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Week 14 News & Notes – Part 1

December 2nd, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

Jordan Lynch broke his own FBS rushing record for QB’s with 321 yards and Northern Illinois had its first unbeaten regular season in 50 years. With temps in the teens, occasional snow fall and winds, NIU beat 1-10 Western Michigan 33-14. There were 17 seniors, including Lynch, playing their final home game. NIU took its opening possession 52/11pl but would miss a 34 yard FG. They took their 2nd possession 80/8pl and got a 10 yard td pass, 7-0. WMU surprisingly went 63/12pl for a td to tie it with 11:09 left in the half, 7-7. NIU went 75/6 and 77/5pl for td’s on its next 2 drives to go up 20-7 with 7:31 left in the half. After NIU punted 16 yards, WMU missed a 42 yard FG with 1:41 left and had a 37 yarder blocked on the final play of half. At the half NIU only had a 315-188 yard edge. WMU opened the 3Q with a 21/3pl drive but on 4&1 was SOD at the NIU26. NIU went 68/10pl but settled for a 23 yard FG with 5:30 left in the 3Q. WMU fumbled at its own 30 but forced a punt on 4&15. After an 8 yard PR, NIU got a 37 yard td run by Lynch, 30-7. After a 23 yard PR they started at the WM39 on the first play of the 4Q and got a 32 yard FG with 12:52 left. WMU went 53/12pl getting a 1 yard td run with 4:40 left to make it 33-14. NIU got 2 FD’s and took a knee at its own 42.

Dak Prescott had a nerve injury to his non-throwing arm and missed the last 2 games. He was doubtful to play vs Ole Miss. Frosh Damian Williams, who is the 3rd string QB, made his first career start with backup Tyler Russell out. He hit just 8-18-82 with an interception. Mississippi St probably saved Dan Mullen’s job as he’s now beaten his rival 4 of the last 5 years and got them to a bowl game despite a brutal schedule. This game was played on Thanksgiving Day and Prescott came off the bench in the 4Q to guide the win. The Rebels were intercepted at midfield on their first possession, went 87/13pl on their 2nd but settled for and missed a 27 yard FG. Ole Miss’ 4th possession started at its own 8 and they were intercepted but on the return, MSU tried a lateral and fumbled it right back at the 5. UM got 1 FD then was intercepted at its own 30 with 4:00 left in the half. MSU went 30/6pl and got a td to go up 7-0. Each team punted and UM blocked a punt and recovered in the EZ for a td with :26 left in the half. At the half UM had a 132-104 yard edge. UM opened the 3Q with an 81/17pl drive but settled for a 22 yard FG. Six punts. MSU went 43/6pl getting to the UM37 but was intercepted at the 7 and returned 25 yards. Three punts. MSU went 54/13pl and settled for a 36 yard FG with 1:59 left to tie. UM punted and MSU went 45/10pl with Prescott at QB on his 3rd series but missed a 39 yard FG on the final play of regulation. In OT, MSU, after getting 1 FD opted to go for it on 4&1 and got a 3 yard td run by Prescott. UM got 1 FD to the 11. Then Wallace took off and headed for the game-tying td but fumbled into the EZ for a TB. UM had a 318-296 yard edge but lost and Prescott was 11-20-115 yards and 29 yards rushing.

Texas sacked Texas Tech’s QB’s nine times for 59 yards with Jackson Jeffcoat getting 3 sacks. Texas moved to 7-1 in the Big 12 and could get a tie for the Big 12 title with a win this week over Baylor. UT actually had more control in this game than the score would indicate at the half. They led 20-10 but TT’s only scores came on a fake punt by Ryan Erxleben who ran 51 yards for a td to lead 7-0. At the end of the half with UT leading 20-7, TT went 3&out but roughing the P gave them a FD. Four plays later on 3&11 they fired incomplete but a late hit roughing the QB penalty gave them another FD and they would get a 32 yard FG. Because of the 2 drive saving penalties they only trailed 20-10. Each team fumbled to open the 3Q then UT went 51/8pl for a td. Two punts. TT was sacked and fumbled at the UT29 and TT went 71/10pl for a td on the first play of the 4Q, 34-10. UT fumbled at the TT22 on its next drive and then TT went 78/7pl getting a 4&6, 11 yard td pass to pull within 34-16. UT went 81/14pl and got a 4&1, 1 yard td run by Tyrone Swoopes for the 41-16 final.

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Week 13 News & Notes – Part 1

November 25th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

There is 1.5 weeks left before their MAC East title game showdown vs Bowling Green and as you would expect from one of the MAC’s best, vs one of the weakest, Buffalo dominated with a 27-9 FD edge and 517-200 yard edge. Branden Oliver rushed for 150 yards for UB but Anthone Taylor topped him with 154 on just 17 carries. Joe Licata hit 20-32-172 and was pulled with 12:26 left in the 4Q. Miami, OH QB Austin Gearing hit 5-19-65. Surprisingly, UB punted on its first 2 possessions but then went 45/6, 71/10 and after a fumble, 52/6pl for td’s to lead 21-0. UB punted with 2:37 left in the half but with :54 left, Khalil Mack sacked Gearing and Houston returned the fumble 60 yards for a td. Mack forced 3 fumbles in the game to become the career NCAA leader in FF. UB punted to open the 3Q, drove 53/8pl for a 22 yard FG and 58/9 to the 28 but was intercepted in the EZ. They drove 58/11 for a 28 yard FG, after an int at the MU26 with backup QB Tony Daniel in, gained 5 yards for a 38 yard FG. MU was SOD at its own 48. UB went 48/10pl and on 3&11 got an 11 yard td pass with 4:36 left, 44-0. Miami went 71/4pl and got a 2 yard td run by Drew Kummer, 44-7.

