Week 11 News & Notes – Part 1
By Phil Steele
Toledo had a 526-446 yd edge and benefited from a 3-1 TO edge but still lost to Ball St at home. Toledo had entered the AP Poll for the first time since 2001 and as you see many times, teams that enter the AP for the first time in a long time, usually struggle with the attention that next week. Ball St took their opening 2 drives 82/11 and 87/7pl for td’s to lead 14-0 but UT battled back to 17-17 at the half and had a 350-220 yd edge at the half. UT had settled for a 29 yd FG. BS got a 61/10pl drive for a td to open the 3Q then missed a 35 yd FG and UT went 75/14pl. They settled for a 22 yd FG to make it 24-20. UT went 25/4pl and on 4&1 got a 16 yd td run to lead 27-24. BS tied it on a 30 yd FG with 9:41 left. UT went 68/7pl. After the game, Campbell was questioned for going for it on 4&1 on their next drive as they went 68/7pl and based on them settling for 2 short FG’s and the fact they had a td on the last 4&1, he probably made the right decision but UT was stuffed with 6:02 left. BS then went 86/11pl and got a 13 yd td run with 1:43 left to take the lead 34-27. UT on 4&7 from its own 27 fired incomplete.
There are two key story lines in the Bowling Green/Ohio game. First, on blackout night, OU took their opening drive 72/11 for a td and took their 3Q opening drive 95/14 for a td. The rest of the game they would have just 77 yards. The key story of this game was while OU had a 22-13 FD edge and while BG had a 288-234 yd edge, OU could not overcome 4 botched punts. OU had a punt blocked setting up a BG 3&5, 15 yd td run on a 20 yd drive. OU mishandled a punt at their own 35 and BG got a 35 yd FG with 1:46 left then with :18 left they brought in K Weller to do the punting and he had the punt snap go right through his legs and fell on it for a safety and they trailed 19-7 at the half. With 3:04 left in the 3Q, OU had another punt blocked and BG went 29/7pl for a td. OU, trailing by 12, faced a 4th & 19 after a 16 yd QB sack on 3&3 from the 13 and gained 8 yds with 2:24 left and BG ran out the clock. Anthon Samuel ran for 181 yards.
Cody Wells, who did have starting experience hit 37-52-357 yards in front of 30,243 which was the 2nd largest crowd ever at Liberty Bank Stadium. ULM finished with a 24-22 FD edge and Arkansas St with a 534-433 yd edge. The key play of the game happened with 9:55 left in the 3Q. After a 70 yd td pass from Aplin to Stockemer, ULM trailed 24-17. They had a 4&12 at the Ark St 36 and went for it and fired incomplete. ASU got a 46 yd pass on the next play down to the 18 and on 4&gl from the 1 got a td for a 31-17 lead. They extended it to 38-17 when ULM went 47/5pl and was int’d at the ASU24 then went 73/14pl and was SOD at the 10 with 10:08 left. ULM did score a td with 5:18 left but ASU recovered the onside kick and went 46/5 for a 4 yd td run with 2:35 left.
Blacksburg, VA is an extremely tough place to go into on a Thurs night with Virginia Tech only having lost 3 games and having pulled many upsets. They held Florida St to -15 yards rushing due to the fact they had 5 sacks for 44 yards. They also held FSU to 311 total yards (about 200 less than ssn avg). In fact, when I check philsteele.com I felt VT’s D has underachieved this year but they are actually holding foes on the season to 75 ypg less than their season average, which is #22 in the country and Bud Foster’s D has three #1 defensive performances meaning they held opponents to a season low and two #2 performances so the defense has actually been better than I thought they were this year. FSU took a 20-10 lead in the 3Q on a 10 yd td pass. VT went 80/8pl for a 5 yd td run to pull within 20-17 after 3Q’s and after 4 punts, FSU’s RB Freeman was going to be tackled in the EZ for a safety and flipped the ball forward for an illegal pass that resulted in a safety anyway with 6:59 left. After the free kick, VT went 52/10 and got a 21 yd FG with 2:19 left and it looked like they were on their way to an upset but on 4&1 FSU got a powerful 7 yd run by James Wilder Jr and would continue on getting a 39 yd td pass with :40 left. VT’s final drive got to the FSU40 but they were int’d at the 33.
