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Week 8 Top 25 Game Grades Plus News and Notes

RK FOE OFF RUSH OFF PASS OFF PTS DEF RUSH DEF PASS DEF PTS Game Grade
1 UTAH Colorado St 222 426 59 28 186 6 107.8
2 OHIO ST Purdue 184 305 49 30 88 0 105.875
3 OREGON UCLA 269 313 60 135 159 13 103.95
3 TCU Air Force 376 185 38 181 47 7 103.95
5 MISSOURI Oklahoma 177 322 36 109 301 27 100.7
6 HAWAII AT Utah St 216 389 45 58 123 7 100.1
7 CALIFORNIA Arizona St 131 240 50 57 177 17 99
8 ALABAMA AT Tennessee 212 326 41 155 159 10 98.175
9 ARIZONA Washington 233 224 44 97 192 14 97.075
10 MIAMI FLA North Carolina 225 217 33 149 140 10 95.7
11 VIRGINIA TECH Duke 159 332 44 92 116 7 94.875
12 AUBURN LSU 441 86 24 114 129 17 94.6
13 WISCONSIN AT Iowa 141 206 31 11 257 30 93.225
14 TEMPLE AT Buffalo 266 131 42 63 98 0 91.85
14 NAVY Notre Dame 367 71 35 106 257 17 91.85
16 NEBRASKA AT Oklahoma St 229 312 51 212 283 41 91.025
17 LOUISVILLE Connecticut 160 195 26 108 87 0 90.475
18 PITTSBURGH Rutgers 206 307 41 95 108 21 89.65
19 BAYLOR Kansas St 279 404 47 109 298 42 88.825
20 IOWA ST AT Texas 199 136 28 98 344 21 87.775
21 S CAROLINA AT Vanderbilt 152 354 21 108 142 7 87.725
22 TEXAS A&M AT Kansas 227 294 45 201 130 10 85.525
23 CLEMSON Georgia Tech 236 167 27 242 83 13 83.875
24 W MICHIGAN AT Akron 137 382 56 154 120 10 81.675
25 HOUSTON AT SMU 164 233 45 127 318 20 81.625

News and Notes

The AP’s #1 team in the country had fallen for 2 straight weeks but Oregon faced UCLA at home so there was no such pressure. Their quick strike offense dominated UCLA, which was playing without starting QB Prince. UCLA’s first 2 drives were solid but one resulted in an int at the 10 and the other was a 25 yd FG. Each drive was time consuming and Oregon basically used 2:00 drives all game and scored TD’s on their first 4 poss which included a 4&6, 25 yd pass to the 16. The Ducks led 32-3 at the half with a 357-136 yd edge. UO did get a 6/1pl TD drive after recovering a fumble and later a 2/1pl drive after recovering another fumble with 4:46 left. UCLA scored a TD with 1:53 left for the final 60-13 margin.

Cincinnati’s defense has 8 soph starters, the youngest D in the BCS. The BJ Daniels-led USF offense hadn’t scored a TD in the last 2 games and while UC had 29-13 FD and 590-378 yd edges, USF had a couple of big plays incl a 70 yd TD pass and led by 2 scores for most of the 2H. UC QB Collaros was inj’d and Chazz Anderson came in for UC’s final drive. USF led 24-16 when UC was SOD at the USF30 and on the next play USF got a 70 yd TD pass to lead 31-16. They also led 38-23. UC got a TD with 5:28 left and USF conservatively ran it 3x and punted. UC with Anderson in at QB got to the USF16 needing a TD and 2 pt for the tie but on 4&5 under heavy pressure, he threw incomplete.

The situation greatly favored Ohio St last week. They were off a loss, were no longer playing with pressure of an unbeaten season so they could unleash the offense and were playing with legitimate revenge after losing only one B10 game the previous year and that was an upset loss to Purdue. As you would expect, the Buckeyes dominated. At the half they led 42-0 scoring TD’s on 6 of their 8 poss as they punted once and were int’d at the PU16. OSU had a 415-47 yd edge. OSU went through the motions in the 2H with backup QB’s Joe Bauserman and Kenny Guiton in but still added a TD on a 67/10pl drive with 7:24 left.

Rutgers’ top WR Mohamed Sanu, who was also the team’s leading rusher and operates the team out of the Wildcat offense, only had 1 rush att due to inj. Chas Dodd, in his first true road start hit 8-19-62 with an int and Dion Lewis got on track with 130 yards rushing and 7.6 ypc. Of course RU was playing with a heavy heart for DL Eric LeGrand and I am hopeful that he is able to make a full recovery after his injury vs Army. Pitt had 24-12 FD and 513-203 yd edges. At the half it was 247-93 but RU blocked a punt for a TD to set up the tie. Pitt scored 3 TD’s and 2 FG’s on their first 5 poss of the 2H to lead 41-14 and RU got a garbage TD with 1:30 left.

