|Daily Blog • December 2nd|
By Phil Steele
Jordan Lynch broke his own FBS rushing record for QB’s with 321 yards and Northern Illinois had its first unbeaten regular season in 50 years. With temps in the teens, occasional snow fall and winds, NIU beat 1-10 Western Michigan 33-14. There were 17 seniors, including Lynch, playing their final home game. NIU took its opening possession 52/11pl but would miss a 34 yard FG. They took their 2nd possession 80/8pl and got a 10 yard td pass, 7-0. WMU surprisingly went 63/12pl for a td to tie it with 11:09 left in the half, 7-7. NIU went 75/6 and 77/5pl for td’s on its next 2 drives to go up 20-7 with 7:31 left in the half. After NIU punted 16 yards, WMU missed a 42 yard FG with 1:41 left and had a 37 yarder blocked on the final play of half. At the half NIU only had a 315-188 yard edge. WMU opened the 3Q with a 21/3pl drive but on 4&1 was SOD at the NIU26. NIU went 68/10pl but settled for a 23 yard FG with 5:30 left in the 3Q. WMU fumbled at its own 30 but forced a punt on 4&15. After an 8 yard PR, NIU got a 37 yard td run by Lynch, 30-7. After a 23 yard PR they started at the WM39 on the first play of the 4Q and got a 32 yard FG with 12:52 left. WMU went 53/12pl getting a 1 yard td run with 4:40 left to make it 33-14. NIU got 2 FD’s and took a knee at its own 42.
Dak Prescott had a nerve injury to his non-throwing arm and missed the last 2 games. He was doubtful to play vs Ole Miss. Frosh Damian Williams, who is the 3rd string QB, made his first career start with backup Tyler Russell out. He hit just 8-18-82 with an interception. Mississippi St probably saved Dan Mullen’s job as he’s now beaten his rival 4 of the last 5 years and got them to a bowl game despite a brutal schedule. This game was played on Thanksgiving Day and Prescott came off the bench in the 4Q to guide the win. The Rebels were intercepted at midfield on their first possession, went 87/13pl on their 2nd but settled for and missed a 27 yard FG. Ole Miss’ 4th possession started at its own 8 and they were intercepted but on the return, MSU tried a lateral and fumbled it right back at the 5. UM got 1 FD then was intercepted at its own 30 with 4:00 left in the half. MSU went 30/6pl and got a td to go up 7-0. Each team punted and UM blocked a punt and recovered in the EZ for a td with :26 left in the half. At the half UM had a 132-104 yard edge. UM opened the 3Q with an 81/17pl drive but settled for a 22 yard FG. Six punts. MSU went 43/6pl getting to the UM37 but was intercepted at the 7 and returned 25 yards. Three punts. MSU went 54/13pl and settled for a 36 yard FG with 1:59 left to tie. UM punted and MSU went 45/10pl with Prescott at QB on his 3rd series but missed a 39 yard FG on the final play of regulation. In OT, MSU, after getting 1 FD opted to go for it on 4&1 and got a 3 yard td run by Prescott. UM got 1 FD to the 11. Then Wallace took off and headed for the game-tying td but fumbled into the EZ for a TB. UM had a 318-296 yard edge but lost and Prescott was 11-20-115 yards and 29 yards rushing.
Texas sacked Texas Tech’s QB’s nine times for 59 yards with Jackson Jeffcoat getting 3 sacks. Texas moved to 7-1 in the Big 12 and could get a tie for the Big 12 title with a win this week over Baylor. UT actually had more control in this game than the score would indicate at the half. They led 20-10 but TT’s only scores came on a fake punt by Ryan Erxleben who ran 51 yards for a td to lead 7-0. At the end of the half with UT leading 20-7, TT went 3&out but roughing the P gave them a FD. Four plays later on 3&11 they fired incomplete but a late hit roughing the QB penalty gave them another FD and they would get a 32 yard FG. Because of the 2 drive saving penalties they only trailed 20-10. Each team fumbled to open the 3Q then UT went 51/8pl for a td. Two punts. TT was sacked and fumbled at the UT29 and TT went 71/10pl for a td on the first play of the 4Q, 34-10. UT fumbled at the TT22 on its next drive and then TT went 78/7pl getting a 4&6, 11 yard td pass to pull within 34-16. UT went 81/14pl and got a 4&1, 1 yard td run by Tyrone Swoopes for the 41-16 final.
Toledo did not have David Fluellen at RB but Kareem Hunt rushed for 103 yards and Marc Remy for 103. 7-4 UT fell to Akron on the road. Terry Bowden is doing a great job with Akron and 1 year after winning just 1 game, delivered 5 wins in 2013. Kyle Pohl hit 18-29-259 while Terrance Owens struggled again hitting just 16-33-158. A daring gamble by Bowden late in the 1H paid big time dividends. UT finished with 388-344 yard and 26-22 FD edges. After a 7-7 1Q, each team went on a long drive for a short FG to open the 2Q, 10-10. UT punted with 4:14 left in the half and UA was pinned at its own 9 and went 3&out. That’s when Bowden made his move. He faked a punt from his own 16 on 4&3 and got it. They would go on a 91/9pl drive getting a 2 yard td run with :43 left to take a 17-10 lead. At the half UA had a 274-136 yard edge. UT was SOD on 4&3 at the UA39 on its opening 3Q drive and UA went 61/pl8 for a td. On 4&2 they got an 8 yard td pass, 24-10. UT went 77/14pl for a td and on its next drive went 47/8pl but on 3&gl from the 10 was intercepted in the EZ. UT took over at its 14. They got 1 FD but on 4&7, gained 1 yard to their own 35 and on the next play, UA got a 35 yard td pass, 31-17. UT went 52/3pl for a 28 yard td pass, 31-23 (xp blocked) with 5:37 left. UA went 3&out (3:50). UT went 56/10pl and got a td with :59 left but missed the 2 point conversion and UA recovered the onside kick for the upset.
