Daily Blog •October 10, 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 6

*Means Garbage Yards/Pts Were Subtracted (Includes all OT Yds/Pts)
OKLAHOMA Texas 86 365 55 56 223 17 4 172 118.0
S CAROLINA Kentucky 284 351 54 79 16 3 5 540 112.2
STANFORD Colorado 161 392 48 60 204 7 -1 289 105.1
LSU Florida 239 215 41 113 100 11 2 241 104.4
HOUSTON East Carolina 215 357 56 21 263 3 4 288 103.4
BOISE ST AT Fresno St 183 281 57 144 126 7 4 194 102.9
NEVADA UNLV 240 459 37 102 8 0 -3 589 99.0
ALABAMA Vanderbilt 152 264 34 41 149 0 2 226 98.7
UTAH ST Wyoming 318 230 63 129 265 19 1 154 96.8
OREGON California 365 198 43 144 321 15 -1 98 95.9
TEMPLE AT Ball St 350 160 42 81 155 0 3 274 94.9
GEORGIA AT Tennessee 139 227 20 -20 290 12 0 96 94.3
ARIZONA ST AT Utah 104 307 35 122 199 14 5 90 93.2
NOTRE DAME Air Force 266 294 59 325 173 27 2 62 91.9
WEST VIRGINIA Connecticut 78 468 43 77 192 16 -1 277 91.0
TCU AT San Diego St 234 212 27 90 206 14 0 150 90.2
KANSAS ST Missouri 174 112 24 112 214 17 0 -40 90.0
CLEMSON Boston College 175 321 36 127 135 14 2 234 89.7
W MICHIGAN Bowling Green 351 227 45 92 194 14 0 292 89.1
MICHIGAN AT Northwestern 179 362 42 107 331 24 -1 103 88.8
TEXAS TECH Texas A&M 135 387 40 225 185 45 0 112 88.8
OKLAHOMA ST Kansas 107 496 70 152 327 28 4 124 88.0
S MISS AT Navy 283 301 63 421 148 35 -1 15 87.5
BAYLOR Iowa St 397 210 49 180 244 26 0 183 86.9
ARKANSAS Auburn 172 264 38 292 104 14 2 40 86.9


News and Notes Week 6 Part 1

Boise St showed remarkable dominance vs Fresno St and actually scored 111 straight points vs Fresno St until a PR TD by the Bulldogs on Friday night. In 2010 they beat FSU 51-0 at home and had scored the final 10 points in 2009. Boise led 37-0 when FSU gained 73 yards in the final :20 of the 1H. Boise pulled QB Moore leading 43-0 in the 3Q and was up 50-0 After 3Q. BSU cruised to a 57-7 win with a 464-270 yd edge.

Purdue got their largest margin of victory in a Big Ten game since 2008. MarQueis Gray did return to the lineup for Minnesota and threw for 104 yards and rushed for 20. It was Minnesota’s 2nd straight blowout loss and turnovers fueled it. After a 26 yard punt, PU went 39/7pl for a TD then went 36/11pl for a 53 yd FG. Then, after a fumble went 11/7pl for a TD then got a 37 yd IR TD and led 24-0 after 1Q. PU led 31-3 at the half with a 180-85 yd edge. They extended it to 45-10 before Minny got a TD with 7:55 left.

Tyler Russell replaced an ineffective Chris Relf as MSU trailed 3-0 at the half with UAB having a 181-118 yd edge. After punting to open the 3Q, MSU went 89/7pl for a TD then after a UAB fmbl went 71/4pl (after UAB fmbl) for a TD and after a UAB int, went 72/11pl for a TD with 5:03 left to go up 21-3. UAB’s final drive was SOD at their own 47 with 3:18 left. Russell hit 11-13-166 while Relf hit 6-10-46. UAB QB Perry missed at least 5 open rec’s and in the 1H there were 10 punts and 3 FG att’s with 2 missed for the 2 teams combined. Miss St had just a 416-340 yd edge.

