Week 1 – Inside The Boxscores September 2nd, 2008
By: Matt Fargo
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NCAA Football – Inside the Boxscores – Week 1 Part 1
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, August 28, 2008 BUFFALO 42 Texas-El Paso 17 Buffalo outgained UTEP 484-266 but the Miners were still within striking distance after three quarters. The Bulls took a two-touchdown lead before UTEP came back to tie it but then it was all Bulls after that as they outscored the Miners 28-3 to end it. UTEP was hurt by three interceptions, a missed field goal and two turnovers on downs. Buffalo was very balanced on offense with 263 yards rushing and 221 yards passing.
Vanderbilt 34 MIAMI-OHIO 13 The Commodores pulled off the minor upset as they jumped ahead 17-3 in the first quarter and never looked back. Despite the 21-point win, Vanderbilt only outgained the RedHawks 360-340 but it owned the line of scrimmage. The Commodores rushed for 269 yards on 50 carries (5.4 ypc) while holding Miami to 96 yards on 25 carries (3.8 ypc). Vanderbilt was a perfect 6-6 inside the redzone.
Troy 31 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 17 Troy jumped ahead 24-3 but had to hold on after the Blue Raiders pulled to within a touchdown last in the 4th quarter. The Trojans only won the yardage battle by 16 yards as they were hurt by four turnovers. Troy held Middle Tennessee to 84 yards rushing on 50 carries (1.7 ypc) thanks to recording five sacks worth 47 yards. The Blue Raiders were 0-4 on 4th down including a missed opportunity at the Troy one-yard line.
(23) Wake Forest 41 BAYLOR 13 Wake Forest scored on its first three possessions and took advantage of five Bears turnovers to run away with an easy win. Those turnovers led to 21 points for the Demon Deacons. The defense was stout as it allowed only one drive of more than 44 yards and it held the Bears to just 2-12 on third down conversions while its own offense went 7-14 and converting its lone fourth down attempt.
SO CAROLINA 34 NC State 0 After a slow start, the Gamecocks poured it on late. South Carolina turned the ball over on three of its first five possessions but a field goal started the scoring to end the first half. It then scored on five of its six second half possessions while the defense did not let NC State cross midfield in the second half. The Wolf Pack ended with only 138 total yards including 89 yards rushing on 37 carries (2.4 ypc).
STANFORD 36 Oregon State 28 Stanford won despite getting outgained 490-301 and finishing with 11 fewer first downs (29-18). The Beavers put up 401 yards through the air compared to only 91 for the Cardinal but Oregon St. was hurt by two interceptions, one which was returned for a touchdown. The Beavers also hurt themselves with 12 penalties for 100 yards and going just 4-6 inside the redzone.
Friday, August 29, 2008 Temple 35 ARMY 7
Temple was actually outgained by the Black Knights 284-250 but it was the defense and special teams that were the difference. The Owls returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown while also returning a fumble for a score. A second fumble recovery led to an eight-yard touchdown drive. Army rushed for 210 yards on 58 carries but completed just 6 of 15 passes for 74 yards.
RICE 56 S-M-U 27 Rice racked up 466 yards of offense but it needed to rally after SMU took an early 13-0 lead. The Owls scored 56 of the next 63 points before SMU tacked on a meaningless touchdown with only two minutes remaining. The Mustangs ran the ball only 14 times and gained just 11 yards (0.8 ypc). They also committed five turnovers that led to 28 points scored by Rice.
Saturday, August 30, 2008 EAST CAROLINA 27 (17) Virginia Tech 22 Virginia Tech grabbed a 14-0 lead thanks to two Pirates fumbles, one that was returned 30 yards for a touchdown and the other setting up a short drive. The Pirates were down by nine points with just over seven minutes remaining before scoring on a long touchdown drive and then blocking a punt for a score with 1:52 left for the winner. East Carolina outgained the Hokies 369-243.
NORTHWESTERN 30 Syracuse 10 Syracuse moved the ball well on its first drive as it went 63 yards but had to settle for a field goal. The Orange cut the Northwestern lead to one point early in the third quarter thanks to the Wildcats fumbling on the opening play. Northwestern then scored on three of its next four possessions to put the game away. Syracuse was outgained 484-225 while allowing 269 yards rushing on 42 carries (6.4 ypc).
