Daily Blog •September 19, 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 3

*Means Garbage Yards/Pts Were Subtracted (Includes all OT Yds/Pts)
UTAH AT BYU 242 239 54 11 343 10 5 127 108.6
STANFORD AT Arizona 242 325 37 51 282 10 0 234 107.0
MISSOURI W ILLINOIS 428 316 69 24 20 0 -1 700 119.6
BOISE ST AT Toledo 145 465 40 98 251 15 0 261 103.7
TEXAS AT UCLA 284 204 49 141 176 20 2 171 103.1
LSU AT Mississippi St 148 213 19 52 141 6 1 168 101.5
OKLAHOMA AT Florida St 111 199 23 27 219 13 1 64 98.7
WISCONSIN N Illinois 266 355 49 64 173 7 -1 384 101.2
GEORGIA TECH Kansas 604 164 66 151 211 24 0 406 101.2
TULANE AT UAB 262 278 49 48 145 10 3 347 99.3
MIAMI FLA Ohio St 240 123 24 174 13 6 0 176 98.2
ALABAMA North Texas 347 239 41 68 101 0 -2 417 96.8
CALIFORNIA AT PRESBYTERIAN 285 296 63 20 28 12 1 533 97.6
OKLAHOMA ST AT Tulsa 174 369 59 365 117 33 4 61 96.5
BAYLOR SF AUSTIN 266 279 48 85 122 0 1 338 96.3
PURDUE SE MISSOURI ST 393 234 59 87 66 0 0 474 96.0
TEXAS TECH AT New Mexico 178 446 59 103 187 13 2 334 95.7
SOUTH FLORIDA FLORIDA A&M 268 477 70 39 142 17 -1 564 95.7
OREGON MISSOURI ST 416 265 56 185 104 7 0 392 95.4
CLEMSON Auburn 238 386 38 237 198 24 0 189 90.2
TEXAS A&M Idaho 140 377 37 37 77 7 -2 403 94.1
GEORGIA COASTAL CAROLINA 194 276 59 63 49 0 2 358 93.8
VIRGINIA TECH Arkansas St 135 292 26 64 205 7 0 158 92.1
FLORIDA ST Oklahoma 27 219 13 111 199 23 -1 -64 90.5
OHIO U Marshall 271 288 44 172 159 7 4 228 90.5

News and Notes Week 3 Part 1

It was a strange game between Iowa St and Connecticut on Friday night. After the first 9 poss of the game, Conn had a 131-(-7) yd edge. ISU QB Steele Jantz’s first 4 passes resulted in 0-4 with 3 int, but the problem with UC was that they didn’t take advantage of the opportunities. They were int’d at the ISU40 and then K Teggart who had hit 13 straight FG’s, missed a 41 yarder and with 12:58 left in the 2Q, missed a 43 yarder. ISU got a key play when on 3&19, a jump ball, which was caught by Reynolds for a 48 yd pass and ISU would continue on for a TD. QB Jantz was inj’d at the end of the half and looked doubtful to return but played the entire 2H. UC led 10-7 at the half, but ISU ran a double reverse pass for a 40 yd TD to make it 14-10. UC went ahead with 12:51 left, 20-17 but ISU answered with a TD with 9:08 left. UC punted with 6:57 left, was SOD on 4&2 at the ISU38 with 1:48 left then from the ISU44 their Hail Mary was knocked down on the last play.

Boise St’s Kellen Moore must be considered one of the Heisman frontrunners. He had an impressive Friday night outing at Toledo, the same team that took Ohio St to the wire the previous week. Moore hit 32-42-455 yds as BSU rolled up 32 FD’s in their 40-15 win. Both teams blew opportunities late with UT fmbl’g at the BSU9, BSU going on a 62/12pl drive and being SOD at the UT29 but BSU passed yet another test and will be a double digit favorite in the rest of their games.

