More News and Notes
The UCF/Buffalo game was much closer than the final would indicate. In the 1H UCF got a 30 yd IR TD to take a 10-3 lead and Buffalo was intercepted in the EZ at the end of the 1H. At the half Buffalo had a 150-141 yd edge. Buffalo drove for a TD and the score was 10-10 in the 4Q when UCF got a TD with just 9:53 left. Buffalo went for it on 4&1 at its own 34 and was stopped and UCF tacked on a TD with 3:55 left 7 plays later. Buffalo was SOD at the UCF45 on their final drive and finished with 21-16 and 326-288 yd edges.
Northwestern does not usually do well in the favorites role, but dominated Rice. In the 1H it was fairly close as NU went 49/10pl for a 42 yd FG and the next six possessions were punts. After a Rice fumble, NU went 53/13pl for a 28 yd FG, 6-0. NU added an 11 yd IR TD with 3:44 left in the half. Rice did most of its damage on its final drive of each half. They went 68/11pl for a 31 yd FG on the final play of the 1H to only trail 13-3. NU extended it to 27-6 and then went 80/6pl and fumbled into the EZ from the 1 yard line for a TB. It was 30-6 when Rice took over with 2:29 left and they would go on a 97/11pl drive for a garbage TD with just :14 left.
Perhaps the best Special Teams in the country belongs to Utah. It seems each week they get tons of short drives with Shaky Smithson the star. Smithson had a 34 yd PR which set up a 44 yard TD drive, a 33 yard return set up a 47 yd TD drive. Utah was in control 21-0 at the half. New Mexico got a 27 yard FR TD but Utah got a 75 yard TD pass and 36 yard IR TD then Smithson did it again with a 73 yard PR TD, 42-7. Utah, leading 56-14 ended the game at the NM17 and only had a 19-16 FD edge but a 438-230 yard edge.
In 2009 Maine took Syracuse to the wire and QB Warren Smith threw for 305 yards. This time Maine decided to attack on the ground with 32 rushes although they did hit 21-29 passes for just 129 yards. The 1H was dead even as Maine actually had a 9-5 FD edge and the yards were even. Syracuse got a 4&4 TD with :27 left 1H to take their first lead of the game, 17-14. Maine got 1 FD in the 3Q and Syracuse went 87/9pl, 66/5pl then after recovering a fumble got a 20/1pl TD pass for 3 TD’s and a 38-14 lead one play into the 4Q and coasted from there.
Steve Spurrier and South Carolina always struggle with FCS foes. Spurrier did raise his record to 40-0 vs non-BCS foes but after only beating Woffard 27-20 in 2006 and 23-13 in 2007 they struggled vs Furman. Furman settled for 2 FG’s of 37 and 37 yards and trailed 14-6 when SC took over with 3:41 left in the half and drove 62/6pl for a TD and a 21-6 lead. Furman chipped away in the 2H. Trailing 31-13 they were SOD at the SC26 (14:09 4Q) but forced a punt, ran a halfback option pass from Tersoo Uhaa to Mims which went 72 yds for a TD. The 2 pt conversion failed but they were within 12, 31-19. Furman got the ball back on a 47 yd pass to Mims got them down to the 33 but on 2&7 SC got an 80 yd IR TD by Gilmore which was like a 14 point swing and gave them breathing room, 38-19 with 6:39 left and Furman never threatened after that.
TCU was concerned with rolling up the score in their first couple of games but no such problem for Boise St. Boise, which dropped in the poles after Virg Tech lost to James Madison, just destroyed Wyoming. They scored on their first 5 poss to lead 31-0 and at the half had a 409-59 yd edge and a 34-0 lead. It was 44-6 after 3Q and Wyoming was SOD at their own 41 with 3:33 left. While Boise just ran the ball they went 41/6pl for another TD with :57 left with backup QB Couglin piloting them for the 51-6 final and finished with a 648-135 yard edge.
