In the 17th all-time matchup between the two teams, No. 18 Houston struck early and defeated No. 9 Florida State 38-24 in the 2015 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
Houston, playing in its biggest bowl game in years, took advantage of the opportunity early and raced out to a 21-3 halftime lead. The Cougars were led offensively by quarterback Greg Ward, Jr. who not only threw for 238 yards and a touchdown, but also added 81 yards on the ground along with two scores. Florida State made a 4th quarter charge when a Jesus Wilson 14-yard touchdown catch cut the deficit to 31-24 with five minutes to play, but a late Houston score ended all hopes of a comeback. Florida State quarterback Sean Maguire threw for 392 yards and wide receiver Travis Rudolph set a Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl record with 201 yards receiving. Read the full game story from Fox Sports.
The New Year’s Eve day matchup of No. 18 Houston and No. 9 Florida State drew a near capacity crowd of 71,007 fans inside the Georgia Dome – an 8% increase in attendance over last year’s top-10 matchup of TCU and Ole Miss.
On average, 4.3 million households watched the game on ESPN, with a peak household viewership of 6.3 million coming in the fourth quarter. This represents a 9.5% increase over viewership numbers from 2014 when the Bowl was played in the same time slot.
“We are encouraged by these numbers and they are certainly trending in the right direction,” said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl president and CEO. “We are optimistic and fully expect to see dramatic increases next year when we host our first College Football Playoff Semifinal on Saturday, Dec. 31 at either 4 or 8 p.m.”
Offensive MVP: Greg Ward, Jr., Houston
Defensive MVP: Will Jackson III, Houston
Cougars Win the Battle for Bowl Week
The University of Houston Cougars captured the Battle for Bowl Week Championship Belt today after defeating the Florida State Seminoles in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl’s traditional game-show style Football Feud. The Battle for Bowl Week was tied 2-2 going in to the final event today in the best-of-five series of competitions the two teams enjoyed during their Bowl Week experience in Atlanta.
Houston opened the week by defeating FSU in the Chick-fil-A Milkshake (making) Combine at the Team Welcome Party. The Cougars then took a 2-0 lead in the Battle with a victory in the first-ever Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Lip Sync Battle the same night. FSU avoided the sweep the next day with a win in Hot Shot Basketball, and followed it up with another win at Andretti Karting to tie the series at 2-2.
In today’s final event, the Football Feud, Houston defeated Florida State 200-150 to take the Battle for Bowl Week Championship Belt.
In each of the last five years, the team who won the Battle for Bowl Week has gone on to win the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl as well. We’ll all find out if it will be six straight years when No. 18 Houston takes on No. 9 FSU tomorrow at 12 p.m. in the 48th annual Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.