College Football News and Notes Week 7

Re: College Football News and Notes Week 7

Georgia LB Miller doubtful after injuring calf during agility drills
October 10, 2007

Associated Press

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Georgia linebacker Brandon Miller is doubtful for Saturday's game's against Vanderbilt because of a calf injury.

Miller hurt his calf during agility drills this week, coach Mark Richt said after Wednesday's practice.

If Miller can't play, the 24th-ranked Bulldogs will likely start redshirt freshman Akeem Dent at strongside linebacker, with Dannell Ellerbe in the middle and either Darius Dewberry or freshman Rennie Curran at the weakside spot.

Dent has made one start, in a win over Western Carolina when he tied for the team lead with six tackles. Curran earned a shot at more playing time by making seven tackles in a loss to Tennessee last weekend.

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Who's Alabama's starting tailback? Who knows?
October 10, 2007

Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Glen Coffee knows how quickly the playing rotation can change for Alabama's tailbacks.

At the top one moment, a benchwarmer the next. It's why Coffee isn't taking anything for granted leading up to Saturday's game at Mississippi even after his first 100-yard game for the Crimson Tide.

"I'm grateful. But with us, I could get five carries next week," said Coffee, who gained 121 yards on 30 attempts against Houston. "That's just what they felt like needed to happen for us to win the game. Our carries can change dramatically week to week and we're cool with that."

Just ask Terry Grant. He was the Southeastern Conference freshman of the week following each of the first three games, but had only three carries against Houston.

Coach Nick Saban said that's not a knock on Grant, either.

"Terry's not having any troubles," Saban said. "You guys (reporters) have it in your mind that one guy has to do bad for another guy to do good, and that's not the case.

"It's a case of somebody's doing good so he gets some opportunites and he takes advantage of them."

Who will start against Ole Miss? Who knows?

Coffee said he wasn't informed he would make his first career start last weekend until pre-game warmups.

He said that he, Grant and Roy Upchurch don't have any problem with the ever-evolving pecking order.

"It's definitely positive," Coffee said. "It pushes us to the max every practice, every play. Competition is great for everybody. The only bad competition is when you have selfish players and none of us are selfish. It's good."

He said Grant is handling the situation well.

"He's not selfish, so he's fine with it," said Coffee, who said the three tailbacks are good friends. "You can tell when somebody is thinking about something or something is getting somebody down. But Terry, we're all too cool to even have any bit of jealousy. He's fine."


ON THE LINE:
For the second straight week, family concerns could force a shuffling of the offensive line.

Left guard Justin Britt missed practice the last three days because his mother was in the hospital after an accident over the weekend.

Right guard Marlon Davis sat out the Houston game after missing two days of practice because of a death in the family.

In his absence, backup center Evan Cardwell started while Antoine Caldwell replaced Davis.

It's a combination Saban said the Tide could use again if needed. It could be needed this week.

"It's an option for us in the future because (Cardwell) did a pretty good job in the game," Saban said. "Antoine did a good job at guard, too."

Cardwell had extra motivation not to be caught unprepared if pressed into a starting role. He was a freshman when center JB Closner broke his leg late in the 2005 season, and with him out the Tide allowed 11 sacks against Auburn.

"We all had to move up, and some of the guys weren't ready to move up," Cardwell said. "I learned a good lesson on that, just be prepared always."


WALLACE'S SACKS: Defensive end Wallace Gilberry has been talking two or three times a week to former Tennessee and NFL lineman Chuck Smith.

Smith's advice was helpful when Gilberry went the first five games without a sack.

"He has been telling me that you can't really go out and look for the big games, it's going to happen," Gilberry said. "Sacks come in bunches, and I am a firm believer in that."

Especially now that he picked up his first and second of the season against Houston.

"I need to try to get more," Gilberry said.

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Gamecocks' CB out after injury in practice
October 10, 2007

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Coach Steve Spurrier says South Carolina starting cornerback Carlos Thomas probably won't play against North Carolina this week after experiencing some numbness after he got "bonked on the head" at practice.

Spurrier says Thomas was taken to a hospital and had some numbness in his arms at practice Tuesday.

Spurrier says Thomas has been released but is wearing a neck brace.

With Thomas out, Spurrier says the seventh-ranked Gamecocks would go with reserves Brandon Isaac, Addison Williams and Chris Hail.

Thomas is a junior from College Park, Georgia.

He has started five of South Carolina's six games this season and leads the Gamecocks with five pass break ups.

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Miami LB McCarthy to miss GT game
October 11, 2007

Associated Press

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Miami linebacker Colin McCarthy will miss the Hurricanes' game Saturday against Georgia Tech with a concussion.

McCarthy, the Hurricanes' third-leading tackler, was injured last week at North Carolina. Darryl Sharpton will move to middle linebacker and Tavares Gooden will fill McCarthy's spot in Miami's starting lineup.

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UK RB Little still questionable for LSU game
October 11, 2007

Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky running back Rafael Little has shown little progress in recovering from a deep thigh bruise and his status for Saturday's game against No. 1 Louisiana State remains undetermined, Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said Thursday.

"He's still very questionable," Brooks said, placing Little in the same category as starting outside linebacker Johnny Williams. "We've got 48 hours. We'll just have to wait and see if they make any significant progress."

Brooks said Little's injury is particularly nagging to a running back.

"With a thigh bruise you get bleeding, you get swelling and it restricts your movement with your knee," Brooks said. "That's a problem. He does not have full function of the knee at this point."

With Little's status up in the air, Brooks said wide receivers Keenan Burton, Dicky Lyons Jr. and DeMoreo Ford likely will return kick-offs and punts.

