People often decry how many bowl games there are. Too many teams. Too many odd sponsors. Too many rewards for mediocre seasons. But the reason we all watch the darn things if we love the sport is because of Friday night’s Orange Bowl, which Florida State won over Michigan 33-32.
Dalvin Cook — who was paraded around as some sort of gladiator for not sitting out a bowl game for his NFL future because this is apparently where college football media is going — scampered for 145 yards on 20 carries, including what was a back-breaking 71-yard scamper on 3rd and 22 that led to an FSU touchdown in the fourth to make it a 27-15 game.
Prior to that, the Seminoles had accrued all of negative yards in the second half.
But the play that will be remembered was the one that actually won the game- a third down touchdown pass from Deondre Francois to Nyquan Murray over Michigan’s best cornerback (Jourdan Lewis) that gave the Seminoles the lead with under a minute left.
Michigan would block the extra point and return it for two, mostly because this game was all sorts of bizarre and that’s the only thing that could happen.
From the jump, FSU scalded Michigan’s hallowed defense, rolling 87 yards in seven plays for a quick 7-0 lead where the FSU OL trucked UM’s vaunted front seven.
That was the theme for the first half, FSU bullying up on the Jabrill Peppers-free Michigan defense, which makes you think we somehow may have underrated him all along. By the break, the Noles had a 20-6 lead in spite of fumbling a punt on their own 1-yard-line.
The second half was a different story, thankfully, since no one likes boring college football bowl games.
Up until that timely aforementioned Cook run, FSU was in the negative in terms of total yards in the second half. Apparently, it ignited Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight, who threw a touchdown pass and led a drive capped off by a Chris Evans touchdown run to actually get the Wolverines a lead with under a minute left.
But in the end, it was FSU’s game in a battle of teams that are both young and on the upswing.
Michigan was good. Florida State was slightly better, and both teams should be supercharged going into next season. If nothing else, this is why we watch bowl games, all of them.