Kent St was playing its season finale and while it was close at the half with Ohio leading 13-10 and punting with 2:31 left in the half, KSU went 37/5pl after a 16 yard punt to get a td to take a 17-13 lead with a slim 205-170 yard edge. KS dominated the 2H and finished with a 537-204 yard edge and 29-16 FD edge. KS rushed for 312 yards with Dri Archer having 138 and they did get 61 yards on a fake punt when 6’4” 265 lb Nate Terhune took the snap and rumbled for the td early 3Q. OU had leads of 3-0, 6-3 and 13-10. Another ST’s snafu saw OU’s P fumble the snap from the KS33 and KS recovered out at the 48 late in the 2Q. The fake punt made it 31-13 and OU was intercepted at the KS9 with 5:33 left in the 3Q. KS would go 82/13pl with a 26 yard FG, 62/11pl for a 28 yard FG and did add a 29 yard Archer td run with 1:46 left for the 44-13 final.

A win by Northern Illinois would get them a berth in the MAC title game. Toledo needed a win just to stay alive as they only had one loss in MAC play. Heisman candidate Jordan Lynch was held to 30 yards rushing in the 1H. Turnovers were a key factor in the 1H. UT was sacked and fumbled on the first play and NI went 21/3 for a td. UT was intercepted at the NI22. NI went 72/11pl but missed a 23 yard FG. UT went 61/10pl for a 36 yard FG, 7-3 but then went 83/16pl. About to take the lead, RB Kareem Hunt–out of the Wildcat–charged towards the line then threw a jump pass into the EZ but it was intercepted. NI went 52/7pl and missed a 40 yard FG. UT went 77/6pl and got a 44 yard td pass, 10-7. NI went 45/6pl and missed a 47 yard FG. At the half UT had a 254-216 yard edge and led 10-7. Each team drove for a td to open the 3Q with NI getting 2 of those to lead 21-17. UT got 3 FD’s on a 41/13pl drive but punted on the last play of the 3Q. NI went 99/15pl for a td opening the drive with a key 3&6 conversion. They then went 77/9pl for a td to go up 35-17 with 5:39 left. UT got to the NI18 with :22 left and was intercepted in the EZ. NI finished with a 566-419 yard edge and Lynch finished with 161 yards on the ground and hit 17-22-202. Cameron Stingily also rushed for 146 for NI. David Fluellen returned for UT but had just 54-15 with Hunt rushing for 91-19.

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Week 11 News & Notes – Part 1

November 11th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

Bowling Green/Miami met for the 70th time and it was the most lopsided victory in the history as BG rolled 45-3 over one of their rivals. There were questions in the spring about whether Anthon Samuel (997 yards rushing last year) would return and while he did not (transferred to FIU), Travis Greene has filled in nicely. Greene had 112 yards rushing and now has 1,018 (6.1). Matt Johnson hit 20-26 for 252 yards. MU actually opened with an 11pl drive to the BG34, but after a sack, punted. BG went 80/9pl and got a 6 yard td pass, 7-0. MU went 41/12pl and got a 51 yard FG, 7-3. BG went on a 76/13pl drive and had a FD at the 10 but settled for a 29 yard FG, 10-3. MU was playing without QB Austin Boucher who was out for the year and alternated Drew Kummer and Austin Gearing throughout the game (combined 15-25-131). MU fumbled at its own 29. BG went 29/4pl for a td then 69/9pl for a td with 1:19 left in the half. At the half BG had a 276-143 yard edge. BG opened the 3Q with an interception at its own 49 but MU fumbled it back 4pl later. BG went 61/10pl for a td then got an 11 yard FR td just :15 later, 38-3. BG went 75/5pl and got a 38 yard td pass and with 2:43 left in the 3Q they led 45-3. Two possessions later MU went 71/11 but on 4&1 was SOD at the BG29. BG, after a 49 yard PR with 2:40 left, was at the MU18 at the end. BG finished with a 447-228 yard edge.

