2023 Bowl Games, college football scores: Schedule, results, highlights from all 41 postseason matchups

The 2023-24 college football bowl season will be remembered as the end of an era as major changes -- notably, conference realignment and the expansion of the College Football Playoff to 12 teams -- are in store before the 2024 season rolls around. The action kicked off with Ohio cruising its way past Georgia Southern in the Myrtle Beach Bowl on Dec. 16 and concluded with Michigan defeating Washington for the Wolverines' first national championship since 1997 -- their first outright title since 1948.

While the opening day of bowl season featured three one-score games, it wasn't exactly a banner year for instant classics ... at least not until the College Football Playoff semifinals rolled around. The Fiesta Bowl and Orange Bowl both featured a margin record of victory for those respective games, and Georgia's 63-3 drubbing of Florida State in the latter signaled the most lopsided bowl game outcome of all time. But then came thrillers in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, both of which came down to the very last play. 

Michigan's overtime win against Alabama in the Granddaddy of Them All is sure to go down as one of the more dramatic finishes in bowl history as the Wolverines ultimately went on to win it all. However, Michigan isn't the only school that had reason to celebrate this bowl season. Missouri defeated Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl to cap off a breakthrough 11-2 finish under fourth-year coach Eli Drinkwitz, and Ole Miss beat Penn State in the Peach Bowl to secure a program-record 11 wins. It sets the stage for what could be big seasons for both the Tigers and Rebels next year. 

While roster absences due to the transfer portal and opt-outs marred some high-profile bowl games for another year, that trend may be on the downswing in 2024. With playoff expansion, every New Year's Six bowl game is set to be a CFP game, raising the stakes for some of the biggest stages the sport has to offer in the postseason. 

CBS Sports was there each step of the way with the latest scores, analysis highlights and highlights from the entirety of Bowl Season. Revisit the contests by scrolling below.

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CFP National Championship: No. 1 Michigan 34, No. 2 Washington 13

No. 1 Michigan dominated No. 2 Washington on the ground in the first quarter and allowed itself to be contained for half the game before finishing the fourth quarter exactly as it started the game. The Wolverines piled up a history-making 303 yards rushing while obliterating the Huskies on both lines of scrimmage in a 34-13 victory to capture the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship in Houston and bring a ring back to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the first time since 1997.

Running back Blake Corum led the way for the maize & blue with 134 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 21 touches, but it was Donovan Edwards -- barely contributing all season while dealing with injuries -- who broke loose for two first-quarter touchdowns and totaled 104 yards on six carries. Michigan's 303 yards rushing were not only more than Washington's total yardage in the game (301), it was the most yards on the ground by a national title winner in the BCS/CFP era (since 1998).

January 9, 2024, 5:17 AM
Jan. 09, 2024, 12:17 am EST
 
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Sugar Bowl: No. 2 Washington 37, No. 3 Texas 31

No. 2 Washington survived a dramatic comeback attempt by No. 3 Texas to advance to the College Football Playoff National Championship for the first time in program history. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. put together one of the finest performances in CFP history, throwing for 430 yards and two touchdowns to outduel Texas' Quinn Ewers and cement himself in the history books. 

The Huskies had an opportunity to ice the game, but an injury to running back Dillon Johnson stopped the clock as Washington faced fourth down late in the fourth quarter. After the Longhorns received the punt, Ewers connected with wide receiver Jordan Whittington on a couple of occasions to set up a dramatic final sequence in the red zone. The Longhorns star QB let one rip into the end zone with 1 second remaining, but it fell out of the corner as Washington began its celebration. 

 
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Rose Bowl: No. 1 Michigan 27, No. 4 Alabama 20 (OT)

It was yet another absolute classic Rose Bowl on Monday night as No. 1 Michigan battled back in the fourth quarter to ultimately prevail 27-20 over No. 4 Alabama in overtime to conclude a dramatic showdown in Pasadena, California. The Wolverines fought back from a seven-point, fourth-quarter deficit to tie the game with 1:34 left to play, scored just two plays into the overtime period and stoned Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe on fourth-and-goal to advance to the CFP National Championship game.

