|Daily Blog • December 3rd|
By Phil Steele
BYU finished with a 492-363 yard edge although Nevada dominated the 1H of the game. UN took its opening drive 81/8pl for a td. BYU fumbled a punt at its 29 and UN got 1 FD but had a 38 yard FG blocked. BYU, on 4&8, was SOD at the UN28. Two punts. UN went 66/9pl and had a 2&gl at the 3 but was intercepted in the EZ for a TB. Five punts. At the half UN had a 190-150 yard edge. BYU opened the 3Q with a 2&1, 66 yard run by Jamaal Williams, 7-7. UN went 75/11pl for a 3 yard td run, 14-7 (9:34 3Q). BYU went 80/9pl for a td, 14-14 (6:07). BYU went 59/13pl for a td, 21-14 (14:50). They then went 75/8pl for a 34 yard FG, 28-17 (6:35). UN answered with a 67/11pl drive for td (xpng) 28-23 (2:42). BYU got 2 FD’s running the clock out at the 15.
North Texas didn’t win its division in CUSA, but they were the most impressive team in the division. They went on the road vs Tulsa and had 550-236 yard and 21-14 FD edges. NT took its opening drive 72/10pl but fumbled. TU’s Will Barrow scooped it up and returned it 97 yards for a td and a 14 point swing, 7-0. (10:53). There were 4 punts then NT went 53/6pl for a 12 yard td run, 7-7. TU went 58/7pl for a 26 yard FG, 10-7 (:42). TU was intercepted at the NT42 and returned 32 yards but NT missed a 32 yard FG. NT was intercepted a the TU29 with 6:50 left but blocked a punt and returned it 8 yards for a td for a 14-10 lead. TU punted with 3:32 left and NT went 54/6pl for a 10 yard td run, 21-10. NT had a 266-82 yard edge. NT got a 91 yard td run by Brandin Byrd to open the 3Q, 28-10. Three punts. NT went 73/12pl for a 2 yard td run, 35-10 (3:25). NT went 63/3pl for a td. TU went 69/13pl but was intercepted from the 11 on the last play of the game.
Rice had 304-123 yard and 21-6 FD edges vs Tulane, but this one was tight and went to the wire at the end. Rice opened with a 53/13pl drive but was SOD on 4&13. Rice was sacked and fumbled at its own 18. TU took over at the Rice18 and got a 30 yard FG. TU, however, fumbled at its own 19 on 3&27 with 1:15 left in the 1Q. Rice got a 19 yard td pass, 7-3. Rice went 68/6pl for a td. Rice went 45/17pl and missed a 50 yard FG with 1:46 left in the half. Rice did get it back with 1:18 left at its 32, got 3 FD’s on a 49/9pl drive and got a 36 yard FG (:07). At the half Rice had a 232-10 yard edge and led 17-3. The first 5 possessions of the 2H ended in punts. Rice got 1 FD and fumbled. TU started at the Rice27 and 3pl later had a td, 17-10. TU went 61/11pl but settled for a 32 yard FG after a FD at the 18, 17-13. Three punts. Rice’s punt pinned TU at the 3 and TU fired 4 incomplete passes and Rice took a knee from the 3 yard line at the end.
I must admit, I really did not give Penn St a chance of beating Wisconsin, but Christian Hackenberg hit 21-30-339. PSU finished with a 465-459 yard edge although UW had a 27-13 FD edge for the game. PSU opened with a 79/4pl drive capped by a 68 throwback td pass to Hackenberg, 7-0. PSU went 69/8pl and had a 34 yard FG blocked. Two punts. UW went 71/11pl for a td then 77/11pl for another, 14-7. PSU went 71/7pl and got a 3 yard td pass, 14-14. At the half PSU had a 237-201 yard edge. PSU went 67/10pl for a 7 yard td pass, 21-14. UW was intercepted and returned 35 yards to its 19. PSU gained 8 yards and got a 28 yard FG, 24-14. Two punts. UW went 33/7pl but was intercepted at the PSU5 and returned 33 yards. PSU on 3&7 got a 59 yard td pass, 31-14. UW, on 4&23, was sacked for a 7 yard loss back to the 41 after a FD at the 21. UW went 76/13pl and got a 5 yard td pass, 31-21. UW blocked a punt :29 later with 5:09 left. UW added a 48 yard FG, 31-24 with 4:13 left. PSU17 got a 61 yard run to the UW21 but missed a 31 yard FG with :31 left to leave UW in it. UW got 2 FD’s to the PSU41 but was intercepted in the EZ on the last play on a Hail Mary.
