The 2019 College Football All-Bowl Season Team

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2020

The 2019 College Football All-Bowl Season Team

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Though only LSU can celebrate a national championship, ending the 2019 season with a productive showing is a nice consolation prize for college football players.

    Sometimes, that impressive day happened in a bowl you might have forget existed or came from a player unfamiliar to most. Others, though, landed in the national spotlight of a College Football Playoff game or New Year's Six bowl.

    LSU quarterback Joe Burrow certainly stole the show in the CFP.

    Throughout the postseason, B/R tracked the best showings in the 40 games involving Football Bowl Subdivision teams. The primary factor was total production.

Quarterback

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    Joe Burrow, LSU

    Never a doubt.

    Against Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl, the senior completed 21 of 27 passes for 403 yards and seven touchdownsin the first half. As a reminder of how utterly ridiculous that is, only two players (Hawaii's Cole McDonald, 493, and Memphis' Brady White, 454) threw for more yards in an entire game this bowl season.

    Burrow ended the contest with 493 yards and seven scores through the air, adding a rushing touchdown early in the second half. LSU smoked the Sooners 63-28 and advanced to the national title game.

    Then, against Clemson, Burrow racked up 521 passing and rushing yards and accounted for six scores in a 42-25 victory. This was the greatest postseason performance in college football history.

Running Backs

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    Journey Brown, Penn State

    In shedding three tacklers and carrying another into the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown, Journey Brown announced himself as a problem. That impressive run happened five minutes into Cotton Bowl, and he scampered 56 yards for a score in the second frame. Memphis hardly had an answer for Brown, who collected 209 total yards and those two touchdowns in a 53-39 win.

       

    Xazavian Valladay, Wyoming

    Though likely overshadowed by New Year's Eve festivities, Xazavian Valladay had a magnificent showing in the Arizona Bowl. The sophomore sliced Georgia State for 204 rushing yards and 91 as a receiver, scoring twice in a 38-17 triumph.

Wide Receivers and Tight End

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    Danny Karnik/Associated Press

    Justin Jefferson, LSU

    The main target of Burrow's enormous day, Justin Jefferson had a similarly absurd first-half stat line during the Peach Bowl. He entered the locker room with 186 yardswhich would've been the fourth-highest mark in bowl seasonand four touchdowns. Jefferson totaled 227 yards and four scores on 14 catches.

       

    Tyler Johnson, Minnesota

    Minnesota wrapped up an outstanding campaign with a 31-24 upset of Auburn in the Outback Bowl. Senior receiver Tyler Johnson made the decisive play with a 73-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter to break a 24-24 tie, and he thrived all game. Johnson posted 12 catches for 204 yards and two scores.

       

    Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

    On Alabama's first snap of the Citrus Bowl, Jerry Jeudy caught an 85-yard touchdown pass. Not the worst start. The NFL-bound receiver amassed 204 yards on just six receptions during his final college game, a 35-16 win over Michigan.

           

    Ja'Marr Chase, LSU

    A.J. Terrell must be tired of Ja'Marr Chase. During the first half of the national championship game, Chase grabbed a pair of 50-yard receptions and two touchdowns over the Clemson corner. Chase finished the contest with nine catches for 221 yards.

            

    Marshon Ford, Louisville

    After falling behind Mississippi State 14-0, Louisville charged back for a 38-28 triumph in the Music City Bowl. Tight end Marshon Ford grabbed two touchdowns on three receptions along the way, including an eight-yard score early in the fourth quarter that capped a run of 31 straight points for the winners.

Offensive Line

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Air Force

    Air Force put together a 20-play, 98-yard touchdown drive on its first possession in the Cheez-It Bowl. A 20-play drive! It ate up 12 minutes, 23 seconds.

    The linemen—including starters Parker Ferguson, Nolan Laufenberg, Christopher Mitchell, Connor Vikupitz and Scott Hattok—deserve a standing ovation.

    The run-first Falcons wore down Washington State, running for 371 yards on a 5.4-yard average. Behind the powerful line, Kadin Remsberg ran for 178 yards and a touchdown, Taven Birdow had 108 yards and a score and Donald Hammond III added 62 yards and two touchdowns.

    Air Force also compiled a 15-play field-goal drive on its second possession and opened the third quarter with a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. For good measure, a six-minute touchdown drive in the fourth quarter ensured Air Force's lead would be safe. The Falcons earned a 31-21 victory.

Defensive Linemen

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    A.J. Epenesa, Iowa

    A.J. Epenesa's second-half breakout continued into the Holiday Bowl. During a 49-24 rout of USC, the junior posted four tackles with 2.5 sacks and forced a fumble. Epenesa amassed 8.5 of his 11.5 sacks over the final six games of the season.

