Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM
4th Quarter Covers - Week 11
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Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread in the fourth quarter last week in the 11th college football weekend.
Each week there are several teams that cover despite not necessarily deserving it, as well as other teams that played much better than the final score shows.
Boise State (+2½) 24, Fresno State 17: As a rare home underdog Boise State trailed 17-3 just after halftime hosting Fresno State in Friday’s big Mountain West contest. A long touchdown drive put the Broncos back within seven late in the third quarter and then the Broncos defense forced a punt. The Broncos then posted another long touchdown drive to tie the game early in the fourth quarter. The defense got a big third down stop near midfield and then for the third consecutive possession went the distance against Fresno State’s great defense to lead 24-17 with nine minutes to go. Fresno State had a 50-yard field goal blocked on its next possession but was able to get the ball right back. The Bulldogs had a new set of downs at the Boise State 28-yard line in the final minutes but took a 3rd down sack and failed on 4th-and-long as Boise State held on.
Texas A&M (-13½) 38, Mississippi 24: After a 96-yard fumble return touchdown Ole Miss led 21-14 in the third quarter but the Aggies tied the game and early in the fourth quarter went up by three with a long field goal. The Rebels missed a tying kick with seven minutes to go from just 22 yards and Texas A&M made it a 10-point game a few plays later. Ole Miss got back within seven with a field goal just after the two-minute mark to seemingly seal the underdog cover but on a short field after the failed on-side kick attempt, Travyeon Williams broke free for a 46-yard touchdown run to put A&M up by 14. Ole Miss would reach the Texas A&M 22-yard-line in the finals seconds but came up empty.
Iowa State (-17) 28, Baylor 14: The Bears wound up out-gaining Iowa State 505-355 and didn’t have a turnover yet they had just seven points entering the fourth quarter, with two early missed field goals a factor. After a third quarter brawl that led to key players on both sides getting ejected, Baylor would add an early fourth quarter touchdown to get within the spread. The Bears couldn’t get any closer as they were stopped on downs inside the 20 on two different late possessions.
Eastern Michigan (-13) 27, Akron 7: After a scoreless third quarter Eastern Michigan led Akron just 10-7 but with the Zips pinned deep the Eagles scored on a short interception return touchdown to lead by 10 and then following another interception, scored seconds later to fly past the favorite spread. Eastern Michigan added another field goal for the 20-point final in a game where Akron wound up with only 90 net yards on offense.
Indiana (-1) 34, Maryland 32: Indiana led 31-15 halfway through the third quarter but Maryland made a valiant comeback, ultimately taking the lead 32-31 with about five minutes remaining and failing going for two after the second touchdown after successfully converting a two-point conversion late in the third quarter. Indiana did just enough to get into field goal range with Logan Justus hitting from 42 yards to give Indiana a two-point edge as a very slight favorite. Maryland crossed midfield on its final possession but fumbled on a sack as the Hoosiers held on.
Duke (-8) 42, North Carolina 35: Both teams had big production in this game but after a high scoring first half Duke settled in defensively and took a 42-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Tar Heels were stopped on downs at the Duke 31 but were able to get the ball back and eventually completed a 16-play touchdown drive to climb within seven with just over a minute remaining. The on-side kick failed and Duke was on the edge of field goal range and opted to go for it on 4th-and-12, ultimately winding up with an interception to give the Tar Heels another shot. North Carolina reached the Duke 39-yard-line before running out of time.
Alabama (-22) 24, Mississippi State 0: This line fell from as high as -26 but Alabama led by just 21 at the and failed to add points in the third quarter. On back-to-back drives Mississippi State went for it on 4th downs near midfield and came up short, handing Alabama good field position and the Tide eventually added a field goal to go up 24-0. With just over a minute to go Alabama had the ball back inside the Mississippi State 10 but ultimately failed to add points going for it on 4th-and-goal.
Air Force (-14) 42, New Mexico 24: A defensive score put the Lobos back in the game trialing by 11 entering the fourth quarter. Air Force fumbled on its next possession to give New Mexico the ball right back but the Lobos couldn’t take advantage. Air Force eventually added a touchdown with 10 minutes remaining to slip past the favorite spread and New Mexico didn’t threaten late.
Florida Atlantic (-17½) 34, Western Kentucky 15: A lot of points were left off the board by Florida Atlantic who led just 17-9 through three quarters despite ultimately posting nearly 600 yards of offense. In the fourth the Owls took control of the game with 10 early points to lead by 18 with this spread at -18 or -18½ much of the week before closing at -17½. Western Kentucky would score with about six minutes to go to close to within 12, missing on the two-point conversion. The Owls broke a late 77-yard run to go back up by 19 to pass up the favorite spread.
