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Tulane claims the bell over Southern Miss in Armed Forces Bowl

2020 Armed Forces Bowl Tulane vs Southern Miss on Saturday January 4, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Boakosy)

On Saturday, the “Battle of the Bell” rivalry revived during the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl when Southern Miss and Tulane hit the field. The rivalry initiated in 1979 as both programs met every season for the first twenty-seven straight years. The schools are separated by a little more than 100 miles apart; therefore, it’s an intense and local rivalry that the fans enjoy.

2020 Armed Forces Bowl Tulane vs Southern Miss on Saturday January 4, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Boakosy)

 However, due to conference realignment, Saturday’s game became the first meeting in over nine years for the two schools. Southern Miss Head coach Jay Hopson talked before the game about the rivalry between the two programs. “I had my first job at Tulane, and the two schools are right next to each other. It has always been a fun game for the fans. Local games are fun.” The Golden Eagles came into Saturday, winning six consecutive games against the Green Wave. However, it was the Tulane Green Wave that broke the string and eventually rang the bell by defeating Southern Miss 30-13 in the 2020 Armed Forces Bowl.

 As the clock hit five and a half minutes in the first quarter, Southern Miss quarterback Jack Abraham ran it outside to the end zone to put the Golden Eagles up 13-0. It was at that point; Southern Miss outgained Tulane 164-5 with Abraham throwing for 142 yards, and the Green Wave crowd became silent. However, Tulane started to gain momentum slowly with a couple of field goals in the second quarter, cutting the Golden Eagles lead to 13-6 at halftime. Once halftime hit, Tulane turned on the jets and outlasted Southern Miss. In the third quarter, the Green Wave outgained the Golden Eagles 214-49 along with a takeaway as Tulane outscored Southern Miss 24-0 in the third, taking a 30-13 lead and ending the game by the same score.

2020 Armed Forces Bowl Tulane vs Southern Miss on Saturday January 4, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Boakosy)

After the two Golden Eagles scoring drives, Tulane’s defense forced eight punts, two interceptions, and two turnovers by downs. In that span, Tulane outgained Southern Miss 374-195.

Green Wave head coach Willie Fritz talked after the game about the message he gave his players at halftime, “A lot of bad words. We got after them. We don’t want to go out like this. I’m tough on these kids sometimes, and they responded.”

Tulane’s defense held Jack Abraham to 25 yards after the two scoring drives. The Golden Eagles made a quarterback change at halftime due to a shoulder injury to Abraham, replacing him with Tate Whatley. Whatley finished the day completing nine of twenty-two for 134 yards and the two second-half interceptions. Tulane’s senior quarterback Justin McMillian had a successful and conservative afternoon. The Armed Forces Bowl MVP completed thirteen of eighteen passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns.

2020 Armed Forces Bowl Tulane vs Southern Miss on Saturday January 4, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Boakosy)

McMillian was quick to give credit to his teammates after the game and point out a historic win for the Tulane football program, “It’s not the same team that we were last year, this team won two bowl games straight. We made history with this team this year.”

In the 2018 College Football season, Tulane knocked off the Ragin Cajuns of Louisiana Lafayette 41-24 in the Cure Bowl.

2020 Armed Forces Bowl Tulane vs Southern Miss on Saturday January 4, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Boakosy)

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Green Wave while Southern Miss finished the college football season on a three-game losing streak of their own. For fans curious about the next meeting, the “Battle of the Bell” renews again on Saturday, September 24, 2022, at Tulane.

Wisconsin defense can’t slow down Oregon ground game

Wisconsin Badgers vs Oregon Ducks at the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

PASADENA- A 30-yard touchdown run by quarterback Justin Herbert late in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference, as Oregon defeated Wisconsin, 28-27 in the 106th Rose Bowl. It was an epic seesaw contest which truly lived up to the hype and expectations befitting “The Granddaddy Of Them All”. Oregon (12-2) captured their fourth Rose Bowl victory, while Wisconsin(10-4) have lost their fourth Rose Bowl in a row. 

Wisconsin Badgers vs Oregon Ducks at the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

It seems Wisconsin shut down Herbert’s powerful arm, it was his legs that ultimately propelled the Ducks to victory. Herbert threw for only138 yards, while the offense gained a measly 204 yards. The game had everything a football fan craves; turnovers special teams blunders and six lead changes in this thriller. 

