2008-09 Bowl Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2008-09 Bowl Predictions

Simulated boxscores of all 34 Bowls
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
December 12th, 2008

We simulated all 34 college football bowls 1,000 times to find the likely winners and average scores from each game. Results and example boxscores from all 34 games are below. If you would like to play these games yourselves, every 2008 teams is available through the site's free college football SimMatchup tool.

WhatIfSports.com's Beyond the Boxscore predictions have been on roll in 2008. Using the same methodology the last two bowl seasons, we accurately predicted the winner of 78% of the bowls straight-up (and 64% of them against-the-spread). This regular season, we are 78% accurate at picking FBS winners. Elsewhere, we had Kansas winning March Madness (as of selection Sunday), the Red Wings taking the Stanley Cup, the Celtics beating the Lakers (in six) and the Phillies taking the World Series. Not satisfied with the bowl system? Check out our 16-team playoff - December Madness. And, lastly, see below for a free offer on WhatIfSports' Gridiron Dynasty game.

Eagle Bank Bowl
Wake Forest 21 - Navy 13 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Navy's rushing attack racks up in impressive 236 yards against Aaron Curry and the Wake Forest defense, but Riley Skinner caps off a rollercoaster junior year with a big game in the victory.
Player of the Game: Riley Skinner, QB, Wake Forest (267 passing yards, 3 TDs)

magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl
South Florida 34 - Memphis 13 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: The Bulls cruise to victory in the biggest lock of all of these simulated games.
Player of the Game: Matt Grothe, QB, USF (102 passing yards, 2 TDs, 55 rushing yards)

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Boise State 23 - TCU 18 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Ian Johnson fumbles the ball away, but the Broncos still recover in the endzone for the game-winning touchdown to win the game late in the fourth quarter.
Player of the Game: Jeremy Childs, WR, Boise State (72 receiving yards, 2 TDs)

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Troy 34 - Southern Miss 20 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Despite 162 yards from Southern Miss standout Damion Fletcher, the Sun Belt Champion Trojans rout the Golden Eagles.
Player of the Game: DuJuan Harris, RB, Troy (156 rushing yards, 2 TDs)

Papajohns.com Bowl
NC State 34 - Rutgers 29 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: A game between two teams peaking late in the season features 998 total yards and back-and-forth scoring, culminating in Russell Wilson's go ahead touchdown run in the last two minutes.
Player of the Game: Russell Wilson, QB, NC State (234 passing yards, 3 TDs, 38 rushing yards, 1 TD)

New Mexico Bowl
Fresno State 44 - Colorado State 28 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Ryan Mathews who? Two Bulldogs rush for 140+ yards and Fresno State totals 380 yards on the ground in total versus a porous Colorado State defense (106th in FBS).
Player of the Game: Lonyae Miller, RB, Fresno State (153 rushing yards, 2 TDs)

Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl
BYU 25 - Arizona 24 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Mitch Payne's 35 yard field goal with 19 seconds left, his fourth made field goal of the day, edges BYU ahead of Arizona in a classic.
Player of the Game: Harvey Unga, RB, BYU (111 total yards, 3 TDs)

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Notre Dame 24 - Hawaii 20 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: It's not the prettiest bowl game ever, yet Notre Dame gets a much needed bowl win - its first in 15 years - against the home team (not to mention the devoted fans' trip to paradise).
Player of the Game: Greg Alexander, QB, Hawaii (258 passing yards, 3 TDs)

Motor City Bowl
Central Michigan 40 - Florida Atlantic 23 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Including this game, Dan Lefevour has 9,373 passing yards, 2,228 rushing yards and 107 total TDs in three seasons (36 games). Take note.
Player of the Game: Dan Lefevour, QB, Central Michigan (159 passing yards, 49 rushing yards, 3 TDs)

