After a one-day break and just before the really big games are upon us, Navy gets to pick up the Military Bowl trophy with an impressive win against Pittsburgh while Minnesota complete a weird season that could have been much better by taking the Quick Lane Bowl trophy back home after beating Central Michigan.
Pittsburgh Panthers (8-5) 28 Navy Midshipmen (11-2) 44 (Military Bowl): This game was about Keenan Reynolds completing a stellar career and season with three rushing touchdowns and throwing for another, as Navy took a 31-7 lead before easing away against a Pitt team that started this season strong and fizzled along the way once the competition got more difficult. This was the third consecutive bowl game win for Navy and their best season under Ken Niumatalolo, who had one 10-win season in 2009.
Central Michigan (7-6) 14 Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-7) 21 (Quick Lane Bowl): The Golden Gophers are another sub .500 team that wins its bowl game and stays with a losing record at the end of the season. The Chippewas had a 14-13 lead until 4:26 in the game, when quarterback Mitch Leidner ran 13 yards for a touchdown and then threw a successful pass to convert the two points. It’s the first bowl game Minnesota win since the Music City Bowl in 2004, beating a mediocre Alabama team.
December 29 is going to be a busy day, telling us things are heating up towards the crescendo. California face Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl, followed by North Carolina and Baylor, two ranked teams, facing off in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Nevada and Colorado State play the Arizona Bowl, and the last one to kick off will be LSU taking on Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl.