The 2018-19 College Football All-Bowl Season Team

Ian Wharton@NFLFilmStudyFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 8, 2019

The 2018-19 College Football All-Bowl Season Team

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    The college football season came to its conclusion Monday night as Clemson was crowned national champion for the second time in three years. The 2018-19 bowl season contained much more than Clemson's dominance against Notre Dame and Alabama, though.

    In total, there were 39 FBS college football games, with Boise State and Boston College's battle canceled because of weather. We've assembled a two-deep All-Star team from those matchups.

    You'll see Clemson included, but also players from Utah State, Georgia Southern, Florida International, Army and everywhere in between.

    Those who posted the biggest numbers certainly earned consideration, but key plays were a deciding factor if numbers were similar.

    In selecting the first and second teams from bowl season, we're using a two-wide receiver, two-running back, one-tight end offensive formation and a traditional 3-4 defense.

Quarterback

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    First Team: Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

    Cotton Bowl: 27/39, 327 yards, 3 TDs

    CFP National Championship: 20/32, 347 yards, 3 TDs

    If there were any doubts about how true freshman Trevor Lawrence would respond to the bright lights entering the College Football Playoff, he quickly shut them down. Lawrence was incredible and nearly flawless in both playoff games, eviscerating top-tier defenses with his ability to throw short, intermediate and deep passes. Forget freshmen, Lawrence was as impressive in these two games as any quarterback we've seen since the playoff began.

    Even as Alabama limited the Tigers' running game, Lawrence stepped up with advanced pocket presence to avoid rushers and create more time to throw the ball. He repeatedly found chunk plays against Nick Saban's defense, eventually leading to a 44-16 blowout win for the championship.

         

    Second Team: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

    Orange Bowl: 24/27, 318 yards, 4 TDs

    CFP National Championship: 22/34, 295 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs

    Even though it wasn't his best performance against Clemson, Tua Tagovailoa still had a great two games, considering the competition and the margin for error. The Crimson Tide struggled dearly in several key areas, including pass protection, and even if Tagovailoa had been perfect, they still probably lose to a better Clemson team. With this in mind, Tagovailoa was the obvious choice for the second team even with the two turnovers.

    Tagovailoa's own ability to create chunk plays downfield and keep the offense moving was unparalleled against Oklahoma. He put on a clinic while the Heisman Trophy winner started slowly and had already built a comfortable lead by the time the Sooners revved up.

    His two interceptions against Clemson both came on misreads, but at least after the first one, he made up for the mistake in quick order with a TD drive. The Tide oddly took the ball out of his hands on several plays inside the red zone, costing them opportunities to allow their best playmaker to make the right decision.

         

    Honorable Mention: Jordan Love, Utah State

    New Mexico Bowl: 21/43, 359 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT; 2 carries, 3 yards, 1 TD

    Utah State destroyed North Texas 52-13 thanks to a 31-point unanswered run by the Aggies. Star quarterback Jordan Love created explosive throws despite having a sub-50 percent completion rate. He completed touchdowns of 13, 37, 67 and 72 yards, and added a nine-yard touchdown run. Watch for Love to emerge as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation in 2019.

Running Back

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    First Team: Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt

    Texas Bowl: 13 carries, 243 yards, 2 TDs

    Defense was optional in the Texas Bowl, as Baylor and Vanderbilt combined for 83 points and just three punts. One of the two biggest performances came from Vanderbilt running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn, who led all bowl game backs with a ridiculous 243 yards and two touchdowns on only 13 carries. Both of his touchdowns came in the first half as he scampered for a 68-yarder and 69-yarder.

    Why the Commodores went away from the run despite the game being within reach in the second half is a mystery. Baylor had no answers for Vaughn's blend of speed and vision. Both of his touchdowns exposed the Bears defense's penchant for taking poor angles and lack of discipline.

         

    First Team: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

    Pinstripe Bowl: 27 carries, 205 yards, 1 TD

    The Wisconsin Badgers were able to humiliate the Miami Hurricanes to the point where head coach Mark Richt opted to retire than continue forward with the program. While their offensive line was able to pulverize the Hurricanes' front seven, once again running back and Heisman contender Jonathan Taylor made the most of his carries. Taylor proved too powerful over the course of the second half as Wisconsin blew its lead open from 11 points to 32.

    A whopping 131 yards came after contact as Taylor avoided eight tackles, per Pro Football Focus. The monstrous day pushed him to 2,194 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season, with just one game under 100 yards.

         

    Second Team: Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M

    Gator Bowl: 19 carries, 236 yards, 3 TDs

    The Texas A&M Aggies quickly separated themselves from the NC State Wolfpack soon after the second half began. The Aggies started to feature star back Trayveon Williams more, and he rewarded the offense with several explosive plays, including his highlight 93-yard touchdown that put the nail in the coffin early in the fourth quarter. All three of his touchdowns equaled 112 yards.

    The chunk yards in between scores demonstrated the speed difference between the two teams. He also dashed for gains of 18, 30 and 38. He nearly led the bowl games in rushing despite not playing on the team's final two drives.

         

    Second Team: Sewo Olonilua, TCU

    Cheez-It Bowl: 32 carries, 194 yards, 1 TD; 1 reception, 1 yard

    The Cheez-It Bowl was oddly entertaining despite featuring nine interceptions and only 17 points in regulation and overtime. Though the passing games were completely inept, TCU running back Sewo Olonilua was excellent as he trudged through a talented Cal defense for 195 total yards and the Horned Frogs' only touchdown. Olonilua had his best career game at a good time.

    In fact, Olonilua had just 441 rushing yards entering the game. His unlikely breakout kept this game interesting and ultimately helped TCU pull out an overtime win.

Wide Receiver

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    First Team: Xavier Ubosi, UAB

    Boca Raton Bowl: 7 receptions, 227 yards, 3 TDs

    The most dominant receiving game of the bowl season came via UAB senior Xavier Ubosi against Northern Illinois. He came just one-yard shy of matching his entire 2017 total yards and tripled his touchdown total in the effort. It was his second game of the year with at least 196 yards and third game with multiple touchdowns.

    As expected with this sort of stat line, he had three explosive touchdowns. The first play of the game set the tone, as he went 70 yards on a go route. He again took a go route the distance for 46 yards in the second quarter when the corner fell down. His final score resembled his first, as he galloped 66 yards on a deep pass, cruising past his defender because of his speed.

         

    First Team: Justyn Ross, Clemson

    Cotton Bowl: 6 receptions, 148 yards, 2 TDs

    CFP National Championship: 6 receptions, 153 yards, 1 TD

    Talk about emerging on the national stage with style. Freshman receiver Justyn Ross accumulated over 300 yards and three touchdowns against two great secondaries, showing off an incredible blend of size, catch radius, body control and speed. He was even able to convert on the few inaccurate Trevor Lawrence passes, including a tremendous one-handed catch against Alabama where he used just his palm.

    He appears to have A.J. Green- and DeAndre Hopkins-type blood in him already. While almost every team would love to have one Ross, Clemson features several No. 1-type receivers who siphon targets away. Expect Clemson to prioritize Ross early and often in 2019 after his playoff breakout.

         

    Second Team: Hakeem Butler, Iowa State

    Alamo Bowl: 9 receptions, 192 yards

    There are receivers who had similar numbers to Hakeem Butler's, but no receiver physically dominated his competition like he did en route to his production. Butler manhandled a very good Washington State defense with his listed 6'6", 225-pound frame. He owned the catch point with his strength and catch radius.

    He also showed off his ability to break tackles and create yards after the catch. His dazzling one-handed catch in the third quarter was one of the highlights of all bowl season.

         

    Second Team: T.J. Rahming, Duke

    Independence Bowl: 12 receptions, 240 yards, 2 touchdowns

    The Duke Blue Devils had their way through the air against Temple in the Independence Bowl, as quarterback Daniel Jones accumulated 423 yards and five touchdowns on the day. His main target, T.J. Rahming, posted his first 100-yard game of the year. Rahming repeatedly got behind Temple's zone defense, and Jones delivered strikes throughout the game.

    His domination began early in the first quarter, as he got wide open on a wheel route for 62 yards. That set the tone for the rest of the game, including a 22-yard and 85-yard touchdown.

Tight End

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    First Team: Sterling Palmer, FIU

    Bahamas Bowl: 3 receptions, 64 yards, 1 TD

    Admittedly, the tight end production wasn't quite up to snuff this bowl season. But the most impressive performer at the position established himself as a playmaker to watch moving forward. Freshman Sterling Palmer made the most of his opportunity against Toledo despite a backup quarterback playing.

