Daily Blog - Monday September 7th

NEWS AND NOTES - In a newly renovated home stadium Indiana drew 36,759, their largest home crowd since 1997. While the Hoosiers led at one point 19-7, they were clinging to a 19-13 lead when EK fumbled with 11:49 left on 2nd & gl from the 5. EK’s final drive got to the Indy 40 but their Hail Mary pass was batted down...Iowa St ended a 10 game losing streak with a 34-17 win over North Dakota St. At the half, NDSt actually had a 233-221 yd edge but fumbled into the EZ for a TB on 2nd & gl from the 3 and trailed 17-10. Clinging to a 27-17 lead ISt got a 42 yd TD pass with 9:58 left to ice it...A stunner in the first week was Troy, who had been perceived as one of the top non-BCS teams losing by 17 at BG. Troy jumped out to a 14-0 lead but while BG converted on all three 4th down conversions, Troy was SOD at the BG17, missed a 36 yd FG, was int’d at the BG29 and with 2:14 left, down by 10 on 4th & 6 was int’d and ret’d 64 yards for a TD...Temple had a 225-118 yd edge at the half vs Villanova but was int’d at the 18 and missed a 35 yd FG. They led 24-14 in the 4Q and up 24-17, but fumbled at the Villanova 35 with 5:53 left. VU got a 12pl drive for a TD then after an int got the 32 yard game-winning FG for the upset... The Big Dog Play of the Week got another outright upset winner as N Texas stunned Ball St. BSt had their 14 game regular season winning streak end and NT got their first non-conf road victory since 1999. NT could have won much bigger than the 20-10 final as they had a 512-309 yd edge and won despite missing a 47 yd FG, being int’d in the EZ from the 2, settling for a 24 yd FG, missing a 47 yd FG, fumbling at their own 35 (set up Ball St’s only TD) and ending the game at the BSt9 taking a knee...Kent St was not all that impressive vs Coastal Carolina with 2 safeties and they only led 2-0 at half. They did finish with a 344-185 yd edge and RB Jarvis rushed for 141 yards, had 30 yards in receptions and had 94 yards in returns...Utah extended the nation’s longest win streak to 15 with a 35-17 win over their rival Utah St. New QB Terrance Cain hit 20 of 30 for 286 yards and 2 of his first 6 passes went for TD’s including a short slant pass that went 65 yards...While Hawaii had a 415-270 yd edge vs C Arkansas, they trailed most of the game and forced a punt with 2:26 left. UH got a 66 yd pass to the 8 and an 8 yd TD pass with 1:22 left to escape with a 25-20 win...Northwestern was more impressive than the final score as they scored TD’s on their first 4 poss and led 30-0. NW was SOD at the Towson 4 with 3:00 left and failed to cover the 34 point spread, 47-14...Tennessee had an 18-1 FD edge and 297-24 yd edge at the half. They still only led 35-7 after 3Q’s but scored 4 TD’s in the 4Q and ended the game at the WKU 6...Liberty traded scores with W Virginia in the 1Q and it was 10-10. WV finally iced it mid-4Q with a TD 2pl after an int and Liberty went 70/12pl for a garbage TD with :58 left...Purdue has moved to a more run oriented offense and Ralph Bolden rushed for 234 yards. Purdue K Carson Wiggs set a school record with a 59 yd FG. Toledo QB Aaron Opelt threw 69 times for 423 yards but PU led 45-14 in the 3Q in their 52-21 win...Georgia Tech had a big game vs Clemson on deck and got their first PR for a TD (58 yds) with :55 left 1H to lead 31-7. They played their backups most of the 2H and GT missed a 42 yd FG with 2:59 left and JSt got a 75/11pl drive for a garbage TD with :45 left. GT had a 312-107 yd edge at half...Mississippi St had 45 points, their largest total since 2002 but did have TD drives of 24 (after fmbl’d snap by P), 15 (after int), 34 (after fmbl) and got a 43 yd IR TD as they benefitted from a 5-2 turnover edge...Air Force scored on 9 of their first 10 drives of the game vs Nicholls St in their 72-0 rout with a 576-151 yd edge...While Rice lost by 20, their rebuilt offense moved the ball well with 391 yards. They had a 23 yd FG blk’d on 4th & 2 from the 2, were int’d at the 1, settled for a 29 yd FG and were SOD at the 16...Rich Rodriguez came in under a lot of pressure from Michigan but the Wolverines dominated rolling up a 31-0 lead in the 1H and at one point had a 289-24 yd edge. They did give up a 74 yd TD pass in the 3Q and UM was SOD at the WM10 with :38 left in the 31-7 win...New Mexico failed to score a TD for the 4th straight opener and Texas A&M dominated the game 41-6 with a 606-231 yd edge...N Iowa is a good FCS team (#4) but had a 151-105 yd edge at the half vs Iowa and led 13-3 early in the 3Q. Iowa led 17-16 when NI drove 69/11pl and a 40 yd FG was blk’d with :02 left but since the kick was on FD and NI recovered without the ball