Week 9 News & Notes (Part 1)
Hugh Freeze continues to be a magician as HC. Last year he took over an Arkansas St program and expectations were low and coming off a losing season he had guided them to 10-3. This year Mississippi was a consensus pick to finish last. Last week they snapped a 16 game SEC losing streak vs Auburn and now they’ve knocked off Arkansas on the road to pull to 2-2 in the SEC. Arkansas did have a 464-355 yd edge and 24-22 FD edges and Ole Miss is just 1 win away from bowl eligibility. Bo Wallace hit 29-37-278 yards and rushed 11 times for an additional 38. A blocked punt was one of the key plays. Ark took their opening drive 71/11pl but settled for a 22 yd FG. Ark went 85/10pl for a td pass, 10-0. The blk’d punt set up UM for a td to pull into the lead, 14-10 and UM led 21-17 at the half despite Ark having a 292-213 yd edge. Ark got a 5 yd td run with 2:09 left to tie it but UM went 63/7 getting a 31 yd FG on the last play for the win.
Ray Graham rushed for 109 yards and Rushel Shell for 79. Pitt piled up a 528-324 yd edge. Graham also had 71 yards receiving. Temple led Rutgers 10-0 at the half last week but was outscored 35-0 in the 2H and Pitt would outscore them 31-7 in the 1H of this game with a 334-92 yd edge. TU fumbled a punt at their own 39 setting up one Pitt td but trailing 14-0, TU got a 77 yd KR setting up a 21 yd td “drive”, 14-7. Pitt scored on their final 3 poss of the half for a 31-7 lead incl a 4 yd td pass with :01 left. The first 3 poss of the 3Q all went for td’s with TU getting 2 to pull within 34-17 but they fumbled at their own 37 and Graham got a 34 yd run followed by a 3 yd td run to blow it open, 40-17 with 3:57 left. Pitt added a 58 yd td pass with 4:41 left.
Maryland was down to its 4th string QB vs Boston College having lost an amazing 3 QB’s for the season due to injury. Caleb Rowe it 23-42-242 and rushed for 24 in his first start but was int’d 3 times and now he is lost for the year. MD actually finished with a 337-295 yd edge. BC’s PR Spiffy Evans had a 25 yard PR to set up BC’s 39/2pl td drive then a 72 yd PR to the 19 but BC fumbled into the EZ for a tb on 1&gl from the 3. MD went 63/13pl and missed a 35 yd FG and BC went on a 40/7pl drive but was SOD at the MD40. On MD’s last drive for the half got to the BC27 but was int’d at the 5. At the half MD had a 150-134 yd edge but trailed 10-0. BC opened the 3Q with a 61/7pl drive for a short 28 yd FG, 13-0. On 3&7, Rowe threw a pass into double coverage that LB Clancy dropped and they converted on 4&7 for a FD and got a td 3pl later on 4&1 to cap a 69/13pl drive and led 13-7. MD went 44/8pl for a 28 yd FG then stunningly Rowe hit Diggs with a 66 yd td pass with 8:47 left to give the Terps the lead, 17-13. BC fumbled at the MD40 with 7:02 left and took over with 4:45 left and went 85/13. They converted on 3&10 and 3&8 and on 2&5 got a 14 yd td pass with :52 left to pull out the win. MD was int’d at midfield.
It was a wild one between NC State and N Carolina. Giovani Bernard is a hero to many Tar Heel faithful as his PR td in the final seconds and then a dropped xp was scooped up by the holder and thrown for 2 gave them an EIGHT point win. When Larry Fedora was hired, he kept a running count of how many days it was until the NC State game as they had lost 5 straight years. UNC appeared in control early as they took their first drive 85/6 for a td, forced a 3&out, went 67/2 for a td and 2 pt conv to lead 15-0. They were up 25-7 with 1:24 left in the 1Q. They missed a 47 yd FG mid2Q and then 2 key plays highlighted the day for UNC. NCSt faced a 3&23 on its own 17 yd line. They got a deep pass for an 83 yd td. Chances of scoring on a 3&23 at your own 17? About 1%. NC drove and had a 1&gl at the 4. Chances of scoring on 1&gl at the 4? Roughly 80%. Well, NC on 2nd down had a pass tipped in the EZ by Wilson who int’d it for the tb. He had the TE for the td but under threw the pass. NC fumbled at the NCSt14, was int’d in the EZ for a tb but did get a 34 yd FG with 1:24 left to tie it. They forced a punt and Bernard got a 73 yd PR td with :13 left and the 2 pt conversion was good on the bobbled snap.