SMU started Neal Burcham in place of Garrett Gilbert who was injured last week. Gilbert was #3 in the nation in passing. Burcham hit 27-52-212 but had 3 interceptions. SMU came in averaging 31 ppg and this was June Jones’ first ever shutout loss as a HC. Houston did only have a 365-295 yard edge in the 34-0 win and it was their first conference shutout since 1989. UH got a 67 yard td pass on its first play after an SMU punt to quickly go up 7-0. SMU was intercepted on its 3rd possession and UH went 20/6pl for a 27 yard FG, 10-0. Three punts. UH went 48/7pl for a td but then was intercepted at the SMU39 and returned 15 yards. SMU got a FD to the 23 but on 3&9 was intercepted in the EZ. Three punts. SMU went 47/8pl but on 3&3 had the shotgun snap go off the QB’s shoulder, take a bounce and it was scooped up by UH and returned 62 yards to the 1 with :53 left in the half. UH had a 1 yard td on the next play, 24-0 but only had a 185-146 yard edge at the half. Each team dropped a FD pass on 4&3 to open the 3Q. UH went 59/7pl for a td then after a 19 yard punt, went 29/9pl for a 27 yard FG, 34-0. SMU was SOD at the UH25 and intercepted at its own 37. UH was intercepted at the SMU34 and SOD on 4&6 at the SMU33. SMU gained 56 yards on 14 plays but was SOD on 4&6 at the UH11 and UH got 2 FD’s running out the clock.
Marshall jumped out to a huge lead vs East Carolina, almost blew it and then ended up winning the CUSA East title game 59-28! MU took its opening drive 46/6pl for a 42 yard FG, went 97/7pl for a td, punted on its 3rd possession, went 18/5pl (after an interception) for a td, and 80/11pl for a td to lead 24-0 with 9:33 left in the 2Q. MU returned a punt 41 yards for a td, 30-0 but a hold was called and brought the Herd back to the 42. They went 45/4pl and had a FD run by Essray Taliaferro to the 13 but he fumbled. That would change the momentum. ECU went 87/7pl for a 2 yard td run then after an MU interception 2pl later, went 31/9pl for a 27 yard FG and only trailed 24-10. MU had a 293-203 yard edge at the half. MU opened the 3Q with a 53/9pl drive for a td then got a 5 yard IR td to go up 38-13 after ECU had gotten a 26 yard FG. Each team went on a long td drive then MU went 71/7 and 77/16pl for td’s to go up 59-20. ECU went 73/5pl getting a td with 1:32 left to make the stats closer as MU had a 541-367 yard edge prior.
Keith Wenning hit 27-33-445 yards and 6 td’s and, as expected, powerful Ball St moved to 10-2 easily dispatching winless Miami, Oh, 55-14. BS opened with a 66/9pl drive for a td. MU went 35/11 but missed a 56 yard FG. BSt’s 2nd drive ended on a fumble at the MU38 and they punted on their 3rd. MU was intercepted at the BS9. BS then: went 91/8pl for a td, punted on its next possession, went 55/5 for a td, and went 89/3 for a td (1:56 left in the half). MU fumbled the KO and BS went 45/5pl for a td with :50 left, 35-0. At the half they had a 366-96 yard edge. After BS punted to open the 2H, the teams would score on 4 consecutive possessions with MU getting 2 td’s including one on 4&gl from the 3. BS got a td and FG to lead 45-14. BS went 80/3pl for a td then, after recovering a fumble, went 74/4pl for a td with 7:46 left. MU went 46/13pl being SOD at the BS26 with :47 left.
Nebraska has had 6 straight 4-loss seasons under Bo Pelini whereas Frank Solich and Bill Callahan combined for six 4-loss seasons and Tom Osborne never had a 4-loss season. Iowa got to 8 wins, doubling its win total from last year. Nebraska finished with their lowest regular season win total since 2008 at 8-4. NU actually had 288-281 yard and 20-14 FD edges but a couple of key events set them back including a questionable fake punt call and Pelini drawing a 15 yard penalty protesting a call which put Iowa into FG range in the 3Q. NU’s Ron Kellogg III got the start as Tommy Armstrong Jr and Taylor Martinez were injured. While Kellogg played well in relief, he didn’t fare well as the starter. He hit 19-37-199 and had interceptions on his first 2 possessions. After the 2nd, UI went 25/7pl for a td to lead 7-0. Five punts. UI, after a 36 yard punt, went 41/3pl for a td, 14-0. NU went 59/11pl and got a 33 yard FG, 14-3 with :31 left in the half. Iowa only had a 140-117 yard edge. NU went 75/11pl for a td to make it 14-10. UI got 1 FD then a questionable pass interference call when the ball was over his head. Pelini protested and drew a 15 yard penalty moving the ball to the 15 which allowed Iowa to have Mike Meyer kick a 31 yard FG on 4&8, 17-10. NU ran a fake punt on 4&3 from its own 32 and lost 8 yards. On the next play, Iowa got a 24 yard td pass to lead 24-10 with 4:46 left in the 3Q. Two punts. NU went 71/10pl and on 4&3, got a 15 yard td pass, 24-17. Ameer Abdullah fumbled at his own 39 and Iowa went 39/2pl for a td, 31-17. Two punts. NU was SOD at its own 27 with 5:36 let and Iowa went 27/6pl for a td with backup QB CJ Beathard in, 38-17 (3:33).
