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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

MIDDLE TENNESSEE 14 Fla Atlantic 13


The Blue Raiders were as good as dead after the Owls kicked a field goal with 1:15 remaining to grab a six-point lead. Middle Tennessee was able to move the ball down the field and eventually won the game on fourth down as time expired on a 32-yard touchdown pass. The Owls finished with four turnovers, the final three all taking place across midfield including a fumble at the Blue Raiders one-yard line.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

(15) BOISE STATE 38 Louisiana Tech 3


Boise St. outgained the Bulldogs 464-320 and it was aided by numerous missed opportunities by Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs drove into Boise St. territory on four of their first five possessions but came away with just one field goal as it missed another long attempt as well as turned it over on downs once. The Broncos doubled Louisiana Tech in first downs 26-13.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

(24) Pittsburgh 26 (19) SO FLORIDA 21


Pittsburgh outgained the Bulls 374-245 but it still needed a late touchdown to pull off the upset. South Florida scored the go ahead touchdown with 5:57 remaining following an 86-yard drive but the Panthers took the ensuing kickoff and went 60 yards for the eventual game winner. South Florida started the scoring on a blocked punt for a touchdown but it hurt itself with 11 penalties on the night.

Memphis 33 U-A-B 30

Memphis spotted the Blazers a 10-point lead in the first quarter but rallied and kicked the game winning field goal with only two seconds remaining. UAB was down a touchdown, got the ball with 4:37 remaining and tied it up just two plays later. The Blazers outgained Memphis 455-436 but they had two fumbles that led to 10 points for the Tigers while they also missed a field goal right before halftime.

(14) UTAH 31 Oregon State 28

Utah jumped out to a 20-9 lead before the Beavers came storming back with 19 unanswered points to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. Oregon St. took an eight-point lead with just 2:18 remaining but the Utes drove 60 yards in just 42 seconds to tie the game. Utah forced a three and out and went 35 yards to set up the game winning field goal as time expired. The Beavers won the yardage battle 405-337.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Cincinnati 33 MARSHALL 10


The Bearcats had no problem with Marshall on Friday night and the significant part was the rushing edge. Cincinnati outgained the Thundering Herd 203-90 on the ground and it didn’t allow them in the redzone all night. Marshall was able to pull within six points early in the third quarter before the Bearcats scored the final 17 points of the game. The Thundering Herd threw three interceptions all in its own territory.

(9) B-Y-U 34 UTAH STATE 14

BYU jumped ahead 24-0 after the first quarter and took a 34-0 lead before the Aggies tacked on two late scores to make it more respectable. Utah St. turned it over on three of its first four possessions which led to 17 points for the Cougars including a 38-yard fumble return for a score. BYU outgained the Aggies only 406-322 but it had 12 penalties for 123 yards which hurt both sides of the ball.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

GEORGIA TECH 27 Duke 0


Georgia Tech outgained the Blue Devils 454-132 and held them to just nine first downs. Duke punted on its first eight possessions while crossing midfield only three times the entire game. The Yellow Jackets meanwhile were in Duke territory in six of their first seven possessions but hurt themselves with two failed fourth down attempts as well as a fumble at the Blue Devils nine-yard line.

Akron 30 KENT STATE 27

Kent actually outgained the Zips 413-301 and won the turnover battle 3-2 but it was unable to convert on several opportunities. The Golden Flashes fumbled twice around midfield, turned it over on downs and missed two field goals including a second one in double overtime. Akron made the most of its excellent field position and was able to get it done despite going 3-15 on third down.

MINNESOTA 16 Indiana 7

Minnesota won a surprisingly low scoring game as it outgained the Hoosiers by only 40 total yards 333-293 despite running 33 more plays from scrimmage. The Gophers controlled the clock by more than 15 more minutes as they finished 8-19 on third down while holding Indiana to just 1-10. Neither team was able to run as Indiana had 49 yards on 24 carries (2.0 ypc) while Minnesota had 59 yards on 44 carries (1.3 ypc).

Boston College 38 NC STATE 31

Boston College outgained the Wolfpack 578-253 but still needed a touchdown with 23 seconds remaining to pull out the win. The Eagles punted only twice the entire game but were hurt by three turnovers in NC State territory as well as a missed fourth down attempt. The Wolfpack were able to cut into an early lead thanks to a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. NC State rushed for just 35 yards on 22 carries (1.6 ypc).