Ryan Griffin continues to prove Tulane is a different team with him than without him. They played a tough game vs Rutgers, guided them to an upset win of SMU at home and a close loss to UTEP in his first 3 starts of the year and were not competitive in the others. In his last 3 games Griffin is hitting 67% of his passes with a 10-1 ratio and hit 34-42-466 vs UAB. UAB’s Austin Brown hit 26-52-409. UAB LB Marvin Burdette set a school record with 24 tackles after having back-to-back weeks of 17 tackles. The CUSA mark for most tackles in a game was set by Brice Hudman of SMU back in 2007. TU punted on their first poss but scored td’s on their next 3 to lead 21-7. UAB did pull within 7 with a td with 11:03 left in the 3Q, 31-24 and was also within 38-31 with 5:29 3Q and 45-38 with 12:33 left. TU got a 32 yd FG with 8:14 left then UAB was int’d at the TU40 and 33 on their next 2 drives as TU opened it up to 55-38 before UAB got a td with 3:03 left.
Akron did have a 492-444 yd edge and 27-21 FD edge vs Central Michigan but dropped to 0-5 in the MAC. CM led 28-7 after 3Q’s. Zurlon Tipton rushed for 243 yards on 37 carries. CM got a 72 yd td run by Tipton on the game’s 2nd play. AU went 72/13pl but was SOD at the CM1 on 4&gl. It was 14-7 after 1Q and at the half. After an int, CM went 37/3pl for a td and after a 29 yd punt, they went 59/3pl for a td, 28-7. CM went 51/14 and missed a 41 yd FG. AU went 76/8pl for a td then went 76/10pl but was SOD at the CM4. CM went 96/13pl for a td with 1:26 left and AU’s 52 yds that they gained on the final drive gave them the yardage edge for the game.
Arkansas St’s Brian Davis had 5 FG’s and 5 xp’s in their win over Louisiana. One story of the game was turnovers as Terrance Broadway for UL, while he hit 28-39-374, he was sacked and fumbled twice and also had 3 int counting for 5 TO’s. Those were huge as Arkansas St went 43/5 for a td, 35/2pl for a td, 51/6 for a 21 yd FG, 57/2pl for a td and 40/9pl for a 29 yd FG and 19/6 for a td run. UL went 52/6 scoring a td on the game’s final play.
Clemson’s Tajh Boyd threw for a school record 428 yards and 5 td’s in the Thursday night game vs Wake Forest. Clemson had just been held to a season low vs Virginia Tech the previous week in yards but surpassed that total by getting 343 yards by half and had a 343-105 yd edge. CU was so dominant that after punting on their first 2 drives, they scored td’s on their next 5 going 80/8, 72/5, 80/7, 68/6, 68/6 and 19/4 (after fmbl) for td’s. In the 2H CU punted on 4 of their first 5 poss as naturally they did not play with the same intensity with the huge lead and they also missed a 48 yd FG. CU went 86/13pl getting a td with 8:44 left for the final of 42-13 and had a dominating 534-290 yd edge.
Munchie Legaux said prior to the Cincinnati/Louisville game on Friday that he felt that he was a better QB than Teddy Bridgewater. While UC did lead the majority of the game, UL finished with a 524-353 yd edge and the QB stats were startling. Legaux hit 13-28-157 yards with 3 int. Bridgewater hit 24-41-416 yards. Bridgewater did have an int at his own 19 setting up a UC td 4pl later and the Bearcats led 17-7 but UL went 80/13pl getting a td with 2:38 left in the half to pull within 17-14. UL had a 219-143 yd edge at the half and missed a 57 yd FG on the 1H final play. Trailing 24-17, Bridgewater hit a 51 yd pass from his own 7 in the 4Q and 3pl later a 30 yd td pass to tie it at 24. UC missed a 36 yd FG with 2:35 left and Bridgewater hit a 64 yd td pass to get UL its 2nd lead of the game. UC went 59/3pl with Legaux hitting a 26 yd td pass to force OT. In OT Legaux was int’d on 3&9 at the goalline and UL hit a 39 yd FG.