With 2.5 tfl against Bowling Green, Buffalo LB Khalil Mack tied Jason Babin for the FBS career record of 75 tfl. BG had not won a division title since 2003 when they were in the MAC West. This was the battle for the MAC East and played in Ralph Wilson Stadium. BG had just 7 FD’s on its first 7 possessions and the 1H was a defensive struggle. After BG went for it on 4&2 at the UB34 and was SOD, UB went 66/9pl for a td to lead 7-3 at the half with BG having a 152-93 yard edge. BG was intercepted at the UB21 to open the 3Q then went 71/6 and 90/7pl for td’s to lead 17-7. The next 3 possessions were punts then BG went 81/7pl for a 7 yard td run, 24-7. UB was SOD at the BG43 then intercepted on its next play at its own 19 but BG was SOD with 3:53 left. UB gained 85 yards on their final 2 drives so BG “only” finished with a 490-236 yard edge.
After a couple of big blowout losses, some were questioning Ohio’s effort. However, the Bobcats delivered, earning a winning season at 7-5 blasting 1-10 Massachusetts 51-23. OU had a 461-290 yard edge. They took their opening drive 60/2pl for a td then went 54/5pl for a td on their 2nd possession to lead 14-0. UM chipped back going 49/6pl for a 42 yard FG then after an OU fumble at midfield, going 45/8pl for a 3 yard td run, 14-10. They forced a punt with 9:55 left in the half and UM took over at its 11. They got 2 FD’s but on 3&9, the key play of the game happened. As they were driving to take the lead, they were intercepted and returned 66 yards for a td, 21-10. UM fumbled the KO and OU went 18/2pl for a td, then went 71/7pl for a 30 yard FG to make it 31-10 at half. OU did have a 293-160 yard edge. OU was intercepted to open the 3Q and UM got a 38 yard td pass 1pl later, 31-17. OU fumbled the KO and UM got a 37 yard FG, 31-20. Two punts. After a 33 yard punt, OU went 39/4pl for a td then 31/5pl but settled for a 24 yard FG, 41-20. They actually had a 30 yard IR td with 4:19 left, 51-23. Tyler Tettleton, in his final home game, hit 18-27-243.
Troy had 22 seniors playing their final home game trying to make it 6 wins and bowl eligibility. I had Troy on my Most Improved List, so I must be honest, I was rooting for them to win this one. Troy finished with a 461-425 yard edge. Texas St was intercepted on its 3rd play but on its next drive went 80/12pl for a td. Troy went 78/4pl for a td then 77/10pl and on 4&1 got a 1 yard td run by Jordan Chunn to make it 14-7. TXSt went 56/7pl for a td with 9:19 left in the half but 3pl later Troy got a 43 yard td pass from Deon Anthony to Eric Thomas to make it 21-14. TXSt went for it on 4&2 at the Troy 3 yard line and was SOD with 1:26 left in the half. At the half Troy only had a 239-200 yard edge. Each team punted to open the 2H. Troy went 89/9pl for a td then after a 42 yard PR, 59/6pl for a td and a commanding 35-14 lead on the first play of the 4Q. TXSt went 71/2pl with a 70 yard pass to Brandon Smith to the 1 and a 1 yard td run on the next play, 35-21. Three punts. TXSt was SOD on 4&18 from its own 25 and on the next play, Troy got a 25 yard td pass with 5:14 left, 42-21. TXSt went 75/9pl getting a garbage td with 2:38 left. Troy recovered the onside kick and was taking a knee from the TXSt26 at the end.
LSU finished with a 470-360 yard edge but for the majority of the 4Q it appeared they were going to go down. Things looked really bad when Zach Mettenberger hurt his leg in the 4Q and they were forced to go with Anthony Jennings (4-7-76, 26 rush yards). Arkansas fell to 0-8, their first winless record in the SEC since they joined the conference in 1992. LSU opened with a 70/7pl drive for a td but UA went 86/8pl for a td to tie. LSU went 75/6pl for a td, 14-7 (3:38 1Q). After each team punted, UA went 86/8pl for a td to tie. UA got a 32 yard run to the LSU32 but was intercepted in the EZ on the next play. LSU was sacked and fumbled with 2:03 left in the half and UA took over at the LSU30. They got 2 FD’s and settled for a 20 yard FG. At the half UA led 17-14 and had a 238-170 yard edge. LSU was intercepted and returned 24 yards to its 39 and UA went 28/6pl for a 28 yard FG, 20-14. LSU, on 3&9, got a FD. On the next play, Jeremy Hill ripped off a 52 yard td run to help LSU take the lead, 21-20. UA responded with a 75/15pl capped a 2 yard td pass, 27-21. LSU went 58/13pl but on 4&2 gained 1 yard to the UA17. UA punted with 7:14 left. LSU got 1 FD then Mettenberger was injured on a 32 yard pass to Jarvis Landry. Jennings played the rest of the game. LSU settled for a 37 yard FG, 27-24. They forced a punt with 3:04 left but things looked bleak. They still got 3 FD’s to midfield then on 3&10, Jennings hit a 49 yard td pass to give them the lead. UA was sacked and fumbled 2pl later at its own 27.