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College Football Power Rankings: The Ferringo 15
by Robert Ferringo

Polls and rankings can be a gambler's best friend when it comes to wagering on large groups of vicious and volatile college students, the type that paint their faces, don high density polyurethane shells, and assemble each week to thrash each other on the gridiron. Polls and rankings set the general consensus on how strong a certain team is, regardless of Truth, and that makes them a tool for exploiting a misinformed betting public.

But this ranking system is going to work a little differently. We have enough rampant conjecture across the nation in regards to college football so I have set out to provide my faithful readers with some info that should enrich their gambling lives. The result: the Ferringo 15.

The Ferringo 15 is my Profit-Power Rankings, a ladder or hierarchy based on which teams are the most profitable on the field. I'm not trying to give you some other convoluted, random, speculative power rankings based on my own biases. So instead of Ohio State moving up or down the polls on the basis of how badly they blew out Northwestern the previous Saturday I'm going to rank each team based on past, present, and projected future achievement against the spread.

Below I've listed teams that have been and hopefully will continue to be the most profitable teams for bettors this season. It's still early in the season so there will likely be a lot of fluctuation from week to week. But after we've had some time to get the lay of the land these rankings will be buttressed by solid, visceral performance.

If you only count Notre Dame's upset over UCLA as one strike against it, the Ferringo 15 posted a 7-6 mark last week to run its record to 35-22 ATS on the season. Considering that these teams are posted independent of matchups, that's a pretty solid 61.4-percent clip on the year. I'll take it! So without further ado, here is our Week 7 version of the Ferringo 15:

1) Cincinnati (5-0) - The word on our boys is out. The Bearcats outmuscle an overrated Rutgers team last week and now the bandwagon may be full. I mean, if I told you at the beginning of the year that Cincy would be laying double digits to Louisville when the Cardinals came to town you would have thought I was higher than Travis Henry. Be wary of this game: a lot of people are sleeping on what is still a decent UL squad.

2) South Florida (3-1)
- It's not a coincidence that our top two teams are both from the Big East given that it has been the most underrated conference in the country over the past few years at the expense of duds like the ACC and Big Ten. This week they have a big one against a sneaky good Central Florida squad and don't want to be caught looking ahead to a key revenge game next Thursday against Rutgers.

3) South Carolina (4-1) - It's tough to claim that a Top 10 team is underrated. But if this team had Auburn, Georgia, or Alabama on its chest it would be mentioned in national title contention. I mean, for most of this week they've been laying less than a touchdown against a pathetic North Carolina team. The Gamecocks are 6-2 ATS in nonconference games since the start of 2005.

4) Illinois (4-1) - Speed kills. Especially in the Big Ten. The Illini scored a monster victory, cashing in on as our top play last week as well as Doc's College Football Game of the Year. Good times. But after three straight decisive conference wins, and with a home game against Michigan on deck, this weekend's trip to Iowa City is a potential landmine. Illinois has lost four straight in this series by an average of 22 points. Red flags, anyone?

5) Kansas (4-0) - Rock, chalk, Jayhawk. Kansas has officially thrown its hat into the ring for the Big 12 crown. But can they sustain the momentum? They've never finished in the top half of the North and their best conference record was just 3-5, but suddenly they're 25-point favorites at home to Baylor. Don't know if I'm buying that. Especially in a series where four of the last five meetings have been decided by a TD or less.

6) Missouri (4-0) - We were in a similar situation with South Florida last week. After dominating Nebraska 41-6 in one of the Tigers' biggest wins in recent memory their value has never been higher. Therefore, it's likely time to sell. You all know about my Chase Daniels man-crush, but the Sooners controlled him last year and I think they are set to do it again this season.

7) Arizona State (5-1) - Remember all the uproar from Dennis Erickson bailing on Idaho? Well, I know a group of people that aren't disappointed by the move: everyone that's been cleaning up on the Sun Devils. ASU has won and covered in three straight against the Huskies but I'd be very wary about laying double digits to a Washington team that's already faced, and played tough against, two Top 5 teams.

8) Anyone Playing Notre Dame (4-2) - Uh-oh. Our bet-against-the-Irish-at-all-cost system is losing steam. Well, kind of. They had a fluky backdoor cover against Purdue, followed by a stunning win as a huge dog against UCLA, courtesy of seven turnovers. So is Notre Dame back? Negative. They are 1-3 ATS in their last four against Boston College and I think that the Eagles will make a statement.

9) Boston College (4-1) - Oh, speaking of which, nice to see the Eagles actually do have a team. After two weeks off - well, they slept through wins over Army and UMass - they bombed Bowling Green to show that they haven't lost the killer instinct. Now all I need to be convinced that this is a true BCS dark horse is a convincing win in South Bend.

10) Oregon (4-1) - The Ducks have had two weeks to stew about their blown opportunity against Cal, so their psyche coming out of a bye week is crucial. They're taking on a Wazzou team they should bomb, but they are 1-3 ATS against the Cougars lately and the visitor has won five of seven in this series.

11) Duke (5-1) - Don't break up the Blue Devils!!! Their offense continues to be one of the surprises in the ACC, scoring just enough to sneak in the back door while managing to lose. It's a beautiful combo. The public sees another pathetic 1-5 Duke team while I see a cash cow. Don't question it - just go with it!

12) Oklahoma (4-2) - Two disappointing performances in the past two weeks can be erased with a blowout win over Missouri, which may be set up for a fall after their blowout win over Nebraska. OU smacked the Tigers, 26-10, last year in Columbia. This is a better Sooners team and a weaker Tigers defense, and Oklahoma has lost exactly two games against the B12 North in the last eight years. Seems like an easy call to me.

