Daily Blog •November 7, 2011

During the offseason I had just one weekend blog but each week during the season I will take a look at the Top 25 performances from the just completed week with a little analysis as well as a quick review of the past weekend. On Monday I will give you my News & Notes where I delve deeper into every game that was played this past weekend, breaking down individual drives and giving you misleading finals and other interesting tidbits.

As far as my game grades go after the 2008 season was completed I devised a power ratings system, which lets me analyze at what level each team played during an individual game. This “game grade” takes into account the yards rushing, yards passing, points scored, rushing yards allowed, passing yards allowed and points allowed and factors them in against the opponent played and even factors in the site the game was played at.

With all these factors taken into consideration you will see teams that lost the game having a better individual game grade than teams that beat them simply because the team they played was superior and much less was expected of them.

Top 25 Game Grades (Team Performances) Week 10

*Means Garbage Yards/Pts Were Subtracted (Includes all OT Yds/Pts)

LSU AT Alabama 134 91 6 100 199 6 0 -74 105.8
WISCONSIN Purdue 364 240 62 120 166 17 1 318 104.0
STANFORD AT Oregon St 300 207 38 33 252 13 0 222 101.8
HOUSTON AT UAB 166 489 56 115 154 13 0 386 101.5
ARKANSAS South Carolina 128 299 44 97 129 28 3 201 101.2
ALABAMA LSU 100 199 6 134 91 6 0 74 100.1
GEORGIA New Mexico St 255 369 63 89 236 10 2 299 99.0
OKLAHOMA Texas A&M 149 255 41 149 256 17 3 -1 97.9
OREGON AT Washington 206 169 34 79 196 17 2 100 97.6
TEXAS Texas Tech 439 156 52 30 381 20 0 184 97.4
TEXAS A&M AT Oklahoma 149 256 17 149 255 41 -3 1 94.6
FLORIDA ST AT Boston College 127 180 38 94 113 7 3 100 93.2
NORTHWESTERN AT Nebraska 203 261 28 118 298 25 -1 48 92.7
BAYLOR Missouri 291 406 42 253 325 39 0 119 92.4
KANSAS ST AT Oklahoma St 275 232 45 72 500 52 2 -65 91.7
CALIFORNIA Washington St 288 123 30 69 155 7 -1 187 91.6
TCU AT Wyoming 390 227 31 106 247 20 -5 264 91.3
USC AT Colorado 243 318 42 134 250 17 -1 177 90.8
MIAMI FLA Duke 265 202 49 148 194 14 2 125 89.1
NC ST North Carolina 126 164 13 3 162 0 2 125 88.6
TULSA AT UCF 251 203 24 155 226 17 -1 73 86.8
VIRGINIA AT Maryland 220 307 31 84 269 13 2 174 86.1
IOWA Michigan 131 171 24 127 196 16 2 -21 85.5
OKLAHOMA ST Kansas St 72 500 52 275 232 45 -2 65 84.4
UTAH AT Arizona 133 199 34 131 326 21 3 -125 83.1

News and Notes Week 10 Part 1

With 4:51 left in the 1H Florida St not only led 28-0, they had a 214-16 yd edge and Boston College had 0 FD. BC got a TD early 3Q then gave up a 47 yd FG and Florida St was then SOD at the BC5 but after an int, FSU drove 36/6pl for a TD with 10:16 left, 38-7. Luke Kuechly had 20 tkls and BC clinched their first losing season since 1998 and was eliminated from bowl contention.

There have been some fine QB’s at USC but Matt Barkley set a school record with 6 TD passes with 3 other USC QB’s at one time having 5. Colorado did have a couple of blown opportunities as they had 31 and 37 yd FG’s blk’d and settled for a 30 yd FG after a 1st & gl at the 8. It was 35-17 with 11:19 left when USC drove 66/9pl incl a 4&3 conversion to the CU31 and they got a 19 yd TD pass with 7:06 left for Barkley’s 6th TD. USC’s final drive did go 71/8pl and the game ended at the CU16.

Scott McCummings who has been used mainly as a running QB for Connecticut took over in the 4Q and his option-style change of pace running guided to the 7 pt win over Syracuse. CT amazingly turned the ball over 5 times in the 1H getting inside the SU32 on the first 5 drives but it was just 7-7 at the half due to the TO’s. The Orange were forced to stay in a hotel an hour away from the stadium due to a power outage in East Hartford.