For the 2nd straight year, Central Michigan had a close win over a rival with 3 weeks left in the season then blew out their final 2 foes to win their final 3 and get to a bowl. Dan Enos hopes they again repeat what happened last season–win their bowl. Their game vs Eastern Michigan was a bit of a misleading final (42-10) as they only a 387-344 yard edge and EMU had a 20-17 FD edge. CMU’s Zurlon Tipton had 226 yards rushing on 20 carries and remember in the opening game of the season, he was injured in the 1Q and lost for a good portion of the year. EMU fumbled at its own 27. Tipton’s 4 yard td run made it 7-0. There were 3 punts then CMU went 71/11pl and Tipton’s 1 yard td run made it 14-0. On the next drive, on 3&21, they handed off to Tipton and 86 yards later it was 21-0. EMU went 80/12pl and settled for a 24 yard FG. They recovered a fumble, missed a 48 yard FG on a -10 yard drive, but then went 85/8pl and got a 10 yard td pass with :06 left in the half on 2&gl. At the half, EMU trailed 21-10 but had a 210-209 yard edge. CMU got an 84 yard KR td to open the 3Q. CMU went 65/4pl for a td, 35-10. EMU went 48/10pl but fumbled at the CM21. CMU went 65/10pl, but on 3&11 from the 14 yard line was intercepted at the 10 and returned 19 yards. EMU went 45/6pl then on FD from the 26, they were not only intercepted but returned 75 yards for a td by Avery Cunningham, 42-10. EMU was SOD at its own 44 and CMU ended the game taking a knee at the EM6.
Florida Atlantic got to 6 wins and bowl eligibility winning the 12th annual Shula Bowl. FIU’s Jake Medlock hit just 7-21-56. Since FAU switched coaches, interim HC Brian Wright won all 4 of his games. FAU finished with a commanding 431-132 yard and 22-13 FD edges. FAU took its 2nd drive, after an 18 yard PR, 44/4pl for a td. FIU went 32/5pl for a 35 yard FG, 7-3. FAU, after punting, went 88/5pl and got a 55 yard td pass, 14-3. The 1H ended with 6 punts. FAU had a 210-64 yard edge. FAU opened the 3Q with a 98/10pl drive for a td. FAU fumbled at the FIU43 but FIU, on 4&10, was SOD at the FAU31. FIU went 54/10pl for a 43 yard FG, 21-6. FAU was intercepted in the EZ with 8:06 left but then took over with 3:28 left and went 65/10pl ending at the FIU16.
Pitt finished with 25-21 FD and 501-476 yard edges but big plays insured Miami, FL would escape with the win. I was impressed with UM, a team that had not played well in the cold weather. Prior to the game about 1/2 the team came on field with no shirts on showing they could handle the cold. Tom Savage hit 24-43-281 and Stephen Morris 17-28-296. Pitt fumbled the opening KO of the game at its own 35. On 3&7 UM got a 32 yard td pass. UM then blocked a punt and recovered at the Pitt42 and on 2&2 got a 34 yard td pass, 14-0. Pitt went 56/4pl for a td and UM 78/15 for a 29 yard FG, 17-7. UM went 80/3pl and got a 7 yard td run, 24-7 to start the 2Q. Pitt went on a 46/8pl drive but missed a 43 yard FG then went 74/13pl and settled for a 36 yard FG. With 2:29 left in the half, it was just 24-10 but UM on 2&9, got a 73 yard td run by Stacy Coley (only carry of gm), 31-10. Pitt opened the 3Q with a 92/10pl drive to get within 31-17. UM, after punting, went 42/9pl for a 39 yard FG, 34-17. Pitt went 94/13pl and got a 23 yard td pass, 34-24 but UM kept going. They went 78/7pl for a 5 yard td pass, 41-24. Pitt was intercepted in the EZ from the 25 with 2:02 left then drove 45/6pl for a td with :14 left. They recovered the onside kick but it was ruled that they had touched the ball early.
Bishop Sankey ran for 139 of his 200 yards in the 2H vs Washington St as Washington came back from a 10-3 halftime deficit. Keith Price missed last week’s game with injury but returned here, hitting 15-20-181 yards. Connor Halliday hit 32-59-282 for WSU. It was the 106th battle of the rivalry game called the Apple Cup. UW finished with a 405-326 yard edge but WSU had a 182-144 yard edge at the half. UW opened with a 54/8pl drive for a 48 yard FG. Five punts. UW fumbled at its own 47 and WSU would get a 49 yard FG six plays later to tie. Two punts. UW was intercepted at the WSU9 and the Cougars went 77/13pl for a 14 yard td pass, 10-3. In the 3Q UW went 85/8 and 60/8pl for a pair of td’s to lead 17-10 then went 45/9 for a 39 yard FG, 20-10. WSU went 30/7pl but on 4&3 was SOD at the UW38. WSU went 82/10pl and got a 5 yard td pass with 7:30 left, 20-17. They forced a punt with 5:26 left but Halliday had his first interception in 152 attempts. UW went 37/7pl for a td with 2:08 left to ice it. Halliday was intercepted again 3pl later. Sankey topped Corey Dillon’s school single season record of 1,695 yards rushing set in 1996.
