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NCAAF: Inside the Boxscores

NCAAF: Inside the Boxscores

Inside the Boxscores - Part I
By Matt Fargo

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.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

VANDERBILT 24 So Carolina 17


South Carolina outgained the Commodores 325-225 but miscues from the offense and special teams allowed the upset. The Gamecocks committed three turnovers, two of which let to 10 points while they also missed two late field goals, one of which was blocked. Vanderbilt held South Carolina to 92 yards rushing while the Gamecocks allowed only 90 yards passing.

Friday, September 5, 2008

BALL STATE 35 Navy 23


Navy was able to generate 346 yards rushing on 59 carries (5.9 ypc) but it was not enough as the defense let down again. The Cardinals put up 488 yards of offense including 326 yards through the air on 21-28 passing. The Midshipmen were able to score on their first four possessions but the first three resulted in field goals. Ball St.’s touchdown drives were all 71 yards and longer as it gained 8.6 ypp.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Georgia Tech 19 BOSTON COLLEGE 16


Boston College outgained the Yellow Jackets 262-235 but it was forced into four field goal attempts, three of which were converted. Georgia Tech finished with only 12 first downs and was just 3-12 on third down but was able hold on the defensive side. The Yellow Jackets were able to survive three first half fumbles but the Eagles could not survive three second half turnovers and a safety.
   
MICHIGAN 16 Miami-Ohio 6

Michigan drove 77 yards on its first possession but the offense sputtered the rest of the day with just 204 total yards after that. The Wolverines held Miami to 252 yards including 47 yards rushing on 32 carries (1.5 ypc). The RedHawks controlled the clock by over 10 minutes, finished 8-19 on third down but had to settle for two short field goals and failed on both of their fourth down attempts.

MICHIGAN STATE 42 Eastern Mich 10

Michigan St. bounced back by putting up 418 total yards after a sluggish first quarter. The Spartans drove 69 yards on their first possession but fumbled into the endzone to kill the drive. Eastern Michigan tied the game early in the second quarter before Michigan St. scored the next 35 points to run away with it. The Eagles had just 106 total yards in the first half and ended up with only 11 first downs.

(5) OHIO STATE 26 Ohio U 14

Ohio St. only outgained the Bobcats 272-254 and trailed by eight points late in the third quarter before scoring the final 20 points to pull it out. Ohio took the lead by recovering a fumble in the endzone but its own fumble two possessions later set up the Buckeyes go ahead touchdown. Ohio St. closed the scoring on a 69-punt return late in the fourth quarter. In total, the Bobcats committed five turnovers.

Connecticut 12 TEMPLE 9

In horrible weather conditions, the Huskies survived in overtime. Temple jumped ahead with two field goals in the first half wile Connecticut sent it into overtime with two field goals in the second half. The problem was that it also missed three field goals on the day. The Huskies rushed for 293 yards on 55 carries (5.3 ypc) while the defense held the Owls to 298 total yards and just 10 first downs.

(10) WISCONSIN 51 Marshall 14

Wisconsin spotted the Thundering Herd a 14-0 lead before scoring 51 unanswered points and running away with it. Marshall put together back-to-back touchdown drives of 58 yards but the offense was held to 173 the rest of the way. After the Badgers punted on their first three possessions they scored on eight of heir final nine possessions. Wisconsin finished with 487 yards of offense and was a perfect 6-6 inside the redzone.

IOWA 42 Florida Intl 0

Iowa outgained the Golden Panthers 512-218 and dominated them in first downs 25-13. Florida International moved inside Iowa territory on four occasions but threw two interceptions and turned it over on downs the other two times. The Hawkeyes were past midfield in 13 of their 14 possessions and the score could have been worse but a missed field goal, a missed fourth down conversion and an interception halted three drives.

(9) AUBURN 27 Southern Miss 13

Auburn drove down inside the redzone on its first two possessions but came up empty thanks to two fumbles. The Tigers were able to take a 24-0 lead but had to hold off a late Southern Miss comeback attempt. The Golden Eagles pulled to within 11 points but their last four possessions resulted in three turnovers and a turnover on downs. Southern Miss finished with only 37 yards rushing on 27 carries (1.4 ypc).

