Ranking the top 50 players and performances of the 2015-2016 bowl season.
50 Best Bowl Performances
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I did it. I watched all 40 games of the bowl season. It might not be as impressive as going into every store in the Mall of America, or eating one of every item at the Ponderosa buffet – including the Ain’t No Stoppin’ The Toppins Dessert Bar – but I did it.
Which players made the bowls special? Which ones came up with epic games that’ll be remembered as long as they keep having these post-season things? Stats were a big part of it, but importance to the game mattered most.
Go ahead and add any player you’d like to the mix to the 50 signature performances of the 2015-2016 college football bowl season.
50. Appalachian State RB Marcus Cox
Cox ran 24 times for 162 yards and a score in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl win over Ohio.
49. Notre Dame LB Joe Schmidt
Schmidt made 13 tackles with a tackle for loss and interception in the Fiesta Bowl loss to Ohio State.
48. Florida State WR Travis Rudolph
Rudolph caught seven passes for 201 yards and a score in the Chick-fil-A Bowl loss to Houston.
47. Duke QB Thomas Sirk
Sirk ran 20 times for 155 yards and two scores, and completed 17-of-37 passes for 163 yards and a score with two picks in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl win over Indiana.
46. Boise State QB Brett Rypien
Rypien completed 29-of-39 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns with a pick in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl win over Northern Illinois.
45. Arizona State WR Tim White
White caught four passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns, returned a blocked extra point for a two-point conversion, and returned five kickoffs for 177 yards and four punts for 33 yards in the Cactus Bowl loss to West Virginia.
44. South Florida QB Quinton Flowers
Flowers completed 14-of-32 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown, and ran 16 times for a game-high 108 yards and two scores, in the loss to WKU in the Miami Beach Bowl.
43. Middle Tennessee QB Brent Stockstill
Stockstill completed 26-of-39 passes for 327 yards and three scores with a pick, and ran nine times for 22 yards in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl loss to Western Michigan.
42. Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes completed 28-of-56 passes for 370 yards and four scores with a pick in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl loss to LSU.
41. Alabama CB Cyrus Jones
Jones made three tackles, an interception at the end of the first half, and returned five punts for 80 yards and a score in the Cotton Bowl win over Michigan State.
40. Clemson RB Wayne Gallman
Gallman ran 26 times for 150 yards and two scores in the Capital One Bowl win over Oklahoma.
39. San Jose State RB Tyler Ervin
Ervin ran 30 times for 132 yards and returned three punts for 98 yards and a score in the AutoNation Cure Bowl win over Georgia State.
38. Western Michigan WR Corey Davis
Davis caught eight passes for 183 yards and a score in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl win over Middle Tennessee.
37. Baylor LB Aiavion Edwards
Edwards made 17 tackles with a sack, a forced fumble, two tackles for loss and with a broken up pass.
36. Louisiana Tech QB Jeff Driskel
Driskel completed 26-of-38 passes for a career-high 457 yards and three scores in the New Orleans Bowl win over Louisiana Tec
35. Nevada RB James Butler
Butler ran 24 times for 189 yards and two scores in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl win over Colorado State.
34. WKU QB Brandon Doughty
Doughty completed 32-of-44 passes for 461 yards and three touchdowns with two picks in the win over South Florida in the Miami Beach Bowl.
33. San Diego State DE Kyle Kelley
Kelley tied for the team lead with nine tackles with 3.5 sacks in the dominant Hawaii Bowl win over Cincinnati.
32. Tulsa QB Dane Evans
Evans completed 27-of-44 passes for 374 yards and three scores, and ran 12 times for 18 yards and a touchdown in the Camping World Independence Bowl loss to Virginia Tech.
31. Duke RB/KR Shaun Wilson
Wilson returned four kicks for 164 yards and a score, and ran nine times for 103 yards and a touchdown in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl win over Indiana.
30. Arkansas RB Alex Collins
Collins ran 23 times for 185 yards and three touchdowns in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl win over Kansas State
29. Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly
Kelly completed 21-of-33 passes for 302 yards and four scores, and ran ten times for a team-high 73 yards in the Sugar Bowl win over Oklahoma State.
28. Stanford DE Aziz Shittu
Shittu made a game-high ten tackles with two sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss in the Rose Bowl win over Iowa.