It looked like Fresno St and San Jose St would go on to set all kinds of records as at the half, the two had combined for 1,016 yards and 45 FD’s! The NCAA record for most FD’s in a game was set by Houston/LA Tech in 2012 at 78. The NCAA record for yards in a game was 1,640 set by SJSt/Nevada in ‘11. The 2H did not match the fireworks. FSU also knocked themselves out of a potential BCS berth but will still play in the MW title game this week. Derek Carr hit 38-50-519 and David Fales 37-45-547 and the game was likely decided in the final minutes of the 1H and the opening minutes of the 2H. The first 4 possessions all went for td’s and SJSt led 14-13. Surprisingly the 2 teams punted twice. SJSt fumbled and FSU went 52/3pl for a td to lead 20-14. The next 3 possessions all went for td’s, 28-27 SJSt (12:20 2Q). FSU went 3&out and SJSt fumbled. The next 4 possessions were td’s. FSU got one with 1:43 left in the half to take the 41-35 lead. I was thinking that they had scored too fast. They were going to get the ball out to start the 2H but Fresno almost got a safety as the KR looked like he crossed the goal line at the back of the EZ but it was ruled a TB. They went 75/10pl converting on 3&12 and got a 19 yard td pass on the next play to take the lead, 42-41. FSU’s Hail Mary pass from the SJS46 saw WR Davante Adams get his hands on the ball in the EZ but it was not caught. At the half, SJSt had 23-22 FD and 547-469 yard edges. The play of the game happened with SJSt, realizing that FSU would likely score anyway, opted to onside kick and recovered. They then went for it on 4&2 and got a 5 yard pass and continued on a 52/10pl drive for a td. FSU’s offense bogged down. They went 48/8pl but settled for a 42 yard FG. SJSt went 48/6pl and settled for a 45 yard FG. FSU punted and SJSt took the lead for good going 58/10pl to go up 59-44. Carr had a streak of 305 straight passes without an interception, a MW record, end when Keith Smith timed his leap well. SJSt went 49/11pl for a 37 yard FG to lead 62-44. FSU went 75/12pl getting a td with 2:03 left but SJSt recovered the onside. The Spartans converted on 4&1 and took a knee. They only finished the game with a combined 1,382 yards (SJSt 736-646) and combined 63 FD’s (SJSt 36-27).
USF’s D played well vs UCF as they were only outgained 296-294 and late in the 4Q it sure looked like UCF was going to lose as they trailed. UCF did finish with an 18-13 FD edge. They did overcome 5 TO’s which kept USF in the game and almost cost them the win. On their first 2 possessions, UCF’s Storm Johnson fumbled, the first time at his own 39 which set up a USF FG, the 2nd time at the USF12 on a FD which cost them a td. USF, after a 32 yard PR, went 16/6pl for a 27 yard FG to tie it at 3. USF went 51/10pl for a 42 yard FG then UCF got a 3rd TO, an interception at the UCF33. They opted to go for it this time on 4&2 and fumbled the snap. UCF went 92/12pl for a td to go up 10-6 and on their next drive would add a 24 yard FG with :06 left in the half after having a 1&gl at the 7. UCF led by 7 with a 186-85 yard edge and appeared on their way. The 3Q opened with 3 punts but then UCF was sacked and fumbled at its own 29. USF went 29/4pl for a td. UCF got a 69 yard KR by Rannell Hall but would only gain 5 yards and got a 39 yard FG and led 16-13. USF got its best drive of the game going 77/9pl and got a 1 yard td run, 20-16. Each team punted then Blake Bortles was intercepted at his own 28 but USF missed a 51 yard FG with 1:54 left 3Q. UCF got 1 FD, trailing 20-16 with the clock running out Bortles hit a 52 yard td pass to Austin Perryman with 4:50 left to put them ahead. USF came right down the field and got 2 FD’s. On 3&6 from the UCF39, only trailing by 3, they were intercepted at the 26 and returned 27 yards. A PF gave UCF a FD and they took a knee. Bortles hit 17-26-219 and Mike White 15-34-211.
What an amazing turnaround for Oregon St this past week. The previous week in their home finale vs Washington vs a backup QB they were a complete no-show being obliterated. Last week going into Autzen Stadium, they took on an Oregon team off a loss and they almost pulled the upset. In fact, they came up just :27 short of doing so. UO was without Byron Marshall who injured his ankle the previous week vs Arizona. Marcus Mariota hit 17-34-285 but had 2 more interceptions after coming into last week’s game with none on the season. He rushed 7 times for 53 yards. Sean Mannion hit 29-47-314 yards and a surprisingly number to me is that he only had 1 interception after coming in with a 4-10 ratio the previous 4 weeks. OSU’s opening drive got to the UO27 but they were intercepted in the EZ on 4&1. The Ducks went 80/7 and 85/9pl for a pair of td’s to take command, 14-0. UO fumbled the punt at its own 23 and OSU settled for a 37 yard FG. Running into the K had them take the points off the board and they went for it on 4&1 and converted and 3pl later got a 2 yard td run, 14-7. Each team went on a long drive but settled for a short FG (20 and 18 yards) 17-10 (2:33 1H). There were 3 TO’s on the next 3 possessions and OSU took over at the UO28 with 1:14 left and went 28/5pl for a td and momentum into the half, 17-17. At the half OSU had a 253-247 yard edge. The Ducks fumbled at their own 43 to open the 3Q and OSU got 1 FD and a 47 yard FG, 20-17. UO went 75/8pl and got a 28 yard td pass, 24-20. OSU went 72/8pl but on 4&1 was SOD at the UO5. After UO punted, OSU went 42/8pl for a 37 yard FG, 24-23. UO went 32/5pl but missed a 43 yard FG and OSU went 75/6 for a td. They missed the 2 point conversion but led 29-24 with 11:05 left. UO went 84/11pl and faced a huge 4&11 play with 7:56 left and opted to go for it and got a 12 yard td pass to take the lead 30-29. Each team had failed on their 2 point conversion. Surprisingly each team punted. OSU took over with 5:13 left and went 74/8pl and got a 25 yard td run by Victor Bolden to go up 35-20 but their 2 point failed with 1:38 left. UO got a 22 yard pass to Daryle Hawkins, a 19 yard pass on 2&10 and a 17 yard pass to Johnny Mundt down to the 24. On 3&5 they got a 7 yard run for a FD to the 12 and on 2&10, a 12 yard td pass to Josh Huff gave them the lead, 36-35 with :27 left. The 2 point failed. OSU had a deep pass dropped and on 4&2, fired incomplete on the final play. UO finished with 568-545 yard and 29-26 FD edges.
