San Jose State beat Georgia State tonight 27-16, but they were not the true winners. The Cure Bowl was a first time bowl game and it was a bowl game with a cause. The inaugural AutoNation Cure Bowl is a football bowl game to raise money for cancer research.
The Football: The teams matched up were not well known, one even had a losing record. San Jose State (5-7) rolled into the Florida Citrus bowl having an excellent APR rating even though their football record was less that the usual bowl team. Georgia State (6-6) got notice by ending their season with 4 straight wins. Sand Jose State had a high pass acumen and a stellar running back in but they all had players and coaches who’s families were effected by breast cancer. SJSU running back Tyler Ervin did not disappoint with 30 runs for 130 yards plus a 85 yard punt return. His Quarterback and game MVP Kenny Potter had less than stellar numbers (10-19 69 yes passing) but ran for 69 yards including a 30-plus run for a touchdown. Ervin’s 9, 6, and 18 yard runs led to the decisive touchdown, putting the game out of reach at 27-16 with 2:40 remaining in the 4th quarter.
Georgia state spent most of the night being handled by the SJSU defense. They did however manage a 5 play drive for a touchdown, keeping the game interesting by taking a 16-13 lead. The Spartans also benefitted from an errant snap in the end zone causing SJSU punter to mishandle it and fumble it out of bounds, giving GSU a safety. The GSU punting game was also a stand out, keeping SJSU inside of the 10 yard line on a few drives. But the SJSU defense was too much.
The Cause: The Cure Bowl raised $150,000 to help with breast cancer research, and Automation donated $1, million to the cause. San Jose State Senior DB Simon Connette’s mother passed due to breast cancer this year. He is the second player this year to have to live through this. The team rallied around him and being at the Cure Bowl seams like a perfect ending to their season. At the Cure Bowl press conference, GSU Panther coach Trent Miles listed about a number of members of his family that have been effected or died of cancer, including his Mother who was flown in to see the game. So he too can feel the importance of the purpose of this game.
The announced attendance of 16,000 fans seemed generous, but spirit were hight in the Citrus Bowl as more money was raised to seek a cure for breast cancer, and a pretty good football game happened too.