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News and Notes - Week 14

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Editor's Note: Phil Steele closed Week 14 by hitting 75% (6-2) of his selections. Be sure to end the season strong with his Championship Week picks. Click to win!

Week 14

The key to Texas' win over A&M was 3rd down conversions. In the 1H UT had seven conversions of 3rd & 7 or longer incl a 20 yd TD pass on 3rd & 8 and in the 3Q added a 3rd & 11, 68 yd pass to the 1 yd line setting up another TD. Texas did pull QB McCoy with the score 42-9 and 11:23 left but backup QB Chiles led them 81/8pl on his 2nd poss with the key being a Johnson 61 yd run down to the 20. The TD gave Texas the cover and A&M got to the UT34 but was sk'd on the final play of the game. Thanks to 6 QB sacks, Texas allowed -24 yards rushing...

Surprisingly E Michigan held on to its Michigan MAC Championship as it ended in a 3-way tie with CM and WM and since they won 2007's trophy, they get to keep it. It was Jeff Genyk's FHG as HC as it was announced Monday that his contract would not be renewed. QB Andy Schmitt, who was finally healthy the week prior and had a record breaking game vs Temple, had yet another one hitting 58 of 80 for 516 yds and 5 TD's. That not only set five EM records but his 58 completions set an NCAA record breaking the 57 set by Stephen F Austin's Jeremy Moses earlier this year. Converted QB, WR Tyler Jones, caught an EM record of 23 passes for 170 yds which also tied a IA record for rec's. EM had 105 plays and a 616-555 yd edge as we got an easy winner in a game that was over 62' with 3:28 left in the 2Q and the game had 77 points scored at halftime...

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For the first time since 2001 Pitt and W Virginia met in the Backyard Brawl with neither team ranked. Pitt did finish with a 23-13 FD edge and led 7-3 at the half and it could have been by more as they had a 230-100 yd edge and were int'd in the EZ after a 1st & gl at the 3 in the final seconds. WV rallied for a 15-7 lead with 11:52 left and had the ball but White was int'd and ret'd 14 yds to the WV16. Pitt got a TD 2pl later, 15-13 (2ptng) and then drove 59/10pl for a TD with :52 left. WV got to the Pitt 18, but their final pass was caught OOB...

The best defensive performance of the year vs any IA team was recorded by Mississippi this past week vs Miss St and if you read News and Notes posted on Wednesday, Ole Miss was the choice as the Defense of the Week. The Rebels held Miss St to 37 TOTAL yards offense while rolling up 220 rushing and 241 passing in the biggest rout in the Egg Bowl in 37 years, 45-0. The previous school record for Miss in yards rushing allowed was -18 vs Auburn in 1992 but they smashed that by yielding -51 yds rushing, mostly due to their 10 sacks...

There were a couple of key plays in the Colorado/Nebraska game with the Huskers up 24-17, they lined up for a FG and faked it and the holder flipped the ball over his shoulder and it was caught by CU's Smith and ret'd 58 yds for a TD tieing the game. Neb had a 23-13 FD edge for the game but needed a 57 yd FG that cleared the upright by inches with 1:52 left to take the lead, 33-31 and then got a 30 yd IR TD by DL Suh with :55 left...

LSU and Arkansas both came in unranked in their meeting for the first time since 1994. Jordan Jefferson became the first frosh starter at QB for LSU since 1995 and threw for 143 yds and rushed for 50. LSU appeared in control leading 30-14 in the 3Q. Arkansas had pulled to 30-21 when the key play happened. Arkansas, on 3rd & 29, gained 1 yd but an unnecessary roughness penalty gave them a FD and they continued on a 90/17pl drive for a 22 yd FG to pull within 30-24. Ark was SOD at the LSU25 with 5:31 left but scored a TD with :21 left to pull out the upset, its 2nd straight vs the Tigers...

Boise St only led Fresno St 13-10 at the half but drove 69 yds for a TD, got a 90 yd PR TD and then after a pair of int's went 47 & 17 yds for TD's. After FSU was SOD twice, BSU went 75 & 60 yds for TD's. Their final TD came on a 10 yd drive after FSU's P mishandled a low snap at his own 10...

UAB has been in CUSA for 10 years but their defense recorded its first league shutout. They had a 41:36-18:24 TOP edge but settled for 5 FG's in their 15-0 win at UCF...

Georgia Tech rushed for 409 yds vs Georgia. The game appeared one-sided at halftime. The Bulldogs had won the last 7 in the series and led 28-12 at the half with a 308-142 yd edge but GT started getting big plays on the option in the 2H. UGA fmbl'd the KO after GT had tied it and GT got a TD on the next play. GT led 45-35 before UGA got a TD with 4:04 left but GT got 1 FD & ran out the clock...