Michigan St had not had an undefeated year in the Big Ten regular season since 1965 and 1966. MSU had already wrapped up the Big Ten title game so had some look ahead going on vs Ohio St and only had a 324-249 yard edge. Minnesota’s Philip Nelson only had 7 pass attempts in the 1H but 2 were intercepted by Trae Waynes. MSU held a foe without a td for the 5th time in 6 games. After a UM punt, MSU took its opening drive 80/7pl and had a 15 yard td run by Jeremy Langford (134 yards). UM was intercepted 5pl later at the MSU44. Two punts. MSU got 1 FD but on 4&1 was SOD at the UM29. Two punts. UM went 60/14pl. On 4&gl from the 3, they settled for a 21 yard FG, 7-3. UM’s next drive got across midfield but was intercepted at the 34 with :17 left in the half. MSU was intercepted at the UM24 2pl later. At the half MSU only had a 136-112 yard edge. MSU went 75/8pl for a td, 14-3. UM went 61/12pl but missed a 38 yard FG. Two punts. MSU got a 35 yard run by Aaron Burbridge down to the 19 but Connor Cook was sacked and fumbled back at the 32. Two punts. UM was pinned at its 9 but went 77/17pl converting on 3&14 and 3&16 but on 3&10, Mitch Leidner was sacked at the 14 and fumbled. UM got it back with 2:59 left but was SOD on 4&10 at its own 20 with 2:14 left.
Southern Miss had not won a game in 2 years and trailed at by 8 early 3Q, but had a remarkable 2H and won by 5 td’s. SM did only have 28-22 FD and 472-431 yard edges. Each team drove for a td on their opening possession and UAB missed a 31 yard FG after a 60/9pl drive. SM was intercepted and UAB went 38/2pl for a td, 14-7. UAB got a 23 yard td run with 4:25 left in the half to lead 21-13. At the half they had a 275-179 yard edge. UAB punted to open the 3Q and then everything went SM’s way for the first time in a long, long time. Nick Mullens hit 24-39-370 and 5 td’s and his 43 yard td pass pulled them within 21-20. They recovered a fumble 3pl later and went 36/2pl for a td and the lead. UAB then fumbled the KR and SM went 24/6pl for a td, 34-21. UAB went on an 8 play drive but had a 49 yard FG blocked and SM went 85/4pl for a td, 41-21. SM got a 43 yard PR and went 41/7pl for a 3 yard td run, 48-21. Trailing 48-27, UAB was SOD at its own 19 and SM got a 19 yard td pass on the next play. UAB fumbled at the 50 and SM went 50/8pl. On 3&gl from the 3, they ran for the td with :10 left in the game to give them the 5 td margin.
Vanderbilt got another last second victory and has now posted consecutive 8-win seasons for the first time since 1927-’28. VU did finish with 403-266 yard and 22-15 FD edges and Wake Forest suffered another hard luck defeat. VU did have the ball for 38:09. VU went 88/11pl including a 4&1 conversion and got a 7 yard td pass on the next play. WF went 65/12pl for a td to tie. There were 4 punts but VU got off a 64 yard punt and WF a 20 yard punt so VU took over at the WF41. Five plays later they had a td, 14-7. WF went 75/10pl for a 9 yard td run, 14-14. VU went 65/11pl including a 4&4, 23 yard pass on 4th down to the 20. They got a 41 yard FG with :10 left to lead 17-14. At the half VU had a 215-171 yard edge. VU opened the 3Q with a 40/12pl drive getting to the WF40 but was intercepted and returned 63 yards for a td. Four punts. VU took over at the 22 with 12:29 left and went 70/12pl and got a 25 yard FG to pull within 21-20. WF was intercepted 3pl later at its own 33 but VU fumbled it back 3pl later. WF punted with just 3:31 left and VU43 got 1 FD then on 4&11, got a 25 yard pass down to the WF23 and would get a 38 yard FG on 4&8 with :39 left. WF got 2 FD to the VU44 but on 4&19 fired incomplete.
Maryland scored on its first six possessions of the game and jumped out to a 34-7 lead. CJ Brown hit 13-25-259 and Brandon Mitchell for NC State hit 21-31-200. NCSt lost its 8th straight game for the first time since 1959 and that was the last team that finished o-fer in ACC action. MD finished with a 432-351 yard edge. NCSt opened the scoring going 80/10pl for a td. MD returned the KO to the NCS30 and went 16/7pl for a 33 yard FG then went 55/2 and 67/3pl for td’s, 17-7. NCSt had a bad snap on a punt for a 27 yard loss. MD recovered at the NCSt14, had -1 yard and got a 33 yard FG. After a 24 yard NCSt punt, MD went 35/7 then 80/9pl for td’s and with 3:23 left in the half they led 34-7. NCSt went 78/8pl getting a td with 1:18 left in the half, 34-14. At the half MD had a 275-160 yard edge. Each team opened the 3Q with a drive for a td then there was 3 punts. NCSt was SOD on 4&3 at the MD38 but MD fumbled it back 3pl later at the NCSt35. NCSt went 58/12pl but on 4&2 was SOD (-3 yards to the MD11). MD got 2 FD and punted with 8:56 left and NCSt went 59/16pl but on 4&4 was SOD at the MD23 with 4:21 left. The Terps ran the clock.