Air Force dominated Nevada with a 600-380 yd edge with Nevada getting 2 td’s off of AF fumbles. AF had a 36-21 FD edge and a 461-169 yard edge. The game was competitive through 3Q’s, however, with AF never leading by more than 10. It was 31-21 at the half. Leading 38-31 AF went 73/14pl for a td with 9:33 left then forced a rare punt for the game as the 2 combined for 3 punts all by NV. AF did not punt the entire game. AF went 59/11pl but settled for a 28 yd FG to lead 48-31 and then after an int took a knee four times. One week after allowing New Mexico St’s Casey Carrier to rush for an MW record 338 yards, AF held the nation’s #1 rusher Stepfan Jefferson to just 93 yards as he came in avg 156.
Indiana ended an 11 game Big Ten losing streak. Nate Sudfeld was brought in for starting QB Coffman after a 1Q int and Illinois’ season of misery continued as they have now dropped 5 in a row. This was Illinois’ Homecoming and Illinois did have a 372-292 yd edge and 23-14 FD edge. Illinois had 73 and 55 yard drives early to lead 14-7 then Indy went 73 yards to tie it then Illinois fumbled a punt at its own 22 setting up a 5 play drive for a td and Indy led 21-14 at the half despite being outgained 207-174. Illinois fumbled on their 2nd 3Q poss at their own 20 and Indy got a 28 yd FG, 24-14. Illinois went 62/14pl but settled for a 20 yd FG after a 1&gl at the 7. Sudfeld did lead a 60 yd td drive with 5:48 left to make it 31-17 and Illinois went 54/10pl but on 4&gl at the IN15 was SOD with 1:53 left.
Texas had a close call against Kansas. They needed a 1 yd td pass with :12 left to pull out a 21-17 lead. KU, in fact, had an 18-16 FD edge and UT a 342-273 yd edge. KU QB Fr Michael Cummings did not attempt a pass in the 2 or 3Q and was just 3-9-39 but KU rushed for 234 yards. UT went 43/4pl for a td to open. KU went 43/13pl but on 4&gl from the 29 fired incomplete. KU did get a 64 yd run by Sims to set up a 98/5pl td drive then on their next drive went 62/7pl for a td to lead 14-7 at the half with a 198-115 yd edge. UT was SOD at the KU2 and then UT was int’d at the KU19 on their next drive. UT went 84/7pl for a td with 9:41 left but KU went 61/13pl converting on 3&8 and got a 29 yd FG with 2:25 left. UT needed a 4&8 conversion from their own 33 and got the 1 yd td pass with :12 left.
It has long been rumored that Pat Fitzgerald has a dislike for Iowa and he has won 4 of the last 5 vs them. Northwestern had a 433-336 yd edge. Iowa RB Mark Weisman showed he was still not 100% rushing for 21 yards on 9 carries before leaving in the 2Q. Iowa had a 222-167 yd edge at the half but on 4&12 fired incomplete from the NW29 and trailed 14-3. NW blocked a punt to open the 3Q and drove 3 yds for a td then after a 27 yd punt, drove 57/4pl for a td, 28-3. NW fumbled from the Iowa 3 yd line and Iowa went 84/16pl for a td with 6:37 left to make it 28-17 with the Hawkeyes last chance ending on a 4&3 incompletion at the NW24 with 1:44 left.
Ball St had a 27-21 FD edge and 413-379 yd edge. Army has now lost 8 straight to MAC foes. Ball St took its first 2 poss 75/9pl and 60/12pl for td’s and a 14-0 lead. Army settled for a 24 yd FG with 5:22 left in the half, fumbled at the BS23 with 1:29 left in the half and settled for a 45 yd FG to pull within 17-13 to open the 3Q but Ball St went 70/16 and 70/8 for td’s to open it up 27-13 and their 37 yd FG with 4:52 left put them up by 10. Army missed a 43 yd FG with 2:18 left and Ball St’s P took an intentional safety on the game’s last play.
