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Phil Steele: News and Notes - Week 9

Phil Steele: News and Notes - Week 9

News and Notes - Week 9
Northcoast Sports 

Florida blocked 2 punts and a FG all 3 setting up TD’s early as they rolled to a 63-5 romp over Kentucky...

Texas Tech already led 42-14 when Todd Reesing was int’d on 3 of his next 4 passes and TT extended it to 63-14 before KU got an 80/16pl drive for a garbage TD with 3:52 left.

The key play of the game happened with Texas leading 21-14 3Q. McCoy was int’d but roughing the QB gave UT a FD and they converted a TD a few plays later to lead 28-14 and held on for a 28-24 win. Over the last 3 games Colt McCoy has thrown for 333 ypg, completing 84% with an 8-1 ratio...

The steady rain greatly aided Navy in their game vs SMU. SMU came in avg 332 ypg passing and was held to 157. Navy became the first team in Div IA in the last 11 years to go an entire game without attempting a pass, the last was Ohio vs Akron in 1997. Navy rushed for 440 yds on 77 carries...

While Texas A&M beat Iowa St 49-35, showing what kind of year it’s been for the Aggies D, the 35 points they allowed was actually the fewest they’ve given up in conf play. The Aggies did lead 49-28 when ISU got a TD with 3:30 left and ISU gained 60 yds on their final drive giving them the yardage and FD edges...

For the first time in their school history, LSU has yielded 50+ points twice in the same season! Georgia did get a pair of IR TD’s and while LSU had 497-443 yd and 21-16 FD edges, they trailed by 14-21 points almost the entire 2H...

Cal only led UCLA 20-13 in the 4Q but UCLA faked a punt on 4th & 23 and gained 22 yds. Cal ran a flea-flicker for a 53 yd TD pass on the next play and then added a 20 yd IR TD to lead 34-13 with the TD’s coming within :19 of each other. Cal did add another TD with 2:08 left for a 41-13 lead before UCLA got an 81 yd KR setting up a garbage TD with 1:33 left...

The 54 points Pitt allowed was their most since 1996 and also the most they have allowed at home since 1993. Rutgers was held to 12 points or fewer 4 times but shockingly had 54 vs the Panthers and Mike Teel set a school record with 6 TD passes...

Missouri trailed Texas 35-0 late in the 2Q last week but rebounded big time. They got their first shutout over a Big 12 opponent since 1988. The Tigers led 34-0 at the half with a 298-33 yd edge and coasted 58-0 past Colorado...

Vandy’s 6th win has been tough to come by as they dropped their 3rd straight and will likely be an underdog in each of the last 4 games. Duke led 10-0 after 3Q’s despite being SOD at the VU39 and missing 33 and 34 yd FG’s. Duke also fmbl’d at the VU9 with :03 left in the 3Q. VU got a 79 yd TD pass 4pl later to get back in it. VU missed a 43 yd FG and then was SOD at their own 19. On their last drive VU got to the 39 but was int’d at the 1 with :38 left...

USC had a battle in the desert and 2 key plays helped them win by 7. Arizona was stopped on 4th & inches at midfield mid-4Q and then with USC pinned at their own 3, Johnson fumbled at their 10 but TE McCoy picked it up and ran an additional 29 yds to the 39 allowing them to escape the shadow of their own EZ...

Kent St finally played to its talent level and waxed Miami, Oh 54-21. Kent St had a 468-318 yd edge on the road. MU gained a lot of its yards late with two 4Q TD’s...

Notre Dame demolished Washington on the road with 25-9 FD and 459-124 yd edges. The Huskies avoided their first home shutout loss since 1976 scoring a TD with 2:56 left. In the 1H ND had a 238-38 yd edge...

ULM led Florida Atlantic almost start to finish jumping out to a 21-0 lead but FAU battled back and got a TD with :22 left in the game to pull out the win.

THIS YEAR’S MOST DISAPPOINTING TEAMS

Arizona St is right at the head of the list of this year’s most disappointing teams as they came into the season as a contender for the Pac-10 Title but have not only been losing, but getting blown out. Oregon led 44-13 after 3Q’s with ASU getting a TD with :52 left in a 54-20 loss...

Alabama beat Tennessee on the 4th Saturday of October in the “3rd Saturday In October” rivalry. UA got off to their usual strong start in the 1H with a 13-3 edge but this time won the 2H as well (16-6) in their 29-9 win. They managed 23-10 FD and 366-173 yd edges as the seat got a bit hotter for Phil Fulmer. Tenn scored a TD mid-4Q trailing 29-3 and their only FG was set up by a fumbled punt at the 5.