Marcus Coker ran for 132 yds vs Michigan and Iowa led as much as 24-9 but had to survive at the end. UM got a TD with 7:53 left to pull within 24-16 and Iowa punted 2x, the latter with 2:15 left. UM got to a 1st & gl at the 3, but a pass caught in the back of the EZ was ruled OOB then on 4&3 the pass was broken up on the final play of the game.

One week after a solid game vs Wisconsin, Braxton Miller hit just 5-11-55. He had a scintillating 81 yd QB draw for a TD on 2&12 which put Ohio St up 10-7. With the game tied at 20, they faced a 3rd & gl at the 20 and Miller’s 20 yd TD run on a QB draw gave them the lead, 27-20. Indiana was int’d with 4:07 left and OSU drove 58/4pl for a TD with 2:41 left to finally get some breathing room, 34-20. IU actually took the game’s opening drive 42/11pl for a 35 yd FG then after a fumble drove 41/6pl for a 10-0 lead.

Texas frosh Joe Bergeron ran for 195 yds and 3 TD’s. UT ran for 439 yds vs Texas Tech. UT’s top rusher, Malcolm Brown, was sidelined with a toe injury and top WR Jaxon Shipley had a knee injury. UT led 31-6 at the half and 52-13 when TT went 74/12pl for a garbage TD with 1:01 left.

Florida led Vanderbilt 17-0 at the half and could have been up by more as they had a 277-119 yd edge. A key play happened on their first series when on 3&1 they got a 39 yd pass which appeared to be for a TD but fmbl’d for a TB. They also missed a FG. Jordan Rodgers came to life in the 2H and hit 19-28-297 on the day. VU got a TD with 10:54 left to pull within 20-14 but UF took over with 5:59 left and went 94/8pl for a TD with 2:13 left and missed the 2 pt conv, 26-14. VU went 80/5pl and got a TD with 1:16 left but UF rec’d the onside kick.

Virginia became bowl eligible for the first time since 2007 and dominated Maryland with a 527-353 yd edge. MD suffered their 5th straight loss. It was the Terps’ FHG and 16 seniors were honored. UVA ret’d the opening KO 48 yds and on the first play got a 47 yd TD run but only led 14-13 at the half. UVA drove 94/13pl for a TD then after an int went 66/7pl for a TD and after a punt went 69/7pl for a FG and a commanding 31-13 lead at the start of the 4Q and rolled.

NC State came in ranked in the bottom half of the ACC in defensive stats but held Giovani Bernard to 47 yards on 18 carries and knocked North Carolina QB Bryn Renner out of the game at the end of the 3Q. It was NCSt’s first shutout in over 5 decades vs their rival and the 1st time NCSt had won 5 straight over UNC since 1988-92. The win came after HC’s O’Brien and Withers traded verbal jabs about graduation rates and the NCAA investigation of UNC during the week. NCSt had a 290-165 yd edge. At the half NCSt finished with a 230-32 yd edge and UNC was int’d at the NCSt goal line to open the 3Q and in their only other shots in the 2H they were SOD at the NCSt23 and int’d at the UNC42.

Georgia was without 3 susp’d RB’s and Aaron Murray only played the 1H but UGA jumped out to a 49-3 HT lead and rolled to a 63-16 win over New Mexico St. Later, after South Carolina lost to Arkansas, UGA found out it controls its own destiny to get to the SEC Title Game.

Louisville was overlooked in the Big 12 expansion for West Virginia and dealt WV’s Big East Title hopes a setback. WV had a 533-351 yd edge. The key play happened at 24-21 when WV lined up for a 23 yd FG. UL blk’d it and ret’d it 82 yds for a TD for a 31-21 lead. UL extended it to 38-28 with 1:50 left but WV got a TD with :42 left but UL rec’d the onside kick. Teddy Bridgewater hit 21-27-246 yds and WV went scoreless in the 3Q for the first time all season.

The two teams who might be playing in the Big Ten Title game (Michigan St and Ohio St) both struggled vs overmatched foes and the weakest 2 teams in the B10. MSU was off their crushing loss to Nebraska but actually regained the top spot in the division as both Michigan and Nebraska lost. They actually trailed 14-7 and got a TD with :04 left in the half to lead 21-17. Minnesota went back ahead 24-21 and MSU tied it with 14:49 left and then got a 35 yd Bell TD run with 10:58 left for the lead. UM’s last 2 drives ended on an SOD on 4&10 at the MSU48 with 4:12 left and they got to the MSU45 and were int’d at the 23 with :09 left. UM had a 415-402 yd edge.

