NCF Nation: Terell Floyd

Big East all-bowl team

January, 10, 2013
1/10/13
11:00
AM ET
It's time to unveil the Big East all-bowl team, honoring those players who had the best performances in the postseason.

OFFENSE

QB: Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville. What more can I say about Bridgewater, who began his 2013 Heisman campaign with a big game against Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl? Bridgewater went 20-of-32 for two touchdowns in the decisive 33-23 win.

RB: Prince-Tyson Gulley, Syracuse. Gulley was a running machine, busting free for a career-high 213 yards and three total touchdowns in a 38-14 win over West Virginia in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

RB: George Winn, Cincinnati. Winn capped a great senior season, running for 130 yards and a touchdown in a 48-34 win over Duke in the Belk Bowl.

OT: Justin Pugh, Syracuse. There is a reason Pugh has declared early for the NFL draft. He showed why he is one of the best tackles in the country in the win over West Virginia, helping pave the way for 369 yards rushing and protecting Ryan Nassib well.

OT: Alex Kupper, Louisville. Those who have followed the Cardinals believe Kupper had one of the best performances of his career in the win over the Gators. For the first time in a four-game stretch, Louisville was able to get its run game going.

C: Mario Benavides, Louisville. Benavides has been the best center in the Big East for several years, and he played well in the final game of his career.

OG: Austen Bujnoch, Cincinnati. Bujnoch played with a foot injury after missing most of the bowl practices and had another great game as the Bearcats ran for 222 yards.

OG: Zack Chibane, Syracuse. Chibane teamed with Pugh on the left side to open huge holes all day.

TE: Travis Kelce, Cincinnati. Kelce capped his monster season with a monster game, catching five passes for a career-high 123 yards -- including the 83-yard game-winning touchdown catch with 44 seconds left.

WR: Anthony McClung, Cincinnati. McClung had three catches for 110 yards and a 25-yard touchdown against Duke in the Belk Bowl in one of the best performances of his career.

WR: Devin Street, Pitt. The Panthers had a dreadful day on offense, but Street was a bright spot with seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown in a 38-17 loss to Ole Miss in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

DEFENSE

DL: Marcus Smith, Louisville. Smith came through in a big way on the line in a dominating performance against Florida. His name does not show up often on the stat sheet, but he made his presence felt.

DL: Brandon Sharpe, Syracuse. Sharpe was a big reason why Geno Smith was flustered all day long. Sharpe finished with four tackles, a sack and a forced fumble on the day.

DL: Jamil Merrell, Rutgers. Merrell had a huge game in a 13-10 overtime loss to Virginia Tech, notching a career-high two sacks in the game as the Scarlet Knights held the Hokies to 196 yards of total offense.

LB: Siriki Diabate, Syracuse. Diabate led the way with 10 tackles, three tackles for loss and half a sack, and he contributed to a safety early in the win over the Mountaineers.

LB: Greg Blair, Cincinnati. Blair set a Cincinnati bowl record with a game-high 15 tackles. He forced and recovered a fumble early that changed the momentum against the Blue Devils.

LB: Preston Brown, Louisville. Brown finished with 13 tackles -- 1.5 for loss -- and one pass breakup in the win over the Gators.

LB: Khaseem Greene, Rutgers. Greene was a stalwart once again, finishing the loss to Virginia Tech with 11 tackles, half a sack and one forced fumble he recovered in the end zone -- the only Rutgers touchdown of the game.

CB: Terell Floyd, Louisville. Floyd's 38-yard interception return for a touchdown on the opening play of the game set the tone for the Cardinals. It was Louisville's first defensive score of the season.

CB: Brandon Jones, Rutgers. Jones set a career high and Rutgers single-game bowl record with two interceptions against the Hokies.

S: Jason Hendricks, Pitt. Hendricks had a great game in a loss to the Rebels, with a whopping 17 tackles, two tackles for loss and an interception.

S: Calvin Pryor, Louisville. Pryor had six tackles and registered his fifth forced fumble on the season when he recorded his first sack of the season in the third quarter.

SPECIAL TEAMS

P: Matt Yoklic, Pitt. Yoklic had plenty of opportunities to punt in this game and made the most of them, leading all Big East postseason punters with a 48.3-yard average on six punts.

K: Tony Miliano, Cincinnati. Miliano led all Big East kickers during postseason play with 12 points -- making both his field goal attempts and all six extra-point attempts against Duke.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- A look at Louisville's 20-17 victory Thursday over Rutgers:

What it means: Rutgers, on the verge of winning its first Big East championship and first-ever BCS bowl game bid, let it all slip away.

The Scarlet Knights, playing at home, and with a 14-3 lead at halftime, found a way to lose.

The Cardinals (10-2, 5-2 Big East) will now share the Big East title with Rutgers, Syracuse and possibly Cincinnati. More important, though, Louisville almost certainly will get the conference's automatic BCS bid, which will be determined by the final BCS standings.

The Scarlet Knights (9-3, 5-2 Big East) will go to a lesser bowl game, and will have to get over the most disappointing loss in school history.

It was over when: Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova was intercepted by Louisville cornerback Terell Floyd with under two minutes remaining. The Scarlet Knights were near midfield, not far from being able to attempt a potential game-tying field goal. But Nova and wideout Brandon Coleman apparently had a miscommunication, and Nova threw the ball into the hands of a diving Floyd.

The Scarlet Knights were doomed by three second-half turnovers -- two interceptions and a fumble on a kickoff. That fumble enabled Louisville to score two touchdowns in 16 seconds late in the third quarter to take the lead, 17-14.

Game ball goes to: Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who played despite a broken wrist in his non-throwing arm and a sprained ankle. Bridgewater did not start, but played the bulk of the game, finishing 20-for-28 for 263 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. He was hobbling out there, but made big plays when he needed to in a truly gutty performance.

Stat of the game: Louisville dominated the time of possession, having the ball for 42:11 of the 60 minutes. The Cardinals had 22 first downs, to just nine for the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers scored its two touchdowns on two big passing plays in the first half, one that went for 85 yards, the other 68. Other than that, Louisville's defense was dominant.

What's next: We wait to see which Big East team gets the BCS bid, likely to the Orange or Sugar Bowl. The pairings will be announced Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

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