Week 2 News & Notes
Week 2 News & Notes
Cincy got a 58 yd td run on their first play vs Pittsburgh and after recovering a fumble drove 38 yards for a td and a 14-0 lead. Pitt had their chances to get back in the game but on 3&gl from the 12 was intercepted in the endzone with 5:49 left in the half then on 1&gl from the 2, with :06 left, QB Sunseri double pumped and let the clock run out as he threw the ball out of the endzone. UC led 17-0 at half but only had a 210-173 yd edge. Pitt settled for a 37 yd FG but then UC went 86 and 99 yds for td’s to ice it, 31-3 early 4Q and Pitt gained 76 of their yards getting a garbage td with :34 left.
Mississippi St dominated Auburn more than the final would indicate. In fact, in the 3Q, AU led 10-7 after a 100 yd KR for a td but MSU had a 157-65 yd edge at that point. The Bulldogs had missed a 36 yd FG and had a 43 yarder blocked and Aub’s other score was set up with a 33 yd drive after a TO. MSU led 28-10 with Auburn gaining 114 of their 216 yds in the final 4:33. MSU had lost 10 of their last 11 to Auburn and it was actually Dan Mullen’s first victory vs and SEC West team not named Mississippi. Kiehl Frazier hit just 1-7-(-2) with 2 int’s in the 1H but hit 12-15-127 with 1 int in the 2H.
New Hampshire actually had a 10-7 FD edge at the half vs Minnesota but had a bad snap on a punt give UM a safety, were SOD on 4&4 at the UM32, SOD on 4&11 at the UM33 and fumbled at their own 18 setting up a UM td and trailed 30-7 at the half and the Gophers rolled 44-7 with QB Gray only attempting 8 passes (completed 6) but he had a 75 yd td run and finished with 109 rushing.
Denard Robinson became the first ever player in major college football to have at least 200 yards rushing and 200 passing in three different games. Robinson got a 79 yd td run on Michigan’s 2nd offensive play and later on the first play of the 3Q, a 58 yd td run. Air Force is probably kicking itself today as they finished with a 26-19 FD edge but their opening drive was 56/11pl where they missed a 36 yd FG and their 2nd was 71/14pl but they settled for a 22 yd FG. Had they punched those 2 scores in for td’s, it would have been a completely different game. In the 3Q, AF on 4&3 was SOD at the UM1 and in the 4Q they were SOD on 4&3 at the UM43 with 4:27 left and on 4&16 at their own 35 with 1:13 left in the 6 point loss.
Ohio led New Mexico St just 21-17 mid-3Q but two big plays blew it open. OU got a 33 yd PR setting up a short drive for a td then on the next play, got a 22 yd IR td to go up by 21 and went on to win 51-24.
UT Martin had some blown opportunities vs Northern Illinois this past week. They went on a 66/12pl drive on their 2nd series but missed a 21 yd FG. Later they went 61/8pl and settled for a 27 yd FG and this time fumbled a snap and lost 7 yards. On the final drive of the half, they went 43/8pl but on 4&10 were SOD at the NI41. In the 3Q, UTM went 95/9pl but fumbled into the endzone for a TB. NIU had a 427-346 yd edge.
Georgia St HC Bill Curry became the first HC to face both Derek Dooley and his father Vince who coached from UGA from 1964-88. Tennessee led 51-6 before GSU went 80/12pl getting a garbage td with :58 left for the 51-13 final.
It was another gut wrenching loss for Penn St. PSU had a 19-14 FD edge but the loss of their K, Anthony Fera to Texas in the transfer, really hurt them here. Sam Ficken did hit a 32 yd FG and 1 xp but missed an xp early 4Q in the 1 pt loss then missed FOUR FG’s including the potential game winner (42 yds) with no time left. Virginia appeared headed for a loss trailing 16-10 when they got a td with 1:28 left but McGloin led PSU to 3 FD’s on a 45 yd drive prior to the missed kick. McGloin missed some time and surprisingly it was Steven Bench that came in and he hit just 2-7-12. UVA QB Michael Rocco was pulled for 2 series but Phillip Sims led drives of -6 yds and then fumbled on the 2nd drive and Rocco returned.
Damien Williams had 156 yds rushing, the most ever for an Oklahoma RB in his debut performance at Owen Field, which is something considering all the great RB’s that Oklahoma has had. OU racked up 278 of their 349 yds rushing vs Florida A&M in the 2H.
While Florida St only beat Savannah St 55-0 and Oklahoma St had beaten SSU 84-0 the previous week, the game only lasted 36:00. It was delayed for weather twice then called with 8:59 left in the 3Q. Had the game been played for the entire 60:00 FSU would have projected out with 88 points and 661 yards. SSU’s first poss was -15 yards. Their 2nd poss was -7 and their 3rd they got to zero yards. They actually finished the game with 28 total yards and 3 FD’s.
