<
>

The most important takeaway for each bowl game

play
Georgia Southern wins Camellia Bowl with 40-yard field goal (1:06)

Georgia Southern tops Eastern Michigan 23-21 in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl as Tyler Bass nails a 40-yard field goal. (1:06)

Bowl season has started with a busy Saturday lineup. Here's what we learned from each game.

Saturday, Dec. 15

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Appalachian State 45, Middle Tennessee 13

Brent Stockstill's final game playing for his dad ended on a low note, while Appalachian State's first game without Scott Satterfield showed that there's plenty to like about the team new coach Eli Drinkwitz will inherit next season. Much of the talent on App's depth chart is back for 2019, making the Mountaineers the obvious favorites to win the Sun Belt again next season. -- David M. Hale

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl

Georgia Southern 23, Eastern Michigan 21

Georgia Southern went back-and-forth with Eastern Michigan in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl before Tyler Bass hit a field goal with no time remaining to win 23-21. The Georgia Southern option offense gave Eastern fits in the first half, but Eastern Michigan opened the second half with a 75-yard touchdown and scored a go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The win gave Georgia Southern its first 10-win season since the program joined the FBS in 2014 and stopped Eastern Michigan from winning its first bowl game since 1987. -- Tom VanHaaren


Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl

Fresno State 31, Arizona State 20

Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford has completed one of the most impressive two-year turnarounds in college football history. He inherited a 1-11 team following the 2016 season and in 2018 coached the team to its best season in school history. The Bulldogs set a school record for wins in a season (12) and, after entering the Las Vegas Bowl ranked No. 19 in the AP poll, will surely finish with their best final ranking, surpassing the No. 22 finish in 2004. The game didn't mean as much for Arizona State, but it was another forgettable performance for the Pac-12, which is in desperate need of a good showing this bowl season. -- Kyle Bonagura


AutoNation Cure Bowl

Tulane 41, Louisiana 24

Steady goes it for coach Willie Fritz and Tulane. The program he inherited was coming off back-to-back three-win seasons, and now, after winning four games and five games in his first two seasons, the Green Wave have won seven games, tied for first in the AAC West and won the Autonation Cure Bowl. The 41-24 victory over Louisiana wasn't pretty at times, as Tulane nearly coughed up a three-touchdown lead, but a strong finish signaled progress. Senior quarterback Justin McMillan must be replaced, but running back Darius Bradwell, who rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns against Louisiana, should be back for his senior season. -- Alex Scarborough


New Mexico Bowl Presented by Progressive

Utah State 52, North Texas 13

Utah State had only four full-time coaches for the game following the departure of head coach Matt Wells to Texas Tech, but it didn't matter. The Aggies were dominant from the start and closed out their second 11-win season in school history, leaving incoming coach Gary Andersen a strong foundation for continued success. Utah State's only other 11-win season came in 2012, the final year of Andersen's first stint leading the program, before he departed for Wisconsin and then Oregon State. -- Bonagura


Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl

North Carolina A&T 24, Alcorn State 22

North Carolina A&T couldn't run the football at all against Alcorn State, but it didn't matter -- not when Lamar Raynard was able to throw for nearly 300 yards, and certainly not when Malik Wilson returned a kickoff 79 yards -- the longest in the history of the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl -- for a touchdown late in the third quarter to seal the victory. It will be tough to replace the senior Raynard next season, but the good news for the Aggies is the two wideouts he found for touchdowns, Elijah Bell and Zachary Leslie, should return. -- Scarborough