Daily Blog •October 31, 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 9

*Means Garbage Yards/Pts Were Subtracted (Includes all OT Yds/Pts)
OKLAHOMA AT Kansas St 170 520 58 182 58 17 -1 450 122.7
TEXAS AT Kansas 441 149 43 -2 48 0 0 544 109.7
IOWA ST AT Texas Tech 370 140 41 98 191 7 2 221 107.5
STANFORD AT USC 137 298 34 135 235 34 1 65 99.6
TULSA SMU 177 274 38 85 180 7 3 186 99.0
NEBRASKA Michigan St 187 83 24 101 86 3 0 83 98.2
FLORIDA ST NC State 123 321 34 36 130 0 2 278 97.9
MICHIGAN Purdue 339 196 36 78 196 7 -1 261 96.8
NOTRE DAME Navy 182 260 56 196 33 14 -1 213 96.0
ARMY FORDHAM 514 30 55 69 17 0 0 458 95.7
GEORGIA TECH Clemson 383 60 31 93 303 17 2 47 95.1
MARSHALL UAB 138 291 59 27 225 7 4 177 94.1
GEORGIA AT Florida 186 168 24 -9 245 20 1 118 93.2
S CAROLINA AT Tennessee 231 87 14 35 153 3 -1 130 93.0
OKLAHOMA ST Baylor 325 274 59 177 445 24 4 -23 92.1
N CAROLINA Wake Forest 224 338 49 121 210 24 4 231 91.6
OHIO ST Wisconsin 267 89 33 104 253 29 -1 -1 91.6
USC Stanford 135 235 34 137 298 34 -1 -65 91.0
MISSOURI AT Texas A&M 266 188 31 186 306 31 2 -38 90.2
WASHINGTON Arizona 179 310 42 36 388 31 1 65 89.4
HOUSTON Rice 122 534 73 359 116 34 -2 181 88.8
UCLA California 294 92 31 134 199 14 3 53 88.6
BYU AT TCU 139 215 28 136 147 38 -3 71 88.0
S MISS AT UTEP 260 190 31 68 194 13 1 188 88.0
TEXAS A&M Missouri 186 306 31 266 188 31 -2 38 87.2


News and Notes Week 9 Part 1

Pittsburgh dominated their Wed night game vs Connecticut even more than the final score as in the 1H they had a 321-80 yd edge but had a FD at the UC22 with :13 left and no time-outs and took a sack and got zero points and only led 21-3. Pitt led 35-13 when UC took over with 3:22 left and went 71/8pl for a garbage TD with :43 left. The victory was costly for Pitt as they lost star RB Graham (knee) as well as starting OT Matt Rotheram (brk ankle) and starting WR Cameron Saddler (fractured sternum) all for the season.

The Houston/Rice game opened in heavy rain and Rice, after rec’ing a Case Keenum fmbl for a TD, had a shocking 17-7 lead. Keenum at that point had not thrown a TD pass. Tyron Carrier got UH’s first score on a 100 yd KR TD tying the NCAA career KR TD record with 7. Keenum needed 5 TD passes to set the NCAA record for career TD passes and had 9 vs Rice. He would have 3 TD passes in the final 6:28 of the 1H to make it 38-20 and UH had a 331-214 yd edge. UH even had a 97 yd TD run with 5:11 left in the 3Q but UH’s 47 yd TD pass with 10:13 left closed the scoring at 73-34.

Special teams hurt BYU. In fact, they had a 218-191 yd edge vs TCU but trailed 28-10. BYU had a low snap on a punt that the P kicked OOB at their own 8 setting up a TCU TD and then BYU pulled within 14-10 but was SOD on 4&3 at the TCU29, int’d at midfield and under pressure they only got off a 23 yd punt. BYU was int’d in the EZ on 2&6 from the 9 and then BYU was watching a punt roll dead when Wesley scooped it up and ret’d it 19 yds with :49 left in the half setting up a 33 yd TD pass 2pl later. BYU had a shot at a 50 yd FG but a late decision by Mendenhall to go for the FG had the unit run on the field and the K slipped on the attempt. Another bad snap on a punt set TCU up for a 38/4pl TD drive and the Cougars trailed 35-10 early 3Q but got a key TD with 2:01 left in the game to pull within 38-28.

