Inside the Boxscores

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.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

LOUISVILLE 38 Kansas State 29

Louisville spotted the Wildcats a 7-0 lead and then reeled off the next 20 points to pull away. The Cardinals racked up 577 yards of offense that included 274 yards passing and 303 yards rushing on 55 carries (5.5 ypc). Kansas St. finished with 343 total yards but only 30 yards rushing on 12 carries (2.5 ypc). Louisville controlled the clock by more than 22 minutes and thus, ran 34 more plays from scrimmage.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

COLORADO 17 West Virginia 14

Colorado jumped out to an early 14-0 lead but the offense was stymied as it was shutout for over 55 minutes before kicking the game-winning field goal in overtime. The Buffaloes did get into West Virginia territory four times after those initial scores but turned it over twice and punted the other two times. The Mountaineers were successful on the ground, rushing for 311 yards on 52 carries (6.0 ypc).

Friday, September 19, 2008

CONNECTICUT 31 Baylor 28

Baylor outgained the Huskies 377-350 in what was a back and forth game right from the start. The Bears took their final lead early in the fourth quarter but Connecticut was able to get the ball back with excellent field position following a punt and drive 29 yards for the winning score. Baylor got it back but failed on a fourth down conversion at the Huskies 39-yard line with just under a minute remaining.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

GEORGIA TECH 38 Miss State 7

It was a nightmare start for Mississippi St. as it committed three turnovers, missed a field goal and turned in over on downs in its first five possessions of the game. Georgia Tech built a 21-0 lead over that span and scored the first 38 points overall before the Bulldogs avoided the shutout by scoring midway through the fourth quarter. Mississippi St. actually had one more first down and was outgained by just 93 total yards.

MINNESOTA 37 Fla Atlantic 3

Minnesota got its revenge in a big way as it broke open a 10-3 game by scoring the final 27 points in the rout. The Gophers outgained Florida Atlantic 441-276 while the defense had four interceptions, the last which was returned 50 yards for a touchdown. In total 21 points were scored off those turnovers. Minnesota crossed midfield in nine of its 11 possessions and finished the game 3-7 on third down.

NC STATE 30 (23) East Carolina 24

The teams were separated by just one total yard so it was fitting the game was decided in overtime. East Carolina led most of the way and built a seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter but the Wolfpack were able to drive 55 yards in their final possession to tie the game. Both teams committed two turnovers but East Carolina had one of its in overtime and NC State scored the winner three plays later.


Northwestern came up with a big defensive effort as it held the Bobcats to 232 total yards including just four yards rushing on 28 carries (0.1 ypc). Ohio also had five turnovers and three missed field goals so there were many opportunities missed. Northwestern did not help matters as it also committed five turnovers but none were turned into points for the Bobcats. The Wildcats finished with only 280 yards of offense.

(14) OHIO STATE 28 Troy 10

Troy actually outgained the Buckeyes 315-309 and it was down by just four points entering the fourth quarter. Field position played a big role as Ohio St. had three touchdown drives of 37, 37 and 27 yards in length. One of those came off an interception, one of two Trojans picks on the day. The other stopped a possible Troy scoring drive on the first possession of the second half.

(12) PENN STATE 45 Temple 3

After a scoreless first quarter, the Nittany Lions poured it on the in the second period, scoring 31 points to run away with it. Penn St. outgained the Owls 546-138 as the defense allowed just 10 first downs and 16 yards rushing on 28 carries (0.6 ypc). Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions rushed for 308 yards on 45 carries (6.8 ypc). Temple was forced to punt 11 times and finished 2-15 on third down attempts.


Iowa outgained the Panthers 361-259 but Pittsburgh used those yards efficiently. In the three touchdown drives, Pittsburgh amassed 207 yards while basically getting shut down in its other 10 possessions. The Hawkeyes were forced to kick two field goals while also missing a 35-yard attempt in the second quarter. Pittsburgh was forced to punt with 2:19 remaining and was able to pin the Hawkeyes on their own one-yard line.

PURDUE 32 Central Mich 25

Purdue escaped with the victory despite getting outgained 440-344. The Chippewas were down a touchdown late in the fourth quarter but drove 53 yards for the score and succeeded at the two-point conversion to take a one-point lead. The Boilermakers returned the ensuing kickoff 39 yards and also got an extra 15 yards on a penalty and scored on a 46-yard run on the next play to pull out the win.

