This Battle of the Alamo required a sense of humor

Usually, 56 points and 620 yards of total offense is enough to win a football game. Not for the Washington Huskies. Baylor scored 67 in tonight’s Alamo Bowl. Washington led 42-24 at one point, but Baylor finished with a 43-14 run to secure the win.

It was a game not to be missed, simply for its relief from bowl-season tedium. The full house of more than 65,000 was also a pleasant deviation from the sea of empty seats in the background of play that has become the norm for the early bowl games.

Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III was the game’s marquee player, and he put up some pretty impressive highlight moments during the first half, worthy of his accolades. But it was the cumulative offensive display, combined with the hapless defenses of both teams, that proved to be the show. A total of 1,159 yards of offense and 102 points on the board were put up by both teams. And that was only at the end of the third quarter. The evening ended with the following totals.

  • 123 points — the highest regulation total of any FBS bowl game ever. 102 points was the previous record (Marshall vs East Carolina in the 2001 GMAC Bowl) in a game that ended with 125 points due to two overtimes. There was no overtime tonight. That was more points scored than three SEC teams managed in all of their conference games.
  • 17 touchdowns, the most ever in an FBS bowl game.
  • 1,397 yards — 777 for Baylor and 620 for Washington — the most ever in an FBS bowl game.
  • 482 rushing yards for the Bears — three rushers had over 100 yards each, led by Terrance Ganaway who had 200 yards and five touchdowns. Washington had 182 yards rushing, better than most games for the Vols in 2011.
  • 438 yards passing by Washington quarterback Keith Price, who threw 4 touchdowns and no interceptions in the loss. RG3 was 24-for-33 and 295 yards for the winners.
  • No Baylor receiver had more than 100 yards receiving, but five had more than 20 yards. Husky wide receiver Jermaine Kearse had 198 yards in the losing effort.
  • 159 offensive plays caused all TV viewers to catch their breath during commercials.
  • The longest scoring drive was 6 minutes and 18 seconds. Washington had three scoring drives of a minute or less; Baylor had two. The game demanded the viewer’s complete, undivided attention.

It is remarkable that Baylor finished with a 10-3 record on the season — remarkable for a team with a defense as porous as witnessed  in the Alamo Dome (the Bears’ defense will finish 114th in the nation). Just think of the heights they could have reached with RG3 and a halfway-decent defense. Not since Ty Detmer took BYU to the Holiday Bowl in 1990 had a Heisman winner played in a bowl before New Year’s Day.

Some football purists no doubt hated this game as it represented a lack of credibility in the way the offenses completely obliterated the defenses. But sometimes, some things in life require a healthy dose of a lighthearted sense of oneself, especially when it comes to relatively meaningless bowl games. A good old-fashioned sense of humor comes in handy when prone to taking one’s holiday sports a bit too seriously.

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