|Daily Blog • November 5th|
By Phil Steele
Clemson had 610-277 yd and 26-13 FD edges vs Virginia. Tajh Boyd looked great hitting 24-29-377. David Watford hit 16-35-130 for the Cavs. Anthony Harris did snag his 6th int on the season for UVA and the Cavs on their 2nd possession went 54/10pl for a 6 yd td run by Watford to tie it at 7. CU went 75/6pl for a td to lead 14-7. They were intercepted at the UVA7 on their next series and the next 5 possession were all punts. CU was SOD at the UVA47 with 8:00 left in the half but UVA was intercepted and returned 37 yds to the 33 and that was crucial. That happened with 6:30 left in the half and CU went 33/7 for a td, recovered a fumble and went 50/5pl for a td with 1:29 left then after forcing a punt with :55 left, went 56/8pl getting a 1 yd td run by Boyd, 3 td’s in the final 4:18 of the half helped them lead 35-7 with a 325-131 yd edge. CU was pinned at their own 4 and on 3&15, got a 96 yd td pass to Watkins that went 55 yds in the air, 42-7. UVA went 52/8pl for a 40 yd FG. There were 4 punts and CU missed a 31 yd FG. CU then went 72/6pl and got a 38 yd run by Kelly. Backup QB Stoudt had come in on the 2nd series of the 3Q. With Kelly at QB, CU went 36/9pl for a 41 yd FG with 8:24 left, 52-10. UVA backup QB Lambert was intercepted and returned 15 yds to the 10 with 3:12 left and Howard got a 10 yd td run for the 59-10 final.
San Jose St had a 492-351 yd edge vs UNLV. The Spartans opened with an 82/13pl drive for a td. UNLV was intercepted at midfield and SJSt went 53/6pl for a td, 14-0. SJSt was intercepted at their own 19 but UNLV settled for a 20 yd FG, 14-3. After an exchange of punts, SJSt went 74/3pl, got a 31 yd td run by Lawson, 21-3 then went 78/10pl but settled for a 20 yd FG after a 1&gl at the 6, 24-3. At the half SJSt had a 331-71 yd edge. UNLV went 78/7pl and got a 19 yd td pass, 24-10. After an exchange of punts, SJSt was intercepted at the LV43. UNLV went 57/9pl and got a td on 4&gl at the 1 with :17 left in the 3Q, 24-17 then forced a punt but UNLV was intercepted at the SJS40. SJSt on 3&7 got a 37 yd td run by Tucker to cap the 56/6pl td drive, 31-17. UNLV got back in it going 75/9 and a 16 yd td pass with 8:00 left, 31-24. SJSt got 3 FD’s and a 44 yd FG, 34-24. LV35 went 38/13pl. They opted for the 45 yd FG to get back within 1 score with :48 left but missed it and SJSt got 1 FD and took a knee. David Fales hit 15-30-150 regressing from his form of the previous 2 weeks while Caleb Herring hit 26-49-263. Jarrod Lawson was the star for SJSt with 187 yds rushing on 28 carries.
I have to give a lot of credit to Minnesota getting to 7-2 already this year. One week after becoming bowl eligible, the got their 3rd straight victory with their active coach Tracy Claeys. UM had a 573-496 yd edge and jumped out to a big lead and had to hold on at the end. They were fortunate that Indiana RB Tevin Coleman did not realize that there was a backward pass as he didn’t try to fall on the loose ball and UM scooped it up and ended the game. Jerry Kill was watching from the pressbox as David Cobb rushed for 188 yds and Philip Nelson hit 16-23-298. Nate Sudfeld was 13-20-189 and Tre Roberson 8-18-80 while the Hoosiers surprisingly ran the ball for 227 yds with both Stephen Houston (13-111) and Tevin Coleman (14-108) topping 100 yds rushing. They did lose C Jon Christenson to a leg injury in the 2Q and the game was delayed about 8:00 during that span. UM opened with a 76/7pl drive for a 10 yd td pass. IU went 34/6 for a 31 yd FG. After an exchange of punts, UM fumbled at their own 20 and IU got an 18 yd td pass 2pl later to lead 10-7. The next 3 possessions were punts. IU then went 76/14pl and had a chance to make it a 2 score game but after a 1&gl at the 9, settled for a 21 yd FG. UM took advantage and went 76/7pl and got a 5 yd td run for the lead with 10:39 left 2Q and forced a punt and went 64/8. On 4&1 they got a 10 yd td pass, 21-13. They forced another punt and went 73/5pl and shockingly their 3 td’s in 8:20 made it 28-13. At the half UM had a 301-162 yd edge. The 3Q opened with 3 punts then UM went 77/5pl for a Cobb 27 yd td run, 35-13. IU then began its comeback. They went 68/4pl with a Sudfeld 40 yd td pass to Wynn, 90/6pl with a Coleman 55 yd td run on the spread option then UM went for it on 4&2 at IU37 and were SOD with 10:00 left. IU went 61/7 for a td but missed the 2 pt conversion and still trailed by 2. UM got 1 FD and then tried to take IU by surprise and on 4&5, ran a fake punt but IU safety Greg Heban made a lunging tackle and they were stopped at its own 39. That appeared to be a costly mistake as the Hoosiers went 39/4pl for a 30 yd td pass, missed the 2pt again, 39-35. UM25 got 1 FD but then got a 50 yd td pass with 3:09 left to go back up, 42-39. IU31 marched right down the field 46/9 and had a 1&gl at the 9. On 2&gl from the 9, the pass was backwards and as mentioned, Coleman did not try to pick it up and UM returned it 21 yds to the 44 and took a knee.