Middle Tennessee had two 100 yard rushers in a game for the first time in 4 years with Jordan Parker rushing for 117 and LSU transfer Drake Calhoun for 104 vs FAU. MT’s first 2 drives ended on fumble at the FAU15 and a fumble at the FAU5 but they still would roll to a 31-10 lead. In fact, FAU went 60/7pl getting a td with 5:12 left.
LSU vs Washington had the physical mismatches along the line much like Alabama had them vs Michigan. LSU rushed for 242 yds holding Washington to 26 yards rushing and Keith Price was limited to 17-36-157. LSU only led 20-3 at the half but went 61/7pl, 72/10pl, 65/13pl the latter two after UW was SOD, all for td’s to open it up 41-3 in their dominating win.
Idaho suspended their starting QB Dominique Blackman in the opener and they lost to an FCS foe. Blackman showed why he was the starter as against Bowling Green he hit 30-37-352 and ID rolled up 358. BG was guilty of taking their foot off the gas. They led 21-6 and got to the ID15 with 8:37 left in the 4Q when they were intercepted. ID went 78/7pl for a 16 yd td pass to get back within 8 and BG finished the game at the ID18 taking a knee.
Troy had a 34-15 FD edge vs Louisiana and 588-389 yd edge. The key play of the game was probably a 56 yd FR td late 1Q which put UL in the lead. Troy was also SOD on 4&2 at the UL9 and SOD on 4&1 at the UL25. They did gain 153 of their yards on the final 3 drives after trailing 37-17.
North Texas only led Texas Southern 20-7 mid4Q but got a 53 yd drive for a td after TSU was SOD on 4&1. After an int, they drove 27/4pl for a td with 2:42 left, 34-7. In fairness, NT did have a 262-16 yd edge at the half.
For the 8th straight year Tulsa dominated Tulane. Tulane opened with a 59/12pl drive, the key a 3rd & 9 where the QB escaped pressure and got a 25 yd pass. They got a 49 yd FG to lead 3-0 and forced Tulsa to punt on their first poss. That was the highlight of the game for Tulane as they would allow 46, 50, 85, 74, 59 yd drives all for td’s on the next 5 poss. Tulsa led 45-3 when Tulane went 75/3pl for a garbage td with 3:30 left. Tulsa finished with a 31-11 FD edge and 651-177 yd edge.
Clemson was able to rest a lot of starters in the 2H vs Ball St. Very impressive to me was Spencer Benton kicking a 61 yd FG on the final play of the half to give them a 45-10 lead and they had a 382-189 yd edge. CU was leading by more than the experts thought at 52-20 when BSU got a “meaningless” td with 3:36 left in the game capping a 56/9pl drive to “only” lose by 25.
BJ Daniels passed for 363 yards and USF appeared headed for a loss but rallied for a last second win. They trailed Nevada 31-20 after UN got a 35 yd FG with 8:16 left. USF got a 52 yd td pass with 2:37 left to pull within 31-26 but UN recovered the onside kick and punted with 1:38 left. USF got 1 FD, converted on 3&10 for a FD then on 2&10, Daniels hit Davis with a 56 yd td pass, their 3rd 50+ td pass of the game to make it 32-31 with :38 left. UN did get to midfield but their final play ended on a sack.
BYU got a TD with 3:34 left to lead Weber St 45-6 and WSU gained 77 of their 254 yds on a 7pl drive for a garbage td with :50 left. Prior to that drive, BYU had a 532-177 yd edge.
With 8:10 to go in the game vs WKU, Alabama only had a 247-224 yd edge. They led 28-0 thanks in part to a 33/1pl drive after a fumble and a 13 yd drive after an int. Bama took over at their 19 and surprisingly ran a fake punt on 4&18 for a FD to the 45 and 4pl later got a 32 yd td run with 1:47 left for the 35-0 margin. The most stunning stat of the day was that WKU had 6 sacks.
California was leading Southern Utah 20-3 when on 4&5 SU fired incomplete but pass interference gave them a FD to the Cal37 with no time left on the clock due to getting 1 untimed play due to a defensive penalty. SU got a 37 yd Hail Mary on the final play of the half to pull within 20-10 and then drove 75/12pl on the opening 3Q poss to make it 20-17. Cal opened it back up to 50-24 and SU got a td capping an 83/9pl drive with :42 left in the 19 pt loss.
It appeared HC Charlie Weis would get off to a great home start at Kansas as they led almost the entire game vs Rice. A KU int set up Rice for a 47 yd FG and KU trailed 3-0 but the Jayhawks led 17-13 at the half despite Rice having a 230-178 yd edge. KU opened the 3Q with a 75/9pl drive for a td then after a FD at the Rice28 a hold and sack forced a 53 yd FG and they missed. KU’s next drive went 51/12pl and they missed another 40 yd FG with 10:21 left leading 24-16. Rice got a td with 6:30 left and then got an int at their own 47 with 4:47 left. They converted on 4&4 and got a 45 yd FG on the game’s final play to pull out the win.