Missouri was led by backup QB Corbin Berkstresser but James Franklin came off the bench in the 2H as Missouri rallied with him on the field vs Kentucky. The Tigers finished with a 20-9 FD edge but only a 273-179 yd edge. MO got an early 60 yd FR to the Kentucky25 setting up a td and it was 10-10. UK mishandled the snap on a 54 yd FG and Missouri went 52/11pl for a 2 yd td with 1:32 left in the half for a 17-10 lead. Berkstresser was int’d on the first two 3Q poss and they punted on the 3rd. Franklin came in and they went 34/9pl and got a 31 yd FG, 20-10. Interestingly, UK had gotten a 53 yd punt and took a 5 yd running into the P pen and actually lost 17 yards of field position as they punted 39 yds and it was returned 12. UK was sk’d and fumbled at their own 12 and MO got a td 2pl later and then MO got a 13 yd FR td with 8:09 left for the 33-10 margin. MO did finish the game taking a knee at the UK14.
The biggest and saddest story of the S Carolina/Tennessee game was the severe injury to Marcus Lattimore. Connor Shaw did finish with a career high 356 yards passing hitting 22-32 but SC, while rolling up 510 yards, allowed 472 and UT had their opportunities. A key to the game was SC getting a 1 yd td with :14 left in the half to take a 28-14 lead. UT trailed 38-35 and got an int at their own 19 and would get 3 FD’s but Bray was sk’d and fumbled and SC recovered with 1:08 left. They forced a punt and UT16 was int’d on 2&10.
I made the comment last week to some staff members that when Minnesota was down to their 3rd string QB, I actually felt that true frosh Philip Nelson was an improvement over both MarQueis Gray and Max Shortell. Nelson did not let me down as he hit 15-22-246 yards vs Purdue while also rushing for 37. PU’s QB’s didn’t have the same success as Caleb TerBush was pulled for Robert Marve in the 3Q after hitting 5-18-49 with an int. Marve was 11-19-97 and even 3rd stringer Rob Henry got in and hit 5-6-52 for PU in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score as UM led 41-7 in the 3Q. UM’s OL was missing 3 of their orig 5 starters on the year but Donnell Kirkwood rushed for 134 yards on 22 carries. It was UM’s most lopsided Big Ten win since 2006 when they beat Indiana 63-26. PU actually jumped out to a 7-0 lead but UM scored on their next 6 poss going 72/10pl for a 34 yd td pass, 64/5, 60/3, 80/2, 16/7pl for a 40 yd FG (after 23 yd punt) and 59/9pl for a 38 yd FG. UM had a 345-112 yd edge at half. After trailing 44-7 PU went on a 75/10, 77/15, 43/9 and 72/7pl drives to get the majority of their yards for the game and UM actually ended the game at the PU 4 taking a knee at the end with PU getting a td with 2:57 left to pull within 16.
Utah St scored at least 40 pts in 3 straight games for the first time since 1990 and they set a school record with their 8th straight conf win. The last time they opened up a season 7-2 was 1978. Utah St had a 522-299 yd edge vs UTSA. Utah St blk’d a punt setting up a 5 yd drive for a td and quick 7-0 lead but was int’d in the EZ from the 31 then scored on their next 4 poss going 68/8pl, 71/10, 50/5 and 42/9pl getting 22 and 24 yd FG’s and 2 td’s to lead 27-3. Utah St scored on their first 2 poss of the 3Q going 72/3 then after an int, 44/4 for td’s to lead 41-3 and coasted.
Wyoming was without HC Dave Christensen who was susp’d for the week and fined $50,000 after his confrontation with Calhoun after the Air Force game which was broadcast often on ESPN during the week. While Boise finished with a 437-270 yd edge, their D struggled early. UW went 76/12pl but settled for a 29 yd FG and Boise fortunately blocked it. Boise went 78/11 for a td but UW went 75/15pl for a td gaining 151 on the first 2 drives and the game was tied at 7. At half Boise led 17-7 with a 228-154 yd edge. UW was sacked and fumbled and it was returned 19 yds for a td early 3Q and they trailed 31-7 then Boise went 67/15pl for a td to lead 38-7. UW went 77/13 for a td with 13:02 left and Boise went 42/6 to close the scoring with 10:07 left.
