Over the last month, local football fans have had a chance to enjoy some great bowl games along with other holiday staples like eggnog and pumpkin pie. And those things went well together with a side of college football bowl action.
A number of former area standouts showcased their skills for schools all over NCAA Division I this bowl season.
Whether it was highlight scores from Brelan Chancellor, tackles from Kendrick Smith or big runs from David Cobb, fans all over the country saw what kind of players come out of the area.
Chancellor goes out in style
Chancellor had the chance to provide one final impactful performance for the North Texas Mean Green and he did just that in one of college football’s more hallowed grounds.
The former Copperas Cove Bulldawg had touchdown runs from 3 and 15 yards out to go along with six catches for 74 yards in a 36-14 win over UNLV at the Heart of Dallas Bowl on New Year’s Day at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
Chancellor helped the Mean Green win its first bowl game since the 2002 New Orleans Bowl and win more games in 2013 than the previous five seasons before head coach Dan McCarney arrived in Denton last season.
Chancellor entered the game as North Texas’ leading receiver with 718 yards and four touchdowns on 47 catches.
Another former Cove standout, Brandin Bryd also rode off into the sunset with a win as he rushed for 52 yards on 20 carries against UNLV.
He finishes the season with 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Clemons-Valdez, Jefferson finish season at Baylor
The party ended with a setback for the Baylor Bears in their most sucessful season in school history on New Year’s Day.
Central Florida won a 52-42 shootout over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
Former Cove standout Trevor Clemons-Valdez did get into the game, but did not record any stats.
Former Shoemaker standout Johnny Jefferson was also a part of Baylor’s team this season and could get more playing time in 2014 with the departure of Lache Seastrunk to the NFL.
Cobb, Gophers fall in Houston
For Cobb and the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 2013 only offered more of the same.
After losing the game to Texas Tech last year, the Syracuse Orange put together a late rally to beat Minnesota 21-17 at on Dec. 27 at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
Cobb had a solid game rushing for 91 yards on 18 carries for the Gophers.
The former Ellison Eagle enjoyed a breakout season in which he rushed for more than 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.
Smith, Bobcats fall to ECU
The Ohio Bobcats and Harker Heights ex Kendrick Smith ended a strong season on a downswing following a 37-20 loss to East Carolina in the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl on Dec. 23
ECU scored the final 20 points in the last 10 minutes.
Smith had three tackles and finished the season with 20 tackles and two sacks in 11 games in 2013.
Braswell, Houston can’t close out Vandy
In a game filled with big quarters, Vanderbilt had the last one.
The Commodores put up 17 points in the fourth quarter to beat Eric Braswell and the Houston Cougars 41-24 Saturday at the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala.
Braswell finished the game with three tackles, including two solo, in the contest.
The former Shoemaker Grey Wolf helped the Cougars finish the regular season 16th nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 20.2 points per game.
Thomas hurts ankle in Brown’s last game
For former Cove standout Duke Thomas and the rest of the Texas Longhorns, Mack Brown’s final game went a little different than they anticipated.
Texas couldn’t sustain its run game and the high-powered Oregon offense overcame a slow start during a 30-7 Ducks win at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Thomas sustained an ankle injury in the first half and left the game after three tackles, including two solo.
Thomas will have a chance to play for new head coach Charlie Strong, a defensive-minded coach, next season.
Mays finishes career at Tech
Former Shoemaker standout Derrick Mays did not get into Texas Tech’s 37-23 Holiday Bowl win over Arizona State on Dec. 30. Mays finished his senior season with 11 tackles, including one for loss, in eight games.