Bowling Green 27 (25) PITTSBURGH 17 The Falcons upset Pittsburgh despite being outgained 393-254. The Panthers jumped ahead 14-0 but Bowling Green was able to get back in it thanks to a long touchdown drive followed by a fumble recovery setting up another score. Pittsburgh committed four turnovers, three of which occurred in Bowling Green territory while also missing a field goal and turning it over on downs at the Falcons 25-yard line. (13)
WISCONSIN 38 Akron 17 Wisconsin outgained the Zips 479-297 thanks to 404 yards rushing on 63 carries (6.4 ypc). The Badgers were only up by seven points at halftime after scoring on their first three possessions but giving it away inside the Akron five-yard line on its last two possessions of the half. Wisconsin then scored touchdowns on its first three drives of the second half to put it away.
(5) FLORIDA 56 Hawaii 10 Florida jumped ahead 56-0 after three quarters as the defense held the Warriors to 101 total yards in that span. Hawaii scored twice in garbage time to avoid the shutout. The Gators scored twice on defense as it returned two interceptions for scores while also returning a punt 74 yards for a score. Florida managed only 406 total yards but 255 yards were on the ground on 38 carries (6.7 ypc).
WYOMING 21 Ohio U 20 Ohio outgained the Cowboys 287-271 but an interception with 4:17 remaining at the Wyoming nine-yard line killed any chance of an upset. The Bobcats moved into Wyoming territory on their first five drives but fumbled once and turned it over on downs on another possession. The Cowboys held Ohio to just 39 yards rushing on 21 carries (1.9 ypc) while the Bobcats also committed 12 penalties for 115 yards.
Utah 25 MICHIGAN 23 Utah was able to pull off the upset as the defense was strong, holding Michigan to only 203 total yards. The Utes were up by 15 points in the final quarter but Michigan took advantage of good field position from a punt and a fumble recovery to score two touchdowns in a span of just over two minutes. Neither team got the running game going as both teams finished with just 36 yards each.
(3) U-S-C 52 VIRGINIA 7 USC dominated from start to finish as it outgained the Cavaliers 558-187. The Trojans scored on their first four possessions before getting a little sloppy but the defense was just too strong for Virginia to even think about a comeback. The Cavaliers finished with only 32 yards rushing on 21 carries (1.5 ypc) and they finished with four turnovers that led to 14 points. USC gained a whopping 7.7 ypp.
Oklahoma State 39 WASHINGTON ST 13 Oklahoma St. jumped ahead 18-0 as the defense held Washington St. to 21 total yards through its first eight possessions which included seven punts and a safety. The Cowboys used a short field for most of the day as their starting position was their own 46-yard line. Oklahoma St. scored on four straight second half possessions including a kickoff return for a touchdown.
Tulsa 45 U-A-B 22 Despite racking up 601 total yards, Tulsa trailed this game at halftime before shutting the Blazers out in the final 30 minutes. Both teams scored touchdowns on their first two possessions but UAB was not able to keep up in the second half. Four of its drives resulted in 26 yards and four punts while the other two ended in fumbles. The Golden Hurricane completed 21 of 25 passes for 361 yards.
T-C-U 26 NEW MEXICO 3 TCU jumped ahead 16-0 in the first quarter and never looked back. The Horned Frogs outgained New Mexico 291-186 and allowed the Lobos only nine first downs. The Lobos moved the ball past midfield only two times in their 14 drives and finished with only 56 yards rushing on 32 carries (1.8 ypc). TCU took advantage of great starting field position as it started its drives at the 50-yard line on average.
LOUISIANA TECH 22 Miss State 14 The Bulldogs pulled off the home upset after spotting Mississippi St. a 14-3 lead late in the second quarter. Mississippi St. was hurt by five turnovers that led to 10 of the final 13 points for Louisiana Tech. Mississippi St. outgained the Bulldogs 348-269 but both teams were held to less than 100 yards rushing and both finished with a 2.9 ypc average. Louisiana Tech’s touchdown drives were just 13 and nine yards in length.
