What a Holiday Bowl…
It began with a very bizarre play where a Texas coach touched a live ball, resulting in an unsportsman-like conduct penalty and costing the Longhorns a big turnover.
Of course, what looked like at first a good game brewing, turned into a blowout, as the Longhorns back-up offense just made the score 45-20, putting a cap on this one.
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The Longhorns are sending it back at Arizona State QB Rudy Carpenter, after he criticized Texas’ defense during media days. A “Rudy�? chant has out broke throughout the Longhorns’ sideline and now Carpenter has been pulled in favor of another backup.
While this game was close at times, it has been basically dominated in all aspects by Texas all game long. The Sun Devils offense got going some in the 2nd half, but the defense was too overmatched to keep them in this game. Colt McCoy picked them apart, and the man-to-man defense was killed by his running ability, as he even scrambled for a touchdown and another where he was tackled at the 2 and fumbled into the end zone, resulting in a Texas touchdown.
Dennis Erickson has done a great job at Arizona State and for the 2nd straight year led a previously under-achieving team to a very successful season (Idaho). The key to the success of next season will be Rudy Carpenter and how well he shakes off this game. McCoy will likely return, though Jamal Charles isn’t guaranteed, meaning the Longhorns will be in good shape, and will challenge for a Big 12 title.
The bowl season is in full tilt, and here is a quick recap of the happenings so far…
Howard Schnellenberger’s Owls of Florida Atlantic made their first bowl appearance in school history count as they exploded offensively on Memphis, winning 44-27. Led by QB Rusty Smith, the Owls went for 336 through the air, along with Smith’s 5 touchdowns and a strong second-half defense that held the Tigers to 7 points.
Cincinnati increased the Big East bowl win total to six over the past two seasons with its 31-21 victory over Southern Miss, who is involved in a coaching change. Ben Mauk threw for 334 yards in the relatively easy win.
The New Mexico Lobos shutout the Wolfpack of Nevada in their own bowl, 23-0. It gave them their first bowl win since 1961, a 46-year losing streak. It also made them 1-1 in the New Mexico Bowl, losing last season in the inaugural game.
In the most exciting game of the post-season so far, BYU took down struggling UCLA 17-16 in the Las Vegas Bowl, but needed a blocked 28-yard field goal at the end of regulation to due so. The Cougars, back-to-back MWC Champions (16-0 in the past 2 seasons), had a great day from receiver Austin Collie, with 107 yards and a touchdown.
After the Boise State, East Carolina game (currently 38-24 ECU), there is a four-day break before Purdue and Central Michigan take the field. Maybe the best match-up this month is Arizona State and Texas in the Holiday Bowl this Thursday.