January 2, 2024, 2:28 AM
Jan. 01, 2024, 9:28 pm EST
 
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Fiesta Bowl: Oregon 45, Liberty 6 

The final outing of Oregon quarterback Bo Nix's decorated collegiate career didn't pass by without the fifth-year senior making program history Monday during the 45-6 win over Liberty in the Fiesta Bowl. Nix broke a pair of Oregon records held by former Ducks quarterback and Heisman winner Marcus Mariota, surpassing single-season marks for both passing yards and touchdown passes. 

Oregon QB Bo Nix breaks program's single-season records for passing yards, touchdowns in Fiesta Bowl
Dean Straka
Oregon QB Bo Nix breaks program's single-season records for passing yards, touchdowns in Fiesta Bowl
January 2, 2024, 2:23 AM
Jan. 01, 2024, 9:23 pm EST
 
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Citrus Bowl: Tennessee 35, Iowa 0

In its final game with Brian Ferentz as offensive coordinator, Iowa turned in a vintage dud marked by another rough outing from quarterback Deacon Hill. The Volunteers intercepted Hill twice, and James Pearce Jr. sealed the outcome for Tennessee early in the fourth quarter with a 52-yard pick-six. Iowa finally pulled Hill after that blunder, ending his day at 7-of-18 passing for 56 yards. His counterpart, Nico Iamaleava, made his first career start at quarterback for Tennessee and scored three rushing touchdowns. The five-star freshman appeared only in reserve duty during the regular season but looked composed against a stingy Hawkeyes defense, completing 12 of 19 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. 

The win ends Tennessee's season at 9-4, giving the Volunteers 20 wins over the past two seasons. That marks the program's highest two-year win total since 2003 and 2004. Iowa finishes 10-4.

January 1, 2024, 9:14 PM
Jan. 01, 2024, 4:14 pm EST
 
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Reliaquest Bowl: No. 13 LSU 35, Wisconsin 31

The 2024 year began with one of the best bowls of the season as LSU came back from two 14-point deficits to beat Wisconsin 35-31 in the Reliaquest Bowl. The Tigers took their first lead of the game with 3:08 left to play when Garrett Nussmeier hit Brian Thomas Jr. for a 4-yard touchdown to cap off a 98-yard game-winning touchdown drive.

Even without Heisman winner Jayden Daniels and offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock, the Tigers overcame their defense once again. Wisconsin managed 506 yards of offense in the game as Tanner Mordecai threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns; all of those numbers were season bests for the Badgers and Mordecai. Nussmeier threw for 395 yards and three touchdowns himself, but while Mordecai's touchdowns all came in the first half, all of Nussmeier's came in the second half. The Tigers held Wisconsin to only 10 points after halftime and shut out the Badgers in the fourth quarter, forcing a turnover on downs with three straight sacks to finish the game.

January 1, 2024, 8:42 PM
Jan. 01, 2024, 3:42 pm EST
 
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Arizona Bowl: Wyoming 16, Toledo 15

The final game of the Saturday bowl slate was capped by a thrilling ending. Wyoming kicker John Hoyland drilled a 24-yard field goal at the buzzer to erase a nine-point, fourth-quarter deficit to give the Cowboys a 16-15 win over Toledo in the Arizona Bowl. It was Wyoming's first bowl game victory since 2021 and gave coach Craig Bohl a win in his final game as a college coach. Bohl leaves Wyoming as the all-time wins leader in program history and will be succeeded by defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel. 

It was a game of runs, with Wyoming jumping out to a 6-0 lead before Toledo scoring 15 unanswered points of its own. But the Cowboys' final 10 points were good enough to complete a nine-win season. Toledo ends the 2023 season with consecutive losses in the MAC Championship Game to Miami (Ohio) and Wyoming to finish 11-3. 

Wyoming starting quarterback Andrew Peasley exited the game late with an apparent rib injury, and backup quarterback Evan Svoboda helped lead his team on an 12-play, 87-yard drive to seal the win. Toledo was playing without MAC Player of the Year Dequan Finn and star running back Peny Boone.

