yard try as time expired. Player of the Game

RB Brandon Radcliff, UL

18 carries, 132 yards, TD

Holiday Bowl12/30/2015
SCORE
WIN %
USC Trojans
32
52.3
Wisconsin Badgers
26
47.7
USC Trojans Usually when a coach acquires the interim tag, his position is a tenuous one. Not the case for Clay Helton, who was 5-3 in replacement of Steve Sarkisian and was selected as USC’s fulltime head coach. Helton guided the Trojans to the Pac-12 championship, a 41-22 loss to Stanford. Wisconsin Badgers From 2009 through 2014, Wisconsin had at least one 1,000-yard rusher each season. It’s a four-man fraternity that includes John Clay, James White, Montee Ball and Melvin Gordon. The streak did not survive the 2015 season, however, as Dare Ogunbowale led the Badgers with 769 yards on the ground. Box Score This bowl has been known for some crazy finishes and this year’s was no different. What started out as a “field goal fest” turned into one crazy ending. Both Rafael Gaglianone of Wisconsin and Alex Wood of USC tied the record for most field goals made in the Holiday Bowl by each knocking down four attempts. Finally, Ogunbowale scored on a one-yard touchdown plunge, putting the Badgers even with USC at 26-26. However, Clay Helton wasn’t settling for overtime. Instead, he instructed Cody Kessler to heave a Hail Mary 51-yards down field. With all eyes on JuJu Smith-Schuster, no one saw Adoree Jackson jumping in front of the masses to wrangle in the winning catch. Player of the Game

QB Cody Kessler, USC

26-39, 410 yards, 2 TD

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl12/31/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Houston Cougars
27
47.3
Florida State Seminoles
30
52.7
Houston Cougars The only blemish on Houston’s season was a 20-17 defeat at Connecticut. The AAC champions bested three ranked conference foes, taking down Memphis, Navy and Temple. The next test is Florida State, which pits the Cougars’ high-scoring offense (40.6 points per game) against the Seminoles’ tough defense. Florida State Seminoles Dalvin Cook’s phenomenal season included 1,658 rushing yards with 7.9 yards per carry and 18 rushing touchdowns. He led an offensive that valued the football, turning it over just 10 times all season. On defense, the Seminoles held opponents to 15.8 points per game. Florida State’s consecutive bowl streak is now up to 34. UPDATE: QB Everett Golson is expected to miss the game.Box Score The Cougs were ready to ruin some College Football Pick’em entries after they took a 24-14 lead over the Seminoles midway through the third quarter. However, Cook had other plans. He helped rally Florida State with 134 rushing yards, including a 48-yard TD run that put the Seminoles up 27-24 with 4:37 to play. Houston answered with a game-tying field goal, but Florida State’s Roberto Aguayo connected on a 35-yarder with two seconds remaining for a 30-27 Seminoles victory. Player of the Game

RB Dalvin Cook, FSU

22 carries, 134 yards, TD

4 catches, 44 yards

Orange Bowl12/31/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Oklahoma Sooners
31
45.5
Clemson Tigers
38
54.5
Oklahoma Sooners The Sooners secured their playoff bid with three straight victories over ranked opponents — Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State — to end the year. Added to early-season wins over ranked Tennessee and West Virginia teams, it was enough to offset a bad loss to 4-7 Texas. Oklahoma’s offensive stalwarts include Baker Mayfield (3,389 passing yards, 35 TDs), Samaje Perine (1,291 rushing yards, 15 TDs) and Sterling Shepard (1,201 receiving yards, 11 TDs). Clemson Tigers The Tigers are flirting with perfection. With two more wins, Clemson can achieve a 15-0 mark and become the first team of the College Football Playoff era to run the table. Dual-threat quarterback Deshaun Watson passed for 3,512 yards and 30 touchdowns while rushing for 887 yards and 11 scores. The Clemson defense held opposing passers to a 46.1 completion percentage, the lowest mark in the nation.Box Score The only undefeated team in the FBS stayed unbeaten. Watson played mistake-free football while throwing for 288 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for another score. The Sooners tied the game in the fourth quarter when Mayfied capped off a 10-play drive with a 12-yard TD pass to freshman tight end Mark Andrews. Clemson responded with a 10-play drive of its own, eating up 3:17 and scoring on a one-yard touchdown run. Dabo Swinney and his squad dabbed postgame as they are now headed to the National Championship. Player of the Game

