The defensive fronts for both the South and North squads were dominant during the Reese's Senior Bowl practice week, so it's no surprise one of them keyed a victory in Saturday's annual all-star game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.
The South defense sacked North quarterbacks three times in the first half to help the South to a 27-16 win.
Baylor's Shawn Oakman came up with two of those sacks, one of which forced a fumble, and Eastern Kentucky's Noah Spence had another. The South pass rush also served to assist a secondary that got two pass breakups each from cornerbacks Cyrus Jones and Jalen Mills as four North quarterbacks combined for just 220 passing yards, much of it in the fourth quarter with the game already in hand. Virginia Tech's Dadi Nicolas and South Carolina State's Javon Hargrave combined on a second-half sack for the South, as well.
Quarterbacks Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) and Brandon Allen (Arkansas) each completed 7 of 10 passes for the South, and Prescott delivered a touchdown pass late in the first half to open a 17-3 lead that eventually proved to be the game-winning points. Prescott was selected as the Senior Bowl Most Outstanding Player.
North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz, one of the top prospects in the game, played only the first quarter and completed 6 of 10 passes for 50 yards, with two of his incompletions coming as a result of drops by Ohio State's Braxton Miller and Cincinnati's Chris Moore. Each team played four quarterbacks, resulting in roughly only a quarter of playing time for each.
North defensive tackles Sheldon Day (Notre Dame) and Vernon Butler (Louisiana Tech) recorded a sack each also, maintaining a narrative from the practice week that saw offensive linemen from both squads struggle to consistently block a deep and talented group of defensive linemen.
Alabama RB Kenyan Drake put the game out of reach with a short touchdown run on a sweep left late in the fourth quarter.