Friday, 4 January 2013

Sugar and Fiesta Bowl Review

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Louisville 33 - Florida 23

Louisville "shocked the world" and thoroughly deserved to beat the Gators.

So apart from people within the Louisville program, the college football world was shocked to see the Cardinals pull off the upset over Florida in what was a fantastically well executed game plan that left the Gators with no response. If you go back and read my preview (please don't), then you'll laugh at how wrong I was about this Louisville team who out-schemed, outplayed and more importantly wanted to win a lot more than a lacklustre Will Muschamp team. Florida had plenty of opportunity to come back in the game but time and again squandered any momentum they head with bone head coaching decisions and plays (see the not so deceptive onside kick after the half). In my opinion, the Cardinals somehow managed to catch lightning in a bottle and got the rub of the green on many occasions, but I'm not going to take away from what was easily the best performance of the bowl season.

Player of the Game: Teddy Bridgewater. Managed to pick apart the Florida defence with ease and made some terrific throws within a gameplan that had the Gators looking like they were a FCS school.

Players to Watch: As noted, Bridgewater lived up to his billing and put on a stellar performance and outshone my other highlighted player Matt Elam. Elam had a standout performance on defence, delivering 11 bone shuddering tackle, 1 sack and another tackle for a loss, I think he'll be leaving for the NFL come draft time.

Pick: Wrong - 30 point lost. Despite thoroughly enjoying the game, I was super gutted I didn't make those 30 points, this could be the game that costs me the Pick'em title, but there's still more to go yet.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oregon 35 - Kansas State 17

Chip Kellys last game in charge of the Ducks?

Whilst this was a fantastic game to watch for many, it turned out to be less competitive than most had hoped. The Wildcats hung around valiantly for a little while, but in the end the Ducks kept them at arms length and comfortably took the Tostitos crown. Having said that, the game was highly competitive and featured some amazing plays from either side, in particularly De'Anthony Thomas' opening kickoff return for a touchdown which was featured on our Facebook page earlier on. In the end the Wildcats just didn't have the offence to keep up with the high scoring Ducks, in particular Collin Klein's poor throwing ability was highlighted and if it wasn't confirmed already, I don't think we will be seeing up under centre taking snaps at the next level.

Player of the Game: Marcus Mariota. In my preview I mentioned how mature Mariota was for a redshirted freshman and I think that word perfectly describes his performance. In the end, despite only completing 50% of his passes he accounted for 2 TDs with his arm as well as running one in himself.

Players to Watch: As mentioned, Mariota had a very good night and deserved his accolade as player of the game. Klein on the other had suffered a little as playing from behind is not the style of QB he is, and despite having his own rushing touchdown as well as breaking a couple of big ones, he was by-in-large bottled up by the Ducks D.

Pick: Correct - 25 points won. It's getting tight at the top of the Pick'em league as I lie in second place and am 46 points adrift.

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