Ohio only had a 371-343 yd edge vs Miami but had a 6-2 TO edge. MU jumped out to a 7-0 lead but in the 1H would miss FG’s of 45 and 25 yards and OU led 13-7 despite MU having a 183-177 yd edge. MU fumbled early 3Q setting up a 48/1pl TD by OU. Trailing 27-13 MU was int’d at the OU40 then int’d at their own 25. The 2nd set up OU for a 25/5pl TD drive with 3:10 left. MU was SOD at the MU32.

Indiana actually had 21-14 FD and 388-289 yd edges. At the half IN had a 227-164 yd edge but a fumble at their own 23 set Illinois up for a 2pl TD and Indy was also int’d and ret’d 68 yards for a TD and after a 63/12pl drive settled for a 19 yd FG and trailed 27-10 at the half. Ill blk’d 2 Indy punts to open the 3Q and while they fumbled after the first, they blk’d the 2nd for a safety to lead 29-10. IL closed the scoring with a 66 yd IR TD with :44 left.

Penn St was off a loss and off a bye which helped their LB corps get healthier. Minnesota was playing their first game under interim HC Horton and with President Obama scheduled to make an on campus appearance, the home attendance was announced at 48,479. It was smallest crowd in 12 games at TCF Bank Stadium and even appeared smaller than that. PSU QB Rob Bolden who came in with a 2-6 ratio the previous 5, at one point hit 9 straight passes but was inj’d in the 2Q. They bypassed backup Kevin Newsome (flu) for 3rd string Matthew McGloin. McGloin’s first pass was a 42 yd TD which made it 21-7. McGloin had an uneven game hitting 6-13-76 and was int’d on the next drive. PSU led 31-14 but UM got a TD with 5:01 left to pull within 12. PSU missed a 37 yd FG and UM did get to the PSU39 where they were SOD on 4&7.

It was the Irish’s most lopsided loss vs Navy since 1963. It was a Navy home game in an NFL Stadium but ND had a healthy amount of the crowd. ND was playing without their top 2 WR’s, Theo Riddick and Michael Floyd and also one game earlier TE Kyle Rudolph was ruled OFY with inj. Two crucial int’s and an SOD changed the game. ND on their opening poss had a 4&gl at the 1 but were SOD. Trailing 14-10 they were int’d at their 30 with 1:59 left in the half setting up a Navy 5pl drive with the TD coming with :14 left in the half to lead 21-10. ND was also int’d at the Navy 27 and the Mids went 73/10pl for a TD to lead 35-10. ND was SOD at the Navy29 in the 3Q and Dayne Crist was replaced by Tommy Rees and Rees led a 76/10pl TD drive with 6:12 left. Navy went 37/10pl ending the game at the ND35 and beat the Irish for the 3rd time in 4 years having lost the previous 43.

Syracuse RB Delone Carter left the game in the 2Q with injury but backup Antwon Bailey rushed for 94 yds on 19 carries. WV finished with a 286-246 yd edge. WV jumped to leads of 7-3 and 14-10 and then rec’d a fumbled KO and had a 1st&gl at the SU8 but was int’d at the goal line. Geno Smith came in with a 17-3 ratio completing 68% but hit just 20-37-178 yd with 3 int and 5 sks. He was int’d on the 3rd play setting up an SU 28 yd FG. His 2nd int cost WV a chance to score and set up SU for a 19 yd FG. Smith was int’d a 3rd time in the 1H and ret’d 48 yds to the WV12 setting up a 22 yd FG. At the half WV had a 185-178 yd edge but trailed 19-14. The 2H was mostly punts and WV’s got to the SU20 with plenty of time but Smith took a sack on 2nd & 10 and on 4&22 was sk’d again.

Iowa St came in having allowed 52 and 68 points the previous 2 weeks. Texas lost their 2nd game as a big fav this year. After the game HC Paul Rhoads called their first ever win over Texas “historic” and ISU players were jubilant.

In the 1H Marshall had a 186-167 yd edge and was tied at 10. MU had the ball but were int’d at the EC46 with 3:30 left in the half. EC went 65/7pl for a TD then after another int with :36 left added a 40 yd FG to lead 20-10. EC got a TD and FG to open the 3Q and MU was SOD at the EC11. EC went 89/9pl for a TD to put it away, 37-10.