Vad Lee passed for a career high 232 yards for Georgia Tech. GT blew a 20-0 2Q lead. Georgia was without QB Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason hit 22-36-291 yards. Of UGA’s 152 yards in the 1H, 86 came on their final drive for a td which got them back in the game. GT opened with a 76/5pl drive and got a 3 yard td run. GT went 60/11pl for a 37 yard FG. UGA was intercepted 3pl later. GT went 36/2pl for a 26 yard td pass, 17-0. GT went 87/15pl but settled for a 22 yard FG, 20-0. UGA took over with just 1:43 left 1H and went 86/7pl getting a key td to give them some momentum for the 2H. Thanks to that drive, GT only had a 279-152 yard edge at the half. UGA opened the 3Q with a 63/15pl drive for a 40 yard FG. They had a FD at the 18 but the FG came on 4&15. GT went 41/9pl and missed a 43 yard FG. UGA went 74/7pl for a 9 yard td pass, 20-17. Each team went on a long td drive and UGA’s td with 6:37 left pulled them within 27-24. GT was intercepted at its own 43 and returned 18 yards to the 25. UGA got 1 FD and its 32 yard FG with 4:17 left tied it. GT got to the UGA43 but punted on 4&7 and it went to OT. In the first OT, each team scored a td. Todd Gurley got a 25 yard td run in the 2OT and GT got a FD to the 11. On 4&5 the pass was batted around and incomplete. GT finished with a 495-437 yard edge.
Antonio Andrews of WKU rushed for 119 yards and broke his own single-season rushing record by 2 yards getting to 1,730. Brandon Doughty hit 21-37-255. Arkansas St’s Adam Kennedy hit 7-10-67 and Fredi Knighten QB’d a good portion of the game hitting 11-17-61. ASU went 83/12pl for a td. WKU got a 40 yard KR to the ASU35 and went 35/3pl for a td. After a 31 yard punt and 10 yard PR, WKU went 32/5pl for a 2nd short td drive, 14-7. After an interception, WKU went 59/7pl for a 23 yard td pass, 20-7. ASU went 40/8pl and missed a 42 yard FG then, with Knighten at controls, went 85/15pl.Knighten’s 1 yard td run made it 20-14 with 2:52 left in the half. WKU went 70/8pl but on FD from the ASU11, with :31 left, fumbled at the 9. At the half WKU had a 218-201 yard edge. WKU fumbled the KO at its own 34 and ASU went 34/6pl on a short drive for a td and the lead, 21-20. ASU went 44/13pl for a 45 yard FG, 24-20. WKU went 69/8pl and got a 2 yard td run, 27-24. Three punts. WKU fumbled at its own 22 and ASU took the lead with a 22/5pl drive. The 6 yard td pass gave them the lead, 31-27 with 9:27 left. Two punts. WKU took over at its 1 with 5:30 left. They got 2 FD’s and on 4&9 a FD. Two more FD’s and on 4&gl from the 6 a td but an illegal block brought it back to the 21 yard line. On 4&21, a pass interference and personal foul moved them ahead to the 2 and they got a 2 yard td pass with :09 left to pull out the win. WKU did have a 406-357 yard edge.
Indiana won the Old Oaken Bucket and beat Purdue worse than the final score would even indicate as PU got a couple of late scores to “only” lose by 20. PU lost its 10th straight game, its 2nd longest streak in school history. Way back in 1906-’08 they had lost 11 in a row. Tre Roberson made his 4th start of the season and hit 25-37-273 and Nate Sudfeld, who had been the starter for most of the year, hit just 1-1-18. Danny Etling had a good game for PU hitting 33-49-485. It was PU’s worst loss in the series since a 52-7 route back in 1988. It was sealed the Boilermakers’ first winless Big Ten season since 1993. IU went 75/4 and 83/10pl for td’s. The Hoosiers 3rd drive ended on interception at the PU28. PU opted to go for it on 4&13 and got a 25 yard pass down to the 1. They got a 1 yard td on the next play, 14-6. IU went 61/10pl for a td. PU went 56/9pl for a 36 yard FG, 21-9. IU then went 57/7 and 73/7pl for td’s and led 35-9 at half with a 371-154 yard edge. IU opened the 3Q with 80/11 and 82/8pl drives for td’s and led 49-9. PU then took over vs the backups. The Boilermakers went 75/2 and 94/9pl for td’s 49-23. IU got down to the PU4 but was intercepted in the EZ. PU got an 80 yard td pass on the next play and amazingly was only trailing by 19. IU went 76/13pl for a 6 yard td pass, 56-30. PU took over at its 19 with 3:21 left. They converted on 4&1 and then at the end of an 81/13pl drive on 3&7, a 7 yard td pass with 1:00 left, 56-36. Indy recovered the onside kick and got 2 FD’s including a 28 yard pass to the 9 yard line where they ended the game.
Illinois’ Nathan Scheelhaase hit 31-45-307 and Trevor Siemian hit 31-44-414 for Northwestern. NU opened with a 73/13pl drive but settled for a 19 yard FG after 1&gl at the 4. NU took its 2nd drive 70/7pl for a 27 yard td pass, 10-0. Each team punted. UI went 46/10pl and missed a 47 yard FG. UI went 68/8pl and got a 25 yard td pass, 10-7. UI went 54/6pl and got a 1 yard td run, 14-10. NU went 65/9pl and got an 11 yard td pass, 17-14. UI got 3 FD’s but missed a 51 yard FG into the wind with 5:13 left in the half. NU got a 54 yard pass down to the 17 yard line. After 1 FD they faked a FG on 4&gl from the 5 and it fell incomplete with 1:01 left. UI went 3&out and NU got a 22 yard PR to the 31. They got a 22 yard pass to the 9 and on the final play a 26 yard FG allowed them to take a 20-17 lead. At the half NU had a 317-237 yard edge. UI, on the 2nd play of the 3Q, got a 55 yard td run by Josh Ferguson, 24-20. Each team drove for a FG, 27-23, then each team punted. UI punted 66 yards to the 2. NU went 98/11pl and a 23 yard td pass to Rashad Lawrence gave them the lead, 30-27 (14:55). UI got to midfield but was intercepted and NU drove 48/9pl for a td with 8:07 left, 37-27. Two punts. UI went 62/8pl and got an 11 yard td pass with 2:23 left. NU recovered the onside kick, got a FD on 3&6 and took a knee.
