The New Year’s Six are the six biggest bowl games of the season, which includes the two College Football Playoff semi-final matches. Which teams kicked off 2017 in the right way?
PEACH BOWL: CFP SEMI-FINAL – WASHINGTON (12-1) vs ALABAMA (13-0)
Final Score: Alabama 24 – 7 Washington
Behind a dominant defensive display, the Crimson Tide defeated Washington to advance to the National Championship game for the second year in a row. Washington’s secondary did well to hold Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts to a season-low 57 yards, but they couldn’t stop running back Bo Scarbrough as he ran for 180 yards.and 2 TDs. Linebacker Ryan Anderson picked off Jake Browning and returned it 26 yards for a TD, the 15th non-offensive TD produced by the Tide this season. Browning struggled, throwing for 150 yards, a TD and two interceptions.
FIESTA BOWL: CFP SEMI-FINAL – OHIO STATE (11-1) vs CLEMSON (12-1)
Final Score: Clemson 31 – 0 Ohio State
Clemson became the first team to shut out an Urban Meyer-led side and will take on Alabama in a rematch of the 2016 National Championship game. Clemson star Deshaun Watson threw for 259 yards, a touchdowns and two interceptions. Watson also added 57 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. Running back Wayne Gallman ran for 85 yards and a score, while wide receiver Mike Williams caught six passes for 96 yards. For Ohio State, quarterback J.T. Barrett threw for 127 yards and two interceptions.
OUTBACK BOWL – FLORIDA (8-4) vs IOWA (8-4)
Final Score: Florida 30 – 3 Iowa
A huge second -half effort by Florida propelled them to their first bowl win under second-year head coach Jim McElwain. Quarterback Austin Appleby threw for 222 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Running back Jordan Scarlett ran for 94 yards and Mark Thompson caught one pass for an 85-yard TD. For Iowa, senior quarterback C.J. Beathard threw for only 55 yards and 3 interceptions, just the second time in his career that he’s thrown multiple picks in a game. Running back Akrum Wadley ran for 115 yards.
COTTON BOWL – WESTERN MICHIGAN (13-0) vs WISCONSIN (10-3)
Final Score: Wisconsin 24 – 16 Western Michigan
Wisconsin put an end to Western Michigan’s fairytale season, handing the Broncos their first loss of the season and becoming the only team to hold them to under 20 points in a game. Wisconsin quarterback Bart Houston threw for 159 yards, while running back Corey Clement ran for 71 yards and a score. Troy Fumagalli caught six passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. Western Michigan quarterback Zach Terrell threw for 157 yards, a touchdown and an interception, while star wide receiver Corey Davis caught six passes for 73 yards and a touchdown.
ROSE BOWL – USC (9-3) vs PENN STATE (11-2)
Final Score: USC 52 – 49 Penn State
A last-second goal helped lead USC to victory over Penn State in the highest-scoring Rose Bowl in history. USC freshman quarterback Sam Darnold threw for 453 yards, 5 touchdowns and an interception. Running back Ronald Jones II ran for 55 yards and a score. Wide receivers Deontay Burnett (13 rec, 164 yards, 3 TDs) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (7 rec, 133 yards, 1 TD) had big days for the Trojans. For the Nittany Lions, quarterback Trace McSorley threw for 254 yards, 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. McSorley also had a rushing TD. Running back Saquon Barkley ran for 194 yards and 2 TDs, while receiver Chris Godwin caught nine passes for 187 yards and 2 touchdowns. Darnold and McSorley are the first quarterbacks to account for five TDs in a Rose Bowl game since Vince Young did it back in 2005.
SUGAR BOWL – AUBURN (8-4) vs OKLAHOMA (10-2)
Final Score: Oklahoma 35 – 19 Auburn
Oklahoma rattled off 21 straight points in the second half to defeat Auburn and claim the Sugar Bowl. Quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 296 yards and 2 touchdowns and added 34 yards on the ground. Running back Joe Mixon ran for 91 yards and 2 touchdowns and caught five catches for 89 yards, while Semaje Perine ran for 86 yards and a score. In the process, Perine became Oklahoma’s all-time leading rusher, breaking Billy Sim’s long-standing record (4,122). For Auburn, running back Kamryn Pettway ran for 101 yards.