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Week 15 News & Notes

December 9th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

Louisville won 31-24 and thereby gave UCF the AAC crown and a BCS bid. For the 2nd year in a row the two teams went to OT. Teddy Bridgewater hit 23-37-255 and Brendon Kay 22-40-304. Cincinnati opened with an interception on the 3rd play of the game and UL went 60/4pl capped by a 36 yard td pass, 7-0. UC went 53/10pl but was intercepted at the UL5 on 3&10 from the 25. UL got 2 FD’s but punted. UC got 5 FD’s to the 27 but punted on 4&23. Two more punts. UL went 41/11pl for a 31 yard FG, 10-0 with 5:35 left in the half. UC went 70/11pl and got a 1 yard td run with 1:15 left in the half 10-7. Bridgewater was intercepted at the UC39 from about midfield with :16 left. At the half UC did have a 183-150 yard edge. In the 3Q UL punted and UC went 87/10pl for a td and the lead 14-10 (7:58). UL got 3 FD to midfield and punted. Three punts. UL went 86/13pl and on 4&12 Bridgewater appeared sacked but broke away, broke another tackle, went down the sidelines without stepping OOB for a spectacular 14 yard run for the FD. On 3&8 Bridgewater dropped back to pass, rolled away from pressure, threw to the EZ and got a 22 yard td pass to Copeland, 17-14 (8:08). It didn’t take UC long to answer. They got a 57 yard pass to McCain and a 15 yard td run for a 72/2pl drive to retake the lead, 21-17 (7:17). UL went 60/11pl and got a 4 yard td pass, 24-21 with 2:26 left but UC went 67/10pl and got a 26 yard FG with :07 left for OT. In OT UL got 1 FD and on 3&gl from the 5 pass interference gave them a FD and they got a 2 yard td run on the next play, 31-24. UC tried a reverse pass on the first play which was blown up for a 4 yard loss and on 4&14, had a pass go out of the receivers hands incomplete at the 5.

All of the talk coming into the MAC title game was Northern Illinois being the BCS buster and Jordan Lynch being a Heisman contender. The bottom line–Bowling Green outplayed them with a 574-454 yard edge and Matt Johnson hit 21-27-393 for BG while Lynch hit just 21-40-219 for NIU. Lynch did have 126 yards rushing while Johnson 33 but Johnson had Travis Greene in the backfield and he had 133 on 26 carries. TE Alex Bayer for BG had 7 rec for 124 yards including a couple of td’s where he was wide open in the EZ. Each team opened with a long drive for a td, 7-7 (9:08). BG went 67/5pl for a td, forced a punt then went 76/5pl for a 36 yard td pass, 17-7 (2:25). NIU18 went 48/9pl and got a 51 yard FG, 17-10 (14:45). BG punted and NIU went 37/6pl for a 45 yard FG to pull within 17-13. NIU executed a successful onside kick but was called for touching the ball early and had to re-kick. After the re-kick, BG started at their 12 after a penalty. BG went 88/9pl for a td, 24-13 (5:39). NIU went 34/12pl but lost 3 yards and missed a 58 yard FG (2:32). BG fumbled with 1:22 left in the half at midfield but Lynch was intercepted 3pl later with 1:05 left. BG went 51/8pl and got a 12 yard td pass with :13 left to lead 31-13 at the half and had a 389-229 yard edge. NIU opened the 3Q with a 64/7pl drive for a td. BG25 went 67/8pl but missed a 26 yard FG. NIU20 got 3 FD and missed a 44 yard FG. BG then went 39/10pl for a 52 yard FG including a 4&4 conversion on a 5 yard run to the NIU25. NIU was intercepted at the BG43 and BG returned it 37 yards to the 20. They went 20/4pl for a td, 40-20 (10:17). NIU got 2 FD and on 4&8 fired incomplete at the BG41 with 8:10 left. BG went 59/10pl and on 4&13 got a 16 yard td run by Greene, 47-20 (2:44). NIU went 79/11pl for a 2 yard garbage td with :14 left, 47-27.

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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 12 News & Notes – Part 2

November 19th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

Surprisingly both BYU and Idaho St had 22 FD’s but BYU’s FD’s were much more productive as they had a 578-287 yard edge in 22 seniors’ final home game. BYU led 59-10 and ISt went 78/11 getting a 26 yard FG with 7:06 left. Adam Hine rushed for 141 yards and Jamaal Williams for 131 for BYU.

Texas had 389-380 yard and 25-21 FD edges but 3 big interceptions did them in. Also Clint Chelf, who came into the game completing just 50% of his passes, would hit 16-22-197 yards (73%) and rushed for 95 yards on 10 carries. The play that probably iced it for Oklahoma St was at the end of the half with just :18 left. Case McCoy threw it up at the sideline and was not only intercepted but returned 43 yards for a td and OSU would take an 18 point lead to the locker room instead of a manageable 11. OSU was playing without WR Josh Stewart who didn’t make the trip and he’s the nation’s leading PR. It was Mack Brown’s worst ever loss at Texas Memorial Stadium and he’s right back on the hotseat. Each team went on a long drive on their 2nd possession but OSU got an 18 yard td run on 3&10 while UT on their 3&10 fired incomplete and settled for a 39 yard FG and trailed 7-3. OSU, mid-2Q, drove 42/5pl for a td but UT went 75/10pl for a td with 3:39 left in the half. OSU went 67/6pl, the key a 3&10, 29 yard pass and then 2pl later tossed a 12 yard td pass. The ball actually went through the DB’s hands on what would have been a sure interception bounced into the air and was caught by WR Moore for a td, 21-10. Then the key play happened 4pl later. After UT got a FD, they were intercepted and returned 43 yards for a td with :18 left. In the 3Q, UT went 84/10pl but settled for a 27 yard FG, 28-13. OSU went 53/11pl for a 39 yard FG, 31-13. While each team punted, UT was taking over at midfield but roughed the P and after the next punt started at their own 18. They were intercepted again and OSU got a 21 yard td pass on the next play, 38-13. McCoy was intercepted again on the next drive at the OSU17. UT was SOD at the OSU40 with 6:13 left and ended the game at the OSU9–fittingly on a sack.

Navy was playing its final home game for 22 seniors and Coach Ken Niumatalolo was chocked up in the postgame press conference. Navy had 519-300 yard and 28-19 FD edges. South Alabama had lost all of their games by a td or less this year and this was the first time they were blown out. Navy tallied its 6th win and accepted the bid to the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, TX to face a MW team. Navy took its opening drive 49/13pl for a FG but USA took its 2nd drive 48/14pl for a 4 yard td pass to lead 7-3. Each team went on a td drive and USA led 14-10. Navy went 51/5pl for a td, forced a punt, went 67/13pl and after a 1&gl at the 6, settled for a 21 yard FG, 20-14. At the half Navy had a 258-192 yard edge. Navy opened the 3Q with an 82/8pl drive for a td. 4 punts. USA went 79/20 but on 4&2 was SOD at the 6. Navy would then go 94/7pl to get a 45 yard td pass, 35-14. Navy took over with 7:08 left and went 64/8pl and got a 24 yard td run with 2:17 left for the 42-14 margin.

Kansas St had 411-348 yard and 19-17 FD edges but needed a 41 yard FG on the final play to escape. KSU did lose outstanding safety Ty Zimmerman to injury and TCU attacked his replacement, Dylan Schellenberg. KSU punted on its first possession but went 41/5pl for a td and got a 74 yard td pass from Jake Waters to Tyler Lockett on the next play to lead 14-0. TCU was SOD on 4&1 at the KSU43 but after a 14 yard PR took over at the KSU38 with 6:10 left in the 1H. Three plays later a BJ Catalon 15 yard td run pulled them back to 14-7. KSU went 51/11pl for a 31 yard FG, 17-7. At the half KSU had a 174-142 yard edge. TCU opened the 3Q with a 52/4pl drive for a td. KSU fumbled at its own 41 and TCU went 41/8pl for a 7 yard run, 21-17. KSU got a 3&14, 79 yard td pass to Tramaine Thompson to retake the lead, 24-21 but TCU got a 3&7, 51 yard td pass from Casey Pachall to David Porter to retake the lead, 28-24. KSU went 58/7pl and settled for a 34 yard FG with 2:50 left in the 3Q to pull within 1. KSU took over with 14:46 left at the TCU44 after a 34 yard PR by Thompson. They went 38/14pl eating up nearly 9:00 and got a 23 yard FG with 5:59 left. TCU went 36/9pl and Jaden Oberkrom nailed 56 yard FG with 2:13 left for the lead, 31-30. KSU got 1 FD on 3&10, another FD, then on 4&6, a 41 yard FG gave them the win on the last play.

