DAILY BLOG • Tuesday, September 25th
Miami, Fl jumped out to a 19-0 lead after 1Q vs Georgia Tech. GT then dominated the next 2Q’s scoring 36 consecutive pts to lead 36-19 and appeared in full control of the game. UM finished with a 609-419 yd edge and 30-18 FD edge thanks to a big 4Q. UM drove 91/7pl and got a td with :27 left to force OT and GT was stopped on 4&1 from the 2 with UM getting a 25 yd td run for the win.
Marshall had been 0-8 in trips to Texas and Rice did have a 34-31 FD and 647-593 yd edge but MU finally broke that streak. The Herd did lead most of the game as they led 21-7 in the 2Q and 41-31 with 4:10 left but Rice would get a 43 yd td run with 3:17 left and a 23 yd FG on the game’s final play to send it to OT. In the 2nd OT Rice settled for a FG and MU got a td for the win.
Idaho St is one of the worst defenses in FCS ball and has lost 34 consecutive road games. Nebraska was still impressive in their 73-7 win. They led 45-0 at half and 66-0 after 3Q’s with NU rushing for 385 yards. A key may have been the return of Rex Burkhead who rushed for 119 but Imani Cross had 12 carries for 100 yards as well. Their 45 1H points were most since 2000 with a 363-72 yd edge at the half and IDSU gaining 138 yds vs the Huskers backups in the 2H.
Alabama appeared on their way to a 3rd straight shutout for the first time since 1966 when Bear Bryant had an undefeated team. FAU had 1 FD in the first 3Q’s (41 yds) but Bama’s shutout streak got to 192 min 25 sec when FAU capped a 75/15pl drive with a 6 yd td pass with 2:49 left. The drive included 4&3 and 4&1 conversions and Bama’s bench was flagged for stepping too far on to the field two plays before the score. Bama had a 353-23 yd edge at the half.
USC’s Matt Barkley did not have Heisman stats hitting just 22-34-192 yds with 2 int and wasn’t overly sharp vs Cal and Robert Woods had just 5 catches for 30 yds. K Andre Heidari returned for USC and contributed 40 and 41 yd FG’s and 3 xp’s. USC had a 488-250 yd edge a week after having their unbeaten season end. Their opening poss ended with an int in the EZ but they led 17-3 at the half with a 293-98 yd edge. They did need a 75/14pl td drive with 5:56 left to go up by 18 and Cal’s last drive got to the USC22 but after 2 sks on 4&21 they were sk’d again.
Don’t overreact to UTSA’s 56-3 win over NW Oklahoma St. NWOS is actually making a move from NAIA to Div II and is a transitional team and one of the weaker Div II teams out there so it was not surprising that UTSA won with a 445-167 yd edge. It was 42-0 before NWOS put together an 85/11pl drive for a 20 yd FG on the last play of the half making the yardage 299-132.
Mississippi St started the season with 4 straight wins for the first time since 1999 although Tyler Russell hit just 13-27 for 171 yards vs South Alabama. MSU only had a 356-347 yd edge but were outFD’d 21-15 but led the game 20-0 at the half with a 214-104 yd edge. It was 30-3 when USA went 57/6pl and 78/12pl, the latter for a td with 4:14 left for the 30-10 final.
I read an article this past weekend that talked about whether Colorado was the worst Pac-12 team of all time. The Buffs played a much stronger game but did appear on the verge of being blown out. They finished with a 26-23 FD edge and 531-451 yd edge but Washington St led 31-14 in the 4Q when they opted to go for it on 4&3 from the CU8 when a FG would have put them up by 20. They were stopped and CU got a 70 yd td pass and later an 84 yd td run by Jones. CU took over with 3:17 left and was down only 6 as opposed to 9 when they went 70/12pl and on 4&gl from the 4 Webb ran it in for the td and the upset.
