The Music City Bowl's moniker has become "Nashville's Holiday Tradition". For people who enjoy the bowl season and the holidays alike, it absolutely is spot on. And for that reason, this latest edition was exactly like the past 24 playings, memorable for one reason or another.
In this day and age of Power 5 football, having two behemoths of the sport battle on the Nashville turf means there will always be something good to see. For 2023, Maryland provided plenty of thrills as a first-half domination and some hard-hitting in the second half allowed the Turtles to totally tame those Tigers from Auburn.
Breaking from the gates like a racehorse, the boys from the Big Ten Conference were anything but Terrapin-like in building a 21-0 first-quarter lead. Up 24-7 at the half and with a 44-yard pick 6 just 4 minutes into the second half, Maryland essentially ended this one early. Coasting home with a 31-13 triumph, Maryland exhibited the meaning of Turtle power.
So for those of you scoring at home, how was a game that was essentially over early memorable? Well, for those of us purists still remaining in the sports world, the scoreboard may have said one thing, but the spirit of it all was as if it were a white-knuckler. Bands battling and kids competing in a sport they love personified the college football we have grown to love over the years. Playing for pride and the school colors emblazoned on your back were the original thoughts behind a bowl game. And that is what the Music City Bowl has been about for a quarter century or so.
Maryland departed Nashville with some hardware for the trophy case and Auburn went South with a spanking, but in the end, everybody in attendance left a winner as the Music City Bowl once again delivered as promised.