27. Virginia Tech QB Michael Brewer
Brewer completed 23-of-37 passes for 344 yards and a score with a pick in the Camping World Independence Bowl win over Tulsa.
26. Texas Tech WR Jakeem Grant
Grant caught ten passes for 125 yards and three scores in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl loss to LSU.
25. Oregon RB Royce Freeman
Freeman ran 26 times for 130 yards and three scores, and ran twice for 23 yards in the Alamo Bowl loss to TCU.
24. North Carolina SS Donnie Miles
Mainly because he had to – thanks to a leaky defensive front – Miles made 22 tackles in the Russell Athletic Bowl loss to Baylor.
23. TCU QB Bram Kohlhausen
Kohlhausen completed 28-of-45 passes for 351 yards and two touchdowns with a pick, and ran 11 times for 45 yards and two scores in the Alamo Bowl win over Oregon.
22. Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott
Prescott completed 25-of-42 passes for 380 yards and four scores with an interception, and ran 12 times for a team-high 47 yards in the Belk Bowl win over NC State.
21. Louisiana Tech RB Kenneth Dixon
Dixon ran 21 times for 102 yards and two scores, and caught six passes for 112 yards and two scores – setting the all-time NCAA record for touchdowns, later broken by Navy QB Keenan Reynolds – in the New Orleans Bowl win over Louisiana Tech.
20. UCLA DT Kenny Clark
Clark had a game-leading 11 tackles with a sack and two tackles for loss in the Foster Farms Bowl loss to Nebraska.
19. Alabama QB Jake Coker
Coker completed 25-of-30 passes for 286 yards and two scores in the Cotton Bowl win over Michigan State.
18. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson
Watson completed 16-of-31 passes for 187 yards and a score with a pick, and ran 24 times for 145 yards and a touchdown in the Capital One Orange Bowl win over Oklahoma.
17. Washington RB Myles Gaskin
Gaskin ran 26 times for 181 yards and four scores in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl win over Southern Miss.
16. Navy QB Keenan Reynolds
Reynolds completed 9-of-17 passes for 126 yards and a score, and ran 24 times for 144 yards and three touchdowns, taking back the all-time NCAA record for touchdowns from Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon. He also led the team in receiving yards with 47 on one catch in the Military Bowl win over Pitt.
15. LSU RB Leonard Fournette
Fournette ran 29 times for 212 yards and four scores, and caught one pass for 44 yards and a touchdown in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl win over Texas Tech.
14. Arizona LB Scooby Wright
Wright came up with a game-high 15 tackles with two sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, and a key pressure to force the final interception in the New Mexico Bowl win over New Mexico.
13. Western Michigan RB Jamauri Bogan
Bogan ran 19 times for 215 yards and four scores in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl win over Middle Tennessee.
12. Virginia Tech WR Isaiah Ford
Ford caught 12 passes for 227 yards and a score in the Camping World Independence Bowl win over Tulsa.
11. Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott
Elliott ran 27 times for 149 yards and four scores in the Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame.
10. Arizona State QB Mike Bercovici
A Holiday Bowl classic? Nah. But it was a competitive game between USC and Wisconsin, with two fourth-quarter lead changes, including a game-winning field goal from Badger Rafael Gaglianone with 2:27 left. Neither offense did much, and LB Jack Cichy and the Wisky D shut down Troy’s best weapons, QB Cody Kessler and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster.
9. North Carolina QB Marquise Williams
Williams completed 22-of-36 passes for 243 yards and three scores with a pick, and ran 17 times for 81 yards and two scores in the Russell Athletic Bowl loss to Baylor.
8. Wisconsin OLB Jack Cichy
Sichy made nine tackles, three sacks (on three straight plays), and created the pressure to force a key interception – all in one half – in the Holiday Bowl win over USC.
7. The entire Baylor offensive line
Tackles Spencer Drango and Blake Muir, center Kyle Fuller, and guards Jarell Broxton and Desmine Hilliard – paving the way for 645 rushing yards in the Russell Athletic Bowl win over North Carolina.
6. Indiana RB Devine Redding
Redding ran 35 times for 227 yards and a score in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl loss to Duke.
5. Baylor RB Johnny Jefferson
Jefferson ran 23 times for 299 yards and three scores in the Russell Athletic Bowl win over North Carolina.
4. Cal QB Jared Goff
Goff completed 25-of-37 passes for 467 yards and six scores in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl win over Air Force.