Oregon opened the game with an early touchdown before Wisconsin’s Aron Cruickshank returned a 95-yard kickoff to even the score at 7-7. The Ducks capitalized off three Badger turnovers to generate twenty-one points. One pivotal play was the botched punt by Wisconsin punter Anthony Lotti, who inexplicably dropped the ball. Oregon’s Brady Breeze palmed the pigskin with one hand as if it were a basketball, then ran 31-yards for a touchdown early in the second half.

Wisconsin Badgers vs Oregon Ducks at the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor ran for 94 yards and wide receiver Quintez Cephus hauled in seven receptions for 59 yards and a score. The Badgers held a narrow 24-21 edge in the fourth quarter and were going in for the kill. Yet Oregon’s defense came through in the red zone, holding Wisconsin to a field goal. 

Wisconsin Badgers vs Oregon Ducks at the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

With 7:41 remaining, Herbert faked a handoff and darted 31-yards to immortality. His 31-yard scamper put Oregon up for good. On the following possession, Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan struggled all afternoon. A controversial pass interference called on the offense wiped out any chance of a last second win. 

Wisconsin Badgers vs Oregon Ducks at the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif (Photo by Jevone Moore)

Never knew Ducks enjoyed cheese!

Oregon Natives Lead the Ducks to Rose Bowl Victory

PASADENA, CA – Four years ago Justin Herbert and the Oregon Ducks were 4-8, and the University’s football program had a cloudy future coming off a string of National Championship contending seasons. Tonight, Herbert led the No. 6 Ducks (12-2) to a 28-27 victory over the No 8. Wisconsin Badgers (10-4) in the 106th Rose Bowl Game, and the program’s future looks brighter than ever.

Rose Bowl 2020 Wisconsin vs Oregon (Photo by Megan Connelly)

Oregon started the game strong, marching 75 yards in 4:30 min to take an early 7-0 lead after Justin Herbert kept the ball on a read option for a 4-yard touchdown run, but Wisconsin quickly answered. Aron Cruickshank returned Oregon’s kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, and sophomore linebacker Jack Sanborn intercepted Herbert the next play setting the Badgers up for a 44-yard field goal to take their first lead of the game at 10-7.

After the quick start Oregon’s offense stalled, finishing the night with only 204 total yards which is the least of any team in a Rose Bowl Game in the last 40 years, to Wisconsin’s 322. Despite the offensive struggles Oregon had plenty of opportunities to score thanks to their defense who forced 4 turnovers.

Rose Bowl 2020 Wisconsin vs Oregon (Photo by Megan Connelly)

The biggest of which came when Wisconsin botched a punt, and junior safety Brady Breeze picked the ball up and ran 31 yards for a touchdown, regaining the lead for Oregon at 20-17. Breeze stepped up again late in the fourth quarter when he caused a fumble, which was recovered by Bryson Young giving the Ducks the ball on the Wisconsin 30-yard line.

Rose Bowl 2020 Wisconsin vs Oregon (Photo by Megan Connelly)

Herbert capitalized on the opportunity the very next play, taking off for 30 yards after stiff arming a defender and scoring what would become the game winning touchdown giving the Ducks their final lead at 28-27. In total, Herbert rushed 9 times for 29 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Brady Breeze and Justin Herbert were named the Rose Bowl MVPs, a surreal moment for two kids who grew up in Oregon watching Rose Bowl games as fans, dreaming of playing for the Ducks themselves. “Now I’m scoring touchdowns in a Rose Bowl like a little kid always dreamed about” Breeze stated after the game.

Rose Bowl 2020 Wisconsin vs Oregon (Photo by Megan Connelly)

Reflecting on the moment Mario Cristobal said “It’s hard to even script this kind of Hollywood story, right? Right down the road, born and raised, just like Brady, been watching Oregon Duck football forever. And they’re sitting here in front of you as Rose Bowl champions -­not only as Rose Bowl champions but as MVPs of the Rose Bowl after winning the Pac-12 Championship.”

Mario Cristobal has rebuilt the Oregon football program in only two full seasons as a head coach, and with back to back top 10 recruiting classes things seem to only be getting started. The Ducks offense will look significantly different next season as Justin Herbert heads to the NFL, and offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo takes over as the head coach at the UNLV, but the next chapter in Oregon history is ready to be written.