Saturday, August 30, 2008 (cont.)
(10) AUBURN 34 UL-Monroe 0 Auburn jumped ahead early and outgained the Warhawks 406-220 but it took the offense a while to get going. The Tigers scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, one from a fumble recovery and one from a punt return. Auburn punted on its first six offensive possessions until driving for a field goal with 1:16 remaining in the first half. It finished with 321 yards rushing on 46 carries (7.0 ypc).
(14) KANSAS 40 Florida Intl 10 Kansas outgained the Golden Panthers 384-139 and held them to just nine first downs. The Jayhawks offense fumbled in their first possession and lost 11 yards in the second before the offense started moving the ball. They finished 11-18 on third down and held the ball for over 15 more minutes while running 33 more plays from scrimmage. The lone Florida International touchdown came on a 74-yard punt return.
MINNESOTA 31 Northern Ill 27 It was a much closer game than expected and it took a touchdown with just 22 seconds remaining for the Gophers to avoid yet another opening game upset from a MAC opponent. The Gophers put up 425 yards of total offense including a 74-yard drive to pull out the win. Northern Illinois took its first lead with back-to-back touchdown passes of 91 and 52 yards. The Huskies finished with only 72 yards rushing on 31 carries (2.3 ypc).
NEBRASKA 47 Western Mich 24 Nebraska piled up 483 yards of offense and walked away with an easy victory. The Huskers scored on seven straight possessions following an opening drive punt. The passing defense had a rough day as it allowed 342 yards through the air and all three of the Broncos touchdown drives were 80 yards in length. The rushing defense made up for it as Western Michigan gained only eight yards on 25 carries (0.3 ypc).
OLE MISS 41 Memphis 24 Despite getting outgained 453-438, the Rebels were able to jump ahead early by 20 points and grab the easy win. After a three and out to start the game, Mississippi scored on its next six possessions. The Tigers were hurt by an interception at the Rebels 21-yard line while also turning the ball over on downs twice inside the 30-yard line. Mississippi only committed four penalties but all four led to Memphis first downs.
SOUTHERN MISS 51 UL Lafayette 21 Southern Mississippi racked up 633 total yards of offense including 427 yards rushing on 61 carries (7.0 ypc). All seven touchdown drives were 56 yards and longer including four of more than 80 yards. UL-Lafayette pulled to within two touchdowns before halftime but the Golden Eagles scored the next 23 points to run away with it. The Cajuns did have success on the ground, rushing for 263 yards on 43 carries (6.1 ypc).
(11) TEXAS 52 Fla Atlantic 10 Texas outgained the Owls 503-292 and the defense came up huge in the second half, forcing six punts and a turnover on downs while allowing only 48 total yards. The Longhorns were very balanced with 232 yards rushing on 46 carries (5.0 ypc) and 271 yards through the air. Florida Atlantic passed for 255 yards but was held to 37 yards rushing on 23 carries (1.6 ypc).
Arkansas State 18 TEXAS A&M 14 The Red Wolves pulled off the huge upset after spotting Texas A&M a 14-3 lead at halftime. Arkansas St. outgained the Aggies 415-303 with most of that damage coming in the second half. Texas A&M turned the ball over four times in the second half, three in its own territory which led to three field goals. The Red Wolves were a perfect 5-5 inside the redzone but did settle for four field goals.
KANSAS STATE 45 North Texas 6 Kansas St. dominated from start to finish as it outgained North Texas 471-205. The offense scored touchdowns on six of its first seven possessions while the defense forced the Mean Green to punt on its first nine possessions. The lone North Texas touchdown came in part to an interception that led to a short 15-yard scoring drive. The Wildcats went 9-15 on third down while North Texas was just 2-13.
Boston College 21 KENT STATE 0 The Eagles jumped ahead 14-0 in the first quarter and the defense took the game over in cementing the shutout. Boston College outgained the Golden Flashes 336-260 and held off the two longest drives with a stop on fourth down and an interception at its own five-yard line. The offense rushed for 230 yards on 47 carries (4.9 ypc) but only passed for 106 yards. Boston College did not commit a single penalty on the night.