Georgia Tech failed to put Maryland away and the Terps turned to backup QB CJ Brown. Brown hit just 4-17-36 yards but had the game changing play of the day. A few inches may have determined this game as well as GT had 4 different plays which could have gone for TD’s but the connection was missed by inches and/or a drop with wide open rec’s. In the 1H UGA had a commanding 232-89 yd edge but only led 14-3 as they had a TD pass dropped and punted, missed a 34 yd FG and then were int’d in the EZ for a TB from the 18 yd line. GT led 21-3 and was SOD at the MD23 with 12:14 left when the key play happened. Brown faked a pitch and raced 77 yards down the sideline for a TD to get MD back to 21-10 and got 1 more late TD to only lose 21-16.

Zac Dysert hit 24-37-342 yards for Miami, Oh. The RedHawks came in 0-4 but got coach Treadwell his first win despite trailing Army 28-14 in the 2H. MU fumbled at the Army9 but then went 61/6pl for a TD to get within 7 after 3Q’s. Army fumbled and MU went 35/6pl for a TD to tie at 28 and after an Army punt, UM went 98/9pl and got a 20 yd TD pass with 7:05 left for its first lead of the game. Army went 45/13pl but on 4&12 was sk’d for an 8 yd loss with :24 left.

South Carolina’s only weakness at the start of the year has been QB Garcia who had a 4-9 ratio. Conner Shaw did start his second game and after a not so good outing vs East Carolina in his first start, Shaw guided SC to 639 yards and a 32-6 FD edge vs Kentucky. He hit 26-39 and most importantly had 0 int’s. Kentucky had lost their first 2 SEC games by 33 ppg and SC Marcus Lattimore only ran the ball twice in the 1Q but finished with 102 yards (22 att). When they pulled Shaw, 3rd stringer Andrew Clifford and 4th stringer Dylan Thompson both appeared but no Garcia. UK ran just 6 plays in SC territory all on their opening drive and Shaw’s 4 TD passes matched Garcia’s effort for the entire start of the season. UK actually led 3-0 after SC fumbled the opening KO and it was just 7-3 after 1Q but SC had a 290-57 yd edge at the half and led 20-3 in the 54-3 romp.

Rice only had a 350-307 yd edge vs Memphis. Rice was int’d on 2 of their first 4 poss and only led 7-3 after 1Q then were SOD at the UM21 and punted on their next 2. After a 21 yd PR, they went 46/11pl for a 15 yd TD pass with :38 left in the half to lead 14-3 and had a 245-107 yd edge at the half. Rice got a 47 yd IR TD early 3Q and then drove 74/7pl for a TD to lead 28-3. Memphis rec’d a fumble at the Rice20 and got a 30 yd FG and 2 poss later fumbled at the Rice24 with 4:52 left and on their final poss, got to the Rice31 but were int’d at the 11 with :29 left.

Wake Forest led almost start to finish vs Florida St. FSU started Clint Trickett but when Trickett was int’d and ret’d to the 38 setting up a 38/4pl drive for a TD and a WF 16-7 lead with 1:48 left in the half, EJ Manuel came off the bench. Manuel led an 88/6pl drive for a TD to make it 16-14. WF built the lead to 32-17 early 4Q and FSU down 35-24 got a TD with :54 left to pull within 5 (2ptng) but WF rec’d the onside kick. Josh Harris rushed for 136 yards...Western Michigan had a 31-20 FD and 578-381 yd edges. They led Bowling Green 45-14 when BG went 81/11pl getting a garbage TD with 2:30 left.

Much like the 42-0 score would indicate, Temple had a 510-236 yard edge and led 28-0 at the half. Temple missed a 36 yd FG and was SOD at the BSU34 on their first two 3Q poss but then went 57/8pl and 78/3pl for a pair of TD’s and the 42-0 final. RB Bernard Pierce had 121 yards rushing.

