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Wyoming thumps Georgia State to take home win in the Arizona Bowl

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Georgia State began 2019 with the thrill of a victory for the ages and ended the season with the agony of a bowl defeat to forget.

The Panthers were unable to take advantage of three takeaways and wound up getting thumped by a surging Wyoming squad, as the Mountain West visitors will return North for the New Year with a 38-17 Arizona Bowl win on Tuesday afternoon in Tucson.

Wyoming QB Levi Williams made the most of his first start at the college level, throwing for three touchdowns, one interception and 234 yards on just 11 completions — including this beauty in the first half:

As good as the true freshman was under center though, the day belonged to another in the backfield.

Namely, that would be tailback Xazavian Valladay, who was terrific and gives the team plenty of hope about forming a young core going forward. He rushed for 204 yards and a score while also leading the team in receiving with 91 through the air and another trip to the end zone. The sophomore really came on strong down the stretch for the team and the bowl effort capped off a 1,000 yard season on the ground and plenty promise.

As a result, it was yet another eight win season for the Cowboys under head coach Craig Bohl, who continues to develop one of the more consistent Mountain West programs at a place that has typically been tough to win at. While racking up 524 yards of offense delighted the very pro-Wyoming crowd in attendance in Tuscon, the coaching staff had to enjoy the complete effort the game represented that included several key 4th down stops from the defense and a long field goal conversion as well.

The Panthers weren’t so lucky to end the year on a high note despite marching right down the field for an opening drive touchdown to kick the game off. QB Dan Ellington threw for only 156 yards (one TD, one INT) and also led the team in rushing with 70 yards on the ground plus a score. GSU will wind up losing four of their final five to close out 2019 thanks to the effort, which dampens what had been a terrific start under head coach Shawn Elliott.

College Football Bowl Preview: Your Dec. 31 Viewer’s Guide

College Football Bowl Preview
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Your trusty and semi-daily college football bowl preview that today takes a quick-hit look at the Dec. 31 bowl menu, one that features two teams each from the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12.

WHO: Virginia Tech (8-4) vs. Kentucky (7-5)
WHAT: The 18th Belk Bowl
WHERE: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
WHEN: Noon ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Kentucky, +3
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Florida State (6-6) vs. Arizona State (7-5)
WHAT: The 82nd Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl
WHERE: Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, Texas
WHEN: 2 p.m. ET on CBS
THE LINE: Florida State, +4½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Navy (10-2) vs. Kansas State (8-4)
WHAT: The 61st AutoZone Liberty Bowl
WHERE: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee
WHEN: 3:45 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Kansas State, +2½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Wyoming (7-5) vs. Georgia State (7-5)
WHAT: The 5th NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
WHERE: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona
WHEN: 4:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network
BUY TICKETS: Click Here

THE SKINNY: A member of the Mountain West Conference has won three of the first four playings of this bowl, with the lone loss coming in overtime. … As 26-point underdogs, Georgia State began the 2019 season with a stunning win over Tennessee in Knoxville. That same weekend, Wyoming upset UT’s SEC East compatriots, Missouri. … Both teams enter the postseason, though, having lost three of their last four games. … Four of the Cowboys’ five losses this season have come by five or fewer points.  Four of the Eagles’ five losses this season have come by 14 or more points. … If the passing game is your thing, look elsewhere.  Georgia State is 93rd nationally in passing at 201.8 yards per game.  That’s a veritable aerial circus compared to Wyoming, which is 125th (out of 130 schools) at 128 ypg. … The two teams have combined for 29 passes touchdowns; an even dozen individual quarterbacks have thrown for more scores than that this season. … The Eagles average 245.2 yards rushing per game, while the Cowboys give up less than a hundred per contest.  Their 99.4 yards per game is sixth-fewest in the country. … NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl fun fact: The past two games have gone into overtime, while the first was decided by just five points.  We won’t mention Air Force’s 24-point drubbing of South Alabama in 2016.
THE LINE: Georgia State, +7
THE PREDICTION: Wyoming 14, Georgia State 13

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WHO: Utah (11-2) vs. Texas (7-5)
WHAT: The 27th Valero Alamo Bowl
WHERE: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Texas, +7
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

College football bowl games: Matchups, TV times and dates for 2019-20 schedule

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The games have been played. The wins have been tallied. The touchdowns have been counted. The championship trophies have been hoisted.

