December 2015 Birmingham Bowl
- This article is about the December 30, 2015 bowl game during the 2015-2016 college football season. For the January 3, 2015 bowl, see January 2015 Birmingham Bowl.
The December 2015 Birmingham Bowl was the 10th contest in the annual postseason Birmingham Bowl series at Legion Field which began in 2006. The game was played for the second year with no corporate title sponsor.
The contest took place in a light rain on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 with the Auburn Tigers (6-6) of the Southeastern Conference defeating the 9-3 Memphis Tigers of the American Athletic Conference 31-10. Assistant Darrell Dickey served as Memphis' interim head coach after Justin Fuente accepted the job at Virginia Tech. The announced crowd was a record-high 59,430.
Auburn's first drive stalled with first and goal at the Memphis 3-yard line, and kicker Peyton Barber opened the scoring with a 20-yard field goal. Their second drive produced a touchdown when Kerryon Johnson crossed the goal line on an 8-yard run. Memphis followed an exchange of punts by turning the ball over on downs at midfield, but when receiver Jason Smith took the snap and threw a long pass on the 1st down, he was intercepted by linebacker Reggis Ball.
Memphis capitalized early in the second quarter with a field goal to close the gap to 10-3. Later Auburn's Blake Countess blocked Jake Elliott's 34-yard field goal attempt, but Reggis Ball snagged a second interception off of Sean White's pass and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown, tying the game at 10. White threw another interception late in the quarter, but Memphis failed to score.
To start the second half Memphis marched the length of the field, but Tray Matthews intercepted Paxton Lynch's pass in the end zone to prevent a score. After another exchange of punts, relief quarterback Jeremy Johnson found Jason Smith in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown. Johnson ran in another score from 1st and goal at the opening of the fourth quarter, giving Auburn a 24-10 lead.
A team luncheon on December 29 featured Joe Theismann as keynote speaker, a question and answer session with coaches Gus Malzahn and Darrell Dickey, and the presentation of the Golden Flake Legend of Birmingham award to Major Ogilvie.
That night's Street Fest and Pep Rally was held from 2:00 to 8:00 PM in the Uptown entertainment district. The event featured a Dreamland Bar-B-Q rib-eating contest, performances by both visiting marching bands, and concert headliners Dyan Scott and River Dan and His Band. Fireworks capped the event.
An Outback Steakhouse "Fan Zone" outside Legion Field on the morning before the 11:00 AM kickoff featured music by Man's Best Friend.
|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, 2016, 2017|
- Birmingham Bowl website