13) Kentucky (4-1) - Exposed. That's exactly what happened to the Wildcats last Thursday. The trouble is, I don't know how much value is left here. They are extremely soft up front and with the SEC heavyweights on deck I don't know if they can get the stops to beat any of them. But the public loves offense, so they'll continue to back.

14) Purdue (3-2 ATS)
- I'm giving the Boilermakers one more week to hang around in the Ferringo 15 (and when I say that the teams usually bomb ATS the following Saturday) because I think they have a chance to beat Michigan in the Big House. Purdue runs the same spread offense that's torn up the Wolverines twice this year. The trouble is that they've lost 16 straight in Ann Arbor and haven't won there since before Woodstock. Other than that I think they're all set.

15) UTEP (4-1) - Let me preface this by saying that the Miners are the most garbage team in the country. Seriously, they are awful. Yet, they find ways to win and to cover. They were outgained by nearly 200 yards in a win over New Mexico. They overcame a 21-point deficit at SMU to win in overtime. And they scored with less than a minute to play to top Tulsa. Unreal. But they continue to cash and have a big "STAY AWAY" sign on them from this capper.

Others receiving votes: Indiana (4-1), Central Florida (3-2), Troy (4-2), Ball State (4-2), Connecticut (2-1), Colorado (4-2).

Dropped out: UCLA (3-2).

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College Trap Game Report
by T.O. Whenham

There may be nothing more frustrating than the trap game. By simple definition, a trap game is one where a team is looking past their current opponent towards the one they will be playing the next week. In those cases, the team may not be as prepared or as focused as they should be, and they may not cover like they should. It's frustrating as a football handicapper to come to a conclusion that a team is a legitimate bet, and then to have them fail to cover not because of what the other team did, but what they failed to do. It only makes sense, then, that it's good for the bottom line if we can identify trap games and avoid them (or at least consider how we are going to deal with them).

How big of a problem are trap games? One study I found online, though not perfect, was very revealing. The study looked at the 2004-2006 NFL seasons. It identified trap games as one in which the line in the middle game of a three game set was at least seven points higher than the other two games. Say that a team had lines in three games of -4, -13, and -2. Looking back we could identify that middle game as a trap game because the team was clearly facing an inferior opponent that they would expect to beat easily. This isn't useful as a handicapping technique because you need the benefit of hindsight, but the results are nonetheless fascinating. The favorites in those trap games had a straight up record of 84-43. Against the spread they were disastrous - 53-72-2. That means the teams covered just 42.5 percent of the trap games they played. Betting on them in those cases would be a quick route to bankruptcy. By itself this study tells us little because of the impossibility of applying the criteria to current games, but it does indicate that there is something to the theory of trap games.

On a practical level, the perfect example of a trap game happened this past Monday night. Dallas, by far the class of the NFC, was in Buffalo playing a team near the bottom of the league in both offense and defense. Six days after that game loomed New England, likely the best team in the league. Dallas was favored by 10.5 points, but they sure didn't play like it. They needed one of the most bizarre finishes in recent football history to pull off a one-point miracle win, and they obviously didn't come close to covering. The public heavily backed Dallas, which left a lot of unhappy, and poorer, bettors.

With that in mind, let's set out to find ourselves some trap games this week. Finding the games is an imprecise science that requires as much feel as it does statistics, but here are the games that strike me as potential problems:

Baylor (+26) at Kansas (Saturday, Oct. 13, 12:30 p.m.) - After a big win over Kansas State the Jayhawks are undefeated and suddenly relevant. Nebraska has faltered, so the Big 12 North is wide open. There are three teams that are undefeated in conference play. Kansas plays Missouri to end the season, and plays the surprising Colorado Buffaloes next week. Before they get there, though, they have to play the lackluster Baylor Bears. A team that is unaccustomed to success, as Kansas is, is a prime candidate to look past this easy game.

Central Florida (+11.5) at South Florida (Saturday, Oct. 13, 12:00 p.m.) - South Florida has been thrust onto the national stage much faster than most people expected. A disastrous season by Louisville, a loss by Rutgers, and their victory over West Virginia has suddenly put South Florida in the driver's seat for the Big East Championship. Beyond Central Florida lies Rutgers, and a win could put South Florida closer to the title, and further into the public conscience. This game doesn't purely fit the definition of a trap game because they played Florida Atlantic last week after West Virginia the week before, but the potential for a letdown here is still strong. Central Florida showed what they can do to an unfocused team when they almost upset Texas.

Washington (+11.5) at Arizona State (Saturday, Oct. 13, 10:15 p.m.) - Dennis Erickson has the hapless Sun Devils suddenly believing that they know how to play. Everyone knew that Erickson would bring the team around, since he usually does, but this is sooner than most expected. A win here would bring Arizona State undefeated at 7-0 into a huge matchup at home against No. 2-ranked Cal, and a win there would make Arizona State very relevant nationally, and in the forefront of the Pac-10 title race. Washington is slumping and one-dimensional on offense around Jake Locker, so Arizona State could easily be thinking about 7-0 when they are still one win away.

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Inside the Boxscores - Part I
By Matt Fargo
VegasInsider.com

Inside the Boxscores is a weekly feature from Matt Fargo that has been widely recognized as one of the best summations in college football. He takes an in-depth look at each game and pulls out the most pertinent information that will help you handicap games in the future. College football is filled with quirky plays, misleading scores and surprise endings. Fargo takes you inside the action.