NEBRASKA 35 San Jose St 12

San Jose St. actually outgained the Huskers 353-315 and was within just two points early in the fourth quarter. After a field goal to make the score 14-12, Nebraska returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and then tacked on two more touchdowns on its next two possessions. The second Nebraska touchdown came on an interception return. The Spartans held Nebraska to 99 yards rushing on 30 carries (3.3 ypc).

(18) B-Y-U 28 WASHINGTON 27

The most controversial game of the day took place in Seattle as the Huskies scored the supposed game-tying touchdown with just two seconds remaining but an excessive celebration penalty was called. Washington was backed up 15 yards and the extra point attempt was blocked. The game should not have been that close as BYU outgained the Huskies 475-337 and finished a sparkling 12-14 on third down.

(2) GEORGIA 56 Central Mich 17

Georgia racked up 552 yards of offense with a very balanced attack of 289 yards passing and 263 yards rushing on 36 carries (7.3 ypc). After Georgia jumped ahead 28-0 on a 78-yard interception return for a score, the Chippewas would not quit as they cut the lead in half before the Bulldogs tacked on three more touchdowns to pull away. Central Michigan finished with just 59 yards rushing on 22 carries (2.7 ypc).

NOTRE DAME 21 San Diego St 13

Notre Dame started the season with a win but it was far from easy. The Irish trailed 13-7 with the Aztecs driving but San Diego St. fumbled at the goal line and Notre Dame was able to drive 80 yards for the go ahead touchdown. The Aztecs then went three and out and the Irish tacked no another score. San Diego St. outgained Notre Dame 345-342 and the Irish committed four turnovers, two of which led to Aztec touchdowns.

(3) OKLAHOMA 52 Cincinnati 26

The Cincinnati defense was no match for the Sooners as Oklahoma totaled 592 yards of offense but the game was still in question late in the third quarter. The Bearcats returned a kickoff for a score to pull within eight points but Oklahoma scored the next 24 points before Cincinnati scored a meaningless touchdown with no time left. The Bearcats turned it over three times in Oklahoma territory.

(16) OREGON 66 Utah State 24

The Ducks piled up 688 yards of offense while holding Utah St. to 306 total yards. Oregon finished with 408 yards rushing on 53 carries (7.7 ypc) while the Aggies accumulated just 88 yards on the ground on 31 carries (2.8 ypc). The Ducks tossed an interception on their first possession but then scored five straight touchdowns on their next five drives.

(17) PENN STATE 45 Oregon State 14

Penn St. went up 28-0 early in the second quarter and never looked back. The Nittany Lions scored touchdowns in five of their first six possessions and finished with 454 total yards of offense with 442 of those yards coming in the first three quarters. Oregon St. did have its chances but tossed two interceptions around midfield while turning it over on fourth down three different times.

Akron 42 SYRACUSE 28

Akron outgained Syracuse 478-353 but it needed two late touchdowns to secure the win. Syracuse tied the game at 28-28 but the Zips drove 78 yards in their next possession to take the lead again and then tacked on an insurance touchdown after Syracuse failed on its own 46-yard line. Both teams rushed for 218 yards but the Orange were able to generate only 135 yards through the air compared to 260 for Akron.

(20) WAKE FOREST 30 Ole Miss 28

It was a back and forth battle throughout and the lead changed hands four times in the fourth quarter. The Rebels took a 28-27 lead with just over a minute remaining but Wake Forest was able to drive 57 yards in the final minute culminating with the winning 41-yard field goal. Mississippi outgained the Deacons 360-348 but it finished with three turnovers that led to 10 points.

Air Force 23 WYOMING 3

The Air Force defense was the story as it allowed only 216 total yards and 10 first downs. Wyoming was able to tie the score at 3-3 late in the first half but the offense got nothing going in the second half as it could not get past the Falcons 48-yard line in seven possessions. The Falcons did not do much better on offense, gaining 276 yards and 12 first downs but benefited from five Cowboys turnovers.

FLA ATLANTIC 49 U-A-B 34

The game was in doubt late into the fourth quarter as the Owls hung on to an eight-point lead with UAB driving. The Blazers were unable to convert a fourth and three from the Florida Atlantic 27-yard line and the Owls scored on a 73-yard run on the very next play. The Owls outgained UAB 554-482 although Florida Atlantic accumulated its yardage in 23 fewer plays from scrimmage (9.2-5.8 ypp).