QB Deshaun Watson, CU

25-35, 288 yards, 3 TD

23 carries, 26 yards, TD

Cotton Bowl12/31/2015
SCORE
WIN %
Michigan State Spartans
26
48.2
Alabama Crimson Tide
28
51.8
Michigan State Spartans Sparty gained some gray hairs this season. Of Michigan State’s 12 victories, six were decided by seven points or less. But the performance was enough to gain entrance to the College Football Playoff as the No. 3 seed. The Spartans have the fourth-best turnover margin in the nation, having gained 28 turnovers while coughing it up just 12 times. Alabama Crimson Tide Last year, Alabama earned the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff but suffered a semifinal upset to Ohio State. Nick Saban’s team gets another shot this year as the No. 2 seed. Expect a heavy dose of Heisman hopeful Derrick Henry, who led the nation in rushing attempts, yards and touchdowns. The always-stout Bama defense held opponents to 14.4 points per game in 2015. Box Score What a fourth quarter, what a game! Henry broke free for a 57-yard touchdown, putting the Tide up by 15 with four minutes left in the game. The Spartans responded with a 10-play, 85-yard drive which ended with a 35-yard TD run by L.J. Scott. Then, Michigan State kept its hopes alive by recovering the onside kick. Six plays later, Connor Cook connected with Gerald Holmes for the nine-yard TD pass. It all came down to the two-point conversion. Alabama blitzed and Cook’s pass fell to the ground. Nick Saban’s team advances to the National Championship. Player of the Game

RB Derrick Henry, Bama

17 carries, 108 yards, 2 TD

1 catch, 28 yards

Outback Bowl1/1/2016
SCORE
WIN %
Northwestern Wildcats
24
46.5
Tennessee Volunteers
26
53.5
Northwestern Wildcats The Wildcats achieved 10 wins, including victories over Stanford and Wisconsin, despite an anemic offense that averaged 20.7 points per game and threw for just 139.3 yards per game, the ninth-lowest figure among FBS schools. Northwestern instead relies on a defense that held opponents to 16.4 points per contest, the seventh-fewest in the country. Tennessee Volunteers All of Tennessee’s four losses were a few plays from going the other way. Despite the near misses, the Volunteers notched the program’s most wins since the 2007 season. Tennessee’s defense held the opposition to 21.2 points per game and was particularly effective in third down scenarios, allowing conversions just 27.7 percent of the time.Box Score Don’t forget about special teams! The Vols couldn’t get anything going on the ground (2.4 yards per carry on 51 attempts), but the special teams unit saved the day. A 52-yard punt return for a touchdown gave Tennessee a two-score lead and was the big difference in a snoozer that featured 17 total punts. Player of the Game

QB Joshua Dobbs, UT

11-18, 152 yards, TD

Play College Football Bowl PickemPlay College Football Bowl Pickem
Fiesta Bowl1/1/2016
SCORE
WIN %
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
27
46.3
Ohio State Buckeyes
30
53.7
Notre Dame Fighting Irish The Fighting Irish were oh-so-close to causing a storm of controversy regarding this year’s playoff field. Instead, Notre Dame fell to Stanford on a field goal as time expired, greatly simplifying the playoff selection process. Notre Dame’s two defeats were by a combined four points. Ohio State Buckeyes After a loss to Michigan State in which running back Ezekiel Elliot was limited to 33 yards on 12 touches, he made public his disapproval of the team’s play-calling. A week later, Elliott submitted 221 yards of total offense on 32 touches in a win over Michigan. Nationally, Elliot ranks in the top five in both rushing yards (1,672) and rushing touchdowns (19). Box Score Just feed the Zeke. Elliott rushed for a Fiesta Bowl record 244 yards in the win against the Fighting Irish. The previous record-setting performance took place 33 years ago, when Oklahoma’s Marcus Dupree tallied 239 rushing yards against Arizona State in 1983. The Buckeyes were down by three late in the fourth quarter. Jack Willoughby tied the game with 91 seconds remaining on the clock. After a quick three-and-out, J.T. Barrett needed only three plays to get well into Willoughby’s range. As time expired, Willoughby made the game-winning 34-yard field goal with ease. Player of the Game

