Bowl Blitz Invitational #3: 2011 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl — Florida International @ Marshall in NCAA Football 12

The third guest contribution to the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL project here at STAT BOX STORIES comes courtesy of Jeremy Etters, better known to members of The Gaming Tailgate–and PlayStation 3 users–as psusnoop.  This is Jeremy’s first contibution to STAT BOX STORIES; if you would like to join in on this project as we try to get entries for every Bowl Game from this college football season, visit the forum game list at The Gaming Tailgate to see which games are still available to sign up for.

With Bowl season kicking off this past weekend, fans have been privileged to some already exciting games to start off with. This year’s Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl game hopes to match that excitement as it welcomes in FIU and Marshall. Both teams have interesting stories this year in their own right and are very close ratings wise in NCAA 12. The slightest edge goes to Marshall; I’m going to take FIU though and really try to get the biggest playmaker in this matchup the ball early and often, FIU WR #4.

As seems to be the case lately, I’ve lost yet another coin toss (I swear I haven’t won one in weeks). Marshall elects to defer to the second half. FIU comes out and quickly goes 3 and out. Marshall would take little time as MAR QB#8 hit MAR WR#9 down the sideline for a 36yd pass and to get into the red zone. FIU was able to force a FG though, making it 3-0 Marshall. Then kickoff would provide some excitement as FIU WR#4 returned the kickoff 97yds for the TD. The highlight didn’t completely take but you can barely tell that #4 took it straight up the field to make it 7-3 FIU.

That lead would be extremely short lived as Marshall took to the field next. Marshall’s HB #29 took the snap and just blazed right up the gut for a 61 yard TD run to set the tone for the night.  This play had some great blocking as well.

FIU would add a FG late in the first quarter to make it 10-10 after one.  To open the second quarter though, Marshall just methodically drove down the field and Marshall QB#8 hit WR #4 on a quick slant for an 11 yard TD pass to put the Thundering Herd up 17-10. FIU though appeared to answer quickly again with FIU WR #4 taking the kickoff 89 yards for another kick return TD but a late holding flag negated the TD and in the end FIU could only muster a FG when facing a 4th and 1 from the 5 yard line to make it 17-13. After forcing a Marshall punt things felt like they were starting swing FIU’s way but an untimely INT set up Marshall for an easy FG as time expired in the first half.  The halftime score was 20-13 in favor of the “home” team.

Marshall would continue to play good defense and almost at times seem to baiting FIU’s QB #13 into throwing into tight situations.  On one such play, Marshall’s SS#18 would come up with a nice pick.

Marshall would take advantage of the pick and QB #8 hit MAR WR #3 on a 25 yard pass to put the Herd up 27-13 late in the 3rd. The game seemingly would to start to get out of reach following another pick thrown from FIU QB #13 but the defense would bail them out with a huge play. The first play following the pick FIU got a big hit and caused a fumble which FIU ROLB #41 returned for the TD.

In the 4th quarter, FIU was able to get a FG to pull within 27-23 but with only 4:40 remaining in the game the FIU defense couldn’t muster a stop as Marshall scored a TD on a QB sneak to take a 34-23 lead and drained the clock that left FIU little time and a QB that really hadn’t done much in the game. It was kind of fitting as the last play of the game ended by FIU QB #13 throwing his 4th pick of the game.  As a note I lost FIU WR#4 the whole second half to a broken collarbone. Was that enough to seal the fate of the Golden Panthers?

Overall it was a very fun game and I look forward to many more great matchups this bowl season.  As a note this game was played using fellow TGT member “steelerfan’s” sliders, which can be found here.

Guest Author Bio:

Jeremy Etters (PSN ID: psusnoop) is a long time NCAA Football series “crazy” fan.  He is one of the few and proud who scrambles around trying to get a copy of the game before the release date every year.  Jeremy enjoys NCAA Football, NHL, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Madden NFL, and lately a lot of Battlefield 3.  He is also on Twitter @psusnoop though he mainly just follows @JBHuskers to see if he is going to Target today or not.

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