Duke trailed Memphis 14-7 in the 2Q and did need a td with 6:02 left to go up by 24 points but played much better than that final score. Duke finished with a 28-9 FD edge and 500-152 yd edge. Memphis’ 2 td’s came on a 4 yd IR td with 14:46 left in the 2Q and then after a 95 yd KR, they put together a 5 yd “drive” for another td and a 14-7 lead. They were held to under 100 yds heading into the 4Q.
Wyoming’s Brett Smith was listed as doubtful coming in vs Idaho but hit 23-35-365 yds. Dominique Blackman for Idaho hit 34-46-346 yds and 3 td. At the half Idaho had a 263-167 yd edge. The key play happened with Idaho leading 27-20 and had a 1&gl at the UW2 and they fumbled. The 2nd key play happened on the next play when UW got an 80 yd pass down to the ID17 and got a td to tie. ID needed an 8 yd td pass on the last play of regulation to send it to OT but lost there.
Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater had been having an exceptional season but had more incompletions vs FIU (17) than he had in his first 3 games of the season (16). Bridgewater had hit an amazing 72-88 passes. FIU lost RB Darian Mallary (conc) and QB Jake Medlock (foot) and FIU’s top RB Kendrick Rhodes was out of the game so Jeremiah Harden had 20 att for 102 yards. Bridgewater had a streak of 96 passes without an int ended by Jonathan Cyprien late 1Q and FIU had a 326-323 yd edge and led 14-7 with Louisville getting a 1 yd td pass with :26 left in the half to tie. After a FIU fumble to start the 3Q, UL went 26/3pl for a td and FIU was SOD on 4&1 with 8:03 left in the 3Q at the UL10, 4&2 at the UL21 and trailing 28-21 they forced a UL punt and roughed the kicker giving them a FD and UL got 2 more FD’s and ran out the clock.
San Jose St and San Diego St had a wild one with the lead changing hands 4x in the 4Q. David Fales hit 21-31-260 yds and 4 td’s. SDS got a FG with 5:33 left, 27-24, SJS a 77/5pl drive for a td with 3:26 left, 31-27, SDS went 71/4pl for a 40 yd td pass with 3:24 left, 34-31 and SJS35 went 65/5pl and got a 14 yd td pass with :50 left. SDS’s final effort ended on a sk back at their own 32. HC MacIntryre has done a tremendous job rebuilding this SJS team.
The QB controversy at Toledo that saw the starting QB being decided by a coin flip in the opener is all gone. Terrance Owens hit 27-36-290 yds and Austin Dantin has seen some action in special teams. Costal Carolina got a 75/6pl drive for a td to open the 3Q to lead 21-17 and at that point had a 299-220 yd edge. Toledo won 38-28 although they were outgained 430-402.
Vanderbilt got its worst defeat since 2003 and Georgia had a 567-347 yd edge in their 48-3 win. UGA has scored 40+ pts in their first 4 games for the first time in school history and their starters rested the entire 2H with even walk-on Parker Welch getting some time at QB as he hit 1-2-15. UGA had dominated the previous year’s game vs Vandy but left them in the game and that almost came back to bite them. This time they left no doubt leading 27-3 at half and 48-3 after 3Q’s and had a 303-136 yd edge at the half.
SF Austin had a 36-17 FD edge vs Texas St and 505-459 yd edge. TSU led 41-17 with 8:23 left 3Q. TSU was SOD at the SFA35, fumbled at the SFA17 and missed a 39 yd FG with SFA getting 2 td’s to pull within 41-37. TS fumbled at the SFS45 but after a pair of punts, SFA was SOD on 4&3 from the TS45 on the last play.
