Daily Blog • October 23rd


Notre Dame/BYU was expected to be a defensive struggle and it was. ND finished with a 389-243 yd edge with a couple of key plays setting up BYU scores in the 2Q. Theo Riddick ran for 143 yds and Cierre Wood for 114 vs a strong BYU D. ND missed a 40 yd FG on its opening drive. Everett Golson was inj’d and did not play and Tommy Rees hit 6-7 in the 1Q but finished just 7-16-117. ND had not allowed an offensive td in 17Q and gave up 2 in a span of 2:18. BYU got a 3&gl, 6 yd TD pass which also ended a streak of ND holding their opponents without a td on 11 straight drives in the redzone. A few plays later a ball bounced off the hands of ND WR Daniels, was deflected and int’d by Kyle Van Noy who ret’d it to the 30. In the 1Q ND had a 120-40 yd edge but only led 7-0 going 64/5pl for a td. BYU’s td was a 56/7pl drive for a td with 8:25 left in the 2Q. After an int, they needed 5 plays for another td, 14-7. ND missed a 28 yd FG with 2:30 left in the half. At half ND had a 201-128 yd edge. BYU went 46/9pl and missed a 46 yd FG, the Irish went 65/7pl for a 24 yd FG, 14-10 (2:24 3Q). ND went 72/8pl for a td, 17-14. BYU went 49/14 getting a FD at the ND31 but on 4&14 punted 44 yds for a tb. ND finished with 270 yards rushing and would grind out 3 FD’s before punting with :22 left. BYU was back on their own 20 and on 2&10 was int’d at their own 39.


Georgia had a 504-329 yd edge but did have to overcome some deficits. UGA was off a bye and off an embarrassing 35-7 loss while Kentucky had just been mauled by Arkansas in the previous game. UGA had just 20 yds on their first 8 plays but then went 97/4. UK opened with an 84/13pl drive for a td breaking a streak of 20 straight games without a 1Q td. UGA’s 2nd poss went 97/4pl for a td and Murray tied UGA’s school record for td passes. UK went 58/9pl and a 2 yd run by bkp QB Newton made it 14-7. UGA went 75/8pl for a td but missed the xp, 14-13 (8:28 2Q). UGA punted with 2:59 left but got it back with 1:20 left and went 62 yards for a 27 yd FG that banked off the upright and in. It was UGA’s first lead in the month of October (although they only played a game and a half in the month at that point). UGA did have a 284-178 yd edge at the half. UK retook the lead with a 44/7pl drive for a 37 yd FG, 17-16. UGA punted then drove 62/6pl for a td to lead 22-17. 3 punts. UGA went 89/12pl and got a 10 yd td pass to get breathing room, 29-17. UK went 75/10pl converting on 4&2 and on the next play got a 3 yd td run, 29-24. UGA rec’d the onside kick and got 2 FD but was SOD at the UK17 with :09 left. UK got 1 FD and did not get another snap off.


A check of the box score shows Oklahoma only having a 397-309 yd edge vs Kansas but the game was clearly a blowout. OU led 38-0 at the half with a 286-142 yd edge then got a 100 yd KR td to start the 3Q and went 66/6 for a td to lead 52-0 with 9:53 left in the 3Q. After that point, KU had 5 drives for 158 yds, OU had 4 gaining just 54 yds. KU put together an 80/19pl drive getting a garbage td with 3:11 left which made the stats much closer than they actually were. The 1st string Sooner D had not given up a point in 2 straight weeks and the 1st Tm offense scored on their first six poss. KU QB Dayne Crist hit 3-6-13 and Michael Cummings hit 10-21-111.


