Daily Blog • November 30, 2010

Every year during the last couple of weeks of the season you get to see several Seniors and walk-ons get their chance to play a down or two on Senior Day and it is an emotional scene for everyone involved including the coaches, players and families. Most of these players were not heavily recruited coming out of high school and while they may not have played many snaps or put up gaudy stats in their careers they do play vital roles on their teams by often simulating the opposition during practice and often are the teams’ leaders when it comes to setting an example of playing with the right attitude both on-and-off the field. One of the best stories this year comes from Rice where walk-on RB Kevin Pool was able to play in his first game in five years by carrying the ball three times. Click here to read about Kevin’s story.

Houston had 29-22 FD and 585-488 yd edges but had numerous missed opportunities. UH faked a punt at their own 45 and came up 6 yds short and TT got a TD 8pl later. UH had a 4&gl at the 1 with 2:40 left in the half but fired incomplete and on the last play of the half on 2&gl from the 2 settled for a 19 yd FG. UH got a TD on 4&4 with 10:00 left to pull within 28-20 but TT went 92/8pl for a TD, 35-20. UH was SOD on 4&10 at the TT40 with 5:00 left then had a 1st & gl at the TT10 with 1:31 left but was int’d at the 1.

Eugene Jarvis finished his college career with 106 yards rushing vs Ohio and it was great to see him play the final 3 games. OU needed a win to get to the MAC Title game while Kent St was playing the final game for outgoing coach Doug Martin. Kent St jumped out to a 14-0 lead and had a strong wind going against them in the 3Q. They allowed just a FG in the 3Q and once the wind shifted, the scored 2 TD’s on their first three 4Q drives, the 2nd on a 16 yd drive after recovering a fumble and they sent Martin out a winner with the 28-6 victory.

Tulsa led Southern Miss 28-10 and SM’s only TD mid-2Q came on an 87 yd KR TD 2:00 in. TU was in complete control and had the ball when they were ret’d 36 yds for a TD with 6:15 left in the half. SM got their first offensive TD with 1:29 left to pull within 28-24 then after recovering a fmbl went 57/5pl for a TD to lead 31-28 with 9:16 left. TU drove 78/5pl and got a 3&9, 67 yd TD pass with 7:10 left 3Q, 35-31. SM went on a 52/12pl drive but settled for a 24 yd FG and trailed by 1. Each team scored a TD on the next 4 poss. SM, down 2, went for 1 pt with 10:41 left and were down 42-41. They showed why they did that when after their next TD with 7:41 left they went for 2 and failed. This time when TU got a TD with 3:46 left, their 1 pt conversion made it a 2 score game, 56-47. SM got a 44 yd FG with 2:11 left but were out of time-outs and TU rec’d the onside kick and took a knee.

Clemson had a great situation against S Carolina. Steve Spurrier had 7 SEC Championship games while at Florida and the week prior to those game was 1-5-1. Earlier in the year SC had a meaningless game vs UF on deck which would determine the SEC East Championship and put in a “C” effort vs Arkansas getting mauled by 21. SC with a win over Auburn next week, wins the SEC Championship and goes to a BCS bowl as SEC Champs. It was the same edge SC had the previous year vs Clemson when CU had the ACC Championship and a potential BCS berth on the line and traveled to SC and were beat by 17 even though they were a slight fav. Things started well for CU as on the first drive they went 73/4pl and got a 45 yd TD pass to lead 7-0. CU’s offense was feeble the rest of the game as they had 35 yds the rest of the 1H. They handed SC an early TD after dropping a high snap at their own 5 and then the D wasn’t ready and the DB covering DiMarco just turned around as the ball was snapped and it was an easy 5 yd TD pass and SC took the lead, 9-7. SC would get 39 and 37 yd passes to Jeffery for a 16-7 lead but SC’s offense did have only 322 yards. CU’s feeble offense had 251 yards and also contributed by giving up a 37 yd IR TD in the 3Q. CU’s only real scoring threat of the 2H came when they were SOD at the SC30 and the game fittingly ended for the CU offense at the SC39 yd line when they were sk’d on the final play of the game.