    His 36-yard touchdown in the second quarter demonstrated solid speed considering his enormous 6'6", 235-pound frame. He came open on a play-action rollout where he slipped by his defender into the open field. The touchdown helped Florida International get by Toledo by one score.

            

    Second Team: T.J. Hockenson, Iowa

    Outback Bowl: 3 receptions, 43 yards

    Sometimes the impact of a tight end goes beyond the production they have thanks to their blocking ability. That's the case here, as T.J. Hockenson gets the nod over others who were in the same range of production. He made the most of his targets and more importantly helped Iowa protect quarterback Nate Stanley against a terrifyingly good defensive line.

    He also served as a decoy on the third-quarter touchdown that ended up sealing the win for Iowa. Stanley gave a play-action to the left with Hockenson as the lead blocker on that side, clearing out a path that froze the defense. Stanley quickly threw a quick out to the right, and Nick Easley scored.

Offensive Line

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    First Team: Army Black Knights

    Armed Forces Bowl: 507 yards rushing, 8 touchdowns, 8.74 yards per carry

    Arguably the most shocking result of the bowl games was how thoroughly Army destroyed a good Houston Cougars team. The Black Knights have been a great running team for years, but averaging nearly nine yards per carry while featuring 10 rushers is quite the accomplishment. Quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. had a career-high 170 yards on just 11 carries, and the Black Knights had only one other rusher with more than 10 carries.

    Hopkins scampered for two touchdowns in the first quarter, and it was his 77-yarder as the first quarter ended that took the air out of the Cougars. Houston couldn't slow the option attack despite having several weeks to prepare. Army's execution and offensive line were too disciplined and precise in this railroading.

              

    Second Team: Missouri Tigers

    Liberty Bowl: 264 yards rushing, 1 TD, 6.29 yards per carry; 0 sacks allowed, 3 tackles for loss

    Naming a second team for the all-bowl season was not an easy task. The Wisconsin Badgers deserved credit, as did a handful of others. But no team had a more balanced performance than the Missouri Tigers' offensive line against Oklahoma State.

    Tigers quarterback Drew Lock was kept clean throughout the day, and he rewarded the team with a fine performance. Though they lost, the line averaged a quality 6.29 yards and gave up only three negative plays all game. The unit gave the team the best chance to win that it could.

Defensive End

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    First Team: Josh Allen, Kentucky

    Citrus Bowl: 4 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 blocked kick

    Kentucky senior pass-rusher Josh Allen made sure he finished his career with the best impression for the NFL as he could, racking up three sacks on Penn State's Trace McSorley. Allen grabbed the attention of multiple blockers throughout the afternoon and still found his way into the backfield thanks to a variety of spin moves, swim moves and flat-out speed.

    He quickly made his presence felt with two sacks in the first half. He also blocked a 36-yard field goal prior to halftime. He finished the season with 17 sacks.

              

    First Team: Willie Baker, Louisiana Tech

    Hawaii Bowl: 5 tackles, 4 sacks, 5 tackles for loss

    Sophomore defensive end Willie Baker had the game of his life against a threatening Hawaii offense, as he more than doubled his season sack output in one game. His four sacks somewhat overshadowed teammate Jaylon Ferguson's record-breaking 45th career sack. Both players wreaked havoc as the Bulldogs limited Hawaii to one score until late in the fourth quarter.

    Baker's pressure continued from the start until the end of the game, with two sacks each half. He was  also responsible for collapsing the pocket on one of Ferguson's sacks, forcing the quarterback to step into the other rusher.

              

    Second Team: Austin Bryant, Clemson

    Cotton Bowl: 6 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss

    National Championship: 4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss

    Selecting just one Clemson defensive lineman isn't an easy or fair task. The unit decimated both Notre Dame and Alabama without Dexter Lawrence in the fold. Defensive end Austin Bryant continued to disrupt the pocket in both games, showing off a well-balanced skill set and powerful lower body.

    His run-stopping ability paid off as the Crimson Tide tried to continue bullying their way in the second half to stop the scoreboard bleeding. Eventually, Alabama couldn't keep converting short-yardage situations, and Clemson quickly took complete control of the game. This defensive line went out in impressive fashion in its final game together.

              

    Second Team: Okon Godwin, Appalachian State

    New Orleans Bowl: 4 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3 tackles for loss

    Another edge-rusher who more than doubled his season's production in his bowl game, Okon Godwin turned in a career performance against the hapless Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. Godwin benefited from a 24-6 halftime lead, and the Blue Raiders were overmatched without clean pockets to throw from.