Virginia Tech beat Virginia for a 10th straight time but when Duke beat North Carolina, it kept VT out of the ACC title game. VT had 364-285 yard and 21-15 FD edges against Virginia. Logan Thomas hit 13-29-229. David Watford hit 13-23-122. Thomas was sacked 5 times in a defensive struggle. The first 4 possessions of the game were all long drives that ended in short FG’s (22, 36, 30 and 29 yards) and it was tied at 6 with 12:05 left in the 2Q. After each team punted, VT went 67/11pl for a 38 yard FG, 9-6. VT recovered the onside kick at its own 46 but after a FD, Thomas was sacked and fumbled back at his own 34. However, UVA went for it on 4&11 with 1:04 let in the half, a key play and it fell incomplete. VT then went 65/7pl and on 3&10 got a 26 yard td with :21 left in the half to go up 16-7 and take momentum. VT had a 253-165 yard edge. VT was intercepted at the UVA9 with 8:02 left in the 3Q. They had a FD at the 25. The next 6 possessions were punts. UVA got a FD run to midfield but was intercepted on the next play. Two punts. VT took over at its 37 and got 1 FD but went for it on 4&1 and lost 7 yards back to the UVA47. UVA got 2 FD’s to the VT31 but on 4&25 was sacked with :46 left.
This game for Iowa St mirrored their season as they opened up in Big 12 play at 0-7 but looking at a winless Big 12 season in the face, rallied to win their last 2. In this game they opened up trailing 31-7 but somehow, someway, managed to tie the game, force OT and won it there. The key was when they ripped the ball out of WR Kevin White’s hands at the WV33 with 2:46 left setting up their short drive. In the first 6 possessions, West Virginia had a 38/7pl drive for a 49 yard FG and there were 5 punts. ISU was intercepted and WV went 6/2pl for a td, 10-0 (4:16). WV got a 38 yard FR td, 17-0. Each team went on a long td drive, 24-7. ISU went 48/10pl but missed a 42 yard FG. Charles Sims ripped off a 76 yard td run on the next play and WV led 31-7 with 9:05 left in the 2Q. ISU went 64/5pl and got a 10 yard td pass with 7:23 left. WV went 38/10pl and on 4&5 fumbled at its own 48. WV’s next drive ended on a missed 51 yard FG with :32 left in the half. At the half WV had a 296-215 yard edge. ISU went 62/15pl and got a 28 yard FG blocked. With WV up 31-14, poised to put it away on a 1&gl at the 1 yard line, Wendell Smallwood fumbled. ISU would go 99/12pl for a td to get back in, 31-21. WV got a 76 yard td pass, 38-21 with 13:42 left. ISU went 3&out and on 4&17 faked a punt for a FD, another huge play. On 3&14, they got a 62 yard td pass to pull them within 10. WV fumbled at its own 38. ISU, facing a 4&7 where an incompletion would virtually end the game, got a 21 yard pass to the 14, then a 31 yard FG with 4:21 left. WV, on 3&10, was intercepted at its own 33 with 2:46 left. ISU went 33/5pl getting a 3&7, 19 yard td pass to tie it with 1:00 left. WV got 1 FD and on 3&14 a 22 yard pass to midfield but on 3&4 was intercepted at the 1. Each team got a FG in the first OT. Each team got a 26 yard FG in the 2nd OT. ISU got a 25 yard td pass and 2 point conversion. WV got a 22 yard pass to Sims down to the 3 but on 4&gl from the 5, only got to the 2. WV’s Clint Trickett hit 21-37-356 and Grant Rohach for ISU 25-39-331.
Tough loss for Boston College vs Syracuse. With the win SU got to bowl eligibility. Andre Williams came in with over 2,000 yards rushing but on the first play of the 3Q was hurt and out for the rest of the game. He had just 29 yards on 9 carries. Chase Rettig was BC’s top rusher with 85 yards on 4 carries. BC had this game wrapped up but gave up a td with :06 left. Each team punted to open. SU went on a 40/9pl drive but missed a 30 yard FG then went 51/8pl but was SOD on 4&2 on a 2 yard loss. BC went 96/5pl and Williams’ 26 yard td made it 7-0. SU went 75/15pl for a td, 7-7. BC was intercepted at midfield and SU went 50/9pl for a td. After a 23 yard punt by BC, SU went 50/9pl for a td, 21-7. BC went 71/3pl and got a 9 yard td pass, 21-14. At the half SU had a 287-179 yard edge. BC opened the 3Q with a 70/9pl drive and got a 9 yard td pass, 21-21. SU went 51/14pl for a 42 yard FG, 24-21. Two punts. BC took over with 12:38 left and went 78/8pl and got a 1 yard td run by Rettig, 28-24. SU went 49/9pl but opted for a 44 yard FG on 4&8 to pull within 1 with 5:03 left. BC punted but SU was intercepted at its own 22. BC got a FD to the 5 yard line. While I rarely question offensive play calls, BC, on 3&gl from the 7, opted for a pass (which was fine) but the pass was at the sideline. The receiver caught the ball and went OOB. A run there would have allowed them to run the clock. A pass into the EZ would have given them a td. But the pass to the sideline basically saved a Syracuse team with no time-outs :40. BC would get a 21 yard FG with 2:08 left. With those extra :40 in their pocket, the Orange got 5 FD’s to the BC8. They got an 8 yard td pass capping a 75/8pl drive with :06 left. Likely the game would have been over at midfield had they not had the extra :40. BC tried the lateral and lost.