 
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Orange Bowl: No. 6 Georgia 63, No. 5 Florida State 3

No. 6 Georgia made a resounding statement for its excellence during the 2023 season with a 63-3 drubbing of No. 5 Florida State in the Orange Bowl. The 60-point margin is now the biggest in bowl game history. Georgia, in fact, broke its own record in this case, topping the 58-point win against TCU in last year's College Football Playoff National Championship. In addition to being the biggest win in bowl history, it has also etched itself in to the Orange Bowl record books for the same category. 

In a game that was already predicted to be lopsided because of double-digit starters missing the game for Florida State due to opt-outs and injuries, Georgia became the real story for its excellence in efficiency even as they handed the reins over to the backups. 

The Bulldogs have recruited so well over the last four years that even when the first-stringers left the game because of the blowout nature of the contest, the backups continued to operate at the same level as the game's starters -- many of whom had Georgia at No. 1 in the country heading into conference championship weekend. 

For more takeaways from Georgia's historic Orange Bowl victory, read on HERE.

 
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Music City Bowl: Maryland 31, Auburn 13

It turns out Maryland doesn't need the Big Ten's all-time leading passer after all. The Terps didn't have Taulia Tagovailoa for the Music City Bowl, but both backups Billy Edwards and Cameron Edge hit for big plays in Nashville to bury Auburn early. Edwards hit Roman Hemby for a 61-yard gain on the opening possession, which led to an Edwards rushing touchdown. He then connected with Preston Howard for a score on the next drive to make it 14-0 in the blink of an eye. Then it was Edge's turn. He entered on the third possession of the game, completed a 57-yard bomb to Kam Prather, and then threw a 3-yard touchdown to Dylan Wade to make it 21-0.

And that, for the most part, was the end of the game. Sure, they played the final three quarters, but only to fill contractual obligations. Auburn played so poorly that Hugh Freeze apologized during his in-game interview following the third quarter. Payton Thorne struggled mightily, completing only 13 of his 27 passes for 84 yards, and Auburn turned the ball over four times.

Maryland finishes the season 8-5 for the second straight season. It's the first time the Terps have won at least eight games in consecutive seasons since the 2002-03 seasons. Auburn finishes 6-7. It's the first time the Tigers have finished with a losing record in three straight seasons since 1975-77.

December 30, 2023, 10:32 PM
Dec. 30, 2023, 5:32 pm EST
 
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Peach Bowl: No. 11 Ole Miss 38, No. 10 Penn State 25

No. 11 Ole Miss dominated No. 10 Penn State 38-25 on Saturday in the Peach Bowl to cap its first 11-win season in program history. This win was a showcase for the offensive force that coach Lane Kiffin has built in Oxford, Mississippi. 

Quarterback Jaxson Dart completed 25 of his 40 passes for 379 yards and three touchdowns, which included two touchdown passes to game MVP Caden Prieskorn in the first half. Prieskorn caught 10 passes for a career-high 136 yards with the two touchdowns and a 2-point conversion. The Nittany Lions had no answer, as Dart found him wide open on wheel routes numerous times throughout the afternoon.

Read more from Ole MIss' win over Penn State in the Peach Bowl with takeaways from the game HERE.

 
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Cotton Bowl: Missouri 14, Ohio State 3

No. 9 Missouri capped a breakthrough season under fourth-year coach Eli Drinkwitz on Friday by edging No. 7 Ohio State 14-3 in the Cotton Bowl to finish 11-2. The Buckeyes held Mizzou scoreless for the first three quarters before Cody Schrader broke through for a 7-yard touchdown run on the opening play of the fourth quarter. The Tigers added some insurance with 5:12 remaining when Brady Cook capped a 13-play, 91-yard drive by finding Luther Burden for a 7-yard touchdown pass. Missouri's defense took care of the rest as the Tigers notched their second-ever win over Ohio State and first since 1976.