In 2011 Oklahoma had destroyed Kansas St on their home field by 41. Bill Snyder did it again, this time pulling an upset on the road thanks in part to 3 crucial Oklahoma turnovers. Collin Klein hit 13-21-149 and rushed for 79 but was much more impressive than that and I have him on my short list of Heisman candidates. Snyder won my Coach of the Year Award last year and got another big upset win. OU took a drive 80/15pl but settled for a 28 yd FG. Landry Jones was sk’d and fumbled and KSU fell on it for a td and OU went 54/8pl and the 2nd crucial turnover was 2nd&gl from the 1 they fumbled and KSU recovered. At the half OU had a 182-174 yd edge but trailed. Leading 13-10, the 3rd costly turnover popped up when Jones threw a poor pass that was int’d at the 38 setting up a short KSU td. At the end, trailing 24-19, OU needed a stop but KSU converted on 3&11 with a Klein pass and then on 3&3 with a Klein run for the win and knocked the Sooners out of any National Title talk.
Arkansas St had a 634-130 yd edge and you can sum the game up by saying that Alcorn St had 13 different poss in the game and only 3 times managed to top 5 plays in a poss. At half ASU had a 357-57 yd edge in a thorough drubbing of an overmatched foe.
NC State took the RS off frosh Shadrach Thornton and he ran for 145 yards vs The Citadel. I personally expected a little closer game with the Citadel playing well this year and running the precision option offense but Tom O’Brien did a good job preparing and NCSt led 42-7 at the half and finished with a 515-226 yd edge. David Amerson got his 3rd int of the season. NCSt was actually playing without their top 3 RB’s on the depth chart in Mustafa Greene, James Washington and Tony Creecy but they still ran for a season high 284 yards after having a top total of 127 this year (vs South Alabama).
WKU was playing in front of the biggest crowd in school history of 23,252 and dominated Southern Miss with a 560-264 yd edge. WKU led 21-3 at the half with a 298-135 yd edge and extended it to 42-3. SM got a td with 2:03 left in the 3Q and after an int drove 39/5pl with 7:56 left and also put together a 50/7pl drive after that to “only” lose by 25. Antonio Andrews rushed for 136 yds on 15 carries while SM’s top RB Desmond Johnson had just 10 carries for 39 yards. SM’s QB situation is still very much up in the air with Anthony Alford hitting 2-7-14 and Chris Campbell 2-5-15 and Ricky Lloyd putting up the best stats hitting 4-5-72 but his 2 drives came late.
When Pitt last played an FCS school they were upset by Youngstown St 31-17 in the opener. This time Pitt may have been in a flat spot coming off their big upset of Virg Tech but Gardner-Webb’s only td came on a 65 yd FR td which came with 1:10 left in the half and Pitt led 55-10 ending the game at the GW18. They finished with a 626-127 yd edge and 25-10 FD edge.
Gary Nova proved to be the right choice for starting QB at Rutgers and hit 25-35-397 yds vs Arkansas as Rutgers moved to 4-0 for the first time since 2006. John Bateman was the last RU HC to begin his career at 4-0 and that happened way back in 1960. Tyler Wilson did return to the lineup for Arkansas and hit 20-39-419 and led UA to a 10-0 early lead. UA had 176 yds in the 1Q but just 18 in the 2Q. The key play happened with RU down 10-0. Kyle Flood opted to fake a punt on 4&2 from their own 33 and they got it and continued on a 75/13pl drive for a td and took control of the momentum and led 28-13 with UA getting a td with 8:19 left but missed the 2pt and RU got a 60 yd td pass to put it away.
Utah St dominated Colorado St even more than the score indicates. Kerwynn Williams rushed for 205 yds on 21 carries. USU went 77/8pl for a td and took its 3rd drive 44/8pl for a 20 yd FG, its 4th 85/19 and on 4&1 got a 1 yd td pass and its 5th drive went 77/9 but they fumbled into the EZ as they were going for the td. It was 17-0 at the half but USU had a 286-61 yd edge. It was 31-12 when USU punted with 4:38 left and CSU went 91/12pl getting a 29 yd garbage td with 1:43 left.