Michigan RB Fitzgerald Toussaint ran for a career-high 170 yards. UM had 339 yds rushing and a 535-311 yd edge. Things looked good for Purdue early as they got a 48 yd TD pass to lead 7-0 and UM scored a TD then was int’d on their next 2 drives but PU was sk’d for a safety then gave up a 37 yd FG, was int’d and UM drove 83/5pl for a TD and UM added a 22 yd FG on the final play of the half to lead 22-7 and PU’s first four 2H poss were 3 punts and an SOD at the UM1 when trailing 36-7.

Central Michigan was in control vs Akron leading 13-0 at the half with a 200-97 yd edge and led 23-9 when UA took over with 5:51 left. The Zips got a TD with 2:57 left to pull within 7 and CM punted with 1:47 left. UA went 56/9pl and got a TD on the final play of the game on a 4&1, 9 yd pass and went for 2, the wind was swirling, and it failed.

Louisville had a 339-182 yd edge and led 27-3 when Syracuse took over with 2:53 left and went 63/6pl and on 4&7 got a 20 yd TD pass with 1:31 left to “only” lose 27-10.

Virginia Tech in the 1H vs Duke had a 301-162 yd edge, was int’d at the Duke2 and from the Duke30 was int’d in the EZ and also missed a 29 yd FG. In the 2H VT clinging to a 14-10 lead, punted with 1:50 left and Duke was int’d on 4&1 at their own 38 with :55 left.

Western Michigan led Ball St 35-14 with 2:08 left in the half but gave up a TD with :52 left. Being aggressive, they opted to throw it and were int’d and BSU drove 41/5pl for a TD with :08 left to get back in the game, 35-28 at half. It was 42-35 with 5:50 left when EM added a 40 yd FG with 1:55 left for some breathing room and BSU was stopped on 4&gl at the WM.

Washington St actually had a 30-20 FD edge vs Oregon despite the fact that RB LaMichael James and QB Thomas ret’d and started. Brian Bennett replaced Thomas in the 2H. In the 2H WSU had a 260-215 yd edge but they were int’d at the 2 with 8:17 left in the 1Q, int’d at the 2 with 8:35 left and missed a 25 yd FG and trailed 15-10 at the half. The Ducks finally got some breathing room with a Thomas 93 yd KR TD and WSU trailed 43-20 when they went 85/13pl getting a 9 yd TD run and 2 pt conversion with 1:50 left in the game.

There was surprise snowfall in Maryland and while they announced 29,945 there were less than 10,000 on hand. Boston College led 14-3 after 1Q and 21-3 at the half. MD took over with 5:23 left and went 68/12pl for a TD with 2:07 left to pull within 28-17 but BC took a knee at the MD14 to end it.

Oklahoma lost leading rusher Whaley to injury on the first play of the game and it was really a story of 2H’s. In the 1H Kansas St led 17-14 mid2Q but a key play of the game happened with :19 left in the half. KSU was down by 3 and had the ball but fmbl’d and OU would get a 53 yd FG that just cleared the upright on the final play of the half which gave them momentum into the locker room and a 23-17 lead. The Sooners scored TD’s on their first 5 poss of the 2H while KSU punted on all 5 and the game turned into a blowout with OU finishing with a 690-240 yd edge.

Notre Dame was coming off a disappointing loss the previous week to USC and held Navy to a season low 229 yds. Navy was starting backup QB Miller (5-13-33) who rushed for 55 yards on 19 carries. ND had 2 RB’s score multiple TD’s for the first time since 2001 and the starters sat the 4Q. ND led 35-7 at the half with a 258-100 yd edge. Navy was SOD at the ND14 on their opening 3Q drive and the Irish went 86/9pl for a TD to go up 42-7. Navy was SOD at their own 43 and the Irish 5pl later got another TD for a 49-7 lead en route to their 56-14 win.

