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Inside the Boxscores, Week 8, Part 1

   by Matt Fargo - 10/24/2006

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.

UL Lafayette 6 FLA ATLANTIC 0

UL-Lafayette won despite getting outgained by the Owls 237-228. Florida Atlantic committed four turnovers including a fumble inside the redzone in the second half. The Cajuns put the only points on the board even though they were 0-14 on third down conversions. The Owls got the ball back on a late fourth down stop and drove down to the eight-yard line but an incomplete pass on the final play ended the game.

VIRGINIA 23 North Carolina 0

Virginia pitched the shutout as it held the Tar Heels to 182 total yards and 11 first downs. The Cavaliers also forced three turnovers while committing none. Two of those turnovers led to touchdowns that put the game away. Virginia put up 370 yards of offense including 194 yards rushing on 38 carries (5.1 ypc). The Tar Heels didn’t have a drive longer than 39 yards while amassing just 70 yards in the first half.

CENTRAL MICHIGAN 31 Bowling Green 14

The Chippewas outgained Bowling Green by just 49 total yards and had only 12 first downs but were able to put together two late long scoring drives to pull away. Central Michigan scored its second touchdown on an interception return and then went up by 10 points in the fourth quarter thanks to an 88-yard touchdown pass. The Falcons then had a short field goal blocked, nullifying their best drive of the night.

NEW MEXICO 34 Utah 31

Utah jumped ahead 24-3 but the Lobos ran off 24 unanswered points to take the lead in the fourth quarter. The Utes regained the lead thanks to an interception that led to an eight-yard scoring drive but New Mexico responded with the game-winning touchdown on a 78-yard possession. The Lobos racked up 467 yards of offense including 350 yards through the air, averaging 18.4 yards per catch.

(4) West Virginia 37 CONNECTICUT 11

West Virginia outgained the Huskies 419-210 but clung to just a three-point lead midway through the second quarter before running off 24 unanswered points. Three of the Mountaineers touchdowns came on plays of 45 yards or more. West Virginia was forced to punt only once as it rushed for 263 yards on 42 carries (6.3 ypc) while holding Connecticut to 99 yards rushing on 33 carries (2.9 ypc).

(6) Louisville 28 SYRACUSE 13

Louisville outgained the Orange 426-322 but needed a 31-yard touchdown run to put the game away. Syracuse pulled to within eight points midway through the fourth quarter but the Cardinals put together a 93-yard drive to end the upset bid. Louisville rushed for 223 yards on 36 carries (6.2 ypc) while holding Syracuse to 19 yards rushing on 28 carries (0.7 ypc).

MARYLAND 26 NC State 20

Maryland jumped ahead 20-0 and held on despite a late Wolfpack rally. NC State outgained the Terrapins 299-280 as the defense forced four field goals, keeping the game within reach. The Wolfpack also returned a punt for a touchdown. NC State was hurt by three turnovers that led to 17 Terrapins points as Maryland had five scoring drives of 48 yards or less.

Michigan State 41 NORTHWESTERN 38

The greatest comeback in college football history took place in Evanston as the Spartans rallied from a 38-3 deficit to pull out the miracle win. The Wildcats were inside Michigan St. territory on their first seven possessions but got past midfield only once after that. The Spartans blocked a punt for a touchdown to start the fourth quarter and then picked off a pass that set up the game-winning field goal.

(5) Texas 22 (20) NEBRASKA 20

Texas was able to force a turnover at the Nebraska 45-yard line with just over two minutes remaining and then drove for the game-winning field goal with 23 seconds left. The Huskers rallied to take the lead late in the fourth quarter but missed the two-point conversion. All of Nebraska’s touchdowns were on big pass plays as it failed to reach the redzone the entire game.

(17) Wisconsin 24 PURDUE 3

Purdue scored on its second possession but the Badgers scored 24 unanswered points to pull away. The Boilermakers had plenty of opportunities but missed a short field goal, threw an interception at the 26-yard line and turned it over on downs twice inside the 25-yard line. Purdue finished 3-17 on third and fourth down conversions while accumulating only 286 total yards.

PENN STATE 26 Illinois 12

Penn St. spotted the Illini a 9-3 halftime lead before rallying in the second half. Illinois outgained the Nittany Lions 358-184 but Penn St. scored its final two touchdowns on a fumble return and a kickoff return while also scoring two points on a safety. The defense forced four field goals as Illinois’ scoring drives totaled 183 yards while Penn St.’s totaled only 77 yards.

(1) OHIO STATE 44 Indiana 3

Indiana started the scoring with a field goal off a long punt return but the Buckeyes ran away with it after that. Ohio St. outgained the Hoosiers 540-165 and after going three and out on its first two possessions, its next 10 drives all made it into Indiana territory. The Buckeyes rushed for 270 yards on 39 carries (6.9 ypc) while holding Indiana to seven yards on 28 carries (0.2 ypc).

(13) ARKANSAS 38 Ole Miss 3

Arkansas returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a score and never looked back. The Razorbacks only outgained Mississippi 346-245 but the defense came up big when needed as they stopped the Rebels four times on fourth down inside the 40-yard line. The Arkansas running game was held in check, gaining just 141 yards on 37 carries (3.8 ypc) but the passing game was efficient, completing 14 of 18 passes.

GEORGIA 27 Mississippi State 24

Georgia outgained the Bulldogs 370-298 was needed two late defensive stands to hold on to the win. Mississippi St. drove down to the Georgia 31-yard line but fumbled on the final play. 17 of Mississippi St.’s 24 points came off turnovers as Georgia gave it away five times. Mississippi St. finished 2-13 on third down conversions and threw an interception at the Georgia 11-yard line to start the second half.