Notre Dame got off to its best start since 2002 and Michigan lost their 8th straight road game vs a ranked team The last 3 meetings Michigan had won with a score in the final :30 but Denard Robinson had an unbelievable game with 4 int’s and fumble as UM turned it over 6 times. UM’s first int, they were int’d in the EZ from the 10. The 2nd was returned 28 yds to set up an ND FG. His 2nd straight pass was int’d on the next poss but the Irish were int’d in the EZ. UM was int’d again on the next play and ND drove 48/9pl for a td and led 10-0 at the half. UM fumbled at the ND8, settled for 33 and 31 yd FG’s and ND’s final drive they took over with 3:27 left and converted on 3&4 and 3&6 and ran out the clock. UM actually finished with a 299-239 yd edge.
Florida St has an All-American caliber K in Dustin Hopkins but he actually missed 2 FG’s vs Clemson and FSU also fumbled the punt when they had taken momentum 14-14 and that set up a CU td and they trailed 21-14 at the half including a missed 37 yd FG on the final play. FSU had a 311-243 yd edge at the half. CU used a Sammy Watkins pass for a 52 yd td to open the 3Q and led 28-14 but FSU took over from there. CU would get a 50 yd FG, go 3&out, 3&out, were int’d and went 3&out on their next 5 poss as FSU built a 49-31 lead. CU took over at its 31 with 5:19 left and on 4&3 the DB went for the pass and it looked like he tipped it and the WR caught it at the 3 and walked it into the EZ for a td that made many CU fans happy. FSU’s last drive had Manuel running down the sideline but he just slid down at the 9 yd line.
Fresno St jumped out to a 13-0 lead vs Tulsa with a 29 yd IR td and FSU led 20-7 after 1Q. TU’s D did not allow another point. TU got a 48/6pl drive for a td which on 4&13 got a 31 yd td pass and their next drive went 38/10pl with a 24 yd FG with 4:46 left to pull within 20-17. FSU did miss a 33 yd FG on the final play of the half. TU was int’d and ret’d 21 yds for a td and trailed 26-17 but got a 38 yd FG after rec a fumble and then after a 12 yd PR drove 34 yds for a td and the lead, 27-26 with 2:46 left in the 3Q. Surprisingly the next 7 poss were punts and TU took over with 5:57 left, got a PI for a FD, a 3&4 for a FD, added another FD and the drive was finally stopped on 4&6 at the FSU13 with :16 left.
Minnesota was without their starting QB but Max Shortell hit 16-30-231 yds. Partially due to the better product on the field, but perhaps partially also due to the fact they are allowing beer sales this year, UM had a sellout crowd of 50,805 and unlike the first couple of years in their new stadium and all their years in the Metrodome, UM now has a home crowd advantage. In fact, Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said, “We came into a pretty hostile environment.” UM did miss a 44 yd FG on their first poss and a 26 yd FG on their 3rd but still led 7-3 at the half. The Gophers went 87/12pl for a td to open the 3Q, 14-3 but SU went on an 83/15pl drive. On 3&gl from the 4 LB Vereen blitzed and hit Nassib as he was throwing and the ball popped in the air and was int’d. SU fumbled at the UM21 on their next drive. The Gophers got a 43 yd FG with 3:20 left to clinch it 17-3 and SU then went 82/9p getting a td with :46 left.
The story of the Texas A&M game was Dustin Harris as he set an SEC record with 246 PR yards which was also a school record and had a 96 yd PR td. A&M used mostly backups in the 2H vs South Carolina St. Harris had a 19 yd return setting up a 33 yd td drive, a 33 yd return setting up a 32 yd td drive and an 18 yd punt perhaps because they did not want to punt to Harris that set up a 44 yd td drive, a 35 yd return later set up a 37 yd td drive and A&M led 49-7 at the half with a 347-90 yd edge. Harris’ 96 yd PR came in the 3Q with 8:23 left. A&M’s last score was on a 22 yd IR td with 7:16 left.