Branden Oliver rushed for 249 yards for Buffalo and 2 td’s. Khalil Mack had another forced fumble, giving him 13 in his career, just 1 short of matching the NCAA record. I’ve noticed a big difference in QB Tyler Tettleton for Ohio as he’s not running the ball as much as he used to. He hit just 14-31-126 and had 6 carries for -21 yards which includes sacks. This was a close game late in the 2Q, however, Buffalo dominated from there and finished with a 421-233 yard edge including 252-69 on the ground. The first 7 possessions of the game were punts. OU had a controversial fumble on 2&7 from the UB28 and it was ruled a fumble and replays appeared to show the knee down, but I guess it wasn’t conclusive. The Bulls went 72/6pl and got a 2 yard td run to lead 7-0. UB’s next possession ended on a 3&1 pass from the OU37 which was intercepted in the endzone. Two possessions later, OU went 39/13pl and settled for a 23 yard FG to make it 7-3 at the half and UB had a 172-129 yard edge. OU was called for a safety on intentional grounding that happened at the 4. It ended up costing OU 2 points. Even the ref was at the 2 when he made the call of safety and they could not review it. UB, after the free kick, went 46/8pl for a td and keep in mind, had it been spotted at the 3, OU would have been kicking from their 3 as opposed to the 13 so that drive would have probably still happened. UB went 61/7pl for a 24 yard td pass, 75/7pl for a 25 yard td pass to Alex Nuetz to make it 30-3 with 13:05 left. OU brought in Derrius Vick at QB for a drive and went 67/12pl but was SOD at the UB27 with 1:50 left. UB controls its destiny getting to the MAC Title game while OU will need a lot of help to get there.

Ball St continued its impressive season moving to 9-1 and 6-0 in the MAC with a 44-24 win over Central Mich. BSt was probably even more impressive than the final score. Keith Wenning hit 20-29-299 yards. CMU’s Cooper Rush did hit 20-32-284. The game was played in a light rain in the 1Q on a Tuesday night. The surprise was that Zurlon Tipton returned to the lineup for CMU. He was their 1,000 yard rusher from last year that was injured in the opener. He did have just 8 yards on 5 carries and surprisingly Saylor Lavallii who had been doing a great job in his place, only rushed for 16 yards on 9 carries. BSt took its opening drive 75/9pl for a td and CMU was intercepted at the BS31. After a 39 yard PR, BSt was SOD on 4&3 but CMU went backwards and punted. CMU got off a 77 yard punt to the 4 and then Horactio Banks, who led BSt with 143 yards rushing, ripped off a 38 yard run and they would go 96/3pl for a td, 14-0. BSt went on to a 31-3 lead at the half with a 355-193 yard edge as CMU fumbled at the BS18, settled for a 30 yard FG and fumbled at the CM39. In the 2H BSt drove 64/10pl to lead 34-3. The next 3 possessions all went for td’s and it was 41-17 at the start of the 4Q. BSt was SOD on 4&9 at the CM36 then, after a 42 yard PR, went 22/7pl for a 26 yard FG to lead 44-17 with 2:51 left. CMU got a 33 yard run and 2pl later a 22 yard td pass to cap a 56/3pl garbage td drive with 1:33 left.

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Week 10 News & Notes – Part 1

November 4th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

Rice had a 20-13 FD edge vs North Texas, a 355-253 yard edge but 2 return td’s were key here as well as Rice not having success in the redzone. Dan McCarney, NT’s HC, points out while that they just became bowl eligible for the first time since 2004, that they had not landed a bowl spot yet. The 1Q had 9 pts and none scored by the offense. The first 4 possessions of the game were punts and NT was back at their own 17. On 4&3 from the 24, the snap went over the P’s head and he was tackled in the EZ for a safety. Rice, after the free kick, got a 20 yard pass to the NT44 but on the next play, fumbled and NT’s outstanding LB Zach Orr returned it 55 yards for a td, 7-2 with :41 left in the quarter. The Owls did go 75/5 then 88/6pl for td’s on their next 2 possessions and seemed in control, 16-7 with 9:06 left in the 2Q. NT went 74/8pl and Antoinne Jimmerson’s 42 yard td run on 3&2 made it 16-14 then 4pl later Brelan Chancellor returned a punt 65 yards for a td, 21-16 and within 1:35 NT had 2 td’s and the lead. Rice was SOD at the NT37 with :39 left in the 1H trailing 21-16 but did have a 254-130 yard edge. Rice was intercepted on its second 3Q possession at the NT17 and NT went 76/3pl for a td, 28-16. There were 3 punts then NT was intercepted at the R49. Rice got 3 FD’s. Rice got a 23 yard pass down to the 1 yard line of NT. On 4&2 defensive holding gave them a FD but on 4&2 they were tackled for an 11 yard loss and were SOD with 8:26 left. Eight plays inside the 6 but no points. NT got 1 FD and punted with 5:28 left and Rice took over at the NT48. On 4&1 they got a 3 yard run, added another FD to the NT24, but were intercepted at the 4 with 1:54 left and NT ran out the clock. NT QB Derek Thompson hit just 7-13-104 and Tyler McHargue hit 18-28-222.

