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Inside the Boxscores, Week 3 Part 2

   by Matt Fargo - 09/18/2007

Inside 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.

Ball State 34 NAVY 31

Navy racked up an impressive 521 yards rushing on 65 carries (8. ypc) and still could not win. The Midshipmen had drives stalled on a turnover on downs at the Ball St. 33-yard line, missed a field goal and fumbled twice inside the Cardinals 25-yard line including in overtime. Navy had two leads of seven points, which was right on the number but it never got over the cover. Ball St. finished with 262 yards rushing and 277 yards passing.

Southern Miss 28 EAST CAROLINA 21

Southern Miss jumped ahead 14-0 but had to rally for two fourth quarter touchdowns to pull out the win and the cover. Both touchdown drives at the end covered 80 yards each with the final one coming with just 32 seconds remaining. The Golden Eagles held East Carolina to 300 total yards and only 97 yards rushing on 37 carries (2.6 ypc). The Pirates missed an early field goad and also tossed an interception in Southern Miss territory.

(6) CALIFORNIA 42 Louisiana Tech 12

California returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and never looked back as the Bears outgained Louisiana Tech 447-274. The Bulldogs pulled to within 16 points after their first drive of the second half but California responded with the final two touchdowns of the game. The score could have been worse but the Bears missed a short field goal and tossed an interception at the 17-yard line and thus did not get the cover.

(16) ALABAMA 41 Arkansas 38

A wild game in Tuscaloosa saw Alabama jump out to a 21-0 lead before the Razorbacks made a ferocious rally. The Tide withstood the first surge by scoring the first 10 points of the second half to reclaim a 21-point lead but the Razorbacks scored four consecutive touchdowns. Alabama kicked a field goal and scored the game-winning touchdown with eight seconds left to get the win and the push. Both teams finished with 450 total yards.

KANSAS 45 Toledo 13

Toledo dropped to 0-3 as it was outgained by the Jayhawks 557-251 and finished with only nine first downs. Both of the Rockets touchdowns were set up by Kansas fumbles as the scoring drives were only 21 and 13 yards. Toledo committed four turnovers and had nine penalties, neither of which helped its cause. The Rockets did drive deep into Kansas territory late in the 4th quarter but fumbled enabling the Jayhawks to cover the 27 points.

VANDERBILT 31 Ole Miss 17

This game was closer than the final score indicates as Mississippi had numerous opportunities but could not get it done. The Rebels pulled to within four points late in the third quarter but their next drive produced an interception deep in their own territory which set up a Vanderbilt touchdown and they then turned it over on downs at their own 14-yard line setting up the final score with 1:47 remaining and the cover for Vanderbilt.

(20) TEXAS A&M 54 UL-Monroe 14

Texas A&M piled up 547 yards of offense and 30 first downs as it cruised to victory. The Warhawks actually tied the game at seven late in the first quarter but the Aggies scored the next 34 points to pull away. Texas A&M had 10 possessions and it scored on nine of them including seven touchdowns. The Aggies padded their lead with two late touchdowns but had the cover locked up prior to that.

(13) OREGON 52 Fresno State 21

Oregon was forced to punt in its first possession but then scored a touchdown in its next four drives on offense and also threw in the mix a fumble recovery for a score. 321 of the Ducks 461 total yards came in the first half and they finished the game with 307 yards rushing on 47 carries (6.5 ypc). Oregon had the game covered after its first touchdown in the second quarter as the 16.5 points were never an issue.

Houston 34 TULANE 10

Houston scored the first 31 points of the game and it outgained the Green Wave 505-313. The defense held Tulane scoreless for the first 52 minutes of the game and didn’t allow it in the endzone until the final minute. The score should have been much worse but Houston was intercepted twice inside the Tulane 30-yard line, fumbled into the endzone and missed a field goal. Still, covering the two-touchdown spread was not a problem.


The Indians jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and while SMU pulled to within a touchdown on two different occasions, Arkansas St. eventually pulled away at the end. The Mustangs committed three turnovers which all let to touchdowns and they also turned the ball over on downs at the Indians 15-yard line in their first drive of the second half. It was basically a wire-to-wire cover for Arkansas St.

(21) KENTUCKY 40 (18) Louisville 34

Kentucky won the game by scoring a touchdown with 28 seconds left following a 74-yard drive. The Wildcats were outgained by six yards and almost gave it back as Louisville drove to the 11-yard line but time expired. The Wildcats built a 13-0 lead after the Cardinals fumbled the opening kickoff and then was intercepted on its first play from scrimmage. Louisville regained the lead three times but never covered the number.