Utah St was playing to wrap up the berth in the MW title game. Wyoming QB Brett Smith, who had a huge game the week before, hit 16-29-162. Darell Garretson for USU hit 20-29 but for just 156. UW, on its 2nd possession, was intercepted and USU went 27/3pl for a td. Five punts. USU, after a 36 yard PR, got 1 FD and was intercepted at the 12. USU got a 64 yard PR td by Bruce Natson, 14-0 (7:30). USU went 82/9pl and got a 1 yard td run, 21-0 (:53). At the half USU had a 148-89 yard edge. The 3Q opened with 4 punts. UW fumbled a punt at its own 10 and USU went 10/3pl for a td. UW went for it on 4&9 and was sacked for a 15 yard loss back to the USU38. USU went 62/9pl for a td with :25 left in the 3Q, 35-0. UW on 3&10 got a 60 yard td pass to break the shutout, 35-7 (13:38). USU fumbled and it was returned 41 yards to the USU6 with 10:48 left, but UW was SOD on 4&8. USU took over with 9:15 left in the game and went 69/17pl getting a FD to the 19 where they took a knee. USU had 310-190 yard and 20-10 FD edges.
Middle Tenn crushed UTEP with 27-14 FD and 629-299 yard edges winning its 5th straight game. HC Rick Stockstill is doing a tremendous job there and they now have B2B seasons of 8 or more victories. Remember, last year they were shutout of a bowl. UTEP got a 42 yard run by Josh Bell to the 31 but punted on 4&16. MT blocked the punt and it only went 8 yards. MT went 71/6pl for a td. UTEP fumbled at its own 42 and MT went 38/6pl for a 21 yard FG. MT went 62/10 and 75/4pl for td’s, 24-0. Each team went on a long td drive, 31-7 (4:20 2Q). MT went 81/12pl and got a 26 yard FG, 34-7. At the half MT had a commanding 397-107 yard edge. MT opened the 3Q with a 75/3pl drive and a 69 yard pass to Kyle Griswould on the 2nd play the key. UTEP went 81/8pl and on 4&2 they got a FD. Nathan Jeffery’s 1 yard td run on the next play made it 41-14 (12:30). MT was intercepted 4pl later at the UTEP25. UTEP got a 48 yard pass and a 41 yard FG on the 52/5pl drive, 41-17. MT went 73/7pl for a td. The final 6 possessions were all punts. Logan Kilgore hit 19-27-325 while Mack Leftwich hit 14-24-122. Both MT Jeremiah Bryson (120) and UTEP’s Jeffery (140) topped 100 yards.
New Mexico St managed to avoid the basement of the Independents. Idaho did not. UI did have a 459-371 yard edge on the road. Andrew McDonald hit 17-27-186 and Taylor Davis 21-41-250 for Idaho. The first 4 possessions were punts. NMSt went 95/8pl for a td. Two punts. UI went 77/6pl for a 56 yard td pass, 7-7 (14:11). UI got 1 FD and punted but faked it for the FD to continue on a 69/13pl drive for a 25 yard FG, 10-7 (7:34). NMSt was sacked and fumbled back at its own 11. UI got a 27 yard FG, 13-7 on a 1 yard drive. NMSt was intercepted at the UI18 with 4:01 left in the half but UI fumbled it back at its 49. On 2&6 for NMSt, McDonald was sacked and fumbled and UI recovered at the NMS33. However, with 1:48 left 1H the Vandals were SOD on 4&3. NMSt went 55/8pl to get a 36 yard FG with :13 left to gain some momentum, 13-10. UI had a 219-166 yard edge at the half. UI punted to open the 3Q and NMSt went 73/9pl for a td and the lead, 17-13. UI went 55/10pl but settled for a 25 yard FG. NMSt went 75/14pl for an 8 yard td run, 24-16 (14:12). UI went 62/10pl but on 3&3 from the 13 was intercepted in the EZ. The Vandals’ next drive went 42/7pl but on 4&5 they were SOD at their own 45. NMSt had a 45 yard FG blocked with 1:30 left and UI took over at its 21. They got 2 FD’s, converted on 4&2 to the NMSt26, added a FD to the 14 but on 4&15 fired incomplete at the end.