Purdue was coming off a loss to Rice where Rice blocked a FG at the end of the game and PU took out their frustration on SE Missouri. PU actually fmbl’d on its 2nd poss and settled for a 19 yard FG on its 3rd but their next 5 poss all went for TD’s and Robert Marve saw his first action since coming back from an ACL and QB’d 2 series with the team scoring on both poss as he hit 7-8-91. PU had a 38-0 lead at the half with a 396-57 yd edge. In the 2H PU only had 3 series but they were 68/8, 83/11 and 80/8pl all with TerBush back at QB all resulting in TD’s in the 59-0 win.

Auburn had its 17 game win streak snapped and they also had a 14 game win streak in the series vs Clemson snapped. AU actually led 21-7 with 8:54 left 2Q but CU scored 2 TD’s incl one with 1:11 left to tie it at 21. CU scored a TD on a 65 yd pass on their first drive of the 3Q and never trailed again. At the end of the game, CU got a 38 yd FG with 11:48 left to lead 38-24. It appeared AU was ready for another one of its patented comebacks and got to the CU8 but they were int’d at the 5 with 9:34 left and CU went on an amazing 73/18pl drive running out the clock and taking a knee at the AU18.

Georgia Tech was playing with revenge for the previous year’s loss to Kansas in which they came in ranked and finished with a losing season. Their game was competitive at the half as GT only led 24-17 with a 337-246 yd edge but it turned into a record-breaking day for GT. They opened the game with a school record 95 yd TD run by Orwin Smith to make it 7-0. They opened the 3Q on the first play with a 63 yd TD run by Peeples and would score TD’s on their first 6 poss of the 2H to blow it open, 66-17 with 5:13 left before Kansas moved 63 yds for a TD. GT set a school record for rushing yards with 604 (previous high 558 vs VMI in 1975) and total yards with 768 (previous high 706 vs The Citadel, 1948).

Penn St had 308-197 yd and 18-13 FD edges vs Temple but missed a 45 yd FG, had a 49 yd FG blk’d and then had a 36 yd FG bounce off the goal post. PSU led 14-10 and TU did get the ball down the field with a pers foul to the PSU34 and on 4&10 was sacked and fmbl’d and PSU just fell on it at the 41 with 1:01 left and ran out the clock.

Pitt appeared to have this game locked up leading 27-10 with 12:00 left but Iowa made a miracle comeback. Pitt actually led by as much as 24-3 with 3:11 left in the 3Q. UI finished with a 475-422 yd edge. UI would go 73/7pl, 64/7pl (after Pitt was SOD on 4&3 at UI36) and 64/7pl for the last for a TD with 2:51 left to take the lead and Pitt’s final poss ended on an int at the UI43.

Bowling Green did finish with 28-18 FD and 514-396 yd edges, but gained 212 yards on their final 3 poss when they trailed 28-14. BG had a 6-1 TO deficit. Trailing 28-14 BG was int’d at the WY47 but WY was SOD at the BG36. BG was SOD at the WY8 with 8:11 left. BG went 67/8pl scoring a TD with 4:16 left and WY punted with 1:18 left and BG had no time-outs. They went 89/10pl getting a 10 yd TD pass with :03 left but WY blk’d the xp and held on for the upset.

W Michigan had lost 5 straight to C Michigan and HC Cubit said it was like an elephant in the room, they needed to beat CM. They simply dominated. They led 24-0 at the half and opened it up to 41-7 in the 4Q. CM gained 173 yds on their final 3 poss making it a misleading final statistically as WM gained just 16 yards in that span. Those 3 drives incl a TD when trailing 41-7 in the 44-14 rout.

ULM played even better than the final score vs TCU as they led 17-14 mid-2Q. TCU got a TD with 5:16 left 1H to lead 21-17 and ULM missed a 43 yd FG on the final play of the half. TCU used 2 key plays at the start of the 3Q to break it open. They got a 94 yd KR TD to open the 3Q then after a fmbl, drove 28 yds for a TD and led 35-17. TCU’s final score came when ULM was SOD on 4&12 at the 50 with 3:40 left. TCU added a 28 yd FG with :28 left. TCU only had a 23-19 FD edge.

