Friday, January 4, 2019
By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
THE 2018 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl exceeded the expectations of several international media outlets in its fourth edition.
The Bowl was recognised as the No.7 ranked bowl by CBS Sports in their recap of NCAA postseason football play.
The December 21 contest at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium featured FIU claiming the Prime Minister’s trophy with a 35-32 win over Toledo.
“This game gave you everything you could ask for between two smaller schools on a Caribbean island during a Friday afternoon,” CBS Sports said.
“There were big plays and a lot of touchdowns, but the final score was a bit misleading. FIU took a 35-25 lead with 41 seconds left to put the game away, but Toledo went 75 yards in 39 seconds to score a touchdown with two seconds left to make the final margin only three points.”
CBS Sports previously projected the Bahamas Bowl ranked at No.31 out of the 39 bowl games.
The average margin of victory in bowl games this season was just over 16 points per game.
According to SportsMediaWatch.com, the Bahamas Bowl registered a 0.56 which included 838,000 viewers and streams.
College football TV ratings are obtained from various sources, including network PR, ShowBuzz Daily and Programming Insider.
It also stated the 2017 Bahamas Bowl, which featured the Ohio Bobcats against the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Blazers, had 882,000 viewers.
The 2016 game between Old Dominion and Eastern Michigan University (1.4M) and the game debuted in 2015 with Western Michigan and Middle Tennessee State University drawing the most viewers in bowl history (2.1M).
Toledo jumped out to an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but FIU erased the deficit by halftime. FIU quarterback Christian Alexander was named Offensive Player of the Game, going 17-for-26 through the air for 209 yards and a touchdown. He also added 87 yards on 10 carries, which was a Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl record for a quarterback.
Panther running back Anthony Jones carried the ball 15 times for 92 yards and three touchdowns.
The Defensive Player of the game was linebacker Edwin Freeman, who led FIU with eight tackles, including five unassisted.
FIU (9-4) ends the year with a school-record nine wins, while Toledo finishes the season 7-6 overall.
FIU is now 3-1 all-time against Toledo, while Conference USA schools hold a 3-2 advantage over MAC schools in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl.