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Inside the Boxscores, Week 5, Part 1

   by Matt Fargo - 10/03/2006

Inside the Boxscores is a weekly feature from Matt Fargo that has been widely recognized as the best summation 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.

Southern Miss 19 U-C-F 14

Central Florida outgained the Golden Eagles 325-273 but turnovers were the difference. The Golden Knights fumbled at the Southern Mississippi one-yard line and also threw an interception at their own one-yard line that was returned for a touchdown. They also missed a 23-yard field goal in their only scoring chance in the first half. Southern Mississippi finished 3-14 on third down conversions.

B-Y-U 31 T-C-U 17

TCU actually outgained the Cougars 437-393 but the Horned Frogs could not execute in the first half and fell behind and couldn’t recover. TCU’s first four drives totaled 194 yards but a fumble inside the redzone and a missed field goal killed two opportunities. Even worse, three of those four drives were 10 plays or more. BYU finished with just 72 yards rushing on 34 carries (2.1 ypc).

(2) Auburn 24 SOUTH CAROLINA 17

The Tigers dodged a huge bullet as the Gamecocks had a chance to tie this game up but turned it over on downs at the five-yard line to end the game. In the first half, South Carolina turned the ball over twice inside the Auburn 30-yard line. The Gamecocks outyarded the Tigers 349-307 but going just 1-4 inside the redzone was the ultimate difference. Auburn was held to 127 yards rushing on 35 carries (3.6 ypc).

(24) Rutgers 22 SOUTH FLORIDA 20

South Florida blocked a field goal late in the fourth quarter setting up a possible game-tying drive. The Bulls drove 66 yards to pull within two points with 15 second left but the two-point conversion was unsuccessful. South Florida had three turnovers and also missed a field goal. Rutgers controlled the clock by over 14 more minutes thanks to 226 yards rushing on 45 carries (5.0 ypc).

(13) Tennessee 41 MEMPHIS 7

Tennessee racked up 566 yards of offense while holding the Tigers to just 121 total yards including only 42 yards rushing on 20 carries (2.1 ypc). Things could have been even worse but the Volunteers fumbled once at midfield early in the game while turning it over on downs at the Tigers one-yard line. Memphis’ only touchdown came off a late Tennessee fumble that set up a 21-yard, one-play drive.

PITTSBURGH 45 Toledo 3

Pittsburgh only outgained the Rockets 374-230 but it used four Toledo turnovers to score 21 points. The Panthers jumped out ahead 17-0 and only had 55 yards of offense at that point. Not only did the Rockets have four turnovers but also turned the ball over on downs three times, giving the Panthers an average starting field position of their own 39-yard line. Toledo threw for only 106 yards.

Virginia 37 DUKE 0

Virginia managed only 253 yards of offense but the defense held the Blue Devils to 100 yards and just eight first downs. Duke had a blocked punt and fumbled a snap on fourth down that set up two easy scores. The Cavaliers scored 31 points on Blue Devils miscues as Duke finished with five turnovers. Duke crossed midfield only once and had just one possession that was more than 15 yards.


Navy racked up 605 yards of offense including 464 yards rushing on 56 carries (8.3 ypc). The Huskies pulled to within 10 points late in the third quarter but they could mange only 61 total yards in the final period, committing one fumble and turning it over on downs twice. Three of the Midshipmen’s touchdowns were 52 or more yards and all three of those occurred on the opening play of each drive.

Illinois 23 MICHIGAN STATE 20

Illinois won its second conference game in its last 26 tries as it drove 58 yards to set up the game winning field goal with just six seconds left. The Illini outgained Michigan St. 390-259 but the Spartans returned an interception for a touchdown and scored its final touchdown thanks to a video replay that reversed a fumble. Michigan St. opened the game by fumbling at the Illinois two-yard line on its first possession.

Wisconsin 52 INDIANA 17

The Badgers tallied 539 yards of offense and built a 52-0 lead before the Hoosiers got most of their offense going. Indiana finished with 280 total yards but 167 of those came in the final quarter. Wisconsin punted on its opening drive but then scored on eight of its next nine possessions, with a missed field goal being the only exception. The Badgers were 4-8 on third down and a perfect 7-7 inside the redzone.

(9) L-S-U 48 Mississippi State 17

LSU outgained the Bulldogs 446-226 while jumping out to an early 35-0 lead and put it on cruise the rest of the way. The Tigers scored touchdown on their first five drives but had trouble executing on its next four possessions and they gained just 52 yards and threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. LSU finished 7-9 on third down conversions while the Bulldogs went 2-11.

(23) MISSOURI 28 Colorado 13

Colorado outgained the Tigers 373-353 but the problem came down to 4th down executions. The Buffaloes went 0-5 on fourth down conversions that included two failed attempts inside the redzone. Missouri was able to move the ball at will in its first two possessions but the offense faltered somewhat after that despite going 11-18 on third down conversions.

SYRACUSE 40 Wyoming 34

The Cowboys outgained Syracuse 512-275 but they had four turnovers, three of which occurred deep inside their own territory. They also missed two field goals and had another turnover at the Orange 30-yard line. Of Syracuse’s five scoring drives in regulation, only two were more than 21 yards while a fourth was 44 yards. Wyoming missed a fourth down conversion in overtime giving the ball over to Syracuse.