    As the second-half lead swelled, Godwin pinned his ears back and capitalized on the predictable play-calling. His powerful and squatty build helped him bulldoze through his blockers en route to the backfield.

Defensive Tackle

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    First Team: Rashard Lawrence, LSU

    Fiesta Bowl: 5 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 tackles for loss

    LSU defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence proved to be dominant against UCF's smaller offensive line. He continually blew up run plays and pressured quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. His impact was even greater than his stat line.

    One of the big reasons UCF slowed past the first quarter was how Lawrence wore down his blockers. The Knights scored on just two drives in the second half and struggled with three-and-outs as they lost the line-of-scrimmage battle.

                

    First Team: Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State

    Outback Bowl: 4 tackles, 1 sack, 2.5 tackles for loss

    Even though the Bulldogs lost, they landed two players on this list because of their individual brilliance. Defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons had great showing against the physical Iowa front, forcing the Hawkeyes to avoid his gap on run plays while he provided help on pass plays. Simmons' disruptiveness as a penetrator is what projects so well to the NFL.

    The Hawkeyes were held to minus-three rushing yards even taking out Nate Stanley's minus-18 yard performance. Simmons was the catalyst on the deep defensive line.

                

    Second Team: Devonte Wyatt, Georgia

    Sugar Bowl: 7 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 pass defense

    The Texas Longhorns may have easily been the better team in the Sugar Bowl, but that doesn't mean some of the Bulldogs didn't shine. Defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt was thrust into the spotlight after missing half the season, and he logged his first sacks on the year and set a season high in tackles.

    Wyatt earned more playing time than usual and made the most of it. His active hands were key to his production.

                

    Second Team: Zeno Choi, Hawaii

    Hawaii Bowl: 7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

    In case you haven't noticed, this list of bowl stars is filled with players who stepped up with career-best statistical performances.

    Hawaii defensive tackle Zeno Choi was able to stop one possession with a strip-sack of quarterback J'Mar Smith, keeping the Rainbow Warriors in the game until the Bulldogs exploded in the second half. He also contributed seven tackles, showing good strength along the line of scrimmage as a defensive anchor.

Outside Linebacker

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    First Team: Chase Winovich, Michigan

    Peach Bowl: 7 tackles, 1 sack, 3 tackles for loss

    Michigan was beaten down by Florida's speed and physicality as the game wore on, but there's little more that senior outside linebacker Chase Winovich could have done. The defensive leader finished second in tackles on the Wolverines and led the game with three tackles for loss.

    His sack came early in the fourth quarter, and his plays in the backfield affected where Florida ran the ball. Winovich couldn't stop the onslaught, but he did as well as anyone.

                

    First Team: James Nachtigal, Army

    Armed Forces Bowl: 16 tackles, 11 solo, 3.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble

    Linebacker James Nachtigal had one of the best stat lines of the bowl season. He showed great versatility throughout, sniffing out quarterback Clayton Tune's runs and finishing four plays in the backfield.

    The star moment for him was forcing a fumble early in the second quarter, which was scoop and scored by teammate Cameron Jones. Nachtigal helped set the tone for Army's spectacular performance.

               

    Second Team: Justin Hollins, Oregon

    Redbox Bowl: 7 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss

    The ugliest game of the bowl season may have been the Redbox Bowl between Michigan State and Oregon. At least the Cheez-It Bowl had nine interceptions. One of the few positives from this game was how well senior outside linebacker Justin Hollins performed.

    He gained his full sack early in the fourth quarter on Oregon's 35-yard line. Michigan State later missed a 50-yard field goal that could've decided the game.

              

    Second Team: Paddy Fisher, Northwestern

    Holiday Bowl: 13 tackles, 0.5 tackle for loss

    Northwestern and Utah combined to run for just 172 yards on 72 attempts and saw one of the more unbelievable second-half comebacks. The Wildcats were trailing 20-3 at halftime but surged for an unanswered 28 points in the third quarter. Unable to establish the run because of Paddy Fisher's dominance, Utah ended up turning the ball over four times in the third alone.

    Fisher repeatedly found the ball-carrier within yards of the line of scrimmage. His nine solo tackles were part of a fantastic individual performance that forced Utah to play outside of its comfort zone.

