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Bad Beats: College Football Week 1

   by Ben Burns - 09/07/2009

College football welcomed back bettors with a LaGarrett Blount right hand instead of a friendly handshake.

The opening week featured backdoor covers, favorites who forgot to score in the second half, a last-minute safety that affected a total and a meaningless touchdown on the game’s final play that hurt.

It left some of us feeling like Sam Bradford’s shoulder, and other more fortunate bettors with sheepish grins.

Here’s to bouncing back next week or keeping the good fortune coming.

Backdoor men: Favored by 41.5 over Louisiana-Monroe, Texas was in covering position, after a Garrett Gilbert 12-yard touchdown run put the Longhorns up 59-13 with seven minutes left.

But, aided by a Texas personal foul penalty, ULM mounted a nine-play, 69-yard drive, capped off by a Frank Goodin 13-yard touchdown run that slaughtered the hopes of Longhorn backers.

Shutting it down: That’s exactly what Penn State did in the second half against Akron.

After a dominating first half, the Nittany Lions were well on their way to covering to a 29-point spread.

Penn State outgained the Zips 344-8 in the first half. PSU quarterback Darryl Clark completed 29 of 40 attempts and set a school record with 254 passing yards in the first half alone.

He hooked up with Graham Zug from 19 yards out for his third touchdown, which put the Nittany Lions up 31-0 at halftime.

But that was the last time Penn State would score, and Joe Paterno wasn’t any happier about it than bettors who took the Nittany Lions.

Paterno told reporters that many of his younger players "thought the thing was over at halftime."

"We just did not have any consistency in the second half. We didn't come off the football on either side of the ball, so I was disappointed," he said. "But we still won the football game."

Just not by enough.

Akron scored on a 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter and held on for a 31-7 cover.

Tricky Mormons: Trailing Utah 33-17 with 1:29 left, Utah State took over on its own six-yard line. Under 52 looked good.

Since it was still only a two-possession game, the visiting Aggies tried to start a drive from the shadows of their own goal line. Going 94 yards in a minute and a half seemed like a pipedream, though. What under bettors weren’t expecting was a safety, the second of the game. But that’s what they got, when Utah’s Nai Fotu sacked Utah State quarterback Diondre Borel in the end zone with 48 seconds left. It turned what looked like a for-sure under into a push.

Late-night lameness: How many of played the total on the LSU-Washington game only because it was the last game on the card? It hurt you, if you took the under.

With six minutes to play, LSU led 24-13. The total was 52.5, so the under looked in good shape. Washington got a field goal with five minutes to play to get within eight. LSU responded with a six-play, 67-yard drive, capped by a six-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Jefferson to Brandon LaFell with 1:54 to play.

Now trailing 31-16, the Huskies were reduced to playing for pride, as they took over on their 18-yard line with 1:54 to play.

Washington pride inspired a long drive that ended with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Jake Locker to Kavario Middleton on the game’s final play. Final score: LSU 31, Washington 23.

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