Eight 2009 Bowl Teams Win by 3 Points Or Less, None More Exciting Than Idaho

Eight of the 34 bowl recreation winners-or about 25 percentage-earned their victories by way of three or much less factors, and none won in greater exciting style than Idaho-and that consists of double additional time winners (Wyoming and Central Michigan) and two unmarried overtime winners (Arkansas and Auburn) Carta Ramalan 4D.

Coach Robb Akey of the Idaho Vandals gets the fans everlasting nod of popularity of choosing to move for a 2-factor conversion and the win, in preference to ship the game into additional time with an extra factor attempt and 4 seconds remaining on the clock. Junior quarterback Nathan Enderle discovered sophomore huge receiver Preston Davis within the lower back of the quit sector to offer Idaho the 43-42 dramatic victory over Bowling Green inside the Humanitarian Bowl.

Bowling Green concept it had the sport within the bag. Trailing 28-14 midway thru the third region, the Falcons scored 28 points, which includes touchdowns inside the very last four minutes, taking a forty two-35 lead on a 51-bypass from Tyler Sheehan to Freddie Barnes with 32 seconds left.

But the Vandals were no longer fazed as Enderle found Davis (the same prevailing 2-point conversion combination) on a 50-backyard crowning glory to Bowling Green’s 16-backyard line. With eight seconds left, Enderle determined senior wide receiver Max Komar, who caught a low throw sliding across the intention line to set up the winning conversion.

Here’s the real kicker: Komar, the Vandals leading receiver, have been dropping balls like warm potatoes all recreation, and his catch to the put Idaho in a position to win became his first of the day.

On the other aspect of the ball, Falcon receiver Freddie Barnes become making NCAA records at the same time as hauling in 17 passes from Sheehan for 219 yards and three touchdowns. The 17 catches gave Barnes one hundred fifty five for the season, breaking the file for most receptions in a season-a record that turned into formerly held via famous names, Nate Burleson of Nevada (138 receptions in 2002) and Howard Twilley of Tulsa (134 receptions in 1965).

Idaho’s Enderle went 15-of-28 for 240 yards and four touchdowns. Bowling Green’s Sheehan went 33-of-forty seven for 387 yards and 4 touchdowns.

But the real story of Idaho’s victory was educate Robb Akey, who labored 19 years as an assistant college soccer teach earlier than taking on an Idaho software had became useless meat and had three coaches in 3 years earlier than Akey arrived. He went 1-11 and 2-10 in his first two seasons, but it might be a misnomer to mention Idaho was loopy to hold him on with simplest 3 victories in 2 years.

Akey turned into busy eliminating the dead meat on the group that did no longer want to work, play serious soccer, and win. The result became this year’s crew. The Vandals have been picked to be at the lowest of the Western Athletic Conference this season, however commenced the 12 months at 6-1 and completed at 8-5 with their Humanitarian Bowl victory.

The information from Moscow (ID), if you have no longer already heard, is that the Vandals are not a doormat ready to be walked on. Give Akey some properly-deserved props; he created the surroundings and supplied the management at the pinnacle to make it appear.

Perhaps the second most thrilling, near game victory this bowl season belonged to the Wyoming Cowboys, who trailed by way of 11 points in the 4th quarter to typhoon again and beat Fresno State, 35-28 in double extra time on the New Mexico Bowl.

And Wyoming did it with a freshman quarterback and a excellent, aim-line protective stand in opposition to the leading rusher in the country, Fresno State’s Ryan Matthews. First-year educate Dave Christensen couldn’t had been happier or greater happy with his players.

Matthews averaged 151 yards in line with game and did no longer disappoint his fanatics, racking up 144 yards on 31 carries at the same time as scoring 2 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he fumbled halfway in the very last zone whilst Cowboy lineman Mitch Unrien stripped the ball. Wyoming capitalized at the miscue when freshman QB Austyn Carta-Samuels engineered a 19-play power that brought Wyoming within three factors, 28-25.