Freshman quarterback Lincoln Kienholz was forced into action during the second quarter for Ohio State after Devin Brown suffered what coach Ryan Day said was a high ankle sprain in his first career start. With star receiver and Heisman Trophy finalist Marvin Harrison Jr. also opting out, the Buckeyes simply lacked their customary offensive punch. Schrader finished with 128 yards rushing, surpassing 1,600 yards for the year and passing Tyler Badie for Missouri's single-season rushing record. Cook added 128 yards passing and 66 rushing as he rallied from a slow start for six straight completions during a critical juncture in the second half.

December 30, 2023, 5:13 AM
Dec. 30, 2023, 12:13 am EST
 
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Liberty Bowl: Memphis 36, Iowa State 26

Memphis (10-3) exploded for 530 yards, jumping out to an early 19-0 lead and then extending it to 36-13 in the third quarter after Iowa State (7-6) rallied to within 19-13. Seth Henigan completed 24 of 34 passes for 364 yards and threw for four touchdowns while Blake Watson totaled 107 yards rushing on 15 carries. The win gave the Tigers 10 victories for the first time since 2019 and made them 3-0 in bowls under fourth-year coach Ryan Silverfield.

The Tigers' defense did its part also by producing eight tackles for loss and completely negating Iowa State's rushing game. The Cyclones netted 0 yards on the ground. Jayden Higgins had a huge game with 214 yards receiving, but ISU simply dug itself too big of a hole and never got comfortable defensively against Memphis' high-flying attack.

December 30, 2023, 12:09 AM
Dec. 29, 2023, 7:09 pm EST
 
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Sun Bowl: No. 16 Notre Dame 40, No. 19 Oregon State 8

No. 16 Notre Dame capped its 2023 season with a dominant 40-8 win against No. 19 Oregon State in the 90th annual Sun Bowl. Friday's result was rarely in question. The Fighting Irish took a 7-0 lead on their first drive of the game and went to the locker room at the half up 14-0. Oregon State, meanwhile, didn't score until the final six minutes of the fourth quarter. 

By then, Notre Dame had increased its point total to 33. The Irish defense put on a masterclass against a severely shorthanded Beavers squad, holding Oregon State to just 197 total yards, including just 3 rushing yards on 14 attempts. 

Oregon State had just one play in Notre Dame territory in the first half: A Hail Mary attempt that was intercepted by Notre Dame cornerback Benjamin Morrison as time expired. It took the Beavers four drives and more than 20 minutes to cross midfield again. 

For more on the Irish's victory vs. the Beavers, including takeaways, check this out

December 29, 2023, 10:56 PM
Dec. 29, 2023, 5:56 pm EST
 
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Gator Bowl: No. 22 Clemson 38, Kentucky 35

Some bowl games are better than others, and the Gator Bowl matchup Friday afternoon between No. 22 Clemson and Kentucky was one for the ages. The Tigers topped the Wildcats 38-35 in one of the wildest college football games of the season, featuring a bowl record 42 points, five turnovers and five lead changes in the fourth quarter alone. 

A stamp was finally put on the back-and-forth affair when Tigers running back Phil Mafah scored his bowl-record fourth rushing touchdown of the day -- and third of the fourth quarter -- with 17 seconds left in the game to give Clemson the lead, which was followed by a successful 2-point conversion. 

Read here for a step-by-step recount of the wildest ending this postseason.

Clemson outlasts Kentucky in Gator Bowl with record-breaking fourth quarter featuring five lead changes
Barrett Sallee
Clemson outlasts Kentucky in Gator Bowl with record-breaking fourth quarter featuring five lead changes
 
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Alamo Bowl: Arizona 38, Oklahoma 24

Arizona capped off one of college football's most impressive turnarounds in a game that started Thursday evening and bled into Friday's early morning hours, beating No. 12 Oklahoma 38-24 in the Alamo Bowl. For the Wildcats, who advanced to 10-3 with the win, this is their first postseason victory since 2015 and first 10-win season since 2014. 

This for an Arizona team that had six total wins from 2021-22, a losing record five straight years from 2018-22 and a bowl dry streak that extended all the way back to 2017 entering this season. The Wildcats have one of this Bowl Season's most impressive defensive efforts to thank for their shiny new Alamo Bowl trophy. 