For the 2nd straight week Iowa was sluggish and trailed in the 4Q vs Iowa St. They had a shot to pull out the win with a 1&gl at the 3 and they dropped a td pass and settled for a 21 yd FG and trailed 9-6. Iowa’s other chances came on a 4&10 incomplete pass from their own 49 and their last drive got to the ISU32 but a tipped pass was intercepted by All-American candidate LB Knott at the 24 and ISU escaped with a 9-6 win. ISU’s previous 2 trips to Kinnick Stadium had resulted in losses by a 52-12 margin and ISU finished with a 324-304 yd edge.
North Carolina appeared like they would have the win over Wake Forest. With the game 21-21 they settled for a 25 yd FG with 2:50 left in the 3Q. NC then went 71/9pl and had a 1st & gl at the 8 but once again settled for a 30 yd FG leaving WF in the game. WF punted on their next 2 poss and got it back with 6:36 left. A face mask penalty got the next drive started with a FD and WF went 93/11pl getting a td with 2:09 left to take the lead. NC’s 4th & 6 pass was intercepted and on their final drive NC was pinned at their 1 and got to the 40 but their Hail Mary was incomplete.
While Matt Barkley matched a school record with six td passes, USC only led Syracuse 21-15 in the 4Q. There was only 39,507 on hand on a day with storm warnings in the area. USC’s biggest lead came on a 4 yd td pass with 11:38 left to go up 35-16 but SU surprisingly went 79/12pl and later 74/13pl for td’s, the latter with 1:17 left to only lose 42-29.
TCU QB’s Casey Pachall and Trayvon Boykin set an NCAA record as TCU completed all 17 passes vs Grambling St. It was the most in FBS history without an incompletion. TCU got a 70 yd PR td 4pl into the game and mid1Q added a 28 yd IR td for a 21-0 lead. TCU did have a 330-31 yd edge at the half and finished with a 531-70 yd edge, 26-5 FD edge in their season opener.
INJURIES OF NOTE
Indiana QB Tre Roberson hit 6-11-98 and rushed for 105 but injured his leg 2:00 into the 2Q and did not return (he broke his leg and is OFY and look for true frosh Nate Sudfeld to eventually win the starting job). Backup QB Cameron Coffman hit 16-22-159. Indy led 21-6 midway thru the 1Q and already had totalled 223 yards… Wyoming had a 526-504 yd edge vs Toledo but a 3-0 TO deficit. They also lost QB Brett Smith who was injured with 6:22 left in the game. WY jumped out to a 14-3 lead but later settled for a 23 yd FG after a 1st & gl at the 7 and a 42 yd FG to make 20-17 at the half. They did have a 291-214 yd edge. Toledo scored 17 pts off WY TO’s. WY later had a 1st & gl at the 3 at the end of the 3Q and once again settled for a 26 yd FG and down by 3, WY’s last drive was SOD on 4&4 at their own 47.
STRONG WEEK FOR THE PAC-12
The Pac-12 gained a lot of respect this past week and a lot of it came at the expense of the Big Ten. Wisconsin rolled into Oregon St #13 in the country but was outplayed by Oregon St for almost the entire game. The Beavers finished with an 18-13 FD edge and 354-207 yd edge. OSU stopped Montee Ball’s streak of 21 straight games with a td and UW had just 35 rush yards. OSU even had some blown opportunities. In the 1H they went on a 61/13pl drive but on 4&3 were SOD at the UW24. OSU went 24/9pl and settled for a 43 yd FG. OSU on 4&4 was SOD at the UW35 and then went 60/10pl but missed a 40 yd FG on the final play of the half. Despite a 238-64 yd edge, they only led 3-0. UW was SOD at the OSU37 with 11:07 left and SOD on 4&4 at the OSU35 with 4:28left but went 44/9pl for a td with 1:31 left. They recovered the onside kick but it touched the ball a foot short and OSU ran out the clock.
South Carolina’s QB Connor Shaw was a late scratch and Dylan Thompson who looked poor in the opener vs Vanderbilt, had a much better day vs East Carolina. His 3rd pass went 53 yds setting up a SC td for a 7-0 lead. SC rolled to a 21-0 halftime lead with a 304-193 yd edge. SC got a 29 yd drive for a td after an int then a 34 yd IR td, 35-0 3:00 into the 2H and 3rd string qb Strickland hit a 51 yd td pass with :54 left for the final 48-10 margin. If Thompson has a few more good performances while Shaw is banged up, it may open up the door for a QB controversy…. The Irish were coming off their trip to Ireland and as expected, were struggling with Purdue. They did lead 17-7 but it was 17-10 when QB Golson was sacked and fumbled back at the 15 with 3:24 left. That set up PU for the game tying td with 2:12 left. Surprisingly it was Tommy Rees who came off the bench and led ND 55/12pl for the game winning 27 yd FG. Kelly said all of the right things after the game. Rees did hit 3-8-35 but of course, it’s who guides the team to points that is important to Kelly.