A 37-backyard field purpose with the aid of Cowboy Ian Watts with 20 seconds left tied it at 28-all. Neither team scored within the first additional time, however Carta-Samuels discovered David Leonard on a 13-yard pass within the 2nd OT to go up, 35-28.

Then the Wyoming protecting line staged a astounding goal-line rally to forestall Ryan Matthews, the country’s main rusher, 3 times at the 1-backyard line, and additionally stopped QB Ryan Colburn on a QB sneak on the 1 to close the door on Fresno State. It turned into all in an afternoon’s work for the Cowboys, who’ve gained 4 video games this season with 4th-sector rallies.

Wyoming’s Austyn Carta-Samuels went 17-of-31 for 201 yards and three landing passes. He turned into chosen the game’s MVP, and turned into additionally decided on as the Mountain West’s Freshman of the Year. The Cowboys, who had been picked to complete closing of their convention, ended the year at 7-6. Fresno State turned into 8-5.

Central Michigan’s Dan LeFevour endured to make history inside the GMAC Bowl as he led the Chippewas to a high-scoring 44-41 win over Troy in double additional time.

LeFevour completed 33 of fifty five passes for 395 yards and scored on a 13-backyard run. His 15,853 general career yards left him second only to Hawaii’s Timmy Chang who holds the record with sixteen,910.

Lost inside the shuffle of LeFevour’s accomplishment became Central Michigan kicker Andrew Aguila, who nailed discipline goals from 28, 35, 44 and 42 yards before kicking the game-prevailing 37-yarder in double extra time. His 5 discipline dreams set a GMAC Bowl report.

Antonio Brown was additionally a massive presence for the Chippewas, scoring on a 95-yard kickoff return and finishing with 403 all-purpose yards-178 receiving on 13 catches, 203 on kickoff returns and 22 yards dashing.

Troy ended the season at nine-4 and Central Michigan at 12-2. Chippewa instruct Butch Jones, who gained 2 Mid-American Conference titles in 3 years, has left the program to turn out to be the new educate at Cincinnati, replacing Brian Kelly who headed for Notre Dame. Dan Enos, the jogging backs coach at Michigan State, will take over at Central Michigan for Butch Jones.

For Arkansas’ Alex Tejada, it was redemption day at the Liberty Bowl as his 37-yard subject aim in overtime gave the Razorbacks a 20-17 victory East Carolina. Tejada had overlooked a important kick in a loss to Florida in October, and ignored any other kick against Louisiana State that averted Arkansas from forcing a 2nd time beyond regulation in a 33-30 loss.

But bypass the pity directly to East Carolina kicker Ben Hartman, he two times missed area goal attempts past due in the game and overlooked once more in the OT period. Hartman without a doubt overlooked 4 tries in the game from forty five, 39, 39 once more at the final play of the sport, and 35 in OT. East Carolina (eight-five) teach Skip Holtz felt Hartman’s ache; Hartman is East Carolina’s all-time leading scorer.

The Liberty Bowl become now not photo perfect. Arkansas’ (eight-five) win became handiest its 3rd in 15 bowl-recreation appearances. The Razorbacks went 0-thirteen on third-down attempts, becoming simplest the second most important college group this season to win a game with out changing a third down. Colorado State went 0-for-9 on third down attempts at the same time as beating Weber State in advance within the season.

The Razorbacks, who averaged 37 points a game, were down 10-zip at the half of, marking the first time Arkansas have been close out inside the first half considering that losing to Alabama 35-7 in September.

Naw, the Liberty Bowl become not pretty, however Arkansas teach Bobby Petrino had the right mindset, saying “I’m not sure who outplayed who, however we received the sport.”

Wes Byrum kicked a 21-backyard field intention in overtime to present Auburn (8-five) a 38-35 victory over Northwestern (8-5) inside the Outback Bowl, preventing a Wildcat rally that denied Northwestern its first bowl win in 61 years.

Some days it does now not pay to tempt destiny; for Northwestern, this changed into one of these days. Coach Pat Fitzgerald sent backup kicker Steve Flaherty onto the sphere to try and tie the sport on the ultimate play within the first OT. Flaherty changed into in because ordinary kicker Stefan Demos changed into injured earlier. What came about next turned into a catastrophe.