(8) Alabama 49 ARKANSAS 14

Alabama won on the road as it outgained the Razorbacks 402-309 despite running 27 fewer plays from scrimmage. The Tide intercepted Arkansas four times, two of which were returned 63 yards and 74 yards for touchdowns. A third interception set up a short field for another touchdown. Alabama rushed for 328 yards on 35 carries (9.4 ypc) while the defense allowed just 92 yards rushing on 31 carries (3.0 ypc).


Central Florida took a 7-3 lead into halftime thanks to a touchdown on the final play of the half but Boston College dominated the second half. The Eagles ran off 31 unanswered points and the defense limited the Knights to just 82 total yards in the second half. Boston College finished with 404 total yards and doubled the Knights in first downs 24-12 but it was far from perfect, tossing three interceptions and missing a 24-yard field goal.

MARYLAND 51 Eastern Mich 24

There was no letdown for Maryland as it easily won despite outgaining the Eagles by only 32 total yards and finishing with five fewer first downs. The Terrapins took advantage of a short field most of the day as their average starting field position was their own 43-yard line. Eastern Michigan was able to control the clock for over 11 more minutes but finished only 2-12 on third down attempts.

Akron 22 ARMY 3

The Akron defense limited Army to 223 total yards and 15 first downs while forcing five turnovers with three of those turnovers leading to 16 points. Army turned in over on its final four possessions, three of which occurred in its own territory while the fourth took place in the Akron endzone. The Zips finished with 357 total yards but went 1-9 on third down attempts and committed nine penalties.

(6) MISSOURI 42 Buffalo 21

Missouri outgained the Bulls 590-286 but the game was still in doubt toward the end of the third quarter as the Tigers possessed just a six-point lead. After pulling to within 27-21, Buffalo stopped the Tigers on fourth down but failed to capitalize. The Tigers drove 87 yards on the ensuing possession and scored on their next possession to finally pull away. The Bulls were aided by a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

(11) B-Y-U 44 Wyoming 0

This game was a lot closer than the final score indicates as the Cougars outgained Wyoming by only 364-273 and had just four more first downs. The Cowboys trailed by only seven points midway through the second quarter, with that touchdown coming on a 64-yard fumble return. BYU was able to tack on three touchdowns in six minutes to pull away and the Cougars scored their final touchdown on a 19-yard interception return.

TULANE 24 UL-Monroe 10

Tulane picked up its first win of the season as it outgained the Warhawks 454-182 and held UL-Monroe to just nine first downs. The score could have been worse but the Green Wave missed three fourth down conversions all in Warhawks territory. UL-Monroe could not move the ball at all in the first half as it was forced to punt on all six possessions while 74 its yards came in garbage time on its final drive.

Arizona 31 U-C-L-A 10

UCLA kept it close for a while as it took a 7-3 lead into the second quarter but the Wildcats defense was too strong. The Bruins scored their lone touchdown on a one-yard fumble recovery. UCLA managed only 196 total yards and 11 first downs while being forced to punt 11 times. The Bruins were also only 4-17 on third down attempts. Arizona finished with just 333 total yards and 15 first downs.

COLORADO STATE 28 Houston 25

Colorado St. jumped ahead 21-0 and the Cougars rally fell short. Houston lost despite outgaining the Rams 473-422 but it was hurt by four turnovers including three in its last five possessions. The Cougars forced a three and out with just over a minute remaining and got down to the Rams 15-yard line before being picked off to end the game. Colorado St. was able to control the clock for almost 15 more minutes.

MICHIGAN STATE 23 Notre Dame 7

Michigan St. jumped ahead 13-0 and Notre Dame was able to pull within six points early in the fourth quarter. The Spartans were then able to drive for a field goal and after a Notre Dame missed field goal, they went 77 yards for their final touchdown. In total, the Irish missed two field goals and turned it over three times which led to 10 Michigan St. points. Notre Dame finished with just 16 yards rushing on 22 carries (0.7 ypc).

NAVY 23 Rutgers 21

Rutgers dropped to 0-3 as turnovers ended up being the difference. The Scarlet Knights were driving at the end of the first half to take a 21-6 lead but fumbled in the endzone. Navy scored touchdowns on its first two second half possessions to take the lead. The Midshipmen went up by two points with a late field goal and Rutgers had a last shot but tossed an interception in Rutgers territory with just over a minute left.

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Re: Inside the Boxscores

Inside the Boxscores – Week 4 Part 2
By:Matt Fargo 

Virginia Tech 20 NORTH CAROLINA 17

North Carolina had a 14-point lead late in the third quarter but the Hokies were able to score on three straight possessions to take the lead. The Tar Heels could not get anything going on offense after the loss of quarterback Tyler Yates as they turned the ball over three times in their last four possessions. In total, North Carolina had four turnovers which led to 10 points for Virginia Tech.