SMU KR Jesse Henderson set an NCAA record with 2,945 career KR yds. The previous record was held by Tulane's Jeff Liggon who set the record from 1993-1996 with 2,922 yds. Unfortunately, to break a record like that, you must have a bad D and teams must kickoff often to you...

Louisiana Tech appeared to have their game vs Nevada wrapped up. They led 31-14 with 4:48 to go in the 3Q but NV rallied. LT went for it on 4th & gl from the 2 leading 31-28 with 7:10 left and was SOD. NV got a TD with 3:01 left to pull out the win...

Houston QB Case Keenum tied a IA record with his 25th consecutive completion dating back to the week prior. Rice led 56-28 heading into the 4Q and Houston, which held its own destiny for the CUSA Title Game, came up short giving Tulsa the bid...

There were 56 points scored 4Q of the Florida Atlantic/Florida Int'l game. FIU got a TD with 3:49 left to take the lead and then after an int drove 19 yds in just 2 plays for what appeared to be a clinching TD, 50-36 (3:09). FAU went 95/5pl for a TD with 2:08 left then rec'd the onside kick and went 51/9pl and got a TD with :18 left to force OT and won it there...

Marshall was without QB Cann but backup Brian Anderson hit 14 of 19 for 177 yds and MU almost got the upset of Tulsa. The Herd took their opening drive 96/14pl for a TD and it was tied 35-35 when the key play happened. Tulsa, on 3rd & 10 from its own 22, appeared to fire incomplete but the ball actually hit off a receiver and was caught 28 yds down field by another WR for a FD. Tulsa would get a 22 yd FG with 3:42 left to take the lead and MU driving for the tie or win, was stuffed on 4th & 1 at midfield with 2:03 left. Tulsa landed in the CUSA Title game thanks to Houston's loss...

The seemingly unstoppable Florida Gator machine continued to roll even though it was pouring rain at the start of the game. UF rolled up a 502-242 yd edge over their rival Florida St, winning easily, 45-15...

When Clemson and NCSt both won earlier in the day, Wake Forest was one of 10 ACC teams for 9 guaranteed slots so WF was playing with more pressure than Vandy, which already had a bowl locked up. WF had a 331-249 yd edge in their 23-10 win...

Some key plays went against Maryland in their game vs Boston College. Tied at 7, the Terps had the ball with a FD at their own 34 with 1:21 left in the 1H when LB Herzlich made a diving int. On the next play BC got a 45 yd TD pass for a stunning 14-7 halftime lead. BC had a punt bounce off one of its players and MD rec'd it at their own 34 after punting from the EZ. It was ruled that way on the field and replay showed it bounced off the BC player but amazingly the refs reversed the call saying the MD player that rec'd it was the first to touch it. Six plays later BC faked a 36 yd FG and Billy Flutie threw a TD pass, 21-7. MD drove for a TD and it was 21-14 early 4Q but then the Terps missed a 36 yd FG with 8:21 left. The Terps had the ball down 7 at their own 35 but on 2nd & 10 Turner was int'd and ret'd 35 yds for a TD as MD lost by 7...

Oklahoma may have landed a spot in the Big 12 Title game and a National Championship due to what appeared to be a meaningless play. They led Okla St 54-41 when they rec'd a fmbl with 2:40 left. They got a FD with 1:08 left and OSU took their 2nd time-out with just :32 left. OU ran the ball to Brown and he took it untouched for a TD to make it 61-41 giving them their 4th straight 60 point game, which caught the voters attention. The TD happened with :25 left and may have been the key play to the Sooners playing in the Title Game.

RIVALRY STREAKS END

Alabama ended Auburn's 6 game win streak in the rivalry. Bama got its first shutout in the series since 1992 which was interestingly the last time they won a National Title. Alabama had a 412-170 yd edge and won 36-0 despite failing to score a TD in the opening Q for the 12th consecutive Iron Bowl...

USC won their 7th straight game vs Notre Dame and their D dominated. The Trojans had a 266-9 yd edge at the half scoring 17 pts in the final 9:00 to lead 24-0. It was 31-0 when the Irish got their first FD on the last play of the 3Q and the key to USC's cover was a 3rd & 10, 17 yd TD pass with 7:57 left when a FG would have only put them up by 31...

N Carolina won its 5th straight Victory Bell over Duke. Both teams were finally healthy at QB and it showed on the scoreboard. TJ Yates, in his 2nd game back from injury, hit 15 of his first 16 passes while Lewis, who had missed the previous game for Duke, hit 34 of 49 for 278 yds. NC led 28-20 but couldn't put it away as they were SOD at the Duke 37, missed a 43 yd FG and punted from the Duke 26 with 2:27 left. Duke got to the NC17 but Lewis was int'd at the 4 with :15 left.