Duke vs Boston College was an interesting game. BC led 19-7 with a TD with 1:21 left in the half but Duke went 63/4pl getting a 21 yd TD pass with :30 left to get back in it, 19-14. The 2H was dominated by Duke. Duke went 73/10pl but was int’d at the BC6. Duke went 46/9pl but missed a 33 yd FG, they went 70/14pl for a TD and missed the 2 pt conv then went 51/10pl and they were SOD on 4&5 at the BC30 with 4:15 left, up by 1. BC had earlier missed an xp and took over at their 21 with 2:24 left. They had a FD at the Duke14. On 3&1 they ran into the line for no gain and lined up for the chipshot game winning FG from 23 yards out and it bounced off the upright with :43 left and Duke pulled the upset.

It was a story of 2H’s in the W Virginia/Maryland game. After 1 series in the 3Q where WV opened going 78/7pl for a TD, WV had a 380-176 yd edge and led 34-10. MD then went 71/11pl but was SOD on 4&gl at the 6, went 61/5pl for a TD, 44/7pl (after int) for a TD with 1:20 left in the 3Q then 66/12pl for a TD to pull within 34-31. WV had 2 FD’s in that span. WV then went 65/14pl settling for a 21 yd FG with 4:42 left in the game to go up by 6. MD got to the WV35 but on 3&8 were int’d at the 13 and WV held on. WV had a 480-477 yd edge in the shootout with both teams using no huddle offenses.

Missouri St played a decent game vs Oregon. In fact at the half MSU had an amazing 23:28 to 6:32 TOP edge. UO had 4 scoring drives total 267 yards but ate up just 2:52 on the clock. MSU was SOD at the 7 at the end of a 9pl drive and only trailed 353-217 in yards at the half but the Ducks scored TD’s on their first 3 poss of the 3Q to break it open to 56-7.

FIU ret’d a fmbl 51 yds for a TD and won despite losing TY Hilton to a hamstring injury in the 1Q. UCF led 7-0 and was going in for another score in the final seconds of the half. They got to the FIU28 when on 2&16 with :16 left Godfrey was sk’d and fmbl’d and FIU ret’d it 51 yds for a TD. Early 3Q UCF fmbl’d a punt at its own 8 and FIU rec’d. Offsides set up FIU at the 4 and they got a TD run and totaled 4 yds offense for 2 TD’s and a 14-7 lead. They did go 85/9pl for a 27 yd FG, 17-7. Late in the game UCF settled for a 31 yd FG with 1:52 left but FIU rec’d the onside kick and won despite being outgained 300-238.

Arkansas St had been avg 481 ypg but VT, after allowing a 51 yd pass on ASU’s first play which set up a TD 2pl later and put ASU up 7-0, allowed just 210 yards the rest of the game while VT finished with 427. Logan Thomas hit 21-33-292. VT missed a 40 yd FG and in the 2H was int’d and ret’d to the ASU42, int’d at the ASU4 and SOD at the ASU27 on their final 3 poss.

Tulane was actually a 13 pt underdog to UAB but TU dominated. They had 28-10 FD and a 540-193 yd edges. UAB even got a 92 yd KR TD to only be down 28-7 at half with TU having a 305-122 yd edge. TU got 39 and 55 yd IR TD’s the latter when they were safely up 42-10 and TU even ended the game taking over with 7:40 left driving 73/8pl and were at the UAB8 at the end.

North Carolina had not won an ACC opener since winning at Wake Forest in 2000 and Virginia had a 468-401 yd edge. UVA actually had a 228-173 yd edge in the 1H but trailed 14-3 as they missed a 45 yd FG, settled for a 38 yd FG, were SOD at the NC36 and fmbl’d at the NC37. The Tar Heels opened it to 28-10 and they fmbl’d at the UVA5 with 13:05 left. UVA got a TD with 5:09 left to pull within 11 and then got to the NC36 and were int’d at the 14 with 2:53 to go.

