For all you passionate fans, you big-time stats guys, you BTSG's. Here are some notes, nuggets and tidbits of all things from the Southeastern Conference bowl games. Impress your friends it's time to kickoff!
In what was one of the more incredible games of the season, Texas A&M who once trailed 21-3 and 38-17 at halftime scored 35 points in the second half and defeated Duke 52-48 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The 21-point comeback was the largest comeback in school history. The previous best was 20 points in a game against Baylor in 1958. The win marked the first time that the Aggies won a bowl game in three straight seasons.
Johnny Manziel was incredible as he threw for 382 yards and ran for 73 more. The 455 total yards gave him 9,989 in his career which is the most ever by a player following his sophomore season. Manziel also had four touchdowns passing and added one more rushing. The 52 points should not surprise anyone. In the two seasons under Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M has scored 50 or more points 11 times. In the 12 seasons prior to that the Aggies scored 50 or more points 11 times. Here is a breakdown on points scored in their 26 games under Sumlin.
- 0-10 points: 1 game
- 11-20 points: 2 games
- 21-30 points: 3 games
- 31-40 points: 1 game
- 41-50 points: 8 games
- 51-60 points: 8 games
- 61-70 points: 3 games
Missouri might not have scored 50 like the team I mentioned above, but 41 is not too shabby. Of the 41 points, 24 came in the fourth quarter as the Tigers won a wild one against Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl. The win gave the Tigers 12 wins on the season for just the second time in school history with 2007 being the other. Also, Gary Pinkel won his 102nd game as Mizzou’s head coach to become the school’s all-time leader passing Don Faurot.
One of the stars of the game was running back Henry Josey, who scored three rushing touchdowns in the game including two in the fourth quarter. He finished the season with 16 which is the sixth best by a Missouri player. Josey is one of six players that had three rushing touchdowns in the bowls this season. He was one of two that had less than 15 rushes (Petty being the other.) Here are all six players:
- Henry Josey – Missouri (Cotton Bowl)
- Kapri Bibbs – Colorado State (New Mexico Bowl)
- Orleans Darkwa – Tulane (New Orleans Bowl)
- Storm Johnson – Central Florida (Fiesta Bowl)
- Adam Muema – San Diego State (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl)
- Bryce Petty – Baylor (Fiesta Bowl)
The Bulldogs of Starkville watched Rice score a touchdown first and then dominated the rest of the way in a 44-7 win at the Liberty Bowl. It was the third bowl win for Dan Mullen which is the most by a Mississippi State head coach. As for the team, they have now won at least seven games in a season four seasons in a row for just the third time ever. The 44 points was the second highest by a Mississippi State team in a bowl game (on Jan. 1, 2011, Mississippi State scored 52 in the Gator Bowl against Michigan).
Dak Prescott was one of the stars of the game. Prescott passed for 283 yards and rushed for 78. The 78 rushing yards gave him 829 on the season, which is the most by a Bulldogs quarterback. He also had three touchdown passes and two touchdown rushes in the game. Since 2000, there have only been five players that have those touchdown stats in a bowl game.
- Dak Prescott (2013 - Mississippi State)
- Keith Price (2011 – Washington)
- Dan LeFevour (2007 – Central Michigan)
- Zac Robinson (2007 – Oklahoma State)
- Casey Clausen (2001 – Tennessee)
Staying in the Magnolia State, Ole Miss took care of Georgia Tech in the Music City Bowl. It was the sixth straight bowl win for the Rebels. The mark is tied for the longest current streak with Florida State. Ole Miss has also won 10 of its last 11 bowl games.
Bo Wallace ran for two touchdowns and threw another to Donte Moncrief for a score. The defense recorded a safety and also held the Yellow Jackets high-powered rushing offense to just 151 yards on the ground (Georgia Tech came in averaging over 311 rushing yards per game). Offensively, Wallace had 22 completions in the game, which gave him 283 on the season, breaking a school record. Here are the top five:
- Bo Wallace (2013): 283 pass completions
- Eli Manning (2002): 279
- Eli Manning (2003): 275
- Eli Manning (2001): 259
- Bo Wallace (2012): 235
Vanderbilt took a 24-0 halftime lead in the BBVA Compass Bowl against Houston. Then Houston roared back with 24 points of its own in the third quarter. The Commodores regrouped with 17 in the fourth to win 41-24. Vanderbilt has now played in bowls for three straight seasons under James Franklin (it played in just four in its history prior to that). Vanderbilt is also 16-4 in its last 20 games, second to only Alabama in the conference.
Jordan Mathews was named MVP of the game. He had his typical game catching five passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns. For his career he finished with an amazing 262 receptions, 3,759 yards and 24 touchdowns. It was his last two seasons where he started to really dominate. If you look at his junior and senior seasons combined, his first half and second half splits are almost identical except for touchdown receptions. Check out these totals for those combined seasons.
- Receptions: 103 in first half, 103 in second half
- Receiving yards: 1,392 in first half, 1,408 in second half
- TD receptions: 10 in first half, 5 in second half
- 1st down receptions: 54 in first half, 54 in second half
- 25+ yard receptions: 14 in first half, 14 in second half
South Carolina defeated Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl 34-24 which gave the Gamecocks 11 wins on the season. It is the third straight season they have won 11 (which is the highest total in school history). It was also the 16th straight win South Carolina has had over a non-SEC opponent. The Gamecocks have now won seven bowl games in their history with current head coach Steve Spurrier winning more than half of them with four.
Connor Shaw was part of all five touchdowns scored by South Carolina in the game. He threw for three, ran for one and even caught one. Since 2000, only three players have had multi-touchdown passes and had a touchdown run and a touchdown reception in a bowl game. Here are those three players:
- Connor Shaw (South Carolina): 2014 Capital One Bowl vs. Wisconsin
- Chase Clement (Rice): 2008 Texas Bowl vs. Western Michigan
- Joey Harrington (Oregon): 2000 Holiday Bowl vs. Texas
LSU ran the ball 51 times in its 21-14 win over Iowa in the Outback Bowl. Jeremy Hill took control of the game, rushing 28 times for 216 yards and two touchdowns. The Tigers are 40-4 under Les Miles when they have a 100-yard rusher, but this is the first time he has had a 200-yard rusher at LSU. The last 200-yard rusher for LSU was Alley Broussard when he gained 250 yards in 2004 against Ole Miss. It was the eighth most ever by a Tiger player and the third most in a bowl game by LSU. Here are those top three and a breakdown on each:
- Kevin Faulk: 1995 Independence Bowl vs. Michigan State (234 yards) (2 touchdowns)
- Rondell Mealey: 1997 Independence Bowl vs. Notre Dame (222 yards) (2 touchdowns)
- Jeremy Hill: 2014 Outback Bowl vs. Iowa (216 yards) (2 touchdowns)