Phil Steele: News and Notes - Week 8

Phil Steele: News and Notes - Week 8

News and Notes - Week 8
By Phil Steele

Week 7

Troy and Florida Atl played an even game but FAU shot itself in the foot. A key play early that was not even noticed on TV was a 3rd & 8 conversion for Troy where the QB's knee went down at the 13 but he was spotted at the 10 for a FD. The play was not even reviewed. After a 2 yd gain on 3rd & gl from the 6, a pers foul on FAU gave Troy a FD and they got a TD on the next play. Later, a KO bounced off the helmet of a FAU player and Troy drove 16 yds for a TD. FA was at the 4 but was int'd in the EZ and then had a snap sail over the P's head and he kicked it OOB at the 4 setting up another Troy TD. FAU went on a 66/11pl drive and missed a 27 yd FG and ended up losing by 13...

It was a story of 2 halves in the UAB/Houston game. The two actually combined for 544 yds in the 1H but had just 23 pts on the board with UAB taking a commanding 20-3 lead. The Blazers' fmbl'd the punt snap at their own 8 setting up a TD and then gave up a 35 yd IR TD and UH took its first lead, 24-20 with 1:28 left 3Q. They would score three 4Q TD's and had a 292-65 yd edge in a 42-0 2H in their 45-20 win...

Steve Spurrier moved to 16-0 vs Kentucky and when Stephen Garcia came in for the 3Q, he guided the team on 8pl, 12pl and 7pl drives where they settled for a 42 yd FG, missed 2 FG's and got a TD in their 24-17 win...

Mississippi St's win is even more impressive than the final indicates as they had 16-7 FD and 247-107 yd edges. Vanderbilt actually took the lead after MSU had 4 and 16 yd punts and they took over at the MSU17 and after a pers foul kept the drive alive, got a TD for a 7-3 halftime lead despite being outgained 144-43. MSU led 17-7 and VU got a TD but at the end of the game MSU was at the VU9 taking a knee...

At the start of the year it looked like a tough test for Penn St having to battle in Madison, WI but PSU handed Wisconsin its 3rd straight loss and moved to its first 7-0 start under Paterno since 1999, the same year they last won consecutive Big Ten road games. UW got their most lopsided loss since 1989 and is 0-3 in the Big Ten for the first time since 2002. Four of the major magazines did not even have the Lions ranked at the beginning of the year...
   
Purdue had a 298-222 yd edge vs Ohio St but gained 37 yds on the final drive of the 1H and 51 yds in the final 2:24 of the game and did not get past Ohio St's 30 until that final drive...

TCU/Colorado St was played in 39? temps with rain and the Frogs gave up a TD on the first poss but then clamped down on CSU allowing -49 yds rushing in the 2H. At the half TCU had a 216-111 yd edge but only led 13-7 and the 2H was scoreless...

Baylor broke a 13 game B12 losing streak with a 38-10 win over Iowa St and had a 435-257 yd edge...

USC and Arizona St both had banged up QB's that were questionable to doubtful before the game. Sometimes having an injured player play is not a positive as Carpenter hit 11 of 20 for 126 yds with 1 int while Sanchez hit 13 of 26 for 179 yds with 3 int's and a fmbl. ASU backup QB Sullivan came into the game with 9:00 left in the 3Q and did not complete his first pass until 2:00 were left in the game hitting just 4 of 17 for 28 yds and the two teams combined for 9 TO's...

New Mexico Coach Rocky Long feels that the refs cost them the game vs BYU. NM was playing the Cougars even and trailing 14-3 had a 14 yd TD pass on a 17pl drive was wiped out by an illegal blk in the back. TV replay seemed to show the NM player was reaching out to touch the BYU player but stopped. NM was SOD on 4th & 23 two plays later and BYU went on for a TD to clinch it...

Missouri went 3 & out on offense for the first time all year vs Okla St. QB Chase Daniel hit 39 of 52 for 390 yds but had 3 crucial int's and MO, which had gotten the news prior to the game that they would be facing Texas next week in a possible #1 vs #2 battle, was upset at home. OSU stunningly moves to 6-0...

Army RB Mooney who rushed for 187 yds and 4 TD's vs Tulane the previous week, topped that with 229 yds vs E Michigan. Army trailed 13-10 when they blk'd a FG and then drove 80/14pl for a TD and the lead early 4Q and won despite hitting just zero of 3 passes for zero yards. They had a 341-255 yd edge...