ANOTHER WEEK OF NEAR MISSES FOR THE BIG DOG PLAYS

We had Over 59’ in the UNLV/BYU game. The teams scored on almost every poss of the 1H and it was 21-21. UNLV got a TD with 6:49 left to lead 35-34. BYU drove for a TD with 1:46 left, 42-35 but UNLV had their chance to win. The Rebels went 55/11pl and had a FD at the BYU13 but a sk forced a 3rd & 21 Hail Mary which was int’d in the EZ...

Fresno St’s K Kevin Goessling has struggled this year including 3 missed FG’s vs Wisconsin and 2 in OT vs Hawaii. Utah St appeared to get a Big Dog outright upset winner as they scored a TD with :38 left to lead FSU 28-27 but FSU got 19 and 6 yd passes and Goessling hit a 58 yd FG on the game’s final play to pull out the win...

San Diego St piled up 392 yds vs Colorado St and led 17-10 at the half but couldn’t hold on losing 38-34 although they did get the cover.

TURNOVERS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Cincinnati had a 6-0 TO deficit to Connecticut and was also SOD twice so it was like having 8 TO’s. UC led 13-10 at the half and started Tony Pike, who had missed the previous 4 games with injury. Pike only lasted the 1H hitting 10 of 27 and Chazz Anderson was 9 of 20 in the 2H. Conn was also missing their QB Zach Frazer and 3rd string Cody Endres started and hit 18 of 42 for 196. It was 23-16 when Conn got a 40 yd IR to the 22 setting up a 22 yd FG with 5:46 left, 26-16. Conn got 2 TD’s in the final 2:00 and Cincy had a 16-15 FD edge but lost by 24 points...

Northwestern had a 5-0 TO deficit vs Indiana. One of the key plays came when they fumbled at their own 34 with 1:04 left in the half leading 9-7. Indy, 7 plays later, got a TD with :11 left in the half to lead 14-9. NU, trailing 21-19, was int’d at the Indy36 with 4:03 left and then on 2nd & 1 backup QB Kafka was hit from behind and fmbl’d and Indy rec’d at the 8 with 1:34 left and took a knee for the win. NU had a 23-17 FD edge but lost RB Sutton (wrist) and QB Bachér (leg) to inj.

STREAKS

Michigan’s streak of 33 straight bowls appears to be in serious jeopardy as they already lost their 6th game and have no margin for error. Their schedule also includes a road trip to Ohio St. This, despite the fact they benefitted from a blown replay call where the receiver only hit the pylon and not the ground. NCAA rules state that he should have been ruled OOB but was given a TD. MSU had a 473-252 yd edge but missed 3 FG’s and UM actually led 21-14 late 3Q but lost by 14 points.

FOURTEEN POINT TURNAROUND

After AF turned the ball over on 3 of their first 4 poss, NM was in control. They led 10-0 and were deep in AF terr when they fmbl’d at the 4. AF ret’d it 96 yds for a TD and instead of NM leading 17-0, it was 10-7. At the half NM had a 177-122 yd edge but it was 10-10. NM fmbl’d the opening KO of the 3Q and then was SOD at the AF10 after a 62/12pl drive. NM was int’d at the AF17 and fmbl’d a punt setting up an AF 43 yd FG and lost 23-10 despite a 303-228 yd edge...

Wake Forest came into the Miami game just #111 in the NCAA in rushing (93 ypg, 2.6 ypc) but rushed for 195 yds vs Miami, Fl. Unfortunately, Riley Skinner hit just 3 of 8 passes. WF had a 185-110 yd edge at the half and led 10-3 but UM’s D took over in the 2H and the Hurricanes won by 6....

Rutgers got their first road win vs a ranked team since 1988...

USF gave up a TD with 7:07 left and trailed UL 24-20. UL missed a 36 yd FG with 2:10 left but USF was called for def holding with a player lifting another player to blk the FG, which gave UL the FD and they ran out the clock...

N Illinois QB Chandler Harnish became the first Huskie QB since 1990 to top 100 yds rushing in a game. K Mike Salerno not only booted the game-winning 30 yd FG with :12 left, but he tied a school record with a 52 yd FG in the 1Q.

MISLEADING FINALS, BACKDOOR AND FRONTDOOR COVERS

At the end of the 1Q there were only 2 FD’s in the Boise St/San Jose St game but each team had a TD as Boise blk’d a punt setting up a 14 yd drive for a TD and SJSt got a 62 yd IR TD. It was still 26-16 late when BSU went on a 55/7pl drive for a TD with 1:04 left and BSU did have a 393-207 yd edge with the misleading part being the total points scored...

Nebraska had a shot at covering vs Baylor. They missed an xp with 12:11 left. NU then drove 78/7pl and had a 1st & gl at the 5 but Castille fmbl’d it at the 2. After BU was tkl’d for a safety, 32-20 (6:59), NU was SOD at the BU37 with 4:42 left. BU actually punted with 2:52 left and NU got 2 FD’s to run out the clock...