MEMPHIS 24 Marshall 21

The Marshall defense was able to hold the Tigers to three field goals on their three scores in the first half but the offense was too mistake prone in the second half to take advantage. The Herd scored a touchdown on their opening possession of the half but fumbled at the Memphis 23-yard line and then turned it over on downs at the Memphis 16-yard line in their next two possessions. A late touchdown provided the push.

Rice 31 SOUTHERN MISS 29


Rice jumped ahead to a big early lead but had to hang on after a Southern Mississippi 4th quarter rally. The Golden Eagles trailed by 24 points heading into the final quarter and put up three touchdowns but missed the final two-point conversion that would have tied it. Turnovers did Southern Mississippi in early as it had seven in total, leading to 24 Owls points and the easy cover by 22.5 points. The Golden Eagles outgained Rice 422-236.
   
(7) SO CAROLINA 38 (17) Kentucky 23

Kentucky outgained the Gamecocks 384-342 but two of South Carolina’s first three touchdowns came on fumble returns as it built a 14-point lead that the Wildcats could not recover from. In total Kentucky had four turnovers and the lone interception killed a scoring drive as well. Kentucky’s defense held the Gamecocks to 86 yards rushing on 36 carries (2.4 ypc) but it mattered none as South Carolina easily covered the number.

Utah 44 LOUISVILLE 35

Utah outgained the Cardinals 582-493 as it jumped out to a 21-0 lead but still had to hold off Louisville. The Cardinals pulled to within six points late in the fourth quarter after back-to-back touchdowns but Utah recovered the onsides kick and tacked on the clinching field goal. Louisville punted on six of its first seven drives and a turnover on downs at the start of the fourth quarter at the Utes eight-yard line was costly.

(20) Kansas 30 KANSAS STATE 24


Kansas threw an interception in its first play of the game and then another interception midway through the fourth quarter provided the Wildcats with a short field for their go ahead score. However, the Jayhawks scored a touchdown on their next possession and then intercepted Kansas St. on its final two possessions of the day. Kansas held the Wildcats to 53 yards rushing on 21 carries (2.5 ypc) as it grabbed the outright cover.

(18) ILLINOIS 31 (19) Wisconsin 26

Wisconsin outgained the Illini 519-410 but two costly interceptions in the fourth quarter did the Badgers in. Wisconsin got into Illinois territory in five of its first six possessions but came away with only six points basically wasting 236 yards of offense. All four of the Illini’s touchdown drives were of 71 yards or more as they finished with 289 yards rushing on 44 carries (6.6 ypc) and covered the spread by 2.5 points.

Northwestern 48 MICHIGAN STATE 41

It took overtime to decide this wild game and it was Northwestern who almost blew a chance to pull out the win. The Wildcats drove 63 yards in less than two minutes but missed a field goal at the end of regulation. They got the ball first in overtime and scored on two plays while the defense forced four incomplete passes by the Spartans to end it. Northwestern finished with 611 yards of offense including 520 yards through the air.

INDIANA 40 Minnesota 20

Indiana broke open a tie game at the end of the first quarter by scoring 19 unanswered points to pull away. The Hoosiers scored on their first seven possessions but the final four of those were field goals as the game could have been more out of reach. Indiana used a balanced attack of 228 yards rushing and 235 yards passing as it won TOP battle by over 10 minutes. A late touchdown provided an eight-point cover for the Hoosiers.

(8) West Virginia 55 SYRACUSE 14

West Virginia held the Orange to 202 total yards while the offense put up 486 yards and cruised to an easy win. The Mountaineers grabbed an interception on the third play of the game and turned it into a touchdown. Syracuse responded to tie the game but West Virginia scored the next 34 points and then put up two scores in the fourth quarter to provide the two-touchdown cover. The Mountaineers were 7-7 inside the redzone.

(4) BOSTON COLLEGE 55 Bowling Green 24

Bowling Green struck first with a field goal and then pulled to within four points midway through the second quarter before it all fell apart. The Falcons threw interception on their next five possessions including four in a span of 11 plays and the Eagles capitalized with 24 points off those turnovers including two returns for scores. Bowling Green was only outgained by six total yards but missed the cover by 12 points.

MARYLAND 28 Georgia Tech 26

Maryland looked to be in control as it jumped ahead 21-3 but the Yellow Jackets scored on four straight second half possessions and had a chance to win on the fifth but missed a long field goal with under a minute remaining. Georgia Tech outgained the Terrapins 484-343 and was in Maryland territory in its last nine possessions but a fumble at the Maryland 28-yard line along with another missed field goal ended up costly.

NORTH CAROLINA 33 Miami-Florida 27

North Carolina jumped ahead 27-0 at halftime but had to hold off a ferocious Hurricanes rally to pull out the win. Miami scored 20 points in the third quarter and it was poised to pull within six early in the fourth quarter, but the Tar Heels picked off a pass at their own eight-yard line, the last of four interceptions on the day. Miami scored late but could not recover the onsides kick as North Carolina hung on and covered as a home dog.

Central Michigan 58 BALL STATE 38

Central Michigan racked up 658 yards of offense and never trailed. The Chippewas jumped ahead 14-0 but the Cardinals returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, the closest it would get on the day. Ball St. scored touchdowns on three of its last four possessions but by then the game was well decided. The Cardinals had only 165 total yards up to that point as Central Michigan covered by 32 points.

MICHIGAN 33 Eastern Michigan 22

Despite getting outgained 459-304, Eastern Michigan covered by 17 points and was in this game for the majority until the Wolverines scored the final 17 points of the third quarter for some breathing room. The Eagles finished with four turnovers which led to 10 points and they got into Michigan territory on only three of their first 13 possessions. Michigan’s average starting field position was its own 41-yard line.