Eastern Michigan came into the Toledo game averaging 233 ypg rushing but was held to 89 by Toledo. Both Toledo QB’s Austin Dantin and Terrance Owens had 2 TD’s and 0 int’s each. Toledo led 21-0 but after EM got a TD with 1:22 left in the half, UT blk’d an xp and ret’d it for 2 to lead 23-9. They extended it to 47-9. EM after rec’ing a fumble went 37 yards for a TD with 10:11 left and UT went 70/11 for a TD with 4:40 left.

QB Jon Hays made his first start for Utah and had 3 crucial int’s vs Arizona St. The Sun Devils led 10-7 at the half. Utah faked a punt and would go 79/9pl for a TD to lead 14-10. ASU got a 35 yd FG with 5:00 left 3Q, 14-13. Utah then turned it over 3 times and ASU went 44/5pl, 32/3pl and 61/10pl for TD’s to blow it open, 35-14. Utah was sacked on 4&16 at midfield and punted on their final 2 poss.

West Virginia/Connecticut was a tale of 2H’s. In the 1H Conn had an 11-10 FD edge but missed a 42 yd FG and settled for a 22 yd FG on the last play of the half and actually trailed 10-9. The key play of the game happened mid3Q. Conn, threatening to take the lead, had a FD at the WV13 when QB McEntee was hit and fmbl’d. The ball popped into the air and was ret’d 83 yards to the UC12. WV got a TD 2pl later to go up 17-9. Conn would then got 3 & out on their next 2 poss, get tackled for a safety and got 2 FD’s on their next 4 poss, all punts while WV rolled to a 43-9 lead. UC did get a 48 yd IR TD with 7:54 left to close the scoring and WV won 43-16 with a 541-275 yd edge.

Oklahoma got a 55 yard IR TD, 19 yd FR TD and 56 yd FR TD in their 55-17 win over Texas. The FD’s were even at 22 but the Sooners did have a 453-259 yd edge. Landry Jones hit 31-50-367 yards.Texas has come in the Red River Rivalry game ranked #11 three times and allowed 65 in 2003, 63 in 2000 and 55 in 2011.

Kansas St led 10-3 at the half and opened it to 24-3 with 11:23 left in the game. Missouri would go on 12 and 8pl drives for 2 TD’s to pull within 24-17 with 5:02 left and had some momentum. They opted to kick off deep but KSU went 66/11pl picking up 3 crucial FD’s and ended the game at the Missouri 11 yard line pulling the upset.

All season long Penn St has been better statistically than they were on the scoreboard. Versus Iowa, PSU had a 395-253 yd edge. In fact, Iowa came in leading the Big Ten in passing but PSU held them to 169 yards. PSU settled for a 20 yd FG after an 88/18pl drive then another 20 yard FG after an 81/12pl drive and only led 6-3 at the half. PSU had a 3&5 from the 6 but was int’d in the EZ but got a TD with 8:08 left to lead 13-3 and Iowa’s final 3 poss ended on 2 int’s and a 4th&39 sack.

Oregon St jumped out to a 27-6 halftime lead vs Arizona and held on for their first win of the season. The Beavers did get a blocked punt for a TD in the 1H helping them to that lead but had a 224-141 yd edge. They extended it to 30-6 mid3Q but Arizona chipped away. The Beavers went on a 48/9pl drive and missed a 42 yd FG and Arizona got within 30-27. OSU went for it on 4&gl at the 2 and got a TD with 5:22 left to lead 37-27 and Arizona went 78/7pl but on 4&gl from the 2 were SOD was 3:02 left and the Beavers won by 10.

Rutgers and Pitt each had 271 yards but RU won by 24. Pitt’s opening drive went 74/14pl but they settled for a 29 yd FG. At the half PItt had a 110-92 yd edge as they had a 4-1 TO deficit in the game including two 1H Sunseri int’s. Sunseri was replaced to being the 3Q but backup QB Anderson was int’d on his 2nd poss and ret’d 9 yards to the 18 setting up an RU TD for a 13-3 lead. RU added a 60 yd TD pass and then after a 73 yd KR, a 3 yd TD run and led 27-10 and later off of Sunseri got a 45 yd IR TD with 5:26 left to make it 34-10.

