CI Bowl Game Highlights

It has been an incredibly successful bowl season for the CI family with 13 coaches picking up wins over the last few weeks.

Gators notch first 11-win season since 2012 with Orange Bowl victory
For the second straight year, Florida capped its season with a win in a New Year's Six bowl game. Last Monday night's win over Virginia also marked one of Florida's most impressive offensive performances of the season as the Gators racked up 549 yards of offense, including a season-high 244 yards rushing. RB Lamical Perine was the catalyst for the Florida offense, totaling 181 yards and three touchdowns on 18 touches. Through the air, Florida WR Van Jefferson led all receivers with six catches for 129 yards while TE Kyle Pitts chipped in with three receptions for 39 yards. Defensively, freshman CB Kaiir Elam recorded his third interception of the season when he picked off a UVA pass in the red zone with 5:11 remaining in the fourth quarter to preserve a 33-21 lead for the Gators. Congratulations to Florida TE Coach Larry Scott (@UFCoachLScott) and CB Coach Torrian Gray (@togray14) on the win!

Crimson Tide's passing attack lights up Wolverines for 2020 Citrus Bowl victory
Even without star QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama showed that it is among the nation's best. Making his fourth start of the season, QB Mac Jones completed 16-of-25 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns in the Crimson Tide's 35-16 win over Michigan. WR Jerry Jeudy was Jones' favorite target, solidifying his status as a top 10 pick with six catches for 204 yards and one touchdown. Jeudy's touchdown came on Bama's first possession, an 85-yard bomb that gave the Tide an early 7-0 lead. Michigan would keep pace, though, and held a 16-14 lead going into halftime. But in the second half, Alabama's defense took over. The Tide pitched a shutout over the final two quarters, led by Xavier McKinney and Anfernee Jennings who each finished with 10 tackles. DL Tevita Musika led the charge up front for Alabama, finishing with five stops and a half-sack. Congratulations to Alabama DL Coach Brian Baker (@BamaCoachBaker) on the win!

Michigan State beats Wake Forest in Pinstripe Bowl
Similar to the script of the Citrus Bowl, the Spartan defense pitched a second-half shutout in Yankee Stadium to pull away from Wake Forest for a win in the Pinstripe Bowl. After trailing 21-20 at halftime, Michigan State QB Brian Lewerke connected with WR Cody White for a 10-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter and that proved to be all the Spartans would need to hold on for the 27-21 victory. For the game, Lewerke threw for 320 yards while RB Elijah Collins rushed for 96 yards. In addition to its dominant performance in the second half, the Michigan State defense also contributed to the scoring in the first quarter when DL Mike Panasiuk returned an interception 14 yards for a touchdown to put the Spartans up 10-7. Congratulations to MSU OL Coach Jim Bollman (@CoachJimBollman) and Asst. DB Coach Terrence Samuel (@MSUTSamuel) on the win!

North Carolina breezes past Temple 55-13 in Military Bowl
The Tar Heels completed a remarkable turnaround from a 2-9 record in 2018 by dominating Temple in the Military Bowl from start to finish. North Carolina QB Sam Howell completed 25-of-34 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns and also caught a touchdown in the blowout win. On defense, Tar Heel outside linebackers Dominique Ross and Tomon Fox combined to post 11 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one interception and one pass breakup. Special teams also contributed to the cause as kicker Noah Ruggles converted two field goals and all six of his extra point attempts. With the win, UNC finished the season with seven wins, its most since 2016, and its first bowl game win since 2013. Congratulations to Special Teams Coordinator/OLB Scott Boone (@CoachScottBoone) on the win!

Herbert scores three touchdowns in Rose Bowl win
It's not how you start that matters, it's how you finish. That idiom proved to be true for Oregon's special teams on New Year's Day as the Ducks gave up an early kickoff return touchdown, but responded with a clutch punt block touchdown to spur the team to another bowl win. Despite totaling just 204 yards of offense, Oregon hung close with the Badgers thanks to an opportunistic defense that forced three turnovers on the day. But special teams accounted for the biggest turnover when safety Brady Breeze scooped up a fumble by Wisconsin's punter and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown to give the Ducks a 21-17 lead in the third quarter. Wisconsin responded, taking a 27-21 lead early in the fourth quarter, but Oregon QB Justin Herbert had the last word when he scored on a 30-yard touchdown run with 7:41 left to secure the 28-27 win for the Ducks. Congratulations to Oregon Special Teams Analyst Chris Norris (@coachnorris38) on the win!

Trick play, field goal lift No. 21 Navy over Kansas State in Liberty Bowl
Facing a 4th-and-3 from the Kansas State 46-yard line with under 30 seconds remaining, Navy slot back C.J. Williams completed a 41-yard pass to WR Chance Warren on a halfback option to setup a game winning field goal from Bijan Nichols. While Navy relied on trickery to pull out a win over the Wildcats, there was nothing tricky about what the Mids had done all season in matching a program record with 11 wins. Similar to how they piled up the first 10 wins, Navy relied on a strong ground game and stout defense in the Liberty Bowl. Mids QB Malcolm Perry rushed for 213 yards to set a new FBS record for rushing yards in a season by a quarterback with 2,017. Defensively, Navy only yielded 170 total yards and didn't allow a touchdown until the 5:14 mark of the fourth quarter. Congratulations to Navy Defensive Quality Control Joe Battaglia (@CoachBatts) on the win!

Congratulations also to the following coaches who won bowl games featuring a CI coach on both sidelines: Kent State Safeties Coach Will Windham, Appalachian State Special Teams Coor. Erik Link, Louisiana Tech LB Coach Brian Gamble, Louisiana Tech DB Coach Jeff Burris, Pittsburgh WR Coach Chris Beatty and Air Force WR Coach Ari Confesor. The final non-playoff bowl game kicks off this evening with Louisiana (Defensive Coordinator Ron Roberts & Asst. OL Coach Bryant Ross) taking on Miami (OH) (WR Coach Israel Woolfork) in the LendingTree Bowl at 7:30 PM.

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