Rose Bowl 2020 Wisconsin vs Oregon (Photo by Megan Connelly)

Rose Bowl Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony

(PHOTO: Michael C. Floch)

PASADENA, CA – Outside the iconic Rose Bowl at Lot K on Tuesday, December 31st,  four college football luminaries were enshrined in the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. The class of 2019 are Harvard’s Eddie Casey, Ohio State Quarterback Cornelius Greene, Washington Huskie Jacque Robinson and legendary USC Trojan Quarterback Matt Leinart. 


The family friendly event was held outside the iconic venue, one day prior to “The Granddaddy of Them All”. An In-N-Out Burger truck was on site handing out their juicy, world famous burgers. This HOF bash had the vibe of an upscale tailgate party, a wonderful precursor to the 106th Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual on January 1st. When the NO. 6 Oregon Ducks battle the NO. 8 Wisconsin Badgers.

SportsCenter anchor, ESPN’s flagship sports news program John Anderson hosted the HOF ceremony. Anderson’s reverence for the history of the Rose Bowl, as well as his terrific sense of humor made him a wonderful emcee. 


fi360 News caught up with Leinart as he was sipping a 7-Up prior to being inducted. Leinart fondly remembered conducting the Trojans marching band after defeating the Michigan Wolverines, 28-14. 


“After the ’04 Rose Bowl I got to lead the marching band, there is a picture of me standing on a ladder with a sea of 100,000 people in the stands,” explained Leinart. The Heisman Trophy winner orchestrated one of the greatest dynasties in the history of college football, Leinart earned MVP in the Rose Bowl victory over the Wolverines. 


His next Rose Bowl was the 2006 BCS National Championship against the University of Texas, considered by many to be the greatest game in the history of college football period! Although Leinart completed 73 percent of his passes, fellow Rose Bowl HOF inductee Texas QB Vince Young ripped the heart out of die hard Trojans fans running into the end zone in the final minute EN route to a 41-38 victory and the National Championship.

“The epic back and forth even though we lost, I can’t escape the game so many memories.” Leinart was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall Of Fame in 2007, as well as having his #11 Jersey retired.


Three other gridiron legends were honored. Eddie Casey was a diminutive Tailback and Defensive Back from Harvard. After nobly serving in World War I, he returned to the Crimson in 1919, leading them to a 9-0-1 record. His bursting speed combined with his agility paved the way for a 7-6 victory over the University of Oregon. His 205 all purpose yards earned him MVP honors. More importantly, the win introduced the Tournament of Roses to the New England States.


Corneilius Greene is one of the lucky few to appear in four Rose Bowls. The OSU Quarterback played from 1973-1976, receiving MVP honors for his performance in the 1974 Rose Bowl. The Buckeye QB defeated the USC Trojans, 42-21. Greene threw for 129 yards, running for 45 yards and a touchdown. 


Jacque Robinson was the freshman to hoist the MVP award for his outstanding performance in the 1982 Rose Bowl. Crushing the University of Iowa 28-0 behind Robinsons 142 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. Robinson was just getting started-earning MVP honors in the 1985 Orange Bowl. Robinson became one of only four players to ever win MVP in both the Orange and Rose Bowls.


President of the Tournament of Roses Laura Farber opened up the ceremony. The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame was established in 1989 to honor individuals connected with college football’s oldest Bowl game. The Rose Bowl HOF has 133 members to date.


The honorees will receive a blazer, a permanent plaque at the Court of Championship at the Rose Bowl, appear at the Rose Parade and are recognized on the field during the Rose Bowl. 

Big plays fuel Wyoming in Nova Bowl win over Georgia State

Nova Home Loan Bowl 2019 between Wyoming vs Georgia State on Tuesday December 31, 2019. (Photo by John Hays)

TUCSON, AZ – New Years Eve in Tucson, AZ? Why not? And for the Wyoming Cowboys (8-5, 4-4), they were all about it as both the fans and team traveled well, coming away with the 38-17 win over the Georgia State Panthers (7-6, 4-4).

