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BYU just got one step closer to the ‘College Bowl’ trophy

On Friday night, BYU students Ben Potter, Frani King and Craig Walker played their third game on the trivia game show ‘College Bowl,’ going against Penn State for a spot in the semifinals

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BYU students Craig Walker, Ben Potter and Frani King just secured a spot in the semifinals on the NBC game show “College Bowl.”

Steve Swisher, NBC

Brigham Young University just got one step closer to claiming its first “College Bowl” trophy.

On Friday night, BYU students Ben Potter, Frani King and Craig Walker played their third game on the trivia game show “College Bowl,” going against Penn State University for a spot in the semifinals.

What happened during the BYU vs. Penn State game on ‘College Bowl’?

The Cougars had momentum going into their match against Penn State, having recently claimed a thrilling victory against Notre Dame in the quarterfinals.

The first round of the game, called the Kickoff, began with the three BYU students showing off their knowledge of Greek and Roman Mythology: “Naiads, who preside over lakes and rivers, and Dryads, who hold dominion over forests and trees, belong to what class of minor Greek deities?”

BYU came up with the correct response: nymphs. “College Bowl” host Peyton Manning then showed the students a sculpture of Hercules battling a Learnean monster and asked for the name of the monster. That one went to Penn State — Hydra — but the BYU students got back on the board when they were shown a vase painting and correctly identified the monster the Athenian hero Theseus was killing: the minotaur.


BYU students Craig Walker, Ben Potter and Frani King on the set of “College Bowl.”

Steve Swisher, NBC

Following the mythology category, both BYU and Penn State each swept a category. The Cougars opted to play the category “On a mission for nutrition,” and correctly answered the following three questions (all answers can be found at the bottom of the article):

  • “What leafy green that includes the Tuscan or curly varieties is considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat?”
  • “Found in colorful fruits and vegetables, beta-carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E are what type of substance that protects cells from damage caused by free radicals?”
  • “Potentially causing muscle weakness and an abnormal heart rhythm, hypokalemia is a deficiency of what essential mineral?”

Penn State then went on to sweep the category “The 2020s,” answering the following three questions:

  • “A 2020 Writer’s Guild of America Award went to the “Subsequent Moviefilm” of what Sacha Baron Cohen character?
  • “When the leader of Cuba’s Communist Party resigned in 2021, it ended more than six decades in power by brothers with what last name?”
  • “In 2021, what pastor made history as the first African American to represent Georgia in the U.S.?”

At the end of the Kickoff round, where each question is worth 10 points, BYU had 50 points — a slight, 10-point lead over Penn State.

Then it was time for the two-minute drill, where teams are tasked with trying to correctly answer as many questions as possible in two minutes.

This is really where BYU came to life.


BYU students Craig Walker, Ben Potter and Frani King compete against Penn State on NBC’s “College Bowl.”

Steve Swisher, NBC

Potter, King and Walker were on a role during this fast-paced part of the game, ultimately answering 15 questions — the most questions that have been answered during this part of the game all season long.

During this round, each question is worth 25 points, with teams earning an additional 100 points for every five questions answered correctly. This brought the Cougars’ final score to 725.

Although they got close, Penn State was unable to overtake the Cougars, answering 14 questions during the two-minute drill and finishing the game with 590 points.

And just like that, BYU landed a spot in the “College Bowl” semifinals.

Who else is competing in the ‘College Bowl’ semifinals?

During Friday’s episode of “College Bowl,” the University of Georgia beat Syracuse University in a tight match and claimed the second spot in the semifinals.

Columbia University then defeated UC Santa Barbara to claim the third spot. The fourth and final spot went to BYU’s opponent, Penn State, which was the runner-up with the highest point total.

For the semifinals, BYU will compete against Columbia, and it’ll be tough — Columbia was the 2021 winner of “College Bowl.”

The semifinals and championship game of “College Bowl” air Oct. 28 on NBC at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. MT.

(Answers: 1. Kale; 2. Antioxidants; 3. potassium; 4. Borat; 5. Castro; 6. Raphael Warnock)