Miami-Florida 20 DUKE 15

A short-handed Miami team escaped with a win thanks to an interception on the final play of the game after Duke drove down to the six-yard line. The Blue Devils outgained the Hurricanes 380-329 but they lost the turnover battle 5-1 with three of those miscues leading to 17 Miami points. The Blue Devils actually turned it over twice inside the redzone while also getting stopped on fourth down at the 29-yard line.

(23) MISSOURI 41 Kansas State 21

Kansas St. scored on a fumble return on the first play of the game but the Tigers responded with 34 unanswered points to pull away. The Wildcats had four turnovers, three of which led to 17 points on consecutive possessions to start the second half. Kansas St. was outgained by just 108 total yards but it had a mere 63 yards through the air compared to 262 yards for the Tigers.

Western Michigan 41 BALL STATE 27

Ball St. started the scoring with a field goal but the Cardinals then threw three interceptions on its next three possessions, all leading to Western Michigan touchdowns. The final one came on a 29-yard return for a score. The Broncos allowed just nine yards rushing on 29 carries (0.3 ypc) but six of their 12 penalties led to Ball St. first downs. Western Michigan completed 20 of its 24 pass attempts.

OHIO U 42 Buffalo 7

Ohio held Buffalo to 59 total yards in the first half as it jumped ahead 28-0. The Bobcats finished 9-14 on third and fourth down conversions while going a perfect 5-5 inside the redzone. The Bulls got past the Ohio 46-yard line only once on the day as they were hurt by 13 penalties totaling 102 yards. Ohio rushed for 223 yards on 43 carries (5.2 ypc) while holding Buffalo to 39 yards on 23 carries (1.7 ypc).

(7) AUBURN 38 Tulane 13

Auburn outgained the Green Wave by just 43 total yards but forced three critical turnovers. Tulane fumbled at its own 15-yard line in the second quarter which enabled the Tigers to pull ahead by two touchdowns. The Green Wave were inside the Auburn redzone on each of their final four possessions but were forced to kick two field goals while turning it over on the other two possessions.

(11) NOTRE DAME 20 U-C-L-A 17

Notre Dame pulled off the improbable victory as it forced a punt with a minute remaining and then drove 80 yards on three plays including the 45-yard game-winning touchdown pass. The Irish outgained UCLA 345-243 but they were forced to kick two short field goals while missing another. Notre Dame was just 4-19 on third down conversions but went 4-5 on fourth down.

South Carolina 31 VANDERBILT 13

South Carolina outgained the Commodores 327-253 but needed two late touchdowns to secure the win. Vanderbilt pulled to within four points midway through the third quarter but could not score again. The Gamecocks finished with four turnovers including two on their final two drives but the Commodores couldn’t take advantage as they also gave it back twice.

B-Y-U 52 U-N-L-V 7

The Cougars racked up 574 yards of offense including 308 yards rushing on 41 carries (7.5 ypc). BYU also forced six turnovers including four interceptions. The Rebels went just 1-3 inside the redzone as two turnovers killed two scoring chances. Five of the Cougars scoring drives were 80 yards or longer despite finishing with 12 penalties that totaled 114 yards.


East Carolina was able to pull away by scoring 24 unanswered points starting with a touchdown at the end of the first half to go ahead by seven points. The Mustangs had opportunities in the second half but missed a field goal and turned it over on downs at the 28-yard line. SMU also fumbled at its own 30-yard line setting up the Pirates final score. East Carolina passed for 402 yards but rushed for just 36 yards.


Eastern Michigan held Toledo scoreless until the fourth quarter when the Rockets scored two touchdowns but had to rally in the final seconds. The Eagles scored two points off a PAT return on the second score and then scored the game-winning touchdown with just 36 seconds remaining. Eastern Michigan was just 3-12 on third down as it was forced to kick three field goals while also coming up short on two other trips inside the redzone.

BAYLOR 36 Kansas 35

Baylor rallied from a 35-17 deficit by outscoring the Jayhawks 19-0 in the final quarter. Kansas scored touchdowns on four of its first five possessions and also had an interception return for a score mixed in there. The Jayhawks were then shut down in the second half while the Bears had 222 of their 460 total yards come on those final three scoring possessions.


Northern Illinois jumped ahead 40-0 in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicates. Temple had only 42 total yards up to that point and it put up 296 yards in its final four possessions when the game was well decided. The Owls finished with negative rushing yards and surprisingly, the Huskies had only 89 yards rushing on 35 carries (2.5 ypc).

(18) Boston College 24 FLORIDA STATE 19

Boston College was outgained 354-322 but used two Seminoles turnovers to score its first two touchdowns. The Eagles recovered a fumble and returned it to the Florida St. one-yard line to set up the first score and then intercepted a pass for a touchdown with 20 second left in the first half. Florida St. had a chance to win late but was stopped at the nine-yard line on fourth down with two minutes left.

Texas Tech 42 IOWA STATE 26

Texas Tech outgained the Cyclones 475-221 but Iowa St. trailed by just two points late in the third quarter before the Red Raiders were able to pull away. Texas Tech kept Iowa St. in the game by turning it over twice, missing a field goal and committing 14 penalties for 129 yards. The Cyclones were just 3-15 on third down conversions and their two interceptions led to two Texas Tech touchdowns.

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