If you compare LSU and Alabama’s games vs Florida, they are fairly even statistically and the scores are almost identical. Alabama’s win is still far more impressive. Alabama last week had to play in The Swamp vs Florida’s #1 QB for the 1H and #2 for the 2H. LSU was in Death Valley and was facing a 3rd string QB in Jacoby Brissett who became the first UF frosh QB in Florida history to take his first snap as a starter. Brissett, who was in a hostile environment, hit 8-14-94. It was just 27-11 after 3Q’s and LSU would punch in a 2 yd TD run with 1:27 left capping a 76/11pl drive for the 41-11 final. LSU had a 453-213 yd edge.

Houston’s defense looked porous on Thursday night vs UTEP but vs East Carolina they had 9 sacks and had 4 int’s. Case Keenum became the #2 all-time career leading passer passing Graham Harrell at TT and he hit 30-37 for 304 yards with his last pass being a 27 yard TD with 14:34 left in the game to make it 49-3. EC did have 20 FD’s but was int’d at the UH21, EC43, UH33 and UH33. They also went on a 15 play drive to the UH19 but punted after sacks, were SOD after a 10pl drive at midfield and had a drive to the UH34 also end on a punt. UH went 80/10pl and got a TD with 1:19 left for the 56-3 final.

You had to expect a high scoring game with Southern Miss and Navy and the two teams combined for 1,153 yards. Navy actually had 144-0 yard edge at the start but trailed 7-0 as they went on a 68/13pl drive settling for a 29 yd FG which was blk’d and ret’d 79 yards for a TD then went 76/13pl but was SOD on 4&gl at the 1. SM’s offense was almost unstoppable and had TD drives of 99, 75, 77 and 58 yards in the 1H and led 35-7 with a 327-213 yard edge. The teams basically traded TD’s in the 2H on almost every poss with SM leading by 28 or 21 points and Navy, trailing 63-35, was SOD at the SM2 with 1:59 left.

Some key plays kept Miami, Fl in the game vs Virginia Tech and VT blew a big lead and actually needed a TD with :56 left for the win. VT took their first 2 drives right down the field for TD’s to lead 14-0 and their 3rd drive was headed for the same but they fumbled at the Miami27. UM on 3&18 threw a pass down the sideline which looked incomplete. Somehow the replays gave them a 41 yard pass for a FD overthrowing the call and they got a TD a few plays later. VT still led 21-7 at the half. In the 2H, UM got their 2nd big play, a 3&4 pass where DB Whitley went for the ball and missed and Benjamin took it 77 yards for a TD. VT still led 24-14 and 31-21. UM on 3&12 early 4Q was sk’d and was forced to punt but QB Harris was standing over the DE and Collins threw the ball back at him and got a 15 yd penalty keeping the drive alive and UM got a TD. UM faced a 2nd & 30 and handed off to Miller who took it 30 yards for a TD and stunningly they led 35-31 with 2:51 left but VT went 77/8pl and Logan Thomas had a 19 yd TD run with :56 left for the win. Thomas hit 23-25-310 yards and 3 TD’s passing and 2 rushing.

Central Michigan QB Ryan Radcliff had a great 1H hitting 15-17 for 196 yards. CM settled for a 22 yd FG after an 82 yd drive and trailed 21-17 at the half despite a 253-223 yd edge. Radcliff was 1-10 with 3 int’s in the 3Q and NCSt took control 35-17. It was 38-17 when CM got a 77 yd TD run by Cotton with 8:18 left then recovered the onside kick. They got 3 FD’s to the NCSt11 but was int’d in the EZ with 5:38 left and NCSt got 3 FD’s and ran out the clock.