TCU lost QB Andy Dalton in the 2Q when they led 31-10. Dalton was replaced by Yogi Gallegos who hit 0-3 passing. Casey Pachall hit 4-6-54 yds in the 2H. New Mexico did have a surprising 70/11pl drive for a 27 yd FG in the 2Q and also got a 12 yd drive for a TD after recovering a fmbl and a 1 yd TD drive after a 35 yd FR so their 2 TD’s drives combined for 13 yards. TCU had its highest point total of the season but also benefitted from a short field in the 2H. After recovering a fmbl they drove 36 yds for a TD, after a 50 yd PR they went 21 yds for a TD, after an int they went 23 yds for a TD and then did put together TD drives of 40 (after 32 yd PR) and 52 (after 25 yd PR) for the 66-17 final.

UCF clinched the CUSA Title when Southern Miss lost to Tulsa and they had the Title game on deck. Surprisingly Memphis took their 2nd poss 74/6pl to tie it at 7 but UCF led 16-7 at the half with a 229-100 yd edge. UCF extended it to 37-10 but Memphis took over with 6:01 left and converted on 3&8, 3&8 and 3&14 and their TD with :37 left on a 2 yd pass got them the backdoor cover.

Montel Harris missed the game for Boston College but frosh TB Andre Williams rushed for 185 yards on school record 42 carries. Amazingly Syracuse won 5 times on the road but did not beat an FBS team at home in their 7-5 bowl season. BC had a 170-98 yd edge at the half. In the 2H BC went on a 63/16pl drive for a 22 yd FG to lead 16-7 and SU punted from their own 29 and their only other drive got to their own 19 where they were int’d at their own 28.

Michigan St claimed their share of their first Big Ten Title since 1990 and got their first win at Penn St since 1965. MSU actually led 28-10 and PSU battled back to 28-22 but MSU recovered the onside kick with :55 left. PSU had a 396-331 yd edge.

Ohio St got yet another blowout win over Michigan. They actually had a 478-351 yd edge but the 2 combined for just 44 points blowing numerous scoring opportunities. The Buckeyes extended their record for consecutive wins in the series to 7. MSU was SOD at the OSU28 and fmbl’d at the OSU9 at the end of a 73/10pl drive. They were also SOD at the OSU37 and fmbl’d at the OSU46 all in the 1H. Ohio St settled for a 33 yd FG and was int’d at the 1 after a FD at the 11. MSU was int’d at the OSU30, the Bucks went on an 11pl drive but settled for a 23 yd FG, UM on 4&gl from the 6 was SOD and then OSU ended the game at the UM9 taking a knee.

Tyrod Taylor became the career passing yards leader for the Hokies. Virginia’s only score came behind backup QB Ross Methany who led a 72/4pl drive for a TD with 2:59 left for the 37-7 final. VT had a 383-291 yd edge and 20-13 FD edge. VT only had 1 FD over 3 poss in the 1Q but an int by Whitley returned 19 yds to the 5 gave VT a TD before they even had a FD. UVA ran a fake punt and VT drove 46/3pl for its second score and at the half VT led 17-0 but UVA actually had a 151-147 yd edge.

Tough loss for Tulane against Marshall as they had a 24-11 FD and 410-271 yd edge. MU blocked a punt for a TD to take a 21-7 lead and after Tulane scored to pull within 28-14, MU got a 55 yd KR with no time left but a face mask pen allowed them an untimed down and they got a 33 yd FG to lead 31-14. In the 2H Tulane was int’d at the MU36, int’d at the MU16, and then int’d at the MU2 with 11:45 left. Tulane on 4&gl from the 1 fumbled and on 4&3 was SOD at the MU27 with 1:47 left in MU’s misleading 38-23 win.

Indiana ended a 12 game Big Ten losing streak and a 15 game losing streak vs teams away from Memorial Stadium. Ben Chappell showed he was back by hitting 31-50-330 and broke UI’s single season record for passing with 3,295 yards topping Kellen Lewis who had 3,043. IU needed OT to beat Purdue but had a 26-13 FD edge and 403-310 yd edge.

As usual, Connecticut was outgained but ended up winning a football game. Cincinnati had a 399-357 yd edge and 26-22 FD edge. There were a couple of absolutely crucial plays in the game. UC’s first 2 drives ended on an SOD at the CT23 and after an 11 play drive, they settled for a 32 yd FG. UC trailed 17-10 and had the ball on 2&gl from the 9 about ready to tie it when a pass over the middle was tipped by a DL, int’d by the same player and ret’d 91 yds for a TD. An illegal block brought it back out to the 15 but CT with :04 left in the half got a 1 yd TD run and instead of 17-17 it was 24-10. UC missed a 44 yd FG with the wind at their back and then trailing 31-17, was int’d and ret’d 53 yds to their 14 setting up another UC TD.

Florida St had a big ACC game on Saturday but they were playing Florida, the big ACC game was NC State vs Maryland where they needed the Terps to win. Once the game became a blowout vs UF, they started announcing the score of the MD game and FSU would win the ACC Atlantic Title. Florida hadn’t lost 5 games in a season since 2004. This game was nearly even statistically with FSU having a 333-276 yd edge and at the half it was 204-187. They trailed 7-3 when they got a 17 yd TD drive after a fumble. After UF faked a punt, they got a 39/1pl TD bomb and UF was int’d at the FSU7 with :55 left in the half.

In the 2H of Middle Tenn/FAU they gave up a 49 yd IR to the 1 setting up an MT TD then a 52 yd IR to the 5 setting up a 1 pl TD drive and they trailed 31-7 and lost 38-14.

BYU led 6-0 at the half and 13-0 after 3Q’s vs Utah. BYU fumbled at their own 37 setting up a deep pass that was tipped and caught for a TD and then leading 16-10 BYU had a punt go off their upman and was trying to get out of the way and Utah recovered at the BYU46 with 6:24 left. Utah got a TD with 4:24 to go for their first lead, 17-16. BYU got 3 FD’s but their 42 yd FG on the final play which would have given them the win was blocked. BYU had a 19-14 FD edge.

Wisconsin this time did not pour it on in the 4Q in their 70-23 rout over Northwestern but they did benefit from a 7-0 TO margin. UW got a 13 yd drive after a fumble and a 21 yd drive for a TD after an int. Later they added a 50 yd IR TD to make it 70-23 with :02 left in the 3Q and UW went to their backups early in the 4Q and neither scored after. NU played without QB Dan Persa.

WKU led 14-7 but it was 14-14 at the half. Troy got a 47/1pl TD pass to make it 20-14 then went on a 73/11pl drive and got a 2 yd TD run with 5:08 left. WKU went 62/14pl and had a 1st & gl at the 6 but on 4&4 were SOD on the last play.

Arkansas St/FIU were tied 17-17 and the key to the game was that ASU lost QB Aplin late 3Q. ASU continued the drive for a TD to lead 24-20 early 4Q. FIU got a 30 yd FG to pull within 24-23 but then ASU missed a 45 yd FG with 10:14 left and missed a chipshot 24 yd FG with 7:33 left. FIU20 went 80/11pl and on 3&9 a pass to Hilton saw him break 4 tackles to go 42 yds for a TD with 1:42 left for a 31-24 lead. ASU with backup QB Butterfield in for his 3rd poss, got 1 FD but on 4&7 were SOD at their 40.

North Carolina had a 25-11 FD edge vs Duke and 519-275 yd edge. NC settled for a 25 yd FG after an 87/16pl drive and only led 10-7 at the half. It was 24-10 when the key play happened. Duke, on 4&10 from the NC44 fired deep. Had DB Burney batted the ball down, NC would have had the ball at the 44 but he int’d it and returned it -2 yds to the 2. NC was tackled for a safety on the next play to get Duke back in within 12. After the free kick, Duke went 45/6pl for a TD with 3:20 left, 24-19. NC got 1 FD punted with :43 left and Duke did not pass its own 41 on the last 5 plays.

North Texas led 20-7 in the final game at Fouts Field. Both RB’s had good days, Daniel Thomas rushed for a career high 269 yards and Lance Dunbar rushed for 270 yards on 22 carries. The Stadium was only half full, at least half the fans were clad in purple cheering for Kansas St. KSU rallied and on 3&gl got a 7 yd TD pass with :05 left to lead 21-20. At the half NT had a 254-235 yd edge. The game was interesting in the fact KSU got a TD with :13 left in the 3Q to go up 42-34 then Chancellor got a 93 yd KR TD and a 92 yd KR TD on the next play, 49-34. NT went 77/11pl and on 4&5 Dunbar got a 17 yd TD run, 49-41 with 10:00 left. After 3 punts, NT took over at the 11 and got to the 48 but was int’d in the EZ on the final play of the game.

Georgia needed a win over GT just to get to a bowl game. GT had a 32-18 FD edge. UGA fumbled the opening KO but GT was SOD at the 20. GT’s next drive ended on a fumble at the 8 and UGA 4pl later got a 66 yd TD pass, 7-0. UGA led 35-21 after an 18 yd FR by Houston at the end of the 3Q but GT scored TD’s on their next 2 poss. However K Blair, who had made 77 straight xp’s, missed a crucial xp with 4:57 left leaving UGA up by 1. UGA on 4&1 at the GT24 fmbl’d the snap. GT on 4&16 was int’d at their own 18 and they then let Ealy run into the EZ for a 20 yd TD as they were only down by 8 with 1:29 left and still had a chance to score and tie. Had UGA taken a knee 3 times, they wouldn’t have had to worry but as it was, GT did get to the UGA46 but on 2&10 they were int’d by Houston at the 33 with :35 left.

Oklahoma had a 15-7 FD edge and 276-164 yd edge at the half but up 14-3 allowed a 52 yd IR TD with 11:06 left 2Q and only led 24-17. Oklahoma St took its opening drive of the 3Q for a TD but then OU’s D forced punts on the next 3 poss. OU’s D didn’t play as bad as the 41 pts would indicate as the Sooners had a 107-66 play edge for the game and OSU did get an IR TD and a KR TD so only scored 27 offensive points and 10 of those 27 came when they were trailing by 2 scores in the final 5:00 so they had just 17 offensive points until they trailed 33-24 with 5:53 left. The Sooners went on a 74/17pl drive but settled for a 24 yd FG then went on a 64/15pl drive but settled for a 31 yd FG. They ran 32 plays to OSU’s 3 from 3:55 left in the 3Q to 7:30 left in the 4Q. OU led 40-31 but OSU got an 89 yd KR TD with 2:51 left. OU answered with a 77 yd TD pass to make it 47-38 and OSU settled for a 34 yd FG with :36 left.

San Diego St was actually more dominant than the 48-14 final would indicate vs UNLV. LV’s only offensive TD came 1pl after a 73 yd KR as they got a 27 yd TD pass. SDS scored 2 TD’s and a FG on the first 3 poss but then were SOD on 4&gl at the 1. The Aztecs led 31-7 at the half and extended it to 48-7 scoring on their first 3 drives of the 2H. The Aztecs on 4&gl were SOD at the LV4 and with the ball and 1:21 left at the LV38 leading 48-7, SDS fmbl’d and ex-QB Mike Claussen now playing DB for UNLV scooped it up and ret’d it 64 yds for a TD so the Rebels “only” lost by 34 points.