FINAL GAMES FOR HEAD COACHES

You expect a big wave of emotion when a team plays its final game for its HC and this past weekend some worked out and some did not. Toledo, in their FHG for Tom Amstutz, failed to show up in the 1H as Bowling Green had a dominating 267-(-11) yd edge with BG turning it over 3 times on FD at the UT10, 16 and 32 stopping 3 drives and they only led 17-0. UT gained 139 of its yards on its final 2 drives when down 38-3. Interestingly this also turned out to be the final game for BG Coach Brandon who was fired immediately after the win...

Utah St rolled over NMSt 47-2 while their offense wasn't impressive as the 47 points on the scoreboard, their defense was. USt had scoring drives of 40, 35 and 20 yds in the 1H to take a quick 21-0 lead after a SOD, a 26 yd PR and an int but they sent Brent Guy out a winner and interestingly on 4th & gl from the 10, USt threw a 10 yd TD pass with :02 left, something Guy won't have to pay for next year. USt had a 410-170 yd edge...

It was Phil Fulmer's FHG and UT extended the nation's longest winning streak in a series to 24 over UK. It was tied at 3 late in the 1H when UT went 35/13pl and on the last play of the half, got a 4th & 1 TD. UT then got a 63 yd TD pass early 3Q and opened up a 28-3 lead before UK went on a 68 yd drive for a garbage TD with 3:44 left and the Vols sent Fulmer out a winner. Despite an announced attendance of 102,388, the stadium appeared just slightly more than 1/2 full on a cold, blustery night.

NEEDING A WIN FOR A BOWL

Some teams that needed a win to get to a bowl got it and others came up short. Clemson needed a win to get to a bowl game despite already having six wins because they had faced two IAA foes. They jumped out to a 24-0 lead vs S Carolina and while SC pulled to 24-14, CU scored a TD to ice it and helped Dabo Sweeney's resume in his competition for the HC job...

NCSt entered November 2-6 and leaves 6-6 and bowl eligible. The Wolf Pack had 219 yds rushing and 220 passing vs Miami, Fl. QB Russell Wilson extended his school record streak to 226 passes without an int...

Oregon St needed a win to wrap up the Rose Bowl but was playing without RB Jacquizz Rodgers. Oregon got a TD 4:19 into the game and never trailed leading 37-17 at the half. OSU pulled within 51-38 with 8:34 to go but the Ducks got 2 TD's in the final 4:00 in the 65-38 blowout piling up a school record 694 yds offense. The loss also snapped an OSU 8 game winning streak at Reeser Stadium.

MISLEADING FINALS, FRONTDOOR AND BACKDOOR COVERS

In one of the most misleading finals of the year, UCLA had an 18-10 FD edge vs Arizona St and 306-122 yd edge (almost 3-1 yards) yet ended up on the losing end of a 34-9 score thanks to TO's. ASU tied an NCAA record with 4 def TD's in the same game starting with a play that appeared over when the ball was knocked out of the RB's hands who was holding it at his side for the first FR TD. ASU also got a 65 yd PR which set up a 31 yd FG on a '5 yd drive'. UCLA still only trailed 17-9 and was poised to tie it early 4Q when they had a 1st & gl at the 6 at the end of an 81/11pl drive but QB Craft was int'd and ret'd 100 yds for a TD and instead of tieing it up, they trailed 24-7. Two plays later UCLA gave up their 4th defensive TD, a 45 yd IR TD in the loss...

Virginia Tech had a 392-249 yd edge vs Virginia. UVA unleashed Vic Hall, a 5'9" CB as the starting QB and he was the career HS leader in Virginia in total yards. VT blew numerous chances. They went on a 63/14pl drive but settled for and missed a 22 yd FG. VT went 59/14pl but from the 18 yd line was int'd in the EZ. VT went on a 72/13pl drive but on 4th & gl at the 1 was SOD. The Hokies went on a 40/10pl drive but settled for a 38 yd FG. Due to those blown opportunities, they only won by 3...

Cincinnati had already wrapped up the Big East Title when Pitt beat W Virginia the day before, but still played well as they had 25-8 FD and 412-211 yd edges vs Syracuse. UC's 10 pen's for 107 yds cost them, 3 times forcing them to settle for FG's. UC still led 30-3 when SU went 74/12pl for a TD with 6:14 left for the backdoor cover...

SMU had a 20-19 FD edge vs Southern Miss who finally got ahead of the spread with a TD late 3Q, 21-6. After an int, the Eagles drove 24 yds for a TD, 28-6. SMU was int'd at the SM5 (13:54) and later drove 69/17pl for a TD. They went for 2 and the cover but came up short with 5:50 left and on their final poss SMU punted on 4th & 29 and lost by 16 getting 14'.

  
HEADLINES
Nelson: Week 1 Clashes
ASA: Top Big Ten QB's
Lawrence: 2014 Pac-12 Preview
Edwards: Pressing Mississippi State
Blankenship: Fade Alert - Ohio State
Edwards: Top 20 QB Changes
FSU tops preseason coaches' poll
Wake suspends RB Gibson from team
Rutgers motivated as Big Ten's new kid
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