Pittsburgh and Connecticut played on Friday and Pitt was coming off their big game vs Notre Dame. UC did control the 1H leading 24-0 with a 247-111 yd edge although Pitt did have a 44 yd FG that hit the upright and allowed an 80 yd PR td with 9:26 left in the 2Q. Pitt battled back getting a 51/9pl drive for a 42 yd FG on their first 3Q poss and went 72/6pl for a td on their 3rd to make it 24-10. UC was int’d in the EZ with 4:57 left and Pitt still had a chance and went 80/9 and got a td with 2:46 left and opted to kick off deep. They had all 3 time-outs and they forced a 3&7 with 2:32 left but UC got a 17 yd pass and was able to take a knee.
Texas may have been playing with a little extra emotion as Darrell Royal, their HOF head coach had passed away during the week and Mack Brown honored him by running the wishbone on the first play of the game. It was actually sort of a trick play out of the wishbone with a handoff pitch back to David Ash who threw 47 yds for a FD. UT dominated Iowa St with a 609-227 yd edge and 31-15 FD edge. Ash hit 25-31-364 yards and in the 1H UT had a 344-213 yd edge but had a 32 yd FG blocked and leading 20-0 gave up a td with :41 left in the half. UT drove 55/11 for a 37 yd FG but then was SOD at the ISU17 on their 2nd 3Q poss. They went 78/9pl for a td and a 30-7 lead with 12:32 left and settled for a 25 yd FG with 1:23 left in the dominating rout.
Normally when an opponent travels to Memorial Stadium to face Indiana, they play their “C” game but Wisconsin came on guard because if Indiana beat them, the Hoosiers would have clear control of the Leaders Div and Wisconsin would be on the outside looking in. The Badgers big, physical O-line was off a bye and they tend to play very well late in the season off a bye and the smaller Hoosiers were simply worn down by the smash mouth Badgers. UW piled up 564 yds rushing with 61 for IU and attempted just 7 passes in the game giving oft-injured Curt Phillips his first start. The Badgers went 69/8pl, 69/8pl, 59/7pl on their first 3 poss for 2 td’s and settled for a FG and had 174 yards rushing in the 1Q. IU had just 2 FD’s. It was 24-7 at half. UW led 41-7 when Indy converted on 4&9 on an 87/14pl drive to make it 41-14 but UW went 75/5pl and added 2 more td’s in the dominating 62-14 route that was never really a question after the 1Q.
My computer, which projects the yards for each game forecasted Syracuse to have 458-369 yd edge and win the game outright vs Louisville. Turns out, my computer was right as SU had a 524-472 yd edge and won the game in easier than expected fashion, 45-26 knocking Louisville from the ranks of the unbeaten. There was nothing fluky about the score. At the half SU had a 339-226 yd edge, settling for a 20 yd FG on one drive and they led 31-10 before Louisville got a 35 yd FG with :09 left in the half. UL pulled within 45-26 with 8:53 left but was int’d at the SU10 with 4:32 left and SU got 2 FD’s running the clock. Teddy Bridgewater hit 36-49-424 but SU had a 278-48 rushing edge.