Now it’s time for the college football postseason to commence. College football Bowl Games have long been the time-honored holiday tradition of football extending into your holidays and your New Year. And this year is no different.

So where is everybody going bowling? Here’s a look at the full lineup of games and who’s in them. All times ET, games on ESPN unless otherwise indicated.

College Football Playoff Semifinals

Bowl Teams
Peach Bowl – Dec. 28, 4pm No. 1 LSU No. 4 Oklahoma
Fiesta Bowl – Dec. 28, 8pm No. 2 Ohio State No. 3 Clemson

New Year’s Six

Bowl Teams
Cotton Bowl – Dec. 28, Noon Memphis Penn State
Orange Bowl – Dec. 30, 8pm Florida Virginia
Rose Bowl – Jan. 1, 5pm Wisconsin Oregon
Sugar Bowl – Jan. 1, 8:45pm Baylor Georgia

2019 FBS Bowl Games

Bowl Teams
Bahamas Bowl – Dec. 20, 2 pm Buffalo Charlotte
Frisco Bowl – Dec. 20, 7:30pm** Kent State Utah State
New Mexico Bowl – Dec. 21, 2pm San Diego State Central Michigan
Cure Bowl – Dec. 21, 2:30pm^^ Georgia Southern Liberty
Boca Raton Bowl – Dec. 21, 3:30pm* SMU FAU
Camellia Bowl – Dec. 21, 5:30pm Arkansas State FIU
Vegas Bowl – Dec. 21, 7:30pm* Washington Boise State
New Orleans Bowl – Dec. 21, 9pm Appalachian State UAB
Gasparilla Bowl – Dec. 23, 2:30pm Marshall UCF
Hawaii Bowl – Dec. 24, 8pm Hawaii BYU
Independence Bowl – Dec. 26, 4pm Miami Louisiana Tech
Quick Lane Bowl – Dec. 26, 8pm Pitt Eastern Michigan
Military Bowl – Dec. 27, Noon UNC Temple
Pinstripe Bowl – Dec. 27, 3:30pm Michigan State Wake Forest
Texas Bowl – Dec. 27, 6:45pm Texas A&M Oklahoma State
Holiday Bowl – Dec. 27, 8pm++ USC Iowa
Cheez-It Bowl – Dec. 27, 10:15pm Washington State Air Force
Camping World Bowl – Dec. 28, Noon* Iowa State Notre Dame
First Responder Bowl – Dec. 30, 12:30pm Western Michigan Western Kentucky
Music City Bowl – Dec. 30, 4pm Louisville Mississippi State
RedBox Bowl – Dec. 30, 4pm+ Cal Illinois
Belk Bowl – Dec. 31, Noon Virginia Tech Kentucky
Sun Bowl – Dec. 31, 2pm^ Arizona State Florida State
Liberty Bowl – Dec. 31, 3:45pm Navy Kansas State
Arizona Bowl – Dec. 31, 4:30pm^^ Georgia State Wyoming
Alamo Bowl – Dec. 31, 7:30pm Texas Utah
Citrus Bowl – Jan. 1, 1pm* Alabama Michigan
Outback Bowl – Jan. 1, 1pm Minnesota Auburn
Birmingham Bowl – Jan. 2, 3pm Boston College Cincinnati
Gator Bowl – Jan. 2, 7pm Tennessee Indiana
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Jan. 3, 3:30pm Ohio Nevada
Armed Forces Bowl – Jan. 4, 11:30am Tulane Southern Miss
LendingTree Bowl – Jan. 6, 7:30pm Miami (OH) Louisiana

ABC

** ESPN2

Fox

++ FS1

CBS

^^ CBS Sports Network

Appalachian State stays in the Group of 5 race with big win at Georgia State

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No team from the Sun Belt Conference has ever appeared in one of the New Years Six bowl games since the implementation of the BCS, but No. 25 Appalachian State (9-1, 5-1 Sun Belt) will remain in the running to bring that drought to an end this season. The Mountaineers roared back to turn a 21-7 deficit in the first quarter to rout Georgia State (6-4, 3-3 Sun Belt) Saturday night in Atlanta, 56-27. The win moves Appalachian State one big step closer to playing in the second annual Sun Belt Conference championship game at the end of the season.