It was supposed to be a Heisman Trophy showdown – West Virginia’s Geno Smith vs Kansas St’s Collin Klein but Klein dominated even on the road. Klein hit 19-21-323 passing and rushed for 41 yds. Geno Smith hit just 21-32-143 with 2 int’s. Klein had 7 td’s to none for Smith. In fact, in the 1H West Virginia’s only td came on a 100 yd KR td by Austin. Kansas St had a 346-74 yd edge as KSU scored on all five 1H poss and led 31-7. They continued the streak scoring on the first 3 poss of the 2H to blow it open 52-7. KSU punted with 10:27 left and that’s when WV went 50/9pl for their lone offensive td on a Smith to Austin 5 yd pass but KSU got a 42 yd FG with 3:48 left. WV gained 57 of their 243 yds on their last drive with backup QB Paul Millard in. With 12:32 left in the game, KSU had a 473-132 yd edge.


USC’s Matt Barkley established new school records for td passes and had 6 td’s vs an overmatched Colorado. The game was actually closer than the final score would indicate as CU had a 25-22 FD edge and USC only a 458-351 yd edge. Woods set a school record for td rec in a game and had scoring rec of 39, 29, 17 and 3 yds 5:00 into the 2H and Barkely hit 19-20-298 yards breaking his own USC record for completion % in a conf game. Colorado was int’d in the EZ from the 21, fumbled at their 17 setting up a USC td, settled for a 27 yd FG after a 65/13pl drive, on 4&9 from the USC19 they went for it and were sk’d, all in the 1H. CU was int’d at the USC16 from the 38 to start the 3Q and USC ret’d it 55 yards to set up a 29 yd TD. CU went 60/7pl but was sk’d and fmbl’d at the SC15. CU went 65/13 but was int’d at the 3. CU was stopped on 4&1 at the USC40 on their next drive and on 4&1 at the USC48 on their next.


Mississippi St only led Middle Tenn St 10-3 at the half and were in a massive sandwich spot coming off a big win over Tenn with a huge game vs Alabama on deck. I thought they did a good job by winning the game by 42 points. MSU did finish with a 446-305 yd edge. Mid-3Q Perkins ripped off a 64 yd TD run to open up the game, 17-3. MSU then got a 46 yd IR to set up a 25/3pl td drive then after a fumble went 23/1pl for a td and on their next drive went 64/4 for a td, 38-3 then 59/5pl for a td and with 8:51 left, got the 45-3 final. Middle Tenn gained 43 of their yards on the final 13pl getting int’d in the EZ from the one the last play of the game.


Air Force was without its top RB Cody Getz and New Mexico RB Casey Carrier, after 2 drives in the game, had 126 yards and 1 td and finished the game with 338 yards rushing. NM lost starting QB Holbrook to a concussion just before half and mostly ran the ball in the 2H with bkp QB Quinton McCown in. Carrier had 227 yards on 22 carries in the 1H alone. The Lobos jumped out to a 10-0 lead and AF QB Dietz missed the 2Q with injury but did return for the 2H. AF faked a 50 yd FG and it was incomplete but then the key play of the game happened. NM was down at the AF24 when LB Alex Means didn’t get to the QB quick enough on the blitz and found himself between the QB and RB. He batted a screen pass up in the air with his right hand, int’d it and raced 65 yds for a td and AF led 14-10. NM did have a 283-117 yd edge at the half. NM went 60/8pl for a td to retake the lead, 17-14 but AF went 75/10pl for a td to go back up 21-17 then went 71/10 to lead 28-17 with 14:57 left. NM capped a 75/5pl drive with a td with 12:08 left. AF fmbl’d at their own 46 with 10:06 left but NM on 4&4 lost 4 yds back to the AF16 with 3:57 left and AF got 3 FD and ran out the clock.


East Carolina finished with a 600-401 yd edge but the lead changed hands 4 times. EC took its 2nd drive 84/13pl for a td and its 3rd 89/11pl but settled for a 20 yd FG. EC’s next drive went 67/11pl and they settled for a 25 yd FG and when UAB got a 35 yd td pass with 1:22 left in the half, UAB led 14-13 despite EC having a 14-6 FD edge. Taking advantage of that late score, UAB used their momentum to go 78/13pl for a td, 21-13 but EC went 74/9 and 63/4 for td’s to take the lead, 27-21. Each team went on a long td drive. EC29 went 71/5pl for a td with 6:53 left to go up by 14. UAB went 71/10pl and on 4&1 got a 9 yd td run with 3:47 left but opted to kick deep and EC got 2 FD and ran out the clock.