Dan Persa missed another game for Northwestern. Kain Colter hit 12-23-89 and Army dominated with 24-14 FD and 40:19 to 19:41 TOP edges. Army went on 18 and 10pl drives for a TD and a missed 47 yd FG. NW went 51/11pl to tie it with 5:23 left in the half but missed a 26 yd FG on the final play of the half. Army, up 14-7 went on a 14pl drive but missed a 25 yd FG and NW got a 62 yd TD pass with 6:03 left but Army went 75/9pl for a TD with 2:49 left and NW was SOD at the Army33 on their last drive.

San Jose St opted to sit Matt Faulkner and started Dasmen Stewart and Nevada was more impressive than the score would indicate with Stewart in the lineup. At the half NV had a 270-52 yd edge but only led 14-7 because they fmbl’d at their own 34 and SJS got a 2pl TD “drive” and at the end of the half NV was SOD on 4&gl at the 1 with :44 left. It was 17-7 when Faulkner came off the bench. His 4 drives ended on a fmbl at the NV38, a 10pl drive with a missed 37 yd FG, 72/9pl drive for a TD to pull SJS within 17-14 with 7:59 left and then a 69/13pl drive to the 15 where he was int’d in the EZ.

Alabama was even more dominant than the final as at the half they had a 282-25 yd edge but settled for 37 and 26 yd FG’s and missed a 36 yd FG and only led 20-0. Trent Richardson rushed for 167 yds on 11 carries and Eddie Lacy for 161 on 9 as Bama rolled up a 586-169 yd edge. NT did have 2 chances to avoid the shutout but had a 42 yd FG blk’d at the start of the 3Q and went for it on 4&gl from the 3 with 3:28 left and fired incomplete.

Indiana St was led by Washington transfer Ronnie Fouch who hit 14-24-227 yds and their RB Shakir Bell rushed for 221. Bobby Rainey tied a school record for WKU with his 8th straight 100 yd game but they came up short on 4th down numerous times. The first they were SOD on 4&1 at the ISU16 (3:33 1Q). Late in the half, trailing 14-3 they were at the ISU24 when they were not only int’d but ret’d 65 yds with :02 left and ISU got a 43 yd FG to lead 17-3. WKU fmbl’d on their first and third poss of the 3Q and ISU led 34-3. WKU was SOD at the ISU20 and 36 on two 4Q poss and their final drive had a 4&4 at midfield and gained 12 yards but fmbl’d at the end.

USC got a big win over Syracuse, at one point leading 38-10 in the 4Q. Up 38-17, USC took over at their 17 with 5:32 left and worked it down to a 1st & gl at the 5 where they ran out the clock. Matt Barkley hit 26-39-324 yds.

While Marshall turned it over six times vs Ohio, the Bobcats were pretty much dominant. The Bobcats settled for 20 and 21 yard FG’s in the 1H and led 34-7 and opened it up to 44-7 early in the 4Q. Marshall gained 92 of their yards on their final 2 drives as OU reeled off 559 yards.

Kansas St rolled to a 34-0 halftime lead vs Kent St. The Cats did have a 45 yd IR TD but also had drives of 95/6pl and 98/17pl. The closest the Flashes got to scoring was taking over at their 21 late 3Q and drove 76/19pl and had a 1st & gl at the 3 but were SOD after a pen at the 9 with 5:53 left.

Buffalo led 7-0 after 1Q but Ball St led 21-7 at the half. Buffalo battled back but did have an extra point blocked and also had a 2 pt conversion fail. Buffalo got a TD with 6:28 left to lead 25-21 when BSU went on a 75/18pl drive. The drive included improbable conversions on 4&13 and 4&7 and their TD with :22 left allowed BSU to escape with a 28-25 win.

Nebraska started 3 walk-ons on the O-line for the first time since 1998 due to injuries. NU scored at least 40 pts in each of the first 3 games for the first time since their 1995 National Title season. While they were not dominant, they still went from a 20-7 halftime lead to a 44-17 lead. They got a TD then UW fmbl’d the KO and they added another TD :09 later to go up 34-17 then added a 29 yd FG and an 86/9pl TD drive and with just 12:18 left were up by 27. UW got a pair of TD’s on a 32 yd drive (after 64 yd KR) and 53 yd drive but then NU rec’d the onside kick and got went up 51-31 with 4:50 left. UW got a 52/1pl TD pass with 4:27 left. NU rec’d the onside kick and got to the UW21 but was SOD. UW got 1 FD & was int’d on a deep pass at the NU23.