Devin Gardner sure looks good replacing Denard Robinson. Gardner hit 16-29-286 yards for Michigan and rushed for 47 on 9 carries. Gardner’s best play of the Northwestern game was actually an incompletion as the key play of the game was on the lucky side. On the 2nd td drive, Gardner really impressed me. It was 2&10 from his own 9 and it looked like he would be tackled for a safety but as he was hit, falling backwards, he put 1 arm down and managed to not only throw the ball away but put it in the direction of a receiver so he was not called for intentional grounding in the EZ and a safety. That would keep the drive alive. Gardner was int’d at the NW28 and returned 22 yards with 2:37 left. NW went for it on 4&1 and converted to the UM40 and appeared to have locked the game up but punted on 4&19 with :18 let in the game. UM39 had Garnder throw the ball up down field. The DB tipped it and WR Roundtree hauled it in at the 9 yd line. They spiked the ball with :07 left, Gibbons kicked a 26 yd FG and UM was able to force OT where they scored a td and NW on 4&2 gained 1 yd and UM escaped with a miracle win despite NW having a 27-21 FD and 431-419 yd edges. Kain Colter was injured, and backup QB Siemian came in and hit a 15 yd td pass with 3:59 left to make it 31-28.
South Carolina was playing its first game without Marcus Lattimore and was fortunate to have a 21-10 lead at the end of the 1H. In the 1H SC only had a 222-221 yd edge. Arkansas fumbled at the SC5 yd line at the end of a 64/7pl drive. They went 72/7pl but settled for a 20 yd FG to trail 14-10. SC went for it on 4&6 and would get a 43 yd td pass with 1:30 left to lead 21-10. SC got a FG to open the 3Q and UA was driving but was int’d and returned 69 yds for a td to trail 31-10. Each team went on a long drive but UA settled for a 27 yd FG, SC got a td, 38-13 and SC won 38-20 despite UA having a 22-20 FD edge and SC a 383-360 yd edge. UA did get a 58/8pl drive for a td with :39 left.
Florida was more impressive vs a tough part of their schedule than they have been here in the back end vs the weaker part. Even though they only had Jacksonville St on deck, Florida struggled with just 311 yards vs a Louisiana defense that had not been playing great. UF led 10-3 at the half with only a 150-123 yd edge. They did go 72/6pl and settled for a 21 yd FG for a 13-3 lead. UL surprisingly went 77/9pl vs their D for a td then blocked a punt for a td to lead 17-13 with 4:03 left in the 3Q. UL extended it with a 78/12pl drive getting a 22 yd FG and led 20-13 with 13:11 left. UF punted with 9:16 left, with 5:13 left but then drove 49/4pl for a td with just 1:42 left. They kicked off deep and UL ran it 3x and punted with :13 left apparently going to OT but this time UF blocked a punt and returned it 31 yards for a td with :02 left to escape with the win. QB Jeff Driskel was injured in the 3Q with injury and Jacoby Brissett hit 6-8-64 in his place.
Cincinnati gave Brendon Kay his first start at QB replacing Munchie Legaux. He hit 13-21-244 yards. Temple had been outscored 127-44 the last 3 weeks and while they made Cincinnati punt on the first poss, UC scored 3 td’s and a FG on 4 of their 5 final five 1H poss and led 24-3 at the half. TU did settle for a 20 yd FG and was int’d at the UC37. UC had a 259-128 yd edge. Granger came in at QB for Temple in the 2H and led a 75/8pl drive for a td and after UC punted on their first two 4Q poss, Kay hit a 65 yd td pass and UC rolled 34-10 with a 472-267 yd edge.
The Purdue/Iowa game had some twists. Purdue led 24-14 but Iowa rallied to tie with 3:32 left and even got the ball back but the Hawkeyes went for it on 4&3 at the PU34 with :16 left and were stopped. PU got 2 quick FD’s and nailed a 47 yd FG on the final play to pull out the win. At the half PU did have a 14-5 FD edge and 243-111 yd edge as Iowa got a 22/7pl drive after recovering a fumble and PU missed a 20 yd FG and it was only 14-7. Iowa got a 9 yd FR td with :10 left in the 3Q to pull within 3 and then got a 24 yd FG with 3:32 left to tie it. PU finished with a 490-264 yd edge and 26-16 FD edge.
