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Top 25 Game Grades Plus Week 10 News and Notes

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1 TCU AT Utah 153 382 47 54 144 7 120.7
2 BOISE ST Hawaii 231 507 42 72 151 7 119.4
3 NEVADA AT Idaho 435 391 63 64 277 17 110.3
4 OKLAHOMA ST Baylor 286 438 55 199 265 28 102.6
5 ARKANSAS AT South Carolina 140 303 41 105 192 20 100.9
6 FLORIDA AT Vanderbilt 203 277 55 46 63 14 99.8
7 STANFORD Arizona 215 297 42 167 247 17 99.3
8 OREGON Washington 280 244 53 134 129 16 97.9
9 TEXAS A&M Oklahoma 167 232 33 86 289 19 94.3
9 LSU Alabama 225 204 24 107 214 21 94.3
11 N CAROLINA AT Florida St 36 437 37 109 258 35 94.1
12 BYU UNLV 216 300 55 22 122 7 91.6
13 NAVY AT East Carolina 521 75 76 154 413 35 91.3
14 TEXAS TECH Missouri 205 284 24 267 97 17 90.8
15 MIAMI FLA Maryland 218 286 26 96 158 20 89.7
16 AUBURN CHATTANOOGA 303 325 62 101 233 24 88.8
17 GEORGIA TECH AT Virginia Tech 346 80 21 198 137 28 88.6
18 TEMPLE AT Kent St 97 368 28 16 207 10 88.3
19 ARIZONA ST AT USC 116 282 33 187 215 34 86.9
20 MICHIGAN Illinois 257 419 67 315 246 65 86.1
21 IOWA ST Nebraska 157 203 30 235 79 31 85.0
22 PENN ST Northwestern 260 268 35 168 201 21 84.7
22 TULSA Rice 173 439 64 194 221 27 84.7
24 FRESNO ST AT Louisiana Tech 300 229 40 89 219 34 84.2
25 LOUISVILLE AT Syracuse 160 143 28 101 155 20 83.9

News and Notes

The Georgia Tech/Virginia Tech game had a lot of interesting storylines. First, VT had an extra week to prepare for the option and it didn’t really show as they allowed TD’s on GT’s first 2 drives. A crucial play happened late 1H. VT had been picked off in the EZ and then fmbl’d a punt at midfield and GT was about to take a 21-7 lead when Nesbitt on 3&gl from the 6 was int’d at the 1. On the play Nesbitt tried to make the tackle and suffered an arm inj which put him out the rest of the game and it was 14-7 at the half. GT’s Washington came into the game with 12 rush att on the season and 3 passes. He would hit 2-7-80 and rushed 11x for 45 yds. Nesbitt, who had 86 yds rushing on 6 att and before the inj, became the ACC’s all-time leading rusher at QB. GT was SOD on 4&2 at the VT45 and VT went 55/8pl for a TD to tie it then drove 63/11pl for a TD and the lead, 21-14. Washington led GT 80/9pl getting a TD with 2:34 left but VT ret’d the ensuing KO for a TD. GT got to the VT17 but was int’d in the EZ on 2&11.

In what may have been a preview for the CUSA Title game, UCF jumped out to a 20-10 lead vs Houston and their first 2 drives they were SOD at the UH15 on 4&3 and fmbl’d at the UH2. The D did get the latter one back as they got a 15 yd IR TD 4pl later. It was 23-10 at the half with UCF having a 338-224 yd edge. UH actually opened the 3Q with 73/5pl and 80/9pl drives for TD’s and took the lead 24-23 but UCF would go 76/12pl and 62/5pl for TD’s while UH settled for a 34 yd FG which made it 37-27 (10:43 4Q). UCF got an int at the UH36 and added a 27 yd FG but UH got a TD with 5:46 left, 40-33 (missed xp). UCF went on a 9pl drive but missed a 39 yd FG with 1:53 left which would have clinched it. UH converted on 4&10 out to its 46 but after dropping a FD pass on 4&10, they were SOD.

