A New Bowl Sponsor?
This bowl game in Mobile has an extremely likely need for a new sponsor given GMAC's troubles. Jimmy Buffett is from Mobile and his LandShark Stadium naming rights ended after the Orange Bowl. If Beef 'O'Brady's can get a bowl game, why not Margaritaville?
This game started off slow and resembled the Fiesta and Orange bowls with respect to the lack of execution on offense. A couple of missed field goals and dropped passes led to a 10-9 Troy lead at halftime. However, if you knew anything about the Troy and Central Michigan teams, you were aware Troy's Levi Brown and CMU's Dan LeFevour (Tebow North, Rust Belt Tebow, Has an NFL throwing motion Tebow) were going to start connecting on passes sooner or later. By game's end Brown had 386 yards passing by hitting 31/56 passes. LeFevour was 33/55 for 395 yards. Both had 1 TD throw. In the 3rd quarter the teams traded scores and Troy came out of the quarter with a 24-19 lead. Effective rushing helped both teams cast aside their opening half red zone struggles and score TDs instead of FGs. Troy scored on their first possession of the 4th quarter to seemingly put the game away with a 31-19 lead with less than 7 and a half minutes to play following a crushing 13 play, 85 yard drive. Central Michigan's WR Antonio Brown (who had 13 catches for 178 yards and a rushing TD) housed the kickoff. The score had changed to 31-25 within a matter of seconds. Troy did nothing with their possession and punted. CMU drove 85 yards and finished the drive with a spectacular juggling TD grab from WR Bryan Anderson. CMU went for 2 points to make it a 34-31 ballgame. It was a good thing they did. LeFevour directed traffic on a rollout during the try and sent WR Kito Poblah back toward the middle of the end zone and hit him with a pass once Poblah got wide open. Troy had used all 3 timeouts but had 1:10 left to work with after a good kickoff return. CMU decided to drop back into incredibly bad coverage letting Trojan WRs run behind the defenders. Levi Brown needed 2 passes to get to the CMU 29 yard line. On a 3rd and 10 play from the 29, Brown tried to throw short of the first down marker to WR Jerrel Jernigan. Jernigan was obviously interfered with on the catch attempt and the refs blew the call. Troy made the FG and sent the game to overtime. In OT LeFevour started off the scoring with a rushing TD (his 150th total TD which only added to his NCAA record). Troy responded with a rushing TD. Troy had their FG in 2nd OT blocked and CMU made theirs to win the game 44-41. It was quite an exciting game for LeFevour to leave the college game with. By far the best of the BCS bowls to this point, oh wait. In any event, this game shook up the Bowl Challenge Standings by stealing the opportunity for the Sun Belt to come out on top. CMU also did something great for the MAC by breaking the conference's 14 game bowl losing streak.
Bowl Challenge Standings
Independents 1-0 1.000 Pt. differential: 22
MWC 4-1 .800 Pt. differential: 34
Big East 4-2 .667 Pt. differential: 5
Big 10 4-3 .571 Pt. differential: 13
Big 12 4-3 .571 Pt. differential: -12
SEC 5-4 .555 Pt. differential: 25
Sun Belt 1-1 .500 Pt. differential: 7
WAC 2-2 .500 Pt. differential: -34
ACC 3-4 .429 Pt. differential: 14
C-USA 2-4 .333 Pt. differential: -22
Pac 10 2-5 .286 Pt. differential: -60
MAC 1-4 .200 Pt. differential: -25