To begin the Bowl Games set for the last day of the year 2011, my good friend Chris Jacobs from TheGamingTailgate.com is making his debut contribution to the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL here at STAT BOX STORIES.
The 2011 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas features Northwestern from the Big Ten Conference versus the Big XII’s Texas A&M. However, with the Aggies headed to the Southeastern Conference next season, many fans will consider this match-up a Big Ten – SEC showdown. Can the scrappy Wildcats match up with the strength and playmaking ability of the Aggies?
The first quarter saw each squad with solid drives. Northwestern’s no-huddle attack would strike first on their opening possession with a 32-yard field goal from K #37. However, on the play prior to the field goal attempt, NW QB #7 – their senior leader – would get knocked out of the game with a concussion following a 4 of 5 start passing in the game. Sophomore QB #2 would be pressed into duty.
Texas A&M would start their opening drive with some strong running between the tackles from HB #32. A senior, his hard running style would help the Aggies establish a strong threat on the ground all game long. On their first possession they would tie up the game on a 51-yard field goal from K #28.
The second quarter would see a 3-3 tie balloon into a 20-3 Texas A&M lead at halftime. A&M QB #17 connected on a 52-yard touchdown strike to WR #8 and on the ensuing kickoff, a forced fumble would be returned for a touchdown. In just eight seconds, the game went from 3-3 to 17-3. Northwestern back-up QB #2 would go just 1 of 7 in the first half. A 25-yard FG with eleven seconds left in the first half would put A&M ahead 20-3.
Texas A&M would receive the ball to start the second half while looking for the proverbial knockout blow. On the drive, the Aggies would keep the ball on the ground and force Northwestern to stop the run – or get run over. A bruised knee would force HB #32 to the sidelines temporarily, but on the following three touches junior HB #33 would go sixty yards, cumulating with a 32-yard touchdown run. The score would put A&M up 27-3 with just under five minutes remaining in the third.
On the next possession, it appeared Northwestern had been forced into punting but on 4th and 2, a fake punt would give the Wildcats new life across midfield. A 41-yard goal would put the game back into three-score range at 27-6.
Texas A&M would put their offense on the shoulders of the running game the rest of the way to run out the clock. A final two-yard touchdown run from HB #32 would give us our final score of 34-6.
In a season that saw Texas A&M enter with high expectations but fall short (with numerous blown leads), the Aggies capped the season with a convincing bowl win as they move on to the SEC in 2012. Northwestern showed a lot of moxie all season, but an injury to their starting QB seemed to end any chance of being competitive in this virtual match-up.
We’re off to a good start here for the December 31st Bowl Games; be sure to check out the other four games from today’s slate here at STAT BOX STORIES, and get ready for another busy day coming up on January 2nd in the New Year!
Guest Author Bio:
Chris Jacobs is an EA SPORTS Game Changer and posts on many gaming sites under the persona of “cdj.” He has been part of the EA SPORTS Game Changers since the group’s inception and plays NCAA Football, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR, Madden NFL, NBA Jam, NHL, FIFA, EA SPORTS MMA, and FIGHT NIGHT regularly. Chris is owner & administrator of TheGamingTailgate.com, a community site for NCAA Football, sports gaming, and gaming in general. You can follow Chris on Twitter with his username @cdj80.