As has been the case in all 3 Texas A&M losses this year they blew a double digit halftime lead as they led 28-17 at the half but only managed a FG in the 2H. A&M led 28-14 when Missouri got a 26 yd FG on the final play of the half to give them some momentum. Still the game shifted when A&M up 28-17 with 11:20 left was int’d at the 25 and ret’d 45 yds. MO drove 30/3pl to get a TD to get back in the game and then went 79/6pl for the lead, 31-28. A&M tied it on a FG with 4:10 left after having a FD at the 15. A&M was sk’d on FD at the MO42 with :25 left and fmbl’d and MO missed a 46 yd FG but got a TD on 3&8 in OT on an 11 yd pass and A&M was SOD on 4&5.

Arkansas is the anti-Texas A&M as for the 3rd time this season, they trailed by DD but rallied for a win. Casey Hayward broke up 6 passes and Vandy actually finished with a 462-388 yd edge. Ark rallied to tie it on a 94 yd FR TD with 13:25 left in the game and took the lead on a 42 yd FG with 6:53 left but had the ball on their own 39 with 4:37 left and went conservative. On 3&8 that was partially blk’d, they ran for a 1 yd loss and punted and VU went 80/8pl but missed a tying 27 yd FG at the end.

Northwestern scored on 9 of their first 10 poss and piled up a 616-488 yd edge in a high scoring shootout vs Indiana. IU has now allowed 40+ points in 4 straight games. NU had a 59-31 lead when IU got a TD with 9:08 left and NU then ate up the final 9:08 going 54/17pl taking a knee at the IU8 to end it.

Minnesota students stormed the field after their upset of Iowa. It was a game where UI blew numerous chances to put the game away and left the scrappy Gophers in the game. UM had been outscored 48-0 in the 1Q of their first 7 games but it was scoreless. UI took their first 5 drives of the game into UM territory but were SOD at the UM31, punted 19 yds, missed a chip shot 21 yd FG on 4&2 and missed a 43 yd FG that clanged off the upright and it was just 7-7 at the half despite a 260-165 yd edge. UI leading 14-7 was at the UM14 when they were sk’d and fmbl’d and it was ret’d 43 yd getting the Gophers back in the game. It was still UI 21-10 when they gave up a TD with 8:22 left and UM then rec’d a surprise onside kick and would get a TD on 4&gl from the 3 with 2:48 left and went for the gutsy 2 pt conv (failed) but they still led by 1. IU was SOD on 4&10 at its own 31.

Tulsa pounded SMU with a 451-265 yd edge. The game was played with 28 mph swirling winds but TU settled for a 22 yd FG on their 2nd poss then after an int, drove 20/5pl for a TD and after a 27 yd punt into the wind and K/C interf, drove 25/6/pl for a TD to lead 17-0. It was 24-0 at the half and they had a 230-76 yd edge and increased the lead to 38-7 when SMU gained 72 and 56 yds on their final 2 drives which ended on SOD at the 3 and int in the EZ from the 4.

The Sun Belt Conference has one bizarre finish after another. ULM had 30-9 FD and 456-283 yd edges at home vs WKU. Unfortunately for ULM they had a 38 yd FG blk’d and a 9 yd punt set up WKU for a 29 yd TD drive. ULM was SOD at the WKU25 late 1H. ULM went on a 58/14pl drive but missed a 30 yd FG to open the 3Q. ULM got a TD with 1:00 left to take a 21-20 lead but gave up a 79 yd KR to the 9 and a TD and 2 pt conversion 2pl later. ULM still tied it with :06 left but in OT, on 1st & gl from the 3 was int’d in the EZ and WKU got a 24 yd FG.