Jameis Winston hit 19-31-327 for Florida St. FSU had a 456-193 yard edge over Florida. UF opened 4-1 but lost its last 7 and missed out on a bowl for the first time since 1990. FSU was intercepted at the UF13 on its first possession. UF got a 50 yard Trey Burton run to the 33 but missed a 49 yard FG. FSU went 35/8pl for a FG on its 2nd possession, punted on its 3rd and went 96/12pl including a 3&21, 27 yard pass, and got a 45 yard td pass to Kelvin Benjamin who looked like a man among boys. They took over with 2:07 left and went 74/6pl with a 29 yard td pass to Benjamin, to lead 17-0 at half with a 219-104 yard edge. UF fumbled at its own 39 and FSU got a 40 yard FG with 11:02 left 3Q. FSU went 84/5pl for a td, 27-0. UF put together its only offensive drive of the game going 83/14pl including a 4&3 10 yard pass to the 20 and got a 5 yard td pass, 27-7. FSU went 79/10pl for a td with 8:06 left, forced a fumble at the UF32 and got 1 FD and nailed a 28 yard FG to get ahead by 30 (3:14).
Duke finished with a 461-448 yard edge. Anthony Boone hit 23-34-274 and Brandon Connette only had 1 pass attempt and rushed four times for 5 yards. Duke beat North Carolina for a 2nd straight year. UNC missed a 42 yard FG on its opening drive, but then went 89/3pl for a td with a 79 yard pass the key. Duke went 74/13pl for a td, 7-7. Duke went 95/17pl but settled for a 22 yard FG, 10-7. Duke fumbled a punt at its own 34 and UNC went 34/4pl for a td to lead 15-10. Duke got a 99 yard KR by DeVon Edwards with 1:18 left in the half to go up 17-15. At the half Duke did have a 261-236 yard edge. UNC punted with :47 left and Duke missed a 54 yard FG on the last play. Duke went 50/7pl for a td and a 24-15 lead. UNC, on 4&7, fired incomplete as a pass over the middle on the 2nd play of the 3Q that was behind Eric Ebron bounced off his hand and was intercepted at the 50. UNC went 64/7pl for a 22 yard td pass, 24-22. Three punts. UNC took over at the 32 with 11:45 left, went 44/12pl and a key play happened when on 3&2, UNC was called for a push after the play and a PF. That forced a 3&17 and on 4&13, they settled for a 37 yard FG and only led by 1. Duke would get 2 FD’s including a 29 yard pass and got a 27 yard FG with 2:22 left for the lead. UNC got 3 FD’s to the Duke49 but was intercepted at the 29 with :22 left.
Temple had not won an AAC game all year, although they had come close. They simply dominated Memphis on the road with 534-228 yard and 23-16 FD edges. TU was a completely different team this year once PJ Walker came in at QB. He hit 20-32-328 while Paxton Lynch for Memphis hit 19-29 for 162. TU went 42/15pl but on 4&7 was SOD at the UM33. They went 93/12pl but settled for a 22 yard FG so despite 135 yards, they had just 3 points. Two punts. UM fumbled at the TU13 at the end of a 57/5pl drive. TU went 87/12pl and converted on 4&1 with a FD to the 1 and got a td 2pl later, 10-0 (7:22). UM got a 56 yard KR to the TU30 and went 30/3pl for a td, 10-7. TU was intercepted at the UM31 but then took over with 1:18 left in the half and went 53/4pl and got a 3&8, 11 yard td pass with :20 left in the half. The key play was a 40 yard QB run by Walker on the first play. A td put them ahead 17-7 and they had a commanding 310-74 yard edge at the half. The 3Q opened with 2 punts. After a personal foul on a PR, started at the TU25 and 4pl later had a td, 17-14 but Walker hit a 75 yard td pass on the next play, 24-14. Temple blocked a punt and recovered for a td, 31-14. UM went 62/12pl for a 3 yard td run, 31-21. UM went 43/11pl but missed a 47 yard FG and TU went 69/9pl and got a 19 yard FG with 10:26 left, 34-21. UM was SOD on 4&1 at the TU44. TU went 56/7pl for the clinching td with 4:33 left. After UM was SOD at its own 32, TU ended the game at the UM21 taking a knee.
Connecticut had a 372-364 yard edge. Chas Dodd made his first start of the season for Rutgers and hit 16-35-286 with 2 interceptions. Casey Cochran hit 25-33-311 for UC. RU opened with a 65/13pl drive but faked a FG on 4&3 in an unusual formation where they had just 3 men on the center of the field and the WR just pulled the ball away from the DB. UC went 79/8pl for a 18 yard td pass on 3&11, 7-7 (6:29). RU fumbled the KO at its own 31 and UC went 31/5pl for a td. Four punts. RU went 56/16pl for a 34 yard FG, 14-10 (:41). At the half RU had a 196-171 yard edge. The 3Q opened with 3 punts. RU got a 74 yard pass down to the 3 and a 3 yard td run on the next play gave them the lead, 17-14. UC went 80/8pl for a td, 21-17. RU got to its 48 but was intercepted. Two punts. UC went 56/12pl for a 3 yard td pass, 28-17 (3:04). RU got 1 FD and was intercepted at the UC19 and returned 20 yards with 1:58 left. UC punted with :25 left.
Utah had 388-321 yard and 21-20 FD edges. Sefo Liufau hit 23-46-241 while Adam Schulz hit 19-33-233. Colorado was sacked and fumbled on the 2nd play of the game. Utah went 34/8pl for a td. Three punts. Utah went 64/11pl but on 3&9 fumbled at the CU21. CU fumbled 2pl later and it was returned 17 yards to their 6. Utah got a td on the next play, 14-0. Utah went 80/7pl for a td, 21-0. Utah got it back at its own 12 and was intercepted with 8:57 left in the half and returned to their 5 but CU was SOD on 4&gl from the 1. Three punts. At the half Utah had a 230-112 yard edge. CU onside kicked to open the 3Q but punted 3pl later. CU went 78/7pl and got a td, 21-7. Two punts. Utah went 57/5pl but on 1&gl from the 5 fumbled into the EZ and it was returned 43 yards. CU went 55/10pl and after a 1&gl at the 3, they had a 4&gl at the 2 and opted for a 19 yard FG, 21-10. Utah went 47/8pl for a 46 yard FG, 24-10. Two punts. CU went 52/8pl and got a 14 yard td pass on 4&10 with 2:30 left, 24-17. CU’s last drive ended on an interception at its own 24 with 1:54 left.