Idaho dominated UNLV. They had not allowed a point in the Kibbie Dome and this was their 2nd game until UNLV, trailing 30-0 when 80/5pl and got a 25 yd TD pass with 1:18 left. At the half Idaho had a 254-86 yd edge but they settled for 44 and 37 yd FG’s in the 2H. Idaho did only finish with a 332-187 yd edge.
Turnovers were the key in the Middle Tenn/Memphis game as 4 turnovers set up all 4 of Memphis’ scores. MT led 3-0 but was int’d and Memphis drove 34/10pl for a 22 yd FG. After another int, Memphis drove 36/6pl for a TD. After a fumble, Memphis drove 43/6pl for a TD and they led 17-10 at the half with a 196-164 yd edge. Middle Tenn’s first drive of the 3Q ended on an int and Memphis drove 44 yards, its longest scoring drive of the game in just 3 plays for a TD, 24-10. MT brought in Murphy at QB and went 69/6pl for a TD. They went on a 12pl drive and had a FD at the 15 but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a delay of game forced a 4th & 37 and they punted (8:06). On their next drive they got to the Memphis 18 but a hold forced a 4&25 and they punted 31 yds to the 2. MT’s last drive started at their own 26 after Memphis got off a 63 yd punt. On 4&1 MT lost 2 yards.
Southern Utah could easily have had an another IAA or FCS upset. They had a 21-16 FD edge vs San Jose St and a 334-250 yard edge. SJS got a short 26 yd drive for a 25 yard FG. SU went on a 54/10pl drive but settled for a 28 yd FG, 3-3. After a bad snap on a SJS punt gave SU a safety to lead 5-3, SU was SOD on 4&2 at the SJ32. SJ took over with 2:03 left in the half and went 65/7pl for a TD and the lead, 10-5. SU dominated the 3Q. They went on a 5pl drive but settled for a 37 yd FG. They then went on a 55/11pl drive but after a 1st & gl at the 10, roughing the QB took Brad Sorensen out of the game. Sorensen, a BYU transfer hit 23-39-230. The dive stalled and they settled for a 32 yd FG and only led 11-2. SU recovered a fumble at the SJ24 but with Olson at QB, got 1 FD and missed a 26-yd FG. SU’s next drive went 7pl but on 4&7 they fired incomplete from the SJS34. When SJS was SOD on 4&1 at the SU30 with 3:56 left, it looked like all hopes were gone but SU had a clip so they punted on 4&20 and SJS drove 48/5pl getting a Muldrow 6 yard TD run with 1:10 left to escape. SU did get to the SJS39 but a hold wiped out a completion and on 2nd & 20 they were int’d.
UTEP’s offense was very efficient vs New Mexico St as they scored on the first 3 drives of the game going 74/9pl, 48/12pl and 56/8pl for TD’s and a communing 21-0 lead. They let up a bit at the end of the half giving up a TD and FG drive but UTEP came out in the 3Q and opened with a 49/5, 68/1p and 80/12pl drives for TD’s once again to take a commanding 42-10 lead. They even had a 43 yd FG blocked with 9:24 left in their 42-10 win. UTEP had a balanced 249 yards rushing and 246 passing while NMSt had 296 total yards.
Utah St actually led Fresno St 24-17 in the 3Q and had the yardage edge after 3Q’s at 274-269 but Fresno won by 17. Utah St led 17-10 when FSU got a 50 yd PR to the US27 with 1:47 left 1H. Fresno got a TD with :38 left to tie it. Utah St had a 37 yd FG blocked in the 3Q but then drove 60/9pl for the TD and the lead, 24-17. Fresno went 80/9pl for a TD to tie it after 3Q’s, 24-24 then blocked a punt setting up a 30 yd FG and after a 21 yard PR, went 46/4pl for a TD, 34-24. Utah St punted with 6:26 left and Fresno got some crucial FD’s on 3&1 and 4&5 and actually continued on a 51/12pl drive getting a 3&gl 2 yd TD run with just :42 left to make it a somewhat misleading final.