Bowling Green 21 OHIO U 9

Bowling Green outgained the Bobcats by just 14 total yards but Ohio turned the ball over twice inside the Falcons 34-yard line, threw an interception at its own 31-yard line and missed a field goal on its opening possession. The Falcons held Ohio to 54 yards rushing on 32 carries (1.7 ypc) and also had four sacks that cut into that total. Bowling Green finished with just 108 yards passing.

AIR FORCE 24 New Mexico 7

New Mexico held the Falcons to 281 yards while the offense put up 273 yards but it lost the turnover battle 3-1 and those three turnovers resulted in two touchdowns for Air Force. The Lobos also turned the ball over on downs in their own territory that led to a field goal. Air Force has just one drive of more than 45 yards while New Mexico finished with 41 yards rushing on 31 carries (1.3 ypc).

KENT STATE 37 Akron 15

Kent St. jumped out to a 30-7 lead early in the third quarter and cruised the rest of the way. The Golden Flashes should have been up a lot more but fumbled at the Akron five-yard line on their opening drive and then had a 22-yard field goal blocked on its next possession. Kent St. finished with 461 total yards while Akron turned the ball over three times past midfield and had only 73 yards rushing on 23 carries (3.2 ypc).

(12) NOTRE DAME 35 Purdue 21

Notre Dame was outgained 490-454 but the Boilermakers missed a field goal, fumbled at the Irish 34-yard line and turned the ball over on downs three times, all in Notre Dame territory. The Irish scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions and basically put it in neutral after scoring their final touchdown early in the third quarter. Notre Dame controlled the clock for over 16 more minutes.

(20) Boise State 36 UTAH 3

After the first quarter, the game was knotted at three apiece before the Broncos took control and scored the final 33 points. Boise St. scored 17 points off turnovers as the Utes threw four interceptions. Once the Broncos went up 17-3, Utah managed a total of 44 yards over its last eight possessions. Utah was held to just 51 yards through the air and finished with a 3.2 ypp average.

Idaho 41 UTAH STATE 21

Utah St. jumped out to a 14-0 lead but the Vandals responded with 41 unanswered points to pull away. Idaho outgained the Aggies by only 11 total yards but had an interception return and a fumble recovery that both went for touchdowns after Utah St. was driving. The Aggies were inside the Vandals 38-yard line on four of six possessions between the 2nd and 4th quarters but managed no points.

PENN STATE 33 Northwestern 7

Penn St. racked up 528 yards of offense but were forced to kick four field goals. The Nittany Lions were inside the Wildcats 17-yard line on their first four possessions but came away with only three field goals after fumbling on their first possession. Of Northwestern’s 238 total yards, 108 of those came in the fourth quarter. Its only touchdown came on a short drive off a turnover.

Texas Tech 31 TEXAS A&M 27

Texas Tech outgained the Aggies 433-353 but it needed a touchdown with 26 seconds remaining to pull out the victory. Texas A&M broke a tie with a field goal with 2:12 remaining before the Red Raiders drove 80 yards for the winning score. The Aggies rushed for 250 yards on 47 carries (5.3 ypc) and thus controlled over 14 more minutes of the clock. Texas Tech was just 1-7 on third down conversions.

(11) Oregon 48 ARIZONA STATE 13

Oregon outgained the Sun Devils 574-175 while jumping out to a 31-3 lead and never looked back. The Ducks were inside Arizona St. territory on all but three possessions as they racked up 28 first downs and rushed for 315 yards on 40 carries (7.9 ypc). The Sun Devils passed for an improbable 33 yards as they were sacked six times. They finished the game only 1-13 on third down conversions.

CINCINNATI 24 Miami-Ohio 10

Cincinnati outgained the RedHawks 296-226 and left the door wide open for Miami. The Bearcats were up 17-3 before allowing an 80-yard punt return for a score but sealed it with an early 4th quarter score. Cincinnati mustered only 81 total yards in the second half and Miami was able to get inside the Bearcats 40-yard line on its last three possessions but two interceptions and a turnover on downs left it with nothing.

(18) Georgia Tech 38 (21) VIRGINIA TECH 27

Virginia Tech actually outgained the Yellow Jackets 381-325 but two turnovers ended up being the difference. Georgia Tech had an 11-point lead heading into the second half before returning two fumbles for touchdowns that broke the game open. The Hokies scored two meaningless touchdowns in the fourth quarter and then ended the game at the Yellow Jackets two-yard line. Virginia Tech had 42 yards rushing on 27 carries (1.6 ypc).

(5) FLORIDA 28 Alabama 13

Florida rallied form an early 10-0 deficit and pulled away late by scoring the final 14 points of the game. The Tide returned a fumble for a touchdown to take that early lead and the Gators returned the favor by returning an interception 70 yards for the final touchdown after Alabama was looking to tie the game. Florida’s last two scores came off turnovers as it outgained the Tide by just seven total yards

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