RB Ezekiel Elliott, OSU

24 carries, 244 yards, 2 TD

2 catches, 19 yards

Citrus Bowl1/1/2016
SCORE
WIN %
Michigan Wolverines
19
52.2
Florida Gators
16
47.8
Michigan Wolverines Year one of the Jim Harbaugh era was a resounding success. After a Week 1 defeat at Utah, the Wolverines won five straight games that included two shutouts of ranked teams. However, there is still room for improvement in Ann Arbor. Michigan dropped games to archrivals Michigan State and Ohio State. Florida Gators First-year coach Jim McElwain guided the Gators to 10 wins and an appearance in the SEC championship game. While Florida is somewhat offensively challenged, the defensive unit is among the nation’s best. Florida held opponents to 16.5 points per game and was equally stout against the rush (120.6 yards allowed) and pass (174.8 yards allowed).Box Score Florida’s first play from scrimmage was an 81-yard touchdown pass, but it was all downhill from there. Michigan’s rushing attack totaled over 200 yards on the day, while the defense held Florida’s offense to just 49 yards on the ground. Thanks to four field goals from Kenny Allen and some stout defense, the Wolverines were able to pull off the win, despite Florida essentially having a home-field advantage. Player of the Game

K Kenny Allen, UM

4-4 FG, 1-1 XP

Rose Bowl1/1/2016
SCORE
WIN %
Stanford Cardinal
24
50.5
Iowa Hawkeyes
17
49.5
Stanford Cardinal Christian McCaffrey’s record-breaking season included 1,847 rushing yards, 540 receiving yards and 1,109 punt and kick return yards for a total of 3,496 all-purpose yards. The figure was 1,000 yards more than second-place Tyler Ervin of San Jose State and beat Barry Sanders’ all-time record of 3,250 yards. Iowa Hawkeyes The Hawkeyes’ perfect season ended in the Big Ten championship game, a 16-13 loss to Michigan State. Had Iowa won, it would have joined the College Football Playoff and competed for a national championship. Instead, the consolation prize is a trip to the Rose Bowl to face Stanford. Box Score Here’s how a Heisman candidate should handle his business in a bowl game. McCaffrey capped off his season with a brilliant performance, racking up 170 total yards and scoring three times, including the go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter to give Stanford a hard-fought Rose Bowl victory. Player of the Game

RB Christian McCaffrey, SU

26 carries, 114 yards, 3 TD

3 catches, 56 yards

Sugar Bowl1/1/2016
SCORE
WIN %
Oklahoma State Cowboys
34
48.5
Ole Miss Rebels
35
51.5
Oklahoma State Cowboys With 10 wins to kick off the year, Oklahoma State reached as high as No. 4 in the AP poll and appeared to be a legitimate playoff hopeful. But losses to Baylor and Oklahoma relegated the Cowboys to the Sugar Bowl. Watch out for defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, who collected 13 of the Cowboys’ 38 sacks. Ole Miss Rebels The Rebels have gone bowling in each of Hugh Freeze’s four seasons and the program has a chance to reach 10 wins for the first time since 2003. Quarterback Chad Kelly tossed for 3,740 yards and rushed for another 427. Laquon Treadwell led the receiving corps with 76 receptions for 1,082 yards and eight touchdowns.Box Score An 11-point lead for Oklahoma State with less than five minutes to play? Game over, right? Not so fast, my friends! After a 56-yard rushing touchdown and a defensive stop, Ole Miss had the ball at the 18-yard-line, down five, with enough time for one last play. As time expired, Kelly connected with Cody Core for the game-winning score to complete one of the greatest comebacks in Sugar Bowl history. Player of the Game

QB Chad Kelly, Ole Miss

25-32, 350 yards, 3 TD

Taxslayer Bowl1/2/2016
SCORE
WIN %
Penn State Nittany Lions
21
46.6
Georgia Bulldogs
28
53.4
Penn State Nittany Lions The Nittany Lions beat the teams they were supposed to beat, but couldn’t knock off any of the ranked opponents they faced. One area in particular that Penn State struggled was offensive third downs, where the team’s 28.1 conversion percentage ranked 126th out of 128 teams. Georgia Bulldogs The Mark Richt era at Georgia has come to a close. Richt posted a 145-51 record in 15 seasons at Georgia, but failed to satisfy the school’s national championship ambitions. That responsibility now falls to Kirby Smart, who will step down as Alabama’s defensive coordinator. Smart was a defensive back for Georgia from 1995 to 1998 and spent time as an assistant with the Bulldogs as well.Box Score What a finish! Georgia got up early thanks to three rushing touchdowns from Sony Michel, but the Nittany Lions didn’t quit. With his team down eight late in the fourth, Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg engineered a game-tying touchdown drive and a successful two-point conversion to send it to overtime. Georgia QB Greyson Lambert ended up being the hero though, as he threw a game-winning score to Malcolm Mitchell for the win. Player of the Game