Troy won a crucial showdown vs N Texas on the road. The first 5 poss were surprisingly punts and NT went 85/8pl and got a 50 yd td pass to lead 7-0. Six of the next 7 poss were punts with 1 int. NT missed 40 and 47 yd FG’s in the 2Q and Troy took over with 2:28 left in the half and went 70/8pl getting a 15 yd td with 1:00 left in the half to tie. They rec’d an onside kick to open the 3Q but punted but then got a 76 yd td pass on the next drive. NT missed their 3rd FG, a 27 yd’r with 5:06 left in the 3Q. Troy did miss a 50 yd FG. NT passed up a 34 yd FG with 14:48 left and on 4&11 fired incomplete. NT went for it again on 4&16 passing up a 51 yd FG and fired incomplete with 5:47 left and Troy30 would get 5 FD’s running out the clock taking a knee at the UT22.
New Mexico got their first road win since 2008 when they also beat New Mexico St. It was a 4 year road losing streak, the longest in the FBS that came to an end. Kasey Carrier rushed for 129 yards and NM rushed for 302 yards. At the half NM had a 237-103 yd edge and led 13-7 after settling for 24 and 29 yd FG’s. NM led 27-7 when NMSt would drive and get a td with 3:54 left. NM ended the game at the NMSt12 taking a knee.
Pete Lembo of Ball St is doing a tremendous job and knocked off a strong USF team at home. USF did have a 518-413 yd edge. With 3:27 left 1H, USF had an xp blk’d which would prove crucial. BSU led 24-12 but USF would go 81/8pl for a td and then 99/15pl for a td. They got a 29 yd td pass with 4:12 left and the 2pt to lead 27-24 but BSU25 converted on 4&2 with a 6 yd pass to its own 49 and then on 3&10, got a 19 yd td pass with 2:02 left to put them up by 4. USF13 got 3 FD’s to the BSU28 but needing a td, on 2&10, BJ Daniels was int’d on the final play.
Akron had a 21 game road losing streak but Terry Bowden’s father, Bobby was on hand and Akron gave Tenn a scare early. UA had been outscored by a combined 256-19 in 5 previous SEC games but this game vs Tenn they were tied at 23 at half. Tenn finished with a 633-344 yd edge. Tenn led 20-16 when they were SOD at the UA30 with 2:26 left in the half and on next play Hines ripped off a 70 yd td run for UA. Tenn had a 328-202 yd edge at the half but it was tied. UA was int’d at the 2 from the 15 on their first 3Q poss and on their 3rd poss went 60/16pl for a 37 yd FG but went 3&out, were int’d, went 3&out, 3&out and ran 2pl ending the game on their final 5 poss as Tenn pulled away to a 21 pt win.
John White returned to the lineup for Utah but lost 2 fumbles. Utah, which was coming off a big win over rival BYU and taking to the road vs an Arizona St team off a loss, and ASU smacked them like the final indicated. ASU had a 24-10 FD edge and 512-209 yd edge. Jon Hays struggled again at QB hitting 10-15-117 yds. Utah was SOD on 4&3 at the ASU45 on their first poss and ASU went 64/4pl, 59/7pl and 34/4pl (after fumble) for td’s on their first 3 poss, 21-0. It was 31-7 at the half with ASU having a 352-145 yd edge.
While Louisiana Tech came in avg 56 ppg, six Illinois turnovers had a lot to do with their loss. Nathan Scheelhaase returned to the lineup but looked rusty and was ineffective in the 1Q. He hit 8-11-85. Reilly O’Toole took over the rest of the game and hit 19-25-120 yd. The turnovers were a key factor. At the half, for example, IL had a 189-135 yd edge (12-6 FD edge) but the Illini had fumbled at the 24, were int’d setting up a 45 yd LT drive, fumbled setting up a 23 yd LT td and trailed 21-17. LT did come out in the 3Q with a 78 yd td pass and a 73/9pl drive. IL was SOD on 4&3 at midfield, fumbled setting up a 32 yd LT FG, fumbled at the LT26 and were SOD at their own 49.