Appalachian State took over the game in the second quarter with a 21-0 advantage on the scoreboard, turning a 21-14 game in favor of Georgia State into a 35-21 halftime lead. The Mountaineers weren’t up 56-21 before the Panthers managed to score again in the fourth quarter. Appalachian State quarterback Zac Thomas may not have had the best start to the game but ended his night with 256 passing yards and four touchdowns through the air and one more on the ground (along with 52 rushing yards). Both Thomas and Georgia State quarterback Dan Ellington threw interceptions that were returned for touchdowns, but that was the only mistake that hurt Thomas all night. Ellington tossed a second interception in the game as the Panthers could not manage to carry the momentum of their fast start past the first quarter.

App State receiver Corey Xavier-Sutton led all players with eight catches for 173 yards and three of the touchdown passes thrown by Thomas. Appalachian State had 553 yards of offense in the win, with 280 on the ground and 273 in the passing game.

Only conference champions from the Group of Five are eligible for a spot in the New Years Six bowl lineup. If Appalachian State ends the season with the Sun Belt title and just one loss, they would likely be a strong candidate even if they need a little help from the other conferences, namely the American Athletic Conference and the Mountain West Conference. Appalachian State can punch their ticket to the Sun Belt Conference championship game next week at home with a win against Texas State or a Georgia Southern loss. A tie between the two programs would send Georgia Southern to the conference championship game due to a head-to-head tiebreaker. Georgia Southern defeated Appalachian State 24-21 a few weeks ago.

We’ll find out on Tuesday night where Appalachian State ranks in the College Football Playoff selection committee’s rankings compared to other Group of 5 contenders Cincinnati (beat USF with a last-second field goal), Memphis and Boise State. The highest-ranked Group of Five champion will be selected to play in a New Years Six bowl game.

Georgia State will look to rebound next week at home against South Alabama (1-9, 0-6 Sun Belt).

Appalachian State scores 28 straight points to lead Georgia State at halftime

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Looking for a game or two to keep on your Group of 5 radar this evening? No. 25 Appalachian State is leading Georgia State 35-21 in Atlanta as the Mountaineers hope to remain in the running for a spot in the New Years Six bowl lineup at the end of the year.

Georgia State got the scoring started after the defense came up tall with two consecutive three-and-outs. After being forced to punt after a three-and-out, Appalachian State recovered a Georgia State fumble on the punt return by Quavian White. But the Panthers forced a second straight three-and-out to force another punt. Dan Ellington completed a short touchdown pass to Devin Gentry at the end of an 84-yard drive for the 7-0 lead.

Appalachian State answered with Zac Thomas completing a 12-yard touchdown pass to Corey Sutton, but big plays by the Panthers later in the first quarter would see Georgia State build a 21-7 lead. A 67-yard run by Destin Coates gave Georgia State the lead right back, and a Chris Bacon interception return for a touchdown off Thomas had the Panthers up two touchdowns. Thomas shrugged off the mistake and led the Mountaineers on a touchdown drive once they stepped back on the field. Another pass to Sutton was good for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 21-14 before the end of the first quarter.

The Mountaineers came back to tie things up at 21-21 with a Thomas touchdown run midway through the second quarter, and the defense gave the Mountaineers their first lead of the game when Shaun Jolley picked off a pass by Ellington and ran 30 yards the other way for the go-ahead touchdown.

We’ll see if Appalachian State can avoid taking its second loss of the season and remain in the driver’s seat for a spot in the first Sun Belt Conference championship game at the end of the year.