(19) Boise State 37 OREGON 32

It was a wild finish in Eugene as the Ducks comeback just fell short. Boise St. jumped ahead 37-13 at the end of the third quarter but Oregon scored three touchdowns in the final period to pull within five points with just over two minutes remaining. The Broncos were able to run out the clock and seal the win. The Ducks outgained Boise St. 464-424 but committed four turnovers that led to 10 points.

Marshall 34 SOUTHERN MISS 27

Southern Miss actually outgained Marshall by two yards but it was hurt by a turnover that led to a touchdown for the Thundering Herd. It was an interception that led to a short 18-yard drive to put Marshall up by two touchdowns. All three of the Golden Eagles touchdown drives were possessions of 70 yards or more. Southern Miss was also hurt by 11 penalties for 129 yards.

(4) Florida 30 TENNESSEE 6

Florida scored on its opening possession and never looked back. The Gators were actually outgained in this game 258-243 but they won the turnover battle 3-0. The Volunteers turned the ball over on three of their first four possessions while the other possession in there resulted in a punt that Florida returned 78 yards for a touchdown. Two of those turnovers were inside the Gators two-yard line.

Miami-Florida 41 TEXAS A&M 23

Texas A&M jumped ahead 7-0 but the Hurricanes scored 41 of the next 44 points to win going away. Miami took advantage of an interception that resulted in a touchdown on the next play while also returning a fumble for a score two plays after that. The Hurricanes only outgained the Aggies by 36 total yards but 160 of Texas A&M’s 362 total yards came in garbage time after the game was well decided.

(17) Utah 30 AIR FORCE 23

The game was not nearly as close as the final scored indicates at Utah outgained the Falcons 440-191 and held the Falcons potent rushing attack to just 53 yards on 42 carries (1.3 ypc). The problem for the Utes was mistakes and missed opportunities. They missed two field goals, turned it over on downs once and had three turnovers including a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.

UTAH STATE 42 Idaho 17

Utah St. outgained the Vandals 580-281 but still needed a big fourth quarter to pull away. The Aggies scored touchdowns on four of its last five possessions while also returning a fumble for a score. The first five possessions were just the opposite as they had two turnovers, a missed field goal and a missed fourth down attempt, all in Idaho territory. Utah St. had 356 yards rushing on 44 carries (8.1 ypc).

(13) So Florida 17 FLORIDA INTL 9

The Bulls jumped ahead 17-0 before the Golden Panthers tacked on a safety and a garbage touchdown to make it look more respectable. South Florida outgained Florida International 320-189 and held the Golden Panthers to just nine first downs. The Bulls easily could have had a bigger score but they had a 21-yard field goal blocked and also failed on a fourth down attempt at the one-yard line.

ARKANSAS STATE 31 Middle Tennessee 14

Arkansas St. outgained the Blue Raiders 440-315 and built a 24-0 lead before coasting the rest of the way. Middle Tennessee moved into Red Wolves territory on four of its first five possessions but missed a field goal and threw two interceptions on three of those. Arkansas St. held the Blue Raiders to 44 yards rushing on 25 carries (1.8 ypc) while the offense finished 8-15 on third down attempts.

(16) Wake Forest 12 FLORIDA STATE 3

It was a game of field goals, missed field goals and turnovers. Wake Forest outgained Florida St. 276-220 and finished with four field goals while also missing three attempts. The Seminoles turned the ball over on their first two possessions but they were hardly done as they turned it over seven times overall. Six of those miscues took place in their own territory but it ended up costing them only six points.

Ball State 42 INDIANA 20

The game was close for most of the first half as the Hoosiers pulled to within a point on three different occasions. Ball St. intercepted a pass and returned it 40 yards to take an eight-point lead into halftime and then scored the only two touchdowns of the second half. The Cardinals outgained Indiana 463-415 but had two turnovers of its own while also missing a field goal.

(21) Vanderbilt 23 OLE MISS 17

Mississippi outgained the Commodores 385-202 but it was done in by six turnovers. Three touchdowns were scored in the first quarter in a span of less than 30 seconds on a fumble recovery, an interception return and a kickoff return. In the Rebels final seven possessions, they turned it over four times, missed a field goal and turned it over on downs at the Vanderbilt one-yard line.

