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News and Notes - Week 1

Buffalo had a 484-266 yd edge vs UTEP but a couple of big plays fielded their blowout. On 3rd & gl from the 15 they got a TD pass and late 1Q they added a 68 yd TD pass. With the game tied 14-14 Buffalo went for it on 4th & 1 at the UTEP 37 and converted. On the next play with just :23 left in the half they got a 34 yd TD. It was 28-17 when UTEP was int’d in the EZ from the 11 at the start of the 4Q and Buffalo would add 80 & 55 yd TD drives in the final 10:00...

Only 30,000 were on hand for Art Briles’ debut at Baylor and he became the 6th of the last 7 BU coaches to lose in his debut. Wake Forest recorded their biggest opening day win since 1958 rolling to a 41-13 victory with a 376-250 yard edge. QB Riley Skinner hit 27 of 36 for 220 yards. Baylor did debut true frosh QB Robert Griffin who hit 11 of 19 for 125 and improved as the game went on...

Steve Spurrier got his 16th straight opening win and it was in dominating fashion with a 369-138 yd edge vs NCSt. NCSt has been shutout in 2 straight games (37-0 loss to Maryland LY) for the first time since 1956. Backup QB Chris Smelley led S Carolina to 3 TD’s on 3 drives and may have taken over the starting job...DJ Moore had an impressive first game for Vanderbilt including the longest PR in school history (91 yards). Oddly it did not result in a TD as he was tackled at the 1. The FD’s were actually even at 17 and Vandy only had a 360-340 yard edge with the key being QB Chris Nickson’s 166 yards rushing (91 pass)...

Former Navy HC Coach Paul Johnson never had the type of offensive weapons that he has at Georgia Tech in QB Josh Nesbitt and FB Jonathan Dwyer. Tech rolled up 349 yards rushing vs Jacksonville St and JSt Coach Jack Crow predicted that opponents would have a lot of trouble defending their offense this year...

Miami, Fl drew 48,119 to the first home game in Dolphins Stadium. They dominated with a 416-146 yard edge...

had 5 TD’s vs Army but one was a FR for a TD, another an 8 yd drive after a fumbled punt, and yet another was a 98 yd KR. TU had only 2 sustained scoring drives but still dominated the game. The misleading part was the stats which showed Army with a 284-259 yd edge even though Temple was in control throughout and Army only got the yardage edge on their final drive gaining 40 yards in the last 1:40...

In a rematch of the previous year’s defending champs of the FCS and FBS - it was all LSU. The Tigers led 31-0 at the half with a 323-113 yd edge. With :17 left in the half a 4th & 2, 29 yd TD run by Scott put them at the margin and backup QB Jerrett Lee led LSU to 3 of their TD drives and will contend for the job as starting Andrew Hatch hit just 7 of 14 for 77 yards...

Joe Paterno tied Bobby Bowden on the list of Most Career Wins as Penn St obliterated Coastal Carolina. PSU scored on 10 of their 11 drives in the game in the 66-10 win...

We rate E Carolina as having the #34D and they controlled the game vs VT with a 19-12 FD edge and a 369-243 yd edge delivering another Big Dog Outright Upset Winner as well as LPS Winner for us. They even survived a FR for a TD and a blk’d xp which was ret’d for 2 (3 pt swing). EC won on a 27 yd blk’d punt ret’d for a TD with 1:52 left. EC became the first team in the 13 year history of CUSA football to ever win B2B games over nationally ranked teams. Skip Holtz has victories over 5 different ACC schools in the last 4 years...

Syracuse made a game of it vs Northwestern and after recovering a fumble at the start of the 3Q, got a TD and led 10-9. NW went go 76/13pl, got an IR TD and took their final 2 drives 80/11pl and 64/7pl, one for a TD and they ended the game at the Syracuse 20 with a 484-225 yd edge...

Georgia led Ga Southern 38-0 with 6:08 left in the 3Q but GSU rallied for 3 TD’s including a 4th & 9, 34 yd TD pass with 1:45 left...

At the half Villanova had a 207-193 yd edge over W Virginia but trailed 24-7. For the game ‘Nova had 28-21 FD and 399-354 yd edges. QB Pat White had a previous career high of 2 TD passes but threw for 5 in WV’s modified offense...