TCU was expected to contend for the Big 12 Title this year but it has been a disappointing year for the Frogs and it got even more disappointing with a home loss to West Virginia. Charles Sims rushed for 154 yds for WV and Clint Trickett hit 25-41-267 yds. WV came in with a 3 game losing streak but kept alive its bowl hopes with the big win. TCU finished with a 454-415 yd edge in the OT loss and had a 30-25 FD edge. Gary Patterson has only once had a losing record with TCU and that was 5-6 back in 2004. The Frogs top RB was BJ Catalon who had just 39 yds and Casey Pachall did hit 40-58-394 but had a pair of int’s and a fumble. TCU was without its top WR Brandon Carter who was on a leave of absence due to a family matter and Trevone Boykin who had been playing QB, became the top WR for the game with 11 catches for 100 yds. TCU was intercepted on the first play of the game and returned 8 yds to its 23. WV got 1 FD and a 24 yd FG, 3-0. TCU went 67/12pl but settled for a 22 yd FG after a 1&gl at the 8. TCU went 80/8pl and got a 10 yd td pass to Doctson, 10-3. TCU went 66/9pl and got a 12 yd td pass to Porter and appeared completely in control, 17-3 (12:10 2Q). They forced a punt on the next possession but went 3&out punting on 4&1 and WV got a 29 yd run by Sims, a 27 yd pass to Alford and a 31 yd td run by Sims to go for an 87/3 drive to get back to 17-10. After 3 punts, WV got to the TCU42 but was intercepted and returned 34 yds to midfield with :20 left in the half. At the half TCU had a 274-194 yd edge. The 3Q opened with 4 punts. WV was at its own 11 and was intercepted and returned 17 yds to the 2. TCU had a chance to step on its throat and go up by 2 td’s but a run to Boykin not only lost 3 yds but he fumbled. WV took over back at its own 3. On 3&8 the pass was incomplete but PI gave them a FD. They went 72/9pl for a 42 yd FG to get back to 17-13.TCU was intercepted at the 44 and WV shockingly went 56/7pl and got an 11 yd td run for the lead, 20-17 (8:55). Pachall was sacked and fumbled on 3&6 at his own 17. WV went 17/3pl getting a 3&6, 13 yd td pass to Sims to make it 27-17. Their 2 td’s in 1:44 had given them a 2 score lead. TCU went 73/11pl getting a td with 3:01 left to pull within 27-24. WV got 1 FD and punted and TCU went 39/7pl and a 45 yd FG got them to OT. In OT, TCU on 3&15 was hit with a PF forcing a 4&30 and they missed a 62 yd FG. WV got 1 FD and nailed a 34 yd FG for the win.
The home team had actually won the previous 6 meetings between Arizona and Cal and a beleaguered, 1-win Cal team did make a game of it but UA became bowl eligible in the end and moved to 6-2. BJ Denker who last week set the school record for most rushing yards for a QB, went more to the air this week hitting 24-38-261 yds and rushed 15-44. Jared Goff, who’d been alternating at QB in recent weeks, held on to the job for the entire game and hit 34-56-289. UA only had 448-419 yd and 26-24 FD edges. Cal opened with a 75/12pl drive for a td and a 7-0 lead. The drive included 3&20 and 4&2 conversions. UA went 73/9pl for a td. After 3 punts, UA went 40/8pl but on 4&gl from the Cal 2 was SOD. Cal, however, was tackled in the EZ for a safety on the first play, 9-7. 2 punts. UA got 2 FD and nailed a 53 yd FG, 12-7 then went 57/10pl including a 4&4 conv gaining 5 yds to the Cal. Four plays later a 21 yd td pass made it 19-7 with 8:22 left in the half. Cal37 got 2 FD’s and a 17 yd td pass got them back to 19-14. 3 punts. Cal missed a 50 yd FG with :15 left in the half and that allowed UA a shot with 2 FD’s to also miss a 55 yd FG. UA had a 269-212 yd edge at the half. UA opened the 3Q with a 75/8pl drive for a td, 26-14. 2 punts. Cal went 80/12pl and got a 3 yd td pass, 26-21. Cal was intercepted at its own 27 and UA went 27/4pl for a td, 33-21. Cal went 45/12 but on 4&2 from the UA20 was intercepted in the EZ with 10:27 left. 3 punts. Cal took over with 2:56 left and went 80/7pl for a 29 yd td pass with 1:42 left to get back within a score but UA recovered the onside kick and got a FD.
