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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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College Surprise Fantasy POW – Week 11

November 7th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

My QB’s of the Week
Garrett Grayson, Colorado St • Cody Kessler, USC • BJ Denker, Arizona

QB Garrett Grayson  (Colorado St) – After a 397 yd passing game a week ago Garrett Grayson has to get a look in most leagues as Colorado St’s offense has been vastly improved averaging more than 100 ypg than in ’12 and a massive 549 ypg in their home matchups in 2013. This week’s opponent Nevada is allowing 602 ypg away from home this year so there should be plenty of chances for Grayson and the rest of the Rams offense.

QB Cody Kessler (USC) – Since the dismissal of Lane Kiffin following their blowout loss to Arizona St it appears that the USC offensive coaches have been a bit more aggressive with their play-calling and it’s resulted in a 3-1 record and Cody Kessler putting together some of his better outings including a 17-21 pass performance in the Trojans upset win over Oregon St a week ago. Next up, a Cal defense that has held just one of their 9 opponents this year under 400 yards of total offense. Kessler should deliver his first 300 yard passing game of the season here.

QB BJ Denker (Arizona) – Very important game in the P12 South between a pair of 6-2 squads and we like the dual-threat ability of BJ Denker to deliver some more fantasy gold after he had 300 ttl yards of offense last weekend vs Cal with 4 ttl TD’s. On the season Denker has 9 TD passes and 11 TD runs making him a threat to rack up points anywhere on the field. Riding a 3-game winning streak, a pickup of Denker could prove to be very wise this Saturday.

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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 8 News & Notes – Part 1

October 21st, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

WKU had a dominating 1H vs Louisiana with a 249-81 yard edge but the game was tied at 13. The key play of the game happened with WKU up 10-0 and having a 4&gl at the 1 yard line. They opted to go for it and the QB, under pressure, forced the ball into the EZ and was not only intercepted, but returned 99 yards for a td and instead of taking a 17-0 lead, WKU only led 10-7. WKU’s next drive ended on a 4&9 fumble at the UL29 and it was returned 45 yards to the 35 setting up a UL td. In the 2H UL turned it over to the run game. They ran 15 times on their opening drive of 3Q but settled for a 23 yard FG. On their next possession, they did pass twice on an 80/9pl drive for a td which put them up 23-13. WKU was SOD on 4&2 at the UL24 with 13:33 left, fumbled at its own 24 and on the next play UL got a 24 yard td pass, 30-13. Each team went on a long td drive to make it 37-20 with 2:37 left and WKU was SOD at its own 35 with 1:17 left. Terrance Broadway hit just 5-10-90 but UL piled up a 254-133 rush edge. Brandon Doughty was injured in the game and Nelson Fishback replaced him and hit 5-6-78 but Doughty did return and finished 18-23-260.

Miami, Fl came into North Carolina undefeated. Miami did put up 556 yards offense while UNC piled up 500 yards offense. In fact, at the half the two teams had 579 yards of offense but had combined for only 30 points. UM suffered 2 big injuries. RB Duke Johnson had 83 yards on 8 carries but then went out (for the game) with injury. Leading receiver, Phillip Dorsett, had 2 catches for 68 yards but then he too was lost (likely out at least a month). Both teams blew numerous opportunities in the redzone. Miami trailed almost the entire game including being down by 10 in the 4Q. UNC was intercepted in the EZ on its 2nd possession. UM went on a 76/10pl drive but settled for a 22 yard FG. Trailing 7-3, the Canes went 72/7pl and again settled for a 20 yard FG after a 1&gl. Two possessions later UNC had a 47 yard FG blocked and UM returned it 67 yards for a td to lead 13-7. UNC drove 71/7pl for a td and UM got down to the UNC32 but was intercepted at the 1. That would set up UNC for a 60/12pl drive but at the 8 they settled for a 25 yard FG to lead 17-13 at the half. UM opened the 3Q with a 54/6pl drive and missed a 43 yard FG. The Tar Heels went 56/10pl and had a FD at the 11 but a clip forced them into a 35 yard FG, 20-13. UM was intercepted at the UNC20 and the Heels drove 76/12pl, but after a 1&gl at the 9, settled for a 21 yard FG to lead 23-13 leaving UM in the game. UM went 75/7pl for a td with 11:29 left and was intercepted at midfield but UNC was then intercepted at the UM11 with 7:51 left. After an exchange of punts, UM took over at its 10 with 4:11 left and went 90/13pl getting a 3 yard td run with :16 left. UNC got to the UM28 and a pass into the EZ was in both hands of Quinshad Davis, but he couldn’t come down with it. When I released my Midseason All-American team prior to the game, I was the first source to list Eric Ebron as a 1st Tm All-American TE and had did not disappoint with 199 yards on 8 catches. Dallas Crawford, filling for in the injured Johnson, was not quite as explosive but did have 137 yards on 33 carries (4.1). 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 4 News & Notes – Part 1

September 23rd, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

Kevonte Martin-Manley was a star early for Iowa as he returned punts 83 and 63 yards for td’s within 1:00 of each other to blow open a 10-0 game and make it 24-0 with 10:46 left in the 2Q. Western Mich was intercepted in the EZ on its next drive. BJ Lowery, who made a spectacular 1-handed interception last week vs Iowa St, intercepted Tyler Van Tubbergen in a crowd and raced 35 yards for a td with :56 left to blow it open 38-3. UI did only have a 159-120 yard edge at the half despite the 35 point lead. UI opened the 3Q with a 13 yard IR td by Zach Terrell, their 4th defensive/special team td of the game, then drove 64/9pl for a td to lead 52-3 with 6:36 left in the 3Q. UI’s final drive had a 1st & goal at the 3 on a 63/19pl drive that lasted 9:26 but the Hawkeyes took a knee 3 times and finished with 446-209 yard and 22-9 FD edges.

Louisville’s 72 points were the most since 2007 when they had 73 vs Murray St. This game was as lopsided as the final and FIU would be a prime time contender for the #1 pick in next year’s draft if this were the NFL. FIU managed 2 FD’s and 33 yards for the game and all 33 yards came in the 1H. UL punted with 6:14 left in the half and FIU fumbled the punt at its 15 and the Cardinals would go 15/3pl for a td then 73/6pl for a td with 1:11 left in the half to blow it open 38-0. UL got a 93 yard KR td, went 45/4pl, 65/5pl, 49/7pl and 46/7pl on their five 2H poss, the last 2 led by Will Gardner who hit 5-5-42. Teddy Bridgewater didn’t have a great statistical day and continues to drop back in the Heisman race hitting just 17-22-212 but did have four td passes. He was hurt by a short field as 4 of UL’s eight 1H possessions started at midfield or in FIU territory.

You have to feel that Ohio St’s Braxton Miller has officially been eliminated from the Heisman race as he missed the entire game vs Florida A&M and Kenny Guiton had another strong performance. Guiton hit 24-34-215 but rushed just 1 time for 5 yards. He guided Ohio St to its most lopsided win since 1935 (85-7 over Drake), 76-0. It was their biggest shutout win since 1934 (Western Reserve, 76-0). OSU had an amazing 34-2 edge in FD’s and 603-83 yard edge. OSU led 55-0 at the half with a 326-54 yard edge and went 65/9pl and 90/7pl on their opening 2 drives of the 2H to lead 69-0. They got the ball back with 11:30 left and went 98/14pl adding a 10 yard td run with just 1:15 left.

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