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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 2

December 3rd, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

BYU finished with a 492-363 yard edge although Nevada dominated the 1H of the game. UN took its opening drive 81/8pl for a td. BYU fumbled a punt at its 29 and UN got 1 FD but had a 38 yard FG blocked. BYU, on 4&8, was SOD at the UN28. Two punts. UN went 66/9pl and had a 2&gl at the 3 but was intercepted in the EZ for a TB. Five punts. At the half UN had a 190-150 yard edge. BYU opened the 3Q with a 2&1, 66 yard run by Jamaal Williams, 7-7. UN went 75/11pl for a 3 yard td run, 14-7 (9:34 3Q). BYU went 80/9pl for a td, 14-14 (6:07). BYU went 59/13pl for a td, 21-14 (14:50). They then went 75/8pl for a 34 yard FG, 28-17 (6:35). UN answered with a 67/11pl drive for td (xpng) 28-23 (2:42). BYU got 2 FD’s running the clock out at the 15.

North Texas didn’t win its division in CUSA, but they were the most impressive team in the division. They went on the road vs Tulsa and had 550-236 yard and 21-14 FD edges. NT took its opening drive 72/10pl but fumbled. TU’s Will Barrow scooped it up and returned it 97 yards for a td and a 14 point swing, 7-0. (10:53). There were 4 punts then NT went 53/6pl for a 12 yard td run, 7-7. TU went 58/7pl for a 26 yard FG, 10-7 (:42). TU was intercepted at the NT42 and returned 32 yards but NT missed a 32 yard FG. NT was intercepted a the TU29 with 6:50 left but blocked a punt and returned it 8 yards for a td for a 14-10 lead. TU punted with 3:32 left and NT went 54/6pl for a 10 yard td run, 21-10. NT had a 266-82 yard edge. NT got a 91 yard td run by Brandin Byrd to open the 3Q, 28-10. Three punts. NT went 73/12pl for a 2 yard td run, 35-10 (3:25). NT went 63/3pl for a td. TU went 69/13pl but was intercepted from the 11 on the last play of the game.

Rice had 304-123 yard and 21-6 FD edges vs Tulane, but this one was tight and went to the wire at the end. Rice opened with a 53/13pl drive but was SOD on 4&13. Rice was sacked and fumbled at its own 18. TU took over at the Rice18 and got a 30 yard FG. TU, however, fumbled at its own 19 on 3&27 with 1:15 left in the 1Q. Rice got a 19 yard td pass, 7-3. Rice went 68/6pl for a td. Rice went 45/17pl and missed a 50 yard FG with 1:46 left in the half. Rice did get it back with 1:18 left at its 32, got 3 FD’s on a 49/9pl drive and got a 36 yard FG (:07). At the half Rice had a 232-10 yard edge and led 17-3. The first 5 possessions of the 2H ended in punts. Rice got 1 FD and fumbled. TU started at the Rice27 and 3pl later had a td, 17-10. TU went 61/11pl but settled for a 32 yard FG after a FD at the 18, 17-13. Three punts. Rice’s punt pinned TU at the 3 and TU fired 4 incomplete passes and Rice took a knee from the 3 yard line at the end.

I must admit, Read more…

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 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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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…

College Surprise Fantasy POW – Week 8

October 17th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

My QB’s of the Week

Joe Southwick, Boise St • Tom Savage, Pitt • Garrett Grayson, Colorado St

QB Joe Southwick (Boise St) – The 4th most accurate passer in the FBS gets the nod as one of our 3 fantasy QB’s this week. On the year Southwick has completed 72.3% of his passes while surpassing the 300 yd mark in 2 of his last 3 contests. Up next for the Broncos is a date with rival Nevada who is allowing 602 ypg on the road this year. We look for Southwick to reach that 300+ pass mark again as the leader of the Boise offense.

QB Tom Savage (Pittsburgh) – After bouncing around the country via the transfer (Rutgers to Arizona to Rutgers to Pitt), Savage has finally found a home with the Panthers and has done relatively well including a massive 424 yd, 6 td outing a few weeks ago vs Duke. Pitt now gets a matchup with FBS transitional squad Old Dominion who has allowed 534 ypg vs FBS foes including 361 ypg through the air. Savage should get his share of passing opportunities as Pitt steps away from conf play for a weekend.

QB Garrett Grayson (Colorado St) – Consecutive 300 yard passing performances and a date with a Wyoming squad that is allowing 429 ypg on the season has us liking Grayson’s opportunities to deliver another consistent outing. Another promising stat to look at is the fact that over the past 5 contests, he has been able to pass for at least 2 td passes in 4 of those games. Read more…

Week 7 News & Notes – Part 2

October 15th, 2013 7 comments

By Phil Steele

Stanford is an academic institution and this is the week of their midterm exams which is usually a tough week for them (correction – it is not, in fact, their midterm week). It was the first time a top 5 team had lost all season long. SU was off a big effort the previous week vs Washington and traveling, so the situation favored Utah. It was the first time in school history that Utah would knock off a top 5 program at Rice-Eccles Stadium. They had beaten #4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in ‘08. Ty Montgomery did it again, this time with a 100 yard KR td for the Cardinal, but Utah had 22-13 FD and 415-389 yard edges. Montgomery joins Bob Bryan (1950 vs San Francisco) and Damon Dunn (1994 vs Arizona St) as the only Stanford players with 100-yard KR’s in their history. Travis Wilson hit 23-34-234 for Utah. Things started well for the Cardinal as their first drive went 75/7pl for a td. They allowed a 75/8pl td drive, but then Montgomery’s 100-yard KR td made it 14-7 mid-1Q. Utah tied it with :10 left in the quarter at the end of a 79/10pl drive, then 2 possessions later went 99/11pl capped by a 3 yard td run to make it 21-14. Utah had a 301-199 yard edge at the half. Each team turned it over to open the 3Q. Utah went 47/10pl for a 23 yard FG, then, after Kevin Hogan was sacked and fumbled, Utah drove 2 yards for a 48 yard FG and a 27-14 lead. SU had a chance to avoid the upset. They went 52/5pl for a td with 9:22 left, forced a punt with 7:53 left, and went on their apparent game winning drive. They started at their 12 and went 82/13pl, but on 4&2 from the 6 fired incomplete.