Eastern Michigan led Central Michigan 21-10 early 3Q with EM scoring on 4&11, 21 yd td run and CM getting a 4&10, 19 yd pass to the 13 to set up each for a td. EM had a 14-10 halftime lead and CM a 145-121 yd edge. Trailing 21-10, CM went 65/10pl for a td then got a 49 yd IR td for the lead and extended it with a 79/7pl drive for a td, 31-21. After each team got a FG, EM got a td with 1:35 left capping an 82/6pl drive but on 3&3 CM got a 35 yd run to the EM4 where they took a knee.
Michael Rocco hit 29-37-300 for Virginia and piloted two late scoring drives as Virginia overcame a 10 pt deficit vs Miami. Rocco had been alternating with Phillip Sims who hit 11-13-88 but was replaced with 12:02 left in the game when the team went 3&out and Rocco led the team to a td on a 7/12pld rive with 5:33 left in the game to pull within 38-35. Rocco was called for intentional grounding in the EZ for a safety with 4:19 left but Virginia forced a punt with 2:38 left. The Cavs went 87/17pl. On 4&7 they got a 9 yd pass and 4&7 a questionable def holding gave them a FD at the 20 and after 1 more FD, McGee caught a 10 yd td pass where he just got his foot down with :06 left. UVA had led 28-24 at the half with a 287-221 yd edge. Duke Johnson had a 95 yd KR td and rushed for 150 yards on 16 carries. Miami starters WR Scott and LB Johnson were both suspended and Perryman did not travel and UVA’s slim bowl hopes stayed alive.
Marqise Lee prior to the game had an allergic reaction that irritated his eyes and swelled his cheeks but he still played and had another outstanding game with 161 yards on 10 rec and also had 66 yards rushing. USC is still in control of its destiny to get to the Rose Bowl and get to the Pac-12 Championship and finished with a 447-250 yd edge, although there were some boos as they headed to the locker room vs Arizona St. The game was tied at 7 and Barkley was int’d at the ASU2 and on his next drive, USC had a td pass called back for offensive pass interference. On 3&gl from the 19, Barkley was int’d and returned 70 yards for a td and ASU led 14-7. USC went 79/13pl getting a 4 yd td pass with :35 left to give them momentum at 14-14. Barkley was int’d again to open the 3Q and ASU got a 28 yd FG for a 17-14 lead. USC went 59/9pl for a td, 21-17 and ASU on 4&1 was sk’d for a 9 yd loss. USC went 52/9pl for a td, 28-17 after 3Q’s. 2 poss later USC went 56/8pl for a 56 yd FG, 31-17. There were 3 consecutive TO’s and USC on 4&2 got a 27 yd run by McNeal with :38 left for the 38-17 final. Robert Woods had 2 catches for -3 yards and RB Silas Redd did not play.
“T-Magic” led another comeback win for the Nebraska as for the 2nd straight week and 4th time this year NU appeared down and out. Penn St led 20-6 at the half and had a 248-189 yd edge. Martinez was 6-14-56 in the 1H but was 6-6-115 it the 2nd and rushed for 104 yards. The Huskers in the 1H went on a 51/15pl drive but settled for a 32 yd FG and then went 84/14pl and settled for a 27 yd FG and trailed 7-6 and PSU got a 38 yd FG with 1:08 left in the half after a 17 yd NU punt. One of PSU’s td’s was a 31 yd drive after a fumbled NU punt which has been a problem for them this season. The Huskers battled back to tie at 20 on their first two 3Q poss but trailing 23-20 Martinez fumbled into the EZ for a TB with 14:52 left. NU went 71/6pl for a td and this time PSU on FD from the 7, returned the favor by fumbling into the EZ for a TB and the booth deemed the ball was coming out before crossing the line. NU got off a 69 yd punt pinning PSU at the 2 and they were called for intentional grounding in the EZ with 5:02 left. NU punted 55 yds to the PSU20 and Lions went for it on 4&6 with 2:39 left and were SOD at their own 25. On 4&2 NU got a 33 yd FG to extend the margin to a 9 pt win which was critical to some and that FG came with just :23 left. NU had a 439-391 yd edge.
