Wild Finish at the St. Pete Bowl

St. Pete Bowl Goes Down to the Wire

While the 2016 St. Petersburg Bowl may not have ended that way Miami would have liked it, you have to tip your cap to a MAC team that was a blocked field goal away from knocking off an SEC team. Now had Mississippi State not blocked an early extra point, the game would have been tied at 17. If nothing else, Miami should walk away from the St. Petersburg Bowl with a since of accomplishment as they completely turned their season around, winning 6 straight and nearly knocking off a team that was heavily favored . If you ask Miami head Coach Chuck Martin it all came down to them not executing. Here’s what else he had to say about his team’s narrow defeat:

After the games RedHawks QB Gus Ragland didn’t want to dwell on the loss, but rather appreciate the amazing turnaround by all of his teammates. He even had some high praise for all of his senior teammates, saying that they should build a statue for all of them outside their stadium. On the day Ragland was 21 of 29 for 257 yards, 2 TDs, 1INT. He also added another 51 yards on the ground.

As for the victors, Mississippi State Coach Dan Mullen had full confidence in his team that they would be able to get it done in the end, even after they turned it over in the red zone instead of kicking the go ahead field goal. That confidence comes from the spectacular play of QB Nick Fitzgerald. The dual threat quarterback ran for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns to go along with 126 yards through the air. Fitzgerald’s performance was good enough to win Co-MVP of the St. Petersburg Bowl. That honor was shared with Miami QB Gus Ragland. With a win to finish the season the Bulldogs will now look to carry some of that momentum into next season.

Kip Michalak is a former 3-sport collegiate athlete who has been covering the NBA as an Orlando Magic Insider for the past 3 seasons. Kip has also covered high school sports in Tampa Bay for 5 years. In addition to his basketball reporting Kip has covered a handful of major sporting events, which include: 2015, 2019 NCAA Women’s Final Four 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final 2016 NCAA Frozen Four 2018 NHL All Star Game 2016-2020 Outback Bowls