Daily Blog •October 24, 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 8

*Means Garbage Yards/Pts Were Subtracted (Includes all OT Yds/Pts)
TEXAS TECH AT Oklahoma 162 434 41 127 406 38 2 63 110.9
STANFORD Washington 446 169 65 162 262 21 3 191 110.6
USC AT Notre Dame 219 224 31 41 226 17 3 176 106.7
ALABAMA Tennessee 141 294 37 92 63 6 1 280 106.2
LSU Auburn 177 219 45 25 139 3 2 232 105.6
OREGON AT Colorado 371 156 45 98 133 2 1 296 104.8
OKLAHOMA ST AT Missouri 204 329 45 253 215 24 3 65 102.0
ARIZONA UCLA 254 319 48 37 286 12 1 250 101.8
CALIFORNIA Utah 129 255 34 -3 117 3 4 270 101.5
TCU New Mexico 264 251 69 64 21 0 3 430 100.1
OREGON ST AT Washington St 175 376 44 83 232 21 2 236 96.3
S MISS SMU 187 266 27 157 173 3 0 123 96.0
KANSAS ST AT Kansas 261 205 59 88 169 14 2 209 95.4
AIR FORCE AT Boise St 271 145 26 142 279 37 0 -5 94.9
CLEMSON North Carolina 75 372 59 64 263 31 5 120 94.6
FLORIDA ST Maryland 218 264 41 54 214 10 -1 214 94.3
NEBRASKA AT Minnesota 346 169 41 97 68 7 1 350 94.1
SYRACUSE West Virginia 194 249 49 70 338 23 2 35 92.1
MICHIGAN ST Wisconsin 108 290 37 223 223 31 1 -48 92.1
WISCONSIN AT Michigan St 223 223 31 108 290 37 -1 48 91.9
TEXAS A&M AT Iowa St 247 263 33 125 180 17 0 205 88.6
MIAMI FLA Georgia Tech 121 140 24 134 77 7 2 50 87.7
NC STATE AT Virginia 114 231 28 124 125 14 2 96 86.1
BYU IDAHO ST 290 282 56 20 231 3 0 321 85.8
VANDERBILT Army 344 186 44 270 18 21 1 242 85.8


News and Notes Week 8 Part 1

Team have success in their first game with an interim HC which was the case on Thurs night. Arizona scored 6 TD’s on six 1H poss and had a 416-177 yd edge. New HC Kish installed the old Arizona (Double Eagle) Flex D as they led 42-7 at the half and increased it to 48-7 in the 4Q before UCLA scored the game’s final 5 pts. UA finished with a 32-15 FD edge. Four UA and 6 UCLA players’ were susp by the P12 for all or part of the next weeks games after a fight before half.

Purdue was in control almost the entire game vs Illinois. They went 91/13pl for a TD with 3:25 left in the 1Q then went 88/9pl for another TD and after rec’ing a fmbl went 14/4pl for a TD and led 21-0 at the half with a 229-129 yd edge. The 3Q opened with 8 punts before IL got a TD with 8:12 left and added another TD on a 12pl drive with just :54 left but PU rec’d the onside kick.

Kentucky had a depleted backfield including top rusher Clemons who was ruled out for the season. Williams ran for a career high 148 yds vs FCS member Jacksonville St. JSU RB Washaun Ealy is a UGA transfer who led the Bulldogs in rushing last year and had 120 yards on 16 carries. UK led 21-0 and 31-7 en route to their 31-14 lead.

Oklahoma St only had a 27-26 FD edge but in the 2H MO had 2 int’s and lost a fumble at the OSU4 when threatening to make a game of it. Missouri was also SOD at their own 46 in the 2H. Trailing 38-24 MO got to the OSU35 but was tipped and int’d and their next drive they were int’d again and were ret’d to the MO43 with 3:38 left and OSU tacked on a 12 yd TD run 7 plays later for the 21 pt final margin.

USF blew some opportunities vs Cincinnati. At the end of the half, they had a 1&gl at the 2 and were stuffed for no gain with :20 left but they let the clock run down to :02 and took a 20 yd FG. USF still stormed to a 27-17 lead after 3Q’s but UC battled back to lead 30-27. USF got a TD with 1:27 left for a 34-30 lead but UC, led by Zach Collaros, would go 70/7pl and got a 2 yd TD run by Collaros on FD with :12 left. USF got a 20 yd run by Daniels but then when surrounded he did the latteral play and UC recovered.

