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Inside the Boxscores, Part 1

   by Matt Fargo - 10/09/2006

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.

TULSA 20 Southern Mississippi 6

Tulsa outgained the Golden Eagles 453-243 despite running seven less plays. The Golden Hurricane rushed for 252 yards on 38 carries (6.6 ypc) but was unable to put the game away until early in the fourth quarter. After scoring a touchdown on its first possession, Tulsa fumbled at the Southern Mississippi 14-yard line and turned it over on downs at the 33-yard line in its next two possessions. Tulsa was hurt by 12 penalties for 109 yards.


Central Florida outgained the Herd 488-366 but it needed a field goal with just seven seconds remaining to pull out the victory. The Golden Knights were hurt by a turnover on downs at the Marshall one-yard line on its second possession and also missed a 31-yard field goal late in the third quarter. Four of the five scoring drives for Central Florida were 71 yards or more.

NC STATE 24 Florida State 20

Florida St. outgained the Wolfpack 345-340 but the defense fell apart in the second half, blowing a 10-point lead. NC State scored the final two touchdowns and the defense grabbed an interception to seal the win. Both teams were hurt by non-execution in the redzone as the Seminoles were stopped on third down twice inside the 10-yard line while NC State was stopped twice inside the five-yard line.

UTAH 20 T-C-U 7

Utah only outgained the Horned Frogs by 44 yards but TCU had three fumbles on consecutive possessions in the 4th quarter. One fumble led to a field goal while another stopped a drive inside the redzone. The TCU defense stepped up in the second half, allowing only 97 total yards and three points but the offense got nothing on three straight trips past midfield in the final quarter.

(7) Louisville 44 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 17

Louisville racked up 526 yards of offense but the game was still within reach late in the third quarter before the Cardinals scored two straight touchdowns to put the game away. Middle Tennessee scored its first touchdown on a kickoff return to take an early lead but the offense could not move the ball as it gained just 81 yards on its first nine possessions. Louisville was a perfect 6-6 inside the redzone.

(17) Arkansas 27 (11) AUBURN 10

Arkansas dominated this game from start to finish as it outgained the Tigers 366-213 and completely won the rushing battle. The Razorbacks rushed for 279 yards on 45 carries (6.2 ypc) while holding Auburn to just 60 yards rushing on 31 carries (1.9 ypc). The Auburn offense was on the field for over 10 minutes less in the second half as it had only four possessions, resulting in just 36 yards.

Pittsburgh 21 SYRACUSE 11

Pittsburgh outgained the Orange 413-317 as Syracuse was hurt by three fumbles inside Panthers territory. Pittsburgh rushed for 236 yards on 35 carries (6.7 ypc) while holding the Orange to 92 yards rushing on 33 carries (2.8 ypc). One of Syracuse’s fumbles occurred inside the redzone midway through the fourth quarter and its only touchdown came after that in garbage time.

(12) Clemson 27 WAKE FOREST 17

Wake Forest blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter as it was outscored 24-0 in the final period. Both teams committed four turnovers but Clemson scored 20 points off the four Deacons miscues including a 66-yard fumble recovery that got the scoring going in the final quarter. The Tigers outgained Wake Forest 428-219 and held the Deacons to just 62 total yards in the second half.

MIAMI-FLORIDA 27 North Carolina 7

Miami only outgained the Tar Heels 324-244 but it scored 10 points off turnovers. The Hurricanes had three scoring drives of 36 yards or less and made it inside the redzone only once. The Miami defense held North Carolina to 58 yards rushing on 28 carries (2.1 ypc). The Hurricanes won despite having fewer first downs, losing the time of possession battle and converting a lesser third-down conversion percentage.

Penn State 28 MINNESOTA 27

The Nittany Lions won in overtime thanks to a missed extra point. A missed field goal by Penn St. in the third quarter kept Minnesota alive as it tied the game following that and then scored a touchdown with a minute remaining to force overtime. The Nittany Lions held the Gophers to just 68 yards rushing on 34 carries (2.0 ypc). A muffed punt set up Penn St.’s first touchdown.

(25) WISCONSIN 41 Northwestern 9

Wisconsin outgained the Wildcats 527-216 and the score should have been a lot worse but the Badgers committed three turnovers in Northwestern territory. Northwestern was down by just one point midway through the second quarter but Wisconsin scored the final 31 points to pull away. The Badgers crossed midfield on every possession while the Wildcats did not get past the Wisconsin 48-yard line on its final eight drives.

Texas A&M 21 KANSAS 18

Kansas had an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter but the Aggies put together two touchdown drives of 80 yards each to get the win. The final score came with just 34 seconds remaining. Texas A&M blew three scoring chances inside the Jayhawks 30-yard line with a missed field goal, a turnover on downs and a fumble. Kansas was only 3-15 on third down conversions and finished with just 10 first downs.

Indiana 34 ILLINOIS 32

Illinois jumped out to a 25-7 lead but the Hoosiers scored the next three touchdowns including returning the second half kickoff for a score to take the lead. The Illini took the lead back late in the third quarter but Indiana drove 65 yards on its final possession to kick the winning field goal as time expired. Illinois had five possessions in the fourth quarter but managed only 33 total yards.

(15) IOWA 47 Purdue 17

Iowa outgained the Boilermakers 539-456 but Purdue was hurt by too many mistakes. The Boilermakers missed two field goals, had two interceptions and turned the ball over on downs that all accounted for 187 yards of offense wasted. The Hawkeyes were a perfect 7-7 inside the redzone despite going just 1-6 on third down conversions. Iowa closed the game by returning an interception 98 yards for a score.