(6) Penn State 20 PURDUE 6

Penn St. dominated as it allowed Purdue to cross midfield on only three possessions with the first two times resulting in missed field goals. The Nittany Lions outgained Purdue 422-241 with 82 of those Boilermakers yards coming on their final drive of the game. Penn St. entered Purdue territory in eight of its nine possessions and the score could have been worse but the Nittany Lions settled for two field goals of 25 and 20 yards.

WEST VIRGINIA 24 Rutgers 17

The Scarlet Knights lost in a game that should not have been as close as the final score ended up. Rutgers was outgained by 63 total yards including 103 yards on the ground. The Mountaineers forced Rutgers to punt on all four first quarter possessions and they were able to build a 10-0 lead and hold on. The Scarlet Knights had the ball with 1:54 remaining at the West Virginia 45-yard line but failed to convert a fourth down attempt.

(23) MICHIGAN STATE 16 Iowa 13

Michigan St. won despite getting outgained by the Hawkeyes 309-275. Iowa turned the ball over on three of its first five possessions including twice inside the Michigan St. 15-yard line and once at its own 12-yard line. The defense forced a punt with 7:40 remaining in the game and the Hawkeyes made it down to the Spartans 24-yard line before turning it over on fourth down with 2:10 left.

(11) Florida 38 ARKANSAS 7

Florida bounced back nicely as it outgained the Razorbacks 514-361 and took advantage of several miscues. Arkansas failed on fourth down inside the Gators 35-yard line on its first two possessions while also throwing an interception at the 12-yard line and missing a field goal. Florida was very balanced with 236 yards passing and 278 yards rushing on 38 carries (7.3 ypc).

(1) Oklahoma 49 BAYLOR 17

Oklahoma jumped a head 28-0 in the first quarter and coasted the rest of the way. The Sooners outgained Baylor 594-269 including an advantage of 377-75 in passing yards. Oklahoma entered Bears territory on all 11 of its possessions and in the four possessions that did not result in scores, the Sooners still ran at least nine plays in those drives and in total, the Sooners ran 25 more plays from scrimmage.

(16) Kansas 35 IOWA STATE 33

Iowa St. jumped ahead 20-0 at halftime before the Jayhawks stormed back with four straight touchdowns to move ahead for good. Kansas crossed midfield only once in the first half as it committed three turnovers in its first seven possessions but was lucky that it led to just six points. The Cyclones had one last shot as they got the ball at their own 41-yard line with 1:13 remaining but failed to gain a single yard in four plays.

(18) VIRGINIA TECH 27 Western Ky 13

Virginia Tech took a 27-3 lead while holding the Hilltoppers to only 66 total yards until the defense let up and allowed two late long drives and scores. Western Kentucky ended up with only eight first downs as it finished just 3-14 on third down. The Hokies won the yardage battle by only 50 total yards but benefited from Western Kentucky committing 13 penalties for 113 yards.

COLORADO STATE 41 U-N-L-V 28

Colorado St. outgained the Rebels 510-347 but the game was a back and forth affair the whole way. UNLV jumped ahead 14-3 before the Rams scored 24 unanswered points to take a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Rebels were once again able to get the lead back but Colorado St. drove 80 yards and scored the game winner with just nine second left. The Rams scored on a fumble to end the game.

So Carolina 31 OLE MISS 24

South Carolina spotted the Rebels a 14-3 lead before scoring four of the next five touchdowns to pull away. Mississippi committed three turnovers that led to 14 points including a fumble recovery that was returned for a touchdown by the Gamecocks. The third turnover took place on its final possession as the Rebels were trying to drive for the tying score. Both teams finished 7-13 on third down.

WESTERN MICH 41 Ohio U 20

Western Michigan outgained the Bobcats 506-356 while it built a 27-7 lead early in the fourth quarter and coasted the rest of the way. Ohio got inside the Broncos 40-yard line on its first two possessions but tossed an interception and missed a field goal to come away with nothing. The Broncos finished with three turnovers that led to 14 Ohio points while also missing a field goal.

