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News and Notes - Week 8

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Editor's Note: Phil Steele of Northcoast Sports continues to provide expert selections in college football. Click to win!

Week 8

Boise St CB Brandyn Thompson was picked on by Colt Brennan LY in a loss to Hawaii, but this time with experience and vs a much lesser experienced QB, snagged 3 int's on the Friday night game and BSU beat UH 27-7...

TCU dominated BYU scoring on their first 3 poss of the game and at the half led 23-0 en route to their 32-7 win. TCU had a 29-19 FD edge and there is now one less contender for a non-BCS school to make it to a BCS bowl...

Nebraska dominated Iowa St with a 349-45 yd edge at the half. They fumbled at the ISU10 at the end of the half and only led 21-0. It was actually just 21-7 when the Huskers drove for a pair of TD's in the final 6:35 and finished with a 548-218 yd edge...

Wake Forest had not been shutout in an ACC game since 1996 (vs Maryland). The Terps ended that streak thanks in part to K Sam Swank missing the game for a 2nd straight week. His replacement Popham missed 40 and 47 yd FG's. MD did dominate with a 470-219 yd edge...

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Texas A&M
actually had a 274-250 yd edge vs Tech and only trailed 36-25 with 5:01 left when Tech went 76/12pl for a TD with :19 left for an 18 pt win that was closer than the score would indicate...

Ohio St delivered as our 5H October GOM and had a 274-60 yd edge at the half and a 28-0 lead. The Bucks allowed a TD to open the 3Q but then dominated the rest of the way and got 69 and 48 yd FR TD's for the final 45-7 margin holding MSU to 240 total yards offense...

Idaho scored a TD on their first drive but the rest of the game belonged to LT as they finished with 30-13 FD & 556-239 yd edges in a 46-14 home win...

Purdue had a 466-451 yd edge vs Northwestern but settled for some short FG's and was also done in by TO's although they did trail 48-19 when they got a 76 yd TD run by Sheets which gave them the yardage edge...

One rule of thumb in college ball is that teams cannot play an A+ game for 2 straight weeks. With that said, Texas must have played a B+ game in beating Oklahoma because they thrashed Missouri leading 35-0 while scoring TD's on their first 5 poss of the game. MO did not cross midfield until they trailed 28-0. MO did have a TD pass overturned by replay on 4th & 5 but it was a bigger blowout than the 56-31 score and 591?348 yds would indicate...

Georgia and Vanderbilt, for the first time ever, met when each team was ranked. For the 2nd straight week Georgia had a huge FD and yardage edges but failed to cover as DD favs. They had 25-14 FD edge vs Vandy and 425-245 yd edge but only led 21-14 before kicking a 39 yd FG with :17 left to finally clinch the win...

It was another close loss for Steve Spurrier. South Carolina appeared on their way to the win at home leading 17-10 when LSU tied it at the end of the 3Q. LSU took a 24-7 lead with 4:16 left and SC was int'd on their final drive with LSU running out the final 3:57...

N Carolina appeared on their way to winning for the first time in Charlottesville since 1981. UVA had 18 yds in the 1Q and NC had a dominating 174-59 yd edge at the half. NC settled for a FG with 2:22 left to lead 10-3 and UVA went 82/9pl for a TD with :47 left. The xp was partially blk'd and barely made it over the crossbar forcing OT. In OT NC got a FG and UVA a TD for their first lead of the game which gave them the win...

Colorado HC Hawkins surprisingly benched his son, Cody, and brought in Tyler Hansen whose photo was not even included in CU's media guide and who had been expected to RS. While his stats weren't great, he hit 7 of 14 for 71 yds with an int, he did have a TD pass and ran the ball 19 times for 86 yds giving them a mobile QB. Hawkins did return to lead the game winning TD drive. Kansas St trailing by 1 fumbled at the CU34 with 5:17 left and their 4th & 11 pass fell incomplete on their final drive...

Tulsa's game vs UTEP was almost identical to its game vs Rice a few weeks back. UTEP actually led 28-21 in the 1Q with the teams trading scores before TU exploded and throttled UTEP in a 77-35 win. TU amassed a 791-338 yd edge...

Nevada QB Kaepernick was not prepared for Saturdays' game according to HC Ault and was benched the 1Q. He came off the bench and hit 10 of 20 for 197 yds and rushed for 48 as NV won 44-17 over Utah State.

MISLEADING FINALS, FRONTDOOR AND BACKDOOR COVERS

While Pitt beat Navy convincingly 42-21 it was even worse than the final would indicate. Pitt did have a 501-197 yd edge with 2:25 left before Navy went 54 yds for a garbage TD with :20 left and Pitt lost 2 yds on a kneel down to go under 500 for the game. It's unusual for a team to overcome a 14 pt swing but Pitt, up 21-7 was at the Navy 13 about to make it 28-7 when they gave up a 90 yd IR. Navy got a TD on the next play and only trailed 21-14. Pitt despite the garbage TD and 90 yd IR, won by 21 points...

