General Articles,National Teams

Team USA Alumni Preview: Bowl edition

By Joe Frollo Wed, 12/12/2012 - 9:18am

Six former U.S. Under-19 National Team players will take part in the BCS National Championship Game on Monday, Jan. 7, in Miami.


George Atkinson III, Josh Atkinson, Matt Hegarty, Anthony Rabasa, Stephon Tuitt (pictured) and Jabriel Washington all were members of Team USA in 2011, helping the United States win the International Bowl, 21-14.


Washington now plays for Alabama while the others are with Notre Dame – opponents for the 2013 title game.


But Team USA’s influence goes well beyond just that game as 33 of the 34 contests this college football bowl season includes at least one former Under-19 National Team member. Here’s a rundown:


(All times Eastern)


Saturday, Dec. 15


New Mexico Bowl, 1 p.m. – Nevada vs. Arizona: Quarterback Javelle Allen (2012) is redshirting for the Wildcats.


Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, 4:30 p.m. – Toledo vs. No. 22 Utah State: Robert Bell (2009) has 93 tackles, eight passes defended and a fumble recovery for the Rockets.


Thursday, Dec. 20


San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, 8 p.m. – Brigham Young vs. San Diego State:  Manoa Pikula (2011) has nine tackles, 1½ for loss, for the Cougars.


Friday, December 21


Beef O’Brady’s Bowl, 7:30 p.m. – Ball State vs. Central Florida: Matthew Page (2009) has played in all 12 games as an offensive lineman and on special teams for the Cardinals. Josh Reese (2010) has caught 11 passes for 122 yards for the Knights.


Saturday, Dec. 22


New Orleans Bowl – East Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, noon: Cody Keith (2011) is a backup quarterback for the Pirates.


MAACO Bowl – Washington vs. No. 19 Boise State, 3:30 p.m.: Michael Hartvigson (2010) has caught six passes for 55 yards, playing in all 12 games for the Huskies at tight end, while Taniela Topou (2011) is part of the defensive end rotation.


Monday, Dec. 24


Hawaii Bowl – Fresno State vs. SMU, 8 p.m.: Mike Loftus (2009) is averaging 42.5 yards on 47 punts with just two touchbacks for the Mustangs.  He also has 28 touchbacks on 69 kickoffs.


Thursday, Dec. 27


Military Bowl – No. 24 San Jose State vs. Bowling Green, 3 p.m.: Noel Grigsby (2009) has 73 catches for 1,173 yards and nine TDs for the Spartans. Jordon Roussos (2009) started all 12 games for the Falcons at right tackle, part of a unit that allowed just 13 sacks on the season. Kendall Montgomery (2010) played in 10 games for Bowling Green, splitting time at tight end and defensive end, registering one sack.  


Belk Bowl – Cincinnati vs. Duke, 6:30 p.m.:  Kevin Schloemer (2010) and Caleb Stacy (2012) are backup offensive linemen for the Bearcats. Will Monday (2011) averages 44.1 yards on 66 punts for the Blue Devils.


Holiday Bowl – Baylor vs. No. 17 UCLA, 9:45 p.m.: For Baylor, Tevin Reese (2009) has 51 catches for 889 yards and eight touchdowns and Bryce Petty (2009) is 7-of-10 passing for 97 yards and a touchdown as a backup quarterback while wide receiver Corey Coleman (2012) and cornerback Ryan Reid (2012) are redshirting. For UCLA, Kevin McReynolds (2011) and Kody Innes (2010) are backup offensive linemen.


Friday, Dec. 28


Independence Bowl – Ohio vs. Louisiana-Monroe, 2 p.m.: Josh Allen (2010) started all 12 games at center for the WarHawks.


Russell Athletic Bowl – Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech, 5:30 p.m.: Savon Huggins (2011) has run for 378 yards and two TDs for the Scarlet Knights while offensive lineman J.J. Denman (2012) is redshirting. For Virginia Tech, Kris Harley (2011) has six tackles and an interception, Tariq Edwards (2009) has six tackles in limited action because of injury and Zack McCray (2010) has three tackles.