(22) AUBURN 35 Vanderbilt 7

Auburn outgained the Commodores 404-221 as the offense scored touchdowns on its first three possessions while the defense forced Vanderbilt to punt on its first six possessions. Over half of the Commodores total yards came in their final two drives, one which went for their lone touchdown. The Tigers easily covered the touchdown spread and their only blemish was committing 11 penalties on the day.

BUFFALO 31 Ohio U 10

This game was still up in the air in the fourth quarter but the Bobcats threw an interception at the Buffalo 27 yard-line and then turned it over on downs on their next three possessions. The Bulls outgained Ohio 397-276 including 251 yards rushing compared to 90 yards on the ground for the Bobcats. Buffalo has six drives of eight plays or more while covering the spread by 25 points.

Wake Forest 41 DUKE 36

Duke jumped ahead 9-0 before the Demon Deacons ran off 34 consecutive points in what looked like a Wake Forest rout. However, the Blue Devils did not give up as they scored the next 20 points to pull within five early in the fourth quarter. Duke was driving again to take the lead but was stopped on fourth down and Wake Forest tacked on another score. The Blue Devils scored late for the backdoor cover.

TEMPLE 16 Northern Ill 15

Temple outgained the Huskies 352-259 but needed a field goal with nine seconds remaining to pull out its first win of the season. The Owls went ahead by a touchdown in the third quarter before Northern Illinois retook the lead but missed an extra point which ended up being the difference. Temple covered as three-point home dogs and won despite committing 12 penalties for 127 yards.

OLE MISS 24 Louisiana Tech 0

Mississippi shut out the Bulldogs despite getting outgained 301-232. The Rebels scored their first touchdown off a fumble two plays into the game and scored their final touchdown on a blocked field goal return. Louisiana Tech also committed 13 penalties for 117 yards and it was inside the Mississippi 40-yard line seven times but came away with no points. Mississippi doubled up the spread in its first shutout since 2003.

WYOMING 24 T-C-U 21

Wyoming did its best to blow a 24-6 lead and ended up with a push. The Cowboys botched a fourth down play to set up a late touchdown for the Horned Frogs. Wyoming then went three and out giving TCU another chance which it almost converted but a 48-yard field goal was missed as time expired. The Horned Frogs were in Wyoming territory in five of their first six possessions but came away with only three points.

MISS STATE 30 U-A-B 13

UAB took a lead into the fourth quarter but Mississippi St. scored three touchdowns in the final period to pull out the win but missed the cover by a half-point. The Bulldogs took a 10-point lead with back-to-back touchdowns and then sealed the deal by returning an interception for a touchdown on the very next play from scrimmage. UAB finished with only 11 first downs as it committed 10 penalties.

Miami-Ohio 20 KENT STATE 13

Kent outgained Miami 463-411 but it fumbled once at the RedHawks 24-yard line and then was stopped on fourth down at the one-yard line on its final possession that could have tied the game. The Golden Flashes also committed 10 penalties for 110 yards. Miami was held to 16 first downs and 101 yards rushing but went 4-4 inside the redzone and covered outright as eight-point underdogs.

ALABAMA 30 Houston 24

Alabama scored 23 first quarter points as it gained 231 yards but had only 116 total yards the rest of the way. The Cougars pulled to within six points with two fourth quarter touchdowns but threw interceptions on their final two possessions including a pick in the Alabama endzone as time expired. Houston won the yardage battle 404-347 but the turnovers were the difference despite covering by 4.5 points.

(6) Oklahoma 28 (23) TEXAS 21

Oklahoma forced two critical turnovers including a fumble at the four-yard line by the Longhorns in the first possession of the second half which would have given them the lead. After forcing a punt on the next drive, Oklahoma scored on the next play with a 65-yard touchdown run. Texas finished with 61 yards rushing on 29 carries (2.1 ypc) but still managed to cover the game by five points.

PENN STATE 27 Iowa 7


Penn St. dominated from start to finish as it held the Hawkeyes to just 194 total yards and eight first downs. 86 of those yards came on the lone Iowa touchdown drive as the Hawkeye’s longest drive in 10 possessions prior to that was 18 yards, all resulting in punts. Penn St. did miss a field goal and turned it over three times in Iowa territory as the scoring margin and cover could have been much more.

(25) TENNESSEE 35 (24) Georgia 14

Tennessee scored touchdowns on four of its first five possessions and the defense forced the Bulldogs to punt on each of their seven first half possessions. Georgia gained only 42 total yards in the first half and finished the game with just 69 yards rushing on 25 carries (2.8 ypc). The Bulldogs did score on its first second half possession but Tennessee responded with another score and easily covered as a one-point home dog.

(21) FLORIDA STATE 27 NC State 10

Florida St. broke a 10-10 tie by returning an interception for a touchdown in the third quarter and shutout out the Wolfpack in the second half. The Seminoles outgained NC State 381-268 but they missed two field goals in the first half that killed 98 yards of offense. The Wolfpack finished with only 83 yards in the second half but were still able to cover the number by a point.

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Inside the Boxscores - Part 2
By Matt Fargo
VegasInsider.com

Inside the Boxscores is a weekly feature from Matt Fargo that has been widely recognized as one of the best summations in college football. He takes an in-depth look at each game and pulls out the most pertinent information that will help you handicap games in the future. College football is filled with quirky plays, misleading scores and surprise endings. Fargo takes you inside the action.