In the last two weeks on the Thurs and Fri games, amazingly three teams have fumbled the ball inside the opp’s 3 yd line with a chance to win the game. It happened to Florida St, W Virginia and last week W Michigan. In the WMU/CMU game, WM led 22-13 when CM got a TD with 12:45 left. WM got back up by 2 scores with an 18 yd TD run but it was called back on a hold. They would settle for a 46 yd FG due to pen and missed it. CM got a TD with 6:04 left but WM answered right back. Trailing 26-22, they had a 2nd & gl at the 3 but amazingly fmbl’d and CM rec’d at the 5.

Miami, Fl rolled up 504 yds despite not having their starting QB or RB thanks to their very talented reserves. Lamar Miller rushed for 125 yds and Stephen Morris hit 18-30-286. UM was int’d & ret’d 60 yds for a TD, settled for 33 and 31 yd FG’s but Maryland also settled for 27 and 23 yd FG’s. A key play happened in the 3Q when UM got a 55 yd FR TD which was wiped out by a face mask pen away from the play and MD got a 23 yd FG with 9:19 left to lead 20-18. UM got a 35 yd TD pass with :37 left and 2 pt conv but MD got to the UM30 and their pass to the EZ was just OOB and dropped on the final play.

Joe Paterno was going for his 400th win and things did not look good as Northwestern got a TD with :56 left 1H to take a 21-0 lead stunning the home crowd. Scores late in halves always produce momentum and PSU got one driving 90/9pl for a TD with :03 left to get back in it. PSU scored TD’s on their first 4 poss of the 3Q to roll to a 35-21 lead and NU dropped a TD pass in the EZ on 4&gl from the 9 with 8:11 left and Paterno was able to celebrate. PSU did have a 528-369 yd edge.

Navy set a Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium record for pts scored by a team (EC or a foe) by piling up 76. The game was actually competitive as it was tied at 21 when Navy got a TD with :14 left 1H. EC fmbl’d the ball 3x in 6pl to open the 3Q as the game was played in rain. Navy got a 38 yd FG and TD drives of 29 & 21 yds. Leading 48-28, Navy rec’d a fmbl and drove 49 yds for a TD and then EC was SOD at its 50 and Navy drove 7 plays for a TD. Navy rec’d an onside kick to drive 36 yds for a TD and EC was SOD at its own 48 and Navy drove 48 yds for a TD with 3:14 left for the final score. Navy’s 76 pts were the highest in program history surpassing the 74 they put up vs N Texas in 2007.

Nebraska was playing without QB Taylor Martinez as well as his backup Zac Lee. Cody Green was only allowed to pass 4x in the 1H. Iowa St led 10-7 at the half thanks to a Grant Mahoney 57 yd FG with the wind was at his back. NU got a 25 yd FG early 3Q then got a 29 yd IR TD to take the lead. After another int they went 56/11pl for a TD to apparently take control, 24-10 but ISU went 75/12pl for a TD and NU fmbl’d the KO and ISU got a TD to tie. In OT each team scored a TD. ISU faked an xp and had an open receiver in the EZ. If the holder led him, it would have been a 2 pt conversion but it was slightly behind him and the safety was able to int it and NU survived.

Denard Robinson DNP after the 3Q of Michigan’s shoot out vs Illinois. It was the highest scoring game in the history of UM football but they needed 3OT’s to get to 67-65. It was 31-31 at half, also the highest total in UM history. UM finished with a 676-561 yd edge. After each team scored a TD in all 3OT, UM converted on their 2 pt conv and UI was sk’d for an 11 yd loss.

New Mexico St had a 346-296 yd edge vs Utah St and 22-17 FD edge. USt benefited from 84 and 68 yd KR’s by Williams which set up 10 and 12 yd TD drives. USt did lead 24-20 when NMSt was SOD on 4&3 at their 27. USt knelt 3x losing 6 yds and on the final pay of the game, ran out of the back of the EZ eating up the final :08 for a safety and a 27-22 final.