Nova Home Loan Bowl 2019 between Wyoming vs Georgia State on Tuesday December 31, 2019. (Photo by John Hays)

The Cowboys would turn to freshman quarterback Levi Williams to hopefully jump start the offense, and the decision certainly paid big dividends, as Williams finished the game with an impressive 234 yards passing with three touchdowns to just one interception.

“I think it was the right move,” said Wyoming head coach, Craig Bohl. “He [Levi] was composed and made a lot of big plays… but for a freshman and really any quarterback I thought he played with great poise and composure.”

That of course was to be outdone by running back Xazavian Valladay. The redshirt sophomore and do-it-all workhorse, would arguably have the biggest day for the Cowboys, rushing for 204 yards and a touchdown, to go along with his 91 yards receiving and touchdown through the air as well.

Nova Home Loan Bowl 2019 between Wyoming vs Georgia State on Tuesday December 31, 2019. (Photo by John Hays)

Together the two capped a terrific season for the Cowboys in which they ended the year with not only their eighth win of the year, but more importantly the first bowl win since 2017, with a win in the Arizona Nova Home Loans Bowl.

Following the win, senior safety Alijah Halliburton was full of emotions, capping not only a terrific senior season, but a fantastic career in Laramie. “I’m just like happy, excited, sad, it’s just all over the place,” he said. “It’s my last game, but it was just such a big game.”

For the Cowboys, it’s a big step in the right direction, especially for a program that went 2-10 just a few seasons ago. And for the third time in the last four years, Wyoming has gone bowling.

Nova Home Loan Bowl 2019 between Wyoming vs Georgia State on Tuesday December 31, 2019. (Photo by John Hays)

“This program just flipped,” Halliburton said. “Coming in 2-10… I could just tell from the other seniors and the others players, they wanted to change, they wanted to get better, they wanted to get wins.”

However, the win wouldn’t come easy at first as Georgia State would start this game strong! Opening the game on a six-play, 75-yard drive, the Panthers would take the 7-0 lead early with just over two minutes into the game after a Dan Ellington rushing touchdown from four-yards out. Unfortunately for them, that was about the best thing the Panthers did all day.

Wyoming would respond quickly, connecting on a 53-yard, Cooper Rothe field goal with 9:01 to go in the first quarter to pull the Cowboys within four.

Just a few series later, they would gain the lead at 10-7 after a Williams would connect with Austin Conway from 18-yards out with 2:12 to go in the first, and from there Wyoming wouldn’t look back, cruising to a commanding 24-10 halftime lead.

Nova Home Loan Bowl 2019 between Wyoming vs Georgia State on Tuesday December 31, 2019. (Photo by John Hays)

Georgia State would put up a bit more of a fight in the second half, but it was too little too late as they ultimately fell sort in this one.

Wyoming would score early in the second half, extending their lead to 31-10 before the Panthers would find the endzone again, but that would be the last time they scored in this one.

Despite playing on a torn ACL, Ellington would finish his day with 156 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception to go along with his 70 yards rushing with a touchdown.

Nova Home Loan Bowl 2019 between Wyoming vs Georgia State on Tuesday December 31, 2019. (Photo by John Hays)

For Wyoming, they end the year at 8-5 and have a bright future with some young players, while Georgia State will look to rebound and finally get over the hump and continue to build their program.

Panthers head coach Shawn Elliott is certainly optimistic about it all. “We have some of the biggest wins in school history, and you go 5-1 at home, I mean there’s a lot of firsts that we’ve done here,” he said. “So people are taking notice of Georgia State.”

Cal strong arms Illinois in the Redbox Bowl

Santa Clara, CA - DECEMBER 30: California Golden Bears running back Christopher Brown Jr. (34) runs the ball for a gain. during the REDBOX Bowl game between the California Bears against the Illinois Fighting Illini on December 30, 2019, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.(Photo by Jordon Kelly)

Santa Clara, CA – Cal’s big three overcame a slow start to grind out a big win at Levi’s Stadium in the Redbox Bowl over Illinois 35-20.

California Golden Bears quarterback Chase Garbers (7) looks to throw the ball during the REDBOX Bowl on December 30, 2019, at Levi’s Stadium (Photo by Jordon Kelly)

Cal’s quarterback Chase Garbers (7) strong arm found 9 different receivers while throwing for 272 with 4 touchdowns. Makai Polk (17) was his main target when he needed a big play on 3rd down or just a chunk of yards.