Old Dominion (+15½) 34, North Texas 31: The Mean Green stormed out to a 28-0 lead in this game, favored by -14 most of the week before a late rise. The Monarchs managed 10 points in the final three minutes before halftime to stay in the game however. Old Dominion scored first in the second half but North Texas hit a field goal to go back up by 14. Old Dominion kept the pressure on with a quick touchdown drive. Then on the next two possessions North Texas had a fumble and then after an Old Dominion field goal trimmed the lead to four points, the Mean Green failed going for it on 4th-and-1 just short of midfield. With 15 seconds to go the Monarchs found the end zone to complete the comeback for a stunning upset.
UL-Lafayette (-13½) 36, Georgia State 22: This was a two-point game through three quarters but the Ragin’ Cajuns scored three touchdowns in the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter to lead 36-14, going for two on the third score up by 22 and unable to get it. The spread on this game opened at -13 and reached as high as -14½ before settling at -13½. With just over four minutes to go Georgia State completed a 75-yard touchdown drive and down 16 opted to go for two in an important play for many. Aaron Winchester hit Diondre Champaigne for the conversion for a 14-point final margin.
Ohio State (-3) 26, Michigan State 6: The final score looks like a blowout but Ohio State led by just 7-6 late in the third quarter before getting nine points on defense with a safety and a fumble return touchdown in the span of just two minutes bridging the start of the fourth quarter. The Buckeyes added a field goal to go up 19-6 and then scored a touchdown with just over a minute to go to create a misleading 26-6 result.
Clemson (-18) 27, Boston College 7: Boston College scored on an early punt return touchdown to lead 7-3 but Clemson only trailed for a few minutes, getting back in front 13-7 by halftime. The Tigers added a touchdown early in the third quarter and then in the fourth got a punt return touchdown of their own to lead by 20, slipping past the heavy favorite spread.
Utah (-6) 32, Oregon 25: The Utes relied on kicker Matt Gay for five field goals to lead 22-17 through three quarters. The Ducks took a 25-22 lead halfway through the fourth following a blocked punt. Utah would answer as freshman quarterback Jason Shelley led a quick touchdown drive to put Utah up by four, short of the closing number on a spread that climbed from -3 to -6 during the week. Oregon had to go for it on 4th down just past midfield and Utah did enough for Gay to add one more field goal for a seven-point win and favorite cover.
Georgia (-13½) 27, Auburn 10: Auburn led 10-6 late in the second quarter but with a few big breaks Georgia scored two touchdowns in the final three minutes before halftime to lead 20-10 at the break for a huge swing. That edge would hold through a scoreless third quarter before Auburn hit on a 77-yard run to go up by 17. On a meaningless late possession Auburn reach the Georgia 35-yard-line and threw to the end zone on 4th-and-4, getting a pass interference call but the flag was surprisingly picked up and ruled an uncatchable pass to end the game.
Texas (-2) 41, Texas Tech 34: The Longhorns led by seven at the half and by 17 though three quarters and after an exchange of touchdowns Texas still led by 17 halfway through the fourth quarter. Texas Tech added a field goal to get back within two scores and then got an on-side kick and made the most of the opportunity with a touchdown to suddenly trail by only seven. The Red Raiders forced a 3-and-out and scored again in just five plays to tie the game. With still nearly two minutes remaining Sam Ehlinger used his arm and legs to get Texas to the edge of field goal range and with 21 seconds left Lil’Jordan Humphrey made a leaping catch and dove into the end zone for the Texas win.
LSU (-13) 24, Arkansas 17: LSU managed to pull away in the third quarter to take a 24-3 lead but Arkansas climbed back in the game late with an early fourth quarter touchdown and then a score to cut the margin to just seven with still more than five minutes remaining. LSU managed to burn the entire remaining clock and ultimately took a knee at the Arkansas 1-yard-line after Nick Brossette was stopped just short of the goal line.
Stanford (-25) 48, Oregon State 17: The Beavers scored twice right before halftime to trail just 34-17 and they clung to the underdog cover trailing 41-17 through three quarters. The Cardinal added a fourth quarter touchdown to go up by 31 after Oregon State missed a field goal. Oregon State had a late shot to get back within the closing number but failed on 4th down from the Stanford 25-yard-line in the final minute.