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More Week 4 News and Notes

I went through half of the play-by-plays on Sunday and early Monday for the Monday blog, these are the rest of the games that I went through on Monday for the Tuesday blog.

San Jose St has struggled this year but got a key addition in PS#8JC RB Lamon Muldrow. Muldrow got his first start vs Cal Poly and he delivered with 184 yards rushing on 20 carries. San Jose St actually trailed until late 3Q when CP fumbled at their own 9 and San Jose St three plays later had a TD for a 13-9 lead. The other key play came when SJS on 3rd & 3 at their own 27 protecting their 4 point lead with 5:00 to go, got a 71 yard run by Muldrow down to the 2 and a TD on the next play for some breathing room.

There was nothing fluky about Toledo’s 10 point win at FIU. UT had a 272-166 yard edge at the half and a 17-0 lead until an int set up FIU for a 23 yard FG late 1H. Toledo led 38-17 and FIU gained 139 yards in the final 8:50 getting 2 TD’s.

USC’s win over Washington St was not as impressive as the final score. The Trojans’ TD drives were 31/3pl (after PR), 28/2pl (after PR), a 57 yd TD pass (after the Trojans recovered their own onside kick) and 24/3pl (after fumble). USC was SOD at the 1 and 2 yard line on 2 drives. WSU had -2 yards offense when Tuel came in at QB and he guided the Cougars on a 58/19pl drive and they had a FD at the USC11 but missed a 34 yd FG. WSU also was intercepted at the USC1 from the 14 but scored a TD with :22 left on a 71/13pl drive. The FD’s were actually even at 17.

Washington was coming off their big upset of USC the week prior and was also making their first road trip so the situation greatly favored Stanford. The Cardinal was not as dominant as the 34-14 score. Stanford’s Owusu returned the opening KO 91 yards for a TD which tied the Pac-10 record for kickoff return TD’s in a season with 3 in just 4 games! There were 4 consecutive TO’s on the first 4 poss and the fourth saw Cardinal QB Luck cross the line and throw backwards and it bounced off a Cardinal player. Stanford thought it was an incomplete pass but Glenn picked up the live ball and ran 54 yards for a TD, 7-7. Stanford did get a 60 yard TD run by Gerhart on the next play then went 49/7pl for a 40 yd FG, 17-7. It was 24-14 at the half. In the 2H UW was SOD at the SU40 on 4th & 5, intercepted at their own 37 setting up a SU FG and was SOD at the SU38 (11:51 4Q). SU got a 62 yd drive for a TD with 9:20 left and ran out the final 8:09 on a 62/13pl drive ending the game at the UW4.

Last week on philsteele.com my QB of the Week was Central Michigan’s Dan LeFevour. While LeFevour has put up great stats in his first three years, he came into the Akron game averaging just 176 ypg passing and 1 TD per game. I called for him to at least match his season total of 3 TD’s on the year. LeFevour trumped that. He hit 23-31-197 with 4 TD’s passing and he also rushed for 140 yards and an additional 2 TD’s for a six TD effort. CM led 34-7 at the half and Akron’s only 1H score came after CM’s punter was tackled at the 11 setting up a short drive for the Zips.

Arkansas came into the Alabama game with the nation’s #2 offense but Ryan Mallett hit just 12-31-160 against the Crimson Tide. Arkansas came in averaging 538 ypg (2 games) and was held to 203. Actually in the 1H Bama had 7 poss with 5 punts and 2 big plays, a 52 yard TD run by Richardson and a flea flicker 50 yard TD pass and led 14-0. Thanks to those 2 plays, they had a 201-101 yard edge. Arkansas opened the 3Q with a 55/5pl drive for a TD, 14-7 but Bama’s offense got going with an 80 yd TD pass. The Tide then blocked a punt and drove 35/5pl for a TD and went 99/13pl for a TD to lead 35-7 early 4Q and Arkansas did not threaten after that.