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN
Last year Eastern Washington was down deep in Washington territory with a Hail Mary at the end coming up short. This time it was their first meeting since 1908 with Washington St even though the schools are located just 60 miles apart. Jeff Tuel was replaced at times by Connor Halliday who hit 5-11-76. WSU led 24-14 at half but EWU had a 241-174 yd edge as it was 14-14 mid-2Q when WSU got a 27 yd IR to the 17 setting up a td and then WSU got an int with :30 left in the half and nailed a 60 yd FG on the half’s final play. WSU did hold that 10 pt lead when they fumbled at the EW1 with 5:42 left and EWU went 99/12pl for a td with 2:17 left. Kyle Padron had started vs WSU when he was with SMU. EWU got the ball back at their 17 with 1:44 left and got to the WSU32 but their pass into the endzone fell incomplete.
Kansas St had a solid situational edge vs Miami last week as they were off an FCS foe and Miami had just won a conf game on the road despite being outgained by 100 yards and now had to travel again. KSU scored on their first 4 poss of the game to jump out to a 24-3 lead and extended it to 52-6 with 6:30 left in the game. Duke Johnson, who was the star of the win over Boston College was limited to 19 yards rushing on 6 carries for UM but had a 77 yd KR at that point which set up a 17 yd drive for a UM garbage td with 3:51 left for the 52-13 final. KSU had a 27-13 FD edge and 498-262 yd edge… Central Michigan had a situational edge vs Michigan St as they were off an FCS foe while MSU was in a Boise/ND sandwich. It was 14-0 and CM had a chance to get back in the game with just 2:29 left when they went for it on 4&10 and were SOD at the MSU27. MSU went 73/9pl and got a 20 yd TD pass with :57 left in the half then got an int and added a 29 yd FG with no time left for a 24-0 lead. That momentum got them going in the 2H as they went 65/5pl for a td, stuffed CM on a 4&1 at the MSU23 then went 68/9pl for a 27 yd FG. After rec a fumble, they went 28/7pl for a td and rolled to a 41-7 win.
LATE SCORES SPUR MOMENTUM
UCF was tied with Ohio St 10-10 in the 1H. Braxton Miller during the game became the first OSU QB to rush for 3 td’s since Art Schlicter did it vs Illinois in 1978 as he rushed for 141 yards on 27 carries and hit 18-24-155. As I mentioned in last week’s blog, when I spoke to Gil Brandt he always talks about the importance of last second scores and OSU got an int with 3:18 left in the half and drove 48/8pl and got a 6 yd td run by Braxton Miller with :15 left in the half to take a 17-10 lead. The momentum spurred them on to a 76/12pl and 32/3pl (after int) drives on their first 2 poss of the 3Q to open up the game to 31-10. At the end of the game, UCF was down 31-16 was at the OSU 10 but their final pass fell incomplete… Georgia Tech had 712 yds, the 2nd highest total in school history but Presbyterian could have made it a game vs GT. It was 21-0 in the 2Q when PU had a 43 yd FG blocked. PU then was SOD on 4&4 at the GT31 and SOD on 4&1 at the GT3 with 2:30 left in the half. GT then went 82/11pl and got a 32 yd FG on the final play of the half to take momentum into the locker room. GT’s 2nd 3Q drive was a 45 yd td pass then after an int drove 6 yds for a td, 38-0. They added an 82 yd td pass and would coast to a 59-3 win.
A TALE OF TWO HALVES
Last year Texas A&M was a team that jumped out to double digit leads and blew them. This year it really wasn’t a blown lead, it may have been just more adjustments in Florida’s defense. A&M has a lot of exciting frosh including rFr Johnny Manziel who I projected as a starter and he hit 23-30-173 and rushed for 60 yds. A&M had a 269-101 yd edge at the half and led 17-10, at one point leading 17-7. UF, which shut them down in the 2H, however, making some great half time adjustments allowing just 65 total yards. They allowed just 2 FD prior to A&M’s final drive. The Aggies punted on 4&10 with 3:13 left and UF would get 3 FD’s running the clock out at the A&M32 in their 20-17 win in front of a charged up A&M crowd.
WEATHER CAN BE A FACTOR
NCSt and Conn was playing in heavy winds and it did effect both offenses. In fact, NCSt finished with just a 258-239 yd edge. Each QB threw for 204 yds and David Amerson who was much maligned after giving up some td’s the previous week, had a crucial int and batted away a 4th down pass at the end of the game which clinched the Wolfpack’s win. NCSt is now 9-1 following games after a loss since 2010.