An interesting factor in last week’s Arkansas/South Carolina game is that the game had zero baring on SC’s chances at a BCS bowl or SEC Championship. Win or lose, what SC did the next week vs Florida would determine their post-season destinations. SC was competitive early but left some key pts off the board in the 1H. Mid-2Q trailing 10-7 they had a FD at the Arkansas 6 but had a 29 yd FG that bounced off the upright. At the end of the half with :13 left SC got a 3 yd TD pass to make it 24-14 but a questionable offensive pass interfer call took the pts off the board and they settled for a 29 yd FG. With RB Lattimore banged up and the big game on deck, Spurrier decided to sit him most of the 2H. Trailing 41-10 SC brought in backup QB Shaw as Garcia was pulled and he led SC down to the Ark11 but took a late hit OOB and 3rd string QB Strickland would lose 1 yd and they settled for a 31 yd FG. The stadium was half empty by the end of the game but once again it meant much more to Ark than it did to SC.

There were plenty of interesting things to come out of the Kansas St/Texas game. UT finished with 23-13 FD and 412-270 yd edges. Collin Klein was a surprise QB starter for KSU and ran for 127 yds while hitting 2-4-9 yds. UT starting QB Garrett Gilbert threw 5 int’s and UT was also stopped on a fake punt and fake FG in the game. KSU would have scoring “drives” of -1, 9 and 14 yds. UT was also int’d in the EZ from the 11. KSU’s final scoring drive summed up the day for UT as on 3&4 a pers foul gave KSU a FD. KSU punted 4pl later and roughing the P gave them a FD and they got a TD 2pl later. UT blk’d the xp but KSU picked it up and ran it in for 2 to lead 39-0 before UT scored a TD with 12:55 left then went on a 70/16pl drive for a TD with :31 left.

Air Force won its first Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy in 8 years. It was the 17th time they’ve won the Award and Navy had won the last 7. AF won for the 7th straight time in Michie Stadium. Army came in as the only team in the country which had not thrown an int but trailing 14-13, Steelman threw one in the final minute of the half which was ret’d 32 yds to the Army23 and AF got a 2 yd TD run with :13 left in the half for a 21-13 lead. Later, with the game at 28-16, AF got a 53 yd FR TD. AF only outrushed Army 277-244 and Army actually had a 19-18 FD edge.

Minnesota played a decent game vs Michigan St as they were only outFD’d 16-14 and outgained 320-267. UM missed a 32 yd FG and was SOD on 4&1 at the MSU41 early 2Q. MSU twice in the 1H went for it on 4th & gl. The first got them a 1 yd TD run with 6:03 left in the half, the 2nd with no time left resulted in a Baker 2 yd TD run and the daring calls made it 21-0 at half instead of just 13-0. UM got to the MSU12 and was int’d in the EZ and at the end of the game, UM was SOD on 4&1 at the MSU25.

For the 2nd straight year Indiana almost upset Iowa. The story of the game was each team driving the length of the field and consistently settling for FG’s. Iowa had a 66/10pl drive for a 23 yd FG, Indy went 59/8pl for a 37 yd FG, Iowa had drives of 11 and 12 plays result in a short 27 yd FG and a missed 22 yd FG. Indiana went on 8 & 12 pl drives for 38 and 28 yd FG’s and was also int’d at the Iowa18 in a 6-6 1H. Indy broke through with a TD late 3Q, 13-9 but punted at the Iowa42 on 4&3 with 3:46 left up 13-12 and Iowa got a 52 yd TD pass with 2:50 left. Indy got to the Iowa18. On 4&10 they had an open rec in the EZ but he dropped the TD pass and Indy just missed the upset.

Clemson fmbl’d 5x losing 2, threw an int, had a TD called back on holding and missed 2 short FG’s. NCSt had a 30 yd FG blk’d and was int’d in the EZ. CU got a TD with 6:18 left for the 14-13 lead and NC was SOD on 4&10 at its own 26 with 1:50 left.

Florida started out slow as it was 44? at their 11:21 am CT start vs Vanderbilt but the Gators would heat up and had 480-109 yd and 24-7 FD edges. There were actually 3 blk’d punts, 2 ret’d for TD’s and another set up a 3 yd TD “drive”. UF blk’d 2 of the punts and earned 14 pts while VU earned 7 off of it. It is also possible that UF Jordan Reed won the starting QB job as he hit 11-19-120 and QB’d almost the entire 2H. UF led 41-0 at half and cruised.