A&M and UAB were close in the 1Q as the Aggies led just 7-6 (14:22 2Q) but then A&M went on 3 consecutive long TD drives (61, 77 and 47 yards) to lead 28-6 at the half. UAB got the TD to open the 3Q and make it 28-12 but A&M went on 3 consecutive long TD drives (67, 51 and 43 yards) to make it 49-12. A&M got a 40 yard TD run with 8:45 left and UAB backup QB Isabelle got a 60 yd TD run with 7:19 left. A&M’s backups then ran out the rest of the clock.

It’s true that Syracuse led Maine 41-17 when Maine drove 85/8pl for a garbage 15 yd TD pass with :10 left. That makes it sound like Syracuse dominated the game. Here are some surprising stats for you. In the 1H Maine recovered two onside kicks, went for a fake punt twice and shockingly had a 232-149 yard edge. Maine led 17-10 before Syracuse got 30 yard FG with 1:01 left in the half to pull within 17-13. Syracuse got back-to-back TD’s on drives of 44 and 10 yards after a 28 yard punt and an interception to blow it open in the 3Q.

One week after Northern Illinois upset Purdue, the Huskies were upset by Idaho. There was nothing fluky about the game. Idaho was clinging to a 14-10 lead and had a 2nd & 13 late 1H when they got a 58 yd TD pass to make it 21-10 at the half. Idaho would extend it to 34-16 with 11:30 left. NI went 60/9pl for a TD then blocked a punt and recovered it at the 1 and got a TD with 5:51 left. They opted to kick off deep and Idaho had 4 FD’s to a 1st & Goal to the 7 where they took a knee.

NC State had a 27-11 FD edge vs Pittsburgh and 530-300 yard edge but actually trailed 10-0. In the 2Q NCSt went on a 65/10 and 71/11pl drives but missed a 32 yd FG and settled for a 25 yard FG and despite a 239-139 yard edge at the half, they trailed 17-10. NCSt trailed 31-17 after Pitt got a 79 yd TD pass but the Wolfpack would go 45/5pl (after a KR), 83/8pl, 71/12pl on their next 3 poss to lead 38-31 with 6;28 left. A snap went over NC St QB Russell Wilson’s head and Pitt recovered it at the NC St 8 with 2:45 left but after dropping a 3rd & 8 TD pass, their 4th & 8 TD pass fell incomplete.
The Rutgers/Maryland game was closer than 34-13 final as Rutgers had a 5-0 turnover edge. Two of the TO’s went directly for TD’s including on the first play of the game when the Knights got a 36 yd IR TD. At the half Maryland had a 161-91 yard edge and led 13-10. Twice Rutgers was SOD, the first time at the Maryland 25 (4:20 2Q) and the second time at the Maryland 2 (7:08 3Q). With Maryland pinned at their own 9, RU finally took the lead when they got a sack and recovered a fumble for a TD, 17-13. Leading 20-13, the Knights stopped Maryland on 4th down at their own 49 and 3pl later got a 29 yd TD run with 4:53 left to lead 27-13. On 3rd & 4 with 3:26 left, Rutgers RB Martinek got a 61 yd TD run for the final margin.

Bowling Green went 3 & out to open but roughing the punter gave them a FD and BG went on a 65/13pl drive but missed a 29 yard FG. After 1Q, it was 0-0 but Boise had six 2Q poss that resulted in 4 TD’s and they also had a 3rd & Goal at the 1 but settled for a FG which was botched on a bad snap for an 11 yard loss and zero points and with :20 left 2Q, Boise missed a 38 yard FG. It was total domination with Moore throwing for 195 2Q yards as they led 29-0 at the half. Boise scored on their first two poss of the 2H to lead 43-0 and played backups the rest of the way.

Florida had a dominating 1Q vs Kentucky. For the second straight year they blocked a punt for a TD (2 blocks LY) vs the Wildcats and on their other four drives, scored 3 TD’s and a FG, leading 31-0 after 1Q! UK did have a long drive for a TD in the 2Q while UF actually punted twice. UF settled for a 32 yard FG after the play which Tim Tebow was hurt on (I won’t talk about the injury here – everyone knows about it). The Gators backup QB Brantley fumbled at the UK27 with 12:05 left. UF’s final TD came after a 39 yd IR to the UK8 and they got an 8 yd TD pass with 6:39 left and finished with 25-11 FD and 495-179 yard edges.

