Friday, December 13, 2002
Jan. 1 BCS wrap-up
By Terry Bowden
Special to BCSfootball.com
Bowden's Weekly Chat Show
There have been a lot of upsets through the December bowl season, making it quite difficult for an expert analyst to make a living. But so far, there have been no real surprises in the BCS.
Rose Bowl, presented by AT&T
The Rose Bowl promised to showcase two great quarterbacks, and that it did. Both Marques Tuiasosopo and Drew Brees gave outstanding performances. However, there was one team that was clearly better -- and that was the Washington Huskies.
For 30 minutes, both teams played fairly even, to make it a tight ballgame. And if not for a muffed punt, Purdue would likely have been leading at halftime. But the second half was all Washington.
Tuiasosopo won his duel with Brees by keeping Drew Brees on the bench for 23 ½ minutes in the second half. And from what I could see, there wasn't much Drew Brees could do to win this game sitting on his fanny. It was marvelous to see Washington's offense mix the option with the passing game like no team or quarterback can do in college football.
It had to be frustrating for Joe Tiller and his Boilermakers to watch the Huskies get first down after first down.
Congratulations to Rick Neuheisel, who now has played on a Rose Bowl winner, and has coached one, too.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
|Marques Tuiasosopo ran for a score and threw a touchdown in the Huskies' 34-24 defeat of Purdue.|
The winner of the Fiesta Bowl was no real surprise to me, but the margin of victory certianly was. If anything, I felt Notre Dame's bend-but-don't-break defense, solid running game and ability not to turn the ball over would at least allow the Irish to play the game down to the wire. Oregon State, however, would have nothing to with this game plan.
By taking an early lead, Oregon State took away the opportunity for Notre Dame to play its usual conservative offensive game and forced them to play catch-up. It has been apparent all year that the Fighting Irish do not have the ability to throw the ball well enough to be successful, but when the Beavers totally shut down their running attack, there was not much chance for Notre Dame to survive.
Ultimately, Oregon State's explosive and well-balanced offense was too much for the Irish to handle. Ken Simonton ran for 85 yards and a touchdown, Jonathan Smith threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns on 16-of-24 passing, and three receivers had more than 70 yards in receptions.
Dennis Erickson's Beavers finished as the first team in school history not only to win 10 games in a season, but to win 11. While still cherishing this year's turnaround season, Notre Dame must now go back to the drawing board in the off-season and come up with an offense that better resembles a Top 10 team.
Terry Bowden is ABC's college football studio analyst and hosts a weekly audio chat on BCSfootball.com on Thursdays at 5 p.m. ET.
|Jonathan Smith has had his way with UCLA each of the past two years.|