Revenge is often an overused term by analysts in college football but Maryland was playing with legitimate revenge vs Temple. The previous year they took the Owls lightly and were manhandled at the line in a 31 point loss at home. This time it was Maryland that had the 19-9 FD edge despite being a large underdog in the game and finished with a 334-230 yd edge. It was almost yet another blown lead for Coach Edsall at Maryland. The Terps appeared completely in control leading 26-3 at the half with a 180-34 yd edge. The momentum turned when MD fumbled the opening 3Q play and TU got a td. TU had all of the momentum in the world when they got a td with 7:04 left to pull within 29-27 but MD went on a surprisingly 75/11pl drive getting 3 crucial FD’s and a td with 2:51 left to ice it. MD finished at the TU24 taking a knee… Memphis almost pulled the big upset vs Arkansas St this past week. In fact, Memphis led the majority of the game. They key drive happened when Memphis started at their own 16 and went on a 6:33 drive going 78/12pl. Leading 28-27 they missed a 25 yd FG with 9:10 left. ASU went 80/9pl and got a td and missed the 2 pt conversion to lead 33-28. Memphis punted and ASU was able to get 3 FD’s punting with :11 left and holding on for the 5 pt win despite being a huge favorite.
There were 4 more FCS upsets this past week. As I pointed out on my blog on ESPN Insider, Illinois St had a great rush defense and matched up well vs Eastern Michigan’s power rush attack. There was nothing fluky about ISU’s win as they had a 371-248 yd and 21-11 FD edges. EM did lead 14-10 at half with a 172-148 yd edge. ISU went 67/6pl and 52/7pl on the first 2 poss of the 3Q to go up 24-14. ISU got a 25 yd IR with 5:37 left and went 30/10pl for a td with 1:08 left to clinch it… North Dakota St moved to 6-3 vs FBS schools since 2006. There was nothing fluky about their 22-7 win over Colorado St. They had a 21-11 FD edge, 366-243 yd edge. CSU gained 65 of their 243 yds on their last 2 drives.
FRIDAY NIGHT UPSET
Utah St had not beaten Utah since 1997. They had a 380-325 yd edge vs Utah and were winning when Utah QB Wynn went out with an injury. Backup QB John Hays hit 12-26-154 but looked like an improved QB this year. USU blocked a punt for a td in the 1Q and led 13-3 at half with a 148-92 yd edge. Utah got a td with 3:19 left to tie then missed a 52 yd FG on the final play of regulation. In OT they had a 3&gl, 6 yd td pass called back on offense pass interference and on 4&gl from the 17 they didn’t call a potential defensive pass interference and USU won by 7.
Arkansas’ drop this week in the AP Poll was the 2nd largest in AP Poll history. The Razorbacks were #8 last week and fell completely out of the Top 25. The only team to drop further in the rankings was Michigan in 2007 after their historic loss to Appalachian St in the opener when they fell out of the Top 25 after being ranked #5 in the preseason. ULM got its first win over a ranked team since joining the FBS in 1994. Colton Browning rushed for 69 yards and hit 42-67-412 yards. Tyler Wilson was hit often in the 1H and didn’t play in the 2H and that was the key as Arkansas had a 28-7 lead and saw it vanish. ULM actually jumped out to a 7-0 lead with a 67/12pl drive but Ark appeared in control. At the end of the half on 4&1 ULM was SOD at the Ark 2 with :14 left, a daring gamble by Coach Berry that came up short. It was 21-7 at the half but Ark only had a 269-252 yd edge. ULM’s first drive of the 3Q got to the 11 but they were intercepted at the 1 and Ark, with backup QB Allen in, drove for a td and a 28-7 lead. ULM converted on 4&10 on their next drive and got a td with 5:41 left capping a 75/9pl drive and then on 4&gl went for it again and got a td with 14:08 left. The next 7 poss were punts and ULM took over with 2:59 left at their 10 and went 90/10pl with a 4&10, 23 yd pass forcing OT where they won it.
SMU’s victory over SF Austin was not as impressive as the final score of 52-0 would indicate. SFA had 466-328 yd and 28-17 FD edges. They had an amazing 10 turnovers in the game and that doesn’t even include a blocked FG that was returned for a td. SFA fumbled at the SMU49, was intercepted at the SMU30, had a 23 yd FG blk’d, had an int set up an SMU 31 yd td drive and then trailing 14-0, SFA lined up for a 47 yd FG on the 1H final play which SMU blocked and returned for a td. SFA was intercepted at the SMU17, SOD on 4&5 at the SMU20, had a FR 34 yds for a td, an int returned 77 yds for a td, a FR 96 yds for a td (two 14 pt swings) and fumbled at the SMU18. That’s TEN turnovers, one SOD, one missed and one blocked FG for a td!