Wildcat receiver Zeke Markshausen took a handoff from the holder, rotated round proper cease to win the sport, and was stopped at the two-yard line by using Auburn’s Neiko Thorpe. Game over.

Northwestern QB Mike Kafka turned into 47-of-seventy eight (no typo here) for 532 yards (yes, 532 yards) and 4 touchdowns, but he additionally threw 5 interceptions, with 2 of the alternatives coming in the end quarter and one being run back for a one hundred-backyard landing. Yikes. First-year Auburn educate Gene Chizik could not have been happier with the win.

Playing in a riding rainstorm that grew to become the field into a mosh pit in Orlando (FL), the eleventh-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions (eleven-2) turned back the thirteenth-ranked Louisiana State Tigers (9-4), 19-17, to win the Capital One Bowl, the most prestigious bowl sport some of the final 29 after the 5 BCS bowl games.

For Penn State coach Joe Paterno and his QB Daryll Clark, the win intended vindication.

Clark carried the rap of now not being able to win the massive video games, and Paterno is often criticized for piling up victories at the same time as gambling soft opponents; in fact, Penn State had not overwhelmed a ranked team all yr. I have been vitriolic approximately Penn State’s cupcake warring parties, that stated, LSU isn’t any cupcake, and now JoePa has overwhelmed at least one ranked crew.

LSU turned into at the back of by means of 13 however did take a 17-16 lead with 12:39 left. Clark led a late-game drive that allowed Collin Wagner’s 21-yard area intention to provide the sport-winner. For JoePa, it turned into his report 24th bowl victory, and LSU’s Les Miles’ first loss in 5 bowls because the instruct.

Freshman Dion Lewis ran for 159 yards and a TD to guide seventeenth-ranked Pittsburgh (10-three) past North Carolina (8-5), 19-17 (equal score as Penn State’s win), inside the Meineke Bowl. Dan Hutchins kicked a 33-yard discipline goal with 52 seconds left to seal the deal.

The five-foot-8 Lewis, left out by using many college scouts due to his length, broke Tony Dorsett’s 36-yr-antique Pitt freshman speeding record of one,686 yards with 1,799 yards on the season. Dorsett rushed for two,150 yards in 1976, selecting up the Heisman Trophy and helping Pitt win the countrywide title. Pitt teach Dave Wannstedt blocked for Dorsett on that championship team.

Lewis is the real deal. North Carolina came into the game with the nation’s sixth excellent general defense and 9th excellent dashing protection, and couldn’t stop Lewis who, barring harm, will spoil extra records inside the future.

Iowa State (7-6) scored twice inside the second zone to part Minnesota (6-7), 14-13, within the Insight Bowl. Two years ago, the Cyclones gained handiest 2 video games. Needless to mention, first-12 months Iowa State train Paul Roberts became pleased as punch.

Iowa State grew to become the ball over 4 instances, gave up 434 yards and committed eight consequences and nevertheless won. How many teams should declare victory in a bowl game by way of turning the ball over 4 times? Ask Minnesota, the Golden Gophers let them do it.

Minnesota had trailed in all 6 of its ordinary season wins, and rallied four instances during the 4th zone to win. Minnesota educate Tim Brewster can attempt once more subsequent yr. For the Cyclones, it changed into their first winning season considering the fact that 2005.

Copyright © 2010 Ed Bagley

Read more of my 2009 university football coverage, inclusive of:

Fourteen consecutive weeks of NCAA Division I wrap-u.S.Covering the top groups and key upsets.

Fourteen consecutive weeks of Ed Bagley’s Top 25 Poll (heck, I parent I am as suitable at picking them as the writers and coaches who pick the AP Top 25 and the Coaches’ Top 25 Polls, plus, I add some humor to lighten the weight).

Coverage of the Washington Husky and Michigan State Spartan football programs, together with Washington’s beautiful 16-thirteen disenchanted of Southern California early in the season.

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