The college football season is down to only one game. Of the 39 bowl games which were played, here are the ones which rose to a higher level and became entertaining spectacles for fans:
For two and a half quarters, this game was a complete snoozer, but Penn State then rallied to make Kentucky sweat. Kentucky had led by a 27-7 score, but Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley, who was playing while injured, led a furious comeback by the Nittany Lions to make the score 27-21. Penn State drove deep into Kentucky territory with a chance to take the lead, but Kentucky held tough and forced a Penn State field goal to make the score 27-24. Kentucky needed two first downs in the final four minutes of the game to seal the victory, and that’s exactly what the Wildcats did. Kentucky won 10 games in a season for the first time since 1977, finishing a tense game in style.
The Washington State Cougars knew that the Pac-12 won just one bowl game in the 2017 college football season. One year later in 2018, the Cougars carried the banner proudly for the Pac-12 and defeated Iowa State in a riveting Alamo Bowl, 28-26. Washington State bolted to a 14-0 lead, but Iowa State roared back to make the score 21-20. Washington State’s defense showed signs of strain in the second half, and the offense stalled, so at that point, WSU needed a special drive. Quarterback Gardner Minshew made a running, improvised shovel pass to create a big gain into the Iowa State red zone. The Cougars then punched the ball into the end zone for a touchdown and a 28-20 lead. That lead of eight points came in handy, because Iowa State drove down the field and scored a touchdown. The Cyclones, trailing 28-26, needed a two-point conversion to tie. The attempt failed, and that was the difference for Washington State.
The Missouri Tigers and Oklahoma State Cowboys created a fun-filled shootout any fan would love. Oklahoma State built a 16-point lead, but Missouri pulled within two points and got the ball back in the final minutes when trailing by five. Oklahoma State’s defense could not get off the field, and Missouri drove into the red zone with a chance to take a late lead and steal the win. However, Oklahoma State stoned Missouri on fourth down and short to give the Big 12 one of its more satisfying wins of the bowl season over the SEC. All in all, the Big 12 went 3-1 against the SEC in bowls.
The Virginia Tech Hokies and Cincinnati Bearcats went up and down the field throughout the second half of this game, which started with a Virginia Tech touchdown on the first drive and remained entertaining on most of a gray day in Annapolis, Maryland. Cincinnati was in trouble, trailing 31-28 and watching Virginia Tech move the ball to the Cincinnati 3-yard line. However, Cincinnati was able to pressure Virginia Tech quarterback Ryan Willis and force a fumble on fourth down and one. The Bearcats regrouped and drove downfield for a go-ahead touchdown. They then intercepted Willis in the final minute to seal the win, 35-31.
Baylor and Vanderbilt created one of the most wide-open bowls of the season. The first and fourth quarters both produced 24 points, with Vanderbilt outscoring Baylor 14-10 in the first quarter before Baylor returned the favor in the fourth quarter. From start to finish, the offenses were a step ahead of the defenses. Baylor broke a 38-38 tie late in the contest to gain a seven-point lead, and Vanderbilt could not mount a response. The Bears held off the Commodores, 45-38.