CALIFORNIA 38 Michigan State 31 California used a balanced attack on offense to take care of the Spartans as it rushed for 203 yards on 36 carries (5.6 ypc) while throwing for 264 yards. The defense started strong allowing only 70 yards through Michigan St.’s first six possessions. The Spartans first touchdown was an interception return. Michigan St. was down a touchdown late and had the ball but was stopped at midfield on fourth down with 13 seconds remaining.
(24) Alabama 34 (9) CLEMSON 10 Alabama completely dominated the Tigers as it outgained them 419-188 with all 188 of those yards coming through the air. Clemson finished with only 11 first downs and its lone touchdown came on the opening kickoff of the second half. While the Tide held Clemson to zero yards rushing, they gained 239 yards on the ground on 50 carries (4.8 ypc). 94 of Clemson’s 188 yards came on the final two drives in garbage time.
(6) MISSOURI 52 (20) Illinois 42 Offense was the story here as Missouri put up 549 yards while the Illini tacked on 532 total yards. The Tigers were much more balanced as they gained 226 yards rushing on 37 carries (6.1 ypc) while throwing for 323 yards. Illinois took its first lead 13-10 on an interception return for a touchdown but Missouri took the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and never relinquished the lead again.
ARIZONA 70 Idaho 0 The biggest blowout of the weekend took place in Tucson as Arizona scored 49 first half points and coasted the rest of the way. The Wildcats outgained Idaho 521-112 and had the edge in first downs 27-7. The Vandals crossed midfield only twice all game and the closest they could get to a score was a 54-yard missed field goal. Arizona finished with 265 yards rushing on 49 carries (5.4 ypc) and 256 yards passing.
(21) OREGON 44 Washington 10 The Ducks jumped out to a 14-0 lead but Washington closed the gap to four points before halftime before Oregon scored the only 30 points of the second half. Oregon outgained the Huskies 496-242 and used a balanced offensive attack, gaining 256 yards rushing on 44 carries (5.8 ypc) and 240 yards passing. Despite this, Washington won the time of possession battle by over 11 minutes but it mattered none as it punted the ball 10 times.
U-N-L-V 27 Utah State 17 UNLV outgained the Aggies 353-314 but 80 of those yards from Utah St. came on its final drive when the game was already decided. The Aggies committed two first half turnovers which led to 10 points for the Rebels and that was the ultimate difference. The Aggies went only 3-15 on third down but were a very effective 4-5 on fourth down. The Rebels did not turn the ball over all night.
Sunday, August 31, 2008 Kentucky 27 LOUISVILLE 2 This game was a lot closer than the final score indicates as Kentucky only outgained the Cardinals 210-205. The Wildcats returned two fumbles for touchdowns while also using an interception to set up a seven-yard touchdown run one play later. Louisville turned the ball over five times including three interceptions and a fumble on its last four possessions. The two teams combined for only 116 yards rushing.
Colorado 38 COLORADO STATE 17 Colorado took a seven-point lead into halftime before pulling away in the second half. After the Rams pulled to within a touchdown in the second quarter, the Buffaloes returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. Colorado St. then returned the favor by taking that kickoff 90 yards for a score. Colorado held the Rams to 71 yards rushing on 26 carries (2.7 ypc).
Monday, September 1, 2008 Fresno State 24 RUTGERS 7 Fresno St. was able to pull off the upset but it was anyone’s game late in the fourth quarter. Rutgers scored in its first possession of the quarter to pull within three points but the Bulldogs pulled away with two long touchdown drives after that. The Scarlet Knights were hurt by two missed field goals and two failed fourth down conversation attempts, one coming from the Fresno St. three-yard line.
U-C-L-A 27 (18) Tennessee 24 One of the better games of the weekend was the last as UCLA grabbed the home upset in overtime. The Bruins started the scoring with a blocked punt return but Tennessee got that back before halftime with an interception return for a touchdown. Tennessee outgained UCLA 366-288 including a 177-29 advantage on the ground. In total, three missed field goals were the difference for the Volunteers.
Matt Fargo has not had only one losing season in the past 10 campaigns. He brings with him numerous high ranking finishes in all sports with 23 Top Ten’s in the past five years alone including four #1’s.
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