Tulsa, at home was desperate for a win and it was homecoming. Unfortunately not a lot went right in the first half. TU would finish with a 20-16 FD edge but UTSA had a 400-378 yd edge. TU did welcome back Cody Green to the lineup and hit 11-17 but for just 46 yds. TU got 2 FD but was intercepted at the UTSA15. 2 punts. UTSA got a 47 yd run by Glasco and a 5 yd td pass to go up 7-0. 2 punts. TU has a solid RM in Trey Watts and for some reason he tired to field a punt over his shoulder. He fumbled a the 2, it rolled into the EZ and UTSA fell on it for a gift td, 14-0. TU went 45/9 but fumbled at the UTSA30. UTSA went 46/10pl for a 41 yd FG, 17-0. TU19 went 78/8pl and on 4&2 from the 3, Green fired incomplete. UTSA got 1 FD then ran a fly sweep and it went 84 yds for a td to Jones, 24-0. TU went for it on 4&1 and got a FD but then punted. UTSA fumbled a punt at its own 8 but then recovered and at the half UTSA led 24-0 with a 247-159 yd edge. The 3Q actually opened with 7 punts and Evans was inserted at QB for TU. They went 80/6pl for a td and 2 pt conv, 24-8. UTSA went 52/8pl for a 31 yd FG. TU26 went 38/9pl. On 3&16 from the 36, Evans was intercepted at the 18 and returned 82 yds for a td, 34-8. UTSA fumbled at its own 29 and TU would go 29/10pl with Calcagni at QB and his 6 yd td pass made it 34-15 with 3:52 left. Calcagni hit 2-6-16 yds and Dane Evans 12-22-159.
Michigan St hammered Michigan beating them for the 5th time in the last 6 meetings that “little brother” beat “big brother” and it was their most lopsided win in the series since 1967. UM had -48 yds rushing, its worst output in school history. UM opened with a 51/9 drive for a 49 yd FG. MSU went 52/5pl for a 40 yd FG on a rainy day, 3-3. It was a slugfest as the next 5 possessions were punts. MSU went 26/10pl converting on 3&15 and 3&7 and got a 44 yd FG, 6-3. 2 punts. UM went 51/7pl and its 39 yd FG bounced off the upright and through, 6-6. MSU went 75/10pl. On 3&6 they got a FD then on the next play a 14 yd td pass with :23 left in the half, 13-6. At the half MSU had a 158-120 yd edge. MSU opened the 3Q with a 36/10pl drive for a 35 yd FG, 16-6. The next 5 possessions were punts. MSU was intercepted and returned 17 yds to the 41 but MSU’s D took over recording B2B sacks forcing a 4&31 on a punt. The Spartans used that momentum to go 56/9pl for a 1 yd td run, the key a 3&13, 25 yd pass to the 9. The xp was blk’d, 22-6. UM27 got 4 FD’s to the MSU15 but was intercepted by Dennard at the 3 with 6:23 left. MSU went 97/8, not only running the clock but on 3&3, Langford broke off a 30 yd td run to make it 29-6 with 2:43 left and with Morris at QB UM was SOD on 4&4 at its own 31. MSU had a 394-168 yd edge.
Texas remained unbeaten in the Big 12 with a lackluster win over Kansas this past week. The Horns had a 221-140 rush edge and 418-306 yd edge. Case McCoy who had a great 1H vs Oklahoma, surprisingly has just a 2-5 ratio since. He hit 20-29-196. Tyrone Swoopes got some 4Q action and hit 1-3-1 while running 2x for 20 yds. Jake Heaps for KU hit 11-21-160 while Montrell Cozart split some time with him and had 4 carries for 34 yds and hit 1-1-6. KU got an int on the game’s 4th plays and went 58/7pl but missed a 31 yd FG. 2 punts. UT went 3&out but roughing the P gave them a FD. They then went 92/15 for a td, 7-0. UT was SOD on 4&1 at the KU19 but went 56/7 for a td with 2:37 left in the half, 14-0. KU took over with :41 left 1H after an 18 yd punt at the UT43. That basically gave them 3 points. On 3&14 they hit a 43 yd pass to the 4 and got a 21 yd FG, 14-3. At the half UT had a 219-156 yd edge. KU opened the 3Q with a 65/6pl drive for a 27 yd FG, 14-6. 3 punts. KU was sacked and fumbled and Chris Whaley, who was recruited as a RB and made his way out of the position, got his 2nd td of the season scooping up the fumble and going 40 yds for a td, 21-6. UT went 57/9pl for a td to lead 28-6. UT was intercepted at the KU13 but then drove 63/5pl and on 4&1 got a 30 yd td run by Brown to go up 35-6 with 9:07 left. KU went 75/9pl and got a 20 yd td run by Cozart with 3:39 left to only lose the game by 22.
