Photo courtesy of Kent State Athletics
8 down, 32 more to go. The first weekend of bowl season had few marquee match-ups, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t entertaining. For some programs, you may even call it historic.
Flashes and Flames Shine Bright
On Friday night, Kent State earned its first-ever bowl victory. On Saturday, Liberty did likewise.
Coming into Friday’s Frisco Bowl tilt against Utah State, the Golden Flashes were 0-3 all-time in bowl games. The Aggies were led by Jordan Love, a rifle-armed quarterback, who many have pegged as an early NFL Draft pick.
Love passed for 317 yards and three scores, but Kent State quarterback Dustin Crum was the best player on the field. Crum finished the night with 289 yards passing, 147 yards rushing and three total touchdowns, including the game-sealing score.
With Kent State clinging to a 44-41 lead with two minutes to play and facing a 4th & 1, Crum kept on a zone read, scoring to make it a two-score game. The win pushed Kent State to its first winning season since 2012.
In its second FBS season, Liberty appeared in its first bowl, winning a 23-16 game over Georgia Southern.
Frankie Hickson rushed for 120 yards in the victory. Jessie Lemonier had eight tackles and two sacks for a Liberty team that held Georgia Southern to just 289 yards of offense.
Charlotte Says Hello
Like Liberty, Charlotte was playing in its first-ever bowl game, but the results weren’t as good. The 49ers kicked off the bowl season in the Bahamas Bowl against Buffalo, but couldn’t get anything going in a 31-9 loss. Charlotte averaged just 2.6 yards per rush and turned the ball over twice in addition to missing a short field goal.
Chris Petersen Says Goodbye
Last year, Chris Petersen was on the opposing sideline as Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer beat his Washington Huskies in the Rose Bowl to cap a legendary career and go out a winner. This year, it was Petersen who went out a winner and against the team that gave him his first head coaching job.
In the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday night, Washington dominated #19 Boise State, 38-7. The Washington defense dominated, holding the Broncos to 266 yards and forcing three turnovers. Offensively, Jacob Eason passed for 210 yards and a touchdown. Salvon Ahmed added two scores on the ground for the Huskies in the win.
Assuming this is the end for Petersen, he will finish his career with a 147-38 career record. His career winning percentage of .808 ranks 12th all-time among FBS head coaches.