Oregon St only had a 421-377 yd edge vs Washington but benefitted from a 4-0 TO edge as well as two missed UW FG's. Towards the end of the game UW had a 1st & gl at the 1 but 4 cracks at the EZ came up short and then UW's final drive ended on an int in the EZ with 1:01 left...

Oklahoma appeared to have the cover in hand when they had the ball at their own 33 with 4:53 left and punted. Kansas converted on 3rd & 7 and then on 3rd & 2 got a 17 yd TD pass with :58 left to get the backdoor vs the Sooners, 45-31...

Akron got an unbelievable cover vs E Michigan. EM was up 35-34 and the cover appeared safe getting 3' as UA lined up for a 26 yd. Things looked even better for EM when they blocked a FG with just :30 left but amazingly UA picked up the blk'd FG and got a FD at the 4. The Zips decided to try a run and got a TD and 2 pt conversion with :14 left for the amazing win and frontdoor cover, 42-35...

It appears that Rice struggled to get past Southern Miss but they led 45-26 with SM getting a TD with 4:16 left and then a garbage TD with just :17 left. Chase Clement threw for 444 yds and 6 TD's.

RECORD BREAKERS

The SEC has had some great DB's through the years but surprisingly the record for career int return yardage has stood since 1949 when Bobby Wilson had 379 yds in a 4 year span. Tennessee's Eric Berry, who is just soph already broke the record with his 72 yd IR putting him at 397. Tenn only led Miss St 6-3 at the half and finished with just a 275-189 yd edge. Berry's 72 yd IR was followed by a 32 yd IR blowing open a tight game and the Vols then tacked on a TD with 2:39 left in what was a misleading final...

Sam Bradford passed for an Oklahoma record 468 yards. Kansas' Todd Reesing broke school records for completions and total offense in a career. At the half, the two combined for 548 yds. OU appeared to have the cover in hand leading 45-24.

SCORING STREAKS SNAPPED

Wake Forest had not been shutout in a streak of 124 straight games since 1998 and had not been shutout in the ACC since 1996 but was shutout by Maryland 26-0 this past week...

Washington St had a streak of 280 straight games without a shutout dating back to Sept 15, 1984 when Ohio St beat them 44-0. The streak was the 2nd longest in the country next to Michigan's 295 games and came to a crashing halt vs USC. It was WSU's largest margin of defeat since 1894 and surprisingly Mark Sanchez became the first USC QB to throw 5 TD passes in a half in school history. Before you jump on the USC bandwagon, do keep in mind that the Cougars have allowed 66, 63, 66 and now 69 points in their four Pac 10 games. WSU never crossed midfield. WSU's banged up team got 1 FD in the 1H and was outgained 408-17 in that stanza trailing 41-0.

DOMINATING 2H'S

Syracuse actually had a 221-210 yd edge over USF and trailed only 21-13 at the half. In the 2H SU would get zero FD's and 9 yds USF fmbl'd at the SU19 and after punting on their next poss, scored on their final 4 poss with 3 TD's and a FG and the final score with 1:39 left in their 45-13 blowout...

Michigan took their first 3 drives of the game vs Penn St 86/14pl, 45/6pl and 78/10pl and scored 2 TD's and a FG and led 17-7. Michigan's next 10 poss vs PSU gained just 38 total yards and PSU tied it with 6:46 left in the 3Q. After a safety, the Lions drove 50 yds following the free kick for a TD, 26-17. PSU then would score on their next 4 poss with the final score a short pass to Green from backup QB Devlin that he took 80 yds for a TD for a 46-17 final with that score putting PSU ahead of the spread...

Duke led Miami, Fl 24-14 in the 3Q before frosh Jacory Harris took over. Harris relieved starter Robert Marve and hit 18 of 28 for 185 yds and 4 TD's and also rushed for another. Miami did not get their first lead of the 2H until 2:52 was left in the 3Q but scored TD's on 3 consec poss and rolled to a 49-31 win...

Middle Tennessee appeared on its way to their 2nd upset of a BCS school this year leading 14-0 vs Louisville. Their 14 points did come via an IR TD then a 39/1pl TD pass following another int. Louisville only led 17-14 at the half but rushed for 247 yds on 45 carries and after scoring a couple of TD's, blocked a punt for a TD to get ahead of the spread with 11:13 left. They added a 94/14pl drive to lead 42-17 before MT got a 16 yd TD pass with :36 left...

California appeared in control leading Arizona 24-14 at the half but frosh Keola Antolin ran for 149 yds and 3 TD's getting most of the action after starter Nic Grigsby fumbled on his first and only carry of the game. The Wildcats beat a ranked team for the 6th time in Stoops' 5 years and thanks to a 21 yd IR TD, the Wildcats outscored Cal 28-3 in the 2H...

In the Houston/SMU game it was a big 4Q for the Cougars. SMU led 38-30 with 4:55 to play! UH got a TD with 2:34 left and then forced a punt and got a TD with :24 left to pull out the 44-38 win leading the game for a total of :24...

