Daily Blog • December 3rd

Teddy Bridgewater gave a remarkable performance. He was playing with a broken wrist, a sore ankle and looked like he wouldn’t play but trailing 7-0 he came in and finished 20-28-263 and was sacked 3x for 28 yards. He was very mobile but helped Louisville to the win over Rutgers. Two big plays gave RU a 14-3 halftime lead. They got an 85 yd td pass on their first offensive play to Coleman and then after UL got a 20 yd FG with 9:54 left in the 2Q, RU, 2pl later, got a 68 yd td pass to Harrison for their 14-3 lead. In the 1Q UL was SOD at their own 48 but RU was SOD at the UL41. At the half it was 14-3 and UL had a 9-4 FD edge but RU thanks to 2 big plays had a 219-158 yd edge. UL missed a 47 yd FG then drove 90/14pl for a td. RU fmbl’d the KO and UL got a 20 yd td pass on the next play by Bridgewater for the lead, 17-14. Bridgewater was int’d at the RU29 on their next poss with 10:17 left and RU drove 21/7pl for a 38 yd FG to tie. UL got 1 FD and punted with 4:39 left and RU on 3&8 was int’d. After a pen on UL, they started back at the RU40 but got a 30 yd pass and a 29 yd FG with 1:31 left. RU30 got a FD to the 48 but then there was miscommunication and Nova’s deep pass was int’d with no WR around on a diving catch by Floyd at the 18 with 1:06 left and UL got the BCS Bowl berth.

UCLA lost in the Pac-12 Title game for the 2nd straight year but this one was much closer than last year and the Bruins led Stanford 24-17 in the 4Q but blew their lead. Interestingly, in the six championship games, not a single favorite won their game in regulation by as much as the folks in Las Vegas thought they would, yet 5 of the 6 won straight up. A heavy rain pounded the Bay Area during the day but let up at night as it was just scattered showers making the grass slick. Johnathan Franklin rushed for 194 yards on 19 carries. Brett Hundley rushed for 83. UCLA had a 461-325 yd edge and 22-18 FD edge. Stepfan Taylor put himself within range to break SU’s school rushing record as he needs just 78 yards to top Darrin Nelson. UCLA went 85 and 75 yards on their first 2 poss to lead 14-7. Two 2 key plays in the 1H happened with UCLA driving with a 14-7 lead and at the SU30, were int’d and ret’d 80 yards to the 1 setting up a td and basically a 14 point swing and it was tied at 14. SU took over with 1:31 left in the half at their own 17 and managed to go 52/10pl getting a 37 yd FG on the last play of the half to take the lead, 17-14 despite UCLA having a 266-136 yd edge prior to that drive. The Bruins opened up the 3Q with a 47/9pl drive for a 31 yd FG and 80/12pl drive for a td to lead 24-17. SU got a 3&15, 26 yd td pass with 11:21 left to tie it then after an 18 yd PR to the UCLA43, got 1 FD and nailed a 36 yd FG for the lead with 6:49 left. UCLA punted with 4:39 left and SU got 1 FD and punted with 2:18 left. UCLA got 1 FD, converted on 4&7 to the SU39 but their 52 yd FG on 4&5 was wide left. In their first meeting the previous week, SU had a 7-2 sack advantage and this time the sacks were even at 3.

