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Official Allstate Sugar Bowl Game Notes

88th Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl

January 1, 2022 – Caesars Superdome – New Orleans, La.
No. 7 Baylor def. No. 8 Ole Miss, 21-7

Game StoryOfficial Stats | Quote Central | Baylor Notes | Ole Miss Notes

Sack Party
Baylor’s 10 quarterback sacks versus Ole Miss tonight are the most in Sugar Bowl history and also are the most in a New Year’s Six game.  The Bears’ total broke the old Sugar Bowl record of eight sacks, held by Georgia (versus Hawaii on Jan. 1, 2008), and Utah (versus Alabama Jan. 2, 2009).  The New Year’s Six record was also eight sacks, set most recently by Georgia versus Cincinnati in the 2021 Peach Bowl (Jan. 1, 2021).

Top Tackler
Baylor linebacker Terrel Bernard led all players with 17 tackles in the game to become just the eighth player in Sugar Bowl history to record 17 or more tackles in the game. His 17 stops were the most in the Sugar Bowl since Notre Dame’s Rod Smith totaled 18 stops versus Florida on Jan. 1, 1992.

Defensive MVP
Terrel Bernard’s outstanding performance not only led the Baylor defense, but it earned him the Miller-Digby Award as the Most Outstanding Player in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. This was the 75th year that the Miller-Digby Award has been presented and Bernard is just the third full-time defensive player to win the solo honor – for the three CFP Semifinals at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, there have been offensive and defensive MVPs selected. Bernard joins Alabama linebacker Barry Krauss (1979) and Georgia defensive end Marcus Howard (2008) in the exclusive club.

Low Scoring Affair
The two teams in the 2022 Sugar Bowl combined for 28 points, the fewest combined points in the game since Florida State defeated Auburn 13-7 in the 1989 Sugar Bowl. The 7-0 score at halftime marked the lowest scoring first half in a Sugar Bowl since the Jan. 2, 1984, game between Michigan and Auburn, which Michigan led 7-0.  That trend continued through the third quarter, when the 14-point total (7-7) was the fewest since Michigan led Auburn 7-3 through three quarters in 1984. Auburn went on to win that game 9-7 on the strength of three Al Del Greco field goals, including two in the fourth quarter.

The scoreless first quarter was the first in a Sugar Bowl since Pittsburgh and Georgia started the 1982 game 0-0.  Pitt eventually earned a 24-20 victory over the Bulldogs (Jan. 1, 1982).

About That Pick 6
The 96-yard interception return touchdown by Baylor’s Al Walcott in the second quarter was the longest in Sugar Bowl history, breaking a record that dated back to Jan. 1, 1945, when Alabama’s Hugh Morrow scored on an 80-yard interception return versus Duke. Walcott’s return also set a record for longest interception return score in a New Year’s Six game, beating the 93-yard play by UCF’s Brandon Morris versus LSU in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, 2019.

The 96-yard scoring play was the second-longest in Sugar Bowl history, behind only a 100-yard kickoff return by Florida’s Andre Debose vs. Louisville in the 2013 game.

Walcott’s score also marked the first defensive touchdown scored in a Sugar Bowl game since Jan. 1, 2018, by Mack Wilson of Alabama vs. Clemson (18-yard INT return).

Finally, Walcott’s 96-yard TD was the fourth-longest INT return score in a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) game in the Superdome.

First Half Shutout
Ole Miss is the fourth team to be held scoreless in the first half of the Sugar Bowl in the last 40 years.  The last team to be shut out in the first half was Baylor, which trailed Georgia 19-0 at halftime of the 2020 Sugar Bowl in a game the Bears eventually lost 26-14.

Turnover Time
JT Woods of Baylor is the 21st player in Sugar Bowl history to record two or more interceptions in the game. The last player to pick off two passes in a game was Richard LeCounte of Georgia vs. Baylor on Jan. 1, 2020.  The Bears’ three interceptions are the most by a team since Ohio State intercepted Alabama three times in the 2015 Sugar Bowl.

100-Yard Rusher
Baylor’s Abram Smith finished the game with 172 yards on 25 carries to rank sixth on the all-time Sugar Bowl rushing yardage list. His 172 yards are the most since Ohio State’s Trey Sermon had 193 yards on 31 carries a year ago versus Clemson. Smith surpassed the 100-yard mark in the first half, finishing the half with 106 yards on 11 carries, including a long rush of 49 yards.  He averaged 6.9 yards per rush for the game.

No Passing Zone
Baylor’s 40 passing yards (on 7-of-17 passing) are the fewest in a Sugar Bowl since 1993 when Alabama’s Jay Barker completed just 4-of-13 passes for 18 yards in the Crimson Tide’s 34-13 win over Miami on Jan. 1.

Conference Match-up
Teams from the Big 12 are now 10-6 versus Southeastern Conference foes in Sugar Bowl games. The last win by a Big 12 team in the game was a 28-21 victory by Texas over Georgia in 2019. Looking ahead, the Sugar Bowl will host the top available teams from the SEC and the Big 12 three times in the next four years (after this year) – in the other season (2023), the Sugar Bowl will serve as a College Football Playoff Semifinal. The agreement runs through the 2025 season.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • With tonight’s attendance of 66, 479, the all-time attendance total in the 88-year history of the Sugar Bowl is 6,469,654.
  • Ole Miss is now 6-4 all-time in Sugar Bowl games. The Rebels had not suffered a loss in its last two appearances (1970, 2016). Their last loss in the Sugar Bowl was on Jan. 1, 1964, a 12-7 decision versus Alabama. Ole Miss is now 2-1 when facing Big 12 teams in the game.
  • Baylor is now 2-1 all-time in the Sugar Bowl and recorded its first Sugar Bowl win since Jan. 1, 1957, when the Bears defeated Tennessee, 13-7.
  • With a win by the seventh-ranked Bears over the eighth-ranked Rebels, the higher-ranked team is now 51-36-1 in Sugar Bowl games. Since 1980, the ledger stands at 21-21-1.
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