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Week 11 News & Notes – Part 2

November 12th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

The Duke/NC State game was not as big of a blowout as the score would indicate. In fact, you’ll be surprised that NCSt led 20-17 with 6:37 left in the game. Duke would score an amazing 3 td’s in :26 to make it appear as a blowout at 38-20. NCSt had 20-12 FD and 412-321 yard edges for the game. Duke is now guaranteed its first winning season since 1994 (8-4 that year). Duke did control the 1H going 90/5pl for a td, but was intercepted at the NCSt33 on its 2nd poss. NCSt fumbled at the Duke24 with 12:34 left in the 2Q. NCSt went for it on 4&1 at its own 26 and was stuffed and Duke gained 8 yards and got a 36 yard FG to lead 10-0. NCSt missed a 41 yard FG with 3:06 left in the half and Duke was intercepted at the NCSt33 with 1:33 left. Duke had a 161-155 yard edge at the half and led 10-0. NCSt brought in Pete Thomas at QB for a drive and went 83/10pl for a 29 yard FG then NCSt got a 73 yard PR td and with 7:17 left 3Q, it was 10-10. After an interception, NCSt started at the Duke15 and got a 1&gl at the 5 but settled for a 24 yard FG and NCSt led 13-10. Duke got a 100 yard KR td, 17-13. Duke fumbled at the NCSt43 and then there were 6 consecutive punts. NCSt took over with 7:02 left in the game and on 3&10 got an 80 yard td pass to Quintin Payton, with Brandon Mitchell back in at QB, to make it 20-17 with 6:37 left. Duke went 79/8pl and got a 5 yard td run to take the lead. Then Mitchell was intercepted by DeVon Edwards and returned 25 yards for a td on the next play. On the very next play, with Thomas at QB, he was intercepted by again by Edwards who returned 45 yards for a td, 35-20. NCSt was intercepted by Jeremy Cash 4pl later with 1:51 left.

Tevin Coleman rushed for 15 times for 215 yards and Indiana won a shootout with Illinois. Nathan Scheelhaase hit 38-57-450 for IL but the star was Coleman with a couple of huge td runs. WR Cody Latimer had 11 catches for 189 yards for the Hoosiers. As you would expect with 1,262 total yards and 59 FD’s, the teams traded scores often. After IL punted on its first possession, there were 4 consecutive td’s including a Coleman 64 yard td run, 14-14. There was an exchange of punts. Indiana fumbled at their own 47 but IL was SOD at the IN40. IN went 60/6pl for a td with 4:02 left, 21-14. IL went 67/10pl but missed a 41 yard FG with 1:20 left. At the half, IN had a 289-288 yard edge. After an IN punt, IL went 77/5pl capped by a 54 yard td pass with 11:33 left 3Q, 21-21. IN was intercepted and IL went 44/5pl for a td and the lead, 28-21. IN then went 75/9 and 62/3pl for td’s to go up 35-28 but IL answered with a 79/12pl drive for a td, 35-35. Coleman got a 75 yard td run, 42-35 and IL on 4&10 at its own 37 was SOD. IN went 87/2pl for a td. IL went 47/10pl and was SOD at the IN33 and IN went 61/7pl but settled for a 22 yard FG, 52-35. IL went 65/10pl getting to the IN9 at the end.

Oklahoma St’s top receiver, Josh Stewart was injured 3:00 into the game vs Kansas and did not return. Despite the final of 42-6, OSU did only have a 359-316 yard edge. Kansas went mostly with the freshmen, Montell Cozart who hit just 6-17-58 yards and rushed 18 times for 55 yards. Jake Heaps was 4-8-56. OSU threw the ball more than they did last game and hit 20-39-274 yards. Things didn’t start well for KU on the road as they allowed a 100 yard KR for a td to Justin Gilbert and quickly trailed 7-0. On their 2nd possession KU was intercepted on a deep pass and returned 38 yards to its 34. OSU went 34/7pl for a td. 4 punts. KU went 61/7pl and missed a 32 yard FG with 10:41 left in the half. OSU went 80/4 for a td with 9:25 left, punted with 4:44 left but got it back with 2:06 left and went 80/11pl and got a 4 yard td pass to go up 28-0 at the half. At the half OSU only had a 233-183 yard edge. KU took its 2nd 3Q possession 58/6pl for a 40 yard FG and OSU punted on its first 3 possessions of the 2H. KU was SOD at the OSU41 on 4&19 with :26 left 3Q. OSU went 59/6pl for a td and KU got a 69 yard KR to the OSU25 but settled for a 29 yard FG, 35-6. OSU then went 63/3pl for a 15 yard td run by Smith, 42-6 with 8:45 left.

