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Story Archives: Pass me the bowls
|Pass me the bowls|
OK, for all of you young folks who don't remember Poltergseist (didn't even bother with "Here's Johnny"), how about "I guess things are going to be kind of boring now, aren't they?" from Jacob Black in Twilight, Breaking Dawn.
It starts this Saturday with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. You just can't make this stuff up. And I haven't even gotten to the Beef O'Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl.
Well, at least for Louisianians, there is a lot of interest in the early bowls. Well, some of them.
The New Orleans Bowl has Louisiana-Lafayette taking on San Diego State.
The Ragin' Cajuns are 8-4 under first-year head coach Mark Hudspeth. The former assistant to Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen has said he is staying at ULL. Yeah, right, and Les Miles will be in Michigan.
The Cajuns eight wins are the most since 1993, when true freshman Jake Delhomme led his team to an 8-3 mark and the Big West Championship. UL has won nine games twice in program history (1976, 9-2 and 1921, 9-2).
In five home games, Cajun Field drew a total of 145,854 (29,171/game). UL shattered the per game school record of 25,224 set in 1977 (151,346). The Cajuns got close to the all-time single-season record of 163,143 set over seven home games in 1976.
Here are some names to be familiar with for the 8 p.m. game Saturday that will be shown on ESPN.
Linebacker Lance Kelley finished with 107 tackles on the season. The last Cajuns linebacker to top 100 tackles in a season was Antwyne Zanders (103 in '09). Kelley is within 13 tackles of fifth on UL's single-season list for tackles by a linebacker (Charles Pool /Kelcy Dotson ).
Junior quarterback Blaine Gautier led the Cajuns, passing for 300-plus yards for the fourth time this season in the Cajuns' final game against Arizona.
Gautier tied the UL single season passing touchdown record held by Jake Delhomme (20). He also moved into fourth place in single season passing yards at 2,488, only 11 yards back of Jon Van Cleave for third place (2,499 yards in 2001) and 273 yards back of Jake Delhomme for second all-time (2,761 yards in 1995).
Jemarlous Moten led Louisiana defensively, posting a career-high nine tackles, a tackle-for-loss and two interceptions - including the Cajuns seventh "pick six" of 2011. The interception return for a touchdown ties the NCAA record in a single season set by Tennessee in 1971.
Louisiana Tech will be on ESPN four nights later on Dec. 21 against TCU in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego.
Tech finished 8-4, which not many people expected this year, more like thinking lofty goals for next year.
Tech gave an indication of what was to come in their first game, falling to Southern Mississippi 19-17 in Hattiesburg.
That's the same USM that beat Houston in the C-USA championship game.
Oh yeah, Houston. That's the team Tech led 34-7 before losing 35-34.
The Bulldogs then gave Mississippi State all they could handle, losing 26-20 in overtime in Starkville.
The Bulldogs became bowl eligible by dominating Ole Miss 27-7 in Oxford.
To let you know how much less was expected, the most recognizable Tech player is their punter, Ryan Allen, who won the Ray Guy Award last week.
Tech's defense allowed no rusher 100 yards in 10 of 12 games. The Bulldog defense led the WAC with 20 interceptions.
TCU finished 10-2 and handed Boise State its only loss (on the blue field, at that). The Horned Frogs will be in the Big 12 next season. TCU's seniors have won 46 games.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson enters the Poinsettia Bowl just one victory shy of tying Dutch Meyer (109) as TCU's all-time winningest coach. Meyer led the Horned Frogs to their national championships in 1935 and 1938.
Patterson's .783 winning percentage (108-30) is fourth among active coaches nationally with a minimum of five years experience.
He is also one of just eight active coaches to have won at least 100 games at their current school.
So, yes, those funny-sounding bowls are just a prelim to what's ahead.
But there will be a lot of interest across the state for at least a couple of those.
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