LATE SCORES EQUAL MOMENTUM
I talk about in every blog about how late scores at the end of the half sometimes spur on a team. In the San Jose St game, Minnesota transfer DeLeon Eskridge rushed for 136 yards and 3 td’s vs UC Davis. Interestingly, the team had 2 brothers playing on different teams as Anthony Casper is a LT for the UCD Aggies and his brother Nicholas Casper is a RG for the San Jose St Spartans. UCD got a td on the 2nd play of the game on a 45 yd td pass and SJSt was SOD at the UCD30 and 11 before finally tying it with 1:49 left in the half, 7-7. They got an int on the next play and a 17 yd td run for 2 td’s in :28 to take a 14-7 halftime lead. SJSt went 52/6pl, 56/7pl and 79/10pl for td’s on their first 3 poss of the 3Q to blow it open, 35-7 and finished with a 503-252 yd edge… Maxwell Smith had 355 yards passing and 4 td’s and Raymond Sanders rushed for 115 yards for Kentucky vs Kent St. UK was off their key loss to rival Louisville. Smith’s 355 yd passing was the most for a UK QB since 2007. UK trailed 7-0 as on 2 of their first 3 poss they were SOD at the KSU37 and missed a 45 yd FG. KSU missed a 31 yd FG which would have pulled them within 4 with :40 left in the half and UK got a 47 yd FG on the final play of the half, a key swing to give them momentum. UK blew it open scoring 4 td’s and a safety to go up 47-14 early 4Q. KSU’s final 3 poss were SOD at the UK44, 2 and 5 yd lines.
Sacramento St won in a Pac-12 stadium for the 2nd straight year and did so via a late FG. Colorado led 14-0 scoring td’s on their first two drives but SSU chipped away and got a 28 yd FG on the final play of the half to take a 24-21 lead. They did have a 290-240 yd edge. CU got a td mid-3Q to lead 28-24 and SSU punted on their next 4 poss. CU punted on 4&6 with 2:26 left pinning SSU at their 15 down 1 pt and SSU went 72/9 getting a 30 yd FG on the final play to pull out the win. SSU coach Marshall Sperbeck announced during his postgame speech that he was giving walk-on K Edgar Castaneda a scholarship… Northern Arizona got their first win over an FBS team in 25 years. UNLV did have a 428-288 yd edge so it was a tough loss for Coach Bobby Hauck. UNLV jumped out to a 14-0 lead and was SOD on 4&10 at the NA21 with 6:14 left in the half but did block a NAU 34 yd FG on the final play of the half. At the half UNLV had a 14-0 lead and a 264-140 yd edge. A 75 yd PR td by Austin Shanks got NAU back in the game. The next 4 poss were punts and UNLV missed a 30 yd FG that hit the upright with 13:08 left. NAU went 80/15pl incl a crucial 4&2 conversion and got an 8 yd td run with 8:12 left to tie. There were 3 punts and NAU took over at their 14 with 1:16 left and went 70/5pl getting a 33 yd FG with :12 left to pull out the win.
Stanford was in a solid situation vs Duke. Duke’s D was banged up and SU was catching a lot of flack from the press after their close win over a very underrated San Jose St team. Statistically Stanford was not that impressive as Duke actually had a 385-373 yd edge and Stanford got a 76 yd PR td to Terrell and while they settled for 22, 32, and 35 yd FG’s, they did score on 4 of their first 5 offensive poss to lead 23-0. At half they had a 239-109 yd edge. Stanford extended it to 50-13 with 14:18 left and was a bit misleading statistically as in the 4Q Stanford managed just 18 yards and Duke had 105 going 42/11pl before being intercepted at the Stanford 13 with 9:29 left and 63/14pl before fumbling at the Stanford 16… San Diego St HC Rocky Long knows how to defend the option and Army was playing in its first game of the season. San Diego St was able to spend some of August preparing for the option. Army coach Rich Ellerson said, “I am stunned. I didn’t anticipate it and I couldn’t visualize us playing like that.” SDSt won easy 42-7. Army was SOD at the SDSt32 and fumbled at their own 36 setting up an SDSt td and trailed 14-0. It was 21-0 at the half with SDSt having a 207-135 yard edge. SDSt opened the 3Q with an 89/9pl and 33/2pl (after int) drives for td’s to lead 35-0. Army’s last 2 drives were SOD at the SDSt 19 and 48 yd lines. The yards were only SDSt 443-332.