Louisiana came in a huge favorite vs New Mexico St as they had been running the ball great and NMSt had been allowing 7 ypc on the season. NMSt appeared like they would pull a stunner for most of the 1H. Andrew McDonald hit 24-34-327. A few weeks ago I had talked about how Austin Franklin was back for NMSt after they thought he was lost for the year and he had 140 yds on 13 rec’s and is probably the team’s best offensive player. Terrance Broadway hit 14-20-231. NMSt stunningly took its opening drive 75/11pl for a td, its 2nd 89/5 for a td. UL got a 68 yd td pass but on the 3rd drive NMSt went 85/8 for a td, 21-7. They then went 67/9pl. Four TD’s, 4 drives, a 28-7 lead, 316 yds with 9:23 left in the 2Q. At the half NMSt had a 317-174 yd edge. UL fumbled at its own 40 to open the 3Q but NMSt punted. UL went 85/9, 62/4 with a 51 yd td run by McGuire to get back to 28-27. The next 3 possessions were punts. UL went 58/9 and got a 5 yd td run and 2 pt conv to lead 35-28 then got an IR 22 yds to the 3 and a 3 yd td run on the next play, 42-28. UL was intercepted with 6:55 left from its 20 at the 49. NMSt went 49/9 and on 4&6, got a 7 yd td pass, 42-35. The onside kick was recovered by UL and they went 44/3pl getting a 30 yd td run with :52 left for a 49-35 win.
Tulane and FAU was a game played in under strange situations and turned out strange on the field. During the week, FAU fired its HC Carl Pelini and DC Pete Rekstis after it was found out they used illegal drugs. OC Brian White was promoted to interim HC. They took the names off their jerseys and all put “FAU” on the back. The 1H FAU was intercepted and returned 69 yds for a td by Doss, and TU led 7-0. FAU went 63/9pl and got a 1 yd td run, 7-7. TU forced another fumble and Doss returned it 31 yds to the 25 but TU, after 1&gl at the 10, settled for a 22 yd FG and led 10-7. There were 5 punts then TU went 35/6 and got a 4 yd td run by Darkwa with 1:00 left in the half for a commanding 17-7 lead TU had a 111-88 yd edge. FAU opened the 3Q with a 66/11pl drive for a 26 yd FG. TU appeared to answer. They got 3 FD’s to the FAU39 but on 3&9, Montana was intercepted. Remarkably that was the first of 4 consecutive int’s on 4 consecutive passes for TU. They brought Powell in on the next series and he was intercepted on his first pass. Two plays later FAU got a 30 yd td pass on a trick play to tie it at 17. After a run on their 1st play, Powell’s pass was intercepted again setting up FAU for a 20 yd FG. After 2 runs, with Montana at QB, the 4th consecutive pass was intercepted with 13:30 left. FAU took advantage again going 31/3pl for a td, 27-17. After the teams punted 3x, FAU got a 49 yd td run on 3&10 and made it 34-17 with 4:46 left. Montana hit 7-22-71 yds with 3 int’s and Devin Powell 4-9-34 with 1 int.
Marshall had 636-397 yd and 29-19 FD edges. Southern Miss fumbled on its first possession and MU went 27/1pl for a td, 74/3, 71/8 and 7 yds (after 55 yd PR) on 4pl for td’s all in its four 1Q drives to lead 28-0. SM was SOD at the MU3 with 9:03 left 2Q but MU got a 55 yd run by Taliaferro and he fumbled into the EZ for a TB. Two plays later SM got an 81 yd td pass to get back to 28-7 then drove 32/6pl to make it 28-10 with 3:30 left in the half. MU went 70/13pl getting a 9 yd td pass with :27 left. At the half MU had a 335-201 yd edge. MU opened the 3Q with a 76/8 drive and got a Taliaferro 18 yd td run. SM was intercepted at the MU23 after a 60/13pl drive that including 3&10, 3&12 and 3&10 conversions. On the next play Grooms got a 75 yd td run, 48-10. SM went 65/11pl for a 33 yd FG, 48-13 (2:10). MU on 3&9 with backup QB Frohnapfel in for his 2nd series got a 40 yd td pass with 11:48 left. Then drove 67/2pl with a Butler 59 yd td run, 61-13.
Idaho was again down to 3rd string QB Taylor Davis who did have starting experience last year. Davis hit 20-35-181 yds. Texas St was led by Tyler Jones who hit 19-23-228. TXSt only had a 336-326 yd edge and ID had a 20-18 FD edge. ID went 75/11pl for a td to tie. 2 punts. TXSt went 52/7 for a 9 yd td run, 14-7 then got a 40 yd PR setting up a 17 yd drive for a 42 yd FG, 17-7. ID went 75/10pl for a td, 17-14 with 3:48 left in the half but TXSt went 75/10pl and on 3&2, a 4 yd td pass, 23-14 (xpng). Thanks to that drive TXSt had a 182-157 yd edge. A key play happened when, ID went for it on 4&5 and gained 2 yds at its own 40 with 10:00 left 3Q. TXSt went 40/8pl and converted on 4&1 to the 29 and then got a 20 yd td run on 4&1 again, 30-14. 2 punts. ID went 60/12pl but missed a 47 yd FG. TXSt on 3&7 got a 66 yd td pass to go up 37-14. ID went 78/14pl and on 3&10, a 10 yd td pass, 37-21 but was sacked at its own 9 yd line on 4&3 on its final drive with :33 left.
