On a night where emotions ran high San Jose State broke through after a mostly even contest and held onto win despite a late effort by Georgia State. The Spartans finished their regular season at 5-7 and at the time believed their season was over, but with too few six win teams in the mix for bowls San Jose had a chance and were selected because of their grades in the classroom. Now the Spartans are victors on field, improved their record to 6-7 and won their seventh bowl game all time.
“I think it's very ironic that we’re playing in a bowl game that's about the bigger picture” Coach Ron Caragher said after the game. “What we did was about the bigger picture academics and athletic success so we're in a bowl game that's a philanthropic type of bowl game and to be apart of it was very special and i'm just proud of our guys… the way they represented San Jose State here in Orlando and the way they represented their university on the field tonight.”
Spartans senior running back Tyler Ervin had a monster game for his team, rushing for 146 yards on 30 carries and became the school's all time leading rusher. Aside from running the ball Ervin made what I believe to be the play of the game and the first touchdown of the game on an 85 yard punt return for a touchdown. Ervin shook multiple tacklers, stutter stepped and took off up field to paydirt and put his team ahead 10 to nothing at the time.
It was a battle of land versus air as Georgia State only rushed for 23 yards, but threw for 208 while San Jose State ran for 197 and threw for 89, two very different approaches. Georgia State fought hard especially on the defensive end, they forced the Spartans into an ugly safety, roughed Spartans quarterback Kenny Potter on his runs, and had an interception to end the first half.
One questionable play that could have changed the game was a fourth and one call where Georgia State decided to throw deep, just missing his receiver and spoiling the momentum that the Panthers built over the early stages of the fourth quarter.
This game though should be seen as a success for both teams as this was more than just a game, it was representative of life, it’s all the little things that make up a bigger picture and even as a journalist to be apart of something like this is a true privilege and I can only hope for more Bowl games to adapt the charitable concept that the AutoNation Cure Bowl presented.
- This Story is dedicated to Becky Talkington a close family friend and a breast cancer survivor!
- Darrell Wilkinson TheSkyBoat.com
- Twitter @DarrellW_Sports