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
Oklahoma State 35 - Oregon 33 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: What a perfect matchup! The Holiday Bowl lives up to its reputation with a thrilling shootout between two of the more exciting teams in college football (four 100+ yard rushers in the game!).
Player of the Game: Keith Totson, RB, Oklahoma State (157 rushing yards, 3 TDs)

Texas Bowl
Western Michigan 38 - Rice 31 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: These teams both enter the 9-3 on the year. 69 points later, Western Michigan notches its tenth win.
Player of the Game: Brandon West, RB, Western Michigan (210 total yards, 2 TDs)

Champs Sports Bowl
Wisconsin 28 - Florida State 24 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Weak passing games and generally good passing defenses yield less than 200 passing yards combined as Wisconsin wins this battle of underachievers.
Player of the Game: P.J. Hill, RB, UW (142 rushing yards, 2 TDs)

Emerald Bowl
Cal 33 - Miami (Fl) 20 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: With all of the attention given to quarterbacks this season, the performance of running backs like Jahvid Best has flown under the radar. With this Emerald Bowl, Best now has 730 total yards and ten touchdowns in his last three games.
Player of the Game: Jahvid Best, RB, Cal (218 total yards, 3 TDs)

Meineke Car Care Bowl
West Virginia 27 - North Carolina 21 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Pat White makes the best of his nine pass attempts, throwing two touchdowns and leading the Mountaineers to a six point victory.
Player of the Game: Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia (169 rushing yards, 1 TD)

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
ECU 27 - Kentucky 17 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: In a battle of two very good defenses, 14 unanswered fourth quarter points power ECU over the Wildcats.
Player of the Game: Norman Whitley, RB, ECU (126 total yards, 2 TDs)

Valero Alamo Bowl
Missouri 34 - Northwestern 13 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Tyrell Sutton's return from injury is not enough to outscore Chase Daniel and the Tigers' potent offense.
Player of the Game: Derrick Washington, RB, Missouri (106 total yards, 2 TDs)

Independence Bowl
Louisiana Tech 31 - Northern Illinois 23 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Louisiana Tech runs for 293 yards and overcomes an early ten point deficit.
Player of the Game: Daniel Porter, RB, Louisiana Tech (139 rushing yards, 1 TD)

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Houston 33 - Air Force 24 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Case Keenum's almost perfect day - just four incompletions and no interceptions - lights up Air Force.
Player of the Game: Case Keenum, QB, Houston (315 passing yards, 3 TDs)

Brut Sun Bowl
Oregon State 30 - Pitt 27 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: "Shady" McCoy gets his (and then some), but he's not on the field when Lyle Moevao leads a last-minute 43-yard drive that culminates in Justin Kahut's go-ahead field goal as time expires.
Player of the Game: LeSean McCoy, RB, Pitt (254 rushing yards, 1 TD)

Roady's Humanitarian Bowl
Nevada 27 - Maryland 17 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Nevada uses its FBS-leading rushing attack (6.2 ypc during the season) to the fullest as the WAC school takes out the ACC squad.
Player of the Game: Vai Taua, RB, Nevada (171 rushing yards, 1 TD)

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
Boston College 21 - Vanderbilt 14 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: 21 punts "highlight" a close, yet uneventful contest in Nashville.
Player of the Game: Montell Harris, RB, Boston College (127 rushing yards, 3 TDs)

Chick-fil-a Bowl
Georgia Tech 24 - LSU 21 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: In a season when all of the focus on the prolific passing attacks in the Big 12, running the ball has been the story of the bowls thus far. No team illustrates that better than Georgia Tech, which goes for 396 yards on the ground despite facing a top 20 rush defense.
Player of the Game: Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech (203 rushing yards, 2 TDs)

Insight Bowl
Kansas 35 - Minnesota 20 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Remember those Big 12 QBs we just mentioned? At 21-20, this is actually a game going into the fourth quarter before Todd Reesing carries the Jayhawks to two late touchdowns.
Player of the Game: Todd Reesing, QB, Kansas (403 passing yards, 3 TDs)