       

    Chase Hatada, Boise State

    A 38-7 loss to Washington shouldn't minimize Chase Hatada's impact in the Las Vegas Bowl. The senior collected six tackles with four stops for loss and two sacks, ending his final college campaign with 13 tackles for loss and six sacks.

       

    Kobe Jones, Mississippi State

    Kobe Jones tied his season high with four tackles in the Music City Bowl, and each one included a loss of yards. Jones notched 3.5 stops in the backfield with two sacks.

       

    Kenny Willekes, Michigan State

    Kenny Willekes wrapped up his college career with nine tackles in a 27-21 win over Wake Forest in the Pinstripe Bowl. Willekes added 1.5 sacks and forced a fumble.

Linebackers

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Joseph Ossai, Texas

    He must really love bowl season. Last year against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, Joseph Ossai had a breakout game with a career-high eight tackles. And in the 2019 Alamo Bowl, he made nine tackles with a remarkable six stops for loss and three sacks to help Texas hammer Utah 38-10.

       

    Micah Parsons, Penn State

    Micah Parsons was everywhere. That's the short version of the sophomore's performance, which included 14 tackles, three stops in the backfield and two sacks. Parsons also forced two fumbles and broke up two passes in the Cotton Bowl victory.

       

    Rashad Smith, Florida Atlantic

    In a matchup between two explosive offenses, Rashad Smith brought some defense. The senior returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown and grabbed an interception too. Smith totaled 11 tackles while FAU rolled SMU 52-28 in the Boca Raton Bowl.

       

    Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

    After spending two years on the sideline, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah surged into the lineup. The versatile linebacker now likely resides in Iowa State's nightmares. He gathered nine tackles with four for loss and three sacks, adding a strip-sack that he recovered himself during a 33-9 win in the Camping World Bowl.

Defensive Backs

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    Elijah Molden, Washington

    Elijah Molden basically ended any threat of a Boise State comeback with his interception on the Broncos' first drive of the second half. Molden's 31-yard return helped put the Huskies up 24-0. He gathered nine tackles and forced a fumble in the 38-7 victory.

       

    Antwan Collier, UCF

    UCF forced five turnovers in the Gasparilla Bowl, and Antwan Collier accounted for three of them. The junior recovered two fumbles and snatched an interception, also providing six tackles to help UCF cruise past Marshall 48-25.

       

    Richard LeCounte, Georgia

    Despite finishing with only two tackles, Richard LeCounte played a pivotal role for Georgia in a 26-14 Sugar Bowl triumph. The safety ended Baylor's first scoring threat with an interception in the red zone. Late in the fourth quarter, LeCounte iced the victory when he intercepted a Jacob Zeno overthrow near midfield.

       

    Khoury Bethley, Hawaii

    Hawaii pulled out a 38-34 win over BYU in the Hawaii Bowl with considerable help from Khoury Bethley. His first-quarter interception led to a touchdown, and his last-minute pick sealed the win. Bethley also tallied 10 tackles—all solo stops—with one for loss.

Specialists

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    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    Riley Patterson, Memphis

    Not only did Riley Patterson connect on his six field goals in the Cotton Bowl, but he also buried five attempts from 40-plus yards with a long of 51. Patterson added three extra points, accounting for 21 of Memphis' 39 points in the loss to Penn State.

      

    Anthony Beck II, Georgia Southern

    Ideal? No. Impressive? Yes. Anthony Beck II punted nine times in Georgia Southern's 23-16 loss to Liberty in the Cure Bowl. Nevertheless, he averaged 48.8 yards per kick with four punts of 50-plus yards. The Eagles also forced the Flames into minus-10 return yards, so Beck never outkicked his coverage.

All-Purpose Players

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    Lynn Bowden Jr., Kentucky

    While his punch in a pregame scuffle wasn't ideal, Lynn Bowden Jr. ended his remarkable year with a clutch play against Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl. The receiver-turned-quarterback tossed the game-winning touchdown with 15 seconds remaining, and he ran for 233 yards and two scores.

       

    Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa

    Wisconsin's Aron Cruickshank and Auburn's Noah Igbinoghene returned kicks for touchdowns, and Kansas State's Phillip Brooks returned a punt for a touchdown. Ihmir Smith-Marsette, however, totaled 203 all-purpose yards in the Holiday Bowl and found the end zone in three different ways. The Iowa receiver scored on a six-yard run, caught two passes for 46 yards and a touchdown and returned a kickoff 98 yards to the house.