Oklahoma St/Washington St - Paul Wulff became the first coach to lose his debut game at Washington St since Jackie Sherrill in 1976...

Navy RB White set a school record with 348 yards rushing and Navy’s 558 yds rushing vs Towson was the 3rd most in school history. Navy only had a 291-252 yd edge at the half and led 24-13 but blew it open in the 2H and finished with a 602-360 yd edge...

As we expected, using USC dominated Virginia. Pete Carroll usually opens up with a big road win including 2006 when they beat eventual SEC West Champ Arkansas 50-14. The Trojans drove for TD’s on their first 3 poss vs Virginia, let up in the 2Q but then dominated again in the 2H and finished with a 558-187 yd edge in their 52-7 romp...

S Utah came in on an 18 game losing streak so an Air Force rout was not a shock. Our power plays projected a final of 43-9 and it was 41-7...

UAB actually led Tulsa 22-21 at the half. The momentum of the game changed for good with UAB trailing 35-22 but driving, as they fumbled at the end of a13 yd run at the Tulsa 16 with 11:31 left and Tulsa drove 84/6pl for a TD. After another fumble TU added a 41 yd FG for a seemingly comfortable 23 point win...

Kansas set a school record with a crowd of 52,112 even though it was just Florida Int’l as their opponent. KU led 40-10 after 3Q’s and FIU was SOD at the KU 9 and int’d in the EZ from the 14. Mark Mangino had a great record vs the spread LY vs non-conf foes and they went 79/14pl. They had a 1st & gl at the 6 and ran the ball to the 1 yd line on the final play of the game trying to score...

Michigan scored 3 TD’s vs Utah and each was set up by a blk’d P or a turnover on drives of 26, 31 and 33 yards. Utah settled for short FG’s 3 times in the 1H and despite a 313-102 yd edge, only led 22-10. A blocked punt and a fumble set up Michigan’s 2 scores mid-4Q which got them back in the game but they missed the 2 pt conversion and did not threaten after that...

QB Kellen Moore became the first frosh to start a season opener at Boise St and hit 14 of 19 for 274 yards guiding a 49-7 rout...

Brandon Tate of N Carolina had 397 all-purp yards with 106 yards rushing, 93 rec and the rest on returns including an 82 yard TD. They were the 2nd most in ACC history. NC struggled and gained most of their 384 yards in the game’s final 20:00 as they trailed 20-14 late 3Q. NC’s momentum was taken away as they jumped out to a 14-0 lead but the game was suspended due to lightning with 12:02 left in the 1H and delayed for 48:00...

Louisiana Tech had a crowd of just 25,224 but watching it, it was an enthusiastic crowd that belied those numbers. They helped spur Tech on to a 22-14 win over an SEC team (Miss St) that was in a bowl last year...

We projected Cal transfer Kyle Reed to be the starting QB at San Jose St and all throughout August it appeared he was in a battle just for the 2nd string job and may have even slid to 3rd on the depth chart. SJSt was on the verge of losing to UC Davis trailing 10-0 when Reed came off the bench. He led the team to 2 TD’s including a 17 yd TD pass with :08 left and SJSt escaped with a 13-10 win. Reed hit 14 of 18 for 132...

Arkansas trailed W Illinois 24-14 in the 4Q and faced a 4th & 10 at the W Illinois 33. Instead of a 50 yd FG attempt, they opted to go for it and their prayers were answered with a FD pass. Had that pass fallen incomplete, Arkansas would have lost, but as it was, they rallied for a win including a TD with 1:49 left as Casey Dick hit 25 of 41 for 319 yards...

It was another huge Big Dog Win as Arkansas St knocked off Texas A&M. The double digit dog dominated the game with a 255-133 rushing edge and 415-303 yard edge...

Ole Miss delivered a dominating 41-24 win over Memphis. Memphis got 2 of their 3 TD’s in the 4Q when they trailed 34-10. Nutt used the Wildcat package but instead of McFadden it was Dexter McCluster who rushed for 64 yards on 6 carries and mobile QB Jevan Snead even hauled in a 37 yard pass as Nutt unleashed a wide playbook vs the overmatched Tigers...

Bo Pelini’s coaching debut got off to a great start as Nebraska jumped out to a 34-10 lead vs W Michigan storming out to a 17-0 lead while scoring on their first 3 poss...