Arizona forced six total turnovers, including three interceptions off of Oklahoma freshman quarterback Jackson Arnold in his first career start. The Wildcats picked Arnold off on just his third pass attempt of the game and parlayed that into a touchdown and a 10-0 lead. 

But the Sooners stormed ahead from there, rattling off a 24-3 run that gave them a two-possession lead midway through the fourth quarter. Oklahoma was driving late in the third frame with a chance to slam the door shut, but Arizona's defense reared its head again with an 87-yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. 

Arnold threw an interception to open the fourth quarter and was on the receiving end of a sack-fumble with less than four minutes left the game. The Wildcats offense scored as a result of both turnovers to take a decisive lead. Arizona's own freshman quarterback Noah Fifita deserves a nod -- he finished the game with 354 yards passing and two touchdowns, including a 57-yard strike to speedster Jacob Cowing that put Arizona up for good midway through the fourth quarter. 

December 29, 2023, 5:51 AM
Dec. 29, 2023, 12:51 am EST
 
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Pop-Tarts Bowl: Kansas State 28, NC State 19 

The Avery Johnson era got off to a great start for Kansas State as the freshman quarterback led the Wildcats to a 28-19 win over NC State in the Pop-Tarts Bowl in his first career start.

Johnson jas been a familiar face for Kansas State during the year, totaling nine touchdowns (three passing, six rushing) across some spot appearances during the regular season. He was one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the 2023 recruiting class and showed the full range of those skills as the full-time starter, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for another in the victory. 

In a tight game between two ranked teams, sometimes the contest can be decided at the margins. That's where Kansas State's three-for-three showing converting fourth downs really made a difference. Extending those drives led to touchdowns on a night where the Wildcats did not attempt a field goal. 

One of those early conversions was a 30-yard fake punt from Jack Blume. NC State would later respond with a fake punt of its own, but it was the Wildcats who let their aggression show early and kept it up throughout the night. 

NC State, on the other hand, kicked three field goals from scoring opportunities and only made two of them. The Wildcats also got a big day from DJ Giddens (151 rushing yards, two total touchdowns) in the win. 

 
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Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers 31, Miami 24

Kyle Monangai, the Big Ten's leading rusher heading into bowl season, was absolutely dominant in the Scarlet Knights' win over the Hurricanes to push their record to 7-6 and finish over .500 for the first time since 2014. It was also the program's first bowl since topping North Carolina in the Quick Lane Bowl following the same season. Monangai had 25 carries for 163 yards and a touchdown -- a 7-yard plunge in the second quarter to push the early Rutgers' lead to 14-0. 

Though Miami battled back, the play of the day came in the third quarter when Rutgers' Trevor Yeboah-Kodie blocked a Miami punt that was recovered by Timmy Ward in the end zone to give the Scarlet Knights a lead that they would never relinquish.

 
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Fenway Bowl: Boston College 23, SMU 14

The Eagles used a second-half surge to top the Mustangs and finish above .500 for the first time since the 2020 season. Quarterback Thomas Castellanos and running back Kye Robichaux dominated on the ground with nearly 250 yards rushing between the two. Castellanos provided the only points of the second half with a pair of touchdowns on a sloppy track at Fenway Park, the home of Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox.

The Eagles defense deserves a ton of credit as well. They held the potent Mustangs offense that was averaging 465.5 yards per game to just 309 yards. A big part of that success was a relentless blitz that brought pressure from all angles, which rattled backup quarterback Kevin Jennings. 

 
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Texas Bowl: Oklahoma State 31, Texas A&M 23

Oklahoma State avenged its 2019 Texas Bowl loss to Texas A&M with a victory over the Aggies on the same field four years later. The win propelled the Cowboys to 10 wins, a mark they have now reached eight times under 19th-year coach Mike Gundy. 

Playing under interim coach Elijah Robinson and with numerous key players in the transfer portal amid the transition from Jimbo Fisher to Mike Elko, Texas A&M encountered immediate adversity. On the game's first play from scrimmage, Aggies quarterback Jaylen Henderson suffered an apparent arm injury and exited. A&M turned to freshman Marcel Reed, who began the season at No. 4 on the depth chart. The former four-star prospect handled the moment well, completing 20 of 33 passes for 361 yards with a rushing touchdown. However, the Aggies had no answer for Oklahoma State's offense.