There was nothing fluky about Louisiana Tech’s win over Idaho as they piled up an amazing 839 yards on 95 offensive plays and finished with a 39-11 FD edge. In the 1H LT had a 582-156 yd edge with ID even getting an 86 yd FR to the 1 setting up one of their td’s so LT “only” led 56-21. LT had 35 pts in the 1Q which was the most ever vs an Idaho team in 1Q with the old record being 34. Idaho also had a 92 yd KR for a td in the 1H.


Boise was without its sack leader Demarcus Lawrence (5.5 sk, susp) for this game but CB’s Taylor and Gavins shut down UNLV’s pass game. BSU had a 394-210 yd edge. BSU has now gone 5 straight games without allowing an opponent to score in the 1H. Prior to the game Bobby Hauck wondered if they could rebound from losing an emotional rivalry game the week before. BSU fumbled at the UNLV33 but went 42/6 for a td and 64/10pl for a 30 yd FG. UNLV went 44/9 but on 3&5 from the BSU26 was int’d in the EZ. After BSU went 66/5pl for a td, they got a 16 yd FR td 3pl later to lead 25-0 and UNLV on 4&5 was SOD at the BSU48. At the half the BSU had a 247-113 yd edge and BSU opened the 3Q with a 50/13pl drive and had a 43 yd FG blocked. UNLV was SOD at the BSU46, went 66/19 and missed a 22 yd FG but got a 30 yd FR td 2pl later for their only score. UNLV’s last 2 drives ended on an int at their own 19 and after BSU was SOD at the 12, UNLV was SOD at their own 34.


Utah St became bowl eligible in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1960-’61 with a dominating win over New Mexico St. Utah St had 256 yards rushing and 260 passing. Utah St got a 76 yd td pass on the first play of the game to Williams, went 80/7pl for a td and on their 4th poss went 70/13pl for a td. They led 28-0 at the half with a 324-183 yd edge. It was 31-7 when they drove 52/8 for a td then rec’d a fumble and went 18/6pl for a 48 yd FG, 41-7. They did have a 44 yd FG blk’d with 4:17 left.


Toledo upset Cincinnati 29-23 despite not scoring an offensive td. UC did have a 478-355 yd edge. UT got 5 FG’s from Jeremiah Detmer. UT punted just once in the 1H but UC had a 280-173 yd edge. The big play was UT getting a 75 yd IR td to go up 10-0 and led 16-13 at the half. UC led the game but for just :13 as they got a 70/4pl drive for a td with 2:08 left in the 3Q to go up 20-19 but Reedy returned the KO 90 yds for a td and just like that UT was back in the lead. UC pulled within 26-23 with 11:30 left and after each team punted, UT took over with 7:40 left and went on a 61/15 drive eating all up :42 off the clock but settled for a 25 yd FG. UC34 got to the UT36 but on the next play was int’d at the UT32 and ret’d 42 yds to the UC26 and UT took a knee.


Tennessee had scored at least 31 pts in each of their first 6 games and did have some success moving the ball on Alabama finishing with 539-282 yd deficit. UT has now lost 11 of their last 12 SEC games and are 0-14 vs Top 25 teams under Derek Dooley. More than one third of the 102,455 were cheering for Alabama. Just before the half it was 20-10 and Bama got a 34 yd FG with 1:34 left to go up by 13. Bama had a 253-145 yd edge. Alabama missed a 45 yd FG and Tenn, after an exchange of punts, got to the Alabama 33. They went for it on 4&1 and were SOD. Bama went 67/6pl for a td to go up by 20. UT went 41/3pl but on 2&13 from the 21 was int’d in the EZ. Bama went 80/6pl for a td. UT was SOD on 4&9 at the Tide 42 and 3pl later the Tide got a 42 yd TD run to go up 42-10. Tenn was just a couple of blow opportunities from making it a game but the Tide were very impressive.


