Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Blog National Championship Tournament - First Round Results

After making a few roster adjustments –Troy Smith, Michael Robinson, DJ Shockley and Brady Quinn were all bumped up, the WVU and Auburn backfields were given more love, Jeff Samarzijda was turned into his All-American type self and Reggie Bush was put at the Christ-like level he deserved – we got to simulating the first round of the second annual Blog National Championship Tournament, being played out on NCAA Football 2006 on the X-Box.

Without further ado, your results:

The Liberty Bowl – 11. West Virginia vs. 6. Oregon – First Round Game

Oregon’s offense didn’t manage to score a point, perhaps confused by the magical return of Kellen Clemens to full health, but they kept the game tied at 14-14 going into the 4th quarter, using an interception return and a 101-yard kick return as the first half expired. However, the freshmen combo of Pat White and Steve Slaton proved too much, putting West Virginia in position for the 25-yard go-ahead field and then running out the clock.

White was five for ten for 116 yards, with one pick and one score, a 79-yard bomb late in the second quarter to give the Mountaineers a short-lived lead. He also had twenty yards on the ground, complimenting Slaton’s 133 yards on 19 carries, adding in a score. Oregon punted with three and a half minutes left in the game, but couldn’t stop WVU as they converted two critical third downs and depleted the Ducks’ timeouts.

The Peach Bowl will host West Virginia and Penn State in the quarterfinals.

Final: West Virginia 17 Oregon 14

Fun Stat: Rushing Offense – WVU: 157 Oregon: -1

Game Ball Goes To: Steve Slaton, for his 133 yards and 7 per carry average. White had the bomb, but Slaton was there the entire game.

The Gator Bowl – 9. Miami (FL) vs. 8. UGA – First Round Game

You’d think that if the Hurricane offense was shut out, you could put the blame squarely on the shoulders of young quarterback Kyle Wright, but while his only touchdown pass went the other way for UGA, it wasn’t Wright’s fault that the Miami offense faltered. The 7th Floor Crew defense suffocated DJ Shockley and the Bulldogs, intercepting him five times and holding him to a QB rating of 29.9.

Wright’s major mistake was a third quarter interception to Georgia safety Greg Blue, who returned it sixty yards for the only score of the game. The Cane special teams even stepped up

Wright got no help the entire game, with his running game getting only 21 yards, his offensive line gave up three sacks and his receiving corps managed six drops. After three consecutive drops on the final drive, junior wide-out Ryan Moore finally caught a ball – and promptly fumbled it.

UGA now gets served up to – uh, plays against - the USC Trojans in the Holiday Bowl.

Final Score: Georgia 6 Miami (FL) 0

Fun Stat: Miami’s five interceptions of DJ Shockley.

Game Ball Goes To: Greg Blue for getting the only score of the game.

The Capital One Bowl – 10. LSU vs. 7. Auburn – First Round Game

Auburn took a 3-0 lead into the final minute of the first half.

They were losing by 18 at halftime.

EJ Kuale returned Brandon Cox’s first pick of the game twenty-three yards with 42 seconds left in the half. After another Auburn pick, Justin Vincent scampered in on the first play of the drive. After Tommy Tubberville refused to just run out the clock, Cox’s third interception led to a thirty-one yard strike from JaMarcus Russell to Dwayne Bowe that finished off the thirty-five seconds of hell for Auburn.

LSU ended up intercepting Auburn six times, one-upping the Miami defense in the previous game. They ended the game on a 38-0 run, with the reserves playing most of the 4th quarter. Auburn running back and SEC Player of the Year Kenny Irons had 45 yards on 6 carries, but was eliminated from the second half gameplan by the early deficit.

LSU moves on to play Texas in the Cotton Bowl.

Final Score: LSU 38 Auburn 3

Fun Stat: LSU’s converting all six Auburn turnovers into points.

Game Ball Goes To: The entire LSU back seven. Six different members of the secondary and linebacking crew had interceptions, with two of those returned for touchdowns (Kuale and Mario Stevenson).

The Outback Bowl – 12. Virginia Tech vs. 5. Notre Dame – First Round Game

Cedric Humes cracked the Irish defensive line as time was ticking down, but he came up seven yards short as time expired.

The Irish, who had missed an extra point earlier and couldn’t convert third downs the entire game, were forced to stop the Hokies on the final drive of the game, leading 16-10. Marcus Vick, mostly contained the entire game, handed off to Humes in an interesting call that the senior took nearly to the house before being drug down by Irish safety Tom Zbikowski as the clock ran out.

The game was played evenly throughout, with Brady Quinn throwing for 209 yards and a pair of scores while Vick kept the Hokies in it, ripping off a 19-yard run and completing a 78-yard bomb to David Clowney to cut into the Irish lead early. Neither team could convert on third down, combining to go five for twenty-four, and the Irish couldn’t get a running game going either, averaging only less than two yards per carry.

The Irish move on to play Ohio State in the, yeah, you guessed it, Fiesta Bowl.

Final Score: Notre Dame 16 Virginia Tech 10

Fun Stat: 8, or the number of different receivers that Quinn completed passes to.

Game Ball Goes To: Brady Quinn, who got the job done against a tough Hokie defense and minimized mistakes while mixing in some well-thrown deep balls, including a 33 yarder on 4th down to Matt Shelton for the first score of the game.

Your updated bracket and bowl match-ups:

8. Georgia vs. 1. USC – The Holiday Bowl

10. Louisiana State vs. 2. Texas – The Cotton Bowl

11. West Virginia vs. 3. Penn State – The Peach Bowl

5. Notre Dame vs. Ohio State – The Fiesta Bowl

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