Rashod Owens set a Texas Bowl record and established a new career-high with 164 yards receiving, and Brennan Presley added 152 as quarterback Alan Bowman surpassed 400 yards passing for the first time this season. Owens caught a pair of touchdowns, including one that put the Cowboys ahead 31-13 in the third quarter. Star running back Ollie Gordon added 118 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries as he surpassed 100 yards for the ninth time this season.

December 28, 2023, 5:21 AM
Dec. 28, 2023, 12:21 am EST
 
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Holiday Bowl: USC 42, No. 15 Louisville 28 

Amid heavy speculation that USC coach Lincoln Riley will dip into the transfer portal to find his 2024 starting quarterback, a current member of the roster just announced himself as a contender to take the role. In his first collegiate start, redshirt sophomore Miller Moss set a Holiday Bowl record with six passing touchdowns, leading USC to a 42-28 victory over No. 15 Louisville.

Playing in front of an audience of 35,317 at PETCO Park that included former USC quarterbacks Matt Leinart, Caleb Williams and Cody Kessler, Moss looked like the heir to the Trojans signal caller legacy. He quickly shook off the nerves that were apparent during an opening three-and-out and, by halftime, had tied the Holiday Bowl record for touchdown passes (four). It gave USC a 28-14 lead after the Trojans found themselves down 7-0 in the opening minutes of the contest.

USC QB Miller Moss sets Holiday Bowl record in place of Caleb Williams as Trojans cruise past Louisville
Dean Straka
USC QB Miller Moss sets Holiday Bowl record in place of Caleb Williams as Trojans cruise past Louisville

USC QB Miller Moss sets Holiday Bowl record in place of Caleb Williams as Trojans cruise past Louisville

December 28, 2023, 5:30 AM
Dec. 28, 2023, 12:30 am EST
 
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Duke's Mayo Bowl: West Virginia 30, North Carolina 10

Enjoy the mayo bath, Neal Brown. You've earned it after leading the Mountaineers to a 30-10 win against North Carolina in the Duke's Mayo Bowl. With that, West Virginia has its first bowl win since 2020 and its most victories in a season season since 2016 when Dana Holgorsen was the coach. It has its defense to thank for Wednesday's win. 

With Drake Maye opting out, North Carolina turned to true freshman Conner Harrell at quarterback. The Mountaineers took full advantage, bringing exotic pressure looks all day and getting home for a total of seven sacks and 11 tackles for loss. WVU also intercepted two of Harrell's passes, including a spectacular one-handed effort from linebacker Tyrin Bradley to end North Carolina's first drive in the second half. 

West Virginia held North Carolina scoreless in the second half while gradually building on its 17-10 halftime lead. The Mountaineers did a good job of making up for a couple key absences of their own. Without star running back CJ Donaldson, who sat out while recovering from surgery, West Virginia rushed for 175 yards as a team. Quarterback Garrett Greene contributed 75 of those while also passing for 204 yards and one touchdown on 11 completions. 

December 28, 2023, 1:48 AM
Dec. 27, 2023, 8:48 pm EST
 
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Military Bowl: Virginia Tech 41, Tulane 20

Virginia Tech overcame a slow start to run away with a dominant 41-20 victory over AAC runner-up Tulane in the Military Bowl. The victory signaled the Hokies' first bowl win since 2016 and clinched the first winning season for coach Brent Pry. Quarterback Kyron Drones exploded on the ground for 176 yards rushing as part of a three-touchdown day. Running back Bhayshul Tuten also had 136 yards and two scores. 

The Green Wave were without several of their top players and coaching staff heading into the Military Bowl. Tulane recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown on the first play of the game and tied things up early in the third quarter. However, Virginia Tech's run game wore down the Tulane defense over the course of 60 minutes. Running back Makhi Hughes posted 88 yards in the loss, while receiver Yulkeith Brown added 63 yards receiving. 