Polk caught 5 passes for 105 yards, with huge sideline catch when he reached for the endzone to be called out of bounds at the 1 yard line. Garbers on the next play rushed in for 1 yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown 14-10. The Cal Bears never trailed for the remainder of the game.

The Illinois defense had to keep honest and defend both the pass and run cause Cal running back Christopher Brown Jr. (34) bruised them for 120 yards on 20 carries. Brown also caught 3 passes for 17 more yards and a touchdown catch.  

California Golden Bears running back Christopher Brown Jr. (34) runs the ball for a gain. during the REDBOX Bowl game on December 30, 2019. (Photo by Jordon Kelly)

“It went a lot better today than last year,” Garbers said. “It just speaks to the guys in our offensive room and the team and how hard we work. We knew playing Illinois there would be shots we needed to take. You just have to execute those shot plays.”

Mistake free football will always bring home a victory, Cal piled on 14 more points in the second half.

Illinois kept battling back but just wasn’t able to score enough to regain a lead.

Illinois Fighting Illini running back Reggie Corbin (2) runs the ball during the REDBOX Bowl game on December 30, 2019, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.(Photo by Jordon Kelly)

“I thought it was an ultimate team win,” said Cal coach Justin Wilcox. “Guys made contested catches today.”

Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters (18) completed 22/37 pass for 273 yards with a touchdown and 1 interception for a strong performance. But once they trailed they started to go away from the running game to catch up which is not their biggest strength.

Illinois Fighting Illini running back Dre Brown (25) runs the ball during the REDBOX Bowl on December 30, 2019, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.(Photo by Jordon Kelly)

Now Cal will take this young squad and getting ready to battle next year in the PAC-12 with almost the whole offense coming back.

An untimed game winning Field Goal propels Western Kentucky over Western Michigan in First Responder Bowl

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers face off against the Broncos of Western Michigan in the 2019 Servpro First Responders Bowl. Photo by Evan Luecke

Monday marked the tenth SERVPRO First Responder Bowl featuring the sixteenth meeting all-time between Western Kentucky and Western Michigan.

It’s a matchup the college football world hadn’t seen since November 1st, 1947, and I can assure that out of the sixteen meetings, Monday’s became the most controversial in the Hilltoppers 23-20 win over the Broncos.

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers face off against the Broncos of Western Michigan in the 2019 Servpro First Responders Bowl. Photo by Evan Luecke

With three seconds remaining in regulation, whistles blew the play dead, and referee Jeremy Parker originally announced there was no illegal substitution flag on Western Michigan. After announced, the Hilltoppers looked like they were attempting a 57-yard field goal, only to bring the offense back out.

On the snap, Western Kentucky quarterback, Ty Storey, launched a Hail Mary to the end zone that fell incomplete. However, officials went to replay to discover the Western Michigan Broncos had too many men on the field. The yardage got knocked off, and regulation continued on an untimed down. Therefore, the Hilltoppers brought out freshman kicker Cory Munson, whose longest field goal of the year was 48 yards to attempt a 52-yard field goal. Munson knocked it through perfectly as first-year head coach Tyson Helton and his team celebrated a bowl victory.

“We knew we could make the kick when we say they had 12 men on the field and might get penalized.” Helton said after the game. “I wanted our true freshman Cory Munson to get a chance to kick it, and he did.”

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers face off against the Broncos of Western Michigan in the 2019 Servpro First Responders Bowl. Photo by Evan Luecke

The hero, Cory Muson, talked after the game about the strange and magical series of events. “It was pretty crazy. I was off and on, off and on thinking I was going out there kicking it. I was just staying calm, breathing; people were talking to me saying you got this. Next thing I knew [the ball] was up there.”

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers face off against the Broncos of Western Michigan in the 2019 Servpro First Responders Bowl. Photo by Evan Luecke

Storey finished the day completing 35 of 51 passes with 358 yards. Storey’s fifty-one passes became a season-high along with two touchdown passes and two interceptions. One of those interceptions was a late first-half pick-six by Western Michigan senior, Kareem Ali, that went for 88 yards, the longest in Western Michigan history for a bowl game.  The pick-six tied the game at ten at the break, putting a damper on a dominated second quarter in which the Hilltoppers outgained the Broncos 241-27.