Even though Northern Illinois HC Dave Doeren had been an asst on the Wisc staff the previous 5 years, they were outgained by the Badgers 621-237 and outFD’d 34-11. They actually made a game of it in the 1H tying it at 7 with 1:59 left in the 1Q with UW missing a 50 yd FG. UW went 51, 97 and 77 yards on their next 3 drives for TD’s to lead 28-7 and NI missed a 42 yd FG with :02 left in the 1H. At the half UW only had a 298-178 yd edge but went 77 and 79 yd for TD’s to open the 3Q and didn’t punt until the last play of the 3Q up 42-7. UW was int’d at the 12 and then added a TD with 3:34 left in the 49-7 win.

Teddy Bridgewater had been unimpressive so far for Louisville at QB but was forced into the lineup when Will Stein was inj’d. Kentucky did take their first drive 58/7pl settling for a 20 yd FG then fmbl’d at the UL23. Stein hit a 38 yd TD pass to give UL a 7-3 lead. Bridgewater’s first series was a 49/6pl drive with his 25 yd TD pass putting UL up 14-3. UK got an 80/9pl TD drive to pull within 14-10 at the half. Bridgewater led a 69/12pl drive for a 20 yd FG to open the 3Q and later a 46/7pl drive for a 25 yd TD pass for a 24-10 lead with 11:15 left. UK went 77/17pl getting a TD with 4:56 left to pull within 7. After a K/C interference pen UK started at the UL48 with 2:27 left. They had a FD at the 22 but on 4&6 fired incomplete with :51 left.

Navy’s option almost got the upset of South Carolina. Navy had leads of 7-0, 14-7 and 21-17. SC took the lead with 12:45 left on a 79/16pl drive. Navy’s last drive converted on 4&15 but on 4&7 they were int’d at the SC45 with 13:33 left and SC got 1 FD & took a knee. Spurrier rode Marcus Lattimore 37 times for a career high 246 yards.

The Irish were outgained for the first time all season as Mich St had a 358-275 yd edge but they won 31-13. In reality ND was in control throughout most of the game leading 21-10 at the half and opened it up to 28-10 in the 3Q. MSU’s first 3 3Q poss resulted in 3 punts. The Spartans would get 142 yds in the 4Q. ND did get 2 big plays with an 89 yd KR TD and then with ND leading 28-13, MSU had a 1st & gl at the 3 but was int’d and ret’d 82 yds to the 12 setting up a ND 33 yd FG with 3:11 left. MSU gained 35 yds in the final 3:11.

Chris Rainey had a huge game for Florida with 233 total yards including an 82 yd TD rec and also blocked a punt. Surprisingly Tenn had a 23-17 FD edge and UF only had a 347-279 yd edge but the Gators did lead this one 30-7. UT missed a 37 yd FG on the first poss then had a punt blk’d on the 2nd setting up a UF FG. UF led 16-7 at the half but only with a 167-134 yd edge. UT was int’d on the first play of the 3Q and UF converted on 4&1 for a TD capping a 42 yd drive then UF got an 83 yd TD pass by Rainey to lead 30-7. UT settled for a 20 yd FG to pull within 30-16 with 13:13 left and made it 33-23 with a TD with 4:46 left but their final drive ended on an int at the UF17.

Colorado St opened with an 80/9pl drive for a TD and led 7-0. It was 7-0 when Colorado took over with 7:55 left 1H and went 75/9pl for a TD. CU took over with 2:16 left in the half and converted on 3&18 with a crucial run then on 3&10, got a 24 yd TD pass with :12 left in the half to make it 14-7. The game was 21-14 when CU took over with 11:25 left and they went 85/16pl and got a 2 yd Hansen TD run with 1:15 left. CSU was SOD on 4&4 from the CU42 when they were sacked for a 9 yd loss.