There were times while I was watching the Troy/Georgia St game it appeared GSt was on their way to an upset. As it turned out, Troy finished with 634-422 yard and 29-23 FD edges and was able to escape with the road win over a winless Panthers’ team. It was 7-7 after 1Q. Troy, leading 14-7, had a 4&2 at the 4 but was intercepted in the EZ with 5:25 left in the half. On their last drive of the half, they got to the GS38 but fired incomplete with :03 left on 4&6. Troy turned it over on its first 2 possessions of the 3Q and GSt went 43/7pl for a td to tie it at 14-14. Troy’s 3rd possession ended in a blocked punt and GSt got a 31 yard td pass following that for a shocking 21-14 lead. Troy would go 62/6pl for a td to tie, but then GSt went 48/5pl for a td and the lead at the start of the 4Q, 28-21. Troy needed to go 75/13pl for a td with 9:14 left to tie. They punted on their next possession with 6:13 left and GSt got to the T45, but on 2&12 was intercepted and returned 20 yards. Troy went 63/2pl and got a 54 yard td pass to Williams with 3:17 left to escape with the win. GSt punted with 1:57 left on 4&15 and Troy got 1 FD and took a knee. Read more…

Week 6 News & Notes – Part 2

October 8th, 2013 No comments

By Phil Steele

Wake Forest’s stagnant offense put up 382 yards vs NC State. Pete Thomas did hit 27-43-257 for NCSt while Tanner Price hit 24-39-269. WF led 7-3 but NCSt got a td with :39 left in the half for the lead. WF\ went 75/4pl getting a 54 yard pass to Spencer Bishop and 2pl later a 10 yard td pass to Michael Campanaro to go up 14-10 with a 219-180 yard edge. WF went 87/10pl capped by a 3 yard td to go up 21-10. NCSt went 55/8pl for a 20 yard FG to get within 8 but WF, after being intercepted and punting on their next 2 possessions, drove 80/8pl for a td with 10:43 left to lead 28-13. NCSt’s last 3 drives they gained 109 yards but were intercepted at the 7, SOD at the 48 and intercepted at the WF2 on a Hail Mary at the end.

Georgia was in a letdown spot clearly vs Tennessee last week and were very fortunate to escape with the win. Justin Worley outpassed Georgia’s Heisman candidate hitting 17-31-215 while Murray was 19-35-196. Rajion Neal rushed for 148 yards on 28 carries and UGA’s leading rusher was JJ Green who had 17-129 as both Todd Gurley (out) and Keith Marshall (injured 1Q) were out. Tied at 24, Tennessee drove 80/13pl converting on 4&1 at its own 29, then converted on 4&1 with a 28 yard pass to the UGA7 and got a td with 1:54 left. UGA got a td with :05 left to force OT. Tennessee appeared to get a td in OT but as Pig Howard stretched for the endzone, the ball slipped out of his hands, hitting the pylon. It was originally ruled a td, but overturned into a TB after review. UGA gained 0 yards and got a 42 yard FG to escape with the 3 point win.

FIU frosh RB Silas Spearman rushed for 136 yards as FIU’s offense actually put up 341 yards while their D, which was holding foes below their season average on the year, held Southern Miss to 314 yards. Jake Medlock returned to the lineup for FIU but hit just 5-10-88 and was replaced by AJ Hilliard who hit 8-13-93. SM led 23-21 when FIU got a 27 yard FG with 6:49 left. FIU missed a 45 yard FG with 1:00 left and SM had a chance to win. Pass interference gave them a FD to the FIU27 and they lined up for the game winning 44 yard FG on the last play, however, it was blocked.

Bowling Green did not have an easy game vs Massachusetts but could have easily won by more than the experts thought they should. Surprisingly the 1H was scoreless until BG got a td with 7:45 left in the 2Q capping a 91/7pl drive. BG then went 70/11pl for a td with 1:09 left in the half to lead 14-0 with a 239-127 yard edge. BG opened the 3Q with 56/5pl, and 55/5pl drives for td’s to lead 28-0 late 3Q. UM got to the BG25 but was intercepted in the endzone with 13:44 left. The Minutemen got it back and went 71/10pl with 10:36 left and capped the drive with a 24 yard td pass with 4:34 left to pull within 28-7. BG got a pair of FD’s to the UM15 but opted to take a knee on the last 3 plays.

East Carolina had a 511-334 yard edge vs Middle Tenn and a 33-20 FD edge but only managed a 7 point win. The Pirates led 14-10 at the half and passed up a 19 yard FG to go for it 1&gl from the 2 with :05 left and were stuffed at the 1. EC went on a 9pl drive but settled for a 25 yard FG then went 78/17pl but missed a 35 yard FG. Leading 24-17, they missed a 52 yard FG with 5:16 left and at the end of the game, EC was at the MT25 yard line taking a knee.

Read more…