For Missouri, it was a replay of the UCF game. Missouri was thoroughly outplayed in the 1H of both the UCF and Tennessee games but used a couple big plays to stay in the game and ended up pulling out the win in what might have been a deadly blow to Dooley’s tenure as the HC at Tenn. UT completely, thoroughly dominated MO in the 1H and had a 383-64 yd edge and MO’s offense didn’t cross midfield until 2:30 remained in the 2Q. Unfortunately, just like MO did vs UCF, they had a big 87 yd KR td keep them in a game and they only trailed 21-7 as UT has also fumbled at the MO8 and missed a 43 yd FG. MO got a 77 yd td run on the first play of the 3Q to start the momentum change. Still, Tenn led 28-14 when MO went 65/9pl for a td. There were 5 straight punts and MO too over with 4:53 left. They went 76/11pl and on 4&9 got a 17 yd pass then on 4&12, a 25 yd td pass to force OT. In OT, the teams scored td’s in the first 3 OT’s but UT on 4&3 fired incomplete and MO got a 35 yd FG for the win. Tenn had a 20-4 FD edge in the 1H and finished with a 32-20 FD and 585-454 yd edge.
Most of the talk after Texas Tech’s game was about Tommy Tuberville knocking the headset off of a graduate asst. TT did have a 571-419 yd edge and 29-19 FD edge but needed 2 OT’s to pull out the win vs Kansas. TT had a lead of 21-7 early 2Q but was int’d and returned 32 yds to the 29 and KU got a td to get back in it, then KU got a 22 yd FG on the final play of the half to make it 21-17. TT led 27-17 with 10:12 left but KU got a 69 yd run by Pierson to set up a 3 yd td run by Sims and then went 75/9pl for a 32 yd FG with :41 left to tie it. TT missed a 41 yd FG on the final play of regulation. The teams needed 4 plays to score td’s in the first OT and TT in the 2OT but KU on 4&9 fired incomplete.
Kent St rushed for 399 yards vs Miami and led 35-10 at the half as they closed in on the MAC West Title. An int set up KSU for a 41/4pl td drive as they scored td’s on their first 3 poss to lead 21-0. MU missed a 45 yd FG and it was 35-10 at the half with KSU having a 246-180 yd edge. MU got within 35-18 but KSU got a FG and td on the next 2 drives, 45-18 with MU getting a td with 1:58 left and KSU rec’d the onside kick in their 48-32 final.
The McNeese/UTSA game was the story of two halves. McNeese controlled the 1H with a 203-126 yd edge and led 10-7. They missed a 36 yd FG at the end of a 60/13pl drive. The 2H was all UTSA as they went 69/12pl, 62/7pl, 70/8pl and 67/7pl on their first 4 poss for 3 td’s and a FG to lead 31-10. McNeese did have a fumble and int set up the final 2. McNeese went 84/12pl for a td with 6:18 left and then went 86/7pl getting a td with 3:05 left to only trail by 7 and UTSA rec’d the KO and didn’t punt until :07 were left.
Houston was without top RB Charles Sims and was dominated by Tulsa. TU had a 29-16 FD edge and 505-260 yd edge. UH had their chances early as they missed a 32 yd FG on their 3rd poss and fmbl’d at the TU38 on their 4th. TU didn’t score until getting a 29 yd FG with :06 left in the 1Q. UH was SOD at the TU47 and TU scored td’s on their next 2 drives to lead 17-0 at the half but only had a 221-190 yd edge. UH was int’d at the TU44 and SOD at their own 49 and TU built the lead to 34-0 when they got a 22 yd IR td with 8:57 left. UH avoided the shutout with a td with 7:08 left to make it 41-7 and TU ended the game at the UH9.