Buffalo deserved better than the loss to Northern Illinois. The Bulls had a 33-15 FD edge and 572-328 yd edge. BUF settled for a 31 yd FG and missed a 38 yd FG in the 1H. In the 2H they were int’d at the 20, fmbl’d the punt at their 33 setting up a short NI TD drive, were int’d at the NI17 but at the end got the game tying TD with :14 left to make it 31-31 or so it seemed. The xp was wide left and instead of OT, they had a loss.

Tajh Boyd tied a school record with 5 TD passes and Kourtnei Brown had an IR and FR TD’s on the D, the first DL to score a pair of TD’s in a game in 57 years. UNC had a 6-1 TO deficit. The game was tied at 10 when Clemson drove for a TD then 2 poss later Brown got his IR TD to make it 24-10. CU would expand it to 59-24 but UNC got the game’s final 2 TD’s with 7:38 and 2:19 left in the game.

Western Michigan led Eastern Michigan 10-7 but gave up a TD with 7:46 left. WM went 66/7pl. On 4&gl from the 1 with 4:56 left they were SOD and EM got 2 FD’s and on 3&11 their QB ran 14 yds for a FD to clinch it.

Wake Forest jumped out to a 17-3 lead vs Duke but in the 2H Duke would run 38 plays to 6 and held Wake to 1 ttl yard and stormed back a play after Duke settled for a 19 yd FG to lead by 6, 23-17, WF got a 66 yd TD pass from Price with 6:52 left. Duke got to the WF40 but their 4&7 pass was incomplete and on their final drive started at their 28 but were int’d at the 42 on the only play.

TCU had a 515-85 yd edge but New Mexico actually fumbled on their first 2 poss setting up the Frogs for 22 and 24 yd TD drives, staking them to a 14-0 lead, not like the Frogs needed any help. It was 41-0 at the half and 55-0 after TCU blk’d a punt for a TD and the Frogs, after a 24 yd punt with 2:55 left, even added a 33/6pl drive for a TD for the 69-0 win.

NC State DB David Amerson got his school record tying 8th int and is #1 in the NCAA in that category. All the talk for NCSt is about the departed Russell Wilson but Mike Glennon hit 20-36-231 yds and on the season is completing 144-229 for 1717 yds with a 19-6 ratio. NCSt had a 345-249 yd edge in a game that was dominated by punts (comb for 17). At 14-7 NCSt got a 79 yd TD pass but on the next pay UVA got a 60 yd TD pass to pull within 21-14 but the game was decided when Amerson got a 12 yd IR TD with 6:08 left for the 28-14 upset.

Ohio had a 30-18 FD edge vs Akron and 556-249 yd edge. OU was int’d at the UA12, settled for 24 and 27 yd FG’s and only led 13-3 at the half. They went on a 91/14pl drive and settled for a 23 yd FG then a fmbl was ret’d to the OU5 and on 4&4 UA got a 4 yd TD pass to pull within 23-10. OU extended it to 37-13 and AU, in the final 5:00, went 74/9pl and on 4&gl got a 6 yd TD pass with 2:11 left to make the final somewhat respectable at 37-20.

Virginia Tech had a 482-272 yd edge vs Boston College. VT settled for a couple of FG’s in the 1H and actually trailed 7-6 but opened the 2H with 60, 89 and 56 yd TD drives to lead 27-7. BC got a 4&6, 7 yd TD pass with 9:08 left and VT went 74/11pl but settled for a 24 yd FG with 3:43 left on 4&2. BC fumbled on the next play and VT got a FD at the 9 and ran 1 more play before taking a knee.

Oregon was without QB Thomas and RB LaMichael James but still rolled to a 29-0 lead after 1Q and dominated with a 527-231 yd edge with Colorado’s only score coming when UO’s PR went backwards and was tackled for a safety. Not getting as much publicity but equally important was that CU was missing a dozen starters including RB Stewart and WR Richardson who accounted for 60% of their yards from scrimmage on the season. They then lost SS Perkins and KR Godson to inj’s in the 1Q.