 
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Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Kansas 49, UNLV 36

Kansas survived a heroic late charge from UNLV to win its first bowl game since 2008. In his final game, quarterback Jason Bean threw for 449 yards and six touchdowns to overcome a three-interception performance and lead the Jayhawks to victory. Receivers Luke Grimm and Lawrence Arnold each posted more than 130 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Kansas survived more than 200 penalty yards to come away with a victory. 

The Jayhawks jumped out to a 28-7 lead in the first half and seemed to put things away behind a pair of breakaway touchdowns from Grimm. However, UNLV refused to go down. The Rebels went on a 17-0 run over a five-minute period near halftime to cut the lead to just four points. But in the final frame, Bean found Arnold and Grimm for touchdown passes of 56, 43 and 40 yards to pull away. 

UNLV did a nice job limiting KU star running back Devin Neal to just 71 yards on 20 carries. Quarterback Jayden Maiava threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns, including 97 yards from Ricky White. Ultimately, though, Kansas' chunk plays against a depleted UNLV secondary proved too much. 

 
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First Responder Bowl: Texas State 45, Rice 21

Texas State notched its first bowl win and hit a season-high eight victories as an FBS program in emphatic style with five turnovers forced in a 45-21 win over Rice in the First Responder Bowl. Two of those picks, both returned for touchdowns, belonged to linebacker Brian Holloway in his final game. The storybook ending was even more amazing considering his swan song came on SMU's home field -- Gerald R. Ford Stadium -- where Holloway played as a member of the Mustangs from 2019-21. 

The defensive effort may have been the story of the game, but bowls are also supposed to be fun. The Bobcats had plenty of it in the form of a throwback lateral to 6-foot-5, 320-pound offensive tackle Nash Jones that pushed his team's lead to 10 points midway through the third quarter.

 
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Quick Lane Bowl: Minnesota 30, Bowling Green 24

Minnesota extended its winning streak in bowl games to seven -- college football's longest active streak -- and secured revenge on a Bowling Green program that upset the Golden Gophers in 2021. Making the first start of his career, fifth-year quarterback Cole Kramer threw two touchdowns and ran for another in his final game with the program. However, it was the traditional running game that sustained the Gophers as Darius Taylor amassed a career-high 208 yards rushing on 35 carries. His 17-yard touchdown run with 8:03 remaining put the Gophers ahead 30-17.

The Falcons struck first with a 46-yard touchdown connection between Connor Bazelak and Odieu Hiliare, who had a big game with 10 catches for 152 yards. But Minnesota responded by building a 23-10 lead entering the fourth quarter before Bowling Green rallied. Bazelak brought the Falcons within 30-24 on a 2-yard touchdown run with 2:33 remaining. The Falcons' onside kick failed, however, and Minnesota managed to run out the remaining clock after Taylor picked up a first down on the ground.

December 26, 2023, 10:29 PM
Dec. 26, 2023, 5:29 pm EST
 
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Hawaii Bowl: Coastal Carolina 24, San Jose State 14

No Grayson McCall, no problem for Coastal Carolina in a 24-14 win over San Jose State. Freshman QB Ethan Vasko got the start in McCall's place and gave Chanticleer fans plenty of reasons to feel optimistic about the post-McCall era. Vasko finished the game with 199 yards passing, 50 yards rushing and threw for three touchdowns as he outdueled San Jose State's Chevan Cordeiro in Corderio's homecoming. Cordeiro finished with 215 yards in the air and 59 on the ground, but had only one touchdown.

It was a game that lived up to every coaching cliche you've ever heard. San Jose State finished the game with more yards on offense (374 to 336) and averaged more yards per play (6.8 to 4.6), but it made too many mistakes. The Spartans turned the ball over twice and managed only seven points in three trips to the red zone. Coastal Carolina scored touchdowns on all three of its red-zone possessions, with the dagger coming via a spectacular one-handed catch from Sam Pinckney. Pinckney finished the evening with 123 yards on 8 receptions.