Tough loss for TCU. They had a 410-370 yard edge. Baylor got not only 2 interception return td’s but one was a 14 point swing at the end of the 1H with an 82 yard IR with :31 left. At the end of the game, TCU was intercepted in the EZ going for the win. Casey Pachall hit 20-45-267 and Bryce Petty just 19-38-206. Each team went on a long drive for a short FG to open, 3-3. Baylor went 75/13pl for a td and 44/12pl for a 47 yard FG, 13-3 on the first play of the 2Q. TCU went for it on 4&1 at its own 48 and converted and went 63/9pl for a td. Three punts. TCU got a 41 yard PR to the BU21 and on the next play a 21 yard td pass to LaDarius Brown gave them a 17-13 lead with 6:18 left in the half. TCU was at its 32 when Pachall was sacked for a 21 yard loss back to the 11. On the next play the Horned Frogs fumbled and BU recovered at the 1 yard line. BU got a 1 yard td pass a play later to take the lead, 20-17. After each team punted. TCU got to the BU26 yard line, poised to score and retake the lead at the half. Pachall, under pressure, threw a pass. The DB and WR battled for it, but it was Orion Stewart who came up with it, slipped a tackle and raced 82 yards for a td and a stunning 14 point turnaround. BU led 27-17 with :31 left in the half. The turnaround continued. TCU had the ball at midfield but was intercepted by Eddie Lackey who returned it 54 yards untouched for a td. TCU trailed 34-17. TCU went 77/7 and 51/6pl for td’s to get back to 34-31. BU went 70/7pl for a td with 2:25 left in the 3Q. BU was intercepted at the 27 yard line and TCU went 25/2pl for a td to make it 41-38 with 14:53 left. After each team punted, BU went 31/10pl and missed a 32 yard FG. Each team punted. TCU, on 4&15, gained 13 yards to its own 46 with 3:10 left. BU went 3&out punting with 1:34 left. TCU got 4 FD’s to the 23 yard line but Pachall was intercepted in the EZ with :11 left. BU got the win.
Auburn now has me wondering what they are going to do this week to pull out a last second win. Two weeks after the new “Immaculate Deflection” (which set up just the second top 5 Iron Bowl matchup and first since 1971) they trumped that with an even weirder ending to the game. Alabama had a 495-393 yard edge. Here’s a key stat: Bama had 4 FG attempts. Those 4 attempts netted 0 points for Bama and 6 for AU. AJ McCarron hit 17-29-277. AU did run the ball for 296 yards on Bama. Bama opened with a 49/5pl drive but missed a 44 yard FG. After each team punted, AU converted on 3&18 with a 21 yard pass and went 66/7pl for a td. Two punts. Bama went 67/11pl with a 3 yard td pass, 7-7 (11:00). AU got 1 FD and fumbled. Bama went 36/4pl for a td then 56/5pl for a td and led 21-7 with 3:48 left in the half. AU went 81/7pl and got a 1 yard td run with 1:40 left, 21-14. At the half Bama had a 235-191 yard edge. AU opened the 3Q with a 69/9pl drive for a td. Each team punted. Bama started at its own 1. On 3&9 they got a 54 yard pass to Amari Cooper and they would go 83/14pl. They settled for a chipshot 28 yard FG. A false start turned it into a 33 yard FG which Cade Foster missed badly to the left. AU punted and Bama was pinned at its 1 yard line again. McCarron hit Cooper with a 99 yard td pass, 28-21 (10:28). AU, on 4&1, ran for no gain and Bama took over at the AU35 with a chance to put it away. They got 1 FD. A couple of factors probably went into Saban’s decision. First, he had an excellent O-line and running game and second, his FG kicker was struggling. With the chance to make it a 2 score game with 5:34 left, he passed up the FG and went for it and was stuffed at the 13. AU punted and Bama returned the punt 19 yards to the AU25. On 4&12, this time he went for the FG. AU blocked it and recovered at the 20, justifying the lack of a FG try on the previous drive. A personal foul late hit moved it to the 35 with 2:41 left. AU got a pair of FD’s and Nick Marshall appeared to be running the option but then flipped to Sammie Coates on the left sideline who took it 39 yards for a td with :32 left to tie it. Bama got 1 FD. They originally ruled that the time had run out, but after a lengthy review put :01 back on the clock. While Bama was happy at the time, they were unhappy later. Bama did have the wind at their back and brought in Adam Griffith, who normally hits 60 yard FG’s in practice, to let him try a 57 yarder as Foster had already missed 2 FG’s and had a 44 yarder block. Chris Davis caught the FG attempt in the EZ and raced 109 yards almost completely untouched and with a tip-toe dance down the sideline for the td. AU celebrated their Iron Bowl win and berth in the SEC title game. Bama cannot win the National Title this year so their shot at a 3-peat is over.
UTSA was holding out hopes of getting to a bowl game, but that probably ended as 70 teams are eligible for postseason and they would have needed less than the required amount of teams eligible. UTSA did dominate Louisiana Tech with 475-193 yard and 18-13 FD edges. UTSA opened with a 36 yard pass on the first play and on the 3rd play of the game, got a 31 yard td pass. The next 4 possessions were punts. LT went 54/6pl but settled for a 24 yard FG, 7-3. UTSA went 56/6pl and got a 20 yard td run. UTSA went 72/15pl and settled for a 21 yard FG, 17-3 (8:25). LT converted on 4&2 at the UTSA35 but punted with 3:52 left in the half. UTSA was intercepted and returned 26 yards for a td with 1:25 left and it was 17-10 at the half with UTSA having a 238-128 yard edge. LT was SOD on 4&1 at the UTSA34. Two punts. UTSA went 52/6pl and got a 1 yard td run, 24-10 (6:55). After a 32 yard punt, UTSA started at the LT47 and got a big run but fumbled at the 9. UTSA went 71/11pl for a 21 yard FG, 27-10 then went 38/7 for a 37 yard FG, 30-10. LT went 63/10pl but on 4&gl from the 4, fired incomplete with 1:09 left. Eric Soza hit 17-20-271 yards and Scotty Young 13-24-80.