Western Kentucky received production out of their primary wide receiver, Lucky Jackson, on Monday. Storey targeted Jackson twenty-two times, which he caught seventeen passes for 148 yards and a touchdown. Monday marked the fourth straight win for Western Kentucky, a program that won three games a year ago.

“We went out with a bang.” Redshirt Senior Lucky Jackson said after the game. “We stuck together throughout this season. This season has been a testament for this brotherhood that we are creating and this bond we had, sticking together through adversity and tough situations.”

For the Western Michigan Broncos, their top stud running back LeVante Bellamy (top-ranked running back in the MAC conference for the 2020 NFL draft) could not get going for the first three quarters. Bellamy rushed for thirty-three yards through three quarters and finished the day with sixty rushing yards.

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers face off against the Broncos of Western Michigan in the 2019 Servpro First Responders Bowl. Photo by Evan Luecke

It was the lowest rushing total since September 7th at Michigan State (44). Also, Broncos quarterback Jon Wassink completed just over fifty percent of his passes despite completing a solid fourth quarter, completing seven of ten throws.

Western Kentucky’s win celebrates their eighth bowl win in school history, and their fourth bowl win in six years. On the downside, Monday’s bowl loss marks a string of nine losses in ten bowl appearances for the Western Michigan Broncos.

Clemson drops the last haymaker to advance to Championship

Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) makes a move in the open field during the CFP Semifinal between Clemson vs Ohio State at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale Arizona on Saturday December 28, 2019. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

Glendale, AZ – The No. 3 Clemson Tigers have taken every opponents best shot all year as the defending National Champions. In tonight’s CFP semifinal Fiesta Bowl grudge match verse No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes it was just that another heavy weight match. With the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ the champs showed why they are still on top.

Clemson Tigers running back Travis Etienne (9) breaks away for a touchdown during the CFP Semifinal between Clemson vs Ohio State at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale Arizona on Saturday December 28, 2019. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

Clemson free safety Nolan Turner (24) secured the victory intercepting a Justin Fields (1) pass on 2nd and 7 from 23 yard line leaving on :37 seconds on the clock. The Tigers came out for a last play running victory formation to run out the clock and punch their ticket to New Orleans for 2020 National Championship game.

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) tossed 34 yard go ahead touchdown pass to running back Travis Etienne (9) that would seal a 29-23 victory over Ohio State.

“There was never one second that I did not think we were not going to win the game,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, “It is just the DNA. It is our program. It’s not just this season. That’s just how we’re built.”

Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) lifts the trophy during the CFP Semifinal between Clemson vs Ohio State at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale Arizona on Saturday December 28, 2019. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

This come from behind victory showed the heart of this team. After trailing 16-0 in the second quarter the Tigers never stopped fighting. Lawrence being sacked 3 times and smacked around a bunch didn’t stop him from scoring 3 touchdowns (2 pass, 1 rush). He threw for 259 yards, rushed for 132 yards keeping the Buckeyes on their toes.     

Etienne carried the load on the ground and beating Ohio State linebackers in the passing game for two receiving touchdowns.

The Buckeyes lead by Fields who threw for 30/46 for 320 yards and a touchdown gave the Tigers almost too much to handle.

Ohio State Buckeyes running back J.K. Dobbins (2) runs down the sideline during the CFP Semifinal between Clemson vs Ohio State at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale Arizona on Saturday December 28, 2019. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

Ohio State running back made his presences felt rushing for 177 yards on 18 carries and catching 6 pass for 54 yards. What is even more impressive is how he gutted it out with in game ankle sprain in the first half. He would not let anything keep him from trying to push his team to victory. He sported a tight wrapped black spat on left ankle for the remainder of the game.

So when the Buckeyes look back at the film on Sunday, a big thing will be their inability to score touchdowns in the redzone in first half that could have made a hole that even bigger for the Tigers. The 16-14 halftime lead was not enough to stop the Tigers comeback.

Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young (2) gets off the line during the CFP Semifinal between Clemson vs Ohio State at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale Arizona on Saturday December 28, 2019. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

“I just know when two great teams get together, it comes down to a few plays, and it did again tonight,” said Ohio State coach Ryan Day, “Clemson, give them credit. They have a really good team, and the defending national champs. They do a great job.”