December 24, 2023, 7:07 AM
Dec. 24, 2023, 2:07 am EST
 
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Las Vegas Bowl: Northwestern 14, Utah 7

Northwestern outlasted the Utah in a 14-7 slugfest that was more entertaining than it had any right to be considering the lack of offense. The affair was closer than it should've been, and Northwestern played a significant role in keeping things close.

The Wildcats came into the game as close to full strength as any team can be at this time of year and was facing a Utah squad missing a host of key starters. But the Wildcats refused to finish drives. They started three possessions inside Utah territory, including one at the Utah 7-yard line, and didn't score points on any of them. They missed two field goals and couldn't convert a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

That allowed a Utah team that averaged only 3.2 yards per play to stick around. When Micah Bernard scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to tie the game and Northwestern QB Ben Bryant out due to an apparent concussion, it appeared the Utes had a chance steal the game. Bryant would return to the game, though, and immediately lead the Wildcats on a game-winning drive that finished with a gorgeous 19-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Kirtz.

December 24, 2023, 3:45 AM
Dec. 23, 2023, 10:45 pm EST
 
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68 Ventures Bowl: South Alabama 59, Eastern Michigan 10

South Alabama starting quarterback Carter Bradley did not play due to a knee injury, and leading rusher La'Damian Webb was out with a toe injury, but the Jaguars eviscerated Eastern Michigan 59-0 anyway. Desmond Trotter and Gio Lopez handled the QB duties for USA, which led 38-3 at halftime and kept pouring it on to finish the season at 7-6. Eastern Michigan couldn't get anything going offensively, mustering just one first down in the first half while playing without quarterback Austin Smith, who entered the transfer portal following the regular season. Without him, EMU's quarterbacks combined to complete just of 12 of 30 passes for 73 yards with two interceptions. Eastern Michigan's only touchdown came with 58 seconds left as South Alabama finished with a 627-150 edge in total yards.

Jamaal Pritchett had a massive day for South Alabama, catching eight passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Lopez and Trotter each notched rushing and passing touchdowns.

December 24, 2023, 3:43 AM
Dec. 23, 2023, 10:43 pm EST
 
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Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Georgia State 45, Utah State 22

The Panthers snapped their five-game losing streak in style with a resounding win over the Aggies in Boise, Idaho. Running back Freddie Brock logged 24 carries for 276 yards and one score despite coming in with just six carries for 31 yards on the season. Quarterback Darren Grainger went off with 368 total yards (257 passing, 111 rushing) and five total touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) in his final collegiate game. He wasn't the only Panther to shine on offense, though. The Panthers racked up 643 total yards, averaged 9.1 yards per play and controlled the game from the outset.

Utah State quarterback Levi Williams played his final game before giving up football and going into Navy SEAL training. He threw for 131 yards, rushed for 23 yards and tossed one touchdown pass in a losing effort.

 
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Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force 31, James Madison 21

Air Force captured its second straight Armed Forces Bowl title and third bowl win in a row with a 31-21 triumph over James Madison on Saturday. The victory also serves as a major bounce back for an Air Force team that started the year with an 8-0 record before losing its last four games in a row. As one would expect, the Falcons dominated on the ground, rushing for 326 yards while averaging over five yards per carry. Air Force running back Emmanuel Michel led all rushers with 203 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries. 

But Air Force did live up to its moniker with some strong work in the passing game. The Falcons expanded their halftime lead to 21-7 after quarterback Zac Larrier hit wide receiver Jared Roznos for a 42-yard touchdown with less than 30 seconds in the first half. James Madison cut the game to 21-14 with a touchdown pass from Jordan McCloud early in the third quarter, but Air Force pulled away from there, scoring 10 unanswered points to create a fourth-quarter cushion. 

Air Force's defense deserves plenty of credit for the win. The Falcons held James Madison to its lowest point total since its 20-9 win against Marshall on Oct. 19. They also limited James Madison to just 35 yards rushing on 19 carries. 

Air Force has now won nine games in four out of its last five seasons -- and it only played six games total in 2020. That COVID-shortened 2020 season is also the only time since 2018 that the Falcons have failed to win a bowl game. 

December 23, 2023, 11:28 PM
Dec. 23, 2023, 6:28 pm EST
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