There were some key plays in Iowa’s loss to Wisconsin. Iowa had a great situational edge in the fact that UW was off their upset of Ohio St and they were at home. In the 1H Iowa had an xp blk’d and on a 30 yd FG att with 3:13 left in the half, they bobbled the snap and didn’t get the kick off. UI led 13-10. The Hawkeyes led 27-24 when they got an int at the UW26 and had a chance to put the game away but settled for a 40 yd FG. UW’s P ran up the middle and got a 17 yd run to the 43 as UI peeled back to cover the punt. UW later converted on 4&4 and got a TD with 1:06 left. The final crucial mistake came when UI got a FD at the UW39 with :12 left. The officials stopped the clock to move the chains, UI lined up at the LOS and all they had to do was spike the ball to save their last time-out. Instead, they called their final time-out needing a FG to win. A short pass for a 4 yd gain was tkl’d inbounds and without the time-out the clock ran out.

Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez set a frosh record with 329 yards passing and threw a career high 5 TD’s. This came after not having thrown more than 150 yards in his first 6 starts. OSU’s Kendall Hunter rushed for 201 yards. Justin Blackmon had 157 yards in rec. In the 1H Oklahoma St actually had a 344-255 yd edge and led 27-24 when Nebraska got a TD with :55 left in the half. The 2H was controlled by NU.

Boston College lost 3 defensive starters to inj vs Maryland. TO’s also hurt them in the 1H. MD got drives of 38 and 22 yds for TD’s following TO’s as Antwine Perez had 2 int and a FR and led 21-7 at the half with a 117-110 yd edge. MD led 24-7 after 3Q’s. BC got 2 TD’s to pull within 24-21. On their final 2 drives they dropped a slant pass on 4&3 at the MD31 and after MD went for it on 4&1 at the BC35 with 1:50 left, BC was spotted inches short on 4&1 with 1:13 left. MD took a knee twice.

Clemson had their 3rd crack at the Georgia Tech’s option in 2 years and held GT to 242 rush yds, their lowest rush total of the season and about 100 below their season avg. CU controlled matters early as on their first 4 poss they got 2 TD’s and settled for a 2 short FG’s and missed one and led 17-0. CU led 24-6 when GT converted on 4&2 then on 4&6 got a 9 yd TD pass to make it 24-13. GT missed a FG with 11:04 left and CU went on a 7:36 drive of 64/15pl and settled for a 22 yd FG with 3:28 left to make it 27-13 and GT threw a desperation pass on its next play that was int’d.

Colorado QB Tyler Hansen hit 9-10 passes for 62 yds but left with inj. Cody Hawkins still had CU in good shape hitting frosh Paul Richardson with 3 & 60 yd TD passes. Richardson became the first frosh in school history to have 2 TD’s rec in the same game. CU led 24-14 but missed a 35 yd FG with 12:49 left and Texas Tech took its first lead of the game with a 36 yd FG with 2:08 left in their 27-24 win.

Cam Newton is the clear-cut favorite to win the Heisman Trophy and had a big game vs LSU’s excellent D. Auburn had a 526-243 yd edge. LSU was int’d at the AU14 but AU missed a 39 yd FG with 2:45 left 1H and LSU on 3&gl got a 2 yd Jefferson TD run to tie it at 10. Newton may have won the Heisman on a spectacular 49 yd TD run to make it 17-10 but LSU had a RB pass from Spencer Ware to Rueben Randle go 39 yds for a TD with 12:16 left to tie it. Three times LSU’s punter pinned AU at the 1. AU had the ball at their own 30 and with LSU’s D keying on Newton, Onterio McCalebb took off 70 yds down the sideline for a TD with 5:05 left.

Arkansas’s Ryan Mallett hit 13-24-196 and the game vs Mississippi was delayed by weather twice. Mallett DNR after the 2nd delay. Arkansas had some big plays as they were outFD’d 21-16. Joe Adams got a 97 yd PR TD, the longest in school history, topping the record set by Ken Hatfield who had a 95 yd PR TD vs Tulsa in 1963. Arkansas did lead 24-3 early 3Q but Mississippi battled back to 24-17. On 2nd & 10, Davis got a 71 yd TD run to make it 31-17. UM got a TD with 9:04 left and UA answered with a TD with 7:15 left, 38-24. UM went 75/7pl but on 3&gl from the 3 fumbled. UA punted with 1:06 left and UM got to the UA27 but their final pass was incomplete.