Arkansas is another team that blew a late lead. The Hogs led Kentucky 20-7 with 5:00 left in the game but UK scored a TD with 4:15 left on a 32 yd pass and then with 2:21 left got a 21 yd TD pass. Ark RB Michael Smith rushed for 192 yds.

MISSED FG'S AND TURNOVERS MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Connecticut's K Tony Ciaravino came into the game hitting 8 of 11 FG's but missed 3 vs Rutgers including a crucial 42 yd attempt with 1:09 left that bounced off the right upright. Both teams went on a long drives settling for short FG's and had missed FG's in the game but 1-5 Rutgers upset 5-1 Connecticut...

Marshall was trailing UAB 23-21 and went on a 51/14pl drive. They settled for a 37 yd FG with 2:50 left which would have given them the lead but missed it...

In this case TO's did not make a difference, Virg Tech had a 5-1 TO advantage vs Boston Coll and actually had a pair of TO TD's with 36 and 55 yd IR TD's. VT jumped out to a 10-0 lead but BC prevailed 28-23. Surprisingly BC had a 65 yd PR vs VT's vaunted special teams unit.

BCS BUSTERS

At the start of the season we forecasted that NO non-BCS team would make it to a BCS bowl. While BYU was knocked off this past week, there are some BCS busters that are still alive. Utah did lead 28-13 at the half and Colorado St pulled to within 28-16 mid-3Q but Utah scored on TD drives of 53, 56 and 84 on its next 3 poss to blow it open 49-16 and coasted finishing with a 549-298 yd edge.

INJURIES OF NOTE

It's tough for teams to replace their starting QB when he gets injured but Memphis had an unusual situation vs E Carolina. They lost starting QB Arkelon Hall on the games 8th play and on the next series lost experienced backup QB Will Hudgens. The majority of the game, Brett Toney who had appeared in 20 games as a holder, was the QB and he hit just 11 of 15 passes for 65 yds. They pulled the RS off of true frosh Tyler Bass and his first pass was int'd setting up an EC TD. MEM still led 10-7 into the 3Q but finally wore down with their offense not able to get a FD on the first 5 drives of the 2H, EC scored on 4 straight poss in a 30-10 win...

CM was without QB LeFevour due to injury but cashed in some big plays. They had three 3 & 23 conversions to keep alive TD drives. Meanwhile, WM was SOD on 4th & goal at the 2 and 4th & 1 at the 8 as CM prevailed 38-28...

Troy lost their starting QB Hampton to injury for the rest of the season and Levi Brown, in his first start, hit 18 of 28 for 253 yds. Three big plays aided Troy's victory. They got an 86 yd TD pass and in the 3Q FIU fmbl'd at their own 17 & 9 yd lines setting up 2 short Troy TD's...

TO's helped Bama to a 24-3 1H lead as they got 10 pts on drives totalling 34 yds after snagging a pair of int's. Bama's large (365 lbs) NG Terrence Cody was injured in the 3Q. The Tide had allowed just 66 yds rushing in the 1Q but yielded 94 in the 2H. Ole Miss pulled within 24-20 and had the ball at the end of the game across midfield but on 4th & 5 were SOD and Bama held on with UM having a 359-326 yd edge...

Clemson started Willy Korn at QB but he suffered a shoulder injury. Cullen Harper, who is supposed to undergo surgery soon did throw 2 TD passes for CU but the Tigers turned it over 6 times in Dabo Swinney's first game as HC. GT led 14-3 at the half but needed a TD with 5:22 left to retake the lead, 21-17 and CU had a 4th & 12 pass to the GT 30 wiped out by a hold and on 4th & 22 the Tigers fmbl'd the ball away on a lateral...

Jahvid Best did rush for 170 yds returning from injury for Cal but played with a heavy brace on his elbow and did not play in the 4Q due to injury...

LW Northern Illinois was down to their 3rd string QB but their starter, rFr Chandler Harnish ret'd and played the entire game vs Toledo as NI had 24-13 FD and 393-229 yd edges...

We would have thought one of the most irreplaceable players in college football was ULL QB Michael Desormeaux. He sat out the Arkansas St game with an injury and Brad McGuire got his first ever start. McGuire did not have great stats, rushing for 54 yds on 27 carries and hitting 9 of 16 for 106 yds with 2 int, but surprisingly ULL managed a 28-23 win over a quality ASU team...

Indiana was playing without star QB Kellen Lewis and backup Ben Chappell hit just 12 of 29 passes for 172 yds and was sk'd 3 times. Illinois led 28-7 at the half and extended it in the 2H finishing with a 563-313 yd edge.

  
HEADLINES
Edwards: College Playoff Props
Jones seeks solutions for Vols' depth
NCAA puts Wisconsin college on probation
Dabo Swinney won't change after complaint
Tennessee RB Alden Hill plans to transfer
TCU WR faces drug possession count
Arkansas' Derby making most of move to TE
Big 12 coaches discuss state of football
Tressel among 3 finalists to lead Akron
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