East Carolina had a 373-267 yd edge but FIU had a 23-17 FD edge. Shane Carden hit 23-35-264 with EJ Hilliard hit 21-33-194. EC opened strong with a 70/5pl drive for a td but after a 22 yd PR, FIU started at the EC34 and would get a 52 yd FG to pull within 7-3. EC went 75/9pl for a td with 3:25 left in the 1Q, 14-3 and then FIU punted but roughing the K gave them a FD to the EC29 and on 4&1 they were SOD. EC went 74/5pl for a td, 21-3. FIU went 75/17 and on 4&gl at the 1 got a td, 21-10. EC got 1 FD and missed a 48 yd FG. EC had a 248-154 yd edge at the half. FIU went 61/10 for a 31 yd FG to get within 21-13. Their next drive got to the EC43 where they were intercepted in the EZ. 2 punts. EC went 26/7pl and made a 36 yd FG but a hold took the pts off the board and they missed a 46 yd FG. EC went 72/8pl for a td to lead 28-13 with 8:07 left. 2 punts. FIU was sacked on 4&19 at its own 9 and EC on 4&gl at the 2 got a 2 yd td run with 1:08 left to go up by 21. FIU took the short KO to the EC47 and got 3 FD but on 1&gl from the EC4 was sacked for a 13 yd loss on the last play.
Georgia Tech had a season high 5 sacks and had a 360-228 yd edge. Pitt’s Aaron Donald had a great game as he had 11 tackles, 6 tfl, a sk and 2 FF and remains an AA on the defensive line. Pitt was held without a FD in the 1Q and had 55 yds in the 1H but somehow managed to stay in this one. GT took its opening possession 64/7 for a td. GT fumbled at the Pitt22 on its next drive then on 4&6 were SOD at the Pitt38. Pitt got 2 FD’s and a 44 yd FG to pull within 7-3. GT ran a fake punt for a fd and 2pl later got a 35 yd td run, 14-3. At the half GT had a commanding 227-55 yd edge. Pitt opened the 3Q with a 58/6pl drive for a 12 yd td pass, 14-10. GT fumbled at the Pitt39. 5 punts. GT went 80/13. On 3&17 they got a 42 yd pass to Smelter to the 12 and 2pl later a Godhigh 11 yd td run made it 21-10 with 2:41 left. Pitt would gain 56 of its 228 yds on its last drive getting to the GT19 but was intercepted at the 4.
Gus Malzahn is from Arkansas so heading back home was special to him. Statistically Auburn only had a 366-346 yd edge and Arkansas had a 25-18 FD edge for the game but Ark lost its 6th straight game, its longest losing streak since 1990 (7). Nick Marshall was questionable coming in but hit 7-8-118 yds running the ball 9x for 59. Brandon Allen hit 10-22-112 for Ark while AJ Derby 1-2-5. The media is making a big deal of Malzahn and Bielema over a few comments each made about the hurry up offense over the summer. Ark opened strong going 61/13 and had a 2nd down at the Aub14 but was intercepted. Ark brought Derby in at QB taking over at its own 2. They got 2 FD’s but fumbled at their own 29. Aub went 29/2pl for a td. Ark went 58/12pl but settled for a 34 yd FG, 7-3. Ark tried an onside kick and Aub recovered at its 43. They went 43/6 for another short field td, 14-3. Ark went 73/12pl and on 4&gl from the 1, Williams lost a yd at the 2 and Aub took it to the half. While Aub led 14-3, Ark had a 199-124 yd edge and a lot of blown opportunities. Aub opened the 3Q with a 65/11pl drive for a td then on 3&7 got an 88 yd td pass to go up 28-3. Ark got an 87 yd KR and a 13 yd td pass, 28-10. Ark went 73/10pl and got a 12 yd td run to get within 28-17 with 14:54 left. Aub went 71/9pl and on 3&8, a 12 yd td run by Mason made it 35-17. 4 punts. Ark was pinned at its 5, got a 21 yd run but then fumbled with :26 left.
