Daily Blog • November 16, 2010

The East Carolina/UAB game had a couple of key plays. The biggest was a coaching blunder by UAB just before half. UAB led the entire 1H and was up 21-17. They pinned EC at the 3 yd line after a punt. EC faced a 3&8 with :53 left in the half. UAB took a time-out to get the ball back at midfield with a chance to extend the lead. Unfortunately, after the time out the play was whistled ready. EC trotted on the field and lined up for the play, UAB was still in their defensive huddle. UAB def players started to sprint towards the play but EC snapped the ball with UAB in chaos on D. EC threw a short screen pass to the left to Williams who naturally was wide open and raced 77 yards to the UAB18. EC got a TD 2pl later to stunningly take the lead, 24-21 at the half when it appeared they might be down 2 scores at the half. UAB still controlled the 3Q and led 42-34 with 9:41 left. EC got a TD with 8:18 left but missed the 2 pt conversion to make it 42-40. Two spec teams plays then gave EC the win. They got a 56 yd PR to the 11 then on 3&10, an 11 yd TD pass made it 48-42. UAB fumbled the KO at their own 28 and EC got a TD 4pl later. UAB’s last drive was 12pl but was SOD at the EC20.

Notre Dame had the situational edge vs Utah as they were fresh off a bye and played like it while Utah was off a bubble bursting loss to TCU. ND was banged up and gave Tommy Rees the start at QB. There were a couple of key plays. ND blocked a punt and ret’d it for a TD late 1Q to take a 7-3 lead then got 1 drive in the 1H of 61/3pl to lead 14-3. Utah actually had a 118-95 yd edge at the half. Utah fumbled the opening KO of the 3Q and ND got a 26 yd TD pass on the next play. ND got its 2nd big drive of the game going 63/5pl for a TD to lead 28-3. Utah was SOD on 4&gl at the 8, 4&13 at the ND15 and then on 4&19 from the ND37 with 3:13 left on what would be their final 3 poss. Utah actually had 16-13 FD and 265-256 yd edges.

The story of the week in college ball were the allegations swirling around Cam Newton but he did not let it have an effect on his play and maintained his status as the clear-cut Heisman frontrunner. Georgia actually had 21-7 lead after 1Q as Murray found Green with 31 and 40 yd TD passes. AJ Green had 9 catches for 164 yds. They key play happened late 1H when facing a 3&8 and maybe settling for a FG, Newton ran 13 yds for a FD and 2pl later hit an 18 yd TD pass to tie the game, 21-21. Two more key plays happened in the 2H to turn it into a blowout. Auburn onside kicked to open the 2H and rec’d and went 59/9pl for a TD. Leading 35-31 AUB drove 79/13pl for a TD with 8:05 left and then UGA went for it on 4&13 at its own 27 and was SOD and AU tacked on a TD 7pl later with 2:45 left although it appeared Newton fumbled before he crossed the goal line.

There were some key plays in the Stanford/Arizona St game. ASU played well vs Stanford holding their rush offense to just 9 yds rushing in the 1H. Early 2Q on 2&gl at the Stan3 ASU QB Threet fumbled into the EZ for a touchback and ASU did not score. It was 7-7 at half with Stanford missing a 34 yd FG with :16 left. ASU missed an xp after a TD that put them ahead 13-10. On SU’s go ahead drive, LB Vontaze Burfict was called for a face mask pen although replay showed he did not touch the face mask. That gave SU a FD at the 7 and they got a TD 2pl later. SU backer cringed when on 2&6 from the 23 Wilkerson took off with a clear TD in sight but sat down at the 4 and they took a knee 2x.

The kicking game was a major culprit in Baylor’s loss to Texas A&M. The Bears had a 503-427 yd edge and even led this one 30-14 late 1H. A&M got a TD with 2:00 left in 1H to pull within 9. BU went on a long drive to end the 1H going 47/14pl but had a 41 yd FG blk’d. The blk’d FG was almost ret’d for a TD but they were tkl’d at the 1. BU opened the 3Q with a 74/15pl drive. Once again they settled for and missed a FG so 2 long drives resulted in zero pts due to the kicking game. After BU punted from its EZ and kick/catch interf, A&M went 27/2pl for a TD late 3Q to take the lead, 35-30. BU went 53/11pl but again settled for a 39 yd FG and missed it again with 11:28 left. BU on 4&1 was SOD at their own 44 and A&M tacked on a TD 6pl later with 6:02 left for their 12 pt win.