Bowl of Texas – Minnesota vs. Texas Tech, 9 p.m.: Andre McDonald (2012) has 10 catches for 121 yards for the Golden Gophers. Kenny Williams (2011) leads the Red Raiders in rushing with 814 yards and five TDs while Chris Payne (2009) has three tackles, Shawn Corker (2010) is a backup receiver and offensive lineman Trey Keenan (2012) is redshirting.


Saturday, Dec. 29


Armed Forces Bowl – Rice vs. Air Force, 11:45 a.m.: Zach Espinosa (2012) has three tackles for the Owls, while teammates Matt Wofford (2011) and Spencer Stanley (2012) are backup offensive linemen.


Pinstripe Bowl – West Virginia vs. Syracuse, 3:15 p.m.: Shamarko Thomas (2009) leads the Orange in tackles with 84 to go with three for loss, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and a sack. Brandon Sharpe (2009) leads Syracuse with six sacks. He also has 35 tackles, including 13½ for loss.


Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl – Navy vs. Arizona State, 4 p.m.: Carlos Mendoza (2012) has seven tackles and two interceptions for the Sun Devils. Jordan McDonald (2010) is a backup defensive end for Arizona State.


Alamo Bowl – No. 23 Texas vs. No. 13 Oregon State, 6:45 p.m.: For Texas, Joe Bergeron (2012) has 572 yards rushing and 16 TDs, Jaxon Shipley (2011) has 51 catches for 649 yards and six TDs, Daje Johnson (2012) has 19 catches for 272 yards and one TD, Bryant Jackson (2010) has eight catches for 140 yards, Josh Turner (2011) has 49 tackles and two interceptions. Defensive end Caleb Bluiett (2012) and linebacker Tim Cole (2012) are redshirting. For Oregon State, All-America cornerback Jordan Poyer (2009) has 46 tackles, seven interceptions and 21 passes defended while Kevin Cummings (2009) has 16 catches for 193 yards and a TD.


Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl – TCU vs. Michigan State, 10:15 p.m.: TCU’s Jamelle Naff (2011) and Bobby Thompson (2011) are backup offensive linemen while defensive tackle Joey Hunt (2012) is redshirting. Michigan State linebacker Chris Norman (2009) has 60 tackles, including four for loss, and a fumble recovery.


Monday, Dec. 31


Music City Bowl – North Carolina State vs. Vanderbilt, noon: For North Carolina State, Tony Creecy (2010) has run for 469 yards and four TDs and A.J. Ferguson has 11 tackles, including two sacks. Hakeem Flowers (2011) is a backup receiver. Vanderbilt kicker Colby Cooke (2012) is redshirting.


Sun Bowl – Southern Cal vs. Georgia Tech, 2 p.m.: Anthony Sarao (2011) has 38 tackles, including three sacks, for the Trojans.


Liberty Bowl – Iowa State vs. Tulsa, 3:30 p.m.: For Tulsa, Jake Alexander (2010) starts at left guard, Conner Floyd has two catches for 41 yards and averages 10.0 yards on punt returns. Tulsa safety Rob Riederer (2012) is redshirting.


Chick-fil-A Bowl – No. 8 LSU vs. No. 14 Clemson, 7:30 p.m.: Kellen Jones (2011) is a backup linebacker for Clemson, while safety Ronald Geohaghan is redshirting.


Tuesday, Jan. 1


Gator Bowl – Mississippi State vs. No. 20 Northwestern, noon: For the Wildcats, Jack Konopka starts at right tackle and Brian Smith (2009) is a backup offensive lineman. Defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo (2012) and offensive lineman Ian Park (2012) are redshirting.


Heart of Dallas Bowl – Purdue vs. Oklahoma State, noon: Ryan Simmons (2011) has 22 tackles, including four for loss, for the Cowboys.