LSU was without star CB Mathieu and top rusher Ware but still dominated Auburn. They did only lead 7-3 when AU punted with 6:57 left in the half and LSU would get 42 and 46 yd TD passes, the first by Jefferson and the 2nd by Lee both to Rueben Randall for TD’s to pull away 21-3. LSU extended it 45-3 with AU going on an 86/10pl drive for a garbage TD with 2:22 left.

Miami has now beaten Georgia Tech 3 straight times by a combined score of 92-34. GT came in avg 517 yards offense but was held to 211 although their D held UM to just 262 total yards. With the score 7-0, GT fumbled a punt into the EZ and UM fell on it for a TD. GT went on a 92/20pl drive and got a TD with 1:02 left in the half when UM got an important drive. Knowing GT was going to get the ball out to start the 3Q, UM ret’d the KO to the 46 and would go 46/3pl getting a TD with :25 left in the half to go up 21-7 and retake the momentum.

In the 1H Nevada went on a 78/11pl drive but settled for a 22 yd FG and then went on a 73/9pl drive also settling for a 22 yd FG. With 6:47 left in the game, NV got a TD to go up 37-24. Fresno St went 59/3pl to get a TD with 6:00 left but NV went 80/7pl and got a TD with 2:12 left, this time 45-31 with a 2 pt conv. FSU had a 3rd & 10 and fired incomplete into the EZ but pass interference gave them a FD at the 2 and they got at he TD 2pl later. NV rec’d the onside kick and FSU used both their final time-outs RB Ball took a 3&1 run, broke a tkl, broke a couple of tackles for its 15 yd run down field but was brought down at the 18 and they took a knee. Cody Fajardo threw for 313 yds for the Wolf Pack as NV piled up 581 yds and 29 FD’s.

Boise St’s Chris Petersen took the opposite approach of TCU’s Gary Patterson by not prepping for Air Force’s option during the offseason. BSU only had a 423-408 yd edge and only led by 1 score with 1:00 to play. They were taking on AF’s banged up D and in the 1H did fumble at the AF10 yd line, up 7-0. A key play happened with AF trailing 13-7 when they faked a punt from their own 31 and fmbl’d and BSU scooped it up and ret’d it for a TD for some margin and it was 20-10 at the half. It was 27-20 with 9:47 left when BSU went 69/10pl for a TD with 5:07 left. AF got a TD with 3:31 left to get back within 1 score but BSU rec’d he onside kick and got a 25 yd FG with :42 left to clinch it. Kellen Moore tied Colt McCoy for most career victories by a starting QB (45).

Case Keenum became the FBS’s career leader in total offense but Houston’s win over Marshall was not as easy as the final score. Marshall had 2 long TD drives and the game was tied at 14 before UH scored on 3 straight drives for TD’s to go up 35-14. MU went 77/14pl but on 4&gl at the 1, lost 2 yds on the final play of the half. MU opened the 3Q with a 79 yd drive for a TD to trail 35-21. UH, leading 42-21, got a 20 yd IR TD and then MU went 67/12pl but was int’d again and ret’d 69 yds. UH went 20/4pl for a TD to close it 56-21 and each team brought in backup QB’s after that.

Tulane fired Coach Bob Toledo and Memphis pulled the upset. UM did have a 200-178 yd edge at the half and led 14-10. TU drove for a TD to open the 3Q, 17-14 and was driving again to go up 2 scores when they were int’d and ret’d 79 yds for a TD and UM led 20-17. UM blk’d a punt setting up a TD to go up 26-17 but missed a 46 yd FG and fmbl’d at the UM24 and despite a 459-289 yd TU edge, UM won 33-17.

For the 2nd straight week it was the tale of two halves for Alabama. At half, thanks to a 52 yd FG that just snuck over the crossbar and inside the upright, Tennessee tied it at 6 and Bama only had a 157-114 yd edge. Bama had a 282-41 yd edge in the 2H with UT getting zero FD’s in the 2H. Bama’s first 10 plays of the 3Q either went for a FD or a TD. They not only led, 37-6 but their 2nd last poss was SOD on 4&gl at the 1 when they could have gone up by 38 and UT was SOD at its own 8 with Alabama taking a knee at the end.