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Week 9 News & Notes – Part 1

October 28th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

Louisiana was very impressive for the second week in a row, even though they were on the road. They had a 26-10 FD edge and 470-168 yard edge. Arkansas St’s Adam Kennedy was held to 11-20 passing for 89 yards while Louisiana’s Terrance Broadway, a week after they mostly ran the ball, hit 18-28-205. ASU was intercepted on its first drive and UL went 31/8pl for a 36 yard FG then went 77/12pl and 86/6pl for a td’s, 17-0 (10:44 2Q). UL was intercepted at the 39 on its next poss and ASU went 39/6pl for a td to get back in it, 17-7. UL got off a 9 yard punt and ASU took over at its 40 but on 4&2 with 1:04 left in the half fired incomplete and UL went 57/8pl and got a 38 yard FG, 20-7 at the half and had a 271-99 yard edge. UL went 73/14pl but missed a 28 yard FG then showing their domination went 73/12pl but settled for a 30 yard FG to lead 23-7. Each team punted 3x’s and UL took over with 8:54 left and put together an 80/17pl drive taking a knee at the ASU16 at the end. UL’s Elijah McGuire rushed for 110 yards and Alonzo Harris for 105.

Marshall/Middle Tennessee had one of the year’s more exciting games. As you would expect, the teams’ 51-49 final meant they traded scores often. MT did get a blocked punt for a td to take a 14-7 lead with 5:13 left in the 2Q. With 1:29 left in the half, MT got a 13 yard PR and drove 66/7pl for a td to tie at 21. MU got to midfield but was intercepted in the EZ on a Hail Mary. The first 3 poss of the 3Q were all td’s but then Marshall, on 4&5, went for it and was tackled for a 14 yard loss. They allowed a 37 yard FG but got an 81 yard KR and drove 17/4pl for a td, 38-35. Both went on long td drives, 45-42. A 37 yard PR set up MU for a 44/8pl drive for a td with 2:29 left and they led 49-45. MU dropped 2 int’s on the final drive. MT converted on 3&12 with a 24 yard pass then on 4&5 with an 18 yard pass. With :03 left from the 9, Kilgore hit Jefferson in the EZ for the td and they didn’t even attempt the xp. MT did finish with a 585-448 yard edge as MT’s D held Rakeem Cato to 19-35-235

Mississippi St came into the Kentucky game with the gameplan of using both QB’s but Tyler Russell sprained his ankle on the first series and did not return. Dak Prescott hit 23-34-268 yards while rushing 16 times for 33 yards and also catching a td pass of 17 yards. MSU S Nickoe Whitley was ejected in the 2Q after his 2nd PF call in a 4pl span. MSU finished with a 447-325 yard edge but failed to put Kentucky away. After a UK punt to open the teams would drive for td’s on the next 3 poss. MSU led 14-7. UK missed a 47 yard FG and MSU appeared on their way to a route with a 63/10pl drive for a td with 10:14 left in the half, 21-7. MSU punted with 2:50 left in the half and UK went 52/9pl getting a 45 yard FG with :31 left. MSU missed a 47 yard FG on the final play of the half. They had a 296-202 yard edge and led 21-10. The first 3 poss of the 3Q opened with punts but MSU’s P mishandled the snap for a safety and after the free kick UK went 52/5pl for a td and shockingly it was back to 21-19. MSU went 74/7pl and handed off on a jet sweep to Lewis who threw a pass to QB Prescott for the td up 17 yards, 28-19. After an exchange of punts, UK took over at the MSU44, converting on 4&2 and would get a 44 yard FG with 8:15 left. MSU went on a 32/13pl drive with 3 FD’s but on 4&9 opted to go for it and threw inc with 2:08 left. UK had a shot at the win getting 2 FD’s to the MSU32 but on 4&7 from the 29, fired incomplete. Maxwell Smith hit 18-34-160 and Jalen Whitlow was questionable coming in. Read more…