So the Clemson Tigers will have the opportunity next Monday January 11th, 2020 to defend their crown one last time against No. 1 LSU Tigers in the Championship.   

Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney during the CFP Semifinal between Clemson vs Ohio State at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale Arizona on Saturday December 28, 2019. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

LSU defeated No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners 63 – 28 in the other CFP semifinal match up.

Notre Dame shuts down Iowa State in Camping World Bowl

Notre Dame players celebrate their victory at the conclusion of Camping World Bowl in Orlando FL on Decebmer 28, 2019 (Photo by Laura Domingue/ fi360 News).

ORLANDO, FL – A crowd of 46,948 — the highest for the bowl since 2016 — gathered on a humid, rainy Saturday in Orlando to watch the No. 15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-2) defeat the Iowa State Cyclones (7-5, 5-4 Big 12) 33-9 in the 30th annual Camping World Bowl.

Notre Dame Chase Claypool (83) gets pushed out of bounds in first half of Camping World Bowl in Orlando FL on December 28, 2019 (Photo by Laura Domingue/ fi360 News).

In the first-ever matchup between the two teams, the Irish — who notched back-to-back 11-2 seasons, the first time for the team since 1988-89 — were able to hold Iowa State to just nine points without a single touchdown. Notre Dame’s offensive combo of quarterback Ian Book (20-28, 247 yds and 1 TD pass) and game MVP wide reciever Chase Claypool (7 recs,146 yds, and 1 TD) proved to be too much for Iowa State’s defense.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly entered the game with three wins over ranked teams by 25 points or more — behind only Lou Holtz and Frank Leahy among Notre Dame head coaches.

“I’m just so proud of our football team, our staff and coaches,” Kelly said. “2019 will be one that I will always remember for a group of guys who just loved to play the game. They had such a strong brotherhood — they did not listen to what the naysayers had to say about them. All they cared about was playing the game.”

Iowa State Breece Hall (28) makes a cut to avoid Notre Dame TaRig Bracy (28) during first half of Camping World Bowl in Orlando FL on December 28, 2019 (Photo by Laura Domingue/ fi360 News).

Iowa State, who has an all-time record of 4-11 in bowl games, came out of the locker room swinging, holding Notre Dame to a three-and-out on the first drive, but a fumble by Iowa State’s Milton Tarique on the ensuing punt gave possession back to Notre Dame.

The following Notre Dame drive put the Irish on the board first with a field goal.

Again, Iowa State came out swinging, with a 23-yard rush by running back Breece Hall (17 carries, with a net gain of 55 yards), but with another first-quarter fumble on a sack by Iowa quarterback Brock Purdy (17-30, 222 yards, 3 sacks) the Cyclones were unable to make anything happen in the first quarter.

A 24-yard touchdown pass to Claypool put Notre Dame up 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, and the Cycles were not able to recover.

Missed opportunities in the second quarter, including a just-out-of-his-fingertips missed catch by wide receiver La’Michael Pettway, kept the Cyclones from wresting momentum back from Notre Dame.

The skies opened shortly before halftime, and wet conditions dampened Iowa State’s hopes of heading into the offseason with a bowl win.

On their first possession in the third quarter, Notre Dame running back Tony Jones Jr. (11 carries for a gain of 135 yds) broke the Camping World Bowl record for longest run with an 84-yard touchdown run, surpassing Baylor’s running back Johnny Jefferson, who had an 80-yard run in 2015 against North Carolina.

Notre Dame Chase Claypool (83) leaps for catch in first half of Camping World Bowl in Orlando FL on December 28, 2019 (Photo by Laura Domingue/ fi360 News).

Though the Cyclones had 139 fourth-quarter points this season — the third-most in the FBS — they were held scoreless in the fourth quarter. A failed 4th-and-1 attempt, ending in a sack by Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owasu-Koromoah (7 tackles, 3 sacks for a loss of 20 yds), gave Notre Dame possession back with 8:44 left in the game, sealing the deal for Iowa State.

Notre Dame’s Claypool was named the game MVP in his final game with the team. Claypool also surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the season.