(1) U-S-C 49 (24) NEBRASKA 31

Nebraska had an early 10-7 lead in the second quarter but the Trojans put it into full gear and scored the next 35 points to pull away. The Cornhuskers scored three touchdowns in the final quarter after the game was well out of reach along with covering the spread. USC only outgained Nebraska by 37 total yards but the gap was tightened due to the garbage numbers in the final period. The Trojans won the rushing battle 313-31.

(2) L-S-U 44 Middle Tennessee 0

The Tigers completely dominated as they racked up 505 yards offense while holding Middle Tennessee to just 90 total yards. 68 of those yards came in the final two drives for the Blue Raiders and their best chance to score was on their final possession but they were stopped on 4th down at the 39-yard line which also stopped the possible backdoor cover. The Blue Raiders finished with nine yards rushing, losing 76 yards on six sacks.

BOISE STATE 24 Wyoming 14

Boise St. rebounded from their first loss in 13 games in a game that was not as close as the final score indicates. The Cowboys didn’t cross midfield until their final drive of the first half while 146 of their 262 total yards came on their final two possessions. They scored their final touchdown with just 53 seconds remaining to make the score more respectable and it also gave them the backdoor cover by two points.

(14) Boston College 24 GEORGIA TECH 10

Boston College finished with 527 yards of offense while the defense held the Yellow Jackets to just 267 total yards. Georgia Tech did not get onto the scoreboard until early in the fourth quarter as it was forced to punt on each of its first 10 possessions. 114 of those yards came on its next two drives as it pulled to within 11 points but Boston College then used 4:32 of the clock and kicked a field goal to ice the game and secure the cover.


Duke snapped a 22-game losing streak with an improbable victory on the road. The Blue Devils were outgained by Northwestern 506-309 but the Wildcats could not produce in the clutch as they went one-for-five on fourth down including stops at the Duke 11-yard line twice and the final time at the seven-yard line as time ran out. It was a start to finish cover for Duke who finished with only 89 total yards in the second half.

NEW MEXICO ST 29 Texas-El Paso 24

This game was back and forth the whole way despite the Aggies outgaining UTEP 547-345. New Mexico St. could have put the game away early but missed two chip shot field goals while also throwing an interception in the Miners endzone that was returned 100 yards for a touchdown. The Aggies got the cover by a half of a point with its last touchdown and the defense held the rest of the way.

TULSA 55 B-Y-U 47

BYU tallied 694 total yards while the Golden Hurricane put up 595 yards and was able to pull it out with two defensive stops at the end. The first came on downs while the second was a forced fumble near midfield with 27 seconds left. The passing yards were incredible with a combined 1,027 yards being put up through the air and it was an interception return for a score to start the 2nd half that gave Tulsa the lead back for good.

(19) Hawaii 49 U-N-L-V 14

UNLV struck first in this game with a first quarter touchdown but Hawaii responded with 42 unanswered points to pull out the easy win. The Warriors put up 492 yards of offense including 396 yards through the air and its only negative on the night was committing 12 penalties. It was an easy cover for Hawaii as it was faced with only nine third downs for the game and went a perfect 5-5 inside the redzone.

New Mexico 29 ARIZONA 27

New Mexico trailed by six points late in the first half but scored on a long touchdown pass with just three seconds remaining to take a lead it would never give back and lock up the cover. That was the start of 19 straight points to build a comfortable lead but Arizona did come back late in the fourth quarter with a touchdown and then forced a punt but the Wildcats threw an interception with 1:38 left to virtually end the game.

ARIZONA STATE 34 San Diego St 13

San Diego St. hung around for a while as it trailed by just a touchdown late in the first half before the Sun Devils tacked on one last score in the final seconds and it never got closer. The Aztecs easily covered the 28.5 points they were getting despite having only one drive longer than 43 yards while allowing five drives of at least that amount on defense. Arizona St. finished with 268 yards rushing on 40 carries (6.7 ypc).

STANFORD 37 San Jose St 0

Stanford got off to a slow start with just three first half field goals but scored touchdowns in four of its first five second half possessions. The Cardinal racked up 506 yards of offense while the defense held the Spartans to only 163 total yards including -3 yards in the second half. The score could have been even more but Stanford threw an interception in the endzone while turning it over on downs at the Spartans 16-yard line.


Idaho took its opening possession 57 yards to take an early lead and later tied the game at 21 apiece before the Cougars scored 17 straight points to put the game away. The Vandals did get it back to 10 points late in the third quarter but the offense fell apart in the final period with three turnovers, a turnover on downs and a punt. Idaho trailed by no more than 17 points and the 24.5-point spread never came into play.

Florida State 16 COLORADO 6

Colorado actually outgained Florida St. 279-221 but it was held to -37 yards rushing on 25 carries (-1.1 ypc). The Seminoles were blessed with good field position all night but could not get any rhythm going as their final three scores came on field goals. The Buffaloes did prevent getting shutout by scoring their touchdown with just over three minutes remaining on a fourth down play.

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