Mississippi State 52, Michigan 14: A comprehensive guide to Gator Bowl coverage
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Your serve, Dave Brandon.
The Michigan athletic director has said for weeks that he'll evaluate football coach Rich Rodriguez and his program once the season was over. He said that again Saturday to the Associated Press, noting, "I probably won't have more to say until the back half of the week."
That season ended Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla., with a 52-14 loss in the Gator Bowl to Mississippi State, the Wolverines' worst bowl loss in program history.
Michigan struggled on offense, defense and special teams against the Bulldogs and finished the season 7-6, leaving Rodriguez with a 15-22 record in his three seasons at Michigan.
Staff writers Pete Bigelow and Rich Rezler and photographer Melanie Maxwell covered the game in Jacksonville. Here is your guide to our coverage.
Post-game coverage â€¢Â The Gator Bowl blowout leaves the future of Rich Rodriguez and quarterback Denard Robinson in doubt, beat writer Pete Bigelow reports.
â€¢ So what went wrong in Rodriguez's three seasons at Michigan? It's been a rough ride from the start, Pete Bigelow notes in his column
â€¢Â Other than Martavious Odoms, there wasn't much special about Michigan's special teams on Saturday, Rich Rezler writes
â€¢ Junior defensive tackle Mike Martin supports Rodriguez and wants him back next season, Rich Rezler reports. And Martin plans to tell athletic director Dave Brandon how he feels
â€¢Â The Michigan defense allowed more than 400 yards of total offense for the ninth time this season. That's just one item in Rich Rezler's notebook from the game
â€¢Â Just one Michigan player earned a game ball from Pete Bigelow
AnnArbor.com photographer Melanie Maxwell captured the scene before and during the Gator Bowl. Check out her slideshow.
â€¢ Once again, there was plenty of scoring in a Michigan football game. We had live updates throughout the game.
â€¢Â Rich Rezler and Michael Rothstein led the conversation in our in-game live chat. Read the transcript here.
Other bowl action Capital One Bowl - Alabama 49, Michigan State 7: Mark Ingram ran for two scores to break the school record for career touchdowns, and 15th-ranked Crimson Tide rolled past No. 7 Michigan State in the most lopsided game in the history of this bowl. The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner had 59 yards rushing against the team he rooted for as a kid, Greg McElroy threw for 220 yards and one touchdown, and Alabama (10-3) pulled most of its starters in the third quarter. Ingram moved past Shaun Alexander's mark (41) with 42 career touchdowns. The Crimson Tide found the end zone on their first four possessions, held the Spartans (11-2) to 171 total yards and sacked Kirk Cousins four times in their most dominant performance all season.
Outback Bowl - Florida 37, Penn State 24: Urban Meyer closed out a six-year run that included a pair of national championships by leading the Gators back from a second-half deficit to beat Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions. Omarius Hines and Mike Gillislee ran for touchdowns, Chas Henry kicked three second-half field goals, and Ahmad Black sealed the win with an 80-yard interception return TD to help Florida (8-5) send Meyer out with a smile. The 46-year-old coach resigned last month because of health concerns. Meyer and the 84-year-old Paterno met at midfield for a postgame handshake that was anything but typical. "He said, 'I love you, kid,'" Meyer said. "He's the only one who calls me kid. And I love him, too."
TicketCity Bowl - Texas Tech 45, Northwestern 38: Leading Northwestern by three touchdowns late in the third quarter, Texas Tech tried an onside kick and it backfired, setting up an exciting finish in the inaugural TicketCity Bowl. The Wildcats rallied to get within a touchdown twice in the fourth quarter and were driving for a tie or win when the Red Raiders intercepted a heave on the final play. Taylor Potts threw for 369 yards and four touchdowns and scored another on a trick play, and Eric Stephens ran 86 yards for a TD to help Tech close its first post-Mike Leach season at a solid 8-5.
Rose Bowl - TCU 21, Wisconsin 19: Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score, linebacker Tank Carder swatted down a 2-point conversion pass attempt with 2 minutes to play, and No. 3 TCU completed a perfect season with its first Rose Bowl victory. Bart Johnson caught an early TD pass and recovered a late onside kick for the Mountain West champion Horned Frogs (13-0), who followed up their second straight unbeaten regular season by busting the BCS in dramatic fashion. Dalton passed for 219 yards for TCU, which won't win the national title — that will go to either Auburn or Oregon. They meet in the BCS championship game in nine days.