(5) South Florida 35 FLA ATLANTIC 23

South Florida had four turnovers but only one of those led to points for the Owls. Florida Atlantic missed out on several opportunities as it got inside the Bulls 30-yard line four times in the first half but missed three field goals and turned it over on downs once. The Owls were down by five late with the ball but were stopped on fourth down at their own 21-yard line setting up the Bulls last touchdown. They still covered by five points.

OREGON STATE 31 Arizona 16

Oregon St. jumped out to a 31-3 lead and never looked back. The Beavers held Arizona to 231 total yards including nine yards rushing on 27 carries (0.3 ypc) while the defense also returned an interception for a touchdown. The Wildcats lone touchdown also came on an interception return. Oregon St. did not cross midfield in the second half but by then the game was well decided as it covered by 12 points.

(14) Arizona State 23 WASHINGTON ST 20

Washington St. outgained the Sun Devils 451-296 and had a chance to tie the game but missed a 46-yard field goal with 12 seconds remaining. Washington St. was up by seven points midway through the third quarter and driving but Arizona St. picked off a pass and returned it 69 yards for a touchdown. The Cougars also turned it over on downs at the Sun Devils 23-yard line late in the third quarter but still managed to cover by six points.

SAN JOSE ST 28 Idaho 20

San Jose St. outgained the Vandals 436-251 but needed two late turnovers to secure the win and half-point cover. The Spartans had a 22-point lead early in the fourth quarter but Idaho was able to block a punt in the endzone for a touchdown and then got the ball back to score again to pull within eight points. The Vandals got possession two more times but threw interceptions both times on the first play of the drive.

Fresno State 49 NEVADA 41

Nevada outgained the Bulldogs 702-475 but had two costly fumbles. The Wolf Pack fumbled in the Fresno St. endzone that resulted in a touchback and also fumbled at their own 17-yard line. Fresno St. scored on a punt return and also blocked a field goal and ran it back for a touchdown. Nevada trailed by 29 points heading into the fourth quarter but put up three touchdowns however the Bulldogs still covered as three-point dogs.

San Diego St 24 COLORADO STATE 20

San Diego St. rallied three times including scoring the game-winning touchdown with just 43 seconds remaining. The Rams grabbed the lead prior to that thanks to an 86-yard touchdown drive but the Aztecs responded with an 80-yard drive of their own. Colorado St. had one last shot and drove down to the San Diego St. 42-yard line as time expired. The Aztecs covered outright at 12.5-point underdogs.

(12) Virginia Tech 41 CLEMSON 23

This was a very misleading final score as Clemson outgained the Hokies 380-219. Virginia Tech’s first three touchdowns came on an interception return, a punt return and a kickoff return. The Hokies accumulated 100 of those 219 yards on their final two drives of the game. Clemson was held to eight yards rushing on 23 carries (0.3 ypc) as Virginia Tech covered the number by 23.5 points.

TEXAS TECH 42 Iowa State 17

The Red Raiders outgained Iowa St. 489-287 and the game was not even as close as the score indicates. The Cyclones picked up 112 of those yards on their final two drives of the game in garbage time. Texas Tech fumbled at the Iowa St. eight-yard line in the first half and also turned it over on downs at the Cyclones two-yard line in its first possession of the second half. Nonetheless, the Red Raiders covered by a point.

Stanford 24 (10) U-S-C 23

This was the biggest upset since 1960 as the Cardinal covered and won outright as 39-point underdogs. USC outgained Stanford 459-235 but the Cardinal forced five turnovers that led to 14 points including an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Another interception set up the final game-winning drive as well. It was improbable considering Stanford punted on its first eight offensive possessions.

Akron 39 WESTERN MICH 38

Akron outgained the Broncos 501-491 and won this game in dramatic fashion. The Zips trailed by 15 points midway through the fourth quarter but scored once to pull within a touchdown but were stopped on fourth down at the Broncos four-yard line. The defense forced a three and out and Western Michigan took a safety with 15 seconds left and then the Zips returned the free kick for the winning score. Akron covered by 10.5 points.

Virginia 23 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 21

Despite getting outgained 374-308, Middle Tennessee was in good shape to pull off the upset but the Cavaliers forced a punt with 1:26 remaining to set up the game-winning drive on a field goal with eight seconds remaining. The Blue Raiders trailed by six points but picked off a pass that set up a one-yard scoring drive to take the lead. Middle Tennessee missed an early field goal but still covered as 10-point underdogs.

ARMY 20 Tulane 17

The Green Wave outgained Army 401-240 but could not finish. Tulane had a 10-point lead with just 1:40 remaining but Army kicked a field goal, forced a punt and then scored the game-tying touchdown by going 80 yards in just 29 seconds. The Black Knights got the ball first in overtime and took their first lead of the game with a field goal and then Tulane missed its 34-yard attempt. Tulane still managed the cover by 2.5 points.

UL-MONROE 30 Arkansas State 13

Arkansas St. jumped ahead 13-0 before the Warhawks ended the game by scoring the final 30 points in the rout. The Indians scored on their first three possessions but missed field goals in their next two possessions inside La-Monroe territory. After starting the game with three punts, the Warhawks scored on six of their final eight possessions as they covered the number as three-point home underdogs.

UL LAFAYETTE 38 North Texas 29

North Texas actually outgained the Cajuns 527-414 but could not overcome four turnovers, three of which came within its first four possessions. La-Lafayette rushed for 300 yards on 36 carries (8.3 ypc) but despite this, the Mean Green controlled the clock for over 21 more minutes as it ran 41 more plays from scrimmage. North Texas went just 3-8 on fourth down but still covered the number by a half-point.

