2014 BBVA Compass Bowl
The 2014 BBVA Compass Bowl was the 8th contest in the annual postseason Birmingham Bowl series at Legion Field which began in 2006. It was the fourth and final game played with BBVA Compass as title sponsor.
The Vanderbilt Commodores (8-4), representing the Southeastern Conference, defeated the Houston Cougars (8-4) of the American Athletic Conference 41-24 in front of a crowd of 42,717 on January 4, 2014. The crowd, the third-largest in Birmingham Bowl history, enjoyed cool clear weather in advance of a bitter cold front bearing down on the region.
Both teams made their inaugural appearance in the Birmingham Bowl (though Vanderbilt had played in the 1982 Hall of Fame Classic), and the game was the teams' first-ever contest against each other. Vanderbilt was favored by 2½ points.
Vanderbilt's team was hosted at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham-Wynfrey Hotel at the Riverchase Galleria while Houston stayed at the Sheraton Birmingham downtown. Both teams visited Children's Hospital on New Years' Day after team practices. They toured the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute on January 2. ESPN's Herm Edwards was the keynote speaker for the Monday Morning Quarterback Club Team Luncheon on January 3. The event honored Tony Nathan as the "Golden Flake Legend of Birmingham". Blackjack Billy and Groove Daddy headlined the BBVA Compass Street Fest and Pep Rally that evening in Five Points South, which also featured a Dreamland Bar-B-Que rib eating contest.
ESPN network broadcast the noon game, with Dave Neal providing play-by-play and Houston alumnus Andre Ware supplying color analysis. Dawn Davenport served as sideline reporter.
The Commodores, coached by James Franklin, went ahead of the Cougars 24-0 in the first half, with receiver Jordan Matthews scoring two touchdowns and quarterback Patton Robinette adding one. The Cougars, coached by Tony Levine, answered with 24 unanswered points in the third quarter. Vanderbilt recovered in the fourth quarter, closing out the game with a 41-24 win.
Vanderbilt set an all-time Birmingham Bowl record for most points scored, while Houston set several yardage records for individual plays: John O'Korn set a record for the longest completion with his 67-yard touchdown pass to Deontay Greenberry. Houston running back Daniel Spencer set a game record for longest run from scrimmage with his 62-yard scamper; and Cougars freshman Demarcus Ayers returned a kickoff 62 yards.
|Site: Legion Field|
|Names: Papajohns.com Bowl (2006-2010), BBVA Compass Bowl (2011-2014), Birmingham Bowl (2015)|
|By year: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, Jan. 2015, Dec. 2015|
- Diel, Stan (April 2, 2013) "BBVA Compass to end sponsorship of Birmingham's bowl game." The Birmingham News
- BBVA Compass Bowl website