Notre Dame scored their most points since Lou Holtz’s final home game when they beat Rutgers 62-0. It was the most combined points ever for a game at ND Stadium. ND scored on all six 1H poss and led 42-16 at the half as the Falcons were not match physically for the Irish. ND even inserted mobile Andrew Hendrix who hit all 4 of his passes and rushed 6 times for 111 yards. The 2 teams combined for 1,125 yards. Air Force26 had a FD called back on a clip and went 3 &out after dropping a FD pass on 3&7. The Irish led 59-19 when AF went 74 and 67 yards for a pair of garbage TD’s on their final 2 drives, the latter with :33 left.

ULM botched some redzone opportunities and some big plays led to the Arkansas St win. ULM fmbl’d at the ASU22, settled for two 25 yd FG’s after having a 1st & gl each time. Leading 13-7, the War Hawks were int’d with 1:43 left in the half and ASU turned it into a 30 yd FG to pull within 13-10. ULM opened the 3Q being int’d at the ASU13. Two big plays then changed the game. ASU blocked a punt and ret’d it for a TD to go up 17-13 with 4:01 left in the 3Q. ULM went on a 12pl drive but was not only int’d at the 5 but ret’d 51 yards. On the next play, ASU got a 44 yd TD pass to lead 24-13. ULM had the ball, down 24-19 at the ASU27 but was SOD with :18 left.

Tennessee was held to -9 yards rushing vs Florida but Georgia did even better holding them to -20 yards rushing. In the 1H, each team had some long drives result in FG’s and it was 6-6. UGA took control at the start of the 3Q scoring TD’s on their first 2 poss to lead 20-6. UGA had an amazing poss where they went 12pl and had a FD at the UT23. After 3 holds and a 15 yd PF, they punted on 4&50! UT took over with 6:11 left and QB Bray was injured. Backup QB Simms converted on 4&2 and then on 4&16 for FD’s and got a TD with 2:45 left to pull within 8. UGA rec’d the onside kick.

Nebraska had the biggest comeback in Cornhusker history with Ohio St not scoring after Braxton Miller left the game with injury. Taylor Martinez was coming off a horrible game vs Wisconsin where his 3 int’s turned the game around but hit 16-22-191 yards. Still, OSU led 27-6 in the 2H with NU only taking the lead after a Bauserman int with 6:29 left and getting a 17 yd TD run by Burkhead with 5:10 left. NU finished with a 25-16 FD edge. After Miller went out of the game NU had a 15-3 FD edge and managed the comeback with Bauserman hitting 1-10-13.

FIU punted with 7:46 left in the game vs Akron. At this point, FIU had a 77-38 play edge and 490-175 yard edge but FIU missed a 23 yd FG, settled for 37 and 21 yd FG’s and was int’d in the EZ and fumbled at midfield in the 1H and they only led 27-17. UA gained 102 yards on 17 plays on their final 2 drives which ended on a fumble at the FIU18 and an incomplete pass from the FIU27. Thirty-one of the yards came on a 4&16 conversion on the final drive.

It was a tale of 2H’s in the Northwestern/Michigan game. In the 1H NU had a 297-257 yd edge and led 24-14, even dropping a TD pass at the end of the 1H and settling for a 20 yd FG. Denard Robinson had 3 crucial 1H int’s being picked off at the 4 yard line 3 times. In the 2H UM battled back to take its first lead with 2:58 left in the 3Q and then NU turned it over on consecutive drives. NU, trailing 35-24, went for it on 4&5 at the UM37 and QB Persa had his helmet ripped off by a DL but no pen was called and the play was blown dead because his helmet was off. Fitzgerald got hit with a 15 yard PF for protesting the call and UM went 39/9pl for a TD with 2:19 left to clinch it, 42-24.