Vanderbilt’s Coach Caldwell announced he would resign at the end of the year as he clearly saw the writing on the wall and was probably trying to rally his teams effort. A look a the boxscore would show he was successful as VU had a 28-15 FD edge and 443-299 yd edge. Unfortunately VU missed 2 FG’s, suffered 2 blocked punts and were at a 2-0 TO deficit. VU’s first TO was an int at their own 31 which set up a WF 32 yd FG. WF blocked a punt and rec’d at the 11 setting up a TD, 24-3. VU went on a 54 yd drive but settled for a 32 yd FG and after missing their first 2 FG’s, made this one to make it 24-6 at the half. At half WF had a 212-197 yd edge. VU was SOD on 4&5 at the WF27, had another punt blk’d and rec’d at their 27 setting up a WF FG. VU was SOD on 4&7 at the WF44, was SOD on 4&6 at the WF45 with those 4 SOD’s, it was basically like being -8 in turnovers including the blocked punts. VU was SOD on 4&2 at the WF28 and on their final drive got to the WF17 but with :07 left were int’d in the EZ.

Fresno St dominated the 1H vs Idaho. In fact, they had a 219-(-15) yd edge. They were SOD on 4&1 at the ID48, settled for a 47 yd FG, fmbl’d at the ID19, fmbl’d at the ID40, fmbl’d at their own 25 and went on a 51/15pl drive and settled for a 30 yd FG and only led 6-0. FSU did get a 30 yd IR TD on the 2nd play of the 3Q to go up 13-0. ID did have 16 & 10 play drives but settled for 25 & 26 yd FG’s to pull within 13-6. FSU got a 35 yd FG with 6:42 left for a 2 score lead, 16-6 but Veltung returned the KO 84 yards for a TD, 16-13. FSU punted with 5:19 left and ID went 71/7pl and stunningly with 2:01 left got a TD for the lead, 20-16. FSU needed a 4&1 conversion at the ID48 and went 60/9pl. On 1st & gl from the 1 they got a 1 yd TD run with :14 left to escape with the win.

Mississippi St won in Oxford for the first time since 1998. The last tim heree Ole Miss won 45-0 holding MSU to the season’s lowest offensive output in an FBS game. This time MSU had a 498-326 yd edge and had gains of 71, 44, 33 and 36 yds as they built a 21-9 halftime lead. MU clawed back at the end but down after scoring a TD with 4:21 left to pull within 8, they took over at their 11 after a punt and got to the 50 but a chop block forced a 4&24.

Lennon Creer rushed for a career high 252 yards and had 151 yards rushing in the 1Q. San Jose St’s Jordan LaSecla threw a career high 496 yards. Levis’ 88 yd PR TD tied an NCAA record as it was his 8th KR/PR TD. Louisiana Tech led 31-21 at the half but hung on at the end and needed an int with :12 left.

Both USC/Notre Dame were starting backup QB’s although ND’s Tommy Rees was in his 3rd start, and he had 4 TO’s. USC was giving the start to Mitch Mustain. It was a cold, rainy night at the Coliseum but USC dropped a long pass at the ND15 with 1:17 left and no defenders within 10 yds of him and then they were int’d at the goal line with :36 left. USC’s streaks of 19 non-conf wins and 15 straight home non-conf wins ended in the 82nd meeting between these two. Neither team was ranked for just the 9th time in all those meetings. Brian Kelly became the first coach since Lou Holtz to win his first matchup against USC with ND. Rees turned the ball over 4 times with USC taking advantage of most of those turnovers. USC got a 45 yd FG after an int on a 3yd drive. Notre Dame drove 79/16pl for a TD with 2:39 left 1H and then USC was SOD on 4&3 at the ND38 with :44 left. The Irish made them pay going 62/7pl getting a 1 yd TD pass with :07 left. At half ND had a 188-114 yd edge and led 14-3. ND was int’d and ret’d to their 21 and USC got a 23 yd FG then after a Rees fmbl, USC drove 2 yds for a TD converting on 4&1 to tie it at 13. ND was int’d at their own 38 and USC got a 37 yd FG 7pl later for the lead with 6:26 left, 16-13. ND went 77/7pl for a TD, 20-16 with 2:23 left. USC on 3&7 had an open receiver with nobody around for 15 yds but he dropped what would have been a TD. USC still got 2 more FD’s to the ND23 but on 2&10 Mustain was int’d at the 1 yd line with :36 left.