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Inside the Boxscores, Week 3, Part 1

   by Matt Fargo - 09/15/2008

nside 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, September 11, 2008



North Carolina 44 RUTGERS 12



North Carolina pulled off the minor upset as it broke open a tight game by putting up 28 unanswered points between the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Despite this, Rutgers outgained the Tar Heels 383-378 and finished with five more first downs. North Carolina took advantage of four Scarlet Knights interceptions, one of which was returned for a 66-yard touchdown. Rutgers finished 0-9 on third down.



Friday, September 12, 2008



(12) SO FLORIDA 37 (19) Kansas 34



Kansas built a comfortable 20-3 lead late in the first half but it turned out to be not close to enough. South Florida ran off the next 31 points and had a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter before the Jayhawks staged their own comeback. Kansas scored touchdowns on its first two fourth quarter possessions to tie the game and was driving a third time but was picked off which set up the game-winning field goal for the Bulls.



BAYLOR 45 Washington St 17



Baylor spotted the Cougars a 7-0 lead as they scored after the opening kickoff but the Bears then scored 42 of the next 49 points to run away with the game. After Washington St. scored on its opening drive, it turned the ball over on its next three possessions, the start of five turnovers on the night. In total, BYU racked up 555 yards of offense while allowing 340 yards despite running 19 fewer plays from scrimmage.



Saturday, September 13, 2008



Air Force 31 HOUSTON 28



The Cougars jumped ahead 7-0 before Air Force scored 31 unanswered points to build a big third quarter lead. Houston rallied with three consecutive touchdowns to pull within three points. It could have been four touchdowns for the lead but sandwiched in that rally was an interception at the Falcons 20-yard line. The Cougars outgained Air Force 534-380 with all of the Falcons yards coming on the ground as they didn’t complete a pass.



BUFFALO 30 Temple 28



The miracle of the day took place in Buffalo as the Bulls won the game on a 35-yard touchdown pass as time expired. The game was close the whole way with neither team establishing a lead of greater than a touchdown. Buffalo kicked a field goal with 2:27 remaining but Temple followed with a 74-yard touchdown drive with 38 seconds remaining to take the lead back before the Bulls final drive.



(23) CLEMSON 27 NC State 9



Clemson tossed an interception on the first play of the game that was returned for a touchdown. The Tigers then scored on three of their next four possessions and then added two final quarter scores to win going away. Clemson outgained the Wolfpack 428-288 but NC State has its chances. Over the last four possessions, the Wolfpack kicked a field goal, missed a 25-yard field goal and threw two picks inside Clemson territory.



DUKE 41 Navy 31



Duke did a good job in holding the Navy rushing game in check as it held the Midshipmen to 207 yards rushing on 46 carries (4.5 ypc). Navy was efficient in the passing game, going 8-10 for 150 yards but a costly interception on its final drive stopped the possible go ahead possession. The Blue Devils put up 396 yards of offense but just 79 yards rushing on 34 carries (2.3 ypc).



Toledo 41 EASTERN MICH 17



Toledo only outgained the Eagles 347-263 but used four turnovers that led to 21 points to run away with it. Four of the six Rockets touchdown drives were 40 yards or less. Eastern Michigan either punted or turned it over in all six of its first quarter possessions and over half of its total yards came on its final two drives when the game was already decided. Toledo rushed for 233 yards on 36 carries (6.5 ypc).



(22) ILLINOIS 20 UL Lafayette 17



Illinois was involved in a surprisingly close game. The Illini took a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter and UL-Lafayette was able to cut it to a touchdown late in the period. Illinois then took the ensuing possession and kicked a field goal to make it a two-possession game. The Cajuns fumbled in their first two possessions which led to 10 points for the Illini. Both teams finished 7-16 on third down.



MARYLAND 35 California 27



Maryland pulled off one of the bigger upsets of the days as the final score was hardly an indication of the game played. The Bears actually outgained Maryland 461-297 but most of those yards came late as they scored touchdowns on their final three possessions that totaled 241 yards. The Terrapins scored touchdowns on their first three possessions and jumped ahead 28-6 late in the third quarter.



MICHIGAN STATE 17 Fla Atlantic 0



The 17-0 final may have looked close but it could have been a lot worse if not for the bad weather that took place in East Lansing. The Spartans put up 250 yards rushing but they were able to go only 3-15 on third down and that resulted in opportunities lost. The Owls finished with just 225 total yards but turned it over on downs twice inside the Spartans 25-yard line and also fumbled at the four-yard line.