Capital One Bowl – No. 7 Georgia vs. No. 16 Nebraska, 1 p.m.: Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley (2012) is one of the top freshmen in the country with 1,260 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. For Nebraska, Corey Cooper (2010) has 16 tackles, including two for loss, Imani Cross (2012) has 329 yards rushing and seven TDs, and Mike Moudy (2010) is a backup offensive lineman.


Outback Bowl – No. 10 South Carolina vs. No. 18 Michigan, 1 p.m.: For Michigan, Devin Funchess (2012) has 14 catches for 230 yard and a team-best five touchdowns, James Ross III (2012) has 34 tackles, including 2½ for loss, Royce Jenkins-Stone (2012) has five tackles and defensive back Terry Richardson (2012) is redshirting.


Rose Bowl – Wisconsin vs. No. 6 Stanford, 5 p.m.: Tyler Dippel (2009) has 19 tackles, including five sacks, for the Badgers while Jesse Hayes (2011) is a backup defensive end. Kevin Hogan (2011) has won all four games he’s started as Stanford’s quarterback, completing 97-of-133 passes for 973 yards and nine touchdowns while rushing for 269 yards and two scores. Also for Stanford, A.J. Tarpley (2010) has 57 tackles, including seven for loss, Alex Carter (2012) has 39 tackles and three forced fumbles, Wayne Lyons (2011) has 25 tackles and an interception, Ty Montgomery (2011) averages 26.6 yards on kickoff returns and Devon Cajuste (2011) has one catch for 7 yards. Offensive lineman Ikenna Nwafor (2012) and linebacker Noor Davis (2012) are redshirting.


Orange Bowl – No. 15 Northern Illinois vs. No. 12 Florida State: Quarterback Jordan Lynch (2009) rewrote the Northern Illinois record book this season. He is 222-of-353 passing for 2,962 yards and 24 touchdowns against five interceptions. He also has run for 1,891 yards – an NCAA FBS record for a quarterback – and 19 touchdowns. For the Seminoles, Dan Foose (2010) is a backup offensive lineman while quarterbacks Sean McGuire (2012) and Jameis Winston (2012) are redshirting.


Wednesday, Jan. 2


Sugar Bowl – No. 21 Louisville vs. No. 3 Florida, 8:30 p.m.: Quinton Dunbar (2010) has 31 catches for 306 yards and four TDs for the Gators.


Thursday, Jan. 3


Fiesta Bowl – No. 4 Oregon vs. No. 5 Kansas State, 8:30 p.m.: Josh Huff (2010) has 29 catches for team-bests 467 yards and seven touchdowns for the Ducks.


Friday, Jan. 4


Cotton Bowl – No. 9 Texas A&M vs. No. 11 Oklahoma, 8 p.m.: Linebacker Jordan Richmond (2012) and offensive lineman Adrian Bellard (2012) are redshirting for the Aggies. Adam Shead (2012) started every game at left guard this season for the Sooners.


Saturday, Jan. 5


BBVA Compass Bowl – Pittsburgh vs. Mississippi, 1 p.m.: Evan Swindall (2010) has started every game at center this season for the Rebels.


Sunday, Jan. 6


GoDaddy.com Bowl – No. 25 Kent State vs. Arkansas State, 9 p.m.: Left tackle Brian Winters (2009) will make his 50th consecutive college start for the Golden Flashes. Phillip Butterfield (2009) is a backup quarterback for the Red Wolves.


Monday, Jan. 7


BCS National Championship – No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Alabama, 8:30 p.m.: For the Irish, the All-American Tuitt has 42 tackles, including a team-high 12 sacks and a 77-yard fumble return for a touchdown, George Atkinson has 378 yards rushing and five touchdowns, Josh Atkinson has five tackles, Rabasa has one tackle and Hegarty is a backup offensive lineman. Washington is a backup defensive back for the Crimson Tide.