2014 Bowl Mania: Day 2 Recap

December 22, 2014

Luckily, the 2 PM start time for today’s contest didn’t totally restrict me from keeping tabs on the game.

That’s a good thing, because I would have been seriously upset had I missed the ending.

Let’s relive the action from the only game to be played on December 22nd.

Game Analysis

Miami Beach Bowl

Result: Memphis 55, BYU 48 (2OT)

Talk about a thriller. A fair amount of offense was expected from this one, but I’m not sure that anyone expected the excitement that ensued in the inaugural bowl game at Marlins Park. The Tigers appeared to have control with about 11 minutes left in the game, but from there things began to implode for Justin Fuente’s team. Thanks to 17 unanswered points, the Cougars took a touchdown lead that lasted until the final minute of regulation. That’s when the Tigers stormed back to tie the game with 55 seconds left, aided by two clutch fourth down passes by Paxton Lynch.

A 55-yard bomb by sophomore kicker Jake Elliot gave Memphis new life, where in the second overtime another touchdown pass by Lynch was coupled by an interception by DaShaughn Terry to give the Tigers the victory. In the end, Memphis hung on by a shoelace. But the AAC co-champions deserved to win this game based on its overall play.

Conference Trends


To start, BYU isn’t a member of a conference. And based on the back and forth nature of this game, there wasn’t anything to suggest that these teams weren’t evenly matched. Beating BYU would be a solid victory for any AAC school, just like a victory over a now 10-win Memphis team would have been respectable for the Cougars.

Top Individual Performances

Christian Stewart, BYU quarterback

Even in defeat, Stewart was one of the best players on the field in this game. The senior made his last game in a BYU uniform one to remember, passing for 349 yards and three touchdowns and quite nearly propelling the Cougars past a Memphis team that looked like the better squad for the majority of the game.

While the final pass of his career will go down as a turnover, the overall performance was one worth keeping his head up about.

Jake Elliot, Memphis kicker

Elliot wasn’t the hero of the game in the traditional sense, but it’s likely that his teammates understand just how important his 55-yard field goal in the first overtime was in the grand scheme of things. One of the better kickers in the country, Elliot tacked on seven extra points and another field goal and was unlucky that a 53-yarder in the third quarter didn’t go through as well.

Without Elliot’s powerful right leg, Memphis may be wondering how it let this game slip away rather than celebrating its first bowl victory since 2005.

– K. Becks

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