South Alabama went on the road and had 522-345 yard and 24-15 FD edges vs Georgia St. Ross Metheny hit 19-28-280 and Ronnie Bell 17-34-321. The first 3 possessions were punts. USA went 62/7pl for a td, 7-0. USA got a 50 yard pass but fumbled at the GS15 at the end of it. GSt fumbled it back 4pl later. USA went 42/4pl for a td, 14-0. GSt got a 62 yard PR to the USA24. GSt got 1 FD but settled for a 33 yard FG, 14-3. Two punts. USA took over with 9:48 left 2Q and went 60/9pl and on 4&1 they got a FD then a 1 yard td run on the next play, 21-3. USA went 59/9pl for a 42 yard FG, 24-3 (:34). GSt missed a 50 yard FG on the final play of the half. At the half USA had a commanding 306-108 yard edge. USA went 75/7pl for a 37 yard td pass, 31-3. Two punts. GSt got an 80 yard pass to the 1 and a 1 yard td 2pl later, 31-10 but USA went 65/13pl for a 1 yard td run, 38-10. GSt got 1 FD and on 4&3 gained 2 yards. GSt went 58/7pl but from the 24 was intercepted in the EZ for a TB. USA got 3 FD’s but was SOD on 4&1 at the GS39. GSt went 69/9pl and converted on 4&15 with a 40 yard pass to the 2 and on 4&gl got a 1 yard td run, 38-17 with 3:00 left. USA got 1 FD and ran the clock.
It was announced during the week the Kapri Bibbs would probably not play for Colorado St. He did suit up but only had 79 yards on 16 carries. Chris Nwoke had 11-49. CSU instead turned to its passing game and Garrett Grayson hit 26-34-395 and CSU pounded Air Force with a 629-279 yard edge. AF was headed for its biggest margin of defeat in their history until they scored 2 td’s in the final 5:00. Grayson topped Terry Nugent’s school record for passing yards in a season which was set back in ‘83. AF won 2 games in a season for the first time since 1980 but it was even worse, as that year they went 2-9-1. In the 1H CSU scored on 5 of its 7 possessions and led 30-0 with a 334-146 yard edge. AF was SOD at the CSU45 and 24. In the 2H CSU went 95/10, 4/1 (after fmbl), 77/6 and 69/13pl all for td’s to lead 58-0 after their first 4 possessions. AF went 75/13pl for a td with 5:02 left and CSU went for it on 4&1 at its own 34 and was SOD. AF went 34/2pl for a td with 2:40 left for a misleading final.
Bill Snyder has dominated his rival Kansas. Kansas St had a 368-223 yard edge and Jake Waters hit 10-21-160. Jake Heaps hit 14-29-138. KSU punted on its first possession but then went 54/3, 67/4 and 34/7pl (after 38 yard punt) for td’s, 21-0 (14:50 2Q). KSU did punt twice and KU went 51/7pl for a td with 3:53 left in the 2Q, 21-7. KSU fumbled the KO at its own 42 and KU went 28/9pl and got a 31 yard FG with 1:06 left in the half to pull within 21-10. KSU only had a 182-135 yard edge. KU fumbled at the KSU47 early in the 3Q. KSU got down to the 28 but on 2&37 after offensive PI and a PF, they were intercepted at the 15. KU was intercepted 3pl later. KSU went 38/5pl for a td, 28-10. KU went 52/16pl but on 3&8 was intercepted in the EZ. KSU went 43/10pl but had a 43 yard FG blocked. KU was intercepted 3pl later and KSU took over at the 22, got 1 FD and a 31 yard FG on an 8 yard drive, 31-10. KSU punted and was SOD at its 11 at the end.
I think Brady Hoke made the absolute correct decision and would have done the same thing myself. The Wovlerines didn’t have a great FG kicker and not a lot of confidence in him and you don’t want to go to OT with a poor FG kicker. Also, both offenses had momentum and were scoring at will and Michigan was the underdog to Ohio St so why not go for 2 where you have a 50/50 chance of getting the win? Unfortunately for UM they came up short and lost to the Buckeyes 42-41. Devin Gardner had–by far–his best game of the season hitting 32-45-451 yards while Braxton Miller hit just 6-15-133, but ran for 153. Carlos Hyde ran for 226. OSU lost starting RG Marcus Hall and KR/WR Dontre Wilson for an on field fight while UM lost backup LB Royce Jenkins-Stone. OSU punted on its first possession. The two teams scored td’s on the next 5 possessions and UM led 21-14. OSU was intercepted at the UM9. OSU took over with 2:33 left in the 1H and went 91/7pl and got a 21 yard td run by Miller to tie it at 21. OSU had a 308-303 yard edge at half. UM fumbled at the OSU44 and was SOD at the OSU14 on 4&2. In between, OSU went 66/5pl for a td then 86/6pl for a 22 yard td pass to lead 35-21 with 1:05 left 3Q. UM went 83/11pl and got an 11 yard td pass, 35-28. OSU’s Hyde fumbled at his own 41. UM converted on 3&12, 4&2 and got a td with 5:01 left to tie it. OSU went 65/6pl for a td with 2:20 left. UM got 3 FD’s and on 3&8, got a FD on a 29 yard screen pass to Fitzgerald Toussaint down to the 2. Then their 2 yard td came with :32 left. The 2 point failed. UM had a 603-526 yard edge in the game and 31-23 FD edge.
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.