Nevada had a 629-230 yard edge vs Grambling.

Josh Freeman is just a junior but has already moved to #2 on Kansas St’s all-time career passing list as he passed by Chad May and Carl Strong hitting 18 of 24 for 232 yards vs N Texas. KSU scored on 6 of their first 7 poss en route to a 42-0 lead and coasted...

At the half S Dakota St had a 10-9 FD edge vs Iowa St and trailed only 156-130 in total yards but ISt had 5 int which they returned for a school record 202 yards and led 20-0 at the half. It was 44-9 when SDSt’s RB fumbled and their WR Harris picked it up and raced 76 yards for a TD with 6:07 left...

Utah’s Kyle Whittingham improved his record to 5-3 vs BCS opponents...

Houston put up the most points in team history for a new HC. In 1955 Bill Meek had 54 in a win over Montana and new HC Kevin Sumlin led the team to a 55-3 win with Case Keenum hitting 33 of 43 for 392 yards as they plastered Southern 55-3...

USF set a school record with 28 points in the 1Q vs UT Martin and coasted to a 56-7 win with a 520-97 yd edge...Arizona had its highest scoring game since 1921 with a 70-0 win over Idaho. Willie Tuitama had 3 TD’s to top the school record for career TD passes set by Tom Tunnicliffe (1980-’83). UA had 359 yards in the 1H in a game played in steady rain.

QUESTIONABLE COACHING TACTICS - Coaches always tell their players not to fire up their opponent but Howard Schnellenberger, who, at 74 years old, should know better than rile to up Texas by saying they were not tough and that Florida Atlantic could beat them. UT came out fired up. The game was actually closer than the 28-10 halftime mark as UT only had a 264-239 yd edge and FAU got to the UT 16 and 8 yd lines in the 1Q but turned it over each time. Perhaps angered by the comments, UT did not let up in the 2H. FAU pulled QB Rusty Smith who had 226 yards passing in the 1H with 5:00 left 3Q to keep him healthy for more winnable games.

DEJA’VU ALL OVER AGAIN - Last year in the Cal-Oregon game, Oregon’s WR reached the ball out to the EZ for the apparent tying TD but it was fumbled out of the EZ for a TB. In a similar situation in another Pac-10 game this year, Oregon St trailing by 8, drove for the possible tying TD but as Darrell Catchings reached the ball towards the goal line, it was knocked away for a TB and Stanford pulled the upset. OSU had a commanding 490-301 yd edge and a 29-18 FD edge. Sammie Stroughter, who is back after missing almost all of LY, had 12 catches for 157 yards while SU’s RB Toby Gerhart lived up to his VHT billing rushing for 147 yards on 19 carries.

HEISMAN HOPEFULS - We project Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell to lead the NCAA in passing by over 1,000 yards this year and he got off to a great start throwing for 536 yards vs E Washington. Surprisingly Tech only led 35-24 after 3Q’s and the Red Raiders set a record for number of penalties in a game (18) with the previous high being 17...

Chase Daniel hit 26 of 45 for 323 yards and added 46 yards rushing as Missouri put up 52 points vs a ranked foe. Missouri led 45-20 and 52-35 with Illinois getting a 4th & 5 TD pass on the last play of the game.

MISLEADING FINALS, FRONTDOOR AND BACKDOOR COVERS - Wisconsin dominated Akron more than the final score as they scored on their first 3 1H poss. Their final 2 ended on a fumble into the EZ for a TB from the 5 and with a 1st & goal at the 6 they were int’d and ret’d 62 yds with just :22 left in the half to set up an Akron 25 yd FG and despite a 297-139 yd edge, they only led 17-10 at the half. UW scored TD’s on their first 3 poss of the 2H and appeared to have the game locked up spread-wise leading 38-10 when they got a FD at their own 42 with 2:50 left. Unfortunately they fumbled on the next play and Akron went 42/6pl getting a backdoor cover TD with :38 left on an 11 yard pass...

UNLV led Utah St 27-10 but the Aggies got a TD with 2:16 left to slide in the backdoor (+12’) 27-17.