Outback Bowl
Iowa 33 - South Carolina 14 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: The Big Ten needs a convincing win like this one where Shonn Greene reminds everyone how the Hawkeyes beat Penn State. Facing bowl teams (Minnesota and South Carolina), Iowa outscores its last two opponents 88-13.
Player of the Game: Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa (132 total yards, 2 TDs)

AT&T Cotton Bowl
Texas Tech 34 - Mississippi 21 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Heisman snub Graham Harrell finishes the year with 5,150 passing yards and 51 total touchdowns. And, oh yeah, he leads the team to a 12-1 record.
Player of the Game: Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech (402 passing yards, 4 TDs)

Konica Minolta Gator Bowl
Clemson 27 - Nebraska 24 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: 21 fourth quarter points are not enough for Nebraska as the resurgent Clemson Tigers use a balanced offensive attack to end the season on a high note.
Player of the Game: Roy Helu, RB, Nebraska (150 total yards, 2 TDs)

Capital One Bowl
Michigan State 27 - Georgia 24 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Standout RBs Javon Ringer and Knowshon Moreno combine for a staggering 474 yards on 75 touches in an overtime thriller.
Player of the Game: Javon Ringer, RB, Michigan State (243 total yards, 2 TDs)

International Bowl
UConn 31 - Buffalo 21 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: A well-attended game (despite its location -Toronto in January) is a great national showcase for Buffalo QB Drew Willy and UConn RB Donald Brown.
Player of the Game: Donald Brown, RB, UConn (174 rushing yards, 1 TD)

Tulsa 42 - Ball State 38 (OT) (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: With 992 total yards and 80 points, this matchup of two of the best non-BCS teams lives up to its billing as a shootout. After Tulsa scores a game-tying touchdown as time expires, Ball State is forced to settle for a field goal on its first overtime possession and the Hurricanes take their first and last lead of the game on a 16-yard Jawad Williams TD scamper.
Player of the Game: Tarrion Adams, RB, Tulsa (194 total yards, 1 TD)

Rose Bowl Presented by Citi
USC 21 - Penn State 13 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Unlike the Music City Bowl, with all of the future NFL athletes and tradition on the field, the Rose Bowl is a defensive battle that will still be fun to watch.
Player of the Game: Evan Royster, RB, Penn State (147 rushing yards, 1 TD)

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Utah 19 - Alabama 17 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Utah kicker/punter Louie Sakoda hits his fourth field goal of the game, a 51-yarder, as time expires to keep the Utes undefeated.
Player of the Game: Matt Asiata, RB, Utah (132 rushing yards, 1 TD)

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Texas 24 - Ohio State 17 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: Colt McCoy is as great as ever in leading Texas to a BCS win on Ohio State's (second) homefield. Within a touchdown in its two BCS games and with a blowout win over an SEC school, can the Big Ten still consider the 2008-09 bowl season a success even if it goes 3-4?
Player of the Game: Colt McCoy, QB, Texas (203 passing yards, 47 rushing yards, 3 TDs)

FedEx Orange Bowl
Cincinnati 23 - Virginia Tech 14 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: In a game of contrasting styles, Brian Kelly's Bearcats prove they belong in the national picture by out-gaining Virginia Tech by 121 yards and holding the ball for over 32 minutes.
Player of the Game: Mardy Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati (125 receiving yards, 1 TD)

FedEx BCS National Championship Game
Oklahoma 34 - Florida 31 (Click for Boxscore)
Highlight: One of the most-eagerly anticipated national championship games in recent history ends in fittingly epic fashion when, needing a touchdown and having just 11 seconds left in the game, Sam Bradford connects with Juaquin Iglesias for a 40-yard game-winning touchdown. (For the true national champion, see December Madness.)
Player of the Game: Juaquin Iglesias, WR, Oklahoma (107 receiving yards, 2 TDs)

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