(7) TEXAS 52 Rice 10

Rice was able to get inside the Texas 30-yard line on its first two possessions but came away with only three points. Texas fumbled in the endzone on its first drive and then scored on eight of its next nine possessions. The Longhorns racked up 600 yards of offense while gaining 8.8 yppl compared to just 318 total yards and 4.4 yppl for the Owls. Rice had 17 yards rushing on 24 carries (0.7 ypc) and finished 2-14 on third down.

TULSA 56 New Mexico 14

Tulsa jumped ahead 35-0 at halftime and never looked back. The Golden Hurricane outgained the Lobos 606-316 while scoring touchdowns on eight of its first 11 possessions. Tulsa was far from perfect as it committed three turnovers and failed on a fourth down attempt. New Mexico did not help matters by throwing four interceptions that led to 28 points for Tulsa.

UL LAFAYETTE 44 Kent State 27

The Ragin’ Cajuns racked up 667 total yards of offense including 414 yards rushing on 52 carries (8.0 ypc). Kent St. took a 14-10 lead midway through the second quarter but Louisiana-Lafayette scored five of the next six touchdowns to pull away. The Golden Flashes took the lead early thanks to a fumble and while the offense generated 396 total yards, 93 of those came on their final possession in garbage time.

CINCINNATI 45 Miami-Ohio 20

Cincinnati easily won this rivalry game despite Miami trailing by just four points early in the third quarter. The Bearcats scored the final three touchdowns of the game including the first being a 72-yard interception return as Miami was driving to take a possible lead. Cincinnati outgained the RedHawks 393-301 and held Miami to 66 yards rushing on 30 carries (2.2 ypc).

(5) L-S-U 26 (15) AUBURN 21

LSU outgained the Tigers 398-320 but it came down to the final minute before the game was decided. Auburn drove 74 yards for the go ahead touchdown with 6:40 remaining and then forced a three and out but the offense stalled and LSU took the next possession and drove 54 yards for the game winner. Auburn has one last chance but turned it over on downs at the LSU 39-yard line with 20 seconds left.

(24) T-C-U 48 S-M-U 7

TCU came up big on defense yet again as it held the Mustangs to 210 total yards and 10 first downs. The Horned Frogs jumped ahead 34-0 and scored on eight of their first 10 possessions. SMU turned the ball over on its first two possessions and both led to TCU touchdowns. The Mustangs ran the ball only 12 times and finished with -8 yards (-0.7 ypc). TCU finished with 498 total yards on offense.

(3) Georgia 27 ARIZONA STATE 10

Georgia completely dominated the Sun Devils as it outgained them 461-212 and held them to 14 first downs. The Bulldogs punted on their first two possessions but were able to get into Arizona St. territory on their next four possessions, scoring three touchdowns while also missing a field goal. Georgia was hurt by 12 penalties for 104 yards or things could have been even more lopsided.

(25) Fresno State 55 TOLEDO 54

Fresno St. won a wild game in double overtime despite getting outgained 598-420. The Bulldogs started the scoring as they returned a fumble for a touchdown on just the second play of the game. They held the lead throughout but Toledo was able to comeback and send the game into overtime on a field goal with 15 seconds remaining. The Rockets were very balanced with 301 yards passing and 297 yards rushing on 46 carries (6.5 ypc).

STANFORD 23 San Jose St 10

San Jose St. jumped ahead 10-0 but the Cardinal tacked on the final 23 points to win. Stanford led 16-0 with just under two minutes remaining and it was running the clock down but called timeout with nine seconds left and instead of taking a knee, it scored a final touchdown. The Cardinal outgained San Jose St. 363-219 while rushing for 204 yards on 36 carries (5.7 ypc) and holding the Spartans to 57 yards on 35 carries (1.5 ypc).

U-N-L-V 34 Iowa State 31

UNLV won its second straight overtime game and this time had to hold off a huge Iowa St. rally. UNLV took a 21-0 lead into halftime but the Cyclones came storming back by scoring four touchdowns in the second half, three on drives of 80 yards or more. The Rebels outgained Iowa St. 454-306 and forced the Cyclones to punt on all seven first half possessions, six of which were three and outs.

New Mexico St 34 TEXAS-EL PASO 33

Only six total yards separated the Aggies and Miners so it was no surprise it was a back and forth game throughout. New Mexico St. scored the go ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter and the defense stepped up, forcing a fumble at their own 24-yard line and then stopping UTEP on fourth down with less than a minute remaining. Two of the Miners touchdowns were from the defense on a fumble return and an interception return.

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