Oklahoma and Kansas St each had 23 FD’s but the Sooners won by 23 taking advantage of 5 KSU TO’s. The game was tied at 28 with 8:00 left in the 1H when OU drove for a TD. KSU then turned it over twice setting up short TD drives and OU got a 68 yd PR TD to lead 55-28 at the half. OU QB Sam Bradford had his worst completion % hitting just 13 of 32 passes for 255 yds and the Sooners scored just 3 points in the 2H but KSU missed a 49 yd FG, was SOD at the OU 1, int’d at the OU34 and SOD twice on the 41 on their last 4 drives...

Mississippi St appeared to get the frontdoor cover vs Middle Tenn driving 51/11pl for a TD with 4:45 left. MTSt went 76/16pl converting on 3rd & 7 and 4th & 1 and got a TD with 2:45 left for the backdoor cover...

Mississippi led Arkansas 20-7 in the 4Q but UA got a TD with 4:28 left to get in the backdoor, 20-14. Ole Miss got ahead of the spread with a 29 yd FG with 1:45 left but Arkansas hit 29, 19 and 22 yd passes on the next 3pl getting a TD with 1:07 left for the backdoor cover. UA rec’d the onside kick but their 4th & 25 pass fell incomplete.

INJURY SYSTEM

One of our favorite systems is the Injury System as just when it looks bleakest when the top players are out for the team they usually rebound with a win. Memphis was not only without its starting QB Arkelon Hall, but also lost backup QB Will Hudgens. Fourth stringer Tyler Bass, who shared time with 3rd stringer Brett Toney in this game, left with an injury in the 3Q and Toney was the team’s lone remaining QB. Bass had hit 10 of 13 for 130 while Toney hit 7 of 13 for 102. MU was actually a 5 pt home dog despite coming in 3-5 while SM was just 2-5. UM led 36-24 before SM got a 2 yd TD pass on the game’s final play.

INJURIES OF NOTE

Virginia Tech lost their starting QB (Taylor) on the first series of the game. Backup QB Glennon went out in the 3Q with injury and Cory Holt QB’d most of the 4Q hitting just 3 of 6 for 28 yds. VT led 10-0 after 1Q and FSU did not get their first FD until early 2Q with VT having a 205-70 yd edge at the half. Florida St scored TD’s on drives of 66, 71 and 45 yds to open the 3Q and after VT fumbled the KO at their 26, added a 29 yd FG to lead 27-13...

Purdue QB Curtis Painter hurt his throwing shoulder in the 1Q, missed some time and then DNP in the 2H. PU was down to their #3 QB who was playing RB the previous week and Siller hit 10-17 for 73 yds but he was sk’d 4x and int’d once. PU also had a 4-1 TO deficit..

Hawaii QB Greg Alexander was inj’d early in the year and entered the Nevada game as the 3rd string QB but sparked the team off the bench. He had a 24 yd TD pass with :20 left as UH was in FG range to win it. UH hadn’t scored in the 1Q since the 2nd week of the season. Alexander was the starter for the season opener vs Florida and hit 17 of 22 for 205 yds, one of three QB’s that the Warriors used.

TEAMS GIVEN UP FOR DEAD

Army lost at home to New Hampshire. They then lost at home in a circle-the-wagons game to Akron and looked ugly doing it. They looked like the worst team in college football. Since then, Army has won 3 of their last 4 games and last week their D, which had been a sieve, held Louisiana Tech to 152 total yards. While Army had just 235 total yards, they prevailed 14-7 at home...

Virginia opened the season with a 1-3 record, with their only win over a IAA foe but have now rebounded to win 4 in a row. GT had scored on their first 2 poss and led UVA 14-3 after 1Q but UVA only punted once and actually outgained the Yellow Jackets 396-259. Cedric Peerman rushed for 118 yds and Marc Verica hit 29 of 39 for 270. UVA is actually now the leader in the ACC Coastal Div.

WARM WEATHER

Many times at this point in the season you are going to see teams from warm weather struggle in cold weather and for Auburn it happened in the 2H vs W Virginia. Auburn led 17-3 and appeared in control but in the nighttime game the temp kept dropping. After the half AU had just 33 yds offense as WV came back and took the lead with 4:06 left in the 3Q, 20-17. AU missed a 44 yd FG and WV added two 4Q TD’s to ice it.

TITLE GAME FAVORITES

Penn St has the easiest slate to get to the title game as they get a week off after their win over Ohio St to get ready for Iowa on the road. They will be a huge favorite over Indiana and take on a beatable Michigan St team at home. Iowa is maybe the last chance for those folks rooting for a PSU loss.

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