UCLA got its 3rd victory over USC in 15 years and their biggest margin of victory. UCLA had a 396-314 yard edge. I thought coming into the game that UCLA, with 3 frosh OL, would struggle vs USC’s defensive front but the O-line did well as they ran for 188 yards and only allowed 2 sacks. I did not anticipate the Trojans losing 2 of their OL to injury including their C in the 1H and they allowed 6 sacks on the game. The first 4 possessions were punts and USC only got off a 15 yarder setting up UCLA for a 48/7pl drive for a td. UCLA went 80/8pl for a td and USC answered with an 80/11pl drive for a td. UCLA went 36/10pl and on 4&1 was SOD at the USC13. At the half UCLA had a 185-118 yard edge. UCLA opened the 3Q with an 85/9pl drive for a td and USC went 80/7pl for a 22 yard td pass, 21-14. UCLA went 54/8pl for a td, 28-14. USC went 55/10pl and Cody Kessler hit Javorius Allen with a 9 yard pass. As he was running, he shifted the ball in his hands and just fumbled it without being hit. UCLA took over at the 35. Three punts. Kessler was sacked and fumbled back at his own 38 and UCLA tagged on a td with 3:50 left on a 38/4pl drive. Brett Hundley hit 18-27-208 and ran for 80. Kessler hit 17-28-174.
ULM’s Kolton Browning hit 18-28-247 and Louisiana’s Terrance Broadway was injured after hitting 13-27-178. Brooks Haack took over and hit 10-14-126. Things opened well for the Ragin’ Cajuns as they went 68/9 and 53/5pl for td’s on their first 2 possessions, 14-0. ULM went 76/8pl and got a 29 yard td pass. ULM on 3&1 got a 77 yard td by DeVontae McNeal to tie with 10:01 left 2Q. UL went 50/6pl for a 24 yard td pass. Three punts. UL got to the ULM23 but on the last play of the half was intercepted in the EZ and returned 35 yards. At the half UL had a 239-198 yard edge. ULM went 86/11pl. On 2&gl from the 4, they fumbled and recovered back at the 16 but on 3&16, got a 16 yard td pass, 21-20 (xpng). UL got 2 FD’s to the ULM9 yard line on a 51/5pl drive but was intercepted in the EZ. ULM went 80/12pl and got a 4 yard td run by Centarius Donald. The 2 point conversion made it 28-21. UL got 1 FD and was intercepted. ULM went 49/8pl for a 28 yard FG, 31-21. UL went 32/7pl and missed a 48 yard FG and Broadway was hurt. Haack led UL 45/14pl but on 4&17, he fired incomplete at the 41. UL went 80/8pl and got a 25 yard td run with :53 left. ULM recovered the onside kick.
With a win over Texas A&M, Missouri: beat its 4th ranked opponent of the season, reached 11 wins for the 3rd time in school history (the 2nd time under Pinkel), and advanced to the SEC champ game. Last year when these two played, MO had an injury plagued O-line, was without starting QB James Franklin and RB Henry Josey. The Tigers were pounded by A&M trailing 52-10 at one point on the road. Josey had the key play of the game, a 57 yard td run with 4:25 left and Franklin hit 18-28-233. The O-line helped them power to a 463-379 yard edge. Johnny Manziel’s Heisman hopes pretty much ended last week but look even bleaker now as he threw for just 195 yards and rushed for 21. A&M took its 2nd possession 65/10pl for a td, 7-0. There were 5 punts then MO went 94/7pl and on 3&6 got a 38 yard td pass, 7-7. A&M went 75/4pl and got a 32 yard td pass, 14-7 (4:06). MO went 46/13pl but missed a 47 yard FG. At the half A&M had a 226-192 yard edge and Gary Pinkel had just an 11-44 record when trailing at half. MO opened the 3Q with a 75/7pl drive and got a 2 yard td run by Marcus Murphy. MO went 57/8pl and got a 5 yard td pass, 21-14 (6:26). Two punts. A&M took over with 13:34 left and went 98/9pl and got a 7 yard td run by Ben Malena to tie it (10:43). Four punts. MO took over at its 34 with 4:47 left and on 3&1, Josey’s raced up the middle 57 yards for a td with 3:34 left. On 3&7, Manziel threw a pass behind Mike Evans and he was tackled for a 6 yard loss. They punted with 2:01 left. MO got 2 FD’s and ran the clock.