South Alabama had a 24-12 FD edge vs North Texas and Ross Metheny hit 23-45-233. USA took their 2nd poss 90/13pl for a td but was SOD at the NT49. 2pl later NT had a 51 yd td run to tie it, 7-7. USA led 14-7 with a 13 yd td pass with 2:50 left in the half but NT went 66/12pl for a td to grab the momentum with a td with :17 left. USA opened the 3Q with a 67/15pl drive and missed a 28 yd FG and NT got an 85 yd td run then after a fumble NT added a 33 yd FG to lead 24-14 with 5:37 left 3Q. The D’s took over as the next 8 poss resulted in punts with a combined 1 FD. USA went 50/12pl but on 4&23 gained 21 yds o the NT32 with 1:23 left.
UCF appeared on their way to an easy win vs UTEP but let them back in and needed a late drive to pull out the win. UCF got an 88/18pl drive for a td with :28 left in the half to go up 14-10 and rec’d a fmbl and got a 20 yd FG to make it 17-10. At half UCF had a 213-123 yd edge. UCF did have a 43 yd FG blk’d with 4:32 left in the 1Q and UTEP missed a 50 yd FG. UCF then went 71/4pl and was comfortable at 24-10 with 14:07 left. UTEP, who gave Blaire Sullivan his first start, then rallied. Sullivan hit 5-11-79 but rushed for 74 yards on 23 carries. UTEP went 79/10 and Sullivan’s 10 yd td run pulled them within 7 and after UCF punted, they got a 69 yd td run by Jeffery and shockingly it was 24-24 with 6:28 left. UCF got a 46 yd td run by Murray with 5:26 left and after UTEP was SOD at their own 46, UCF had a chance for a td to win getting a FD to the 32 and a FD to the 20 but let the clock run out.
SMU continued to keep their hopes of not only a 4th straight bowl berth but a chance at the CUSA Title alive in a dominating win over Southern Miss. SMU had a 435-138 yd edge and 20-10 FD edge keeping the Golden Eagles winless at 0-10. SMU went 79/7pl for a td and 57/10pl for a 34 yd FG on their first 2 poss and led 27-6 at the half. Perhaps the key play was with SM at the SMU20 with :30 left in the half, SMU got a 62 yd IR to the SM18 and got a 3&9, 9 yd td pass with :09 left to go up 27-6. At half SMU had a 240-119 yd edge.
UNLV was actually favored on the road last week despite the fact they have lost 21 straight road games. Colorado St had an 18-14 FD edge and 340-219 yd edge and also benefited from 2 def td’s. CSU did go 52/10pl and was int’d at the 4 and 7 plays later got a 49 yd IR td to lead 7-0. CSU got a 30 yd FR td at the start of the 2Q, 14-0 and extended it to 24-0 at the half with a 194-125 yd edge. It was 33-8 when UNLV got a 33 yd FG with 4:06 left but CSU recovered the onside kick and ran the clock out.
Western Michigan’s bowl hopes ended vs Buffalo as Joe Licata hit 21-33-285 and Branden Oliver rushed for 75 yards on 12 carries. WM on 3&8 from the 9 was int’d in the EZ in the 1Q. WM missed a 46 yd FG. WM got off a 19 yd punt and UB got a 45 yd td run on the next play. It was 17-14 at the half and UB had a 298-215 yd edge. WM took the lead on the first drive of the 3Q to lead 21-17 with a 69/6pl drive. WM led 24-23 when UB went 77/6pl for a 30 yd td pass with 10:47 left. WM was int’d at the UB26 on their next drive then had a FD at the UB24 but was sacked and fumbled with 3:28 left. WM took over with 1:23 left at its own 10 and was int’d and returned to the 3 yd line.