Kent St and Northern Illinois was interesting as if either team finished in the top 16 of the BCS, they would gain an automatic berth to a BCS bowl and Kent St was in the best shape coming in at #17. NI finished with a 524-260 yd edge but got off to a slow start as on their first 4 poss they punted 3 times and fumbled the PR on the other. Kent St got a 22 yd drive after the fumbled PR then after an 18 yd punt, drove 16/6pl for a 37 yd FG to lead 10-0. NI went 65/14pl, 59/6pl, 58/12pl and 34/5pl for 2 td’s and a FG but was int’d at the KSU3 with 2:13 left in the half. At the half NI had a commanding 240-55 yd edge but only led 17-10. Kent St went 46/8pl for a 24 yd FG and NI went 75/10pl for a 1 yd td run. NI went 43/9pl but settled for a 29 yd FG. Kent St went 31/9pl but opted to go for it on 4&7 from the NI11 but gained 5 yds to the 6 and were SOD. NI went on a 58/10pl drive to the KSU36 but opted to punt on 4&10. Kent St went 96/8pl, a key play being a 60 yd pass to Archer which got them down to the NI22. The td made it 27-20 and then NI fmbl’d on the next play and Kent St ret’d it 22 yds for a td with 4:38 left to tie it, 27-27. NI went 75/4pl for a td with 3:12 left and Kent St went 50/11pl for a 19 yd td pass with :44 left to force OT. Each team got a FG in the 1OT and NI got a 23 yd run by Daniels and a 2 yd td run by Lynch. Kent St got 1 FD but on 4&8 was int’d in the EZ.

TCU’s 4 game home losing streak is their longest since 1996 (5). Oklahoma did win its share of an 8th Big 12 Title, all in even numbered years since Bob Stoops became coach in 1999. OU finished with 421-350 yd and 22-11 FD edges. At the half the Sooners had a commanding 13-3 FD edge and 209-78 yd edge but TCU got a 6 yd td pass after an int and only trailed 14-7 at the half. TCU’s 4th pass of the 2H was a td to Carter which made it 21-14. The Sooners increased it to 24-14 after a 34 yd FG and TCU missed a 32 yd FG and punted on their next 2 poss. OU fmbl’d the punt at their own 31 and TCU got a 47 yd FG with the wind at their back, 24-17. OU went 50/10pl but their 42 yd FG had the wind take it to the left like it was a kite and they missed it. That left TCU in the game and they went 60/8pl getting down to the OU22 but on 4&13 their pass was knocked away.

Tulsa wrapped up a bid to the Liberty Bowl and finished with a 26-17 FD edge and 443-330 yd edge but had two very key plays go in their favor during the game. The biggest came on a UCF punt which went into the teeth of a strong wind. As the punt was bouncing backwards, a UCF player batted the ball and smartly Trey Watts scooped it up and raced 54 yards for a PR td that tied the game in the 4Q. On the play, the ref was coming in waving his arms signifying the play was over and the UCF player stopped and that action should have blown the play dead but the replay officials said, despite him coming in waving his arms, that the whistle had not blown. It was the 3rd time the teams had met in the CUSA Championship game since 2005 and the last time before UCF departs for the Big East. UCF fumbled the opening KO but TU was SOD on 4&1 at the 5. However, after a 36 yd punt into the wind went 38/5pl for a td. UCF took over with 5:20 left in the1Q and as the wind got to their back to start the 2Q, got the final 2pl with the wind and went 73/10pl for a td, 7-7. 3 punts. UCF went 52/9pl for a td and the lead (4:53) but then TU had 2 game changing plays. Going into the wind, they went 75/7pl and got a 7 yd td run by Singleton with 2:35 left. UCF got 1 FD and punted with just 1:02 left and TU going into the wind on 3&6 had UCF call time-out with :31 left and TU at their own 24. TU converted the FD and continued on an 80/8pl drive. With :02 left in the half at the UCF 2 yd line. They opted to go for the td knowing they wouldn’t have had time for a FG and got it, 21-14. UCF had the wind at their back in the 3Q and on their 2nd drive after a punt bounced backwards and only went 18 yards, UCF went 27/5pl for a td (xp blk’d but Calabrese made a great effort tracking down the DB catching him from behind at the 25 so TU didn’t score on the xp) then 59/5pl for a 28 yd TD run. TU was SOD on 4&1 at the UCF27 and on 4&4 at the UCF9 (7:28 4Q). Then came the PR td that the official called dead that was allowed to go and counted as a score. UCF blk’d the xp to keep it at 27. In OT, UCF had a 38 yd FG practically blk’d and TU needed 5pl with Singleton powering in for a 1 yd td run. It was Singleton’s second 100 yard game of his career.