Mack Brown and Bob Stoops had met 3 times when both were ranked in the Top 5 with Stoops winning all 3. Oklahoma led 28-20 but Texas outscored them 25-7 after that. The last time Texas knocked off a #1 OU was in 1963 and that turned out to be a National Championship year for Texas. Sam Bradford broke the major college record for TD's as a frosh and soph as he now has 58 topping Rex Grossman's mark (55) but it was Colt McCoy (because his team won) that stepped up to become the leader of the Heisman race despite being outpassed by 110 yards...

New Mexico St piled up 513 yds vs Nevada and led most of the game. In fact they were up 48-38 as a 3 TD underdog when NV got a TD with 3:51 left. NMSt got 2 FD's on their final drive and was able to run out the clock for the big upset...

Idaho had not been remotely competitive vs any opponent this year and was even waxed by Utah St 42-17 on the road. Amazingly they had a 452-443 yd edge vs FSU and only trailed by 10 in the 4Q...

C Michigan star QB Dan LeFevour inj'd his ankle vs Temple and Brian Brunner QB'd the 2H hitting 7 of 13 for 136. Coach Butch Jones said after the game that the injury was not serious. TU had 4 TO's in the 10 pt loss to CM while both teams had 14 FD's...

San Jose St QB Kyle Reed threw for a career high 300 yds vs Utah St despite not playing the 4Q. SJSt led 30-0. Like LW, Utah St got a TD late in the 4Q (2 TD in 4Q vs BYU) to avoid the shutout...

Tulane RB Andre Anderson rushed for 255 yds on 29 carries in a losing cause vs UTEP.

FIRE THE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

Auburn took on an Arkansas D that had allowed over 300 yds rushing (7.2) vs two SEC opponents but the Tigers managed just 193 total yards offense. Amazingly, the outstanding RB Ben Tate was given the ball just 8 times for 32 yds and in a strange move, they had QB Kodi Burns run it 15 times for just 38 yds and throw 18 passes completing just 7 with 2 int's. Auburn, taking on the woebegone Arkansas team was outFD's 19-11 and outgained 416-193. There should be cries for them to fire the OC but that's precisely what they did prior to this game as Tony Franklin was let go and Steve Ensminger took over for this one...

W Virginia's OC may not be on the hot seat but why throw the ball 20 times with 14 completions for only 52 yards?

EASY AS THEY LOOKED

We liked the Over in the ULL/N Texas game and it was Over the Total in the 3Q. ULL had a 590-528 yd edge and the two teams combined for 89 points covering the spread by 3 TD's...

Nothing fluky about FIU's 41-21 win over Middle Tennessee. FIU had been outgained by both Toledo and N Texas the previous 2 weeks but here had a 335-243 yd edge vs the Blue Raiders...

SMU led Tulsa 31-24 but gave up two 4Q TD's and lost its 6th consecutive game with its only win this season vs a IAA foe. SMU piled up 469 yds vs the Hurricane...

Florida had a couple games this season where it was close into the 4Q before they would score three 4Q TD's (Ark & Miami). This time UF held nothing back and piled up 51 pts vs LSU's vaunted D in their dominating 30 point win.

COACHES ON THE HOT SEAT

Tommy Bowden had a team that was the ACC favorite and it's highly evident that his team will not win the ACC and he is firmly on the hot seat. Clemson was woefully inept once again of offense with just 21 yds rushing on 23 carries but WF left them in the game. WF had a backup K and missed 2 FG's in the 2H and settled for a 22 yd FG and CU had negative yards in the 1Q and didn't get their first FD until midway through the 2Q but WF only led 3-0. Somehow, CU took the lead with :07 left in the 3Q on a TD but then fired an int. Then the key play of the game happened. On 3rd & 24 pinned at their own 8, WF got a 28 yd pass then went on a 78/15pl drive for a TD to pull out the win, 12-7. WF had a 21-10 FD edge...

Utah had just 11 FD's vs Wyoming and 242 yds but led 27-0 at the half with a blk'd punt and IR TD's. At the end of the game, they recovered a fumbled punt for a TD reminiscent of last year when Joe Glenn had guaranteed a win and Utah Coach Whittingham went for an onside kick. He tried for 2 with 3:19 left and a 40-7 lead and failed. Glenn was the darling of college football just 3 years ago but is now on one of the NCAA's hottest seats...

It's a foregone conclusion that Syracuse HC Greg Robinson will be out at the end of the year if not sooner but the Orange actually outplayed WV who were without starting QB Pat White. Surprisingly trailing by 1 point, SU went for it on 4th & 4 at the WV45 and were SOD and WV got a FG. SU went 59/13pl but was SOD at the 5 and Devine got a 91 yd TD run 3 plays later, 17-6 and had a career high 188 yds rushing.