Mike White of USF made his first career start and had an impressive game. He hit 26-41 for 311 yards sparking a Bulls offense that had not scored an offensive td the previous 3 games. Houston appeared like they would win easily. On the first play of the game they had a 49 yard pass to Deontay Greenberry and 2pl later got a 6 yard td pass for a quick 7-0 lead. USF did get a 41 yard PR to the UH32 and would get a 39 yard FG but UH went 93/14pl for a td to go up 14-3 and with USF’s offense struggling, it appeared this would be a route. USF on 3&7 got a 31 yard pass and would continue on a 77/9pl drive for a td to get back to 14-10. UH struck quickly again as they often do bringing in backup QB Greg Ward who hit a 30 yard pass on his first play and they went 55/4pl for another quick td, 21-10. UH was SOD at the USF36 on 4&1 with 2:35 left in the half so they only led 21-10 and actually only had 276-200 yard edge. UH got 2 big plays to open the 3Q: a 20 yard pass got them to midfield then a Ryan Jackson 36 yard run. As he was heading to the EZ he was brought down at the 4, and the ball squirted loose into the EZ. UH, which would have gone up 28-10, was now on defense. USF went 49/9pl and nailed a 50 yard FG and I was very impressed with Marvin Kloss who effortlessly hit 50 and 49 yard FG in this game. UH recovered an onside kick and on 2&10 got a 48 yard td pass to Greenberry, 28-13. USF went 44/8pl and got a 49 yard FG, 28-16. UH went 3&out and USF went 75/14pl. On 4&2 they got a 2 yard td pass and shockingly it was 28-23. UH got 1 FD and punted and USF got 2 FD’s to the UH27. On the key play of the game on 3&10 they threw a pass at the right pylon of the EZ for a td but the ref never signalled td as he was reaching for his flag for offensive PI as the WR had pushed off. On the next play, on 3&25, White was sacked and fumbled at midfield. UH went 50/7pl for a td with 1:40 left to ice it. USF was intercepted 4pl later on 4&4 from its own 32 and UH, at the USF46, took a knee.

Memphis did drop a lot of passes vs Cincinnati but the Bearcats dominated statistically with 25-15 FD and 437-232 yard edges. UC took its opening drive 61/9pl but on 4&1 was SOD at the UM14. After an exchange of punts, UM got a 32 yard PR and PF to start at the UC28. On 4&1 UM tossed an 11 yard pass to the 8 and a td 3pl later on 3&7 made it 7-0. UC went 75/9pl for a td. 2 punts. UM4 got 1 FD and fumbled and UC would go 19/1pl for a td, 14-7. After a 35 yard PR and PF UC started at the UM13 but missed a 44 yard FG with :49 left in the half on 4&24. At the half UC only led 14-7 with a 218-58 yard edge. UC opened the 3Q with a 69/11pl drive for a td, 21-7. The Tigers went for it on 4&1 on their own side of the field and converted and later on 4&1 at the UC10 for another FD. They got a 7 yard td pass on the next play to make it 21-14 (4:23). UC went 61/12pl but on 3&gl from the 4, was intercepted in the EZ. After each team punted, UM was intercepted at its own 25 and UC went 25/3pl for a td, 27-14. UM got 1 FD converted on 4&4 for a FD then on 3&6, a 31 yard td run by Brandon Hayes capped the 78/9pl drive with 5:08 left and UM was back within 6. UC’s goal was to run the clock and they took over at their own 29. Pass interference gave them a FD. On 3&4 another FD on a 16 yard pass. On 3&6 they gained 6 yards plus a roughing call got them down to the 6 and they actually punched in a 3 yard td run capping a 61/9pl drive with 1:26 left. UM fired incomplete on 4&4 at its own 41 and UC took a knee. Brendon Kay hit 27-35-321 while UM’s Paxton Lynch hit 17-33-140 but did suffer some drops. Read more…

Week 9 News & Notes – Part 2

October 29th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

Kansas St continued to alternate QB’s and with a great deal of efficiency. Jake Waters hit 10-13-198 yards and Daniel Sams 8-8-93. Waters rushed for 53 yards and surprisingly Sams for just 16 but the 2 combined to hit 18-21 passes. They greatly outdid West Virginia’s alternating QB’s of Clint Trickett and Paul Millard. Trickett hit 15-28-227 and Millard 4-14-37 as the 2 combined for less than 50% completions. This was actually closer for most of the game than the final score. KSt took their 3rd drive 47/5pl for a td to lead 7-0 but 2 poss later WV went 47/7pl and got a 6 yard td run to make it 7-6 (xp blocked). WV drove 79/7pl but after 1&gl at the 6, settled for a 21 yard FG and led 9-7 with 5:24 left in the half. WV’s next drive went 40/8 but they went for it on 4&7 at the KSt5 passing up a FG, even tough Holgorsen had some regret the previous week for passing up a FG opportunity. They ran for 4 yards to the 5 yard line. At the half WV had a 221-142 yard edge but only led 9-7. WV fumbled at their own 18 but KSt fumbled into the EZ for a TB. WV went 47/5pl and with 10:33 left in the 3Q, WV led 12-7. KSt went 78/14pl with Sams at QB and got a 9 yard td pass. WV punted. With Waters at QB, KSt went 78/7pl and got a 30 yard td pass, 21-12. WV fumbled at the KSt46 and KSt went 54/5pl for a 24 yard td pass with 7:25 left, 28-12. Miller came in at QB for WV24 and they went 40/11pl but on 4&10 were SOD at the KSt36 with 2:35 left. KSt went 64/8pl tacking on a 4 yard td run with just :15 left in the game to make it look like a blowout and they only had 448-367 yard and 19-18 FD edges.

