2004-05 ESPN.com all-bowl team

Originally Published: January 6, 2005
By Ivan Maisel | ESPN.com

Here's a look at the best performers in the 2004-05 bowl season:

Offense
Vince Young, Texas
Quarterback

Vince Young
Vince Young announced his presence with authority when he ran past Michigan for four TDs in the Rose Bowl.
With all apologies to Sonny Cumbie, the Texas Tech senior who shredded a tough Cal defense, Young's performance in the Rose Bowl will be remembered as long as Orangebloods give each other the Hook 'Em Horns sign. The sophomore rushed for touchdowns of 20, 60, 10, and 23 yards in leading the Longhorns to a 38-37 victory. His 192 yards set a school rushing record for quarterbacks and was second in the history of the NCAA postseason. His touchdown stats rounded out to five, though, because he threw one, too.

Marion Barber III, Minnesota
Running back

The junior rushed for 187 yards and a touchdown against Alabama, a defense that hadn't allowed a rusher to reach 100 yards all season. Not only that, fellow Gopher Laurence Maroney rushed for 105 yards, as well, as Minnesota edged the Crimson Tide, 20-16, in the Music City Bowl.

Leon Washington, Florida State
Running back

The junior, playing in his hometown of Jacksonville, rushed for a 69-yard touchdown on his first carry, which jump-started him to 195 yards on only 12 carries in the Seminoles error-filled, penalty-marred 30-18 defeat of West Virginia in the Gator Bowl. The 16.3 yards per carry broke a Seminole record held by former All-American Warrick Dunn.

Derek Hagan, Arizona State
Wide receiver

The junior and Biletnikoff Award finalist made nine catches for 182 yards, his eighth 100-yard game of the season, and a 27-yard touchdown in the Sun Devils' breathtaking 27-23 defeat of Purdue in the Sun Bowl.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith torched OU for three TD catches and 113 yards.
Steve Smith, USC
Wide receiver

The sophomore, who missed half the season because of injury, caught seven passes for 113 yards, and three touchdowns, including acrobatic scoring catches of five and 33 yards in the second quarter, as the Trojans won their second consecutive national championship in defeating Oklahoma, 55-19, in the FedEx Orange Bowl.

Paris Warren, Utah
Wide receiver

The senior caught 15 passes, a Tostitos Fiesta Bowl record, for 198 yards and two touchdowns as the Utes' wrote the happy ending to their storybook undefeated season, beating Pittsburgh 35-7.

Joe Klopfenstein, Colorado
Tight end

The junior caught five passes for 134 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown in which he outran two UTEP defensive backs from the 50 to the end zone as the Buffaloes edged the Miners, 33-28, in the EV1.net Houston Bowl. His catch broke the record for the longest by a Buffalo tight end.

Daniel Loper, Texas Tech
Offensive tackle

The senior anchored an offensive line that gave quarterback Sonny Cumbie time to throw for 520 yards and three touchdowns in the Red Raiders' stunning 45-31 defeat of California in the Holiday Bowl, the biggest upset of the bowl season. Loper neutralized All-Pacific-10 lineman Ryan Riddle as Texas Tech riddled a defense that had allowed only 13.4 points per game.

Ivan Maisel's All-Bowl Team - Offense
Pos. Player Team
QB Vince Young Texas
RB Marion Barber III Minnesota
RB Leon Washington Florida State
WR Paris Warren Utah
WR Derek Hagan Arizona State
WR Steve Smith USC
TE Joe Klopfenstein Colorado
OT Daniel Loper Texas Tech
OG Brad Honeycutt Georgia Tech
C Greg Eslinger Minnesota
OG Jason Spitz Louisville
OT Logan Mankins Fresno State
KR Steve Breaston Michigan
K Dusty Mangum Texas
Brad Honeycutt, Georgia Tech
Offensive tackle

The junior led the Yellow Jackets with eight knockdown blocks as they rushed for 286 yards and allowed no sacks of quarterback Reggie Ball in the 51-14 rout of Syracuse in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Greg Eslinger, Minnesota
Center

The junior led a line that rushed for 278 yards, a Music City Bowl record, in the Golden Gophers' 20-16 defeat of Alabama. The Crimson Tide had not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. With Eslinger leading the way, Minnesota's duo of junior Marion Barber III and sophomore Laurence Maroney rushed for 187 and 105 yards, respectively. The Gophs also did not allow a sack of quarterback Bryan Cupito.

Jason Spitz, Louisville
Offensive guard

The junior graded out over 90 percent as the Cardinals rushed for 329 yards in a 44-40 defeat of Boise State in the Liberty Bowl that set the cause of defense back decades. Louisville finished with 564 yards of total offense, but the Broncos remained close because of four Cardinal turnovers. None of them, by the way, by Spitz.

Logan Mankins, Fresno State
Offensive tackle

The senior missed the 2003 season with a torn ACL. He capped off an impressive All-WAC-team comeback by shutting down Virginia linebacker Darryl Blackstock, the ACC leader in sacks (10.5), without so much as a tackle in the Bulldogs' 34-31 overtime victory in the MPC Computers Bowl.