Joe Paterno tied Eddie Robinson’s record with his 408th career win on Saturday night. Silas Redd rushed for 164 yards and when Paterno tied Bear Bryant with 323 wins, he also did so vs Northwestern. The QB controversy is over at Penn St as Matt McGloin started and played the entire game hitting 17-26-192 and PSU put up 34 pts. Dan Persa hobbled off the field in the 4Q after injuring his ankle. It was a wild 1H with PSU having a 293-281 yd edge. NU got a 25 yd FG to lead 24-20 with :47 left in the half when PSU on 3&1 got a 42 yd run by Redd to the 12 setting up a TD with :07 left in the half and PSU took the lead, 27-24. PSU got a 63 yd IR to the NU19 early 3Q and Redd’s 19 yd TD run on the next pay gave them a 10 pt lead, 34-24. After the wild offense in the 1H, the next 8 poss were all punts with NU being SOD at their own 12 with 1:54 left on 4&16 and PSU taking a knee.

Florida St won their 2nd consecutive game by the identical 41-16 margin. It took a couple of late scores in the final minute to get here. FSU generally controlled the 1H leading 17-0 missing a 33 yd FG and settling for a short FG when Maryland in the final 2:35 went 75/14pl for a 23 yd FG to pull within 17-3 and close the yardage gap to 256-146. FSU only led 24-10 after 3Q’s but got a 24 yd FG with 10:16 left then a 41 yd TD run by Freeman with 5:57 left to go up 34-10. After a MD punt, FSU went 51/9pl getting a TD with :47 left, 41-10. MD then went 63/3pl getting a TD with :05 left. MD QB Brown rushed for 0 yds on 10 carries after having 286 yds in the previous 2 games and now bkp QB O’Brien led the team to a TD on an 80/6pl drive late 3Q.

ULM/North Texas was much closer than the final score as with a little over 5:00 left in the game, ULM only trailed 24-21 and had the ball but they were sk’d and fmbl’d and ret’d 16 yds for a TD. Five plays later ULM was int’d and 2pl later NT got a 60 yd TD run by Dunbar who became the 25th player in NCAA history to have 3,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving as NT won by 17.

Probably one key for Washington vs Stanford’s offense was keeping pace but they blew some opportunities, got behind and then suffered a costly TO before the half which blew the game open. Polk had 46 and 61 yd TD runs and they trailed just 17-14 but UW had a FD at the 10 called back on a hold, settled for a 46 yd FG and it bounced off the upright. Trailing 31-14, they were int’d and ret’d 61 yds for a TD with :56 left in the half to blow it open, 38-14. At the half SU only had a 356-321 yd edge. In the 4Q UW fmbl’d the KO setting up a SU FG and then was int’d and SU got a TD with 1:25 left to close the scoring, 65-21. SU did have a dominating 446 yds rushing and 615 ttl yds offense to UW’s 430.

Notre Dame punted on their first 4 drives vs USC while the Trojans got 2 TD’s, a FG and were SOD at the ND36 but the Irish still managed to pull back within 17-10 when they had a 3rd & gl at the 2 yd line about to tie it. Shades of USF occurred when bkp QB Crist (st’r vs USF) fumbled the snap and USC ret’d it 80 yds for a TD and the Trojans went up 24-10. Down 24-17, ND threw a backward pass and it bounced off the RB’s hands and USC rec’d at the 18 and on 3&6 got a 14 yd TD pass to ice it, 31-17. USC did finish the game at the ND2 and had a 443-267 yd edge.

Jordan Rodgers got his first start for Vanderbilt and while he hit just 10-27 he threw for 186 yards and rushed for 96. Zac Stacy rushed for 198 yards and 3 TD’s. Army lost starting QB Trent Steelman to a leg inj late in the 1H and suffered their 4th str road blowout loss. VU led the game 37-6 before allowing a TD then a 70 yd IR TD which made it 37-21 with 11:52 left. Army used their first time-out with 6:49 left, down 2 scores on 3rd & 5 but VU got a 55 yd TD run by Stacy on the next play to ice it, 44-21 with 6:38 left.