As the Bowl season continues, the pairings continue to improve. Thursday was a perfect example.
Kicking things off was a battle between North Carolina and South Carolina in the Mayo Bowl. The Gamecocks came out with a 38-21 win, but one wonders if manager Shane Beamer appreciated his reward: a 4.5-gallon dose of mayonnaise.
Afterward, Purdue capped off a memorable 2021 campaign with a thrilling 48-45 win over Tennessee at the Music City Bowl.
The main match of the day saw Pittsburgh number 12 face Michigan State number 10 in the Peach Bowl. The long-awaited clash lived up to the hype as the Spartans scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter en route to an impressive 31-21 win.
The last game of the night saw Wisconsin defeat Arizona State 20-13 in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Here are the best plays of Bowl Thursday:
Las Vegas Bowl – Wisconsin 20, State of Arizona 13
Full backs need love too
Wisconsin was first on the scoreboard when extreme John Chenal struck from eight yards.
With just under two minutes left in the first quarter, Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz linked up with Jake Ferguson in the back of the end zone, giving the Badgers a 14-3 lead.
Sun Devils with the answer
Arizona State started the second half with a bang when RB Daniyel Ngata finished a five-play 64-yard drive with a quick score, taking him to 20-13.
The Sun Devils’ comeback attempt failed as the Badgers ran out of time, earning a 20-13 win.
Bowl of peaches – No. 10 Michigan State 31, No. 12 Pittsburgh 21
Michigan State QB Payton Thorne joined his former high school teammate Jayden Reed for a 28-yard score, giving the Spartans a 7-0 early lead.
Patti at the pylon
Pitt responded quickly when QB Nick Patti climbed 16 yards for the score, drawing the game 7-7 midway through the first quarter.
Third string QB, no problem
Third-string QB Davis Beville came into play for Pitt and delivered a four-yard TD strike to Jared Wayne, giving the Panthers a 14-10 lead.
Scoop and score
Pitt’s D made another big statement, forcing a fumble and then taking it 26 yards towards the house. The touchdown equalized a schedule record for defensive scores in one season.
TE Connor Heyward of Michigan State jumped to his feet and got off with a clutch TD firm, making it 21-16.
Shake the baby
Reed climbed the ladder and threw a 22-yard touchdown catch, putting the Spartans on top. He followed it up with an unmissable “rock the baby” celebration.
Reservations for six!
With Pitt at the helm and looking to equalize or take the lead, Michigan State LB Cal Haladay pulled the pass and returned it 78 yards for the game’s holding TD.
Bowl of the city of music – Purdue 45, Tennessee 42
Out of trouble
Hendon Hooker’s 41 yards to Cedric Tillman put the volunteers 7-0 at the start of the first quarter.
On the blackboard
Purdue responded quickly as QB Aidan O’Connell joined Broc Thompson for a 75-yard touchdown. And yes … the ref almost confronted Thompson.
let’s do two
The Vols lost little time when Hooker threw another deep ball at Tillman for a touchdown.
Go back to the top
After the Boilermakers took the lead 23-21 at half time, Tennessee came out shooting as Velus Jones Jr. received a home screen pass!
We have a game
We go back and forth as O’Connell drops a perfect penny to TJ Sheffield for the score, giving the Boilermakers a 30-28 lead.
Refuse to get off
Purdue TE Payne Durham received a pass in the middle and then refused to go down, breaking more tackles and rumbling 62 yards towards the end zone.
Fourth down, no problem
The Vols quickly turned back when Hooker found Tillman for their third TD of the game, this one a 13-yard strike to equalize at 38-38.
The Boilermakers struck straight back with a 70-yard pass-and-catch from O’Connell to Thompson. With that move, O’Connell set a Purdue bowling record!
After hitting a massive fourth-down stop, Purdue got the ball back and Mitchell Fineran kicked a winning 39-yard field goal in overtime.
Duke’s Mayo Bowl – South Carolina 38, North Carolina 21
The winner goes to the loot
The Mayo Bowl-winning coach was ready to be dipped in mayonnaise. Is this an incentive?
The Gamecocks struck first with incredible deception. Receiver Dakereon Joyner lined up at the quarterback, dodged the run and threw a 69-yard pass to Jaheim Bell.
Ring the bell
It wasn’t long before Bell hit again, this time from QB Zeb Noland for 66 yards. The subsequent two-point conversion led to 15-0.
Feel the moves
The Gamecocks built an 18-0 lead in the first quarter. Then, after the Heels came back 18-10 early in the second, South Carolina struck again with another great play. At half-time, South Carolina led 25-13.
Sam the man
Tar Heels star Sam Howell kept the Tar Heels in play, throwing a TD pass in the third quarter while UNC stayed at 11 points.
South Carolina rules the day
But in the end, for better or for worse, it was all Gamecocks.
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