NOTRE DAME 28 Stanford 21

Notre Dame scored touchdowns on three of its first four possessions and built a comfortable 28-7 lead before holding off a late Cardinal rally. Stanford pulled to within a touchdown midway through the final period and the Irish were able to pin Stanford at its own three-yard line on its last possession and Notre Dame held on fourth down. The Irish won the yardage battle 430-343 despite first downs being even at 20 each.

Army 44 TULANE 13


Army pulled off the big upset despite getting outgained 486-334. The Green Wave finished with four turnovers that led to 21 points for the Black Knights including an 81-yard fumble recovery and a 35-yard interception return for scores. Army ran 31 fewer plays from scrimmage as Tulane was also guilty of a missed field goal and a turnover on downs at the Black Knights 37-yard line.

(2) ALABAMA 17 Kentucky 14

Alabama jumped ahead 14-0 thanks to a 78-yard touchdown run as well as a fumble recovery that was returned four yards for a touchdown. The Wildcats tried to make a comeback as they pulled to within a touchdown and were driving again for the tying score before an interception ended that drive. Alabama sealed it with a field goal with 2:12 remaining before Kentucky added one late touchdown.

CALIFORNIA 24 Arizona State 14

California only outgained the Sun Devils 277-236 but took advantage of three Arizona St. turnovers that led to 14 points. The Bears scored on three of their first four possessions but the offense slowed down, gaining just 90 yards in their final eight possessions. Neither team was able to generate much on the ground as California rushed for 79 yards on 33 carries (2.4 ypc) while Arizona St. rushed for 71 yards on 32 carries (2.2 ypc).

(7) Texas Tech 58 KANSAS STATE 28


Texas Tech racked up 626 yards of offense while the defense held Kansas St. to just 296 total yards. The Red Raiders scored on nine of their first 10 possessions before the offense took off the second part of the fourth quarter. Kansas St. had this game tied early in the second quarter at 14 apiece before Texas Tech ran off 24 unanswered points before halftime. The Red Raiders were a perfect 8-8 inside the redzone.

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Re: NCAAF: Inside the Boxscores

Inside the Boxscores - Week 6 Part 2
By: Matt Fargo

Florida State 41 MIAMI-FLORIDA 39

Florida St. outgained the Hurricanes 440-256 and jumped ahead 24-0 before holding off a big Miami rally late. The Hurricanes cut that lead in half by the end of the third quarter and pulled to within two points midway through the fourth period before the Seminoles drove 81 yards for the game icing touchdown. Florida St. had four turnovers that led to 17 points while Miami had three turnovers that led to 10 points.

Temple 28 MIAMI-OHIO 10

Miami outgained the Owls 303-294 but it had four turnovers that led to two Temple touchdowns. The RedHawks also turned it over on downs twice in the second half and they finished with seven trips into Temple territory that resulted in no points. The Owls had only 11 first downs and they didn’t help their cause by committing nine penalties for 81 yards.

Illinois 45 MICHIGAN 20

Michigan jumped ahead 14-3 after the first quarter before Illinois scored four unanswered touchdowns to pull away. The Illini won the yardage battle 501-319 and the defense stiffened in the second and third quarters by forcing seven punts and a fumble in the Wolverines eight possessions. Michigan committed only two turnovers but both led to Illinois touchdowns.

U-C-F 31 S-M-U 17

Central Florida won despite getting outgained 376-280 and finishing with only 11 first downs. The Mustangs finished with four turnovers, three of which took place inside Knights territory. SMU had a seven-point lead at the end of the first quarter before Central Florida scored three touchdowns in the next two quarters to pull away. The Mustangs rushed for just 25 yards on 21 carries (1.2 ypc).

Navy 33 AIR FORCE 27

Air Force lost to Navy for the sixth straight time as things simply did not go the right way for the Falcons. They outgained the Midshipmen 411-244 and they actually held Navy to a season low 206 yards rushing. Navy blocked two punts on the day, both of which were returned for touchdowns. The Falcons also fumbled twice inside their own 10-yard line which led to 10 more points for Navy.