USC came in a banged up team vs Utah and down to just 48 scholarship players were available for the game. They left with just 46 scholarship players but still put on a dominating performance. Their D held Utah to 201 yards giving up a 42 yard FG on the first drive and not allowing another score. Despite not having their top 4 TE’s, despite not having Marqise Lee, despite having a banged up offensive line, despite missing numerous starters on defense the Trojans pretty much controlled the game. The one healthy TE, walk-on Chris Wilson who was a pitcher at Wake Forest caught a pass at TE in the game for USC. Dating back to the Notre Dame game, USC actually had a streak of 17 failed 3rd down attempts but finally broke through. Trailing 3-0, on their 3rd series, USC went 43/6pl and had a 30 yard td pass to Agholor, 7-3 They recovered a fumble at the Utah 19 and got a 35 yard FG. Utah went 64/13pl but was SOD on 4&1 at the USC11 with 7:43 left in the half. USC got a 38 yard FG with :23 left in the half to lead 13-3 and then tried an onside/squib kick but Utah recovered at the 20. Utah brought in Adam Schulz at QB because he has a big arm but he was intercepted and returned 54 yard to the 9 with :04 left in the half. USC was able to add a 28 yard FG for a 16-3 lead with a 135-122 yard edge. USC went 50/9pl for a 40 yard FG, 19-3. USC K Andre Heidari who if he made his FG’s vs Washington St and Notre Dame, USC would have just 1 loss this year, hit his first 4 FG’s before finally missing a 37 yarder with 4:54 left 3Q. Utah got a 40 yard PR to the USC33 but would miss a 32 yard FG with 11:25 left. The next 5 poss were punts. Utah did get to the USC21 on 4&1 they were SOD with :20 left and that 49 yard drive put them over 200 yards for the game. Cody Kessler hit 21-32-230 and Tre Madden was the team’s top rusher with 60 yards on 12 carries while Silas Redd surprisingly had no yards on 10 carries.

Woe is Michigan St’s offense. That’s all they heard all week long after putting up just 14 points vs Purdue. The Spartans were half a team. MSU would get it rolling this week. Connor Cook actually set a MSU record for pass eff in a game hitting 15-16-208 yards. MSU would roll up 477-128 yard and 29-8 FD edges. They were struggling a bit early as on their 2nd poss they fumbled into the EZ for a TB costing them points but recovered a fumble and went 23/4pl for a td to lead 7-3. On a key play of the game, Illinois went for it on 4&gl at the 1 with 8:17 left in the half and were stopped. MSU went 99/15pl and faced a 3&25 with :09 left in the half and Cook hit Foster with a 29 yard td pass to make it 14-3. At the half MSU only had a 165-110 yard edge. As I tell you every wee, my good buddy Gil Brandt always talks about late scores in the half taking momentum and that is precisely what MSU did. In the 2H they went 75/10, 56/9, 75/2, and 77/8pl for td’s on their first 4 poss to blow it open, 42-3 and ended the game taking a knee at the IL19 yard line. That will give them a little confidence heading into this week’s big battle vs Michigan.

UTEP’s Aaron Jones actually rushed for 186 yards on 29 carries vs Rice. Charles Ross rushed for 152 with 21 carries for Rice. UTEP’s Jameill Showers hit just 1-3 passes for 4 yards before getting hurt and Blaire Sullivan QB’d most of the game hitting 6-9-112. Taylor McHargue hit only 8-19 but for an efficient 259 yards. UTEP had a 49 yard FG blocked with 4:22 left in the 1Q and Rice would drive 57/11pl for a 28 yard FG to lead 3-0. Rice went 76/4pl and got a 60 yard td pass, 10-0 on their next drive. UTEP battled back with a 50 yard td pass from Sullivan to Hamilton with 6:43 left in the half, 10-7. Rice went 45/4 and on 3&12 got a 17 yard td pass to lead 17-7. UTEP went 83/7pl but on 2&gl from the 3, fumbled at the 1 and Rice went 99/11pl and got a 1 yard td run to make it 24-7. At the half Rice had a 323-204 yard edge. The first 4 poss of the 3Q were punts then UTEP missed a 48 yard FG and Rice got a 72 yard td pass on 2&25, 31-7. UTEP was intercepted and Rice went 47/7pl for a 23 yard td pass, 38-7. UTEP fumbled and Rice went 29/2 for a td with 11:44 left, 45-7. UTEP was SOD on 4&1 at the Rice 20 and ended the game at the 34 yard line running out of time.

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College Surprise Fantasy POW – Week 9

October 24th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

 

My QB’s of the Week

Stephen Morris, Miami • Brayle Brown, ULM • Maty Mauk, Missouri

QB Stephen Morris (Miami, FL) – While Stephen Morris threw 4 interceptions in last week’s matchup against UNC, he did surpass the 300 yard mark for a 2nd consecutive week. As far as the 4 interceptions go, he had just a total of 4 coming in so this was a bit of an aberration in our opinion. Next up is a meeting with a WF defense that has surrendered an avg of 336 ypg in the air over their past 3 contests. Look for Morris to reach that 300 yard plateau once again minus the abundance of turnovers.

QB Brayle Brown (ULM) – With defending SBC Player of the year Colton Browing expected to miss this weekend, Brayle Brown is the epitome of a Surprise Fantasy selection against Georgia St despite his 1-6 ratio on the year. The Panthers have surrendered 515 ypg against their FBS opponents so another dismal performance should be expected with Brown leading the way for ULM.