On yesterday’s blog I talked about some games that changed in the last seconds of the game and here are a few more. While Duke did lead North Carolina 20-6 at the half and 23-9 after 3Q’s, UNC battled back and took the lead on a td pass with 3:12 left, 30-26. Duke went 87/14 and on 4&2 got a 5 yd td pass with :19 left. The win got them their 6th victory as they became bowl eligible for the first time since 1994. Duke did finish with a 510-414 yd edge and 28-22 FD edge. Duke had 3 rushers that had 64+ yards. A key for UNC was settling for short FG’s as in the 1H they had 30 and 23 yd FG’s and at the start of the 2H, settled for a 28 yd FG.


UTEP QB Nick Lamaison was questionable going in and hit 11-16-157 but left in the 2Q with a hamstring inury. Carson Meger came off the bench and hit 9-14-71. Tulane continues to be an improved team with Ryan Griffin on the field. They played Rutgers tough, upset SMU and now played UTEP tough in his 3 starts. Griffin hit 28-34-363. UTEP did jump out to a 21-10 lead in the 2Q but TU pulled within 24-17 at the half. UT fumbled at the UTEP 14, was SOD on 4&6 at the UTEP35 and settled for a 37 yd FG at the end of a 76/14pl drive to pull within 24-20. TU punted on 4&1 with 4:09 left in the game and did force a fumble with 2:56 left but TU31 on 4&9 fired incomplete and UTEP got 1 FD and ran out the clock. UTEP finished with a 445-440 yd edge.


Latavius Murray in his 2nd game back from injury became the feature back in UCF’s offense rushing for 192 yards on 23 carries. Storm Johnson surprisingly had 3 carries for -11 yards and Brynn Harvey 2 carries for 4 yards. UCF took its 2nd drive 81/9pl for a td then went 98/4pl with an 83 yd td run by Murray to lead Memphis 14-0. They gave up a 13 play drive for a 34 yd FG then with 5:30 left in the half, fumbled and UM returned it. UM faked a punt for a FD to midfield but a deep pass was int’d and ret’d 32 yds and UCF went 61/6pl for a td to lead 21-10. UM had a 3&13 and fumbled at the UCF21 and AJ Bouye picked it up and ret’d it 79 yards for a td, 28-10. UM missed a 44 yd FG and UCF faked a punt on 4&22 and went 73/13 for a td with 4:18 left to lead 35-10. UM converted on 4&11 on their final drive going 57/12pl and got a 1 yd td run with :39 left to make some of their UM fans happy as they “only” lost by 18. UM actually finished with a 361-351 yd edge.


Iowa was off its big upset win over Michigan St and their star RB Mark Weisman was listed as doubtful coming in. While Weisman did play, he was ineffective and had just 5 carries for 9 yards so it’s almost like he missed the game. Penn St’s top RB Zach Zwinak did have a couple of costly fumbles and Bill Belton led the team with 103 yards rushing on 16 carries. Matt McGloin had a fine day hitting 26-38-289 yards and Bill O’Brien continues to be in my mix for College Coach of the Year this season with the tremendous job he is doing by holding this team together at Penn St. PSU finished with a 504-209 yd edge and 28-14 FD edge and Iowa lost 2 starting OL in Brandon Scherff and Andrew Donnal in the 1Q in a span of just 3 plays and Iowa also missed a couple of FG’s which is ironic because Mike Meyer came into the game with a streak of 13 consecutive FG’s made. PSU took their 2nd drive 80/9pl for a td and their 3rd 69/9pl for a td. They were SOD on 4&3 at the Iowa 30 but after an Iowa missed FG, PSU drove 63/11pl for a 34 yd FG and then after a fumble, got a 11 yd td run by Belton to lead 24-0 at the half with a commanding 304-99 yd edge and 17-5 FD edge. Iowa was trailing 38-0 when they got a 92 yd KR td by Cotton. PSU recovered the onside kick but had a 43 yd FG blocked and Iowa got a 24 yd FR by Kirksey to set up a 37/4pl td drive with 4:11 left, 38-14.


