Penn State overcame a tough Memphis squad to win the GoodYear Cotton Bowl Game on Saturday afternoon in what was the most entertaining bowl game we've seen so far. While it will likely be outshone by the heavyweight OSU-Clemson and LSU-Oklahoma matchups later today, one individual performance should not and will not be forgotten.
In a game filled with potential high-end prospects, Journey Brown stole the show. He ripped off 202 yards and two touchdowns... on 16 carries. That's a ridiculous statistic. He gave us the best highlights of the day, including what we in the business call a Grown Man run to open up the scoring onslaught from the Nittany Lions:
Brown was both faster and stronger than the vast majority of defenders Memphis put on the field. And it isn't new for Brown, either; in the final four games of the season, he topped the 100-yard mark against every opponent except Ohio State.
Brown is only a sophomore, and ran for 688 yards this season on only 113 carries and added 10 touchdowns as the cherry on top. This bowl was quite an introduction for the casual college football crowd, as he gashed Memphis again and again for big games. While the comparisons to Penn State's most recent other-worldly running back in Saquon Barkley will inevitably emerge, Brown has enough time to carve out his own legacy. He isn't as shifty as Barkley, but presents similar big-play ability.
The bowl game provides a stage for previously unheralded players to make their mark. Brown wasn't exactly an unknown entering the game, but now everyone knows just how dangerous he is-- and he'll be fun to watch next season.