Eastern Mich 24 BOWLING GREEN 21

Eastern Michigan pulled off the big upset as it outgained the Falcons 410-391. Bowling Green held a four-point lead with just 1:21 remaining but the Eagles drove 77 yards in just 45 seconds to produce the game winning touchdown. The Falcons had one last shot and they were able to get to the Eastern Michigan 36-yard line but missed the tying 53-yard field goal.

Nevada 49 IDAHO 14

Nevada racked up 507 yards of offense and it was very balanced with 243 yards passing and 264 yards rushing on 47 carries (5.6 ypc). Idaho started the game by missing a field goal on its first possession, missing a fourth down attempt on its second possession and fumbling a punt on its own one-yard line on its third possession. The Vandals finished with 316 total yard including just 24 yards rushing on 28 carries (0.9 ypc).

T-C-U 41 San Diego St 7

TCU dominated in all facets of the game. The 34-point setback for San Diego St. was actually more respectable than the game played out. The Aztecs were outgained by 413 total yards including 396 yards on the ground. San Diego St. finished with just 85 total yards and four first downs as it ran 49 fewer plays from scrimmage. The lone Aztecs touchdown was courtesy of a fumble that resulted in a one-yard scoring drive.

(13) VANDERBILT 14 (20) Auburn 13


Auburn built a 13-0 lead in the first quarter and it should have been more but it missed a fourth down attempt at the Vanderbilt one-yard line. The offense completely shut down after that as the Tigers had 157 total yards in that first period but just 51 yards the rest of the game. Auburn crossed midfield only once in 10 possessions in the final three periods. Vanderbilt finished with just 263 total yards.

(5) Texas 38 COLORADO 14

Texas jumped ahead 28-0 early in the third quarter and coasted the rest of the way. The Longhorns outgained Colorado 431-266 while holding the Buffaloes to 49 yards rushing on 28 carries (1.8 ypc). Colorado got into scoring position three times in the first half but missed three field goals. Texas won the time of possession battle by close to 14 more minutes.

(22) NORTH CAROLINA 38 Connecticut 12

North Carolina won going away despite getting outgained 378-263 by the Huskies and finishing with 10 fewer first downs. The Tar Heels blocked a punt for a touchdown before halftime and returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Connecticut ran 35 more plays from scrimmage but had three interceptions, two failed fourth down attempts and 11 penalties for 97 yards.

Florida Intl 42 NORTH TEXAS 10

Florida International built a 35-0 lead and won in a rout despite getting outgained 428-347. The Golden Panthers were aided by four North Texas turnovers that led to 21 points and they also blocked a punt and returned it 11 yards for a touchdown. Two of the Mean Green turnovers were inside the Florida International 30-yard line while they also missed a field goal and turned it over on fourth down at the 25-yard line.

Texas-El Paso 40 SOUTHERN MISS 37

UTEP won a wild one in double overtime despite getting outgained by the Golden Eagles 541-382. Southern Mississippi missed on countless opportunities as it missed three field goals while settling for three other short field goals of 29, 22 and 28 yards. The Miners could have put the game away as they were up three points late in the fourth quarter but missed on fourth down at the Golden Eagles two-yard line.

TENNESSEE 13 Northern Ill 9

Tennessee snuck out a close win as neither team was able to get any offense moving. The Volunteers finished with just 225 total yards and nine first downs while Northern Illinois had just 190 total yards and 12 first downs. Two of the three Huskies field goals were set up by Tennessee fumbles. Northern Illinois has four possessions in the fourth quarter but finished with minus nine yards.

(25) Ball State 31 TOLEDO 0

Ball St. remained undefeated as it dominated the Rockets in a shutout. The Cardinals outgained Toledo 482-157 and the score could have been worse but Ball St. settled for a 22-yard field goal on its opening drive while also missing two other attempts. The Rockets didn’t cross midfield until halfway through the third quarter. Ball St. rushed for 240 yards on 44 carries (5.5 ypc) while Toledo had just 14 yards on 19 carries (0.7 ypc).

UL Lafayette 44 UL-MONROE 35

UL-Lafayette outgained the Warhawks 728-353 and built a big early lead but had to hold off a late rally. UL-Monroe pulled to within two points late in the fourth quarter but the Cajuns scored on an 80-yard touchdown run on their first offensive play to ice the game. UL-Lafayette finished with 556 yards rushing on just 37 carries (15.0 ypc) as it had touchdown runs of 89, 64, 87, 52 and 80 yards.

