Bowl season wraps up with flurry of action across Texas


The Holidays are nirvana for many college football fans, with seemingly endless bowls spanning more than three weeks. 

In all, 12 bowl games either took place in Texas or involved Texas-based teams. 

Alabama and Georgia will meet for the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 8. at 8 p.m., but here’s a look at all the other games that have some connection to the Lone Star State: 

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

No. 5 Ohio State 24, No. 8 USC 7

Ohio State felt snubbed from the College Football Playoff, and put on a first half show in its 24-7 win against USC in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29. The Buckeyes and Trojans scored all their points in the first half as USC turned the ball over three times. J.T. Barrett — a native of Wichita Falls — broke Drew Brees' Big Ten career record for total offense with 12,697 yards after throwing for 114 yards and rushing for 66 yards and two touchdowns. 


Hyundai Sun Bowl

No. 24 NC State 52, Arizona State 31

North Carolina State had six rushing touchdowns to dominate Arizona State 52-31 in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 29. The Wolfpack rushing attack was led by Nyheim Hines with 72 yards and three touchdowns. Reggie Gallaspy II had 70 yards and two touchdowns and Jaylen Samuels ran for one touchdown. The two teams combined to score 42 points in the fourth quarter, a new Sun Bowl record. 


Belk Bowl

Wake Forest 55, Texas A&M 52

Texas A&M and Wake Forest combined for 1,260 yards and 107 points, tied for the fourth-highest scoring game in college bowl history, and the Demon Deacons beat the Aggies 55-52 in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29. Nick Starkel threw for 499 yards and four touchdowns and Christian Kirk caught 13 passes for 189 yards for A&M. The Jimbo Fisher era begins in College Station when the Aggies host Northwestern State on Sept. 1. 


Valero Alamo Bowl

No. 15 TCU 39, No. 13 Stanford 37

The last two times TCU has appeared in the Alamo Bowl, the Horned Frogs have come from behind to win. In 2015, it was a 31-point deficit and on Dec. 28, they rallied from a 21-3 deficit to beat Stanford 39-37. TCU quarterback Kenny Hill finished with 314 yards and two touchdowns through the air, including a 93-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. Heisman finalist Bryce Love ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns, most of which came on a 69-yard scamper in the second quarter. 


Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl

Texas 33, Missouri 16

Texas finished with a winning record for the first time since 2013 after beating Missouri 33-16 in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 27. Freshman Daniel Young had 64 yards and a touchdown through the air and led the rushing attack with 48 yards. Sam Ehlinger threw for 112 yards and a touchdown and Shane Buechele added 55 passing yards and a touchdown. Drew Lock — who led the nation with 44 touchdowns in the regular season — had 269 passing yards and one touchdown.


Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl

Utah 30, West Virginia 14

Utah picked up its 11th postseason win in the last 12 games with a 30-14 win against a depleted West Virginia team on Dec. 26. Utes running back Zach Moss ran for 150 yards and one touchdown while quarterback Tyler Huntley had two touchdowns. The Mountaineers were without starting quarterback Will Grier and running back Justin Crawford. David Sills V, who led the nation with 18 touchdown receptions during the regular season, didn’t catch a pass.


Hawai'i Bowl

Fresno State 33, Houston 27

Houston couldn’t head into Christmas with a win, losing to Fresno State 33-27 in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve. Bulldogs quarterback Marcus McMaryion threw for a career-best 342 yards and tied the Hawaii bowl record for completions with 33. The Cougars snapped a streak of eight seasons with at least eights wins. Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver scored a touchdown on his first career carry. D'Eriq King threw for 269 yards and a touchdown for Houston. 


Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

Army 42, San Diego State 35

Rashaad Penny had one of the best games in bowl history, but San Diego State lost to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 23. Penny, who finished with a school-record 2,248 rushing yards this season, had his fifth straight game with at least 200 yards, rushing for 221 yards and four touchdowns. Army ran the ball 87 times for 440 yards and attempted just four passes. The Black Knights finished with 10 wins for the first time since 1996. 


Birmingham Bowl

South Florida 38, Texas Tech 34 

South Florida scored on a 26-yard touchdown pass with 16 seconds left to cap off a 21-point fourth quarter to beat Texas Tech on Dec. 23. The Red Raiders took the lead with just over a minute to play, but couldn’t hold on. In a battle of high-flying offenses, South Florida out-gained Texas Tech in yards 561-549. Texas Tech quarterback Nic Shimonek threw for 416 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. 


DXL Frisco Bowl

Louisiana Tech 51, SMU 10

Louisiana Tech took advantage of six SMU turnovers to beat the Mustangs 51-10 in a lopsided Frisco Bowl on Dec. 21. Mustangs’ quarterback Ben Hicks threw for 127 yards and one touchdowns while Courtland Sutton caught six passes for 68 yards. Trey Quinn caught SMU's lone touchdown late in the second quarter. It was the worst bowl loss for SMU since it lost to Alabama 28-7 in the 1983 Sun Bowl.


R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Troy 50, North Texas 30

Senior quarterback Mason Fine threw for 303 yards and three touchdowns, but North Texas fell to Troy 50-30 in the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 16. Fine finished the year with 4,052 yards and 31 passing touchdowns, both school records at North Texas. With leading rusher Jeffery Wilson out with an injury, the Mean Green finished with minus-eight yards rushing. North Texas opens 2018 at home on Sept. 1 against SMU.