Washington vs Baylor & the Craziest, High-Scoring Bowl Games of Last 10 Years
If you missed Thursday’s Valero Alamo Bowl, you missed out on something special. Baylor beat Washington 67-56, making it the one of the highest scoring games in college football bowl history.
Games like that don’t happen often. It takes just the right mix of potent offenses and terrible defenses, but they have indeed happened.
Here are the nine other bowl games that have scored 90 or more combined points since 2000.
2001 Holiday Bowl—90
Oddly enough, this game also featured Washington losing a tight one to a Big 12 team. The Huskies faced off against Texas and lost 47-43. Oh, and Washington gave up an 16-point lead in the game much like it did against Baylor on Thursday.
But this game gets even weirder. Not only were both teams ranked but no points were scored in the first quarter. If the teams had continued to score at the same rate, the game would have had 120 total points.
2005 Hawaii Bowl—97
Nevada and Central Florida combined for one of the most unique games of the 2005 bowl season. The Knights made one of the biggest turnarounds in history, going 0-11 in 2004, losing its first two games and then going 8-1, but they lost in the Conference USA championship.
They also made a furious comeback to send the game into overtime. Down 10 with 3:18 left, UCF kicked a 46-yard field goal, recovered an onside kick and threw a touchdown to Brandon Marshall to send the game into overtime. Nevada ended up winning 49-48, but the game should have gone into double overtime because UCF missed the tying extra point.
2010 Hawaii Bowl—97
This is one of three times you’ll see Hawaii on this list. The Warriors are great at scoring points but are far from the best defensive team even in their own conference. They took on Tulsa and got thoroughly dominated, losing 62-37.
The deciding factor in this game was the team’s five interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Tulsa and Hawaii combined for an incredible 817 yards passing in the game.
2007 Motor City Bowl—99
Purdue and Central Michigan met for the second time in 2007 after the Boilermakers beat the Chippewas 45-22 in the regular season. This time there was a lot more scoring.
Purdue was winning 34-13 at the half, but Central Michigan put 28 points on the board in the third quarter to tie the game up at 41 apiece. The Boilermakers won this game 51-48 as they kicked a field goal as time expired. Quarterback Curtis Painter threw for 543 yards which is fourth all-time in a bowl.
2004 Hawaii Bowl—99
Hawaii is back, and this time it was the team on the winning end. The Warriors beat UAB, 59-40. The teams exploded for 34 points in the first quarter, but Hawaii pulled away in the second half because of Timmy Chang and Chad Owens.
Chang threw for four touchdowns and rushed for one with Owens being on the receiving end of two. He also returned a punt for a touchdown. To put the game out of reach Britton Komine returned a kickoff for a touchdown with less than two minutes to play.
2003 Insight Bowl—101
This game will go down as one of the craziest in bowl history because Cal and Virginia Tech each had to come back from 14 points down to tie the game. This was also the final game for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The Hokies jumped out to an early 21-7 lead, but by the end of the third quarter, the Golden Bears were winning 42-28. Tech scored 14 points in just a 1:17 seconds with DeAngelo Hall returning a punt 52 yards for a touchdown. Cal won the game 52-49 by kicking a field goal as time expired.
2003 Hawaii Bowl—102
Hawaii is back again and once again came out victorious, this time in a triple overtime battle against Houston. The Cougars were up 20-13 at the half, but the Warriors scored 14 unanswered points in the third quarter.
The game went into overtime tied at 34 and in the third overtime, Houston failed to score a touchdown. What the game is most remembered for, though, is the fight that took place after the game. An unfortunate end to a great game.
2011 Alamo Bowl—123
Thursday’s Alamo Bowl was the most points scored in regulation in any bowl game, but it isn’t the most points scored ever. Keith Price staked his claim as one of the premier quarterbacks in the country heading into 2012 by accumulating seven touchdowns.
Heisman winner Robert Griffin III had a pedestrian day, but Washington’s defense was so scared of him that the running backs had an absolute field day, combining for 482 yards and eight touchdowns. Big plays happened left and right, and it got to the point of absolute ridiculousness. The game set records for most yardage and touchdowns in a bowl game. Baylor won 67-56.
2001 GMAC Bowl—125
For the most points scored in a bowl game ever, you have to go back to the 2001 GMAC bowl with Marshall and East Carolina. This game appeared to be all Pirates at the half as they were up a whopping 30 points, but a 28-point third quarter for the Thundering Herd made the game competitive again.
The teams went into overtime at 51 apiece because Marshall couldn’t kick the winning PAT. In double overtime, ECU had to kick a field goal. Byron Leftwich converted on third-and-goal to win the game for Marshall, 64-61. His 576 passing yards tied the bowl record, and the 30-point comeback is the second largest comeback in bowl history.