Despite the fact that Toledo RB Flullen did not play, the Rockets piled up 729 yds offense, scoring on their first 4 possessions against Eastern Mich. They had 729-308 yd and 34-15 FD edges and their drives were 91/9, 47/6, 68/3 and after an int went 74/14pl to lead 28-0. UT fumbled at the EM37 setting up an EM 41 yd FG but UT went 66/4pl for a td and added a 20 yd FG with :03 left in the half for a 38-10 lead after EM had gone 76/10pl for a td. UT had 456 yds in the 1H and EM had 182. UT opened the 3Q with a 64/13 drive settling for a 20 yd FG then got an 80 yd td pass from Owens to Olack, 48-10. Owens hit 18-24 375 in his best game of the season. After each team punted, EM went 80/8 and got a 3 yd td pass, 48-16 (2ptng). UT went 66/11pl for a td with 6:45 left led by backup QB Woodside for its last 2 series to make the final 55-16 and ended at the EM14 taking a knee.
I’ve got to hand it to Missouri's Gary Pinkel for the job he did last week. They were coming off a bubble bursting loss vs S Carolina and through the years I’ve seen many teams struggle in that situation. They were also taking on a UT team that had been matching up well vs some of the SEC’s better teams. James Franklin, who had been out with a shoulder sprain did warm up before the game but they opted to go with Maty Mauk. Mauk hit just 12-25-163. Joshua Dobbs made his first start and looked good hitting 26-42-240 but had 2 int’s. Mauk led MO with 114 yds rushing as well. The first 3 possessions were punts. Tennessee was SOD on 4&5 at the MO37. MO went for it on 4&2 and got a fd to the UT35 and went 63/14pl for a td. After 3 punts, MO went 73/10pl and got a 24 yd FG with 6:58 left in the half to lead by 10. A key play happened. Dobbs was intercepted and returned 15 yds and on the next play Mauk hit a 26 yd td pass 17-0. Each team went on a long drive, 24-3 and UT had a chance to get back in it, down at the MO29 but Dobbs fumbled with :56 left. MO went 60/7pl missing a 29 yd FG and at the half MO did have a 332-181 yd edge. The 3Q opened with 3 punts. MO then went 65/4pl for a td, 31-3. UT got to the MO31 but Dobbs was intercepted at the 1. UT’s next drive went 39/7 but on 4&6, Dobbs gained 5 yds with 11:44 left and neither threatened after that.
Rocky Long battled his former New Mexico team and did have a 483-423 yd edge. San Diego St did have leads of 28-17, 35-23 giving up a 36 yd td pass with :46 left to only win by 5. The game started out great for the Aztecs as they got a 75 yd td pass to Ruffin on the first play then drove 96/9. Adam Muema rushed for 233 yds on 27 carries and it was a commanding 14-0 lead. NM went for it on 4&2 and got a 20 yd run down to the 24 and 2pl later a 20 yd td run made it 14-7. 4 punts. SDSt on 4&10 gained 4 yds to the NM33. At the half SDSt had a 236-141 yd edge. NM opened the 3Q with a 72/10pl drive but settled for a 20 yd FG after 1&gl at the 7. SDSt went 71/8pl and on 3&8 got a 24 yd td pass, 21-10. NM went 72/6pl and got an 18 yd td run by Gongbay, 21-17. SDSt went 87/17 and on 4&gl got a 2 yd td run by Muema, 28-17. NM went 72/8pl and got a 5 yd td run, 28-23 (2ptng). SDSt went 75/7 and got a 1 yd td run by Muema, 35-23 with 1:50 left. NM on 3&8 got a FD, added another FD and then a 36 yd td pass with :46 left and SDSt recovered the onside kick.
Jalen Whitlow was questionable coming into the Alabama St game (shoulder, ankle) but had an 88 yd td run on the 2nd play. ASt came in 6-2. Isaiah Crowell, who originally played at Georgia, had 12 carries for 84 yds for ASt. Kentucky would finish with a 422-297 yd edge. ASt took its 2nd possession 62/7pl with a Crowell 32 yd td run to tie it at 7. UK went 53/6 but from the 17 yd line Sanders ran for 16 yds and fumbled into the EZ for a TB. UK went 50/6pl for a td then blk’d a punt and went 7/1 for a td, 28-7. UK went 58/12pl but on 4&gl from the 1 was SOD. ASt fumbled with :25 left in the half and UK went 28/3pl getting a 39 yd FG for a 31-7 lead and had a 275-147 yd edge. ASt fumbled to open the 3Q and UK took over at its 15 and settled for a 29 yd FG. UK went 65/13 and 60/5 for td’s, 48-7 (3:41 3Q). ASt got a 68 yd td pass :50 later, 48-14. The next 5 possessions were punts. ASt took over at its 39 with 7:23 left and went 58/15pl and on 4&gl from the 5 gained 2 yds.
