Bowl Rankings: The Good Bowls
You watched these, you had a good time, you now have hope for a better and brighter tomorrow.
Mississippi State 28, Tulsa 26
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 16
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From the 18 penalties, to the bad weather, to the fight, to the lack of Mississippi State offense, it was all … ugly. But it was a close game late.
All anyone will remember is the brawl at the end, but it was certainly a spirited game to get there.
The Mississippi State offense didn’t really work, but a 90-yard Emmanuel Forbes pick six was big a fourth quarter Will Rogers touchdown pass pushed the Bulldogs to a nine-point lead, and Tulsa’s late comeback attempt fell short.
Yeah it was close, and yeah it came down to a two-yard touchdown run from Kevin Marks to get Buffalo the win with just over a minute to play, but the game was just sort of … dull.
The star running backs – Jaret Patterson from Buffalo and Brendan Knox for Marshall – were missing on both sides, the Marshall passing game was brutal, Buffalo was struggling with fewer than 300 yards, and again, it was all just sort of … dull.
The UB 13 play, 88-yard drive was fantastic to close, but it was a grind.
West Virginia 24, Army 21
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 20
Army wasn’t supposed to be able to hang with a Big 12 team with a great defense, but it looked like it was going to pull it off.
The Black Knight defense was able to come up with big defensive play after big defensive play on the way to a 21-10 lead late in the third quarter. West Virginia scored 14 unanswered points with the final touchdown coming with just over five minutes to go, and then breathed a massive sigh of relief.
Army won’t take moral victories, but it played a whale of a game.
Louisiana 31, UTSA 24
Pre-Bowl Matchup Ranking: 27
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This was supposed to be a dominant performance by a Louisiana team that beat Iowa State, was named a co-Sun Belt champ, and only lost to Coastal Carolina.
It was never able to pull away until the end.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got up 10-0 in the second quarter and looked like they were going to make it a blowout early in the second half with a score for a 24-7 advantage, and then everything changed.
Frank Harris threw two touchdown passes as part of a 17-point Roadrunner run to tie it, Louisiana went on a terrific touchdown march for what would be the winning score, and UTSA’s final drive stalled.