Florida lost their 4th in a row for the first time since 1988. Georgia had a 354-226 yd edge but ST hurt them as UF had a 99 yd KR TD and a 63 yd KR set up a 40 yd FG. UGA got a TD with 13:18 left to lead 24-20 and at the end of the game, UGA had a 4th & 2 at the UF10 and broke a tackle and was brought down at the 1 on what would be the last play of the game.

One week after North Carolina committed 6 TO’s vs Clemson, they forced 5 from Wake Forest. It wasn’t just the TO’s that had NC winning 49-24 as they had a 562-331 yd edge. NC drove 34 and 77 yds on their first 2 poss, both after WF TO’s for a 14-0 lead but only led 14-10 at the half with a 215-134 yd edge. NC missed a 47 yd FG and only led 21-17 when they went 80/9, 34/5pl (after int), 41/3pl (after int) and 75/6pl (WF SOD) for TD’s on 4 consecutive poss to go up 49-17.

Joe Paterno broke Eddie Robinson’s record for victories by a Div I coach with 409 but this was a low scoring defensive battle with 18 punts in a game played in snow. Illinois had 94 yds passing and the Lions just 98. Penn St was SOD on 4&1 at the UI35 and UI went 64/11pl for a TD and a 7-0 lead with 3:32 left 3Q, which appeared commanding. PSU settled for a 30 yd FG with 7:00 left and got it back at their 20 with 3:05 left and went 80/10pl for a TD with 1:08 left. UI did drive but a 42 yd FG bounced off the upright on the final play.

Army gave Max Jenkins his first career start in what would be his last game at Michie Stadium as a senior. The game was played in snow. Fordham was shutout for the first time in six years and allowed 50 points for the first time in over a decade. Army led 42-0 at the half and very few fans remained at the end in the freezing stands. Rich Ellerson who played in the CFL said he’d never played in a game with such high winds and that they were playing a team that wanted to throw the ball and it was difficult to throw. Army finished with 544-86 yd and 27-6 FD edges.

If you were watching the scoreboard, Oklahoma St absolutely dominated Baylor in their 59-24 win as it was 35-0 at half and 49-3 after 3Q’s. BU actually finished with a 36-23 FD edge and it was not all garbage yards. In fact BU’s first drive went 69/16pl but on 4&1 they were SOD at the gl line. BU fmbl’d the KO setting up a 13 yd OSU TD. BU went 49/7pl but missed a 48 yd FG. BU went 63/13pl but on 3&gl from the 5 was int’d in the EZ. BU went 46/11pl but on 4&1 was SOD at the OSU32. BU went 57/8pl but on FD from the OSU26 was int’d at the 11 and ret’d 34 yds. BU fmbl’d in the 3Q to set up an OSU 7 yd TD drive, went on a 10pl TD drive for a 36 yd FG, a 66/9pl drive but fmbl’d at the OSU1 before finally getting a TD on the first play of the 4Q when trailing 49-3.

It was a tough loss for Colorado St as they had a 480-361 yd and 26-20 FD edges. CSU was SOD at the UNLV33, allowed a 98 yd KR TD, went on 12 and 9pl drives but settled for 40 and 23 yd FG’s and perhaps on the key play of the game fumbled a punt at their own 11 with :51 left in the half setting up a UNLV TD with :14 left and they trailed 17-14 at the half. CSU missed a 47 yd FG, was SOD at the UNLV27 and fumbled at their own 15. At the end of the game UNLV got a TD with 1:20 left for the lead and CSU got a FD at the UNLV 28 but was int’d at the 24.

Louisiana Tech had a 339-127 yd edge at the half but only led 24-14 vs San Jose St. LT opened it to 38-14 with SJS getting a late 3Q TD and then driving 99/11pl for a 3&20, 20 yd TD pass with 3:18 left.