Tulane’s offense got going with 471 yards vs Syracuse. In fact, at the half TU had a 312-229 yd edge but trailed 31-24. SU had a 5 yd TD drive after a 95 yd KR and a 32 yd drive for a TD after a fumble. WR Xavier Rush had 60 and 58 yd TD’s for Tulane. TU missed a 45 yd FG with 9:00 left but the 58 yd TD pass to rush tied it at 34 with 2:53 left. SU fired incomplete on 3&4 but roughing the QB gave them a FD and they would continue to get 3 more FD’s and got a 21 yd FG on the last play for the win despite TU having a 471-356 yd edge.

UCF absolutely dominated Marshall and it’s shocking that they only won by 10. In the 1H UCF had 13-1 FD and 246-47 yd edges. They had a pair of long TD drives but also had a 63/6pl drive end on a fumble at the MU11 and had a 10pl drive end on a 22 yard FG where they mishandled the snap. Marshall’s only TD came when UCF fumbled and MU ret’d it 12 yards for a TD with 3:07 left in the 3Q. UCF had 2 chances at a TD at the end but on 3&2 from the MU11 were int’d at the 4 with 5:04 left and UCF’s final drive went 48/7pl with the last play of the game getting to the MU4. UCF finished with 21-6 FD and 387-130 yard edges.

Clemson was cruising along vs Boston College with a 26-7 lead when Tajh Boyd inj’d his hip on the first drive of the 3Q and he did not return. Cole Stoudt hit 6-10-37 yards in his place. CU still managed a 47 yard FG with :39 left in the 3Q to lead 29-14 and then drove 58/6pl and on 4&1 got a 36 yd TD run by Ellington with 11:24 left, 36-14. BC was SOD at the CU31 and SOD at their own 33 on their final 2 drives. CU had actually not scored a TD vs Boston College since 2008. Another injury of note was RB Montel Harris for BC did not play after having rushed for 100 yards the week before in his only game of the season so far. CU finished with a 500-258 yd edge.

Louisville OC Mike Sanford did not travel with the team so QB coach Watson called the plays. NC got their 8th straight win over a non-conf opponent and Giovanni Bernard became the first Tar Heel to rush for at least 100 yards in 4 straight games since Ethan Horton in 1984. UL actually controlled the 1H with a 188-59 yd edge but the Cardinals missed a 40 yd FG after a 75/15pl drive, were SOD at the NC43, int’d at the NC19 and missed a 36 yd FG. In the 2H, UL punted on their first 5 poss. NC took the points off the board on a 23 yd FG when UL jumped offsides and got a TD and later went 66/5pl for a TD to lead 14-0 with 12:19 left. NC was SOD on 4&1 at the UL39 with 2:35 left and UL went 61/10pl and got an 18 yd TD pass with :41 left. NC rec’d the onside kick.

Illinois is off their best start since 1951 and had 3 scoring plays of 66+ yards to erase an early 10-0 deficit. Indy ret’d the opening KO 98 yards for a TD and Illinois trailed 10-0 when they got a 77 yard TD pass on 3&11 with 4:22 left in the 1Q then got a 66 yd FR TD and later a 67 yd TD pass to Jenkins to lead 27-13 at the half with a 280-119 yd edge. It was 34-13 when Indy got a TD with 5:29 left capping an 85/11pl drive but IL took over at its 11 and went 89/11pl and got a 1 yd TD run with 1:20 left. Indy got to the IL15 but their final pass was incomplete.

Texas A&M did what they usually do which is jump out to a big lead, this time it was 31-20 at the half and A&M had a 301-225 yd edge. This time A&M got a break in the 3Q. They led 31-23 when they blk’d a 50 yd FG and ret’d it 63 yards for a TD to make it 38-23. A&M got a TD with 11:59 left and were up comfortably 45-30. TT got a 31 yd FG that bounced off the upright and went through to make it 45-33 with 9:34 left but TT on 4&2 fired incomplete with 4:00 left at their own 33. A hold on A&M forced a 4&17 and they punted with just 2:55 left and TT would go 91/11pl getting a 20 yd TD pass with :31 left.