BYU had another star emerge in true frosh Jamal Williams who rushed for 107 yards vs Georgia Tech. Riley Nelson had a productive passing game hitting 19-28-208 yards. BYU’s D which gave up 270 rush yards to Notre Dame the previous game and figured to be in a let down spot, held GT to season lows with just 157 total yards and 117 rushing yards and the defense did not allow a td for the 5th time this year with GT getting a 22 yd IR td and 97 yd KR td during the game. GT did miss a 35 yd FG then allowed a blk’d punt they returned to their 13 and BYU got a td 2pl later to go up 21-7 but BYU had a 214-86 yd edge at the half and the Cougars missed a 25 yd FG to open the 3Q but after a 26 yd IR drove 22 yds for at td, 31-14. BYU finished the game at the GT45 taking a knee.
The typical Oregon game this year has the Ducks storming to a huge lead mid-2Q, putting in the backups, scoring little the rest of the game and having the final be much closer than it could have been. It appeared the Ducks would follow that same philosophy vs Colorado but it turned out a bit differently. Oregon jumped out to a 56-0 lead at the half. Once again, backup QB Bennett was put in for the final drive of the half taking over with 2:19 left and directed a 68/7pl drive for a td. They had a 447-104 yd edge at half. In your typical UO game, they allowed CU to go 72/13pl for a td then fumbled and CU drove 31/3 for a td and just that quick they were only ahead 56-14 which was even less than the Las Vegas linesmakers had as they came in a 47 point favorite. UO went 75/10pl for a td behind Bennett then got an int and went 32/5pl for a 17 yd td run by Bennett to go up 70-14 and the def didn’t relax this time as CU got 1 FD on their final 4 drives of the game gaining a grand total of 20 yards in an atypical game for the defense despite playing a lot of backups. UO has their big showdown with USC on deck and finished with a 30-12 FD edge and 617-245 yd edges.
The UTEP/Houston game was a strange one. UTEP finished with a 494-339 yd edge and 26-19 FD edge. In the 1H UTEP played much better than the 35-7 score would indicate. The Miners went 72/14pl but settled for a 26 yd FG and it was blk’d. A 28 yd punt set up UH for a 43 yd td. UTEP was int’d and UH went 61/11pl for a td. UH fumbled a punt at their own 9 and UTEP got a td to pull within 14-7. Trailing 21-7, UTEP was at the UH12 when Lamaison was int’d and ret’d 97 yds for a td, a 14 pt swing. UTEP then fumbled at their own 29 and UH got a td 5pl later. At half UH led by 28 and only had a 242-196 yd edge. Lamaison was int’d on the first 2 poss for the 2H and UH got short td’s of 34/2 for a td and 2 yd drive for a 24 yd FG to go up 45-7. UTEP with Sullivan in at QB, went 53/4pl, 39/7p (after fmbl), 89/7 and then 66/7pl. UTEP’s last drive got to their 43 but on 4&8 they were SOD.
There was a battle of division leaders in the ACC but Duke, one week after clinching their 6th win of the season, was noncompetitive vs Florida St. They were outgained 560-232 as Sean Renfree was held to 13-21-92 and was injured in the 2Q. Anthony Boone hit 3-15-37 in his place. Renfree still was not feeling well after the game and was very ? for this week. FSU was playing their first week without RB Thompson who was lost for the season and when NCSt lost, FSU regained control of their own destiny in the ACC Atlantic. FSU fumbled on their 2nd poss but after a 75 yd PR td, would score on 3 straight poss to blow it open 31-0. Duke went 90/14pl for a td with 4:25 left in the half. FSU fumbled a punt at their own 22 but Duke missed a FG. FSU ended the game at the Duke40 running for -3 yards on 4&6.