UNLV actually outrushed Air Force in the final 3Q’s of the game, 199-172. LV’s first 3 losses of the season were by a combined 13 points and things didn’t look good here. AF had just played in front of 100,000+ vs Michigan and now were in front of 14,054 in Sam Boyd Stadium but still appeared in control of the game. AF had leads of 21-10 and 28-17 and a 312-224 yd edge at the half. AF fumbled at the LV22 and a 76 yd run by Cornett turned the game around. LV got a td and on their next drive went 80/8pl for a td, then 63/14pl for a td and stunningly, took a 38-28 lead. AF got a td with 4:49 left and LV went for it on 4&1 at their own 34 and got a FD which allowed them to knock some time off the clock. AF got it back with :51 left at their own 25 and only got out to their own 45.
Arizona/Oregon was not the blowout of 49-0 as it appears. UO did have a 495-332 yd edge but only a 25-19 FD edge and UA could have made it a lot closer had they taken advantage of numerous redzone opportunities in this game. It was the Ducks first shutout in conf play since 2003. Here is a list of Arizona’s blown opportunities: On 4&gl from the 4 they had a bad snap on a FG and UO took over. UA had a FD at the Duck12 but was int’d. UA went on a 71/13pl drive but on 4&gl were SOD. UA had a 31 yd FG blk’d from the UO20. UA got a 19 yd pass to the UO29 but fumbled at the end and they trailed 13-0 at the half with the Ducks having a 261-141 yd edge. UA’s first punt of the game came with 3:59 to go in the 2Q. Surprisingly the 3Q opened with 5 punts. UO got a 37 yd td drive after a 38 yd PR. Another UA blown opportunity came after they had a FD at the 18 and on 4&12 they were int’d at the 12. UA was int and ret’d 54 yds for a td to give UO a 35-0 lead with 13:08 left. UA on 4&1 at the UO14 was SOD. UA was int’d and ret’d 29 yd for a td with 3:53 left.
The home team in the LSU/Auburn game had been 11-1 SU. LSU did finish with a 351-183 yd edge but AU had a shot to win at the end. It looked like it would be a blowout early as AU was tackled for a safety after LSU had fumbled at their 3 and LSU went 59/9pl for a td after the free kick to lead 9-0 but AU recovered a fumble at the LSU26 with 1:02 left in the 1Q and went 26/3pl for a td, 9-7. With 1:21 left in the half, AU got a 40 yd FG for the lead, 10-9. They held that lead until 5:26 in the 3Q when LSU got a 30 yd FG to go up 12-10. AU was int’d and the next 6 poss were punts. LSU missed a 34 yd FG with :39 left and AU got to their 37 but was int’d on the last play, trailing by 2.
Nevada had not won in Hawaii in sixty years. If you checked out my Fantasy Players of the Week on Thursday on philsteele.com you know that Stefphon Jefferson was one of them. Jefferson delivered as he had 7 td’s in this game in Nevada’s 69-24 win over Hawaii. Nevada averaged 6.3 ypc on 56 attempts finishing with 355 yards rushing. It was the most points ever allowed by Hawaii at Aloha Stadium. In fact the last time they were at home and allowed this many, was 74 to Stanford back in 1950. A 55 yd td pass to Jefferson on UN’s 2nd series got the scoring going and the team’s would actually trade scores on 7 straight poss but UH settled for a 22 yd FG so UN led 27-17. After UH was int’d, UN got a 5 yd td run by Jefferson on 4&1 with 2:00 left to go up 34-17 and had a 351-280 yd edge. UN punted on their first 3Q poss but after a 32 yd PR, got a 3 yd Jefferson td run. UN then went 63/11pl for a td, after UH was SOD, UN went 54/8pl for a td then got a 78 yd IR td to lead 62-17 en route to their 69-24 win.