Washington St led 17-14 at the half with a 260-221 yd edge. WSU appeared in complete control of the game as they got a 76 yd TD pass in the 3Q to lead 24-14 and then forced the Aztecs to go 3 & out. The game turned on a roughing the P penalty, which gave the Aztecs a FD and 3pl later SDSt got a TD to pull within 24-21. SDSt didn’t take the lead until 10:31 was left on a TD to go up 28-24 and then WSU was at the Aztec25 when Lobbestael had the ball slip out of his hands on a sack which SDSt rec’d at the 36. After a WSU offsides, Hillman ran 59 yds for a TD and stunningly it was 35-24. WSU was int’d at the SDSt13 and with 3:59 left was int’d and ret’d all the way to their 20. On 3&11 the Aztecs got a 21 yd TD pass and it looked like an easy win but that was misleading.

Turnovers were clearly the key in the BYU/Utah game. On the 3rd play of the game, a bad snap went over Cougar QB Heaps’ head and he tried to pick it up and throw it incomplete but the ball slipped out of his hands and Utah fell on it for a TD. BYU fmbl’d on their next drive at midfield. BYU’s next drive went 74/8pl. They had a 1st & gl at the 6 but Di Luigi fmbl’d at the 3. BYU went 37/6pl and settled for a 45 yd FG and at this point had a 130-48 yd edge but trailed 7-3. BYU went 66/4pl for a TD in the 2Q to lead 10-7. Utah would get a 30 yd TD pass with :32 left in the half to lead 14-10 but BYU had a 227-187 yd edge. The Cougars would have 7 TO’s in the game. Four times on 3&long Utah had a pass interference give them a FD and that happened at the start of the 3Q. Three plays later Utah got a TD on a 59 yd pass, 21-10. After a 29 yd PR Utah had a 19 yd “drive” for a 39 yd FG to go up 24-10. BYU fmbl’d the KO on their own 3 setting up another Utah TD. Two poss later BYU was sk’d & fmbl’d on their 6. Utah got a 20 yd FG. BYU was SOD after a 60/12pl drive at the Utah 18 and a beleaguered BYU D gave up a 62 yd TD run. After a 20 yd IR set up Utah at the BYU35, White ripped off another 35 yd TD run and naturally Utah’s last score came with BYU at the Utah36 when they were sk’d & fmbl’d and it was ret’d 57 yds for a TD. Each team had 20 FD’s.


Georgia opened the season 0-2 but had a 470-112 yd edge vs Coastal Carolina and a 23-7 FD edge. UGA went to bkp QB Mason on the 2nd drive of the 3Q leading 38-0. The Bulldogs blasted CC 59-0. UGA’s streak of 64 straight home sellouts ended with 91,946 just 800 below capacity but there were thousands of empty seats. Their last non-sellout was in 2000 in Jim Donnan’s last HG.

The stats were impressive for USF as they had a 39-10 FD edge vs Florida A&M and a 745-181 yd edge. The game was actually 28-14 with FAMU getting one 7 yd drive after a TO but USF had a 537-112 yd edge at the half in the dominating win.


Michigan was in a clear letdown spot after their dramatic come-from-behind win vs Notre Dame and it showed. E Michigan’s first 5 poss were all in UM terr but they fmbl’d at the UM35, were SOD on 4&gl from the 1, settled for a 21 yd FG and were int’d at the 3. They punted on their 5th poss but from the UM46. UM did not unleash Denard Robinson until they trailed 3-0 and got the int at the 3. Robinson then got 55 and 17 yd runs on the next series to key a 97/7pl drive for a TD to make it 7-3. EM missed a 50 yd FG on the final play of the half and it was 14-3 with UM only having a 215-185 yd edge. In the 2H UM went 83/13pl, 75/11pl and 84/13pl for 2 TD’s and a 4&1, 21 yd FG to win 31-3.