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By Sonny Jones

It may not have been the doink heard around the world, but it was a Ducks’ doink off the left upright heard loud and clear in Chapel Hill.

Camden Lewis’ extra-point kick caromed off the left upright of the goal post and went through with 19 seconds left Wednesday night that gave Oregon a 28-27 win over North Carolina in the Holiday Bowl at San Diego’s baseball-designed Petco Park.

The winning kick followed an eight-play, 79-yard drive by the Ducks that was capped by Bo Nix’ 6-yard pass to Chase Cota that was upheld by video review.

Drake Maye’s “Hail Mary” pass into the end zone on the final play was incomplete as the Tar Heels ended a once-promising season with four straight losses. North Carolina’s $5 million man — a figure reportedly offered, although denied, for Maye to transfer — wasn’t at his sharpest. He completed 18 of 35 passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns. But he gave the Tar Heels a chance against the nation’s 15th-ranked team.

“Very disappointed that we didn’t win, but we’ve got to make a play here or there, and they’re a great football team,” UNC coach Mack Brown said. “Nobody gave us a chance in the game and we had a chance with one second left. That’s all we could ask for in this situation.”

Oregon entered the game a two-touchdown favorite.

You knew the Tar Heels were in trouble after Noah Burnette’s 44-yard field goal with 2:34 remaining put UNC ahead 27-21 and gave Nix and the Ducks one final chance. They took advantage and doinked their way to a Holiday Bowl victory.

Overall, nice effort by the Tar Heels and entertaining game to watch.


Full credit to first-year coach Mike Elko, quarterback Riley Leonard, Fairmont native Jordan Waters and the rest of the Duke football team for winning Wednesday’s game over Central Florida. It was a dominant performance that capped a 9-4 season that few, if any of us, saw coming.

Leonard ran for two touchdowns and passed for 173 yards and the Duke defense more than contained UCF quarterback John Rhys Plumlee.

Don’t overlook the impact of former coach David Cutcliffe had on the 2022 Blue Devils. The man who brought Duke football back to respectively and won 77 games over 14 seasons with six bowl appearances in Durham, knew when to say when and stepped away after the 2021 season.

In sports, we want to be fighters and to battle through tough times. “Never give up,” we’re told from the first time we take the field as a child until our days in the games we play come to an end.

It’s equally important to know when it’s time to set out on another venture. David Cutcliffe and Duke knew it was time. The Blue Devils had struggled the past couple of seasons.

Now, the future is bright for the Blue Devils. We’ll see what they can do in 2023.

“Couldn’t be more proud of this group,” Elko said. “From where this team was and this program was walking off the field at the end of the 2021 season, to walking off the field today as the 2022 Military Bowl champions.”


The drive to watch every bowl game continues. Streaming is my friend.
Games played: 26 (through Dec 28)
Games watched live: 16
Games streamed: 9
Games to watch: 1

• LIBERTY BOWL: Arkansas 55, Kansas 53 (3 OT)
(Played Wednesday, Dec. 28, watched Wednesday, Dec. 28)
Easily the most exciting game of bowl season. Kansas rallied from 38-13 down to tie it by scoring two touchdowns in the final minute of regulation. Arkansas won it with a successful 2-point play in the third overtime while Kansas’ pass attempt was incomplete.

• GUARANTEED RATE BOWL: Wisconsin 24, Oklahoma State 17
(Played Tuesday, Dec. 27, watched Wednesday, Dec. 28)
Odd game played on a slippery field. Glad I didn’t stay up and watch with the 10:15 p.m. kickoff. Both teams starting quarterbacks had entered the transfer portal. New Wisconsin coach Luke Fickell was on the sideline wearing a headset while interim coach Jim Leonhard, who will not be part of the new coaching staff, led the Badgers. Oklahoma State made a late push to get close, but Wisconsin was in control much of the game.


• 2006 — Texas Tech spots Minnesota a 31-point, third-quarter lead, then rallies for a stunning 44-41 overtime victory in the Insight Bowl, the largest comeback in Division I-A bowl history. The previous record for a bowl comeback was 30 points, set by Marshall against East Carolina in the 2001 GMAC Bowl.


• PINSTRIPE BOWL: Syracuse vs. Minnesota, 2 p.m., ESPN

• HOCKEY: World Juniors – United States vs. Switzerland, 4 p.m., NHLN

• CHEEZ-IT BOWL: Oklahoma vs. Florida State, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

• NBA: L.A. Clippers at Boston, 7:30 p.m., NBATV

• WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Duke at N.C. State, 8 p.m., ACCN

• WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Florida State at North Carolina, 8 p.m., BALLY SOUTH

• NFL: Dallas at Tennessee, 8:15 p.m., PRIME VIDEO

• ALAMO BOWL: Texas vs. Washington, 9 p.m., ESPN

Sonny Jones can be reached at wibbyj@gmail.com.