Miami, Oh pulled the big upset but it wasn’t much of an upset to me. If you looked at Ohio’s last 3 games, they played 3 of the worst teams in the NCAA and were actually outgained by all 3 (Buff, Mass, Akron). Here MU led for the majority of the game but OU blew a golden opportunity. They had :09 and no time-outs and could kick the tying FG and go to OT or try for the win by running 1 more play. OU opted for running 1 more play but was sacked and it proved to be very costly as the time ran out and they did not get another play off. QB Tettleton did not realize the team did not have a time-out left. OU finished with a 464-424 yd edge but MU had scored on the first 3 poss going 50/14 for a 40 yd FG, 50/3pl for a 54 yd td pass and 65/7 for a 22 yd FG and led 13-0. OU pulled within 20-14 at the half and MU on 4&7 from the OU19 was int in the EZ with :29 left. MU had a 309-218 yd edge at the half. OU’s 38 yd FG with 4:41 left tied it up MU went 59/8pl with a go ahead FG with 1:24 left of 31 yards. OU went 65/9 and was sacked and ran out of time from the MU7.
Texas Tech finished with a 442-426 yd edge vs Kansas St and controlled matters early but Colin Klein moves completely to the forefront of the Hesiman chase this year as he hit 19-26-233 yards with 2 td’s passing and 2 more rushing. KSU moved to 8-0 for the first time since 1999 and Bill Sndyer, who won my College Coach of the Year award last year is at the top of the list again this season. KSU should be favored in their final 4 games and has a great shot at running the table and perhaps finally in Snyder’s first National Title game. I personally will be rooting for him. TT dominated early going 75/9 for a td. 3 punts. TT went 31/7pl and perhaps the key play of the game, they had a 3&10 from the KU23 when they were sacked and fumbled and KSU ret’d it 56 yds. While KSU lost 3 yards (at that point had just 19 yds off) the FG pulled them within 7-3. TT went 58/7pl but settled for a 37 yd FG and a 10-3 lead then on their next drive went 47/9 and they missed a 50 yd FG. KSU meanwhile went 59/8 for a td then 65/8 for a 19 yd FG and led 13-10 (1:35 1H) at the half despite TT having a 238-143 yd edge. KSU opened the 3Q with a 75/7pl drive for a td then after a fmbl, went 20/2 for a td, 27-10. KSU went 75/9, 70/11, got a 37 yd IR td and after an 8 yd punt, drove 35/5p for td’s to go up 55-17.
Last week Toledo came in 7-1 but was actually being outgained on the year. Buffalo came in 1-6 and was outgaining foes. Toledo finished with the yardage edge (412-372). It was a rainy day and David Ferrell rushed for a career high 228 yards. Alex Zordich was pulled at times for Joe Lacada as Zordich hit 5-16-118 and Lacada 5-11-68. Buffalo did welcome Brandon Oliver back to the lineup and he rushed for 101 yards. Tied at 7, UB went 67/9pl but missed a 29 yd FG. UB led 14-7 at the half with a 192-115 yd edge. UT went 73/6 for a td to open the 3Q then went 86/4pl for a td and the lead then 84/8pl for another td, 25-14. UB went 75/7pl getting a td with 14:40 left to pull within 5 but UB punted on 4&10 with 13:59 left at their own 36, punted on 4&12, 29 yds with 6:59 left from the UT47 and then was sk’d and fumbled back at their own 18 with 1:48 left on their last chance.
LATE SCORES AT THE END OF THE HALF DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
As I talk about almost weekly, some late half scores make a big difference and there was one this past week when W Michigan was in control vs N Illinois with 250 yds offense and an 18-10 FD edge but WM up 21-14, allowed NI to get a 55 yd FG on the 1H final play to give them momentum. NI, after a 20 yd WM punt early 3Q drove 38/5pl for a td then after an int, got a 19 yd td run to take the lead, 31-21. They went 77/7, 81/8 on their next 2 poss for td’s and won 48-34. WM had a 489-453 yd edge and WM had a 29-20 FD edge.