Thanks to recovering a fumble at the Arkansas St 10 and an int at the 49 which up short TD drives, WKU beat ASU 36-35. ASU would go on 3 consecutive TD drives of 69, 52 and 96 yds, the latter for a TD with just 1:49 left in the game. ASU appeared to win the game when WKU, on 4&5 gained 2 yds to their own 46 with just 1:10 left. ASU ran it 3x and punted but they bobbled the punt snap and lost 29 yds back to their 22. The D appeared to hold but on 4&12 WKU got a 17 yd pass to the 7 then on 4&gl on the last play of the game, got a TD to force OT. Each team got a TD in OT but WKU went for 2 after theirs and got it for the miracle win.

Louisiana was without their top 2 QB’s vs FAU and Blaine Gautier got the start. Gautier hit 21-36-254. FAU had leads of 14-0, 21-7 and 24-14. UL forced a punt with 2:58 left trailing 24-17 and got a 43 yd TD pass with 1:45 left but opted to go for 2 and it failed. FAU recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

It was a wild game between Utah St and San Jose St. SJSt actually jumped out to a 10-0 lead. The team’s alternated TD’s and the lead in the 2H. SJSt got a TD with 5:25 left to take a 34-31 lead. USt had a 4&12 and got an 18 yd QB run by Borel to the 19 to keep alive their final drive. On 3&6 Speight’s 15-yard TD run gave them the 38-34 lead. SJSt got a pair of 27 yd passes to the 22 with :15 left but on FD was int’d in the EZ for a TB.

Cal held Oregon to 317 yards, by far their fewest of the season. Cal took the early lead on a 49/6pl drive for a TD and the Ducks would score only 2 TD’s vs Cal, one came on a 64 yard PR TD and the other came on a 29 yard drive after a fumble. UO’s PR TD came with 6:34 left in the 2Q to make it 8-7. Cal fumbled on the 2nd play of the 3Q setting up UO’s 2nd TD on a 29/1pl TD pass to Maehl. UO slapped the ball out of QB Thomas’ hands and recovered for a TD but missed the 2 pt conversion. A key play of the game happened early 4Q. Cal made a 24 yd FG for the lead, 16-15 but the K took a step early so illegal motion was called. They still had a chipshot 29 yarder for the lead but missed it. UO was SOD at the Cal36 with 11:31 left and Cal got 1 FD and punted with 9:25 left. The Ducks then went on the longest drive of the year, a 65/18pl drive and finished the game taking a knee at the Cal 12 yard line.

UTEP gave Arkansas a better game than the final score would indicate. The Miners got a 51 yd TD run on the game’s 6th play for a 7-0 lead and then got an 88 yard IR TD 4 plays later but defensive pass interference gave Arkansas a FD and Mallett got a 14 yard TD run on the next play, 7-7. UTEP got a 100 yard KR TD but Arkansas ran an end around for a 70 yard TD, 14-14. UTEP drove again with a 51/5pl drive but missed a 44 yard FG and Arkansas would score TD’s on their next 3 possessions. UTEP’s final 1H drive went 61/13pl but they bobbled the snap on a 36 yd FG and missed it. At the half Arkansas only had a 341-265 yd edge and led 35-14. Arkansas opened the 3Q with 2 drives for TD’s and a FG drive. UTEP got a 60 yard TD pass to make it 52-21 but Arkansas went 77/14pl getting a TD with 5:31 left to close the scoring.

Texas was a rare home dog to Oklahoma St. The Longhorns had overcome 3 double digits deficits in the past 5 years vs OSU but in their wildly inept 2010 performances, the Longhorns were mostly non-competitive after the start of the 2Q. The game was tied at 3 at the end of 1Q but OSU went 63/11pl for a TD then got a 67 yd TD pass to lead 16-3. OSU punted but then went 59/6pl and got a TD with 1:15 left in the half, 23-3. UT was int’d 3pl later and OSU added a 45 yd FG for a 26-3 lead. OSU extended it to 33-3 before UT went on a 77/7pl drive and 78/13pl drive for TD’s, the latter with 6:32 left. UT opted to kick away and OSU got 3 FD’s before finally fumbling with :44 left.