“For a long time, something like this was a dream,” Claypool said. “It’s something that was a dream that couldn’t be reached, but I hope that I’m a living example of someone who, you just keep on dreaming and it will come true.”

The Iowa Hawkeyes secure the Holiday Bowl in win over USC

2019 Holiday Bowl between USC Trojans vs Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday December 27, 2019. (Photo by Jordon Kelly / fi360 news)

SAN DIEGO, CA —  No. 16 Iowa (10-3, 6-3 Big Ten) defeats No. 22 USC (8-5, 7-2 Pac 12), 49-24 during their first Holiday Bowl appearance since 1991 on Friday night at SDCCU Stadium. 

2019 Holiday Bowl between USC Trojans vs Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday December 27, 2019. (Photo by Jordon Kelly / fi360 news)

With 50,123 people in attendance at the 42nd-annual San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl, the Iowa Hawkeyes took control of the Trojans defense to take an early lead. 

During Iowa’s opening drive senior quarterback Nate Stanley, completed a pass to wide receiver Nico Ragaini for 30 yards that put the Hawkeyes in USC territory. 

On the very next play, wide receiver Tyrone Tracy took a reverse handoff and rushed 23 yards into the endzone. Iowa’s offense was able to move the chains efficiently and spread the ball around well enough to strike first on the scoreboard. 

2019 Holiday Bowl between USC Trojans vs Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday December 27, 2019. (Photo by Jordon Kelly / fi360 news)

Iowa commanded the momentum of the game for a brief moment until USC struck back. 

On the Trojans’ opening drive true freshman quarterback, Kedon Slovis was able to find wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown for a 30-yard completion to convert on third down. 

A few plays later Slovis finds freshman wide receiver Drake London for a 4-yard receiving touchdown. This was London’s fifth touchdown of the season and the Trojans answered right back with a score. 

There were a few momentum changes throughout the first half with back-to-back scores on both sides. 

2019 Holiday Bowl between USC Trojans vs Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday December 27, 2019. (Photo by Jordon Kelly / fi360 news)

Although the Hawkeyes took a 28-17 lead at halftime, the Trojans were still in it. 

The Trojans began the second half with the football after the Hawkeyes won the coin toss and opted to receive the ball to begin the game. 

During the drive Slovis finds wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown again but this time for a 55-yard pass completion to set up first and goal for the Trojans. 

2019 Holiday Bowl between USC Trojans vs Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday December 27, 2019. (Photo by Jordon Kelly / fi360 news)

On the ensuing play USC running back Stephan Carr rushes it 3-yards for the go-ahead score decreasing the Hawkeyes lead 28-24. That scoring drive only took four plays and 1:31. 

Following the score, USC surprises Iowa with an onside kick, which they recovered to put their offense back on the field. As fans began to roar and jump out of their seats, the Trojans were ready to take control and earn their first lead of the night. 

Unfortunately, the Trojans could not execute during that following drive and their offense went three and out. 

The Hawkeye defense stood their ground and put the ball back into the hands of their offense. 

2019 Holiday Bowl between USC Trojans vs Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday December 27, 2019. (Photo by Jordon Kelly / fi360 news)

“You don’t ask who started the fire, you just put it out,” Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa said when asked about the surprise onside kick and ensuing drive. “That’s our mentality on the field no matter where we’re at. Play your hardest. The goal is three-and-out. We want to get the offense back on the field to score points.”

The Trojan offense also went downhill after quarterback Kedon Slovis, who threw two touchdown passes, was knocked out of the game with an injured right elbow. 

Iowa took control of the momentum and never let it go. 

Iowa quarterback, Nate Stanley remained solid for the Hawkeyes as he threw for 213 yards and two touchdowns. He is also just the second Iowa quarterback to be 3-0 in bowl games after this victory. 

“Extremely special,” Stanley said after being asked what it meant to be 3-0 in bowl games. “Just goes to show the work that this team has put in. 3-0 in those bowl games wouldn’t happen without my teammates, especially the defense.” 

2019 Holiday Bowl between USC Trojans vs Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday December 27, 2019. (Photo by Jordon Kelly / fi360 news)

Another Iowa player who showed out tonight was wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette who scored on a 6-yard run, a 98-yard kickoff return (tied Holiday Bowl record) and a 12-yard reception — all in the second quarter.

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