I used Georgia as my Defense of the Week on philsteele.com and they held a team that came in averaging 44 ppg to 204 total yds and 10 offensive pts. The game appeared to be on its way to a rout as after 1Q UGA led 14-3 but surprisingly the Dawgs punted three times in the 2Q. In the 3Q UGA fumbled at its own 37 setting up an Arizona St 8 play drive for a TD. ASU then got a 47 yd IR TD to stunningly lead 17-14. UGA went on a 56/12pl drive but after a 1st & Goal at the 1, settled for a FG. UGA then went on a long drive but on 4th&1 were SOD at the ASU27 and UGA needed a 38 yd FG on the last play to pull out the win.

Penn St led Iowa 10-0 early and it was 10-5 at the half. PSU failed to put them away. In the 2H PSU was intercepted at the Iowa 24 and then missed a 48 yd FG. With 12:21 left in the game PSU imploded as Iowa blocked a punt and returned it for a 53 yard TD. The Lions were intercepted and returned to their own 24 setting up an Iowa TD. PSU fumbled at the Iowa 19 and was intercepted at their own 39 on their final two poss.

Troy had 29-13 FD and 507-305 yd edges vs Arkansas St. ASU jumped out to a 10-0 lead but Troy would have a 265-156 yd edge at the half and led 20-10. There were three fumbled punts in the 2H, the first set up Troy for a 21 yard FG and a 23-10 lead. After ASU battled back for a 24-23 lead, Troy missed a 40 yard FG and Troy fumbled a punt at their own 9. ASU was held to a 31 yard FG only leading 27-23. ASU forced a punt but fumbled the punt at their own 25 and Troy got the go-ahead TD with 7:53 left. ASU punted with 7:47 left but Troy went on a 59/10pl drive running out the clock getting to the ASU4.

Texas Tech led Houston 21-10 in the 1H and had a couple opportunities to put the game away. Leading 28-20 they fumbled at the UH30. Leading 28-23 QB Potts was stopped on a QB sneak at 4th & Goal at the 1 with 10:56 left. UH got a TD with :49 left to take the lead and TT only got to the UH43 but Potts’ final 2 passes were incomplete.

I picked Hofstra much higher than anyone else in the FCS this year. I have been somewhat disappointed by their performances to start of the year. Hofstra actually played a solid game vs West. Michigan. HU led 7-0 after 1Q and 10-3 late 2Q before allowing a pair of late drives. The game was just 17-10 when HU missed a 43 yd FG late 3Q. WM drove 77/11pl for a TD with 9;25 left for some breathing room and HU was SOD at the WM24 with 5:52 left.

Nebraska’s 55-0 win vs Louisiana was their first shutout since 2006 and it was their 300th consecutive sellout. The Huskers scored on their first five poss but did have drives of 26 (after fumble) and 27 (after 33 yard PR) for TD’s. UL, trailing 27-0, went on a 51/12pl drive but then was intercepted and returned 74 yards for a TD and Nebraska led 34-0 at the half but surprisingly only had a 232-152 yard edge. The Huskers did pull their starters after 1 series in the 3Q.

I expected to see a complete domination when I did the play-by-play of Tulsa/Sam Houston as the final score was 56-3. I was surprised to see that on the first 3 drives, SH went 41/7pl but were SOD at the Tulsa 42. Their 2nd drive went 68/8pl but they settled for a 25 yard FG. Their 3rd drive went 61/8pl but they missed a 46 yard FG. They had 182 yards offense in the 1H. Usually in overmatched games like this, the yards are gained at the end of the game vs the backups.