Miami QB Stephen Morris played a week after spraining his ankle and had a decent game hitting 25-43-225 yds but hobbled around at times. Florida St shot itself in the foot early in this one allowing UM to jump out to a 10-0 lead. FSU’s first play was a pass to the TE Nick O’Leary who jumped in the air and was hammered and fumbled and UM went 22/4pl for a td. After a 17 yd FSU punt, UM went 42/6pl for a 20 yd FG, 10-0. FSU fumbled at the UM42 on their next drive. They settled for 33 and 46 yd FG’s and only led 13-10 at the half despite a 223-121 yd edge and 13-7 FD edge. FSU missed 44 yd FG to open the 3Q, had a td called back for offensive pass interference and settled for a 35 yd FG. They led 33-13 when UM took over with 2:45 left and gained 75 yards on the final 8 plays with UM getting a td with :47 left making it appear closer than the final and also helping UM statistically get over the 200 yard mark getting to 258 as FSU had a 447-173 yd edge prior to that drive.


Arizona topped 500 yards for the sixth time this year and had a 533-380 yard edge. This game was a little closer than the final would indicate at 52-17 as Washington did pile up 380 yards and were only outFD’d 25-23. UW’s first drive went 55/14pl and they settled for a 43 yd FG. UW went 45/7pl but after a FD at the AU20, on 3&20 they were int’d at the 16 and ret’d 43 yds which set up Arizona for a 41/11pl drive for a td to make it 17-3. After giving up a 52 yd td pass, they trailed 31-10 but got a 47 yd IR to the AZ3 with :27 left in the half and got a td 3pl later to pull within 31-17. Arizona only had a 339-247 yd edge. After each team fumbled to open the 3Q, Arizona got a 42/6pl drive for a td then added a 63 yd PR td, 45-17. UW went 70/11pl and on 3&6 was int’d in the EZ and ret’d to the 29. UW was SOD at the end of a 48/15pl drive at the Arizona 22 with 6:27 left.


Fresno had a 26-15 FD edge and 394-253 yd edge. Wyoming faked a punt on their 2nd poss on 4&5 and was SOD at the FSU46. FSU went 54/5 for a td UW went for it on 4&2 and was SOD at the FSU25. Then PR Rashod Evans took over. He had a 78 yd PR td with 3:58 left in the 1Q then a 22 yd PR set up FSU for a 42/4pl drive for a td and a 21 yd PR with UW punting from their own 2 setting FSU up for a 14/1pl td and a 28-0 lead. FSU fumbled at their own 45 and 50 on their next 2 poss then drove 92/17 and got an 11 yd td pass with :16 left in the half to lead 35-0. They had a 298-84 yd edge. The 3Q opened with 5 punts. UW went 92/11pl for a td but then was int and ret’d 53 yds. Mid-4Q FSU got a 20 yd IR td and UW with 7:24 left went 74/13pl getting a garbage 6 yd td pass with 6:41 left.


Marshall rolled over Southern Miss on the road with a 629-331 yd edge and 32-25 FD edge. At the half MU had a 374-156 yd edge and led 31-17. They scored td’s on their first 2 poss of the 3Q to blow it open 45-17 and SM fumbled into the EZ for a tb with 2:35 left 3Q. Rakeem Cato hit 31-42-340 yards. SM went to Anthony Alford as the starter and he hit just 9-21-65 and Ricky Lloyd came in and hit 4-7-37 while Arsenio Favor hit 4-5-13.