NOT AS EASY AS THE SCORE
Northwestern trailed 10-6 into the 4Q vs Vanderbilt but got an 18 yd FG with 2:01 left to lead 16-13 then Vandy fumbled at their own 20 and NW on 3&19 got a 29 yd td run by Colter for the 23-13 lead which was clearly not as easy as the 10 point win. VU scored a td on their first poss and led almost the entire game with NW taking its first lead with 9:28 left… A look at the final score would show that Georgia easily manhandled Missouri 41-20 in their big test but this is a game where the score was nowhere indicative of the game. In fact, Missouri did not trail in the game until :51 were left in the 3Q. Missouri fumbled at the UGA28 on 1 drive and led 10-9 at the half with UGA getting a td with :24 left to pull within that margin. Missouri added a 69 yd td to lead 17-9 mid3Q. They settled for a 25 yd FG with 2:39 left in the 3Q to only lead 20-17 and UGA got a 3&11, 40 yd pass to Brown which was probably the key play. They were also stuffed at their own 38 and UGA got a 41 yd FG to lead by 7. Missouri was then intercepted and returned 21 yds to the 1 with 7:27 left and UGA got a td. Missouri was sacked and fumbled and UGA drove 5 yards for a td so on 6 yards of offense, they took a 27-20 game and turned it into 41-20. Missouri finished with a 371-255 yd edge. On my weekly show on ESPNU on Wednesday they asked me how QB Franklin would fare and I said that my computer’s projections was for Missouri to have 365 yards offense but with UGA missing 4 defensive starters, they could come close to 400 and that they did. Franklin hit 25-41-269 but only rushed for 25.
Oklahoma St had a 636-501 yd edge and frosh Wes Lunt threw for 436 yards which was a Big 12 record for a frosh and the 4th most in school history but he also had 3 crucial int. OSU had 4 personal fouls in the 1H and another at the start of the 3Q. The Cowboys jumped out to a 14-0 lead but Arizona scored on 5 of their next 6 poss including short FG’s of 22 and 24 yards and led 23-14 at the half. It was 37-31 when the play of the game happened. OSU was driving for the lead at midfield but was intercepted and returned 48 yds for td. After another int, Arizona went 33 yards for a td to blow it open 52-31.
Oregon keeps shutting it down after the half. In the opener they had a 50-3 lead vs Arkansas St mid-2Q then let the Red Wolves back in. Here UO had a 35-3 lead with 1:10 left in the half and a 383-127 yd edge. Fresno would go 49/7pl and got a 43 yd FG on the final play of the half to pull within 35-6. That gave them momentum and they pulled within 35-19 with 9:40 left before the Ducks offense, which punted twice, fumbled (set up Fresno 22 yd td drive), fumbled (set up Fresno 6 yd td drive), punted and fumbled (set up Fresno 37 yd FG) on their first 6 poss of the 2H. The Ducks went 77/11pl to get a td to ice it, 42-19 with 3:51 left and Fresno went 63/8pl getting a garbage td with 1:30 left.
Johnathan Franklin has been the most impressive RB so far with a pair of 200+ rushing games. One of the most surprising stats on Saturday was the fact that UCLA rolled up 653 yds vs what looked like a pretty good Nebraska defense with Franklin having 217 yards rushing on 26 carries. This game was tied at 24 at the half and 27-27 mid4Q when Martinez was sacked in the EZ for a safety. Still, it was just a 2 pt game and Nebraska had the ball at their 20 when Martinez was intercepted and returned 24 yards to the 16. UCLA got a td on a 9 yard pass with 2:13 left to go up by 9. UCLA got a personal foul on the KO so Nebraska started at the UCLA36 and got a 40 yd FG with 1:38 left but UCLA recovered the onside kick. The Bruins did have a 653-439 yd edge in an impressive home win.
Texas St had a much-anticipated home game vs Texas Tech with an overflow crowd of 33,006 on hand in front of their newly expanded 30,000 seat stadium. It was the first time a Big 12 school has traveled to face them on their home turf. TSU may be using a new QB as Shaun Rutherford hit just 1-9-11 and Tyler Arndt on his 1st poss, led TSU to an 80/7pl drive for a td. He hit 12-22-130 yds and may have wrestled away the starting qb job. Unfortunately, at the time they trailed 28-0 and Texas Tech dominated this game as the score would indicate with a 591-270 yd and 36-16 FD edges. It was 55-10 after 3Q’s.
New Mexico was running an option offense and Texas HC Mack Brown did a good job preparing for it. NM did move the ball well early as they got 3 FD’s on their first poss, 4 FD’s on their 2nd, 3 FD’s on their 3rd and 1 FD on their 4th poss but despite moving the chains, Texas had a 169-107 yd edge at the half and 17-0 lead. UT took their opening two 3Q drives 75/6pl and 86/11pl for td’s and went on to a 45-0 shutout win holding NM to just five 2H FD’s.