QB Maty Mauk (Missouri) – No James Franklin? No problem for MO as frosh Maty Mauk has proven to be a solid asset during his short term under center. After a 295 yd, 2 total td outing last week against Florida, Mauk and company now take on a South Carolina squad off an upset loss to Tennessee and playing their 3rd straight SEC game away from home. The Gamecocks are allowing 384 ypg on the road in 2013 and we believe that Mizzou’s offense will once again flourish this weekend. Read more…

Week 7 News & Notes – Part 1

October 14th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

San Diego St had 22-14 FD and 463-219 yard edges but had some trouble with their FG kickers, then opted to pass up FG’s and go for it on 4th down. A couple of missed xp’s actually had them trailing late until they got a td with 1:39 left to win it. Donnel Pumphrey rushed for 117 yards for the Aztecs as Adam Muema continues to get closer to 100% and had 86 yards on 18 carries. Air Force lost its 3rd starting QB of the year to injury when Karson Roberts went down with a concussion. Nate Romine, their 4th string QB, hit 5-11-111 and rushed for 15 yards on 8 carries. AF did not have the FG problems and even got a 48 yarder in the 2Q from Will Conant, then a 52 yarder that bounced off the left goal post and through. SDSt missed a 37 yard FG on its first drive then went for it on 4&4 and gained 3 yards to the 1 on its 2nd drive. After getting a 44 yard td pass to take the lead, they missed the xp. SDSt, 2 possessions later, on 4&6 from the AF38 went for it and was intercepted. At the half, AF led 10-6 but SDSt had a 195-122 yard edge. AF got a 71 yard td pass early in the 3Q to lead 20-6. SDSt on 4&13 went for it from the AF24 and was SOD, but then went 80/6pl for a td with 11:25 left and got a 62 yard td pass with 8:39 left to make it 20-19 but the xp was blocked. SDSt took over with 7:06 left and went 77/13pl. On 3&gl from the 10, Pumphrey’s 10 yard td run and 2 point conversion made it 27-20. AF was SOD on 4&4 from the SDS39.

Louisville had a big chance in the national spotlight to make an impact not only in their chase for playing in the National Title game this year but also for Teddy Bridgewater’s Heisman hopes in their game against Rutgers. I didn’t come away from the game impressed, although UL did finish with 461-240 yard and 25-15 FD edges. Bridgewater hit 21-31-310 but they needed RU’s Gary Nova to toss 4 interceptions. Remember, last year Nova got off to a great start at the beginning of the year with a 15-3 ratio in the first 7 games, but finished with just a 7-13 ratio over the final 6. This year Nova came into the game with a 13-4 ratio and hopefully this does not signal another 2H downturn for him. This game featured teams that were both in the Big East for awhile, meeting for the first time in AAC play, and leaving after this season (UL to ACC, RU to Big Ten). UL opened strong going 65/11pl on its first possession for a FG. After an interception, they drove 35/2pl for a td to lead 10-0. They went 80/7pl and got a 1 yard td run and appeared on their way to a rout, 17-0. RU had a tipped pass off a receiver caught for a 19 yard gain on 3&8 and then faked a FG for a 26 yard pass down to the 1 to engineer a 70/11pl td drive to get back to 17-7. Bridgewater, on FD from the RU31, was intercepted in the endzone with :31 left. The Cardinals had a 238-133 yard edge. UL opened the 3Q with a 68/14pl drive but had a 24 yard FG blocked. UL’s next drive ended on a fumble at its own 36 and RU got a 36 yard FG. Leading 17-10, UL went 48/8pl but Bridgewater was sacked and fumbled. RU’s DL could have scooped it up possibly for a 79 yard FR td, but fell on the ball instead. Nova was intercepted but UL missed a 45 yard FG. Nova was intercepted 3pl later with 5:29 left and UL went 60/5pl getting a td for some breathing room with 2:27 left, 24-10. RU went 51/13pl including a 4&11 and 4&1 conversion but on 4&14 fired incomplete with :32 left. Charlie Strong said afterwords, “We miss #9” as DeVante Parker, the team’s top WR, missed the game with a shoulder injury. Read more…

Week 6 News & Notes – Part 1

October 7th, 2013 3 comments

By Phil Steele

The story of the Utah/UCLA game was 6 interceptions by Travis Wilson although not all 6 were his fault. He hit 22-44-288 and there were some dropped passes. As it was, even with the 6-2 TO deficit, Utah, down 7, had a review on a possible td pass when the receiver caught the ball and clipped the pylon but his foot was not down inbounds. On 4&10 they were intercepted at the UCLA12. Utah did have a 14-7 lead in the 1Q in a game played in temps in the 40’s. It was 24-24 early 4Q but UCLA got a 36 yard td run with 3:33 left to go up by 10. Utah got a 37 yard FG with 2:04 left and recovered the onside kick. After the review, Wilson was intercepted at the 12 and returned 43 yards with :16 left. UCLA only had a 404-387 yard edge and Utah a 22-20 FD edge.