New Mexico led 24-7 with 3:21 left in the half and FSU went 72/10pl and got a 7 yd td pass with 1:31 left in the half to pull them within 24-14 and give them momentum. A quick look at the final score would have you thinking Fresno dominated New Mexico and they did finished with a 600-394 yd edge and 26-16 FD edge but Bulldogs fans had to be nervous. NM led 21-0 in the 2Q and 24-14 at the half with the Lobos having a 295-247 yd edge. FSU had not topped 21 pts in the 2H all season but had 21 pts in the 3Q and added 14 more in the 4Q to win by 17. NM had just 99 yards in the 2H after FSU made their halftime adjustments and NM RB Kasey Carrier finished with 19-136 and had just 20 of those in the 2H. Derek Carr hit 21-34-416 yards. FSU scored td’s on 5 of their first 6 2H poss before NM got a td with :47 left.
Matt Scott hit 27-50-369 yds and rushed for another 100. USC WR Marquise Lee set a Pac-12 record with 345 yards receiving on 16 receptions and USC led by 15 in the 3Q. Last year Matt Barkley set a school record with 468 yards passing vs Arizona and topped that this year. Barkley hit 31-49-493 yards. On 3&24 USC was int’d and returned’ 26 yds on their first drive and Arizona went 60/6pl for a td then after USC was SOD on 4&2 at the UA15, the Cats went 76/11pl for a 25 yd FG and led 10-0. USC fumbled at the UA10, was int’d at the 34 and UA was SOD at the USC35 then int’d at the USC10. UA missed a 37 yd FG on the final play of the half and USC led 21-13 with a 395-285 yd edge. USC opened it up to 28-13 and surprisingly the next 4 poss were punts. UA got a td with 3:48 left and USC fumbled and UA got a td but failed on the 2 pt conv driving 37 yds for the score, 28-26. On 4&2 Lee got a 1 yd run and was stopped short and UA went 72/7pl and got a 7 yd td run, 32-28. The Cats went 49/9 for an 11 pt lead with 5:36 left. USC got a td with 4:30 left but UA got 2 FD before punting with just :55 left. USC got to the UA48 but fired incomplete on their final 2 plays.
Another Big East unbeaten was done in by a MAC team. It’s been a great season for the MAC as they continue to roll on in these big games and there’s nothing fluky about Kent St’s win over Rutgers as each team had 21 FD’s and KSU led throughout. KSU had been 0-22 vs ranked teams but moved to 7-1 and likely wrapped up a bowl bid with their win. Gary Nova had an amazing 6 int’s and RU also lost a fumble with KSU being +5 in turnovers. Perhaps the biggest play of the game came in the 2Q when RU, down 7-3, threw a quick flanker screen but Mark Fackler had a 1 handed int and took it 25 yards for a 25 and a 14-3 lead. It appeared RU would gain some momentum as they trailed 21-3 but got a 19 yd td pass with :04 left in the half to pull within 21-10 but RU punted on their first 3Q poss and Kent went 56/7 for a td and a 28-10 lead. KSU led 35-17 in the 4Q with RU getting a td with 10:35 left and KSU’s final drive went 46/11pl taking a knee at the RU29.
UCLA Brent Hundley grew up near Tempe and had a fine game but it appeared UCLA had blown a 2 score lead as they were up 42-33 with 9:01 left to play. Arizona St DT Will Sutton did not play which may have been a factor in UCLA rushing for 212 yards finishing with 486 total. ASU did have 535 yards as the two combined for over 1,000 yards. ASU got a 13 yd td drive after a 62 yd PR and jumped out to a 14-0 lead but UCLA battled back to lead 21-17 at the half, the key an IR td returned to the AUS5 with 1:19 left in the half and Franklin got a td on the next play. LA did have a 218-197 yd edge at the half. They led 35-26 and then 42-33 when ASU got a 22 yd FG with 5:17 left. LA punted with 3:36 left and ASU went 56/6pl and their 7 yd td pass with 1:33 left looked to pull out the win but UCLA25 went 65/12pl and got a 33 yd FG for the 2 pt road win.
Wisconsin appeared safe as Michigan St’s offense had done little all game and UW led by a td in the final minutes. UW QB Joel Stave injured his left shoulder on the 2H opening play (9-11-127) and did not return. Danny O’Brien hit 5-11-44. UW led 7-3 at the half and the first 9 poss of the 2H resulted in punts. UW was at the MSU18, when Montee Ball got an 18 yd td run to clinch the victory and make it 14-3 but a holding penalty brought it back and they would settle for a 39 yd FG leaving the Spartans in the game. MSU went 75/12pl and got a 4 yd shovel pass to Bell for the td with 1:08 left to force OT. UW got a 43 yd FG then on 3&8 MSU got a 12 yd td pass for the win.
