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Big 12 bowl helmet stickers

1/12/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The Big 12's 4-3 record in bowl games wasn't quite as good as the conference might have liked. But several players had performances worthy of collecting the last of this season's helmet stickers.

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy -- Passed for a career-high 414 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner to Quan Cosby with 16 seconds left to spark the Longhorns' 24-21 victory over Ohio State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon -- Contributed 17 tackles (eight solo), including 2.5 tackles for a loss and ½ of a sack in Missouri's 30-23 overtime victory over Northwestern in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Weatherspoon also notched two quarterback hurries and deflected a pass.

Kansas' passing game -- It's hard to differentiate between QB Todd Reesing (313 passing yards, four TD passes), WR Dezmon Briscoe (14 catches, 201 yards, three TD grabs) and WR Kerry Meier (10 catches, 113 yards, one TD reception). All were responsible for the Jayhawks' impressive 42-21 victory over Minnesota in the Insight Bowl -- arguably the best bowl performance by any Big 12 team.

Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh -- Produced eight tackles, including 3.5 for losses and two sacks in the Cornhuskers' 26-21 comeback victory over Clemson in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl. Suh also blocked a kick and produced a quarterback hurry in Nebraska's first Jan. 1 bowl victory since 1995.

Texas wide receiver Quan Cosby -- The 26-year-old former minor-league baseball player capped his career by producing a school bowl-record and career-best 14 receptions for 171 yards, including the game-winning grab, to lead the Longhorns' comeback victory over Ohio State.

Missouri wide receiver/kick returner Jeremy Maclin -- Capped his college career in style with a game-winning 7-yard TD grab in overtime and a 75-yard punt return for another score that helped kick-start his team's dormant offense. Maclin accounted for 187 all-purpose yards in the Tigers' triumph over Northwestern.

Kansas linebacker James Holt -- Notched eight tackles, including four for losses and three sacks in the Jayhawks' victory over Minnesota in the Insight Bowl.

Nebraska quarterback Joe Ganz -- His numbers (236 passing yards, two TD passes) were surpassed by many other bowl-winning quarterbacks. But Ganz bounced back from several injuries to lead his team in a gutsy, dramatic comeback victory, charging back from a 14-3 halftime deficit.

Nebraska I-back Quentin Castille -- Rushed for 125 yards -- more than any other Big 12 back in a bowl game -- on 18 carries to spark Nebraska's comeback over Clemson in the Gator Bowl.

Texas safety Earl Thomas -- The freshman notched a team-high nine tackles and produced two pass deflections, including the game-saving one on the final play of the game, to preserve the Longhorns' Fiesta Bowl triumph.

Ultimately, a team must win to receive helmet stickers. That's why performances like those produced in the bowls by Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell, Oklahoma safety Nic Harris, Oklahoma running back Chris Brown, Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant and Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson have gone unrewarded. All had strong performances in their bowl games, despite their teams' losses.