MAC ALMOST HAS A HUGE DAY - The MAC did record some big wins like Bowling Green over Pitt and Buffalo blasting UTEP but also had 2 near misses. Ohio played a great game vs Wyoming even battling the large altitude advantage the Cowboys had but WY got the game winning 23 yd TD pass with 7:28 left. Ohio was int’d at the WY 9 with 4:17 left then passed up a 62 yard FG after a false start and had a Hail Mary pass knocked down at the end to come up 1 point short...

Last year Minnesota hosted two MAC teams, both went to OT winning one and lost the other. This year N Illinois led 27-24 and UM got a 1 yd TD run with :22 left to pull out a 4 point win. NI did get to the UM 30 but ran out of time as two Hail Mary passes by QB Harnish were knocked down.

LIGHTNING STRIKES - Oklahoma rolled to a 50-0 lead before a thunderstorm caused a lightning delay which extended halftime by an hour and 12 minutes. OU’s starters came back on the field in the 2H but produced just two FD’s in the first 3 drives and the sluggish Sooners had just 7 points in the 2H...

We project JM as the winner of the FCS this year and Duke whipped them 31-7 in a great debut for new coach David Cutcliffe. The game was delayed an hour and 27 minutes due to lightning strikes.

COACHES ON THE HOTSEAT - Pitt did have a 27-15 FD edge and 493-254 yd edge but 4 TO’s did them in. It was surprising to us that Pitt was even ranked by the AP in preseason and Coach Wannstedt is now firmly on the hotseat...

Not many mentioned Tommy Bowden in their Coaches on the Hotseat lists at the start of the year but he should rise to #1. Clemson has the talent to be favored in all 12 games this year but as usual, when expected to win, they lose. It was an ugly loss at that as Bama dominated the line of scrimmage with 25-11 FD and 239-0 rush edges. CU’s outstanding tandem of CJ Spiller and James Davis disappear in way too many games like this (8 carries, 20 yds). Now with everyone shoveling dirt on Bowden’s grave, he’ll probably turn around and win the ACC.

INJURIES AND SUSPENSIONS OF NOTE - Hofstra’s starting QB Bryan Savage missed Conn with an injured back. UC had 474-219 yd and 27-13 FD edges but did have a pair of drives kept alive by penalties on punts. It was a sloppy game with 8 turnovers (5 by UC) but the Huskies prevailed 35-3...

Indiana St was without starting QB Charles Dowdell (623 yards, 42%, 4-10 ratio, 363 rush) in their opener vs E Michigan. Calvin Schmidtke and Matt Seliger combined for 7 of 22 passes for 49 yards and EM had a dominating 637-132 yd and 30-7 FD edges. Terrence Blevins rushed for a career high 176 yards for the Eagles in the dominant 52-0 win...

The key injury of the weekend was RB Beanie Wells who was among the favorites for the Heisman Trophy as he went down in the 3Q to an injury for Ohio St. Wells had 111 yards rushing on just 13 carries in the 1H. OSU dominated Youngstown St as you would expect as they scored on all six 1H poss and not only had a 273-27 yd edge at the half, but the only FD allowed in the 1H was via penalty...

New Mexico has not scored a TD in their last 3 openers and lost starting QB Porterie in the 2Q with an injury and he did not return...

Kodi Burns was the starter for Auburn in their game vs ULM and hit just 4 of 9 for 15 yards and left in the 3Q with a cut on his leg and did not return. ULM tried to avoid the shutout but missed a FG with :50 left. ULM was without starting WR’s McNeal (susp) and Sapp (acad) and had just 220 total yards...

Oregon delivered a winner for us in a dominating 44-14 win over Washington but did lose their QB. Keep in mind, Nate Costa won the QB job in Aug and was lost for the season in the final week. Justin Roper, who started the bowl game, performed as we expected but went out in the 3Q with an injury after hitting 7 of 11 for 114 yards. JUCO transfer Masoli finished the game hitting 9 of 17 for 126 yards and 2 TD's.

Williams: Saturday's Early Games Tips
Rogers: College Bowl Pick'em
Marshall: Bowl Tech Trends - Week 1
BetDSI: Saturday's Bowl Best Bets Saturday's Bowl Outlook
Bookmaker: CFP Betting Notes
Marshall: Bowl Tech Trends - Week 2
Marshall: Bowl Tech Trends - Week 3
Clemson back, focused on Alabama
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