Baylor has won at least 7 games in 3 straight seasons for the first time since 1949-1951 as they upset Oklahoma St at home. BU finished with a 615-554 yd edge on a windy day. In the 1H BU got a 26 yd IR td to take a 10-3 lead and would lead 31-17 at the half. BU missed a 41 yd FG, settled for a 22 yd FG and on 4&1 were SOD at the OSU5 on their first three 3Q poss. The Cowboys got within 34-27. Lache Seastrunk had an incredible play where he burst up the middle and was on his way to a 76 yd td run when it looked like he pulled his hamstring at the 35. He gutted it out and still outran the defenders, limping into the EZ before falling down at the end of a 76 yd td run. It was the 9th 1pl td drive of the year and gave them a 41-27 lead with 5:11 left. OSU was int’d at the BU40 with 3:43 left and got a td with 1:16 left but BU rec’d the onside kick.

Nicholls St came in a poor FCS team at just 1-10. Oregon St got its highest point total ever topping the 76 points they put up vs Willamette back in 1931. The game was originally scheduled for September 1st but Nicholls St couldn’t fly out due to the Hurricane. As you can tell by the score, it was dominated by OSU as they had a 42-12 FD edge and 683-223 yd edge. OSU went 72/10pl, 91/12, 87/6pl, 62/6 and 83/11pl on their first 5 poss to lead 35-0 with a 26-4 FD edge and 379-83 yd edge. After an int they went 24/6pl then 67/4pl for td’s, 49-0. NSU avoided the shutout with a 26 yd FG with 2:40 left in the 3Q. OSU went 65/8pl and 90/8pl and after NSU fumbled the KO, 27/6pl for td’s. After a fumble, OSU went 43/5pl for a td giving them 11 td’s on 11 drives after NSU was SOD at their own 42, OSU took a knee 2 times, the only time they didn’t score a td.

Geno Smith hit 23-24-407 yards with his 95.8 completion % matching the single game FBS record set by Tee Martin vs South Carolina in 1998 in his final home game. West Virginia finished with a 647-274 yard edge giving Kansas their 11th straight defeat. It’s the longest losing streak for Kansas since they lost 17 in a row back in 1953-’55. Dayne Crist got the start for KU but hit just 1-5-41 and Michael Cummings hit 6-11-76 relieving Crist after 2 series. WV had 5 td drives in the 1H going 68/8pl, 77/9pl, 61/5pl, 75/8pl, 65/6pl and their other drive was int’d. They had 3 td drives and a FG to open the 2H and their first punt of the game came with 1:46 left. It was 35-7 at the half with a 390-171 yd edge in the 59-10 rout.

Middle Tennessee came in banged up and Arkansas St was fresh off a bye. ASU just dominated. They went 75/7pl for a td. MT went 40/7pl but was int’d at the ASU22 and returned 45 yards. ASU went 33/5pl for a td then 85/12pl for a td. MT was SOD on 4&1 at the ASU41 and ASU got a 59 yd td pass on the next play then went 80/9pl for a td and had a 35-0 halftime lead with a 332-128 yd edge. They went 36/8pl for a td and 76/13pl for a 21 yd FG on the first two 2H poss and MT was int’d at the ASU26 with 6:20 left. ASU went 63/12pl running out the clock at the 11 yd line getting the shutout.