Utah actually had a 307-226 yd edge vs Oregon St but in defense of the Beavers, they did get 2 short TD’s so they led almost the entire game and jumped out to a 14-0 lead then held on. Cody Vaz got the start even though Mannion may have been able to play and hit 16-26-174. Oregon St is off to their best start in 105 years (1907 when the school was called Oregon Agricultural College). Although this might have been their weakest game of the year. Travis Wilson hit 15-28-172 for Utah. Utah opened with a 55/8 drive and missed a 43 yd FG. After 3 punts, Utah was int’d and ret’d’ 19 yds. OSU went 16/3pl for a td. Utah fmbl’d 3pl later and OSU went 10/2pl for a td to lead 14-0. Utah went 88/10pl and got an 18 yd TD pass with 6:00 left in the 2Q, 14-7. At the half Utah had a 175-98 yd edge. Utah went 55/11 but fmbl’d at the OSU10. 4 punts. OSU went 67/7 and got a 2 yd td run by Woods with 7:41 left. Utah was SOD on 4&9 at the OSU26 and then on 4&4 at the OSU35 on their final 2 drives.


San Diego St lost starting QB Ryan Katz (likely OFY) in the 1Q but Adam Dingwell came off the bench and hit 14-23-177 yards. Nevada appeared to have the game put away as they had leads in the 2H of 17-6, 24-14 and 31-21. SDSt converted on 3&11 and 3&10 on a 75/11pl drive and got a td with 3:45 left to pull within 3. Nevada  got 3 FD but couldn’t get the 4th clinching FD and punted with just :50 left. SDSt got 4 FD and nailed a 35 yd FG on the regulation’s final play to force OT. Each team got a td in OT, Nevada in 7pl and SDSt in 2 but the Aztecs went for the 2 pt conversion and got it for the win. A couple of key plays hurt Nevada in the 1H as their P knelt down to pick up a punt and was ruled down (like a blk’d punt) which set up a SDSt 46 yd FG and then on 4&16 they gained 15 yds to the Aztec15 with 2:28 left 1H. Nevada had a 240-102 yd edge in the half but only led 10-6.


Joe Bergeron ran for 5 td’s, one short of a school record set by Ricky Williams. Texas led Baylor 42-31 at the half and it was 56-43 when Baylor took over with 7:21 left at their own 6 and went 94/15. On 4&gl they got a 1 yd td run with 1:57 left to only lose by 6 making some Bear fans happy. Texas rec’d a pooch KO and got 1 FD and took a knee. I personally thought Texas could hold Baylor to less than 400 yards on ESPN Insider this past week but this Texas defense is flawed and looking back at that WV win over Texas, and my preseason ranking for Texas which was mostly based on the fact they had the best D in the Big12, those both look flawed as well. Texas had its moments, producing some 3&outs and in fact, BU went 3&out on their first poss and their first td came on an 8 yd drive after the snap went over UT’s P’s head. UT at one point, taking away that bad punt snap, had a 162-7 yd edge. Baylor did score td’s on their next 3 poss. It was 42-24 with 1:26 left 1H when BU went 63/7pl for a td to make it 42-31 at the half. UT had a 352-276 yd edge. As mentioned, UT led 56-43 and BU punted with 9:57 left but took their last drive 94/15pl and even though Texas lost DE Jeffcoat the previous week, and have faced 4 of the top offenses in the country in back-to-back-to-back weeks, this UT defense is nowhere near where I thought it was. I just checked philsteele.com which has a very interesting analysis on each game. It tells you how a team performs vs a team’s average in every other game. Texas’ D has actually held their opponents to 4 yds below their season average which surprises me as in five of their seven games, they’ve allowed less yards than their foe had averaged in games not involving them. The biggest difference was Oklahoma where they were -224 yds allowing 679 yards in that game. Now, as I’ve noted in the NOTES column, teams that have taken on 3 super foes in back-to-back-to-back weeks, struggle in that 3rd game. LSU last week gave up over 400 yards to Texas A&M, South Carolina was waxed by Florida 44-11 and of course Texas was mauled by OU 63-21 right after taking on OSU and WV. if you check the total offenses in the country, OSU, WV, OU and Baylor are 4 of the top 5 offenses.