The 2015 regular season is over. The stage has been set for the playoff and for the 38 other bowls. (Yep, 38.) Let’s take one more look at the conference championships and the 8 other games from the past two weekends.
How I Fared: (6-2 this week, 64-39 overall) 62% for the regular season and conference championships
SEC Championship: 2Alabama 29 18Florida 15:
-Florida had a 7-2 lead early in second quarter after a huge 85-yard punt return TD from Antonio Callaway, but the Tide scored the next 27 points to secure the win. There were some amazing catches in this game, and 3 of the biggest came at the same spot on the field. Florida’s offense did virtually nothing until the 4th quarter. The Gators had 3 first downs in the first 15:20 of the game and didn’t get another until the 4th quarter. Jake Coker threw 2TDs for the Tide, but Derrick Henry was the star again, carrying the ball 44 times for 189 yards and a score. Alabama had the ball for 43:29 in this game and outgained the Gators 437-180 in total offensive yards. There was some amazing punting in this game too. This was a fun game to be at and my dad and I had a great time in Atlanta.
-Congrats to Derrick Henry for winning the Heisman Trophy!
Big 10 Championship: 5Michigan State 26 4Iowa13:
-Michigan State put together one of the best drives ever to edge Iowa out of the playoffs. The first TD of the game came on the first play of the 4th quarter when CJ Beathard hit Tevaun Smith for an 85-yard score. This gave Iowa a 13-9 lead. The two teams traded punts, and then the Michigan State magic started. Sparty marched 82 yards in 22 plays for a 9:04 TD drive. LJ Scott extended the ball over the goal line with 27 seconds left. Iowa was left with no timeouts and it was just too far to go. This ended the Hawkeye’s undefeated season and their playoff hopes. Michigan State kicker Michael Geiger was 3/5 on FGs. What a game.
Pac 12 Championship: 7Stanford 41 20USC 22:
-The Stanford offense put on a show in this one. Kevin Hogan threw a TD, rushed for a TD, and caught a TD. He wasn’t the only Stanford player to accomplish that feat in this game. Christian McCaffrey (who else?) threw a TD, had 105 receiving yards and a TD, and also rushed 32 times for 207 yards and a TD. McCaffrey ended the game with 461 all-purpose yards and broke the record for all-purpose yards in a single season. Cody Kessler threw a TD and rushed for another and helped USC to a 16-13 lead with about 5 and a half minutes left in the 3rd quarter, but Stanford scored twice in those 5 minutes to help swing the momentum. Stanford dominated the end of the 3rd quarter and the 4th quarter to get them a trip to the Rose bowl.
-Texas pulled a big upset by going to Waco and beating Baylor 23-17. Tyrone Swoopes threw a TD and rushed for another for Texas and kicker Nick Rose was 3/4 on FGs. Baylor lost Chris Johnson to a hard hit and had to bring in the 4th string QB. Lynx Hawthorne threw 2INTs and also rushed for a score. Johnny Jefferson rushed for 158 yards and a score for the Bears as well. The Baylor kickers were 1/3 on FGs. Baylor turned the ball over 4 times in this game. Texas will finish the season 5-7, but with wins over Oklahoma and Baylor.
-Kansas State needed one more win to become bowl eligible, and they were able to rally to get it. KSU edged West Virginia 24-23. Kody Cook threw a TD and rushed for another after QB Josh Hubener was injured. Deante Burto had 5 receptions for 135 yards and a score for the Wildcats. The go-ahead TD came on a Morgan Burns 97-yards kick return early in the 4th quarter. For the Mountaineers, Skyler Howard threw a TD to Jovon Durante and Wendell Smallwood rushed for 141 yards and a score. Kicker Josh Lambert was 3/4 for FGs. West Virginia outgained Kansas State 447-304 in yards.
ACC Championship: 1Clemson 45 10North Carolina 37:
-I switched to the Big 10 Champ game midway through the 3rd quarter of this game because I was sure Clemson would win. The Tigers went up 35-16 and took a 42-23 lead early in the 4th quarter. The Tar Heels didn’t give up and should’ve had a chance to tie this game. There was an awful call on UNC’s onside kick attempt. Clearly no one was offsides, and UNC had recovered the ball. Maybe SEC refs aren’t the worst in the country. Deshaun Watson threw 3TDs and rushed for 131 yards 2TDs. Wayne Gallman rushed for 187 yards and a score and caught a TD for Clemson as well. Marquise Williams threw 3TDs and rushed for a score for UNC. Ryan Switzer caught 2TDs and Elijah Hood also rushed for a score. Clemson outgained UNC 608-382 in offensive yards. Clemson is now the only undefeated team in the country.
-Navy beat Army 21-17 in a great game. Army came out strong and went into halftime with a 17-14 lead. Keenan Reynolds threw a TD to Jamir Tillman, but he rushed for 136 yards and 2TDs to become the career rushing TD leader in Division I football (FBS and FCS) with 85. Army QB Chris Carter had a great game, going 9/15 for 208 yards and a TD to Edgar Poe. Tyler Campbell rushed for a TD for the Black Knights as well. Turnovers hurt Army late, throwing 2INTs and fumbling on 3 consecutive possessions in the 4th quarter. Army actually outgained Navy 345-312 in yards. This is the 14th straight year that Navy has beat Army.