Florida Atlantic actually had a 528-452 yd edge vs Louisiana. UL got a77 yd td run to open 7-0 (13:46) and FA got a 77 yd td pass to Dukes to tie it (13:39). FAU missed a 49 yd FG, then drove 95/13pl for a td and drove 53/7pl and had a 46 yd FG blk’d and only led 14-7. UL went 64/9pl getting a td with 6:33 left in the half and 96/10pl for a 15 yd td pass with :35 left for a 21-14 lead. FA was int’d and UL drove 49/9pl for a td. FA went 55/13pl but was SOD on 4&5 at the UL24. FA got a 21 yd PR then on 3&12, a 42 yd td pass to get back in it 28-21. They fmbl’d at the UL34 (9:30). UL went 66/5pl for a td with 7:06 left, 35-21. FA went 58/9pl but was SOD at the UL17 on 4&4 and SOD at their own 47 on 4&13 (3:12). Graham Wilbert hit 25-38-379 and William Dukes had 9-204 receiving.

Nevada had a sellout crowd of 30,007 on hand, the 5th largest in school history. The last time Boise travelled to Nevada, they lost their chance of appearing in the National Title game. Here Boise appeared to have the game locked up as they led 24-7 after 3Q’s but UN battled back to within 27-21 and got the ball at the end. Chris Petersen did a great got as he had a very inexperienced team but still guided them to 10 wins and a share of the MW Title. Boise St only had a 434-430 yd edge and UN had a 23-22 FD edge. BSU took their 2nd poss 80/9pl for a td then went 66/11pl for a td and 83/14pl but settled for a 20 yd FG to make it 17-0 at the half and BS had a 243-90 yd edge. Each team opened the 3Q with a td, Boise’s a 53 yd td pass on a screen to make it 24-7 10:46. UN went 74/7pl but fumbled into the EZ for a TB. Two punts. BS34 went 37/9pl but on 4&9 in no man’s land at the UN29, went for it and fired incomplete. UN went 71/6pl for a td, 24-14 (8:26). BS38 went 49/12pl for a 30 yd FG to go back up by 13 with 3:26 left. UN had a tipped pass go 46 yards to the 15 and got a 6 yd td run 2:27 left. BS rec’d the onside kick at the UN46 but on 4&2, pooch punted and it went for a TB with :19 left. UN20 got to their own 42 but then their Hail Mary was incomplete.

Chandler Witmer threw for 16-31-264 yards for Connecticut but left the game with a head injury in the 3Q. CT had a 19-18 FD edge and 373-353 yd edge but besides losing their starting QB, had a couple of key plays go against him. CT needed a win to get to a bowl and Cincinnati was playing for a share of the Big East Title. Cincy opened with a 76/8pl td drive. Cincy fmbl’d at the CT35. CT on 3&13, at the Cincy33, dropped a FD pass that bounced off the WR’s face mask. On the next play, a throw over the middle had their WR knocked down by the DB prior to the ball getting there and amazingly pass interference was not called. CT went 48/10 but on 3&13, the ball was batted at the line and returned 25 yards down to the CT39 with 11:31 left in the half. On the next play, Cincy’s Kay threw backwards to TE Kelce. The ball bounced on the ground but Kelce picked it up, threw it back to Kay who took it 39 yards for a td, 14-0. 2 punts. CT went 53/5pl for a FG then the normally sure handed Sio Moore dropped an int which he might have been able to take for a td but CT got a 73 yd td pass with 5:23 left to pull within 14-10. At the half CT had a 270-293 yd edge and 11-8 FD edge. Cincy went 65/7pl for a td to open the 3Q. 2 punts. CT went 69/13pl for a td with McEntee at QB, 21-17. Cincy went 50/8pl for a 38 yd FG and McEntee guided 1 FD but then was int’d and ret’d 31 yds to the 4 and Cincy punched it in for a td. Cincy went 40/8pl for a 42 yd FG, 34-17 (6:01). CT was int’d on 4&7 at the Cincy47 and ret’d 22 yds on their last chance.