Inside Linebacker

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    First Team: Tyrel Dodson, Texas A&M

    Gator Bowl: 9 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, 78 yards, 1 TD

    The Texas A&M Aggies had two explosive performers against NC State in running back Trayveon Williams and linebacker Tyrel Dodson. Dodson helped turn the game into a blowout on the first drive of the third quarter. As the Wolfpack were nearing the red zone, Dodson intercepted a Ryan Finley pass for a 78-yard pick-six.

    The Wolfpack were never able to establish a reliable running game. Dodson's ability to finish at the point of contact stood out as he tallied tackles.

              

    First Team: Jordan Kunaszyk, Cal

    Cheez-It Bowl: 14 tackles, 1 interception, 7 yards

    There's not much more impressive than leading your team in tackles and logging an interception as a linebacker. Jordan Kunaszyk did just that in the TCU-Cal defensive struggle, amassing 14 tackles and 10 solo tackles. While TCU running back Sewo Olonilua had a great game, Kunaszyk was part of a unit that had to overcome five Cal interceptions and numerous bad positions provided by the turnovers.

    His interception early in the second quarter didn't lead to points, but it did give Cal the ball at its own 49-yard line. Had the offense been more competent, the Bears could've had a scoring opportunity after two first downs.

                

    Second Team: Pat Jasinski, UCF

    Fiesta Bowl: 10 tackles

    While LSU's speed advantage exposed UCF to a certain degree, Knights linebacker Pat Jasinski had a notably good effort with 10 tackles. The Tigers were never able to break off big runs consistently, and Jasinski's reliable positioning and finishing ability paid off as the Knights hung around. He held up as well as anyone could've hoped considering his defensive line was overpowered as the game wore on.

               

    Second Team: Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

    Orange Bowl: 15 tackles, 0.5 sacks

    While it's true that Alabama mostly owned the trenches against Oklahoma, it wasn't because of Kenneth Murray and Curtis Bolton. The Sooners' defensive line was continually blown back off the line by the Crimson Tide's blockers. The result was Murray finished with 15 tackles, and Alabama ran for under five yards per carry.

Cornerback

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    First Team: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida

    Peach Bowl: 5 tackles, 2 interceptions, 83 yards, 1 TD

    This game ended up as a blowout, but it wasn't decided until a 24-3 run by the Gators between the second and third quarters. The play that started the pile-on was Chauncey Gardner-Johnson's first interception on Michigan's first drive in the third quarter. The drives after the pick included three Florida offensive touchdowns and a Gardner-Johnson pick-six.

    He helped set the offense up for an easier day thanks to his playmaking. The junior tied his season interception total in just the second half.

              

    First Team: Trayvon Mullen, Clemson

    Cotton Bowl: 5 tackles, 4 solo

    National Championship: 6 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception, 46 yards

    After a good performance against Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl, Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen saved his best game of the year for Alabama. He not only tricked Tua Tagovailoa into throwing a deep interception as he rotated back into a Cover 3 drop, but he later forced a fumble on a sack that helped Clemson keep the ball away from the Tide offense.

    His timely playmaking hadn't been on display this season as much as expected despite his talent as a sticky man corner. This was when the Tigers needed him most, and he filled the stat sheet like few corners can.

              

    Second Team: Marcus Strong, Washington State

    Alamo Bowl: 7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, 66 yards

    One moment that nearly turned the result of this game happened early in the first quarter. When junior cornerback Marcus Strong stepped in front of a curl route and interception Brock Purdy's pass attempt, he made it all the way to the end zone. But he was flagged for taunting on his way there, wiping out the score.

    Strong was still solid the rest of the game even as Hakeem Butler produced. All seven of his tackles were solo, and he also created a sack off a corner blitz.

               

    Second Team: D.J. Williams, Utah State

    New Mexico Bowl: 2 interceptions, 31 yards

    Utah State's offense couldn't be slowed anyways, but the Aggies defense also overmatched North Texas. Cornerback D.J. Williams snagged two of the four interceptions thrown by the Mean Green, both in the first half. His first came off backup Quinn Shanbour and set up a touchdown that put the Aggies up 35-7. The second came prior to the half against Jason Bean.

Safety

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    First Team: Jaylinn Hawkins, Cal

    Cheez-It Bowl: 6 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 29 yards

    Cal safety Jaylinn Hawkins was the main beneficiary statistically of the interception-fest known as the Cheez-It Bowl. The junior set a season high for tackles and doubled his season's output for interceptions. Two came in the first half, with the second promptly leading to Cal's only touchdown of the game.