Over the summer Jadeveon Clowney said that Clemson’s Tajh Boyd was scared of South Carolina and Clowney did have a good game including a sack. Boyd hit 19-27-225 but had 2 interceptions. Sammy Watkins threw CU’s other interception. Connor Shaw hit 14-26-152. Steve Spurrier called Shaw the best QB in school history. SC was hoping that Mizzou would lose so they would get into the SEC title game, but that did not happen. SC now owns CU as this was their 5th straight win in the rivalry, although CU leads this series 65-42-4. A 6-0 TO edge was the key here as CU actually had a 352-318 yard edge. Boyd came out firing on the first drive of the game hitting 5-5 and went right down the field 46/7pl but he was intercepted in the EZ. SC went 75/17pl and got a 3 yard td run, 7-0. CU went 75/4pl for a td, 7-7 (2:45). CU fumbled a punt (1st of 2) and SC went 39/5pl for a td, 14-7 (14:54). SC went 65/13pl for a 21 yard FG, 17-7 (8:25). Two punts. CU took over with 3:07 left in the half and went 53/10pl for a 38 yard FG, 17-10. At the half CU had a 204-202 yard edge. SC got a 55 yard KR to open the 2H. They got 1 FD but on 4&1 were SOD at the CU19. Two punts. CU went 88/15pl. On 4&1, offsides gave them a FD and they continued to get a 4 yard td run 3pl later, 17-17 (3:01). SC, on 4&1, had CU jump offsides giving them a FD which was huge. They went 74/11pl for a 2 yard td run, 24-17 (11:47 4Q). CU went 40/8pl and fumbled at the SC30. SC got 1 FD and punted. CU fumbled the punt for a 2nd time and SC went 34/3pl with a 26 yard td pass, 31-17 (3:46). CU was intercepted at its own 43 and intercepted at the SC44 on its final 2 drives.
Joshua Dobbs came into the game with an 0-5 ratio for the season but had 2 td’s and 1 interception and ran 40 yards for a td here vs Kentucky. UK finished winless in the SEC in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1941-’42. Tennessee only had a 417-393 yard edge. UT DE Corey Miller had 4.5 sacks, which broke a school record set by Reggie White back in 1983. Commonwealth Stadium will now undergo a 2 year renovation. On the 2nd play of the game UT got a 60 yard td run by Rajion Neal (14:36). UK went 33/8pl but missed a 53 yard FG. Two punts. UT went 94/7pl and got a 43 yard td pass, 14-0 (:19). UT was intercepted at the UK15 but then drove 44/8pl for a 40 yard td run by Dobbs, 20-0 (5:54). UK went 75/8pl for a td with 1:45 left in the half, 20-7. At the half UT had a 281-190 yard edge. The 3Q opened with 5 punts. UT then went 85/8pl for a 7 yard td pass, 27-7. UK on 4&1 was SOD at the UT1 with :05 left in the 3Q. UT went 88/9 and fumbled at the UK11. Two punts. UK went 99/12pl and got a 14 yard td with 3:41 left, 27-14. UK fumbled at its own 3 with 1:15 left and UT took a knee.
Stanford was playing with legitimate revenge as last year in OT there was a controversial stop of RB Stepfan Taylor in OT which SU disputed. This year SU did have the Pac-12 title game on deck. Both QB’s Kevin Hogan (12-18-158) and Tommy Rees (16-34-199) tossed 2 interceptions. Notre Dame came in a banged up team and not only was missing players on the defensive front 7 but also safeties Elijah Shumate, Eliar Hardy and its starting C. ND opened with a 65/12pl drive but settled for a 21 yard FG. SU went 75/7 and 56/9pl for td’s on its first 2 drives, the 2nd ending with 13:37 to go in the 2Q, 14-3. SU was intercepted at the ND47. Two punts. ND went 44/9pl but again settled for a short FG so each team had 2 long scoring drives but the Irish had a pair of 21 and 27 yard FG’s, SU had 2 td’s and led 14-6. SU got to the ND35 at the end of the half but the Hail Mary fell incomplete. At the half SU had a 213-142 yard edge. SU opened the 3Q with a 76/7pl drive for a td. ND went 65/7pl for a td, 21-13 (7:51). SU went 39/8pl for a 27 yard FG, 24-13 (3:40). ND went 75/8pl and got a 14 yard td pass to get within 4. SU went 55/13pl and got a 28 yard FG to get back up by 7. ND punted with 7:16 left but SU on 3&9 was intercepted at the ND21 from midfield. The Irish got 1 FD but then Rees was intercepted at the SU49 with 5:15 left. SU was stopped on 3&5 only gaining 4 yards, but punted 29 yards to the ND21 with 3:52 left. The Irish got a FD to the 31 but then Rees was intercepted on a deep pass at the SU30. SU got 1 FD and ran the clock.