Wes Lunt had not played since Sept 15 when he was injured vs Louisiana and started slow. TCU actually jumped out to a 14-0 lead vs Oklahoma St which had lost JW Walsh to injury the previous week in their win over Iowa St. OSU then dominated from there and finished with a 471-344 yd edge. Joseph Randle rushed for 126 on 32 carries and Lunt passed for 324 yards. The Cowboys held their 3rd straight foe under 20 pts, the first time they’ve done that since joining the Big 12 in 1996. OSU came in #1 in the FBS in offense but didn’t get their first FD until just 3:00 were left in the 1Q and also kept settling for FG’s in this game. TCU got an 11 yd IR td then OSU fumbled the KO and OSU’s defense held. TCU got a 45 yd run by Catalon down to the 20 and got a td to lead 14-0. OSU then went 70/9pl, punted, went 63/6pl and went 55/7pl but settled for short FG’s of 22, 34 and 30 yards all from inside the 20 and trailed 14-9 at the half. Each team punted to open the 2H but OSU went 64/10pl for a td then 80/5pl for a td and 64/11pl and settled for a short 32 yd FG, 26-14. TCU got a FD on a very questionable def pass interference call here where DB had position of the ball and was trying to catch it while the WR hit him in the back after stepping OOB but def pass was called. TCU fumbled 2 plays later and OSU went 52/9pl and settled for their 5th short FG, this one 27 yards to make it 29-14 and would add a td with 2:22 left for the 22 point margin.
Florida had 6 turnovers and Georgia 3. The Gators did have some very costly TO’s as an early fumble set up UGA for a 20 yd td drive. It was like a TO when UF was SOD on 4&1 at the UGA36. UGA went 78/15 but settled for a 38 yd FG and then on 3&4 had an open receiver but a bad snap had Driskel’s pass off the mark and they settled for a 22 yd FG, 7-6. Another costly TO had them 2&gl at the 5 when Driskel was int’d in the EZ when they could have had a FG to lead at the half, 9-7. An int set up UGA for a 13 yd “drive” for a 29 yd FG then trailing 17-9, UF drove to the UF18. Driskel hit Reed with what appeared to be a td but as Reed leaped from the 4 yd line to the EZ, he was hit and fumbled into the EZ for a TB with 2:05 left. On 2&11 UF was called for a personal foul face mask giving UGA a FD and another PF giving UGA another FD and they were able to win and take control of the SEC East.
Southern Miss is a great team statistically this year as they’ve outgained numerous foes but are now 0-8. This past week they had a 372-370 yd edge vs Rice but were never really in the game. SM was SOD on 4&6 at the Rice40 and Rice got a td. Trailing 14-10 SM missed a 42 yd FG and Rice got a td with 1:36 left in the half and SM turned it over twice in the final minute and trailed 21-10. A 75 yd IR td made it 31-10 for Rice as SM was down to 4th string QB Arsenio Favor who hit 10-22-180 and was the leading rusher with 65.
Penn St may have been playing in its “bowl” as it was a night game at home vs an undefeated Ohio St team and they didn’t play bad. In fact OSU had just a 377-359 yd edge in the battle of the two teams with the best records in their div, but neither eligible for a bowl. The 1H was a def struggle as PSU had a 146-145 yd edge. PSU got a blk’d punt td with 6:15 left 1H, 7-0 but OSU would drive 75/12 and got a td on 3&1 with :34 left in the half. That gave them momentum as they would open the 2H with a 17 yd IR td and on their 2nd drive a 57/10pl drive for a td then 85/8pl for a td to lead 28-10. PSU battled back with an 80/18pl drive incl a couple of 4th down conv but OSU went right back with a 92/6pl drive for a td to lead 35-16 with 6:11 left. PSU got a td with 1:41 left but OSU rec’d the onside kick. Braxton Miller was just fine after his injury the previous week although he hit just 7-19-143, he rushed for 134.