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5 Takeaways from 2018 Reese's Senior Bowl

The 69th Reese's Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, is in the books.

The South team that was coached by the Houston Texans staff won 45-16 over the North squad coached by the Denver Broncos.

The South squad outgained the North 540-400 and totaled 425 passing yards. The South also converted seven of 14 third downs and limited the North to a 4-for-17 showing.

Here are five takeaways from the game.

1. "Most Outstanding Player"

Kyle Lauletta, a quarterback from the University of Richmond, was named Most Outstanding Player.

Lauletta was 8-of-12 passing for 198 yards and three touchdown passes. All of Lauletta's snaps occurred in the second half.

He helped the South bust the game open in the third quarter with a 75-yard touchdown pass to LSU receiver DJ Chark on a post corner route. The throw and catch occurred one play after the North battled from an 18-3 halftime deficit with a pair of touchdowns to make it 18-16 with 6:09 left in the third quarter. But Chark, who finished with five catches for 160 yards, crossed the goal line 11 seconds later.

Lauletta also had a 1-yard touchdown pass to Western Kentucky tight end Deon Yelder in the third quarter and a 14-yard touchdown to Oklahoma State receiver Marcell Ateman in the fourth quarter.

Lauletta said he thought the whole South team improved as the game progressed.

2. Team MVPs

In addition to the recognition for Lauletta, the Senior Bowl also recognized MVPs for each team.

South Co-MVPs: San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny and Chark

Penny, who led NCAA FBS players with 2,248 rushing yards and 228.8 all-purpose yards per game in 2017, had 137 yards from scrimmage on Saturday. Penny rushed nine times for 64 yards and showed nice hands and speed on a 73-yard touchdown catch that was improvised during a scramble by Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert.

North MVP: Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen

Allen, who replaced Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield after the North's first two series, bounced back in the second half by leading a pair of touchdown drives.

Mayfield finished 3-of-7 passing for nine yards, and Allen was 2-for-5 for 14 yards in the first half. Mayfield left the game at halftime because of a family matter, and Allen regrouped.

He connected with Central Michigan tight end Tyler Conklin on a 16-yard touchdown to cap an 81-yard drive and had gains of 31, 27 and 34 on his next three passes. The 27-yarder was a score to Notre Dame tight end Durham Smythe to cap a 58-yard drive that lasted two plays.  

3. Off and running

Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners defensive end Marcus Davenport affected the line of scrimmage on multiple plays and was rewarded with a touchdown on a 19-yard fumble return.

Davenport corralled a smooth hop after Mississippi linebacker Marquis Haynes forced a fumble by Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee.

The scoop and score gave the South its second touchdown in as many snaps and a commanding 38-16 lead with :33 remaining in the fourth quarter. 

4. Final "home" game

The annual college all-star game allows players to wear their college helmets one last time. Safety Jeremy Reaves, who played for South Alabama, was also able to play in his college stadium for one final outing.

Reaves made the most of it.

He broke up an offering by Mayfield on third-and-10 in the first quarter to force a punt, worked with Southern Cal linebacker Uchenna Nwosu to stop Kalen Ballage a yard short on a fourth-and-2, broke up a pass on a two-point conversion to keep the North from tying the game at 18 and intercepted Lee late in the third quarter.

5. Pressuring passers

The Senior Bowl implements a few rules that are designed to create 1-on-1 matchups for talent evaluators on the line of scrimmage and between receivers and corners.

Defenses must play Cover 1, Cover 2 or Cover 3, and they are not allowed to use stunts or blitzes along the line of scrimmage.

The offenses are not allowed to use motions or shifts before snaps.

Two North players recorded 2.0 sacks apiece: Ohio State's Jalyn Holmes and Oklahoma's Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. Ohio State's Tyquan Lewis also recorded a sack.

For the South, Haynes recorded a sack when he forced the fumble, LSU teammates Christian LaCouture and Greg Gilmore combined for one, Texas defensive tackle Poona Ford recorded one after Allen slipped, and Alabama's Da'Shawn Hand and Davenport combined for the other.

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