OHIO U 27 Western Michigan 20

Western Michigan actually outgained the Bobcats 346-336 but Ohio started the scoring with a punt return for a touchdown which was the ultimate difference. Ohio finally got its rushing game going as it ran for 257 yards on 36 carries (7.1 ypc). Western Michigan finished 2-4 inside the redzone, missing a short field goal while failing to convert a crucial fourth down attempt late in the fourth quarter.

Kent State 28 TEMPLE 17

Kent St. outgained the Owls 415-194 but Temple was very much in the game, trailing by only four points at the break. The Golden Flashes got some breathing room with a touchdown late in the third quarter and then sealed the victory with another touchdown in the fourth. Temple crossed midfield only once in its final 10 possessions and that resulted in a late garbage time touchdown.

Ball State 55 BUFFALO 25

Ball St. scored on its first seven possessions and jumped out to a 45-3 lead despite outgaining the Bulls by just 88 total yards. Buffalo gained most of its yardage after that, putting up 235 yards in the 4th quarter. The Bulls had five possessions inside the Cardinals 45-yard line but came away with one field goal. Ball St. had 232 yards rushing on 42 carries (5.5 ypc) while the Bulls had 42 yards rushing on 30 carries (1.4 ypc).

TULANE 38 Rice 24

Tulane outgained the Owls 487-400 and after Rice tied the game at seven apiece, the Green Wave never relinquished the lead after that. The Owls did cut the lead to seven once again at the end of the third quarter but Tulane responded yet again. Rice was able to get down to the 20-yard line after that but turned it over on downs to end the comeback. Both teams went 3-4 inside the redzone.

B-Y-U 47 San Diego St 17

San Diego St. kicked a field goal on its first possession to pull within four points but the Cougars ran off 33 unanswered points to pull away. After gaining just 104 yards in the first half, the Aztecs had 230 yards in the second half but the game was well decided by then. San Diego St. actually ran 17 more plays and had an 18-minute time of possession edge but 10 penalties for 110 yards didn’t help matters.

Navy 24 AIR FORCE 17

Navy was up by 17 points in the 4th quarter but the Falcons scored 10 points on their first two drives and forced a punt late but turned it over on downs to end the game. Air Force crossed midfield only one time prior to that final quarter as it gained just 57 yards in addition to its lone touchdown drive. Navy started the scoring with a fumble recovery that was returned for a touchdown.

OLE MISS 17 Vanderbilt 10

Ole Miss won despite getting outgained 400-179 and finishing with a mere 31 yards passing. All of the Rebels points came off Commodores miscues, 10 points off turnovers and seven off a turnover on downs. In total, Vanderbilt had five turnovers and missed two field goals and it ended the game 2-5 inside the redzone. Ole Miss was just 1-12 on third down conversions and crossed midfield only three times in the second half.

(5) West Virginia 42 MISSISSISSIPPI STATE 14

West Virginia outgained the Bulldogs by only 100 total yards but Mississippi St. had countless mistakes that did it in. The Bulldogs were inside the West Virginia 35-yard line six times but threw two interceptions, missed a field goal and turned it over on downs. The Mountaineers finished with 314 yards rushing on 44 carries (7.1 ypc) while holding Mississippi St. to just 56 yards rushing on 37 carries (1.5 ypc).

(9) NOTRE DAME 31 Stanford 10

Notre Dame outgained the Cardinal 436-226 and more than doubled their first downs 29-14. Stanford kicked a very short field goal on its first drive but was forced to punt on five straight possessions following that. The Irish won the time of possession battle by 10 minutes, went 7-13 on third down conversions and went a perfect 4-4 inside the redzone. Stanford was just 1-8 on third down.

CINCINNATI 20 Akron 14

Akron jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter with two long scoring drives but it was all Cincinnati the rest of the way. The Zips gained 147 yards on those drives but had only 72 yards the rest of the way. They turned the ball over on downs twice while being forced to punt on their seven other possessions. The Bearcats crossed midfield on nine of their final 10 possessions, gaining 400 yards in that span.

(13) GEORGIA TECH 27 Maryland 23

Georgia Tech survived a scare as it scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to pull out the victory. The Yellow Jackets outgained Maryland 390-277 but needed a fourth down stop at their own 27-yard line with 30 seconds remaining to seal the win. The game-winning touchdown came on a 17-yard drive that was set up by a Terrapins fumble. Georgia Tech missed two field goals and turned it over on downs at the Maryland 23-yard line.

(1) OHIO STATE 35 Bowling Green 7

This game was over before it started as the Buckeyes scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and cruised the rest of the way. Bowling Green scored on its opening drive of the second half but Ohio St. responded with two more touchdowns on its next two drives. The Falcons were outgained by just 48 total yards and actually outrushed the Buckeyes 160-139.

(6) Texas 28 (23) OKLAHOMA 10

Oklahoma clung to a three-point lead at halftime but the Longhorns busted out by scoring touchdowns on its first two second half possessions and forced four turnovers on the Sooners final four drives. In total, Oklahoma outgained Texas by over 100 total yards but five turnovers in all did the Sooner in. The Longhorns closed the scoring by returning a fumble three yards for a touchdown.

(3) U-S-C 26 Washington 20

The Trojans pulled out another close game as the Huskies drove down to the USC 15-yard line but couldn’t get another play off thus ending the game. Washington was outgained by just 32 total yards as the defense forced the Trojans to kick four field goals. The Huskies were also forced to kick two short field goals. The Trojans could have had five field goals but their first touchdown came off a fake attempt.

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