IOWA 17 Iowa State 5



Iowa St. actually outgained the Hawkeyes 325-240 and held Iowa to 11 first downs but three interceptions ended up being very costly. The second killed the first drive of the second half as the Cyclones made it to the Iowa 20-yard line before the pick. Iowa St. was down by just a touchdown in the fourth quarter but Iowa returned a punt 81 yards to seal the win. A safety to end the game provided the final margin.



(5) MISSOURI 69 Nevada 17



Missouri dominated from start to finish as it racked up 651 yards of total offense while holding the Wolf Pack to 362 yards. The Tigers scored on their first 10 possessions with eight of those drives being 60 yards or more. Missouri gained a whopping 10.0 yppl as Nevada had no answer as it forced only one punt on the day. The Tigers ended the scoring on a 27-yard interception return for a score.



TENNESSEE 35 U-A-B 3



Tennessee rebounded from its opening loss as it outgained the Blazers 548-275. UAB was also hurt by mistakes as it failed on a fourth down at the Tennessee 19-yard line while also tossing two interceptions inside the 10-yard line. The Volunteers were very balanced with 282 yards passing and 266 yards rushing on 41 carries (6.5 ypc). Tennessee also had two interceptions but they resulted in only three points.



Ball State 41 AKRON 24



Ball St. took an early 10-3 lead and then picked off a pass as the Zips were driving but the Cardinals fumbled on the very next play to set up a short field. Akron took advantage as it tied the game but Ball St. scored 21 unanswered points to pull away. The Cardinals outgained Akron 491-418 although 118 of the Zips yards came in the fourth quarter when the game was already decided.



T-C-U 31 Stanford 14



TCU jumped ahead 14-0 early in the second quarter but Stanford was able to put together a long drive to pull within a touchdown and then blocked a punt and retuned it for a score to knot the game at halftime. The Horned Frogs defense came through in the second half, allowing just 69 total yards while the offense tacked on 17 points. TCU allowed just 193 total yards and 10 first downs and won the time of possession nearly 2-to-1.



Central Mich 31 OHIO U 28



Central Michigan spotted the Bobcats a 14-0 lead after the first quarter before the Chippewas scored the next 24 points and never relinquished the lead. Central Michigan was up by 10 points midway through the fourth quarter and Ohio scored on a 77-yard pass play to pull to within three. The Bobcats forced a punt and drove the field before fumbling in the endzone. They got it back one more time only to fumble once again.



(15) East Carolina 28 TULANE 24



This game was back and forth throughout and the stats showed it as East Carolina outgained the Green Wave by just four total yards. Tulane took its first lead early in the fourth quarter but the Pirates were able to put together their best drive as they went 80 yards for the winning touchdown with just 1:41 remaining. Tulane had one last shot but tossed an interception to end it.



(14) B-Y-U 59 U-C-L-A 0



BYU scored early and often and UCLA never had a chance. The Cougars put up 35 points in the second quarter and they scored on nine of their first 11 possessions before calling off the dogs. BYU outgained UCLA 521-239 and it finished 13-17 on third down while going a perfect 8-8 inside the redzone. The Bruins did not help their cause by committing four turnovers, going 0-2 on fourth down and missing two field goals.



NOTRE DAME 35 Michigan 17



Notre Dame won despite getting outgained 388-260. Michigan committed six turnovers which led to 21 points for the Fighting Irish. The Wolverines fumbled on their first two possessions and Notre Dame had a 14-0 lead 11 minutes into the game and by running just six plays on offense. The Fighting Irish iced the game by returning a fumble 35 yards for a touchdown. Notre Dame had just 72 total yards in the second half.



(17) Oregon 32 PURDUE 26



Purdue jumped ahead early as it scored on its second play from scrimmage on an 80-yard run and eventually built a 20-3 lead before the Ducks mounted their comeback. Oregon pulled to within seven points in the third quarter on an 87-yard punt return and then tied the game in the fourth quarter. Both traded field goals in the first overtime but Purdue missed a field goal in the second overtime and the Ducks punched it in for the win.



(3) Georgia 14 SO CAROLINA 7



South Carolina outgained the Bulldogs 289-252 but mistakes hurt the Gamecocks late in the game. Georgia took its first lead midway through the third quarter and South Carolina was able to move the ball into Georgia territory on all four subsequent possessions. They resulted in a punt, a fumble in the endzone, a turnover on downs at the 31-yard line and finally an interception at the three-yard line to end the game.

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