Troy 34 FLORIDA INTL 16

Troy outgained the Golden Panthers 494-329 and also used a punt return for a touchdown. Florida International scored a garbage touchdown with 29 seconds remaining to pull out the one-point backdoor cover. The Trojans held the Golden Panthers to just 81 yards rushing on 34 carries (2.4 ypc) while they put up 299 yards on 39 carries (7.7 ypc). Florida International got into Troy territory only once in its first 13 possessions.

Colorado 43 BAYLOR 23

Baylor actually outgained the Buffaloes 465-450 but most of this came late in the game when it was well decided. 255 of the Bears yards came on their final four possessions where they managed two touchdowns but were stopped once on fourth down at the 15-yard line and ended the game at the Colorado four-yard line. Those two missed opportunities led to the 12-point cover for Colorado.

TEXAS A&M 24 Oklahoma State 23

Oklahoma St. dropped a tough one as it outgained the Aggies 459-368 and could not hold on to an early 17-0 lead. After Texas A&M scored on four straight possessions, the Cowboys took the ball down to the Texas A&M seven-yard line with 3:11 remaining but were forced to kick a field goal to pull within a point. The Aggies were able to run out the final 3:11 and not give the ball back but failed to cover as a seven-point chalk.

EAST CAROLINA 52 U-C-F 38

East Carolina was outgained 495-370 but took advantage of five turnovers, four of which led to the final 28 points for the Pirates. Central Florida led by as many as 14 points and after taking a seven-point lead early in the third quarter, East Carolina ran off 28 straight points before the Golden Knights scored one late touchdown. All five of Central Florida’s turnovers came on five straight possessions, enabling the Pirates to cover outright.

(3) Ohio State 23 PURDUE 7

Ohio St. outgained the Boilermakers 381-272 and had a shutout going until Purdue drove 88 yards and scored with just 10 seconds remaining. The Buckeyes scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and could have gotten more but they tossed three picks and were stopped on downs at the Purdue 28-yard line. Ohio St. held Purdue to four yards rushing on 17 carries (0.2 ypc) as it easily covered the seven-point spread.

(15) Cincinnati 28 RUTGERS 23

Rutgers outgained the Bearcats 432-407 but four turnovers did the Scarlet Knights in. Three of those occurred in Cincinnati territory including the first one which was a fumble at the 29-yard line and the final one, an interception at the Bearcats 17-yard line with 1:19 remaining. Rutgers was past midfield on six of its final seven possessions but managed just six points as it failed to cover the 3.5-point line.

Notre Dame 20 U-C-L-A 6

Notre Dame picked up its first win on the season despite getting outgained 282-140. The Bruins defense held the Irish to just 46 yards rushing on 38 carries (1.2 ypc) and 15 first downs but the offense committed seven turnovers which led to 17 points for Notre Dame including a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. UCLA turned the ball over on six of its final seven possessions as it never came close to covering the 21-point line.

(1) L-S-U 28 (13) Florida 24

Florida had the lead from the start as it jumped out to a 10-point led and regained that lead late in the third quarter until LSU came back. The Tigers grabbed an interception deep in Florida territory which led to a touchdown and then the defense forced a punt and the offense drove 60 yards for the winning score. The Gators ran 22 fewer plays and lost the TOP by 12 minutes but still covered as eight-point underdogs.

AIR FORCE 31 U-N-L-V 14

UNLV actually outgained Air Force 471-432 but the Rebels turned it over on down three times including once at the one-yard line, missed a field goal and fumbled at the Falcons 44-yard line. Air Force finished with 309 yards rushing on 42 carries (7.4 ypc) but did have two fumbles inside the UNLV 40-yard line. The Rebels ran 30 more plays from scrimmage but missed the cover by 11.5 points.

TEXAS-EL PASO 48 Tulsa 47

UTEP scored 48 or more points for the third straight game as it nearly blew an early lead. Tulsa took its first lead right before halftime and held it until the midway through the fourth quarter when UTEP scored on back-to-back possessions. The Golden Hurricane struck back with a touchdown but the Miners scored the game-winning touchdown with 50 seconds remaining to get the win and cover despite getting outgained 648-570.

(11) MISSOURI 41 Nebraska 6

Missouri dominated from start to finish as the Tigers outgained Nebraska 606-297. The defense held the Huskers to just two field goals while the offense scored on seven of its first eight possessions with six of those scoring drives totaling 64 or more yards. Missouri finished 10-15 on third down and went a perfect 6-6 inside the redzone as it had the 6.5-point spread covered by the first quarter.

(16) HAWAII 52 Utah State 37


Hawaii outgained the Aggies 512-370 and had a 25-point lead late in the fourth quarter but Utah St. tacked on 10 garbage points in getting the cover by 10 points. Both teams scored touchdowns on kickoff returns, the first which came by the Aggies as they built a 10-7 lead. Hawaii then ran off 24 of the next 27 points to pull away. Utah St. won the TOP by 10 minutes but was outgained by an average of 4.1 yppl.

BOISE STATE 58 New Mexico St 0

The potent New Mexico St. offense was completely shut down as it was held to just 89 total yards while the Broncos piled up 604 yards of offense and covered by 33 points. The Aggies had only one drive that was longer than 11 yards while Boise St. had five drives of 65 yards or longer. The Broncos scored on five of their first six possessions with the lone non-score coming on a fourth down stop at the five-yard line.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 7

Look Ahead and Let Down -- Week 7
By Judd Hall
VegasInsider.com


Another week in college football is over with and it wasn’t without its share of Top 10 upsets. Sure, Southern California choked like Mama Cass on a ham sandwich, but that wasn’t the big shock. Nor was it Wisconsin getting controlled by the Illini last Saturday either. The big surprise was how the Gators went into Baton Rouge and almost came away with the outright win. Even more shocking was how Urban Meyer mismanaged the clock after losing the lead late in the fourth quarter.