Steve Breaston, Michigan
Kick returner
The sophomore returned six kickoffs for 221 yards as part of a 313 all-purpose-yard day in the Wolverines 38-37 defeat in the Rose Bowl. Breaston caught three passes for 77 yards and a touchdown, and rushed three times for 15 yards

Dusty Mangum, Texas
Kicker

When you play for a team that scores touchdowns by the truckload, you don't get to kick many field goals. Mangum, 10-of-14 for the regular season, got one attempt in the Rose Bowl and made it count. The senior's 37-yarder as time expired gave the Longhorns a 38-37 victory against Michigan in the most exciting bowl of the postseason.

Defense
David Pollack, Georgia
Defensive end

David Pollack
David Pollack's day at the Outback Bowl included this theft from John Stocco.
The senior All-American had three sacks, including one of his patented sack-and-strips, ripping the ball out of Wisconsin quarterback John Stocco's grasp and keeping it late in the fourth quarter on first-and-goal. The play helped preserve the Bulldogs' 24-21 victory in the Outback Bowl.

Jonathan Babineaux, Iowa
Defensive tackle

The senior tackle closed out his career by spending the first half in the LSU backfield. Babineaux finished with two-and-a-half of the team's five sacks, made two more tackles for loss and forced a fumble in the Hawkeyes' 30-25 thriller over LSU.

Mike Patterson, USC
Defensive tackle

Patterson takes the other DT spot in a photo finish over teammate Shaun Cody. The senior made three tackles, but constantly flummoxed the interior of the Oklahoma offensive line. His ability to get a push into the backfield helped the Trojans make seven tackles for loss, including two sacks against a line that allowed only seven all season. Cody got one of them against no less than Outland Trophy winner Jammal Brown, who hadn't given up a sack since the 2003 Texas game. Cody, who made five tackles, also forced Brown to commit a holding penalty.

Ivan Maisel's All-Bowl Team - Defense
Pos. Player Team
DE David Pollack Georgia
DT Jonahtan Babineaux Iowa
DT Mike Patterson USC
DE Mathias Kiwanuka Boston College
LB Matt Grootegoed USC
LB Tyjuan Hagler Cincinnati
LB Maurice Lloyd Connecticut
CB Ellis Hobbs Iowa State
CB Vaughan Kelley Navy
DB Devin Hester Miami
S Junior Rosegreen Auburn
P Dave Brytus Purdue
Mathias Kiwanuka, Boston College
Defensive end

Kiwanuka, the Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year, made five tackles behind the line, including two sacks, for a total of minus-25 yards, and deflected a pass in the Eagles' 37-24 defeat of North Carolina in the Continental Tire Bowl.

Matt Grootegoed, USC
Linebacker

The senior set the tone for the Trojan defense, making four tackles of Oklahoma freshman All-American Adrian Peterson for a cumulative six yards in the first quarter. Grootegoed also recovered a fumble that the Trojans converted into a field goal and intercepted a pass that USC turned around for its final touchdown in the 55-19 rout of the Sooners.

Maurice Lloyd, Connecticut
Linebacker

The senior made an astonishing 19 tackles as the Huskies throttled the explosive Toledo offense. The Rockets, who averaged 474.1 yards and 35.2 points per game, finished with only 281 yards in a 39-10 loss in the Motor City Bowl.

Tyjuan Hagler, Cincinnati
Linebacker

The senior created the Bearcats' first two touchdowns in their 32-14 defeat of Marshall in the Fort Worth Bowl. Hagler blocked Marshall's first punt of the game, which was recovered for a touchdown, giving Cincinnati an early 7-0 lead. He also forced a fumble that Cincinnati recovered and converted into a touchdown. Hager made seven tackles, including a sack.

Vaughan Kelley, Navy
Cornerback

The senior made nine tackles, including one at the Midshipmen 1-yard-line on fourth-and-goal late in the third quarter to stop a New Mexico drive. Kelley also forced a fumble with a hit on Lobo tailback DonTrell Moore. Navy won the Emerald Bowl, 34-19, for its first 10-win season in 99 years.

Devin Hester, Miami
Defensive back

Devin Hester
Devin Hester's TD return sparked the 'Canes.
The sophomore, starting as a nickel against Florida's passing attack, made one interception and deflected another pass. More important, returned a blocked field goal 78 yards for the opening touchdown in the Hurricanes' 27-10 defeat of the Gators in the Peach Bowl.

Junior Rosegreen, Auburn
Safety

The senior had a hand, literally, in the Tigers' two interceptions of Bryan Randall in the 16-13 defeat of Virginia Tech that capped off their undefeated season. Rosegreen intercepted one pass and tipped the other pick. He also made five tackles.

Ellis Hobbs, Iowa State
Cornerback

The senior intercepted a pass in the final minute and returned it 41 minutes, sealing the Cyclones' 17-13 victory against Miami (Ohio) in the Independence Bowl. Hobbs also set up an Iowa State score with a 41-yard punt return and added four tackles.

Dave Brytus, Purdue
Punter

The freshman averaged 49 yards on eight punts, including a long punt of 58 yards, and the Boilermakers had a net average of 47.5 yards, in their 27-23 loss to Arizona State in the Sun Bowl.

Ivan Maisel is a senior writer at ESPN.com. He can be reached at ivan.maisel@espn3.com.

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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