Mississippi St was only outFD’d 22-21 vs LSU. The yards were 392-351 and it was a very misleading final as at the end of the game with 1:00 left, MSU was deep in LSU terr, threatening to make it a 6 pt ball game but was not only int’d but returned 100 yds for a td making a lot of LSU fans very happy. Also at the end of the half LSU took over with :48 left and went 77/4pl getting a 20 yd td pass to go up 20-10. Prior to that final drive, MSU had been SOD at the LSU31 trailing by 13. They had a 1st & gl at the 4 and ran for 2 yds but a false start brought it back to the 9. On 2&gl from the 9 Russell’s pass was int’d and ret’s 100 yds for a td and Mullen was seen mouthing on the sidelines that he had a WR wide open in the EZ that he could have hit.
Last year when Georgia played Kentucky needing a win to get to the SEC Tittle game, they plopped through a tough, surprisingly close win where they actually trailed at the half. This year they were taking on a beleaguered Auburn and it was not such a battle. UGA had a 397-238 yd edge and 24-11 FD edge as UGA got to the SEC Title game for a 2nd straight year tying for 1st in the East with UF and holding the tie-breaker. It was probably the end of the Gene Chizik era especially with how dominating the Bulldogs were. UGA scored td’s on their first 4 poss going 76/6pl, 80/9pl, 65/10pl and 90/4pl for td’s and had a 323-124 yd edge at the half. They opened the 3Q with a 72/15pl drive for a 20 yd FG then got a 62 yd td run on their 2nd series to lead 38-0 and put the offense away after that with both Welch and Lemay coming in at QB. It was UGA’s first shutout since 2008.
Boise St had lost the previous week and dropped out of the Top 25 but taking on the injury plagued and depth shy Hawaii team, rolled to an easy win. BSU had a 411-234 yd edge and one of UH’s scores came on a 100 yd KR td. it was 35-7 at the half with BSU having a 297-67 yd edge and UH was int’d on their first 2 drives of the 3Q with BSU returning one of them 25 yds for a td. UH put together a 72/10pl drive for a td with 5:35 left to make it 49-14 and gained 37 yards on their final drive of the game.
UAB had a 25-18 FD edge vs Marshall and 406-337 yd edge. Marshall recovered a fumble and drove 2 yds for a td but UAB got a 79 yd PR td to tie and went 64/5pl and 52/4pl for td’s to lead 21-7. MU went 42/10pl to the 25 but was int’d in the EZ. UAB was int’d at the MU6. UAB added a 27 yd FG with :17 left in the half to lead 24-7 and had a 174-122 yd edge. UAB extended it to 31-7 with an 81/11pl drive for a 32 yd td pass with 5:23 left in the 3Q but MU began to chip away. UAB had a 52 yd FG blocked and returned 35 yds and when MU got a 38 yd FG, they pulled within 7 and UAB went 80/11pl for a td with 2:50 left, 38-24. MU got a 3 yd td pass with 1:41 left but UAB rec’d the onside kick, got 1 FD and took a knee.
Kenneth Dixon had 5 td’s setting 3 NCAA frosh records. Louisiana Tech had a battle with Texas St all night showing their defense should not be capable of getting this team to a BCS bowl game. His records were single season records for td’s, rushing td’s and total points by a frosh with some guy named Marshall Faulk holding a couple of those records. The 1H only had 3 punts. Every other drive was a td with the exception of TSU missing a 56 yd FG at the end of the half and LT led 41-34 with a 417-346 yd edge. It was still tied at 48 in the 4Q and LT went 75/6pl for a td with 12:51 left and surprisingly the next 3 poss were punts before LT went 85/11pl to get a td with some breathing room with 3:23 left. TSU got a td with 1:07 left but LT rec’d the onside kick.