That’s enough of a mini rant out of me for right now. Let’s look at which teams could be looking ahead, have a hang over and are ready to bounce back.

A collapse in the commonwealth…


LSU escaped with its national championship hopes intact at home last week against the Gators. Now the Tigers have to go into a raucous Commonwealth Stadium where No. 18 Kentucky is waiting and feeling pretty good about itself. The Wildcats may have just lost their first game of the season at South Carolina, but home cooking helps cure what ails anyone.

Kentucky has a legitimate candidate for the Heisman Trophy in Andre Woodson under center. He’ll be getting to face a defense that is emotionally and physically spent after playing a full 60 minutes against Florida last week. And the Wildcats have played Louisiana State pretty close when they come to Lexington, covering the spread in four of their last five games at home.

Given the ‘Cats are currently 9 ½-point home ‘dogs, they’re poised to cover that number.

California Dreaming…

You have to like it when you don’t do anything, but still get promoted. California got that golden ticket last week thanks to the Cardinal pulling off a Goliath sized upset over the Trojans. Now the Golden Bears enter their game against Oregon State as the No. 2 team in the land, their highest ranking in 50 years. And that might ultimately be part of their downfall this Saturday against the Beavers.

Now Cal has had a week off after going to Eugene and beating the Ducks on Sept. 29. But something that Jeff Tedford might want to be a little wary of is how his team has slowly gained fewer and fewer yards as the season progressed. Outside of their game against Colorado State, the Golden Bears have gained 471, 447, 421 and 400 yards on offense as the season progressed.

Add in that the Golden Bears will be thinking about playing UCLA on Oct. 20, completing neglecting Oregon State this week. And that won’t be a good thing when you consider the Beavers have a very physical defense that yields just 43.3 YPG rushing this season. Also, OSU has won its last three games at Berkeley outright, dating back to 2000.

Don’t be surprised if another Top Five team falls this week.

Big 12 bounce back…


The Cornhuskers are going to pretend that last week’s game at Missouri never happened. Nope, never took place. Nebraska’s 41-6 loss to the Tigers was just a bad memory. With that being said, the ‘Huskers are ready to take their anger out on Oklahoma State.

Don’t think that Nebraska is going to be thinking solely about its 41-29 loss in Stillwater from a year ago. Although, it will be in the back of Bill Callahan’s mind. Rather it is purely based on skill between themselves and the Cowboys. The Cornhuskers have an offense (293.2 YPG passing, 146.2 YPG rushing) that should have no problems against a porous Oklahoma State defense (321.8 YPG Def passing, 108.5 YPG Def rushing).

The ‘Huskers are favored by just 4 ½-points, but they’ll win by a much bigger margin.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 7

Pritchard keeps QB job at Stanford
October 10, 2007

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -Tavita Pritchard will remain Stanford's starting quarterback this week against TCU after upsetting No. 2 Southern California in his first career start.

Coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday that Pritchard would start this week even though T.C. Ostrander had been cleared to play after a seizure caused him to miss the USC game.

Pritchard, a redshirt freshman, led the Cardinal (2-3, 1-3 Pac-10) to 17 fourth-quarter points last Saturday, beating the Trojans 24-23 with a a 10-yard touchdown pass to Mark Bradford on fourth-and-goal with 49 seconds remaining.

``Three drives in the last three possessions for scores was very impressive and so was the way he handled himself around this ballclub,'' Harbaugh said. ``I feel good about that decision.''

Pritchard had to convert on fourth-and-20 four plays before the winning TD. He finished the game 11-for-30 for 149 yards and the winning TD.

``Whether I'm the third guy, the starter or the backup, I'm going to prepare every time like I'm the starter,'' Pritchard said. ``Not a whole lot has changed.''

Ostrander suffered a seizure at a Palo Alto restaurant on September 30 and was held out of the USC game for precautionary reasons. Ostrander, who completed 90 of 166 passes for 1065 yards as Stanford's starter over the first four games, has been cleared to play again and worked out with the team on Tuesday.

``I want to be on the field,'' Ostrander said. ``I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed, but coach made a decision and if that's his decision, I will go along with it and just do the things I need to do to get better.''

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week 7

Miller definitely out for Vandy game, but Henderson cleared to play
October 11, 2007

Associated Press

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Linebacker Brandon Miller is definitely out for Georgia's game at Vanderbilt on Saturday, but receiver Mikey Henderson will make the trip.

Henderson is hobbled by a hamstring injury.

"He has got a medical clearance to play," coach Mark Richt said after Thursday's practice. "But he doesn't feel 100 percent, and he feels like if we do too much it could cause a problem."

Henderson ranks second on the team with 14 receptions for 136 yards, with one touchdown. He has started three out of six games for No. 24 Georgia (4-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference).

"Initially, we were like, 'Let's not do anything,' but the more we think about it and the more he feels a little bit better as the week goes along, you feel like let's get him in position to help," Richt said.

Miller, who has started four games, injured his calf during agility drills this week and won't be able to play. The Bulldogs also will be without running back Thomas Brown, who broke his collarbone in last week's 35-14 loss at Tennessee.

The Bulldogs will likely start redshirt freshman Akeem Dent at strongside linebacker, with Dannell Ellerbe in the middle and either Darius Dewberry or freshman Rennie Curran at the weakside spot.

Dent has made one start, in a win over Western Carolina when he tied for the team lead with six tackles. Curran earned a shot at more playing time by making seven tackles in a loss to Tennessee last weekend.

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