FIU had 3 players top 100 yards rushing. Darriet Perry rushed for 186, T.Y. Hilton for 158, Darrian Mallary for 118. FIU rolled up 442 yards in the 1H vs Troy jumping out to a 31-7 lead and it was 38-21 at the half with Troy getting the last TD with :27 left in the half. FIU opened it up to 45-21 and Troy narrowed it to 45-35 after 3Q’s. FIU missed a 30 yd FG but then went 79/4pl with a 23 yd TD pass with 9:01 left to make it 52-35 and Troy was int’d at the FIU23 and SOD at the FIU49 on their last 2 possessions.

Fresno nearly pulled the upset of Nevada as they jumped out to a 14-7 lead and missed a 55 yard FG. They led 17-7 when NU got a TD with 1:01 left 1H. FSU fumbled 2pl later and Nevada got a TD 2pl later with :34 left for a stunning 21-17 lead. FSU battled back to a 31-28 lead then went 63/11pl for a 34 yd FG, 34-28. NU went 58/13pl but on 4&1 was SOD at the FSU8 with 8:37 left. FSU went 3 & out and NV went 54/7pl with a Taua 24 yd TD run, 35-34. FSU was SOD at its own 45 with 1:27 left.

Clemson blew a couple opportunities vs Florida St but there was also a couple of big plays that helped CU. On the opening drive of the game, CU punted but FSU was called for defensive holding on the punt giving them a FD and they would continue on an 82/12pl drive for a TD and a 7-0 lead. EJ Manuel got his first start for Florida St and on the first play hit a 53 yard pass but they settled for a 28 yd FG. CU had a 34 yard FG blocked then recovered a punt at the 10 and settled for a 22 yard FG, 10-3. CU got to the FSU32 but was int’d in the EZ with :22 left in the half. CU did have a 209-79 yard edge at the half. FSU, leading 13-10, had the ball at the CU44. On 2&10 FSU got a 40 yd pass to the 4 yd line which would have allowed them to go up by 2 scores after a TD but he just stepped on the white line and it was ruled incomplete and they punted with 4:11 left. CU went 68/9pl and got a 29 yd FG with :53 left to tie but FSU went 34/7pl and nailed a 55 yard FG on the final play for the win.

Arizona and USC each had 24 FD’s. AU had 404-382 yd edge. There were a couple of keys to the game. Each team went on a long drive on its opening poss with AU going 63/14pl and USC 80/10pl. The major difference was that AU missed a 34 yd FG and USC converted for a TD and a 7-0 lead. AU was sk’d & fumbled at their own 22 and USC got a TD 3pl later. In fact, neither team punted in the 1H. AU went on a 9pl drive for a TD and USC a 17pl drive for a TD. A major key came in the fact they’d settled for a 28 yd FG but faked the FG and got a FD to the 4. It was 21-14 at the half USC with AU having a 242-214 yd edge. Early 3Q AU fumbled at the USC15. USC was int’d at the AU31 late 3Q. AU had a 4&3 at the USC25 and converted for a crucial FD but offensive holding made it 4&13 and they punted 35 yds to the 6 early 4Q. USC went on a 12pl drive 2 possessions later. On 4&2 they were SOD at the AU15 with 2:10 left. AU got a TD with 1:01 left. Interestingly, their xp was blk’d and ret’d for 2 but a pen had them rekick and the xp put AU within 3 but USC rec’d the onside kick and took a knee.

In a preview of what may happen in some games prior to the Championship games this week, South Carolina last week played their “C” game vs Arkansas the previous week, as it meant nothing. All that mattered to them was what they did vs Florida. Marcus Lattimore looked like he was injured vs Arkansas but looked 100% vs UF and rushed for 212 yards on 40 carries. SC flat out dominated Florida. The Gators ret’d the opening KO for a TD and the rest of the 1H belonged to the Gamecocks. They had 15-2 FD and 209-51 yard edges. SC may have trouble with teams that can pass the ball but UF is a running team. UF is also unusually susceptible to strong running teams and against Lattimore it showed. It was interesting watching ESPN and seeing Lou Holtz declare the game over at halftime saying that UF had not chance of winning the game. But, if you watched the 1H, you would have agreed with him. The Gators, with a chance to actually get back to the SEC Title game in what was a down year, failed miserably. There was a brief glimmer of hope when they scored a TD with 7:12 left to make it 29-14 but they fumbled at their own 25 with 4:57 left and Lattimore sledgehammered into the EZ for an 11 yard run with 2:43 left to finish off any pipe dreams they might have had. For the game SC had a 24-11 FD edge and South Carolina is off to their first SEC Title game.