crossing the line of scrimmage, they got a 2nd opportunity for the win but the 2nd 41 yd FG was blk’d again and Iowa escaped...Kansas St overcame 3 TO’s and a blocked punt for a TD as they had a 407-212 yd edge vs Massachusetts and led 21-3 at the half...Syracuse QB Greg Paulus hit 19 of 31 for 167 yds and SU led almost the entire 2H but UM got a 26 yd FG with :57 left to force OT and won it there...Wyoming had a 2 QB race all of Aug between Robert Benjamin and Karsten Sween. Versus Weber St, Coach Christensen alternated the two, but it was Benjamin (8-14-87) and frosh Austyn Carta-Samuels (8-17-101) who shared. They did lead a very good Weber St team 29-15 when Weber got a TD with :38 left for only a 7 point win...Kevin Prince became just the 2nd UCLA frosh QB to start an opener. SDSt scored a TD on its first 2 poss vs the Bruins gaining 147 yds but would have just 130 yards the rest of the game. The Aztecs had 3 shots at the cover but they were SOD at the UCLA40, int’d at the UCLA7 and int’d at the 20 all in the 4Q. Another key play was a 70 yd blk’d FG for a TD which was basically a 10 point swing...Gus Malzahn’s 2nd try as an SEC OC worked out pretty well vs LA Tech. Auburn piled up 556 yards with 301 rush and 255 passing in their 37-13 win over LT...UTEP got a game-winning TD pass with :14 left and the crowd celebrated and the announcers talked about what a great comeback win it was for UTEP. Unfortunately, holding was called on the play, plus UTEP celebrated the TD and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that moved the ball past the 40 and lost by 6. UTEP had a 24-18 FD edge and 372-309 yd edge...Vanderbilt had 2 runners top 100 yards for the first time since 2002 as frosh Warren Norman (110, 6.1) and frosh Zac Stacy (130, 6.5) both accomplished that vs overmatched W Carolina...Cal moved its game time back to 10:00 pm EST for Maryland’s cross-country trip after the Terps moved the starting time up to 9:00 am PT last year. As expected, Cal dominated with 244 yards rushing and led 31-6 at the half. RB Jahvid Best rushed for 137 yards on just 10 carries sitting out most of the 2H and Cal got revenge for last year’s upset loss...UC Davis had not been shutout since 1990, a streak of 212 games but was playing before its largest crowd ever as 31,250 watched Fresno St dominate them 51-0...Rich Ellerson became the first Army coach to win his first game in 18 years. He stepped into a great situation as Army made the move to the wishbone last year. E Michigan, which changed their offense, putting the QB under center, had different results. QB Andy Schmitt who had 1,000 yards passing in the final 2 games (500 ypg) threw for just 183 and EM managed 223 yds offense trailing 13-0 at the half at home vs the Cadets...A tough start to the season for Idaho St. Arizona St demolished them with a 407-37 yd edge in their game. Next up for ISt, how about an Oklahoma team off a loss...Things were not completely bad for the state of Idaho as Boise beat Oregon and Idaho got their first win in an opening game since 1999 and their first road win since 2006. They led New Mexico St 21-0 at the half...Things did not look good for SMU as they trailed Stephen F Austin 23-14 after 3Q’s but they got a 53 yd FG and 2 TD’s, the first on a 4th & 1 QB sneak by Mitchell with 7:47 left, 24-23 and the 2nd on a 48 yd TD run. SFA missed a 39 yd FG with 2:13 left and then SMU put it away with a 48 yd TD run to escape 31-23...Washington had one of the better performances of the week for a team. Against a Top 10 team at home, UW had a 478-321 yd edge but came up short on the scoreboard 31-23. UW had an impressive 25-17 FD edge and Locker hit 25-45-321 yds and rushed for 51 for the Huskies. UW did get a 9 yd TD pass on the final play of the game...UCF trailed 24-21 when they got a TD pass in the 4Q to get past Samford. Samford had a 286-282 yd edge...Nebraska won their 24th consecutive opener, the longest streak in the nation as they rolled over Florida Atl 49-3. QB Zac Lee hit 15-22-213 in his Husker debut and Roy Helu rushed for 152 yards...For the 2nd straight year Arkansas St pounded an FCS foe, this time 61-0. They had a 496-69 yd edge...Arizona’s defense held a potent C Michigan offense to just 182 total yards. Arizona, meanwhile, rolled up over 200 yards both rushing and passing. With those type of numbers, it’s surprising the Wildcats only won 19-6. Arizona did have a QB battle coming out of Aug and it was expected both QB’s would play but Matt Scott engineered the team the entire game hitting 19 of 30 for 202 yards while rushing for 83. Scott almost doubled Dan LeFevour’s production as LeFevour had just 108 yards passing.