RB Sony Michel, UGA

22 carries, 131 yards, 3 TD

5 catches, 49 yards

Liberty Bowl1/2/2016
SCORE
WIN %
Kansas State Wildcats
24
43.9
Arkansas Razorbacks
31
56.1
Kansas State Wildcats The Wildcats won their first three games, lost the next six, and then rallied to win the final three and ensure a bowl trip. The Wildcats’ offensive statistics aren’t especially intimidating. Kansas State completed 46.9 percent of its passes, a figure that ranked 122nd in the nation. Its 3.9 yards per rush ranked 100th. Arkansas Razorbacks Quarterback Brandon Allen leads an offense that averaged 35.2 points per game. Allen’s 165.2 QB rating ranked eighth in the nation, while his 29 touchdown passes tied for 10th-most. Running back Alex Collins rushed for 1,392 yards (14th nationally), while racking up 17 rushing touchdowns (tied for 9th in the nation).Box Score After a rough 1-3 start to the season, Bret Bielema’s boys finished strong. The Razorbacks were trailing by ten at the break, but Allen led the charge in the second half. He threw for 300 yards and three TDs, including the game-winner. In overtime, it only took two plays for Arkansas to score. Allen found a wide open Hunter Henry for the six-yard touchdown pass. As for the Wildcats, on fourth and long, Joe Hubener was forced to scramble. And, like the entire game, Arkansas stopped him from finding room. Hubener rushed for only 18 yards on 16 carries. Player of the Game

QB Brandon Allen, U of A

19-35, 300 yards, 3 TD

Alamo Bowl1/2/2016
SCORE
WIN %
Oregon Ducks
35
46.7
TCU Horned Frogs
42
53.3
Oregon Ducks The 2015 season was filled with more adversity than the Ducks are accustomed to, as the team transitioned from Marcus Mariota at quarterback to transfer Vernon Adams. Oregon has achieved seven seasons of double-digit victories, a feat the Ducks can stretch to eight with a win over TCU. TCU Horned Frogs The Horned Frogs were one of the highest-scoring teams in 2015, averaging 41.7 points per contest. Senior quarterback Trevone Boykin (380.6 yards per game of total offense) was injured against Kansas and missed the following game, a 30-29 defeat at Oklahoma. He expects to be at full health for the Alamo Bowl, however. UPDATE: WR Josh Doctson will miss the game.Box Score TCU trailed by six heading into the fourth quarter but used a 21-point barrage to gain control of the game. Aaron Greene paced the TCU attack with 189 rushing yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 7:13 remaining. Oregon’s Royce Freeman gained 229 yards of total offense in the loss. Player of the Game

RB Aaron Greene, TCU

24 carries, 189 yards, 2 TD

1 catch, 3 yards

Cactus Bowl1/2/2016
SCORE
WIN %
West Virginia Mountaineers
27
48.4
Arizona State Sun Devils
31
51.6
West Virginia Mountaineers The Mountaineers were 7-1 against unranked opponents but were 0-4 against Top 25 teams. The opportunistic West Virginia defense picked off 23 passes and recovered eight fumbles in 2015. On offense, Wendell Smallwood is tough to stop. The junior running back totaled 1,447 yards with 6.4 yards per carry and nine touchdowns. Arizona State Sun Devils Under coach Todd Graham, the Sun Devils’ defense is trending in the wrong direction. In 2012, Graham’s first year on the sidelines, the unit allowed 24.3 points per game. That figure rose to 26.6 points in 2013, 27.9 points in 2014 and 32.7 points this season. Arizona State was particularly ineffective against the pass in 2015, giving up 321.7 yards per game, second-most in the nation. Box Score Playing in Arizona gave the Sun Devils just the edge needed to earn the win. After trailing by seven at the half, Arizona State only allowed three points for the rest of the game. That defensive stand was enough for Graham’s team to win his third bowl in four years. Senior Mike Bercovici connected with fellow senior, and ASU’s leading receiver, Devin Lucien for a six-yard touchdown and the win. Player of the Game

QB Mike Bercovici, ASU

23-35, 275 yards, 2 TD

Play College Football Gridiron Dynasty Simulation GamePlay College Football Gridiron Dynasty Simulation Game