San Diego St/Nevada was a game of momentum shifts. It was good to see Cody Fajardo back in the lineup for UN. He hit 33-51-393. SDSt’s Adam Muema also appears to be getting back into form after not being 100% earlier in the year. He rushed for 134 yards on 24 carries. Quinn Kaehler hit 23-32-286. UN led 17-14 and was punting with :46 left in the half. However, the snap went through the P’s hands, who then kicked it out of the endzone for a safety and then following the free kick, SDSt went 64/6pl with a 25 yard td pass with :09 left to lead 23-17. The appeared to have the game wrapped up leading 44-30 when they missed a 39 yard FG with 10:36 left. UN would then regain momentum going 78/14pl for a td with 6:26 left to get back within 7 and then SDSt went for it on 4&5 and fired incomplete at the UN40 with 3:13 left. UN went 60/6pl for a 5 yard td pass with 1:38 left, 44-44. In OT SDSt got a13 yard td pass on 3&9 and UN, on 4&11, fired incomplete.

The key story of the BYU/Utah St game was the Aggies losing starting QB Chuckie Keeton (out for year) with 3:50 left in the 1Q. Keeton had only hit 4-10-26 yards. Craig Harrison replaced him and hit 18-41-185. Keeton had 17 yards rushing, Harrison finished with 6 carries for 38 yards. Keeton’s first pass of the game was intercepted by Kyle Van Noy and returned 17 yards for a td. BYU led 17-7 at the half but with only a 189-187 yard edge. They extended it to 31-7 after 3Q’s. The Aggies were SOD at the BYU21 with 12:47 left but then took over with 5:53 left and went 88/11pl capped by an 8 yard garbage td pass with 1:34 left to skew the stats as they were only outgained 438-397 thanks to that drive.

The Texas/Iowa St game was controversial with HC Paul Rhoads holding an irate press conference over the apparent fumble by Texas near the goal line. ISt did finish with a 463-363 yard edge. There were numerous momentum changes in this game. UT got a 44-yard Hail Mary just before the half to lead 17-13. In the 3Q, on ISt’s 2nd drive, the Cyclones were pinned at their own 2 but on 3&9, got a 97 yard Richardson-to-Bundrage td pass. UT retook the lead, 24-20, but then fumbled early 4Q, setting up an ISt 37/3pl drive and UT trailed 27-24. ISt had a chance to put it away as they had a FD at the UT13 but on 3&3 fired incomplete and settled for a 29 yard FG leaving the Horns in the game. UT, on 3&8, got a pass interference which gave them a FD at the 2. On the next play, RB Johnathan Gray was ruled down but the ISt DL had taken the ball out of his hands and started running down the field. Replays were inconclusive and the play stood. On the next down, he fumbled again, but got it back himself scraping the ball off the goal line. A Case McCoy QB sneak gave UT a 31-30 lead and ISt was intercepted on 3&4 at its own 42. ISt came into the game the least penalized team in the league but had 10 penalties for 118 yards, while the Horns had 6 for 62. Sam B. Richardson appears to get healthier each week and hit 16-26-262 while also rushing for 83 yards with many key 3rd down runs keeping drives alive.

The key story for ULM/WKU game actually took place before the game even started. ULM had lost 4th year starting Sr QB Kolton Browning to injury in the previous game. Brayle Brown got his first start and did well hitting 21-40-275 but only had 5 yards rushing on 4 carries whereas Browning is more of a dual-threat QB. Last week WKU played as many as 4 QB’s. Here, Brandon Doughty played the entire game hitting 24-36-370. WKU had a 530-391 yard edge. Leading 14-10 WKU had a 1&gl at the 1 with :03 left in the half and opted to go for the td but was stuffed. ULM failed to capitalize on the momentum after returning from the break and WKU opened the 3Q going 80/7pl and then, after a 25 yard PR, 41/8pl for a td and a 22 yard FG to lead 24-10. Two possessions later they went 89/14pl for a td, 31-10 and ULM’s last 2 drives ended on a SOD at the WKU37 and an interception at the WKU23. They also fumbled a punt at their own 12 with 2:09 left. Read more…

Week 5 News & Notes – Part 1 and 2

October 1st, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

Our apologies for not having part 1 posted on this site yesterday. There was a little problem with our interactive blog and an attempted hacking. It looks like all is resolved now though, so here are both sets of News & Notes for this week.

Thanks – The Phil Steele Team

Part 1 (posted Monday)

Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas had a fine night hitting 19-25-225 despite coming in completing less than 50% of his passes. Georgia Tech’s rush offense ranked #4 in the country, but was held to 129 yards – more than 200 below the season average – by an outstanding VT D despite the fact that VT had a short practice week to defend the option. The active VT def front controlled their O-line during the game. VT forced an early fumble and drove 27/pl for a td then got an interception at its own 13 mid-1Q. VT took its 3rd drive 91/10pl for a td and a 14-0 lead and it was 14-3 at half with VT having a 181-160 yard edge. GT got a big 3&8, 40 yard pass on the opening drive of the 3Q and would go 82/14pl including an unnecessary VT pass interference in the endzone on 3&gl from the 10. VT punted but then went 26/8pl for a 39 yard FG to go up by 7. The Yellow Jackets went for it on 4&2 at their own 34 and were stopped but the Hokies, after 1 FD, missed a chipshot 25 yard FG which could have clinched it. After each team punted, GT would get to midfield but on 4&13, was intercepted from its own 42 with 1:06 left.

