Friday, October 19, 2018
Colleges

Georgia senior cornerback Brandon Boykin named Outback Bowl MVP

TAMPA — Though it came in a losing effort, Georgia got a bit of everything Monday from senior Brandon Boykin, who earned Outback Bowl MVP honors after managing to score on offense, defense and special teams in the Bulldogs' 33-30 triple-overtime loss to Michigan State.

Boykin set the tone for the game on Michigan State's first play, leveling WR Keshawn Martin in the end zone for a safety and 2-0 Georgia lead. He had the longest play of the game, a 92-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter, then made a cameo on offense, scoring on a 13-yard pass from QB Aaron Murray to give Georgia the lead again with 6:44 left in the game.

"He's a very dynamic football player and a great person, a guy who loves his team and Georgia and football," coach Mark Richt said. "I know he's going to have a really good (pro) career. I'm sure he'll be a pretty high draft pick and have a great future."

He finished with 183 all-purpose yards, second behind WR Tavarres King, who caught six passes for 205 yards, including an 80-yard TD. Had media balloting taken place after the game, the MVP nod might have gone to Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard, who had two interceptions, one returned 38 yards for a touchdown.

SMALL CROWD: Attendance was announced as 49,429, just barely missing the smallest crowd in the 17 years under the Outback name. The attendance was 46 more than two years ago for Auburn and Northwestern, and those two crowds are the bowl's smallest since its inaugural game as the Hall of Fame Bowl in 1986, which drew 25,368 fans to old Tampa Stadium. According to the Tampa Sports Authority, Monday's actual attendance was 40,022.

QUIET HOMECOMING: Plant graduate Orson Charles had a quiet game in his return to Tampa, with Georgia's leading receiver limited to a single 2-yard catch on a shovel pass in the first half. Charles is considering skipping his senior year to enter the NFL draft but was not available for interviews after the game.

TOUGH DECISION: Richt was questioned after the game for his decision to kick a field goal in the first overtime on third down from the 25, rather than try to shorten the kick. Richt's logic was that if the snap was botched, Georgia could fall on the ball and kick again on fourth, and he had confidence in K Blair Walsh, who missed the game-winner then had a tying kick blocked in the third overtime.

Richt also gambled on Georgia's second possession, facing fourth and 1 at the Michigan State 5. He called his kicker off the field with a timeout and opted to go for it, and RB Ken Malcome was dropped for a 1-yard loss.

THIS AND THAT: Michigan State DE Denzel Drone, a Plant City grad, had three tackles, including one for a 4-yard loss. … S Jairus Jones (Wharton) had two tackles for the Spartans. … Georgia freshman WR Malcolm Mitchell, who lived in Tampa from ages 3 to 11 and goes by the nickname "Tampa," caught seven passes for 51 yards and a 2-point conversion. … Murray had the odd distinction of completing a pass to himself in the first half, when a throw was deflected by a Michigan State defensive lineman. He caught the loose ball for a 3-yard loss. … Michigan State DE William Gholston had a monster game, finishing with five tackles for loss, including two sacks. He also had a fumble recovery and a team-high seven total tackles. The Spartans as a team were credited with 17 tackles for loss and held Georgia to 51 rushing yards on 39 attempts.

Greg Auman can be reached at [email protected] and at (813) 226-3346.

Comments
Ryan Finley and the NFL draft, Ohio State on upset watch and more college football nuggets

Ryan Finley and the NFL draft, Ohio State on upset watch and more college football nuggets

Eye on the NFL draftWith a 6-foot-4, 212-pound frame plus a top-10 completion percentage, North Carolina State QB Ryan Finley is an interesting pro prospect. Clemson's defense is loaded with even bigger talents, including DE Clelin Ferrell and DT Dex...
Updated: 9 hours ago
UConn is just awful, a positive at FSU and more state college football nuggets

UConn is just awful, a positive at FSU and more state college football nuggets

FSU bright spotAs rough as Florida State's 3-3 start has been, its run defense has been one of the best in the nation. The Seminoles are seventh nationally in yards per rush allowed (2.76) and held Northern Illinois to only six yards — the best...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Heisman watch: Two AAC players crack the top five

Heisman watch: Two AAC players crack the top five

5. Memphis RB Darrell Henderson: The nation's leading rusher (1,133 yards) ran for 199 on UCF in a one-point loss.4. Houston DL Ed Oliver: His 1.9 tackles for a loss per game lead all interior linemen nationally.3. Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins: The B...
Updated: 11 hours ago
College football Week 8 viewing guide

College football Week 8 viewing guide

Lamest time window: Late. The marquee games are spread out well, but the primetime spot will have the fewest national implications.Noon: Can Jim Harbaugh start reversing his 1-5 record against rivals when No. 6 Michigan travels to No. 24 Michigan Sta...
Published: 10/19/18
Florida Gators midseason review: Is a NY6 bowl game in reach?

Florida Gators midseason review: Is a NY6 bowl game in reach?

After Florida's historic Week 2 loss to Kentucky, expectations plummeted for Dan Mullen's first season as the Gators' coach.A month later, No. 11 UF (6-1) is tied for first in the SEC East and a serious contender to make a run at a New Year's Six bow...
Published: 10/18/18
Georgia’s Kirby Smart not surprised by Florida Gators’ quick turnaround

Georgia’s Kirby Smart not surprised by Florida Gators’ quick turnaround

The Gators have completely transformed themselves from where they were a year ago against Georgia.Their 42-7 loss to the Bulldogs didn't even seem as close as the final score indicated. A day later, Jim McElwain was out as the head coach.No. 11 Flori...
Published: 10/17/18
Florida State football midseason review: Seminoles’ bowl streak in jeopardy

Florida State football midseason review: Seminoles’ bowl streak in jeopardy

Few teams in the country have been as disappointing as Florida State.The Seminoles started the year in the top 20, with a loaded running backs corps and a new coach (Willie Taggart) known for offensive fireworks.Midway through the Year 1 of the Tagga...
Published: 10/16/18
How Florida State responds after Hurricane Michael will decide its season

How Florida State responds after Hurricane Michael will decide its season

For the second year in a row, Florida State is having to deal with the football fallout from a devastating hurricane.The Seminoles' failure to respond properly from Hurricane Irma helped lead to their lost 2017 season. How they handle the aftermath o...
Published: 10/15/18
UConn linebacker hospitalized after suffering stroke

UConn linebacker hospitalized after suffering stroke

STORRS, Conn. — UConn linebacker Eli Thomas has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke. The school issued a statement Monday saying the 220-pound junior had the stroke Wednesday prior to a weightlifting session. The school says Thomas was immedia...
Published: 10/15/18
Matt Baker’s AP Top 25: Miami out, Florida Gators up and UCF in top 10

Matt Baker’s AP Top 25: Miami out, Florida Gators up and UCF in top 10

Four teams in the top eight of my AP Top 25 lost Saturday. So did four teams from 16-25. Just another college football weekend.Georgia's shocking 20-point loss at LSU sent the Bulldogs down from third to No. 9 on my ballot. UGA, for me, is in the 5-1...
Published: 10/14/18