TCU won their Mt West record 21st straight league game and tied the league record with consecutive road wins with 11. TCU finished with a 617-353 yd edge and had to overcome 5 TO’s and trailed 20-17 late 3Q when they drove 80/10pl for a TD and the lead. TCU got a 74 yd James run to the 8 to set up another TD with 13:20 left, 31-20. TCU fumbled’ at the Wyoming7 and surprisingly on 4&14 with 2:01 left in the game, down by 11 pts, WY opted to punt and it went 40 yds and TCU ran the clock out.

At the half SMU had a 31-0 lead and 296-61 yd edge and was dominant. The Mustangs fumbled the opening snap of the 3Q and Tulane ret’d it for a TD. After another 18 yd punt drove 20 yds for a 43 yd FG and after an 18 yd punt went 47/7pl for a TD to get back to 31-17. Trailing 38-24 they were SOD at the SMU26 and SMU got a TD with 1:39 left for the 21 pt margin.

Navy earned their biggest halftime lead since 2006 with a 385-109 yd edge vs Troy and led the game 35-0. QB Kriss Proctor was doubtful coming in but did start and played most of the game.

Montee Ball rushed for a career high 232 yds with 3 TD’s for Wisconsin. Purdue’s Raheem Mostert had 5 KR’s for 206 yds keeping PU in the game early but UW had 605-285 yd and 30-14 FD edges. The Badgers had 425 yds at the half and led 38-17.

In the 1H vs Air Force, Army had a 286-81 yd HT edge but only led 14-0. They were SOD on 4&1 and fmbl’d into the EZ for a TB and could have easily been up 28-0. AF rallied to tie it at 14 then the key play happened when Army faked a punt on 4&6 and they snapped it to the upman who pitched it back to Allen who never got a handle on the pitch and AF rec’d at the Army14 and got a TD 4pl later to lead 21-14 and never trailed again. Army fumbled at their own 19 setting up an AF FG and was int’d with 3:53 left. Army finished with a 366-301 yd edge.

Zach Maynard was almost benched during the week but hit 10-17-118 and Cal dominated Washington St as at the half they had a 243-55 yd edge and led 23-0 and extended it to 30-0 when WSU rec’d a fumble and drove 17 yds for a TD with 13:38 left.

The wind was a big factor for Oklahoma as they were playing with legitimate revenge vs Texas A&M and off their first home loss in 39 games. OU appeared in control at 13-3 when A&M got a 79 yd pass on 3&9 with 1:39 left in the half which gave them the yardage edge at the half, 208-180 and pulled them within 13-10. OU had the wind at their backs in the 3Q and took advantage driving 31 yds (after 34 yd punt), 28 yds (after int), 69 yds and 34 yds (after int) for TD’s and a dominating 41-10 lead. A&M got a couple of late TD’s, one with 9:49 left then drove 95/9pl for a garbage TD with 2:37 left to make the final score respectable. The key news for OU is that the FBS’s #1 all-time rec’r, Ryan Broyles, tore his ACL and is out for the year and remember last week, OU lost its top rusher RB Whaley.

Tennessee had just taken on 4 top 10 D’s but last week took on my #118 rated D in Middle Tenn and rolled up 411 yards in their 24-0 win. Each team was SOD inside the other’s 20 twice in the game incl Tenn with 1:26 left on 4&5 at the MT 19.

Houston moved to 9-0 for the first time ever after having been 8-0 in 1979 and 1990. Case Keenum became the career leading passer in college football passing up Timmy Chang’s 17,072. It happened with 6:00 left in the 3Q on a 16 yd pass to Justin Johnson. UH only led 21-10 at the half and was up 42-13 when they got a 52 yd IR TD with 8:06 left and bkp QB Turner guided a drive with 5:00 left and UH ended at the UAB35 running out the clock.

Tough loss for USF vs Rutgers. In the 1H they had a 158-87 yd edge and led 10-0. USF fmbl’d the punt at their 12 setting up an RU FG. USF went on a 16 play drive but missed a 47 yd FG. USF appeared to ice it with a TD with 7:38 left which put them up 17-3 but RU got a 98 yd KR TD with 7:25 left. Two poss later RU converted on 4&9 with an 11 yd pass to the USF45 and would get a TD with 1:01 left to tie it. USF’s final drive got to the 10 yd line where they lined up for the game winning 27 yd FG but missed it. In OT USF was int’d and RU got a 37 yd FG.