Ross Metheny hit 15-29-228 yds and was South Alabama’s leading rusher with 17-77. Surprisingly, Adam Kennedy threw for 136 yds but did hit 15-17 passes and was Arkansas St’s leading rusher with 65 yards on 16 carries. USA fell to 3-5 but has not had a loss by more than 7 pts and 3 of its 5 losses have actually been by 1 pt this year. ASt’s 2nd possession they fumbled at the USA15 and there were 6 punts on the first 7 drives. USA went 70/11 for a 27 yd FG, 3-0. 3 punts. USA got a 47 yd pass to the 2 but would settle for a 19 yd FG and led 6-0 at the half with a 179-135 yd edge. USA got to the ASt18 but on 3&14 was intercepted in the EZ on its opening 3Q drive. ASt went 80/12pl and an 8 yd td pass for the lead, 7-6. USA went 65/8pl for a 2 yd td run, 13-7. ASt went 38/11pl and would get a 50 yd FG, 13-10. USA25 went 62/10pl for a 30 yd FG with just 9:58 left to lead 16-10 but ASt drove 75/9 getting a 3 yd td run with 6:29 left. USA punted on 4&18 with 4:37 left, forced a punt with 3:26 left and its last drive started at its own 9. They got a 20 yd pass to the 34 but on 4&5 fired incomplete from its own 39 and ASt got a FD to the 17 and took a knee.
UCLA was off big losses to Stanford and Oregon and it was homecoming. They got off to a slow start and only led 21-13 at half but ended up winning by 22. UCLA only had a 412-381 yd edge and Colorado had a 26-18 FD edge. Brett Hundley hit 19-24-273 who was also the team’s #1 rusher with 72 yards on 11 carries. CU has gone to Sefo Liufau as its QB and he hit 25-36-247. It was Paul Richardson’s return to UCLA as his father played for UCLA and he originally started his college career at UCLA. He had 7 catches for 70 yds. UCLA was without LB Kendricks. CU opened with a 57/11pl drive and missed a 45 yd FG. On their 3rd drive they went 50/10pl and but settled for a 23 yd FG after 1&gl at the 9. UCLA had zero FD’s when they got a 76 yd td pass to Fuller, 7-3. CU went 72/10pl and got a 7 yd td pass to Richardson, 10-7. UCLA got a td then CU fumbled the KO and Hundley got a 6 yd td pass on the 3rd play to make it 21-10 (2 td’s in 1:24). CU went 52/10pl for a 47 yd FG, 21-13. UCLA went 32/6 and missed a 45 yd FG on 2&13 on the final play of the half and CU had a 221-215 yd edge. UCLA opened the 3Q with a 70/12pl drive for a 1 yd td run by Hundley, 28-13. CU missed a 45 yd FG at the end of a 9pl drive. After each team punted, UCLA went 48/4pl for a td to get some breathing room, 35-13. CU went 75/11pl and got a 2 yd td run, 35-20 (12:20). Each team got FG’s on their next drives, 38-23. UCLA recovered the onside kick at the CU47 and went 47/5pl for a td with 3:36 left, 45-23 and CU was SOD at its own 37 with 1:58 left.
Flying waaaay under the radar this year is Oklahoma St. OSU lost to West Virginia early in the season but keep in mind they were the preseason favorites to win the Big 12. They have gotten uneven QB play this year but Clint Chelf had a big game throwing for 211 yds hitting 18-34 passes and also rushed for 88 yds on 6 carries. Davis Webb hit 45-71-425 yds for Texas Tech and TT finished with 35-24 FD and 547-492 yd edges. Jace Amaro had 174 yds receiving on 15 catches for TT. There was a record crowd of 61,836 for the Red Raiders but OSU after punting on its first possession went 84/10pl for a td, recovered a fumble by Amaro at the TT45 and 3pl later had another td then blocked a punt and went 15/4 for a td and a 21-0 lead. TT went 44/8pl for a 32 yd FG then blk’d a punt and it only went 5 yds. They went 57/2pl for a td, 21-10. OSU went 75/11pl and on 4&gl got a 1 yd td, 28-10. TT went 67 yds but on 2&11 from the 20 was intercepted and OSU was intercepted right back 3pl later with TT returning it 21 yds for a td, 28-17. TT forced a punt then drove 63/5 for a 2 yd td run to get back to 28-24 with 2:00 left in the half. At the half TT had a 341-274 yd edge. OSU got a 46 yd PR early 3Q and would go 11/4pl for a td, 35-24. OSU then got a 67 yd td run by Chelf to make it 42-24. Each team threw an int and TT went 53/6pl for a td, 42-31. Each team went on a long td drive, 49-34 (13:33). OSU went 32/7pl for a 41 yd FG, 52-34. After each team punted TT went 62/13pl but was SOD at the 2 on 4&1. TT fired incomplete on 4&18 at the OSU42 with :51 left.