TOUGH DAY FOR THE ACC - Baylor snapped a 9 game road losing streak beating Wake Forest on the road. BU led 24-7 in the 3Q and held on for a 24-21 win...William & Mary had a 16-12 FD and 309-268 yd edges vs Virginia and also took advantage of 7 Cav turnovers as UVA rotated 3 QB’s. UVA led 14-13 at the half but W&M clinched it with a 50 yd IR TD with 2:39 left...Duke did have a 369-283 yard edge over the defending FCS National Champ Richmond, but Richmond blk’d a punt for TD and the FCS got its 2nd win over an ACC team this week, 24-16. Duke QB Lewis hit 34-55-359 but Richmond had 1 blk’d PR for a TD which helped them.

BIG SHOES TO FILL - We wondered who would take Donald Brown’s place at RB at Connecticut but Jordan Todman and Andre Dixon may have answered the question. The 2 combined for 44 attempts and 257 yards rushing as each topped 100 yards vs a good Ohio defense.

NOT PUTTING OPPONENTS AWAY - On paper, Boise St had a tough outing vs Oregon only winning 19-8. That does not tell the story of the game. At the half BSt had a 13-0 FD edge and 185-13 yd edge but missed a couple of short FG’s, one coming after a 1st & gl at the 1 and they only led 13-0. It was 19-0 when the Ducks got their first FD of the game with 7:07 left in the 3Q and BSt turned it over on 3 of their next 4 poss but their D held strong and they finished with a 361-152 yd edge and 28 of the Ducks yards came on the final 3 plays of the game...Penn St dominated Akron with a 17-0 FD edge and 345-9 yd edge at the half but missed a chipshot FG, settled for another short FG and were int’d at the 4 and “only” led 31-0. After a Penn St fumble, Akron got its only TD on a 40 yd pass on the next play. Penn St also missed a 49 yd FG and at the end of the game, their final play came up short at the Akron 8 yd line on a pass...Appalachian St was without their star QB Armanti Edwards and E Carolina appeared on their way to a rout as they led 24-0 early 2Q, scoring on their first 3 drives of the game. It was 27-7 at the half but EC allowed App St to get back in it behind 3rd string QB Cadet, who led ASt on 55, 38 and 24 yd drives for 2 TD’s and a FG to make it 29-24 with 4:24 left. ASt forced a punt with 1:28 left and got to midfield but their 4th down pass was incomplete... Navy played a great game vs Ohio St. They did trail 29-14 when the Buckeyes were SOD at the Navy 15 with 6:27 left. A FG would have put the Buckeyes up by 3 scores. Navy got an 85 yd TD pass and then after an int, got a 29 yd TD run with 2:23 left. The 2 pt conv would have tied it but OSU not only int’d but they ret’d it for 2 to win the game by 4.
KEY INJURIES - Illinois WR Arrelious Benn was inj’d on the first series vs Missouri and RB’s Jason Ford and Daniel Dufrene were both on the sidelines as well. Missouri had a 442-325 yd edge in their 37-9 win...CJ Spiller got a 96 yd KR for to open the Middle Tennessee game but had just 12 yards on 4 carries after inj himself on a 50 yd PR in the 2Q. He did not play in the 2H..Of course, the most talked about injury of the week and probably the most important was Sam Bradford of Oklahoma. The game was tied at 7 when he was injured. OU had a 4th & gl at the 1 early 4Q up by 3 but a delay penalty forced a 22 yd FG leaving BYU in the game and BYU drove 78/16pl for a TD with 3:03 left while OU missed a 54 yd FG on the game’s final play. The Cougars now have a legitimate shot at playing in the National Title game if they are able to run the table as they have 3 ranked teams left on the schedule in Florida St, Utah and TCU...Southern Miss WR DeAndre Brown did not play vs Alcorn St a while he is still recovering from last year’s injury. SM did have 38-9 FD and 631-171 yd edges in a 52-0 rout of Alcorn St.

ONE PLAY AWAY - Sometimes one play determines a game. South Carolina did have 16-11 FD and 256-133 yd edges vs NCSt but an NCSt fumble at their own 14 set up SC’s TD “drive.” SC did bobble a snap on a 40 yd FG and missed 29 yarder or the Gamecocks could have led by more. With the Wolfpack trailing 7-3 they had a 2nd & 10 and dropped a 32 yd TD pass and were SOD 2 plays later.

POINTS LEFT OFF THE BOARD - The Friday night Tulsa/Tulane game could have been a lot higher scoring. Tulane had 364 yards offense but just 13 points. Tulane had a 1st & gl at the 14 but settled for a 31 yd FG which was blk’d. They then went on a 13pl drive but punted from the 37. Tulane also settled for a 27 yd FG but only had 3 points in the 1H. Tulsa settled for 22 and 24 yd FG’s. Tulane had a 1st & gl at the 4 but was SOD at the 2. Tulsa fmbl’d into the EZ for a TB from the 2. Tulane had a TD called back and settled for a 29 yd FG and then was int’d at the 14.