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Daniel Wilco | | July 13, 2020

The biggest blowouts in college football bowl history

USA Today Sports Images Army scored 70 points against Houston in the 2018 Armed Forces Bowl Army scored 70 points against Houston in the 2018 Armed Forces Bowl

The heavily lopsided 2018 Music City and Armed Forces bowls sparked a lot of interest in the largest college football bowl game blowouts in history — both the most points scored by a single team and the largest margins of defeat.

So we decided to take a look at where each game stood in the record books.

Turns out, Army's 70-14 win over Houston in the 2018 Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 22, 2018 sits at the top of both lists.

With the win, the Black Knights tied West Virginia's 2012 record for most points by a single team in a bowl game and tied Tulsa's 2008 record for the largest margin of victory.

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In the 2018 Music City Bowl, Auburn managed to score the most points in a half in bowl history with 56 in the first half against Purdue, but the final score of 63-14 fell short of both of Army's records.

Now let's take a look at the rest of the leaderboards for some context.

First, let's start with the highest scores by a single team in regulation (Marshall did beat East Carolina 64-61 in the 2001 GMAC bowl, which would put them as the fifth-highest scoring team, but that game went to double overtime).

Here are the Top 13 highest scores by a single team in college football bowl game history:

Points Team Opp. OpP. score Bowl Year
70 Army Houston 14 Armed Forces 2018
70 West Virginia Clemson 33 Orange 2012
67 Baylor Washington 56 Alamo 2011
66 Nebraska Northwestern 17 Alamo 2000
65 Texas A&M BYU 14 Holiday 1990
63 LSU Oklahoma 28 Peach (CFP semifinal) 2019
63 Auburn Purdue 14 Music City 2018
63 Tulsa Bowling Green 7 GMAC 2008
63 Illinois Virginia 21 1999
63 Toledo Arkansas State 44 2015
62 Arizona State Navy 28 Kraft Fight Hunger 2012
62 Tulsa Hawaii 35 Hawaii 2010
62 Colorado Boston College 28 1999
62 Nebraska Florida 24 Fiesta 1996
62 Oklahoma State Wyoming 14 Holiday 1988

There is one CFP game on the list: LSU crushing Oklahoma 63-28 in a 2019 semifinal. Tigers QB Joe Burrow threw seven touchdown passes in the first half, tying the FBS record for TD passes in a bowl game (Central Michigan's Cooper Rush in 2014).

Army's win was also impressive statistically, especially considering one ridiculous stat: The Black Knights attempted only four passes all game. Instead, they rushed 58 times for 507 yards and eight touchdowns while holding the Cougars to just 320 total yards.

That game also sits atop the full list of the top bowl game margins:

Margin Team Score Opponent Score Bowl Year
56 Army 70 Houston 14 Armed Forces 2018
56 Tulsa 63 Bowling Green 7 GMAC 2008
55 Alabama 61 Syracuse 6 Orange 1953
51 Texas A&M 65 BYU 14 Holiday 1990
49 Auburn 63 Purdue 14 Music City 2018
49 Nebraska 66 Northwestern 17 Alamo 2000
48 Boise State 55 Northern Ill. 7 Poinsettia 2015
47 Fla. Atlantic 50 Akron 3 Boca Raton 2017
45 Tulsa 55 Central Mich. 10 Miami Beach 2016
44 Oklahoma St. 58 Purdue 4 Heart of Dallas 2013
44 Fresno St. 51 Bowling Green 7 California 1985

Tulsa is the only team that appears on the good side of this list twice, having won by at least 45 points twice in a bowl game. But again, Army is right there at the top, and the fact that the Black Knights scored seven more points than Tulsa gives them the edge here as well.

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