American Championship: 19Houston 24 22Temple 13:
-Houston started this game by scoring 17 straight points. Temple’s offense could not get going in this game. Greg Ward Jr. rushed for 148 yards and 2TDs and Javin Webb rushed for another. PJ Walker threw a TD to Robby Anderson and kicker Austin Jones was 2/2 on FGs. This win means Houston will represent the Group of 5 conferences in a New Year’s 6 Bowl game. They will face Florida State in the Peach Bowl.
Mountain West Championship: San Diego State 27 Air Force 24:
-There were 4 ties in this game and SDSU’s first lead didn’t come until the 4th quarter. Christian Chapman threw a TD to Donnel Pumphrey and Dakota Gordon and Rashaad Penny each rushed for TDs for the Aztecs. Kicker Donny Hageman was 2/2 on FGs, with the game winner coming from 46 yards out. Timothy McVey rushed for 3TDs for the Falcons and kicker Luke Strebel hit his only FG attempt. Air Force got the ball for the final time with 36 seconds left and they were unable to get into FG range. This was SDSU’s 10th win of the season.
MAC Championship: Bowling Green 34 Northern Illinois 14:
-Northern Illinois had a tough time getting their offense going with their 3rd string QB Tommy Fiedler. He threw a TD to Desroy Maxwell, but also threw 3INTs. Shawn Lurry had a 64-yard pick 6 for the Huskies. Matt Johnson threw 2TDs and 2INTs. Travis Greene rushed for 183 yards and 2TDs and Fred Coppet rushed for another TD. Roger Lewis and Derek Lee each caught TDs for the Falcons. Bowling Green outgained NIU 501-259 in offensive yards. NIU turned the ball over 5 times in this game. Northern Illinois was also just 1-5 on 4th down.
C-USA Championship: Western Kentucky 45 Southern Miss 28:
-I was really happy with my Southern Miss pick until midway through the 3rd quarter. Western Kentucky QB Brandon Doughty had another great game, going 34/52 for 410 yards and 3TDs and rushed for a TD. His only blemish was a pick 6 to Kalan Reed. D’Andre Ferby rushed for 2TDs and Taywan Taylor had 165 receiving yards and 2TDs and Antwane Grant caught a TD as well. USM’s Nick Mullens threw a TD to Michael Thomas but also threw 3INTs. Ito Smith rushed for 105 yards and a score and Jalen Richard also rushed for a TD for the Golden Eagles. Western Kentucky now had 11 wins on the season.
-Georgia State beat Georgia Southern 34-7 to become bowl eligible. The two went into halftime tied at 7, but after that it was all Panthers. Nick Arbuckle threw for 346 yards and 3TDs and Kyler Neal rushed for 2 more scores. The Eagle’s only TD came on a rush by LA Ramsby. Georgia State outgained Georgia Southern 489-203 in total yards. Georgia State has been very good at the end of this season.
-Arkansas State routed Texas State 55-17 to clinch the Sun Belt title. Fredi Knighten threw 2TDs and rushed for another and Michael Gorgon rushed for 148 yards and a score. The Red Wolves rushed for a combined 343 yards and 5TDs. Money Hunter had a 99-yard pick 6 for ASU as well. CJ Best and Nick Bingham each rushed for TDs for the Bobcats. Texas State turned the ball over 3 times in this game. This win gives Arkansas State a perfect 8-0 Sun Belt record for the season.
-ULM got their second win of the season by beating New Mexico State 42-35. Earnest Carrington threw 2TDs and 2INTs and Brian Williams was 4/8 for 3TDs. Trey Caldwell also had a 40-yard pick 6 early in the 4th quarter that would turn out to be the last score of the game. Andrew Allen threw 2TDs to Jordan Bergstrom and also threw 2INTs. Larry Rose III also rushed for 2TDs for the Aggies. These two teams combined for 7 turnovers. ULM scored 21 quick points in the 3rd quarter to keep them in the game.
-Troy smashed Louisiana-Lafayette 41-17. Brandon Silvers threw 4TDs, two of which went to Teddy Ruben who had 131 receiving yards. Brandon Burks rushed for 118 yards and caught a TD and Jarvis Bentley also caught a TD. Demetrius Cain had a 17-yard fumble recovery TD as well for the Trojans. Jordan Davis threw a TD to Elijah McGuire who also rushed for a TD. The Ragin’ Cajuns turned the ball over 4 times in this game.
-Appalachian State edged out South Alabama 34-27 to get their 10th win of the season. South Alabama needed to win this game to become bowl eligible, but turned the ball over on downs after App’s final TD. Taylor Lamb threw 2TDs and an INT and Jalin Moore rushed for 2 scores. Kicker Zach Matics was 2/2 on FGs, one from 51 yards and the other from 50. Cody Clements threw 3INTs for the Jaguars and also rushed for a score. Gerald Everett rushed 3 times for 4 yards and 2TDs. Kicker Aleem Sunanon was 2/2 on FGs as well. Appalachian State overcame 3 fumbles to win this game.
Stats and Scores from ESPN.com