By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com

The Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, presented by Stifel, will be an annual college football bowl game held at SoFi Stadium. As the centerpiece of Hollywood Park, the home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, in Inglewood, Calif., which sits on nearly 300-acres of mixed-use development, that is being built by Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke. SoFi Stadium will be home to the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, which will feature the Mountain West’s No. 1 selection, (11-3) Utah State Aggies, versus the Pac-12’s No. 5 selection, (7-6) Oregon State Beavers.

The Beavers would receive the kickoff on the sunny 62 degree afternoon and get the first chance to put points on the board. Capping off a quick 3-play drive would be their sophomore wide receiver, Jesiah Irish. Irish scored the initial LA Bowl touchdown on a jet sweep from 20 yards out to give them an early lead.

So Cals Akili Arnold of OSU has athletic interception vs. Utah State. (Photo: Sara Medina)

After the teams exchanged punts while driving inside onto the Aggies side of the field, the Beavers decided to go for the first, on fourth down with no hesitation. The Aggies defender was well prepared as he was able to properly utilized the sideline as another defender, while defending the receiver, then, in one motion Hunter Reynolds got his head around and slapped the ball away with his left hand, foiling the Beavers attempt at the first down.

On their very next drive, the Aggies would then tie the ball game up on sophomore quarterback Cooper Legas’ first career pass attempt. Legas’ would tie this game up when he completed a pass to senior wide receiver Deven Thompkins for a 62 yard touchdown. This would also establish the LA Bowls longest play from scrimmage.

“I just went out there and practiced all year long just like everybody else. I knew what to look for all year. They (Oregon State) gave us the look to check in, so I just did what I have been practicing. It worked out.” Legas would say postgame about his first collegiate pass being the first touchdown of the LA Bowl.

Jimmy Kimmel, host of television show Jimmy Kimmel Live, performs with the Oregon State marching band before the LA Bowl NCAA college football game between Utah State and Oregon State in Inglewood, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

After the Beavers would take a three-point lead midway through the second quarter on a Everett Hayes 37-yard field goal, the Aggies responded with 17 unanswered points. Juniors running back Calvin Tyler Jr.’s 15-yard touchdown run gave the Aggies a four-point lead 14-10 with under 4:00 remaining in the second quarter. This would 15-yard touchdown would be part of his game high 120 yards rushing.

Senior placekicker Conner Coles would extend the Aggies lead on his 25-yard field goal to cap off their 13-play 64-yard drive to open up the second half. The Aggies took a 7-point lead in the third quarter of this closely fought game.

The Aggies quarterback Cooper Legas would connect with senior wide receiver Brandon Bowling for a 5-yard touchdown. Legas’ second touchdown of the season extends their lead to fourteen points late in the third quarter. The Beavers would respond with a 34-yard field goal by Sophomore kicker Everette Hayes to cap off a 59-yard drive. Though that field goal would narrow the Aggies lead to 11 points, the game would be out of reach of the Beavers.

Utah State quarterback Cooper Legas (5) is hoisted on the shoulders of his teammates after they won the LA Bowl 24-13 over Oregon State in Inglewood, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

The two teams would exchange interceptions and fumbles in that fourth quarter, yet the Beavers would not get closer than the 11-point deficit that the Aggies established. Although there was not a packed house for this game, 29,896 family and friends in attendance made their presence felt and made this an intriguing bowl game.

“I told the team win or lose; it’s not going change their legacy. They’ve done an amazing job. You don’t go from 1 and 5 to 10 and 3 and a championship. You just don’t do this. It just doesn’t happen. But there was an opportunity to finish, to really finish, finish strong and finish well. We went into the week just outside of the top 25. And it’s important for those guys to move up in the rankings. This is what the price to do that was. There’s no way we shouldn’t finish in the top 25, and 11 and three record, two power five wins and a conference title. To me that is finishing that last sentence of this group’s legacy. I honestly cannot be more proud of what they’ve accomplished.” Aggies head coach Blake Anderson would say about their season post-game.

The Utah State Aggies would be the initial champion named at SoFi Stadium, with the football world looking to crowing the NFL’s 56th Super Bowl champion in February of 2022. Kindly share your thoughts on the Jimmy Kimmel Bowl and its contestants. This was a decent game, and the players, families, and schools seemingly enjoyed themselves all week. Let me know your thoughts by reaching out to me on Twitter @whatsgoodnsport or email or voiceofthefans@outlook.com. I’d love to hear any suggestions you have on what angles, or players, on this Los Angeles Chargers team you would like to read about this season.

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