FIU QB Jake Medlock had a big game throwing for 348 yards and rushing for 141. It was very surprisingly that Akron took FIU to OT. Medlock got 44 and 29 yd runs on the game’s first 2 plays as FIU jumped to a 7-0 lead and FIU missed a 34 yd FG and trailed 20-7 before getting a td with :33 left in the half. In the 4Q FIU trailing 31-28 got a 32 yd td run with 6:54 left for the lead but Akron got a td with 1:53 left on a 15 yd td pass and FIU needed a 30 yd FG on the final play to force OT where Akron missed a FG and FIU converted for a 29 yd FG.
Keep an eye on the Arizona St QB situation. Taylor Kelly, vs Illinois, had 10 poss and engineered 3 td’s and a FG. Michael Eubank, off the bench, hit 5-5-69 and had 3 poss and 3 td’s. Speaking of QB situations, Illinois was without starting QB Nathan Scheelhaase and that was really the story of the game as the offense struggled without him. ASU led 28-7 at the half with a 319-165 yd edge. They coasted to a 45-14 win. Reilly O’Toole got the start for Illinois and hit 10-14 but for just 54 yards and Miles Osei came in and hit 4-10-47 and the 2 combined for 4 int.
Western Michigan QB Alex Carder bounced back from a poor performance vs Illinois by throwing 5 td passes vs Eastern Illinois. He hit 29-40-364 yards as WM piled up 631 yards offense. The game was tied at 14 after 1Q but WM went 69/9pl, 85/8pl, 17/2pl (after 33 yd PR) and 20/3pl (after failed fake punt) for td’s on their four 2Q poss to blow it open 42-14. WM even finished the game with a 1st & gl at the 8 of Eastern Illinois taking a knee in their 52-21 win.
South Alabama had a 279-118 yd edge but barely got past FCS Nicholls St in what was a defensive struggle. The first 8 poss of the game were punts and NSU went 50/11pl for a 48 yd FG to lead 3-0. USA went 72/14pl for a 19 yd FG and it was 3-3 at the half with USA having a slim 98-52 yd edge. USA missed a 35 yd FG on their 2nd 3Q poss but after an int went 28/5pl for a 21 yd FG, 6-3. After an exchange of TO’s, USA went 64/11pl for a 34 yd FG but were clinging to a 9-3 lead. NSU’s last 3 drives ended on an int at their own 38, a 4th & 13 44 yd punt with 5:20 left and their last drive got to the USA14 but on 4&14 they fired incomplete with :32 left and USA escaped.
Virginia Tech’s offense struggled vs Austin Peay and they needed the special teams to get them going. It was scoreless late in the 1Q when Holmes rushed for a 2 yd td. VT blocked a punt setting up a 42/5pl td drive to give them a 14-0 lead. They took over with 1:32 left in the half and went 71/7pl and got a 30 yd td pass with :26 left in the half to take a 21-0 lead with a 185-79 yd edge. AP was intercepted in the EZ for a TB and VT scored td’s on their next 2 drives of 80 and 72 yards to lead 35-7 and went on to a 42-7 win.
It was a solid situation for Mississippi as they are an SEC school in need of a win taking on a UTEP team that had gone all out vs Oklahoma the previous week. In the first 6Q’s of the season, UTEP failed to score an offensive td as they trailed this one 21-0 at the half but did finally get one in the 3Q. UTEP was SOD on 4&1 at the Mississippi 3 with 13:28 left in the 3Q and UM went 97/7pl for a td, 14-0. UTEP was intercepted at the UM16 and Miss went 84/15pl for a td and UTEP also missed a 44 yd FG on the final play of the half. They trimmed it to 21-10 after 3Q’s when UM missed a 36 yd FG and Miss then went 69/8pl for a td with 11:18 left. UTEP’s final drive was SOD at the UM31 with 2:26 left.
Buffalo RB Brandon Oliver rushed for 236 yards as the Bulls rolled up 571 yds vs Morgan St. UB led 35-13 at the half getting a 22 yd td pass with :38 left and had a 301-163 yd edge. The Bulls led 49-20 and MSU took over with 5:49 left going 52/9pl getting a garbage td with :53 left.
Louisiana Tech and Houston had a record breaking game as the team combined plays (209), combined FD’s (78), and 87 completed passes in a game were all NCAA records. The old record was 81 back in 1990 (TCU/Houston). The two teams combined for 1,291 yards offense in a game that lasted 4 hours and 8 minutes. UH lost despite a 40-38 FD edge but trailed most of the game as LT jumped out to leads of 14-0 and 21-6 but it was 21-20 at the half with UH having a 291-237 yd edge. The game turned with UH trailing 28-20 they were SOD on 4&7 at the LT43 and LT drove for a td. UH fumbled at their own 14 and LT got an 8 yd td pass with 12:33 left in the game to go up 49-27 and they led 56-35. UH went 75/9pl for a td with 4:45 left, 80/12pl for a td with :35 left to get within a td but LT recovered the onside kick.