It was a battle of two of the weakest teams in the FBS and there were a few key plays in the New Mexico St/New Mexico game. With NM leading 7-3, NMSt, on 3rd & 23, was tackled for a 2 yard loss but a face mask penalty gave them a FD. That keyed a 76/17pl drive and on 4th & Goal at the 1, the Aggies got a TD. NMSt was leading 13-7 when they were intercepted at the NM34 with 3:26 left in the half and the Lobos went 56/4pl for a TD to take the lead, 14-13. Each team missed a 3Q FG but NM extended the lead after recovering a fumble at the NMSt19 with a 30 yard FG, 17-13. NMSt took over with 7:39 left and drove 59/17pl and on 4th & Goal got a 4 yd TD pass with :39 left. NM still had a chance getting 3 FD’s but missed a 47 yard FG wide left on the game’s final play.

Duke had a solid game vs NC Central with 31-9 FD and 480-188 yd edges. Duke took their first 3 poss of the game all for TD’s and led 21-0 but gave up a 55 yard pass setting up a TD. With Duke driving again, NCC got an 83 yard IR TD and only led 21-14. Duke would extend it to 49-14 with backup QB Renfree leading his first TD drive to start the 4Q.

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  • http://www.brand5.com Mark Faggiano

    Phil – what's your feeling on Tim Tebow? Will he return against LSU?

  • thomas921

    Phil, Big Fan of yours was just wondering if you had time to do a Top 25 weekly on your site???

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    Thomas,
    Look for it tomorrow after about noon ET. Thanks, Phil

  • Anonymous

    Phil….I have a real issue with the fact that Iowa is still ranked below PS in many of the polls used to determine the BCS. I know it’s still early,but if this is how the pollsters think….this is even more evidence of why a playoff is needed. (and YES, I am a very avid Nittany Lion fan and think this is just another indictment on the BS!

  • Anonymous

    Phil….It’s a travesty that some polls have Iowa ranked behind PS!!! These are polls used by the BS Championship and is further proof why there needs to be a playoff system implemented soon. Though I’m an avid Nittany Lion backer and realize it’s still early…this is further indictment on a system that needs changed……Keep up the great work Phil. Seebs

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    Yes, I think he will provided he passes the tests.

  • jaysnare

    Phil,

    I know you rated Oregon lower than most in the Pac 10 rankings this season. Does the win against Cal change your mind at all? Do you see them keeping up that production consistently?

  • JakeC

    Phil, I feel like you have some of the best football knowledge in the country is there any chance we could get a pick of the week from the game you feel strongest about.

  • larrymaduri

    PHIL…WITH REGARD TO YOUR POWER RATINGS…HOW OFTEN DO YOU UPDATE THE
    VALUES…DO YOUR RATINGS INCLUDE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE AND CONFERENCE
    POWER ETC.( THIS IS THE FIRST YEAR I PURCHASED YOUR PUBLICATIONS)
    LARRY

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    Hey Larry, my power ratings are CONSTANTLY UPDATED. I am a numbers guy so anything that can be included I try to include and I feel I have the most accurate power ratings in the country. I currently have nine sets and they are updated with the home field edge, stats, injuries, etc regularly. Thanks for writing, Phil

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    Hi Seebs, check out page 24 of this years magazine where I have spelled out what I think is the perfect playoff system to establish a true national champ. Thanks for writing, Phil

  • larrymaduri

    PHIL,
    ABSOLUTELY NO DISRESPECT TO YOU AND YOUR PUBLICATION…TO ME.. YOU DO HAVE
    THE BEST FOOTBALL INFORMATION THAT I HAVE SEEN TO DATE…I APPRECIATE
    YOUR WEBSITE AND ALL YOUR DEDICATIONS INTO THE NUMBERS THAT GO INTO YOUR
    SYSTEM…IT IS WORTH EVERY DOLLAR I SPENT…THANKS FOR YOUR EMAIL

  • qdantz

    phil i have to tell you that the info you provide us is incredible! keep up the good work! ive been using your publications and notes for over 8 yrs now and you never let me down!

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    Thank you for the kind words!

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    Thank you Larry

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    Thank you for the kind words!

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    Thank you Larry