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January 4, 2014

Opponent bowls in review

Michigan (7-6): 31-14 L vs. Kansas State (Dec. 28 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl)
Michigan relinquished the all-time winning percentage lead to Notre Dame with its loss to the Wildcats. The Wolverines trailed 31-6 before a last-minute touchdown and two-point conversion

Playing without quarterback Devin Gardner due to injury, Michigan relied on freshman Shane Morris in his first career start. Morris never found the end zone, but did complete 24-of-38 for 196 yards and added 43 rushing yards.


Michigan State (13-1): W 24-20 vs. No. 5 Stanford (Jan. 1 Rose Bowl)
Thanks to No. 4 Michigan State’s win, Notre Dame defeated two consecutive Rose Bowl champions. The Irish topped Stanford in 2012.

After falling behind 10-0, quarterback Connor Cook led the Spartans to four of the game’s next five scores. Cook finished with 332 passing yards and two touchdowns. The heralded Michigan State defense stopped Stanford cold in its tracks on its final drive. Cardinal running back Tyler Gaffney gained one yard on a 3rd-and-2 before fullback Ryan Hewitt was stopped for no gain on 4th-and-1.


Oklahoma (11-2): W 45-31 vs. No. 3 Alabama (Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl)
A two-touchdown underdog, No. 11 Oklahoma inverted that with its late-night upset, thanks in large part to its 17-point second quarter, which led to a 31-17 halftime lead. Quarterback Trevor Knight -- an on-again, off-again starter this season -- finished with four touchdowns and 348 yards on 32-of-44 passing.

Receiver Jalen Saunders pulled in two of Knight’s touchdown passes, including a 43-yarder in the second quarter, but the Crimson Tide remained within one score and had the ball with 56 seconds remaining. Sooners defensive end Eric Striker forced an A.J. McCarron fumble and Geneo Grissom scooped it up and scored from eight yards out to provide the winning margin.


Arizona State (10-4): L 37-23 vs. Texas Tech (Dec. 30 Holiday Bowl)
No. 14 Arizona State trailed 27-6 halfway through the second quarter, and by then it was too little, too late. Without running back Marion Grice, quarterback Taylor Kelly took on most of the Sun Devils’ offensive responsibilities, rushing for 135 yards and passing for 125 more.

As good as Kelly was, Texas Tech’s Davis Webb was better, completing 28-of-41 passes for 403 yards and four touchdowns.


USC (10-4): W 45-20 vs. No. 20 Fresno State (Dec. 21 Las Vegas Bowl)
No. 25 USC finished the season by winning six of its last seven games. The Trojans raced to a 35-6 halftime lead before easing off the throttle against the Bulldogs.

In his last collegiate game, receiver Marqise Lee caught seven passes for 118 yards and two of Cody Kessler’s four touchdowns.


Navy (8-4): W 24-6 vs. Middle Tennessee State (Dec. 30 Armed Forces Bowl)
Navy led wire-to-wire as Keenan Reynolds added two rushing touchdowns to his 39 total for the season. The Midshipmen gained only 19 yards through the air, compared to 366 rushing yards with nine different ball carriers gaining double-digit yardage.


Pittsburgh (7-6): W 30-27 vs. Bowling Green (Dec. 26 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl)
The Panthers needed a field goal from Chris Blewitt with 1:17 left to break the tie. That tie likely never would have occurred without a 54-yard punt return by Tyler Boyd in the second quarter.

Boyd finished the day with 173 receiving yards as both Tom Savage and Chad Voytik threw for more than 100 yards.


BYU (8-5): L 31-16 vs. Washington (Dec. 27 Fight Hunger Bowl)
Of the three times BYU entered the red zone in the first half, two resulted in field goals, preventing the Cougars from keeping pace with Washington. Quarterback Taysom Hill finished with 293 passing yards and 133 rushing yards, accounting for 79 of BYU’s plays.


Stanford (11-3): L 24-20 vs. No. 4 Michigan State (Jan. 1 Rose Bowl)
Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan’s efficient 10-of-18 passing for 143 yards was largely offset by an interception, Stanford’s lone turnover. Running back Tyler Gaffney recorded his lowest rushing total since the first week of October with only 91 yards and a 3.8-yard average. Gaffney extended his scoring streak to 10 games. He found the end zone in 13 of 14 games.

Note: Temple, Purdue and Air Force finished with losing records in the 2013 season and did not participate in a bowl game.


 






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