Louisville was without starting QB Froman and RB Powell but Justin Burke hit 13-25-143 yds and Jeremy Wright and Victor Anderson combined to rush 29x for 143 yds. Surprisingly UL was able to knock off Syracuse on the road. SU had a 194-106 yd edge at half and led 17-14. UL went on 60/10pl and 90/12pl drives for TD’s to open the 3Q to take a 28-20 lead. Their last drive started with 5:01 left and went 9pl running out the clock.

Purdue gave QB Sean Robinson his first start and he hit 19-38-141 yds and rushed 12x for 31 yds but his 3 int’s were the key to UW getting the win. PU actually led 10-6 at the half with a 173-126 yd edge. PU’s O-line was controlling UW’s D-line on a late drive. The key to UW’s 3 TD win was three 2H int’s. PU’s 3rd pass of the 2H was int’d and ret’d 14 yds to the 18. Five plays later UW had a TD. UW led just 20-13 when with 9:27 left they got an IR 26 yds to the 14. Two plays later PU was int’d and ret 36 yds for a TD and UW stunningly led by 21. PU was SOD on the UW25 with 5:50 left and UW got 3 FD’s running out the clock.

BYU’s domination of UNLV was even more than the final score of 55-7. The game was 55-0 when BYU went for it on 4&8 and simply ran the ball into the middle of the line for no gain with 3:16 left. UNLV at this point had just 74 yards offense and gained 70 yds on their final 11 plays and on the last play of the game, got a 24 yd TD pass to avoid the shutout.

It may have been the true start of the Turner Gill era and the end of the Dan Hawkins era. What looked like a glorious game for Hawkins and Colorado had them ahead 45-17 in the 4Q over Kansas. The 4Q was a nightmare. It was the greatest comeback in KU history and also the first time in KU history they scored 35 pts in a single quarter. KU snapped an 11 game conf losing streak. Trailing 45-17 KU converted on 4&1 for a FD and got a 13 yd TD on the next play. They then rec’d an onside kick and drove 59 yds for a TD. CU fmbl’d and KU ret’d it 28 yds for a TD with 7:12 left. The Jayhawks got an int and drove 47/5pl for a TD to stunningly tie it. CU punted with 2:49 left and KU went 63/5pl with a 28 yd TD run for the lead. CU had a chance to tie and in fact had a 1st & gl at the 7 but their final 2 passes fell incomplete.

Tulsa was coming off their upset of Notre Dame and still dominated Rice despite giving up a 50 yd TD pass on Rice’s 2nd offensive play of the game and a 55 yd TD pass on the 5th play of the 3Q. At half TU led 41-7 and had a 440-193 yd edge. Rice trailed 57-13 when they scored TD’s on B2B drives to pull within 57-27 with 10:56 left. TU brought in backup QB Shavodrick Beaver and they went 80/16pl eating up 9:52 scoring a 1 yd TD with 1:04 left for the 64-27 final.

It was an exciting home crowd with ESPN GameDay on hand as TCU came into Utah as some fans camped out 30 hrs in advance but the game was dominated by TCU. At the half TCU had 23-5 and 328-72 yd edges. TCU led 40-0 when Utah was given a TD late. Asiata’s knee was down at the 3 but he was given the TD and it was not reviewed and that was just TCU’s 3rd conf TD allowed all year. TCU finished with a 558-199 yd edge.

Boise St made a strong statement for their BCS contention by wiping out red-hot Hawaii. BSU had a 30-11 FD edge and a school record 737 yds while holding a potent UH offense to just 196. It was just 21-0 at the half and BSU scored TD’s on their first two 3Q poss. BSU pulled QB Moore with 13:16 left in the 4Q.

Oregon was playing their first game as #1 in the BCS and was taking on a Washington team without QB Jake Locker. Surprisingly the Huskies stayed with UO throughout much of the game. UW was within 18-13 with 13:11 left in the 3Q and 25-16 with 6:14 left in the 3Q. The Ducks went 76/9pl and 54/5pl for TD’s then after a 69 yd PR went 16/5pl for a TD to lead 46-16. UO then went 90/11pl getting a 30 yd TD run with 4:34 left to lead 53-16. UW did ret the KO to the UO41 but punted on 4&19.

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