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Sammy Watkins, Timmy Jernigan lead bowl season standouts

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press
Oregon State CB Rashaad Reynolds' Hawaii Bowl performance included two fumble returns for a touchdown.

The postseason ended with a phenomenal national championship game Monday night (what a way for the BCS to go out, right?), but we didn't want to forget the 34 bowls that came before the finale.

Thus, here is our all-bowl team for 2013.

Postseason MVPs? How about Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins and Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. Read on to find out why -- and try not to cry when realizing it's 233 days until the 2014 season kicks off.

OFFENSE

QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson

Bowl: Win over Ohio State in Orange Bowl

Buzz: He accounted for six touchdowns and 505 yards of offense in the Tigers' victory. He threw for 378 yards and five TDs and rushed for a team-high 127 yards and a TD, which came on a 48-yard run for the game's first score.

RB Jeremy Hill, LSU

Bowl: Win over Iowa in Outback Bowl

Buzz: Iowa had allowed five rushing TDs in the regular season, fewest in the nation, but Hill rampaged through the Hawkeyes for 216 yards and two touchdowns. His 37-yard TD run late in the game sealed the victory.

RB Storm Johnson, UCF

Bowl: Win over Baylor in Fiesta Bowl

Buzz: The junior upstaged Baylor RB Lache Seastrunk, rushing for 124 yards and three TDs in what turned out to be his final college game. Johnson showed off his power and his speed.

WR Bruce Ellington, South Carolina

Bowl: Win over Wisconsin in Capital One Bowl

Buzz: The junior had six catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns, and he also tossed a scoring pass to QB Connor Shaw in his final college game.

WR Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

Bowl: Win over Michigan in Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

Buzz: The junior had 10 receptions for 116 yards and three TDs in the Wildcats' easy win. He had two scores in the first quarter to get K-State off to a quick start. He also averaged 37.0 yards on two kickoff returns.

WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson

Bowl: Win over Ohio State in Orange Bowl

Buzz: His final college game may have been his best college game. He tore up Ohio State's secondary, finishing with 16 receptions for 227 yards and two TDs, including a magnificent catch on a 34-yarder in the third period. He basically was uncoverable by the Buckeyes. And if "uncoverable" isn't a word, it is now. Watkins was that good.

T Le'Raven Clark, Texas Tech

Bowl: Win over Arizona State in Holiday Bowl

Buzz: The sophomore and his linemates kept Red Raiders QB Davis Webb upright all night, an impressive feat considering Arizona State's pass rushers. Texas Tech finished with 484 yards of offense.

T Greg Robinson, Auburn

Bowl: Loss to Florida State in national championship game

Buzz: The sophomore showed off his skill set against the Seminoles. The Tigers rushed for 232 yards in the loss.

G Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State

Bowl: Win over Rice in Liberty Bowl

Buzz: The senior road-grader did a lot of Rice-mashing, helping the Bulldogs rush for 239 yards and pile up 533 yards of offense in a 37-point rout.

G Jordan McCray, UCF

Bowl: Win over Baylor in Fiesta Bowl

Buzz: When UCF needed important yards, they ran behind McCray, a senior. Heck, even when they didn't need important yards, the Knights ran behind McCray. UCF rolled up 556 yards and 52 points in pulling the upset.

C Artie Rowell, Pittsburgh

Bowl: Win over Bowling Green in Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

Buzz: The sophomore helped pave the way for James Conner's 230-yard performance. Coaches also were pleased with Rowell's line calls for a banged-up unit, especially given how many defensive looks Bowling Green showed the Panthers.

DEFENSE

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DE Kony Ealy, Missouri

Bowl: Win over Oklahoma State in Cotton Bowl

Buzz: The junior, who announced he was going pro in the postgame news conference, had two sacks, a pass breakup and six tackles.

DT Taylor Hart, Oregon

Bowl: Win over Texas in Alamo Bowl

Buzz: The senior had a monster game in the Ducks' rout. He finished with a team-high 11 tackles and added a tackle for loss as Oregon held Texas to just 236 total yards.

DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State

Bowl: Win over Auburn in national championship game

Buzz: The junior stuffed the middle all night, helping FSU keep Auburn's rushing attack from taking over the game. Jernigan had nine tackles and did a nice job of clogging up the middle most of the night.

DE Hau'oli Kikaha, Washington

Bowl: Win over BYU in Fight Hunger Bowl

Buzz: The junior had three sacks, nine tackles and a forced fumble in the Huskies' victory.

LB Denicos Allen, Michigan State

Bowl: Win over Stanford in Rose Bowl

Buzz: The senior doesn't get enough national notice for his solid play. He helped the Spartans overcome the loss of middle linebacker/emotional leader Max Bullough by coming up with seven tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble against the Cardinal.

LB Jake Fischer, Arizona

Bowl: Win over Boston College in AdvoCare V100 Bowl

Buzz: The senior had 14 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack as the Wildcats shut down BC's Andre Williams, the nation's leading rusher, holding him to 75 yards on 26 carries.

LB Eric Striker, Oklahoma

Bowl: Win over Alabama in Sugar Bowl

Buzz: The sophomore's speed wreaked havoc on the Tide's offensive line all game. Striker finished with seven tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble.

CB Andre Hal, Vanderbilt

Bowl: Win over Houston in BBVA Compass Bowl

Buzz: The senior had a team-high nine tackles along with an interception and three pass breakups to help the Commodores hold off Houston for their ninth win.

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CB Rashaad Reynolds, Oregon State

Bowl: Win over Boise State in Hawaii Bowl

Buzz: A fumble return for a TD is a big deal. But two of them, along with 10 tackles and a pass breakup? Of such things, fine memories are made. Reynolds had a 3-yard return for a score in the first quarter and a 70-yarder for a score in the second quarter.

S Brian Suite, Utah State

Bowl: Win over Northern Illinois in Poinsettia Bowl

Buzz: The junior had a team-high 11 tackles to go with an interception, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup as the Aggies stymied NIU's potent offense in a 21-14 win. NIU had just 315 yards of offense.

S Jemea Thomas, Georgia Tech

Bowl: Loss to Ole Miss in Music City Bowl

Buzz: He did yeoman's work in the loss, finishing with a team-high 15 tackles, with a sack and three tackles for loss, in the 25-17 setback.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K Kyle Brindza, Notre Dame

Bowl: Win over Rutgers in Pinstripe Bowl

Buzz: He booted five field goals, including two in the fourth quarter, for the Fighting Irish in their 29-17 victory.

P Brian Schmiedebusch, Bowling Green

Bowl: Loss to Pitt in Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

Buzz: The senior averaged 54.6 yards on five punts, with a long of 67, and dropped two inside the 20.

KR Kermit Whitfield, Florida State

Bowl: Win over Auburn in BCS championship game

Buzz: The speedy freshman's 100-yard kickoff return for a TD in the fourth quarter turned the tide in FSU's victory.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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