Boise St’s Grant Hedrick hit 19-27-305 yds with 5 td’s vs Colorado St. Garrett Grayson hit 36-53-397 for the Rams. Things looked good for CSU early as they took their opening drive 63/15pl but settled for a 29 yd FG then after recovering a fumble went 18/6pl for a td and a 10-0 lead. Boise went 65/7pl for a td and then CSU went for it on 4&1 at the BS15 and was SOD. After an exchange of punts, BS went 53/8pl and got a 20 yd td pass for the lead. Each team went on a td drive of 74+ yds, 21-17. CSU fumbled at the BS43 with 2:23 left in the half and BS went 67/5pl for a 15 yd td pass with 1:13 left, 28-17. CSU missed a 47 yd FG on the 1H’s final play. At the half CSU had a 284-265 yd edge. BS opened the 3Q with a 68/5pl drive for a td. CSU’s 2nd drive was SOD at the BS42 on 4&8. After each team punted, BS went 57/5 for a td and a commanding 42-17 lead. CSU went 93/13pl and 65/9pl for td’s to make it 42-30. CSU was SOD on 4&5 at the BS18 with 1:01 left.
Florida St was a 3 td favorite over an undefeated #7 Miami, Fl team. It was the first time a meeting of top 10 teams that one team was favored by 3 td’s since 1995 when a powerful Nebraska team had that billing vs Kansas St. FSU has now defeated 3 teams in the top 25 by a combined score of 155-28. FSU finished with a 517-279 yd edge and Jameis Winston, despite two 1H int’s, hit 21-29-325. FSU opened with a 72/13pl drive for a td and UM went 50/10pl but missed a 44 yd FG. However, they got an int 3pl later and went 65/5 with a 33 yd td pass to tie. FSU went 79/11pl for a td, forced a punt and then went 80/5pl for a td, 21-7. They forced another punt but this time Winston was intercepted at the UM43 with 2:05 left in the half. UM went 57/8pl and got a 14 yd td pass with :22 left to make it a 1 score game, 21-14. FSU only had a 238-180 yd edge at the half. FSU forced a punt to open the 3Q and drove 83/10pl for a td then after an int, 55/6pl for a td, 35-14. A key play to UM’s season may have happened on 4&2 at the FSU45 when Duke Johnson gained 1 yd and was lost for the season with a broken ankle. UM’s next drive ended on an int at the 31. FSU went 61/12pl but settled for a 25 yd FG with 6:52 left then went 33/6 and on 4&4 settled for a 28 yd FG with 1:03 left for the 41-14 final.
Fresno St has just 4 games remaining as they try to finish off the season unbeaten and get to a BCS bowl game. Derek Carr hit 39-55-487 and Josh Harper had 17 rec’s for 253 yds. Nevada’s Cody Fajardo hit 14-24-206 and was the UN’s leading rusher with 98 yds on 17 carries. FS had a 2nd straight sellout crowd and tickets were going for 3x face value. As usual, FS dominated the 1H as they had a 342-134 yd edge and led 24-7. UN actually scored first going 81/7 for a td but punted on its next 2 possessions, was intercepted at the 50 and punted on its last 2 possessions of the half. FS blew a couple of opportunities. On 4&4 they were SOD at the UN35. They had a FD at the 18 but on 4&1 were SOD at the 9. They got a 17 yd td pass to Harper with :35 left in the half for a 24-7 lead. UN battled back taking its opening 3Q drive 61/9 for a td, punted on its 2nd. FS went for it again on 4th down, this time 4&2 and was SOD at the UN40 and the Wolfpack got back in the game. They got a 47 yd run by Fajardo and a 13 yd td pass to Wimberly, 24-16 after 3Q’s. FS went 76/8pl for a td with 13:09 left but fumbled at its own 49 and UN got a 32 yd td pass 5pl later, 31-23. FS went 47/8pl for a 40 yd FG with 6:32 left for some breathing room and UN was SOD on 4&7 at the FS45. FS went 55/6pl tacking on a 3 yd td run with 1:29 left.
The UTEP/Texas A&M game was supposed to be the return of Jameill Showers who was the starting QB for the Aggies coming out of the spring last year. He transferred to UTEP and had been the starter but was injured last week so Blaire Sullivan got his first start of the season. Sullivan hit 9-17-71. Johnny Manziel hit 16-24-273 and was the team’s leading rusher with 67 yds. The shocking part of the game was not the final of 57-7 or the yards (564-198) but the fact that UTEP gave them a game early on. A&M blk’d a punt out of the EZ for a safety and UTEP took its 2nd possession 73/9 and got a 4 yd td run, 7-2. At this point in the game, there is 5:39 left in the 1Q and UTEP had a 77-2 yd edge. A&M would drive 72/4 for a 44 yd td pass but they punted on its next 2 possessions. A&M went 63/5pl getting a td with 9:09 left int the half to make it 15-7 but then 3 turnovers set up 3 td “drives” of 32, 49 and 28 yds as the Aggies opened it up to 36-7. At the half they only had a 246-138 yd edge. A&M got 3 long drives for td’s to open the 3Q going 77/6, 74/4pl and after UTEP was intercepted in the EZ, drove 76/6pl for its 3rd td, 57-7 after 3Q’s. A&M’s final drive they took a knee at the UTEP 12.
Phil Steele is a college football analyst who has been publishing his annual College Football Preview since 1995. His magazine is regarded as one of the best in the business.