Rutgers was led out on the field by former player Eric LeGrand and the game was played in poor conditions with rain and blowing snow. Footing was tortuous and no more than 5,000 were in the stands cutting down on RU’s home edge. The Knights appeared poised for the upset as they led 31-21 at the half and were up 31-28 when with 11:02 left when they faked a 28 yd FG and had an open man in the EZ but the pass was floated and hung up for a little but was dropped. West Virginia got a TD with 6:18 left then RU fumbled at their own 37 and WV got a 37/3pl drive for a TD with 4:50 left. RU’s last 2 drives were SOD at the WV33 and int’d WV22.

Hawaii did have a 353-234 yd edge vs Idaho but it was a tough loss for the Vandals. In the 1H they were SOD on 4&1 at the UH42 which set up a UH FG and they trailed 13-7. UI got a 70 yd FR TD with 4:22 left in the 3Q to lead 14-13. Idaho had 2 chances to put it away. They went for it again on 4&1, this time at the UH16 with 14:11 left and was SOD. UI was driving again and with 3:04 left, up by 1, UI had 3&6 at the UH9 but was int’d at the 5. UH drove and got a 35 yd FG with :30 left for the lead. UI got 1 FD and then gained 6 yds on 2 passes and their 53 yd FG on the game’s final play was no good.

Texas had a 5 game home losing streak in Big 12 play end in a thoroughly dominating 43-0 romp over Kansas. UT had a 35-3 FD and 590-46 yd edge. At the half they had a 316-10 yd edge and punted just once while KU punted 7 times.

Mississippi and Auburn were tied 17-17 at half and UM had a 215-191 edge but Clint Moseley would have his first 4 career TD passes and AUB got WR Blake back and he had 71 yards rec. AUB dominated the 3Q with a 141-22 yd edge and pulled away in their 41-23 win with UM even getting a 10 yd TD pass on the game’s final play.

There were a couple of key plays in the South Carolina/Tennessee game. UT settled for a 22 yd FG on their first drive then were going to go for it on 4&1 at the SC20 but 2 false start pen’s forced a 47 yd FG and they missed it. Trailing 7-3 on 4&1 Worley’s QB sneak was stuffed at the 44 with 4:48 left in the half. In the 3Q SC appeared to get a break when UT had a 54 yd int that appeared to be for a TD but the defender was knocked out at the 2. Two plays later, frosh Worley, who was making his first start at QB was int’d at the 2 and SC went on a 98/20pl drive almost exclusively on the ground and got a TD to go up 14-3. UT rec’d a fmbl at the SC27 but Worley threw into double coverage in the EZ for a int TB. UT brought Sims in at QB and converted on 4&1 and 4&5 but on 4&1 at the SC28 WR Rogers fell down and the pass was incomplete and SC got 3 FD’s to run out the clock.

Clemson came in unbeaten and Georgia Tech off 2 losses and a key injury note was that RB Andre Ellington for CU DNP. CU took their opening drive 67/12pl but settled for a 34 yd FG. CU fmbl’d on their own 19 and GT would go 71/8pl, 80/11pl and 78/9pl on their next 3 poss all for TD’s to lead 24-3 at the half with CU missing a 40 yd FG. CU got a TD with 14:47 left to get within 14 then got a 26 yd IR to the GT9 but threw an int in the EZ and GT went on a back breaking 58/16pl drive before being SOD with 1:29 left while CU’s final play was an int at midfield with 1:06 left.

Kentucky lost starting QB Morgan Newton on the 3rd series of the game trailing 7-3 at the time. Mississippi St had a 21-6 lead at the half and was int’d at the 2 with the Bulldogs having a 271-127 yd edge. Frosh QB Maxwell Smith for UK caught his stride in the 2H. He led UK 51/12pl for a 35 yd FG on the first drive then 70/11pl for a TD to pull them within 28-16 with 13:50 left. On their 3rd and last drive of the 3Q, UK went 68/16pl but on 4&7 was SOD at the 8 with 4:46 left and the Bulldogs got 3 FD’s running out the clock.