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Erin Summers

Bowl game aftermath

Posted January 30, 2012

The football season is rapidly coming to an end but for those still holding on there were two games this past weekend - the Senior Bowl and the Pro Bowl.

Both highlight the ‘top of the line’ players in college and the NFL, though quite possibly the best of the NFL will actually be facing off Sunday in the Super Bowl.

Pro Bowl

It’s always an argument as to why they even have the Pro Bowl. Most fans scoff at the play-ground football, lack of effort or real athleticism that’s shown during the game.

I on the other hand happen to like the Pro Bowl. For one, the players definitely take the selection to heart, cherishing the opportunity to play in the game, and I still find it entertaining even though it isn’t real football.

Where else are you going to see New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees drop kick it for a field goal attempt? Or Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald grabbing touchdown passes from Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers? And in some instances players actually outplayed themselves. Miami receiver Brandon Marshall had four touchdowns – one of which he kicked to himself and you’ll just have to watch the highlight to understand how that worked – Marshall, who only had six touchdowns all season this year. (I know because for some gosh awful reason I had him on my fantasy squad for a stint.)

Now there are a lot of things that could make the Pro Bowl way more entertaining. They tried it with the in games tweets but frankly that was a bust. I say since we already know these players are the best of the best at what they do, why not step it up and notch and see what else they can do. The stuff that people are too afraid to run in real games because it’s too risky, the trick plays, the Statue of Liberty, the Hook-and-Lateral. Kind of like Brees attempting a field goal, why not?

I still want the guys to play football but why play it safe? It’s not like anyone is out there really hitting anyone (unless your name is Cam Newton because they certainly went after him) so no risk to injury.

Even if it’s just a pillow fight and nothing changes, I’ll still watch but maybe that’s just me.

Senior Bowl

The Senior Bowl is quite the opposite of the Pro Bowl. The guys in the Pro Bowl don’t really have anything to prove, after the game is over they’ve earned some extra cash and it’s onto vacation. For those in the Senior Bowl this game could determine a lot about the rest of their football career.

The players have the opportunity to showcase themselves in a game setting one last time before the combine starts on Feb. 25 and the NFL draft on April 26.

And several of our local college players did just that. North Carolina contributed South starters LE Quinton Coples, WLB Zach Brown and back-ups WR Dwight Jones and DT Tydreke Powell. NC State had LB Audie Cole and WR T.J. Graham both who started for the North squad.

If you watched any of it, I’ll go ahead and state the obvious: UNC’s Quinton Coples did not look like the Quinton Coples Heels fans saw all season. He looked WAY better. I said it a few times over the season, and it would seem that after Coples performance Saturday it was in fact the case, Coples looked like he played all season not to get hurt. During the Senior Bowl he was explosive and quick off the line not only hurrying the quarterback but getting to him almost every play. Coples had three solo tackles, two for losses, a broken up pass and a five yard sack. Needless to say he definitely increased his draft stock, probably more so than any player from the area did. He’s being projected as a top-10 draft pick come April.

Not only did Coples stand out, a lot was being said about Wolfpack’s Audie Cole. Cole got a lot of play leading up to the game as scouts were impressed with his skill set and size. During the game he had two solo tackles, two assisted tackles and broke up a pass. Even though his almost pick wasn’t successful, he did wonders for his draft stock.

UNC’s Zach Brown is being looked at as a first round pick because of his quickness and power, and his three solo tackles, two assisted tackles and one tackle for a loss Saturday won’t hurt that.

State's T.J. Graham also helped his case, as a starter for the North he was used as a kick returner and brought attention with his speed and agility, running one back for 27 yards. He had two receptions for a total of 27 yards, totaling 54 all-purpose yards on the day.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
9th
SFG 11
KAN 4
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
 
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
 
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
 
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
 
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
2nd OT
PSU 24
OSU 24
 
3rd
UTAH 10
USC 14
 
2nd
WASH 0
ARST 0
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
 
2nd Intermission
CAL 1
WAS 2
 
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14