    His third may have saved another score. As TCU was driving on its first drive of the third quarter, Hawkins snatched the ball at its own-32 yard line. Had the ball fallen incomplete, the Horned Frogs may have attempted a 49-yard field goal.

              

    First Team: Corrion Ballard, Utah

    Holiday Bowl: 10 tackles, 1 sack, 2.5 tackles for loss

    The Utah defense played a solid game against Northwestern for three quarters. Unfortunately, four turnovers in the third quarter ruined the effort, but the defense still gave the Utes a chance to pull off a victory. Their best player was safety Corrion Ballard.

    He's a hard-hitting box safety who can cover tight ends. His athleticism and 6'3" frame paid off whenever the ball came his way. Most impressive was his ability to make plays in the backfield and finish in the open field.

               

    Second Team: Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State

    Outback Bowl: 6 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1.5 tackles for loss

    The second Bulldogs defender on this list, safety Johnathan Abram also went out with a good showing before moving to the NFL. Though his struggles in coverage were highlighted once, his ability as a box defender was solidified. He routinely dropped closer to the line of scrimmage and was a massive factor in why Iowa could never get its run game started.

               

    Second Team: Jaquan Johnson, Miami

    Pinstripe Bowl: 13 tackles, 1 interception

    There wasn't much to take away positively from Miami's 35-3 drubbing against Wisconsin except for Jaquan Johnson's play. The versatile safety posted his sixth game with at least 10 tackles in 11 games played. Though it didn't change the outcome, he also picked off his second ball of the season, coming on the third drive of the game when Wisconsin was already up two scores.

Kicker

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    First Team: Tyler Bass, Georgia Southern

    Camellia Bowl: 3-of-3 field goals, 2-of-2 extra points

    Georgia Southern struggled with the seven-win Eastern Michigan Eagles, having to rely on junior kicker Tyler Bass to win the game. He totaled 11 points, including a 50-yarder and the game-winning 40-yarder as time expired. The performance put him at 19-of-21 on field goals and 45-of-45 on extra points on the season.

              

    Second Team: Evan Staley, West Virginia

    4-of-4 field goals, 0-of-1 extra points

    While Evan Staley outscored Tyler Bass 12-11, the importance of his kicks was lower, as the Mountaineers were beaten by two scores. But Staley hit a 44-yard and 49-yard field goal in the third quarter, in addition to two shorter kicks. His missed extra point was a surprise, as it was the first in 60 attempts on the season.

Punter

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    First Team: Drue Chrisman, Ohio State

    Rose Bowl: 8 punts, 342 yards, 42.75 average, 55 long, 8 return yards

    Ohio State became conservative in the second half against Washington, punting five times as the Buckeyes tried to run out the clock. Punter Drue Chrisman continued his great season, as he set his second-highest total yard mark. He also only allowed eight return yards and kept Washington away from quality positioning.

             

    Second Team: Ryan Bujcevski, Texas

    Sugar Bowl: 5 punts, 207 yards, 41.4 average, 52 long, 0 return yards

    The Longhorns rarely needed to punt, as they continued to create scoring opportunities. But when they needed to, Ryan Bujcevski answered the call. The Bulldogs failed to score after every Bujcevski punt thanks to pinpoint placement. Four of his kicks landed inside the 20.

Returner

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    First Team: Tony Pollard, Memphis

    Birmingham Bowl: 6 kick returns, 209 yards, 97 long, 1 TD

    While Tony Pollard of Memphis was unable to break the career kickoff-return-touchdown record, his 97-yard scamper did tie the record. His dazzling dash in the second quarter against Wake Forest kept his Tigers in the game. His 209 yard total continually gave the offense an extra boost.

         

    Second Team: Lynn Bowden Jr., Kentucky

    Citrus Bowl: 2 kick returns, 21 yards; 2 punt returns, 68 yards, 58 long, 1 TD

    The Kentucky Wildcats raced out to a 10-point advantage in the first quarter against Penn State. They ended up needing every one of those points as they held on for a three-point win. They can thank Lynn Bowden for his 58-yard game-breaking punt that energized the Wildcats.

    Though Bowden had just five punt returns on the season, he took two to the house. They may want to feature him more in 2019.