UAB had a 24-18 FD edge vs Miss St but there were 6 key plays which cost them the game. The game was tied at 10 at the half but UAB had a 207-103 yd edge. The first key play happened when UAB had a 1st & gl at the 3 but settled for an 18 yd FG. UAB fumbled the punt at their own 35 setting up an MSU TD early 2Q. MSU was pinned at its 1 when they got a 55 yd punt and illegal blk which changed the field position with UAB taking over at their 26 mid-2Q. In the 3Q UAB trailed 20-17 when they were SOD at the MSU31. UAB got a TD with 10:16 left, 24-23. There was a pers foul on the KO so MSU started at the UAB42. The next key play happened when MSU on 4&4 got a 6 yd run for a FD which set up their go-ahead 39 yd FG with 6:53 left. MSU was trying to run the clock taking over with 5:31 left at their own 29 when another key play happened, a 51 yd run by Perkins on 2nd & 14. That set up a 28 yd FG with 1:48 left. UAB still had a shot but fumbled the KO at their own 33 and on 3&2 MSU got a 10 yd QB run to escape with a 29-24 win.

The situation was great for Northwestern LW but they blew some opportunities. NU controlled the game leading 17-0 but MSU took over with 6:07 left in the half and got a TD with 2:49 left to get back in it, 17-7. In the 3Q MSU had the wind at their back and after NU’s 32 yd punt, MSU drove 48/3pl for a TD. NU drove 80/15pl for a TD to lead 24-14 after 3Q’s. MSU on 4&6 took a delay pen and on 4&11 with Fitzgerald calling for a punt safe, MSU faked it. Their P’s pass was covered by NU’s starting CB but he turned to the sidelines as he normally does on punt safes to avoid being hit in the back by the punt. The receiver hauled in a 21 yd pass to the 15 and the Spartans got a TD on the next play. MSU took over with 7:18 left after an NU punt. On 3&4 they gained 14 yds and on 4&1 got an 8 yd pass. The TD came on a tipped pass which was hauled in by Cunningham for a 28-27 lead with 2:00 left. A crucial pers foul on NU made it 1st & 25 so on 4&12 they fired incomplete from their 31. On 3&15 with a FD basically ending the game got a 25 yd TD run by Baker with 1:07.

Idaho dominated New Mexico St in the 1H. They scored on 5 of their first 6 poss and led 31-0, the last score coming with :48 left in the half. NMSt got a 17 yd TD pass with :07 left to make it 31-7 at the half. NMS did miss a 43 yd FG in the 3Q and with 7:30 left in the game, trailing by 27, were stopped on 4&gl at the 1. NMS fumbled a punt at their 25 and Idaho got a 47 yd FG for a 37-7 lead and NMS punted with just 1:10 left but Idaho fumbled the punt at their 28 and on 3&10 NMS got a 28 yd TD pass with :19 left.

South Carolina had 25-11 FD and 484-250 yd edges vs Vanderbilt but actually trailed 7-0 when they took over with 1:03 left 1H. They went 59/7pl and got a TD on a 15 yd pass with :12 left to tie it at 7. In the 3Q SC went 93/12pl to lead 14-7 then went 56/9pl and had a 26 yd FG blk’d. It was still a one score game when SC took over with 7:34 left at their 28 and on 2nd & 10 they got a 72 yd TD pass to Jeffery, 21-7. VU opted to punt on 4&6 from its own 20 with 5:34 left and its last drive was SOD at the SC48 with 1:25 left after a 5 yd run on 4&10.

MISLEADING FINALS – Florida Atlantic got an 80 yd TD pass to Jean to make it 13-9 and then had a TD in the EZ overturned and settled for a 36 yd FG to lead 16-9 in the 4Q vs Arkansas St. ASU did drive 69/6pl for a TD but then with the score tied at 16, Ark St got a 37 yd IR TD, ret’d a fumble to the 1 setting up a TD and after an int drove 34/4pl for a TD. Their 3 TD’s came with a total of 39 yards offense making their 21 pt win very misleading.

It was misleading that BYU and Wyoming put up 45 points. BYU only had a 293-173 yd edge. In the 1H WY had 3 plays that gained positive yards and in fact had -18 yds offense in the 1H. Despite their woeful offensive performance, WY had 10 pts as they got a 55 yd IR TD and after recovering a fumble at the BYU20, lost 7 yards and got a 44 yd FG and only trailed 16-10. WY’s P twice used a rugby punts, but hit a WY players in the back and BYU recovered them on the WY33 and WY24, the first setting up a TD. BYU finished with a 20-13 FD edge but didn’t have the game clinched until late as WY on 4&10 at the BYU25 had a pass batted in the air and caught by an OL for a 6 yd loss.

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