Tough loss for Notre Dame vs Michigan St. The Irish led 7-0 late 1H when they were int’d at the MSU6 and the Spartans drove 94/7pl for a TD to tie it at the half, 7-7. With the game tied 21-21 the Irish got a TD pass to go ahead 28-21 with 13:20 left. MSU went 56/4pl. Replay showed that on 2nd & 12 Cunningham stepped OOB and came back in for a 24 yd D pass. No flag was thrown so the TD counted to tie it. In OT the Irish on 3&3 gained 2 yds and settled for a 33 yard FG. Michigan St on 4&14 faked a 46 yard FG. The play actually started with the play clock already expired and a ND defender fell down and Gantr caught a wide open pass for a 29 yard TD and the 3 point win. MSU HC Mark Dantonio suffered a minor heart attack after the game and he’s expected to return in a short amount of time.
UCLA knows how missed practice time can affect a QB’s play as Kevin Prince has been ineffective most of the year as he has not gotten true practice time. He hit just 9-17-99 yards vs Houston. UH QB Case Keenum ended his Heisman candidacy as he was questionable all week to play and while he did play the 1H and guided UH to a 79/9pl drive for a 29 yard FG and a 3-0 lead, he was somewhat ineffective hitting just 11-19-87. UCLA scored TD’s on consecutive drives to lead 21-3 and UH was trying to get back in it and had a 1st & gl at the UCLA2 when Keenum was int’d in the EZ and returned 77 yards. During the return Keenum hurt himself (ACL) trying to make the tackle and will be out for the rest of the season. His backup, Turner was also injured (clavicle) and he is also out for the rest of the season. UCLA led 31-3 when they burned the RS on true frosh Terrance Broadway PS#30. He led UH 74/12pl and 49/7pl for a TD and a FG to make it 31-13. UCLA took over at their 30 and got 3 FD taking a knee at the UH11 on their final drive.
Louisville played a great game at Oregon St and in fact had a 460-310 yd edge but blew a couple of golden opportunities. They had a 4&1 but were SOD at the Oregon St 3 on their opening poss. On the next drive, UL on 2nd & 2 from the 13 QB Froman appeared to be headed for the EZ and a TD but he fumbled into the EZ for a TB. Oregon St had TD “drives” of 23 yards (after 28 yd PR), 37 yards (after 63 yd KR), 46 yds (after 43 yd KR) and 40 yds (after 15 yd PR) and actually took a 35-14 lead. UL pulled within 35-24 and got the ball back at their 12 with 1:43 left. They had a 2nd & 7 at the OSU49 and were int’d at the 23 with 1:07 left and the Beavers prevailed.
Arizona got some big plays early to jump out to a lead over Iowa as they blocked a punt setting up an 8 yd TD drive, got an 85 yd IR TD and added a 100 yard KR TD. AU did fumble at the Iowa 7 at the end of a 64/5pl drive and Iowa trailed 21-7 despite having a 182-72 yard edge and 9-2 FD edge. AU went on a pair of long drives but settled for 22 and 47 yard FG’s. At the half Iowa’s yardage edge slipped to 241-209 and AU led 27-7. Big plays got Iowa back in it. It was 27-14 when AU fumbled a punt at its own 18 and Iowa got an 18 yd TD pass on the next play. Two plays later Iowa got a 20 yard IR TD. The xp was blocked so the game was tied. AU went 72/9pl for a TD with 3:57 left and on 4&25 Iowa was sacked for a 7 yard loss back at its 15 with 1:56 left.
Andrew Luck led Stanford to 8 TD’s on 8 poss vs Wake Forest then came out of the game with 8:46 to go with SU up 55-10. They did have a couple of short drives including 27 yards after a 22 yard PR and 18 yards after a 36 yard IR and also needed a 4th & 1 conversion on their 2nd drive but were pretty much dominant. SU finished with a 34-20 FD edge and backup QB Alex Loukas led a pair of TD drives and 3rd string QB Andrew Stutz led a TD drive with 6:06 left.