Questions all week were if Kansas St’s Collin Klein would play vs TCU. Not only did he play, he hit 12-21-145 and was the team’s leading rusher with 50 yards. TCU HC Patterson is a Kansas St graduate and TCU finished with a 274-260 yd edge and KSU had just 12 FD for the game. The most impressive drive was their 2nd, as they got a 62 yd pass on an 89/6pl drive for a td. A 33 yd PR set them up for a 17 yd “drive” for a 41 yd FG. TCU missed a 45 yd FG and then fumbled the punt at their own 5 and KSU “drove” 2 yards for a 20 yd FG to lead 13-0. KSU got a 58/8pl drive for a td to make it 20-0 and TCU was at the 47 yd line when they took 18 and 19 yd sacks then punted 8 yds so KSU took over at their 18 and would “drive” 8 yards for a 23-0 lead. TCU got a 35 yd FG with 6:59 left, was SOD at the KSU31 with 3:13 left but after KSU fumbled, TCU drove 39/3pl getting a td with :47 left to make it 23-10 and KSU rec’d the onside kick.
Memphis and Tulane combined for 8 turnovers but Memphis did have a 386-291 yd edge. At the half Memphis had a 212-125 yd edge but needed a 24 yd FG on the final play of the half to lead 16-13 and get the momentum for the 2H. Trailing 23-16 TU was SOD on 4&1 at the UM3 and UM went 97/9 for a td to go up 30-16. The next 5 poss resulted in 3 TO’s and 2 SOD’s and UM got a 32 yd IR td with 2:51 left, 37-16. With just :15 left, TU returned a fumble 54 yds for a td to pull within 14.
Notre Dame had its flat spot game the previous week vs Pitt so was expected to do much better vs Boston College. ND was buoyed by the fact Alabama had lost earlier in the day but still only finished with a 21-20 FD and 393-300 yd edge. BC had a 69/15pl drive but settled or a 36 yd FG and the Irish got a 7 yd td pass with :26 left in the half to lead 14-3. ND opened the 3Q with a 65/9pl drive for a td, 21-3 but punted on 3 of their next 4 poss and also fumbled. BC got a 45 yd FG with 13:44 left, was SOD on 4&8 at the ND41, was int’d at the ND43 and fmbl’d at the ND47 on their final 3 drives.
Mississippi had a 458-371 edge vs Vanderbilt and appeared in control most of the game. They led 16-3 at half with a 204-124 yd edge and opened the 3Q with a 56/9pl drive for a td to lead 23-6. VU went 75/4pl for a td, punted and went 51/11pl for a td to pull within 23-20 after 3Q’s. UM missed a 52 yd FG with 11:22 left but then took over with 8:07 left at their own 19. They converted on 3&21 and went 72/13 knocking 5:28 off the clock. They got a 27 yd FG with 2:43 left meaning VU needed a td for the win. VU went 79/9pl incl a 4&2 conversion and their 27 yd td pass with :52 left gave them the win. Miss got to the VU48 but fired incomplete on 4&7 with :14 left.
I thought Rutgers was in a good situation last week as they were off a loss, off a bye with an extra week to prepare for the option, catching Army the week after they upset their rival Air Force and with already 7 losses, really having nothing to play for. The final score shows that RU won 28-7 but it was highly misleading as Army probably deserved to win the game as they had a 22-14 FD edge and 337-252 yd edge. Army had 3 lost fumbles, dropped a td pass, had 2 blk’d FG’s and clearly deserved better. In the 1H Army had a 212-96 yd edge and went 76/16pl for a td on their first poss then had a 43 yd FG blk’d and fumbled at the RU9. They had a 30 yd FG blocked with :24 left in the half and it was 7-7. Army fumbled at the RU14 late 3Q and then only got off a 5 yd punt and RU drove 45 yards for a td with 8;49 left to cling to a 14-7 lead. A bad snap on the punt set up RU for a 1 yd td “drive” to make it 21-7. Then Army deep in RU territory, on 3&10 from the 24, fumbled and RU’s Harmon scooped it up and returned it 73 yds for a td with :30 left for the highly misleading score.
Phil Steele is a college football analyst who has been publishing his annual College Football Preview since 1995. His magazine is regarded as one of the best in the business.