Week 8 News & Notes – Part 2

October 22nd, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

Stanford came in off a loss taking on an undefeated UCLA team and I thought they would rebound, and they did. They had a 419-266 yard edge and 23-16 FD edge. SU’s Kevin Hogan hit 18-25-227 while UCLA’s Brett Hundley, who was entering Heisman discussions, hit just 24-39-192 passing while rushing for 27 yards on 11 carries vs a staunch Stanford D. This was the teams’ 3rd meeting in less than a year including last year’s Pac-12 Championship game. SU punted on its first drive and on its 3rd went 74/11pl for a 31 yard FG, 3-0. The next 5 possessions were punts. The Cardinal went 62/10pl and had a FD at the LA23 but then Hogan was intercepted at the 6 with :40 left in the half. The interception came when the receiver made a diving grab for the ball, rolled over, and the ball popped into the air and into the hands of the DB. SU had a 207-84 yard edge at the half. The Cardinal went 76/7pl and 40/6pl for td’s on their first two 3Q possessions, 17-3. The Bruins went 75/11pl for a td with 14:56 left to get within 7 and SU, 2 possessions later, missed a 46 yard FG with 6:24 left. UCLA punted with 5:15 left but was intercepted a their own 32 with 2:40 left. SU went 32/5pl for a td with 1:42 left to win by 14.

Ohio St had better hope that all of the other unbeatens lose because they continue to be unimpressive vs a schedule that is far from overwhelming. Last week they took on Iowa and while they had a 495-375 yard edge, they actually were tied 24-24 into the 4Q. CB Bradley Robey is an All-American and was ejected in the 1Q for targeting, but Iowa’s offense was unstoppable. Jake Rudock hit 19-34-245. The first 5 possessions of the game were all scores with Iowa leading 17-10. OSU went 46/9pl but on 4&10 fired incomplete in the EZ. Iowa punted with :32 left in the half but had a 222-189 yard edge. OSU went 75/13pl and 84/11pl and appeared poised to pull away in the 2H leading 24-17 but Iowa, after a holding call, faced a 1&20 back at its own 15 and Rudock hit Jake Duzey with an 85 yard td pass. The TE got behind the defense, caught it at midfield and ran it into the EZ untouched. The Buckeyes went 75/10pl for a td and 64/11pl for a 25 yard FG to go up 34-24 then got an interception at their own 49 and ended the game taking a knee at the UI29 yard line.

Buffalo won its 5th straight game–once again in impressive fashion. Branden Oliver rushed for 216 yards on 43 carries. UB had a 382-247 yard edge over Massachusetts. They were coming off a shutout win vs Western Mich and almost got the shutout here again, winning 32-3. The first 4 possessions were all punts. UB went 21/5pl for a 44 yard FG and punted on its next possession, then got a 35 yard IR td by LB Khalil Mack, 10-0 with 10:13 left in the 1H. UB went 63/13pl for a 36 yard FG to lead 13-0 with :39 left in the half. UM took over at its 39, got a 27 yard pass then a 42 yard FG with :06 left to avoid the shutout, 13-3. In the 2H UB went 45/7pl for a 27 yard FG. UM had a FD at the UB15 but on 3&23 fumbled. UB missed a 43 yard FG, punted, but then pinned UM at the 1 and tackled them for a safety on the next play. After the free kick they went 56/5pl for a td with 13:22 left and after UM was SOD on 4&6, UB went 67/10pl for a td with 5:09 left for the final. 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 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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College Surprise Fantasy POW – Week 5

September 26th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

My QB’s of the Week
Brett Smith, Wyoming • Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois
• Keith Price, Washington

QB Brett Smith (Wyoming) – How well has Brett Smith done so far in 2013? How about being tied for 2nd in the nation in pass yards with 1,315! He also has added 299 rush (8.3). Still, many of you haven’t heard of him but if he’s available to pick up, now would be the time. This week the Cowboys get a favorable matchup with Texas St who were victimized for 434 yds in the air a week ago against Texas Tech. With a solid 13-3 ratio and his previously discussed passing yards, Smith should flourish again here.

QB Nathan Scheelhaase (Illinois) – While he had his share of struggles in his last game vs Wash when he threw for just 156 yds, we expect Scheelhaase to more resemble the QB that he was throughout the 1st two gms when he threw for a comb 728 yds with a 6-1 ratio. Miami (OH) was gashed in the air a few wks back vs Kentucky to the tune of 413 pass yds and while we don’t expect them to allow that much again here, a 300 yd performance out of Scheelhaase could be a safe bet.

QB Keith Price (Washington) – A change in scheme to the hurry-up spread offense has greatly benefited Keith Price thus far in the young season as he has a 7-1 ratio and has exceeded 300+ yds in 2 of his 3 games (would be 3 for 3 had he not been pulled early vs Idaho St). While Arizona’s defense has allowed just 312 ypg thus far this season, further analyzation shows that they have faced the likes of Northern Arizona, UNLV and UTSA, nobody near the caliber of the Huskies. Price should shine here.

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