For the first time since 1986, Arizona and Arizona St entered their rivalry game with both having at least 7 wins. ASU needed to win to wrap up home field edge for the Pac-12 championship game and Todd Graham left no doubt. ASU was playing without its top rusher and scorer, Marion Grice and only finished with a 478-424 yard edge as UA was SOD a couple of times. Taylor Kelly hit 13-25-274 while BJ Denker hit 15-30-175. ASU is trying to get to its first Rose Bowl since the 1996 season. The Territorial Cup is the oldest rivalry trophy in college football dating all the way back to 1899. ASU went 54/13pl for a 38 yard FG. After a 12 yard punt they went 20/6 for a 21 yard FG and led 6-0 (7:06 1Q). ASU went 80/7pl for a td then UA, after a 10pl drive, was SOD on 4&1 at the ASU47. Four plays later DJ Foster’s 14 yard td run put ASU up 20-0. UA was SOD on 4&1 at the ASU45 and intercepted at its own 46 and returned 15 yards. ASU went 31/5pl for a 1 yard td run with a commanding 27-0 lead with 8:04 left in the 2Q. UA went 78/12pl for a 1 yard td run then went 46/5pl and missed a 42 yard FG with 1:23 left. ASU went 69/6pl for a 23 yard FG with :11 left in the half to lead 30-7 with a 314-211 yard edge. UA went 75/7pl for a td to pull within 30-14 but ASU iced the game when Damarious Randall intercepted a pass and returned it 64 yards for a td, 37-14. Two punts. UA went 68/5pl for a td, 37-21 then ASU went 75/4pl for a td, recovered a fumble on the KO and went 31/6pl for a td to lead 51-21 with 13:17 left. ASU tacked on a 1 yard td run with 5:57 left for the final.
UNLV had a good situational edge vs San Diego St. They were at home, playing in their home finale and the previous 2 weeks had a bye and a Thursday night game vs Air Force so had extra time to prepare. SDSt, meanwhile, was off a home finale upset win over Boise St and now had to travel. Caleb Herring hit 20-30-270 for UNLV and his 5 td passes tied a school record which surprises me because Randall Cunningham was a UNLV QB. SDSt opened with a 69/2pl drive for a td. UNLV went 65/8pl for a td then after an interception went 22/6pl but missed a 23 yard FG. The Aztecs went for it on 4&5 at the UNLV22 because they had no confidence in their kicker and they were SOD. UNLV went 78/6pl for a td then 86/6pl for another, 21-7 (5:30). SDSt was SOD on 4&1 at its own 46 and UNLV, 6pl later, had a 50 yard FG, 24-7 (1:09). SDSt got to the UNLV28 but fired incomplete on the final play of the half. At the half UNLV had a 246-196 yard edge. UNLV opened the 3Q with a 67/6pl drive and a 5 yard td run, 31-7 (11:36). SDSt went 55/9pl but was intercepted at the 15 and returned 22 yards. SDSt went 59/11pl for a td, 31-13 (xpng). UNLV then went 48/6pl to get a 32 yard td pass. After SDSt was SOD on 4&1 at its own 22, UNLV got another td four plays later to ice it, 45-13 (11:38). Neither threatened after that although SDSt did return a punt 71 yards for a td (2ptng) with 7:17 left.
Boise St was playing in its home finale hoping Utah St would lose so they could get to the MW title game. New Mexico, despite coming in without its starting QB and RB, put up a good fight. The Lobos were only outgained 432-362, the FD’s were even (19) and this was closer than the 45-17 score. Boise did get a 64 yard pass to Jay Ajayi down to the 1 yard line on the 2nd play to jump out to a 7-0 lead, but NM, after a 31 yard punt, went 33/5pl for a td to tie it at 7. BS got a 33 yard PR to the NM15 and a td on the next play, 14-7. NM went 73/11pl but was SOD on 4&gl at the 1. BS went 99/14pl and on 3&14, got a 29 yard td pass, 21-7 (7:16). NM was intercepted at the BS40 on its next drive and the game went to the half, 21-7 with Boise only having a 216-164 yard edge. NM went 51/7pl for a 42 yard FG, 21-10 (11:25). BS went 92/5pl for a 18 yard td, 28-10 (9:30). BS then went 72/8pl for a 24 yard td pass, 35-10 (14:22). NM got a td with 4:48 left and BS returned the onside kick to the NM14 and added a 23 yard FG with 2:42 left. NM’s final drive ended on a fumble at the BS28.
Hawaii had a 608-406 yard edge vs Army. They jumped out to a 28-7 halftime lead but then Army tied this one at 28. UH avoided their 2nd winless season in school history. Tragically, RB Willis Wilson drowned on a beach on Saturday morning so the team played with some heavy hearts. Army fumbled on its opening drive and UH went 54/5pl for a td (12:14). UH went 74/7pl for a td, 14-0 (8:23). Army was SOD at its own 34 on 4&1 but UH, on 3&8 from the 13, was intercepted in the EZ for a TB. Army went 80/13pl for a 6 yard td run, 14-7 (14:40). UH went 80/11pl and 42/6pl, the 2nd on 4&gl at the 1 Joey Iosefa got a 1 yard td pass to Harold Moleni, 28-7 on a HB option. UH’s next drive went 10pl but a 51 yard FG was short with 2:07 left in the half. At the half Army had a 332-135 yard edge. UH fumbled to open the 3Q and AJ Schurr came in at QB for Army. They went 28/5pl for a td, recovered the onside kick, went 38/3pl for a td then 68/7pl. Shurr’s 1 yard td run was his 3rd td in 5:21, 28-28 (7:20). UH went 80/5pl for a td then 76/7pl for a td, 42-28. Army went 75/6pl and got an 11 yard td run, 42-35 (15:00). UH went 75/13pl for a 6 yard td run to go up 49-35 (10:54). Army fumbled at the 48 but then drove 84/11pl for a td with 2:30 left. UH recovered the onside kick, got 1 FD and punted with :13 left. Army started at its 5 and only got to the 18.
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.