Playing vs. an SEC team is always a good measuring stick for a team. Even an SEC team that canned its head coach, as Mark Richt was fired and is now coaching Miami (FL). [ MORE: BOWL SCHEDULE | BOX | PBP | AP RECAP ] These iconic programs last met in the Sugar Bowl after the 1982 season, when Penn State dumped Heisman winner Hershel Walker and the Bulldogs to win the national championship. The stakes weren’t nearly that high today in a clash that often resembled a taffy pull between teams that played good defense—and spotty offense. The
LSU coach Les Miles was impressed by the defense of Wisconsin coordinator Dave Aranda when the Tigers edged the Badgers in the 2014 season opener. Now Aranda will have a chance to see if he can replicate his recent success in the Big Ten with Miles' LSU squad in the Southeastern Conference.
This time last year, Iowa was getting scortched by Tennessee in the TaxSlayer Bowl to cap a disappointing 7-6 season that set in motion an offseason of tumult. Kirk Ferentz examined his program and made alterations, including switching practices from afternoon to morning. But most prescient, Ferentz tabbed C.J. Beathard the QB over Jake Rudock shortly after the loss to the Vols. Rudock transferred to Michigan, Beathard became a star and the rest is history. [ MORE: BOWL SCHEDULE | AP RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY ] The Hawkeyes went on to post a season for the ages, going 12-0
No. 7 Ohio State had trouble dispatching No. 8 Notre Dame in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. The Buckeyes took down the Irish, 44-28, behind Ezekiel Elliott’s four touchdown runs, which tied the Fiesta Bowl record. See our favorite USA TODAY Sports photos of Ohio State celebrating the Fiesta Bowl victory below.
Jim Harbaugh closed out his first season as Michigan’s head coach on quite a high note. Senior quarterback Jake Rudock threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns, while the Wolverines’ defense held Florida to just 273 yards of total offense in a commanding 41-7 win over Florida. Here is a look at some final thoughts from Michigan’s impressive victory. BEST OF THE CITRUS BOWL Best play: There were several good ones, but let’s go with Jehu Chesson’s impressive 45-yard catch late in the third quarter. Chesson’s highlight grab set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Sione Houma, which made it
There was an interesting political/sports tweet Friday that received plenty of attention leading up to the 2016 Rose Bowl Game. [ MORE: Check out the complete 2015-16 bowl schedule ] Carly Fiorina, a 1976 Stanford graduate and candidate for the Republican nomination for president, tweeted that she was rooting for Iowa in the Granddaddy of them All. Odd, right? Not when one looks at the calendar and realizes the Iowa caucus, the first official voting in the presidential primary electoral process, will be held Monday, Feb. 1. Surely, there’s no correlation.
Would Ohio State have a letdown, they wondered? [ MORE: BOWL SCHEDULE | AP RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY ] Not a chance. The reigning nation champ showed no signs of a hangover after missing out on the second annual College Football Playoff, looking impressive en route to a 44-28 victory over Notre Dame on Friday in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. BEST OF THE FIESTA BOWL Best play: This one came from the losing team, but the DeShone Kizer-to-Chris Brown touchdown pass in the third quarter was a thing of beauty. The pass was on the money, and the catch was
Northwestern was looking to put an exclamation point on a standout 10-win season by dumping an SEC team. It didn’t happen for what has been one of the nation’s most surprising teams that opened 2015 with a win vs. Pac-12 champ Stanford. [ MORE: BOWL SCHEDULE | AP RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY ] The Wildcats lacked the big-play ability on offense to keep pace vs. the athletic Volunteers, one of the SEC’s fast-rising programs under Butch Jones that closed the year with six wins in a row in what was the largest margin of victory in Outback Bowl history.
Ohio State fans really enjoyed Ezekiel Elliott’s fourth touchdown run of the day vs. Notre Dame on Friday. Not only was it his fourth score, but the running back flashed Joey Bosa’s signature shrug in the end zone. Bosa, the back-to-back Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, was ejected in the first quarter for targeting. So, Elliott decided to honor his fellow standout junior. It was a nice gesture, especially because Bosa didn’t get an opportunity to do the celebration in his final game in an Ohio State uniform, this after announcing he will enter the 2016 NFL Draft.
Joey Bosa’s Ohio State career looks like it will come to an end earlier than expected. [ MORE: Check out the complete 2015-16 bowl schedule ] The star defensive lineman and two-time Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year was ejected for targeting in the first quarter of the Fiesta Bowl vs. Notre Dame on Friday. Bosa, a junior and one of the top pro prospects, recently announced he will enter the 2016 NFL Draft. Watch the targeting play above, which not only resulted in Bosa’s ejection but negated what turned out to be an Ohio State interception. Bosa apologized