3. West Virginia QB Skyler Howard
Howard completed 28-of-51 passes for 532 yards and five scores with two picks, and ran eight times for 23 yards in the Cactus Bowl win over Arizona State.
2. Louisville QB Lamar Jackson
Jackson completed 12-of-26 passes for 227 yards and two scores, and ran 22 times for 226 yards and two touchdowns in the Franklin American Music City Bowl win over Texas A&M.
1. Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey
McCaffrey ran 18 times for 172 yards, caught four passes for 105 yards and a score, returned a kickoff for 28 yards, and returned a punt 63 yards for a score setting the Rose Bowl record for all-purpose yards in the win over Iowa.
The Best of the Rest
Any of these performances could’ve made the top 50.
Southern Miss WR Michael Thomas caught nine passes for 190 yards and two scores in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl win over Southern Miss.
Georgia Southern QB Favian Upshaw ran 12 times for 199 yards and four scores, and completed one of his three passes for 17 yards in the GoDaddy Bowl win over Bowling Green.
Houston QB Greg Ward Jr. completed 25-of-41 passes for 238 yards and a score with a pick, and ran 20 times for a team-high 67 yards and two scores in the Chick-fil-A Bowl win over Florida State.
Boise State DE Kamalei Correa made four tackles with two sacks with a forced fumble in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl win over Northern Illinois.
New Mexico QB Lamar Jordan completed 3-of-9 passes for 110 yards and two picks, despite fighting through a leg injury. He led the game with 135 rushing yards and three scores on 21 carries in the New Mexico Bowl loss to Arizona.
UConn SS Andrew Adams made a game-high 14 tackles in the St. Petersburg Bowl loss to Marshall.
Arizona State WR Devin Lucien caught nine passes for 144 yards and a score in the Cactus Bowl loss to West Virginia.
Baylor RB Devin Chafin ran 27 times for 156 yards and a score in the Russell Athletic Bowl win over North Carolina.
West Virginia WR Shelton Gibson caught four passes for 143 yards and a score in the Cactus Bowl win over Arizona State.
Ohio State LB Darron Lee made seven tackles with two sacks and a forced fumble in the Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame.
Michigan QB Jake Rudock completed 20-of-31 passes for 278 yards and three scores, and ran four times for 29 yards in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl win over Florida.
Alabama WR Calvin Ridley caught eight passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the Cotton Bowl win over Michigan State.
Southern Miss QB Nick Mullens completed 25-of-38 passes for 331 yards and two scores in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl win over Southern Miss.
Tennessee DE Derek Barnett made a team-high eight tackles with a sack and a forced fumble in the Outback Bowl win over Northwestern.
Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett completed 19-of-31 passes for 211 yards and a score with a pick, and ran 23 times for 96 yards in the Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame.
Arkansas QB Brandon Allen completed 20-of-26 passes for 315 yards and a score with a pick in the win over Kansas State in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
Minnesota P Peter Mortell averaged 46 yards per punt putting all four of his kicks inside the 20 in the Quick Lane Bowl win over Central Michigan.
Penn State QB Trace McSorley completed 14-of-27 passes for 142 yards and two scores, and ran seven times for 31 yards in relief of Christian Hackenberg in the TaxSlayer Bowl loss to Georgia.
Utah’s Tevin Carter didn’t make any tackles, but he picked off two first quarter passes including a pick six to start out the scoring in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl win over BYU.
Utah P Tom Hackett averaged 49.5 yards per kick on his six kicks with four put inside the 20 in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl win over BYU.
Boise State LB Tyler Gray led the team with seven tackles with a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl win over Northern Illinois.
UCLA QB Josh Rosen completed 26-of-40 passes for 319 yards and three scores with two picks in the Foster Farms Bowl loss to Nebraska.
Tennessee RB Jalen Hurd ran 24 times for 130 yards and a score in the Outback Bowl win over Northwestern.
Toledo QB Phillip Ely completed 20-of-28 passes for 285 yards and two scores in the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl win over Temple.
Cincinnati P Sam Geraci kicked six times for 292 yards putting five inside the 20 averaging 48.7 yards per kick in the loss to San Diego State in the Hawaii Bowl.
Washington State QB Luke Falk completed 29-of-53 passes for 295 yards and two scores in the Hyundai Sun Bowl win over Miami.