The scoreboard shows Texas St with a 38 point win over New Mexico St but 9 different TSU players scored td’s as they got 2 FR td’s and a PR td. At the half NMSt had a 277-259 yd edge but trailed 49-28. The first 6 poss of the game all went for td’s and it was tied at 21. TSU then returned a fmbl 6 yards for a td, ret’d another fmbl 32 yds for a td and after NMSt fumbled the punt, got a 21 yd td to lead 42-21 (2:56). They added a 79 yd PR td for a 49-21 lead and it was 49-28 at the half. NMSt was int’d at the TSU18, missed a 45 yd FG and TSU got a 54 yd FG and after converting on 4&1, a 16 yd td run to make it 59-28 with 13:09 left. TSU tacked on a td with 1:16 left capping a 75/10pl drive which helped them have a 528-419 yd edge.

Georgia and Alabama put together one of the best championship games of all time. There were a couple times where it appeared UGA was on their way to the victory but ended up coming up a few seconds short. Bama fumbled on their 2nd poss at their own 40 but UGA missed a 50 yd FG. UGA went 87/13pl for a td and led 7-0. 2 punts. Bama went 77/8pl but on 3&gl from the 5 was int’d in the EZ. Bama went 78/6pl getting a td with 1:39 left in the half then after UGA got a pair of FD’s to midfield, they were int’d at the 18 and ret’d 35 yds with just 1:15 left. QB Murray was laid out on the play but no penalty was called. Bama went 42/6pl but settled for a 22 yd FG and a 10-7 halftime lead. Bama did have a 246-156 yd edge and the story of this game was Bama’s O-line and RB’s as Eddie Lacy rushed for 181 and TJ Yeldon 153. UGA went 75/9pl for a td then blk’d a 49 yd FG and ret’d it 50 yds for a td and it appeared UGA was on their way to a National Title game with a 21-10 lead. Bama’s run game got them 47 of their 62 yds on the next drive with the other being pass interference and Yeldon’s 10 yd td run put them back to within 3. Bama kept it on the ground and went 74/7 rush plays for a 25-21 lead but UGA answered with a 75/5pl drive, 28-25. 2 punts. Bama went 55/4pl with UGA selling out to stop the run, McCarron hit a 45 yd td pass to Cooper which he caught in the EZ, 32-28. UGA punted with 2:17 left but forced a punt with 1:08 left using their final 2 time-outs. UGA got 4 FD’s to the Alabama 8 with :15 left. The clock continued to run as they did not spike it and he was trying for a back shoulder fade in the EZ and threw the ball but it was deflected at the line and WR Conley, using his instinct, caught the ball and if he let it drop, they would have had another opportunity and the clock would run out.

Pitt was playing for a bowl bid and USF had already clinched a losing season and was down to their 3rd string QB, Matt Floyd. The crowd appeared much smaller than the announced 35,441 and Pitt beat USF for the 5th straight year. USF was int’d on their first series and Pitt went 21/7pl for a td. USF did get a 48 yd KR to the Pitt39 and got 2 FD’s but on 3&gl from the 5 was int’d. USF was sacked and fmbl’d at their 32 and Pitt got a 25 yd FG. 5 punts. After Pitt started at the USF42 with 3:34 left, they got 2 FD and nailed a 27 yd FG to lead 13-0 at the half. At half Pitt had a 137-55 yd edge. Pitt opened the 3Q with a 39 yd PR setting up a 31/8pl td drive then after an int drove 50/9pl for a td to lead 27-0. 2 punts. USF went on an 81/11pl drive and had a 1&gl at the 5 but settled for a 25 yd FG to avert the shutout with 9:41 left. Pitt then went on a 72/13pl drive that ate up the final 9:41 and converted on 3&13, 3&10, 4&4 and had a 1&gl at the 3 before taking a knee.