VIRGINIA 31 Maryland 0

Virginia pulled off a shocker as it outgained the Terrapins 427-302 and doubled them in first downs 26-13. Maryland was inside the Virginia 40-yard line five times but had two turnovers, two failed fourth down attempts and ran out of time at the eight-yard line at the end of the first half. The Terrapins were a combined 4-15 on third and fourth down while Virginia went a combined 12-19.

(17) OKLAHOMA STATE 56 Texas A&M 28

Oklahoma St. remained undefeated as it rolled over the Aggies despite getting outgained by one total yard. The Cowboys built an early 28-7 lead thanks to returning two interceptions for touchdowns and returning a punt 78 yards for another score. Texas A&M finished with five turnovers that led to 28 points for Oklahoma St. The game featured 19 penalties between both teams.

ARIZONA 48 Washington 14

Washington remained winless on the season as it was outgained 449-244 and was at a 28-12 disadvantage in first downs. The Wildcats owned the line of scrimmage as they rushed for 256 yards on 51 carries (5.0 ypc) while holding the Huskies to 63 yards on 28 carries (2.2 ypc). This enabled Arizona to finish with a 15-minute time of possession advantage in the second half. The Wildcats also scored on a 48-yard punt return.

TULSA 63 Rice 28

Tulsa tallied more than 56 points for a fourth straight game as it racked up 577 yards of offense. The Golden Hurricane crossed midfield in all but three of their 15 possessions and scored touchdowns on six of their first seven second half possessions to run away with it. Rice finished with 453 total yards but had four turnovers, missed a field goal and turned in over on downs at the Tulsa 20-yard line.

(8) U-S-C 44 Oregon 10

Oregon scored on its opening possession as it drove 70 yards for a touchdown but the Trojans took over after that. USC scored 44 of the final 47 points as it outgained the Ducks 598-169 after that opening possession. The Trojans gained 8.0 yppl compared to just 3.3 yppl for the Ducks. Oregon finished with only 60 yards rushing on 39 carries (1.9 ypc) with 55 of those rushing yards coming on that first drive.

(12) Ohio State 20 WISCONSIN 17

Ohio St. won the yardage battle by a single yard but it needed 80 of its 327 yards on its final possession to score the game winning touchdown. Wisconsin got the ball back with just over a minute remaining but tossed an interception on the first play to end the game. The game was even throughout as both teams finished with roughly the same time of possession, two turnovers and was separated by just two first downs.

(3) Missouri 52 NEBRASKA 17

Nebraska hung around for a quarter as it trailed 14-7 until the Tigers pulled away by scoring 38 of the next 41 points. Missouri was inside Huskers territory on all 10 of its possessions and the only two non-scoring drives were a missed field goal and a missed fourth down with just over three minutes remaining in the game. Nebraska was only outgained 462-369 but two turnovers led to 14 points.

NEW MEXICO 24 Wyoming 0

The defense was the story for the Lobos as they started the scoring with a 13-yard interception return on the games first play from scrimmage. New Mexico allowed the Cowboys just 201 total yards and 12 first downs in preserving the shutout. The Lobos finished with 317 yards rushing on 48 carries (6.6 ypc) but they did have only 33 yards passing and finished 2-13 on third down.

Hawaii 32 FRESNO STATE 29

Fresno St. lost its second game this season but just a field goal despite outgaining the Warriors 522-342. Hawaii built a 26-9 lead before the Bulldogs rallied culminating in a 70-yard drive that tied the game in the fourth quarter. Fresno St. got the ball first in overtime but missed a 35-yard field goal before Hawaii kicked the game winner from 33 yards. The Bulldogs finished with six turnovers leading to 20 Hawaii points.

U-C-L-A 28 Washington St 3

UCLA snapped a three-game losing streak as it held the Cougars to only 171 total yards and 11 first downs. Washington St. crossed midfield on its first three possessions but was forced to punt twice while also turning it over on downs at the Bruins 35-yard line. The Cougars entered UCLA territory only one more time in nine possessions after that. The Bruins went 9-18 on third down while Washington St. went 2-14.

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