Tulsa’s Cody Green hit 18-31-237 vs Iowa St but lost control on a couple of exchanges with the RB and also dropped the ball while attempting to pass and had an interception. He was replaced on the 3rd series of the 3Q by Dane Evans who hit 8-18-51. Evans QB’d 3 drives but then Green came off the bench with the team down 31-14 and guided Tulsa 75/9pl for a td. His next drive ended on an interception at the TU35 setting up Iowa St’s clinching 26/6pl drive capped by a td run which came on 4&1. This appeared to be a low scoring battle as it was 7-0 mid-2Q but TU went 69/8pl for a td with 4:58 left in the half to tie it at 7. After a Cyclones’ punt, the Golden Hurricane went 61/5pl for a 9 yard td pass with 1:33 left, 14-7. Then the Cyclones went 66/8pl and on 3&7 got a 10 yard td pass with :15 left in the half to make it 14-14. At the end, Green’s interception had set up Iowa St with 3:44 left. The Cyclones got 1 FD then on 4&1 a 3 yard td run made the final 38-21 (59 points). Iowa St had 25-22 FD and 434-374 yard edges and Sam B. Richardson, while still not 100%, hit 26-41-255 and rushed for 25 yards on 14 carries.

BYU only ran 8 plays in the 1Q as Middle Tenn had almost 12:00 TOP. Both showed explosive return games with MT taking the opening KO 50 yards to the BYU40, setting up a 42 yard FG and BYU getting a 90 yard KR to the 5 setting up a 3&gl, 12 yard td run by Taysom Hill, 7-3. BYU fumbled the punt at its own 24 and MT converted on 4&1 then on 3&gl from the 16 for a td to lead 10-7. BYU went 51/9pl but on 1&gl at the 3 fumbled. After MT was tackled for a safety, BYU went 74/5pl but on 2&6 from the 6, Michael Alisa fumbled into the endzone for a touchback costing BYU its 2nd score. BYU would get a 50 yard td run by Hill and a 67/7pl drive for a 2 yard td run with :15 left in the half, 23-10. BYU opened the 3Q with a 60/12pl drive to take command, 30-10. MT was SOD at the BYU41 and BYU got a 71 yard PR td with :28 left in the 3Q, 37-10. BYU fumbled the 2nd punt at the MT49 but the D forced a 3&out. BYU was intercepted 2pl later at their own 12 but MT was intercepted in the endzone with 12:14 left. MT went 73/12pl and on 4&1 was SOD at the BYU7 with 5:17 left. The Cougars went 43/8pl and ran out the clock and finished with a commanding 486-212 yard edge.

It’s surprising that the Utah St/San Jose St game only had 52 total points in it. Last week the high for FD’s for the week in an FBS vs FBS game was 50 FD’s. In this game USt had 32 FD’s and SJSt 28 for a total of 60, yet the 2 would combine for just 52 points despite nearly 1,000 yards offense. The Aggies went on a 75/10pl drive to open for a td and the Spartans went 69/14 for a 31 yard FG, 7-3. USt went 80/7pl and 73/12pl, the first for a td but after a 1&gl at the 4 they settled for a short FG. SJSt went on a 66/11pl drive and after a 1&gl at the 7, settled for a 26 yard FG. The Aggies went 82/9pl but settled for a 24 yard FG also inside the 10. SJSt went on a 61/5pl drive and missed a 42 yard FG and USt had a 321-207 yard edge at the half yet the score was just 23-6. The Spartans went 57/16pl but on 3&gl from the 1 fumbled and it was returned 24 yards. USt went 75/12pl for a td to lead 30-6. SJSt went 54/7pl for a td with 3:02 left in the 3Q, 30-12. USt, after an interception, went 28/5pl for a td, 37-12 with :15 left in the 3Q. The Aggies went on an 88/7pl drive, but after a 1&gl they settled for a 21 yard FG, 40-12, with 5:25 left and that closed the scoring.

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Week 4 News & Notes – Part 2

September 24th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

I would say that the Stanford/Arizona St game goes down as a misleading statistical game. Some may point out that ASt had 417-391 yard and 20-19 FD edge and it appeared close as they only lost by 14. All you have to do is watch the 1H of the game. SU absolutely dominated with a 256-103 yard edge and led 29-0 at the half. SU extended it after 3Q’s leading 39-7 in complete domination. ASt would go 73/5pl, 57/6pl, and 67/11pl getting 197 of their yards on 3 drives to pull back within 39-28 with 6:18 left. SU got a 24 yard FG with :31 left on a 40/10pl drive and ASt gained 31 yards on the final 2pl being intercepted for a touchback in the endzone on the last play from the SU43. Thanks to that big 2H Taylor Kelly finished 30-55-367 yards after having just 96 yards passing in the 1H

Miami, Fl lost starting QB Stephen Morris in the 1Q vs Savannah St to a sprained ankle after he hit 3-4-82. While Miami had an impressive 637-183 yard edge and 70 point win, let’s keep in mind that Sav St is a weak FCS member that this year has lost to Georgia Southern 77-9 and Troy 66-3. Last year they lost to Oklahoma St 84-0 and Florida St 55-0. Trailing 63-0 Sav St got a 75 yard td run with 1:56 left in the 3Q but UM would get an 88 yard KR td and then after an interception drove 21/2pl for a td for the 77-7 final. UM was even SOD on 4th & goal at the SS9 with 2:59 left. Read more…