Kansas St had never played for a conf championship in their last game at home but by beating Texas they got their 3rd conf title in 117 years. At the half Texas had a 234-115 yd edge but only led 10-7. In a strange play, K-St got an IR td but DB Malone dropped the ball before entering the EZ. I have seen this call before and it’s generally called a TB especially since the ball landed in the EZ, they reviewed it, determined he indeed dropped the ball before crossing the goal line but because the official raised his arms signalling td for some reason they spotted the ball at the half yard line and Collin Klein got a td on the next play. K-St went 82/13pl but on 3&5 from the 17 was int’d in the EZ. Texas got a 70 yd run by Johnson to the 10 but settled for a 37 yd FG. Texas went 72/7pl for a td, 10-7. Texas went 47/13pl but from the K-St24 McCoy was called for intentional grounding and they faked a 51 yd FG and the pass was incomplete. The 3Q opened with 3 straight td drives and K-St got 75 and 67 yd drive and Texas a 90 yarder. KSU got a 55 yd td pass to lead 28-17. UT went 52/10pl but missed a 40 yd FG then UT fmbl’d the punt on its own 39 setting up K-St for a 39/8pl drive for a td, 35-17. UT got to midfield but was int’d and ret’d 35 yds to their 10 and K-St got a 10/2pl drive, 42-17. UT got a 72 yd KR and a 22/4pl for a td with :58 left.

Montee Ball rushed for 202 yards. Wisconsin came in with 5 losses and had lost to Nebraska earlier in the year but got to the Rose Bowl for the 3rd straight year and it was the first time in school history they had two 200 yd rushers and finished with the 4th highest rushing total in school history with 539. They tied a championship scoring record with 70 points and surprisingly Nebraska has allowed 70 points in the last 6 years which they gave up to Kansas in 2007. Ball set an NCAA record with his 76th rushing td (old record 73) and for the first time since the late ‘70’s, one Big Ten school has made it to the Rose Bowl 3 straight years (Michigan back then). UW powered to 539 yards rushing with Melvin Gordon rushing 9-216, Montee Ball 21-202 and James White 15-109 plus a passing td. It was 14-10 with UW getting a 29 yd IR td helping them to that lead but UW went 75/8pl, 67/6pl, 69/6pl for td’s to blow it open 35-10. It was 42-10 at the half when they got a 32 yd td pass with :02 left. Nebraska was int’d on the 3rd play of the 3Q and the Badgers went 9/1pl for a td, 49-10. They increased it to 63-17 and after NU got a td with 12:19 left, the Badgers went 75/6pl for a td, 70-24. NU took over with 4:49 left and went 82/9pl and got a 26 yd td run with :61 left for a garbage td run.

Georgia Tech had the situational edge vs Florida St as the Seminoles were off a big A+ effort vs Florida, were depressed about being eliminated from the National Title picture and a couple weeks ago Jim Fisher said the one team he didn’t want to play in the ACC Title game was Georgia Tech because of the option. GT had nothing to lose coming in at 6-6. FSU dominated the 1H with a 216-136 yd edge. They took their opening drive 43/6pl for a td, punted, went 64/7pl for a td then went 75/9pl for a td getting td’s on 3 of their 4 1H poss. GT did go 55/8pl and 36/9pl for 27 and 47 yd FG’s and only trailed 21-6. FSU fmbl’d at their own 48 on their 2nd 3Q drive and GT was int’d on the next play. GT went 61/13pl for a 36 yd FG. FSU fmbl’d at the GT30 with 12:22 left and GT went 70/13pl converting on 4&1, 3&13 and 4&1 and the td made it 21-15. FSU got 2 FD but on 3&10, Manuel was int’d at the GT15 with 2:17 left. GT converted on 3&14 and 4&1 to get out to the 32 but then were int’d and ret’d 41 yds to their 4 where FSU took a knee.

As the score indicates, Hawaii dominated vs South Alabama and figure to be in a good situation. UH was coming off a momentum building 48-10 win over UNLV. USA came in just 3-8 and were making their longest road trip by far in their short school history. UH had their best offensive performance of the year with 410 yards and just 166 for USA. UH’s D did well as Virginia transfer Ross Metheny hit 11-24-111. UH led 10-0 after 1Q and settled for 42 and 40 yd FG’s in the 2Q to lead 16-0. It was 23-0 when USA averted the shutout getting a 3 yd td pass from backup QB CJ Bennett with 7:15 left.