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Re: NCAAF: Inside the Boxscores

Inside the Boxscores, Part II
By Matt Fargo

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.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

(14) EAST CAROLINA 24 (25) West Virginia 3
East Carolina won as underdogs as it outgained West Virginia 386-251. The Pirates were able to keep the Mountaineers offense off the field as they won the time of possession by over 10 minutes. East Carolina finished at 5.4 ypp while West Virginia finished at 4.6 ypp and the Mountaineers had only 12 first downs. The Pirates were very efficient in the passing game, completing 23-29 passes for 243 yards.

Texas A&M 28 NEW MEXICO 22
Texas A&M won despite getting outgained 370-236 as it took advantage of four New Mexico turnovers. The Aggies scored their first touchdown on an interception return while two more touchdowns were set up by turnovers as well. Those two scores were on drives a combined 41 yards. The Lobos rushed for 216 yards on 38 carries (5.7 ypc) while Texas A&M ran for only 92 yards on 39 carries (2.4 ypc).

PITTSBURGH 27 Buffalo 16
This game was even in almost every aspect except the most important one. Pittsburgh barely won the yardage battle 352-348 while first downs were tied at 22 and time of possession was won by Buffalo by just over a minute. Buffalo pulled to within a point late in the third quarter but the Panthers were able to tack on the only points in the fourth quarter and the defense came up with two crucial stops in that period.

(23) California 66 WASHINGTON ST 3
This game was pretty much over right from the start. California scored on an 80-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game, intercepted the Cougars two plays later and then scored another touchdown two plays after that. The Bears outgained Washington St. 505-167 and they gave up just nine first downs. The Cougars were intercepted four times and all four led to touchdowns.

(11) ALABAMA 20 Tulane 6
Tulane put forth a great effort against Alabama and there is no reason the Green Wave could not have won the game. Alabama scored two of its touchdowns from its punt team, one on an 87-yard return and one on a blocked punt. Tulane outgained the Tide 318-172 and held them to just 11 first downs. The Green Wave were able to control the ball for over 13 more minutes as they ran 33 more plays from scrimmage.

ARKANSAS 28 UL-Monroe 27
UL-Monroe jumped ahead in this game 24-6 but it could not hold on to the big lead. Arkansas was able to use three long drives in the second half and ultimately went ahead thanks to a 79-yard touchdown drive with just 1:22 remaining. The Warhawks had one last chance but missed a 45- yard field goal with 36 ticks remaining. Arkansas outgained the Warhawks 506-341.

Northwestern 24 DUKE 20

Duke outgained Northwestern 472-328 but the Wildcats defense stepped it up when needed. The Blue Devils had two chances to score the go ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter and both times they were stopped on fourth down. Duke ran 31 more plays from scrimmage and controlled the clock for almost 20 more minutes but Northwestern was able to strike quick as two touchdown drives were two and four plays.

IOWA STATE 48 Kent State 28
Kent St. was able to outgain Iowa St. but it fumbled the ball four times which led to 14 points for the Cyclones. Two of those fumbles were deep in its own territory will another occurred at the Iowa St. four-yard line. The Cyclones were a perfect 5-5 inside the redzone while the Golden Flashes only made it inside the 20-yard line twice, scoring on only one of those opportunities.

(13) KANSAS 29 Louisiana Tech 0
Kansas dominated by outgaining the Bulldogs 538-267 and the score could have been much worse than it was. The Jayhawks were forced to kick three short field goals while also turning it over on downs at the Bulldogs 12-yard line. Louisiana Tech actually got inside the Kansas redzone twice but missed a field goal and tossed an interception in the endzone. The Jayhawks went 32-38 passing for 412 yards.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE 24 Maryland 14
Maryland was only outgained 402-357 but it was hurt by turnovers and missed opportunities. The Terrapins tossed three interceptions, one deep in their own territory and the other two in Middle Tennessee territory. Maryland also missed a field goal and failed on a fourth down conversion at the Blue Raiders 36-yard line. Middle Tennessee won the time of possession by over 19 minutes.

Tulsa 56 NORTH TEXAS 26
Tulsa racked up 55 yards of total offense and scored touchdowns on six of its first seven possessions. North Texas was able to put up yards on offense as it tallied 450 total yards but it was unable to execute when needed. The Mean Green were forced into two field goals, fumbled twice inside Tulsa territory including once at the seven-yard line and turned it over on downs at midfield.