MISLEADING FINALS

Memphis had a 27-13 FD edge vs L'ville and 481-299 yd edge but came up short. They led 14-7 in the 2Q when UL got a 95 yd KR TD then after a 25 yd PR drove 30 yds for a TD. Then Mem attempted a 47 yd FG on the final play of the half that UL not only blk'd but ret'd for a TD with no time left on the clock, 28-14. With the game tied at 28, UL got a 21 yd FR TD for the margin...

While UCF's defense did a fine job vs Miami holding them to 12 FD's and just 216 yds, UCF had 14 pts on a total of 78 yds offense. Fourteen pts came from a 62 yd IR TD and a 99 yd KR TD, the latter came after a penalty on the KO the play prior. At the half UM had a 168-42 yd edge but only led 10-7...

Georgia dominated Tennessee with 29-10 FD and 458-209 yd edges. UGA settled for 34, 20, 41 and 28 yd FG's. They were also int'd in the EZ and int'd at the 15 yd line killing drives. UT gained half of their offense on 2 plays. One, a 61 yd pass late in the half which set up a TD and the other on a 25 yd pass on the game's final play which put them over 200 yds for the game.

TURNOVERS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

A 14 pt play came back to haunt Michigan. The Wolves had a 2nd & gl at the 5 yd line and threatening to score when they were not only int'd but ret'd 100 yds for a TD by UT. They trailed 7-0 but UM battled back to lead 10-7 at the half but UT's K Steigerwald got a career long 48 yd FG early 4Q to give UT a 13-10 lead. UM drove to the UT9 but 2nd & 1 and 3rd & 1 passes fell incomplete and they missed a chip shot 26 yard FG with :04 left which would have forced OT. UM's 2-4 record is their worst six game record since 1967...

Notre Dame had a 472-322 yd edge and nearly won the game despite an amazing 5-0 TO deficit. The Irish led 17-9 at the half with a 260-173 yd edge. There was a foreshadowing of the four 2H Irish TO's on the first play NC got a 32 yd IR TD to pull within 1. ND would fmbl at its own 42 setting up an NC TD was SOD at the NC23, int'd at the NC15 and on their final drive, fmbl'd at the NC 19 on their final five poss and came up 5 pts short...

Hawaii was almost last in the NCAA in TO margin but that has quickly turned around. They forced 6 TO's vs Fresno St 2 weeks ago and had a 4-1 TO edge vs Louisiana Tech in their 10 point home win last week.

INJURIES OF NOTE

Troy QB Jamie Hampton is likely to be done for the year after a 3Q injury vs FAU. He was inj'd with the team ahead 27-10. They also lost starting C Danny Franks (check status)...

Stanford lost starting QB Tavita Pritchard to an apparent concussion and Jason Forcier hit just 2 of 6 for 18 yds with an int and 2 fmbl's. They went to little used Alex Loukas who came in hitting 1 of 7 on the season, Loukas threw just 1 pass but ran 5 times for 39 yds and guided SU on a 60/11pl drive for a TD with :25 left to pull out the upset home win for the Cardinal...

Oregon QB Justin Roper returned to practice but surprisingly was not used vs UCLA. Jeremiah Masoli hit just 5 of 19 passes for 42 yds and UO relied on the ground game with 323 yds rushing only beating UCLA 31-24. True frosh Chris Harper, who has played QB, saw action at WR with 2 rec for 25 yds...

Georgia Tech rested starter Josh Nesbitt and 2nd string QB Jaybo Shaw was also injured so 6'4" Calvin Booker was called upon to run the option. He did rush for a team high 19 carries but for just 35 yds and hit 3 of 11 for 120. GT was a massive favorite vs lowly IAA Gardner-Webb but actually got outFD'd 14-9 and outgained 227-219...

Washington St lost their 3rd QB to injury during the year as Marshall Lobbestael suffered an ankle inj in the 4Q. He was replaced by rFr Dan Wagner who did not attempt a pass. Earlier this year they lost Gary Roger and Kevin Lopina to injuries and over the last 2 weeks put an ad in the paper requesting try-outs for a player to QB the scout team...

SDSt QB Ryan Lindley missed the Air Force game with a separated shoulder and Drew Westling hit just 18 of 35 for 128 yds and the Aztecs managed just 165 yds offense. Despite leading 10-7 at the half they were waxed 35-10.

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