Missouri was SOD twice deep in Baylor terr and led 14-13 at the half but trailed 42-25 after an 80 yd run by Ganaway. MO drove 80/11pl for a TD with 3:55 left and 87/7pl for a TD with 1:59 left but BU rec’d the onside kick and finished with a 697-578 yd edge which was much wider prior to those final 2 drives.

Arkansas had a frustrating 1H vs South Carolina. They had a dominating 253-43 yd edge but settled for FG’s of 44, 45 and 29 yds and missed 2 of them. Also, QB Wilson was trying to throw the ball away and threw it right to DT Taylor who ret’d it 48 yds for a TD. Also at the end of the half, Ark on 3&10 had a wide open TD pass dropped and settled for the FG and missed it. SC got as close as 24-21 and 30-28 (10:30 4Q) but the Hogs pulled out to 44-28 lead. In the 2H was SOD on 4&gl at the 2 and on 4&1 at the SC29 and finished with a 435-207 yd edge.

Basically in Utah games, whoever has the TO advantage usually wins and wins big. Arizona had a 457-332 yd edge but Utah had a 3-0 TO edge and won by 13. At half Utah led 20-7 despite UA having a 212-191 yd edge. On top of the 3-0 TO edge, Utah also blk’d 2 punts so it was like having 5 TO’s. The most crucial TO happened at 27-14 when UA had a 1st & gl at the 2, were int’d in the EZ and ret’d 57 yds.

Texas Tech upset Oklahoma and the next week suffered a huge upset to Iowa St. Iowa St off their upset win, almost lost to Kansas. KU led 7-3 but had a 49 yd FG blk’d and then missed a 46 yd FG and then fmbl’d at the ISU14 all in the 1H. It was an almost identical situation to the previous year where KU had the yardage edge and should have had a significant 1H lead. This time they had a 178-169 yd edge and actually trailed 10-7. KU went for it on 4&1 at the 6 and got a FD to the 4 but then surprisingly opted for a 19 yd FG on 4&gl at the 1 to tie it at 10. KU punted with 11:46 and 9:12 left and ISU went on a 63/12pl drive for a 42 yd FG with 4:30 left. KU opted to punt on 4&11 with 2:37 left and ISU got 2 FD’s and escaped.

Nebraska was off their big win over Michigan St and was a huge favorite. At the half Northwestern led 7-3 but Nebraska had a 181-160 yd edge as they fmbl’d at the N’wstrn6. NW had leads of 14-3 and 21-10 and Neb got within 21-18 with 8:55 left but NW went 66/13pl for a 1yd TD run with 1:34 left to put it away. Neb got a TD with :18 left for the final score which helped them finish with a 468-411 yd edge.

Miami scored on all four 1H poss and had a 300-106 yd edge but Duke, trailing 35-14 was SOD at the UM14, int’d at their own 27 and UM drove 27/2pl for a TD and then Duke fumbled at their own 21 and UM drove 21/4pl for a 6 yd TD run with 5:23 left to put the game at its final.

Stanford has played by the same MO for most of the year. It was close in the 3Q vs Oregon St. In fact, there were a couple of key plays. Late in the 1H SU had a 4 yd pass which was fumbled and ret’d for a TD but a personal foul call on a hit to the WR wiped it out. Later, OSU on 3&11 got a 31 yd screen pass deep int’d in SU terr but a holding call wiped it out. At the time they trailed just 17-13. SU got a 27 yd TD pass with 2:40 left in the quarter then after rec’ing a fmbl went 24/3pl for a TD then with a 95/13pl drive for an 8 yd TD run with 6:07 left. OSU got to the SU22 with 4:42 left. SU did finish with a 507-285 yd edge despite playing in a huge situational disadvantage coming off a triple OT win vs USC with Oregon on deck.

Idaho scored a TD with 9:57 left to pull within 22-17 of San Jose then got a TD and 2pt with 3:59 left, 25-22. Idaho got the ball back and on 3&5 ripped off a 70 yd run to the 10. SJ used their last time-out but thanks to the long run, ID was able to tuck in a TD with 1:49 left and then SJS went 76/3pl getting a 47 yd TD pass with 1:08 left and had ID got just gotten a FD they likely would have run out the clock.