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SI's All-Bowl Team
Ivan Maisel
January 11, 1999
There are countless preseason All-America teams and postseason All-America teams, but here's something that's unique: our pick of the best performers in this season's 23 bowl games
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January 11, 1999

Si's All-bowl Team

There are countless preseason All-America teams and postseason All-America teams, but here's something that's unique: our pick of the best performers in this season's 23 bowl games

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Offense

Wide receivers: There are two ways for a receiver to score a long touchdown on a pass play: run and catch the ball, or catch the ball and run. Texas senior WANE McGARITY scored both ways in the Longhorns' 38-11 rout of Mississippi State in the Cotton Bowl. McGarity beat two Bulldogs defensive backs on a post pattern for a 59-yard touchdown and later took a pass in the left flat and raced 52 yards for another score. Tennessee senior PEERLESS PRICE closed his college career in grand style by catching four passes for 199 yards against Florida State. A 76-yard reception set up the Vols' first score, and then a 79-yarder for a TD clinched the national title for Tennessee.

Left tackle: All-SEC senior ZACH PILLER of Florida led a line that allowed Doug Johnson and Jesse Palmer enough time to throw for more than 100 yards each and created the holes for tailback Terry Jackson, who rushed for 108 yards in the Gators' 31-10 defeat of Syracuse in the Orange Bowl.

Left guard: How much has Miami junior RICHARD MERCIER meant to the Hurricanes over the past four seasons? Ask Miami offensive line coach Art Kehoe. "When he was injured, we were 4-6," says Kehoe. "When he has started, we're 26-8." Mercier, an import from Montreal, led a line that helped produce 594 yards of total offense and didn't allow anyone to come close to sacking quarterback Scott Covington in Miami's 46-23 thrashing of North Carolina State in the Micron PC Bowl.

Center: Four years ago, Ole Miss coach Tommy Tuberville asked MATT LUKE to walk on, and the 6'2", 260-pounder became a stalwart in the Rebels' climb to success. In his final game he shut down Texas Tech All-America lineman Montae Reagor in Mississippi's 35-18 Independence Bowl upset.

Right guard: TCU senior GREG DAVIS, who was suspended by the NCAA for 11 games over the last two seasons after testing positive for steroid use in 1997, found some redemption in the Sun Bowl when he helped the Horned Frogs rush for 314 yards in their shocking 28-19 defeat of USC. After the game TCU coach Dennis Franchione made special mention of Davis's blocking for tailback Basil Mitchell, who ran for 185 yards and two touchdowns.

Right tackle: Thanks to some gigantic holes created by 372-pound Wisconsin senior AARON GIBSON, the Badgers controlled the ground and shocked UCLA 38-31 in the Rose Bowl.

Fullback: Ohio State shut down Texas A&M's offense, except for 260-pound freshman JA'MAR TOOMBS, who rumbled for 62 yards on 10 carries, caught two passes for 19 yards and laid some crushing blocks in support of tailbacks Dante Hall and Sirr Parker.

Tailback: What is the exchange rate for rushing yards against UCLA? Do they count as much as yards gained against a team that can tackle? Maybe not, but Wisconsin junior RON DAYNE's 246 yards and four touchdowns against the Bruins were still remarkable.

Quarterback: For all the stellar plays Tulane senior SHAUN KING has made in his career, his best may have been persuading offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez not to join former Green Wave coach Tommy Bowden at Clemson until after the Liberty Bowl. With Rodriguez calling the plays, King threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 109 yards and a third score in Tulane's 41-27 defeat of BYU.

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