So Florida 31 U-C-F 24
South Florida outgained Central Florida 504-226 and looked like it had the game in hand until the Knights rallied late. The Bulls were looking to run the clock out up by two scores, but they tossed an interception which Central Florida turned into a touchdown four plays later. The Knights forced a three and out and then tied the game with 1:40 remaining and headed into overtime where it went four and out to lose.

WESTERN MICH 29 Northern Ill 26
Northern Illinois outgained the Broncos 439-384 but two second half turnovers as well as a turnover on downs ended any chance of an underdog win. It was a back and forth game and the Huskies took the lead early in the final quarter but Western Michigan drove 82 yards to go back on top and then used an interception to set up a short touchdown drive to ice the game. Both teams went 3-4 inside the red zone.

OKLAHOMA STATE 56 Houston 37
Houston made this a game for a while as it actually took a lead into halftime. It was more the case of Oklahoma St. keeping the Cougars in the game with mistakes. After scoring a touchdown in their opening possession, the Cowboys turned it over in three of their next four possessions, all in Houston territory. They made up for it in the second half, scoring touchdowns on their first six possessions and finished with 699 total yards.

Minnesota 42 BOWLING GREEN 17
Minnesota took the lead to open the game and never gave it away despite outgaining the Falcons by only eight total yards and finishing with the same amount of first downs. The problem for Bowling Green was turnovers as it finished with five turnovers overall. The Falcons were within four points in the final quarter but gave it away on three straight possessions in their own territory which led to three Minnesota touchdowns.

(4) FLORIDA 26 Miami-Florida 3
The Florida defense came up huge as it allowed only 140 total yards and 11 first downs to the Hurricanes. Miami did not cross midfield in its final eight possessions and the furthest it got all night was the Florida 32-yard line where it settled for a field goal. The Gators scored on their opening possession but then punted on their next six possessions as they finished with only 345 total yards but it was more than enough.

Rice 42 MEMPHIS 35
Rice provided another miraculous finish as it came back late. Memphis led by 15 points with just over six minutes remaining but the Owls closed to within eight points after a lengthy drive. Rice got the ball back after forcing a punt and drove 94 yards to tie the game. The Tigers were driving but Rice picked off a pass and ran it back for the winning score with just 11 seconds remaining.

(22) UTAH 42 U-N-L-V 21
UNLV hung around for a half as it went into the break ties with the Utes 14-14. Utah then poured in on in the second half as it scored touchdown on its first four possessions, putting the game away. The Utes outgained the Rebels 440-288 and 77 of those Rebels yards came on their final drive that went for a touchdown in garbage time. Utah rushed for 225 yards on 36 carries (6.2 ypc) while passing for 215 yards.

(12) Texas Tech 35 NEVADA 19
The Red Raiders may have won by 16 points but they were outgained 488-421 and they lost the time of possession battle by over 13 minutes. Texas Tech got a questionable call on a touchdown that was instead ruled a fumble and it also returned a punt 86 yards for a score. The Wolf Pack were very balanced, passing for 264 yards and rushing for 224 yards but they went just 3-16 on third down attempts.

ARIZONA 41 Toledo 16
Arizona outgained the Rockets 452-244 and more than doubled the first down output 28-12. After losing eight yards on their first possession, the Wildcats scored on their next six possessions before fumbling early in the fourth quarter which set up a short field for Toledo’s only touchdown. The game could have been closer but the Rockets settled for two field goals after making it down to the Arizona three-yard line. (15)

ARIZONA STATE 41 Stanford 17
The Sun Devils outgained Stanford 472-233 but the game was very much in question entering the final quarter. Arizona St. held on to a 10-point lead and was able to add to it with another touchdown before the Cardinals tossed two interceptions on their next two possessions and then turning over on downs on their last drive. The Sun Devils drove deep into Stanford territory in their first two possessions but had to settle for field goals.

(8) Texas 42 TEXAS-EL PASO 13
UTEP jumped on top by scoring on its first two possessions but it was limited to field goals both times. The Longhorns then took over, scoring the next 28 points and not looking back. Texas had a 15-point lead heading into the final quarter before scoring the first touchdown of the second half and then adding one more on a fumble return the very next play. Despite this, UTEP won the yardage battle 412-404.

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