New Year’s Day is a big day for college football, and that proved to be no different this year as a number of bowl games were played. Many of the best teams in the country were finally featured, and we’ll begin our journey with the Rose Bowl as Ohio State won a barn-burner over Utah by a score of 48-45. The Buckeyes trailed 14-0 after one and 35-21 at the half, but they came roaring back thanks to the extraordinary play of quarterback CJ Stroud and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Stroud threw for 573 yards and six touchdowns while Smith-Njigba made 15 catches and had three touchdowns to go with a ridiculous, eye-watering 347 receiving yards.
Simply incredible, and the #6 Buckeyes still needed a field goal with nine seconds on the clock in order to take down the valiant #11 Utes. Down in New Orleans, the Sugar Bowl had to take the stage and try to follow up that game. While it didn’t quite live up to it, the #7 Baylor Bears won’t mind too much as they took home the victory over Ole Miss 21-7. The Bears’ defense forced three turnovers, one of which led to a 96-yard interception return by Al Walcott in the second quarter, and pounded the ball in the running game to hamper the Rebels’ chances and it led to a much-deserved win. Earlier in the day, #9 Oklahoma State defeated #5 Notre Dame 37-35 in the Fiesta Bowl in a game in which both quarterbacks were simply stunning. Jack Coan had 509 yards passing and five touchdowns for the Irish while Spencer Sanders had well over 500 yards of total offense as well and threw for four touchdowns. The Cowboys trailed by 14 at the half, but they would score 23 points consecutively in the third and fourth to seize the game and ensure they ended their season on a big high.