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Inside the Boxscores, Week 4, Part 2

   by Matt Fargo - 09/26/2007

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.

HOUSTON 38 Colorado State 27

The Cougars battled back from a deficit the entire game as they didn’t take their first lead until late in the 4th quarter. Colorado St. turned in over on downs at the Houston 46-yard line and the Cougars tacked on a final touchdown enabling the frontdoor cover. Houston was limited to just three points and 132 total yards in the 1st half but scored four touchdowns in the 2nd half along with the defense returning a fumble for a score.

Northern Ill 42 IDAHO 35

Northern Illinois picked up its first win of the season but after jumping out to a 35-7 lead, the Huskies needed to hold off a ferocious Idaho rally. The Vandals scored twice in the 4th quarter to pull to within seven points and recovered the onsides kick but were stopped on 4th down at the Huskies 22-yard line. Idaho outgained Northern Illinois 586-356 but the Huskies scored on an interception return, a fumble return and a blocked punt return.

Baylor 34 BUFFALO 21

Baylor won rather easily despite outgaining the Bulls by just 38 total yards. Buffalo turned the ball over five times which led to 13 Bears points and three of Baylor’s scoring drives were 24 yards or fewer. The Bulls finished with only 87 yards rushing on 27 carries (3.2 ypc) and didn’t help matters by committing 10 penalties for 81 yards. Baylor easily covered the short two-point price.

(6) CALIFORNIA 45 Arizona 27

California put up four touchdowns in the first quarter and coasted to an easy victory although a final touchdown was needed with 8:53 remaining to secure the frontdoor cover. The Bears only won the yardage battle 421-330 but was the beneficiary of four Wildcats turnovers that led to 14 points. Arizona had plenty of chances as five possessions that went inside the Bears 30-yard line resulted in only six points.

(14) Kentucky 42 ARKANSAS 29

Arkansas outgained the Wildcats 495-435 but it could not hold off two Kentucky rallies. The Wildcats were down 20-7 but scored the next two touchdowns to take the lead. The Razorbacks then scored on a safely and returned the ensuing kick for a touchdown to take an eight-point lead but Kentucky scored on its final three possessions to grab the easy win and cover. Arkansas finished with 338 yards rushing on 51 carries (6.6 ypc).

TOLEDO 36 Iowa State 35

A back and forth game saw the Rockets win in improbable fashion. Toledo was down by 11 points after an Iowa St. touchdown with 5:25 remaining but the Rockets returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. The Cyclones then fumbled four plays later which Toledo returned for a touchdown to take the lead. Iowa St. then drove to the 21-yard line but a last second field goal was blocked. Iowa St. won the yardage battle 397-297.

KANSAS 55 Florida Intl 3

Kansas won its fourth straight blowout to start the season as it outgained Florida International 615-255 while the defense and special teams also scored touchdowns. The Jayhawks led by 38 points in the fourth quarter but the Golden Panthers were down to the five-yard line and looking for the backdoor cover but Kansas picked off a pass and returned it 100 yards for a score.

(7) TEXAS 58 Rice 14

Texas scored the first 41 points of the first half as it racked up 365 yards in the first two quarters. The game started out in the Owls favor as they forced a fumble on the second play of the game at the Texas 19-yard line but missed a field goal after going backwards for 14 yards. Rice scored with 6:56 remaining to pull within six-points of the spread and got the ball back one final time at the Texas 44-yard line but was forced to punt.

AUBURN 55 New Mexico St 20

New Mexico St. jumped out to a 20-14 lead early in the second quarter but the Tigers scored the final 41 points of the game to pull out the easy win and cover. Auburn outgained the Aggies by only 43 total yards but the defense forced six turnovers that led to 35 points. Four of the Aggies turnovers occurred inside their own 27-yard line. New Mexico St. had only 127 total yards in the second half.

Connecticut 34 PITTSBURGH 14

Connecticut was outgained 349-289 but it forced six turnovers that led to 17 points including one direct touchdown on an interception return. The Panthers had five possessions in the fourth quarter and four of those resulted in turnovers although the game was well decided by that point. The Huskies built an early lead and punted on all six of its offensive possessions of the second half.

TENNESSEE 48 Arkansas State 27

Tennessee put up 523 yards of offense but the cover was very much in jeopardy. The Volunteers scored on two consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter to cover the 19-point line but the Indians had one last chance for a backdoor cover however they fumbled at the Tennessee 31-yard line. Arkansas St. returned an interception for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter to pull within three but Tennessee pulled away after that.

Fla Atlantic 30 NORTH TEXAS 20

North Texas was in good position to win its first game of the season but after kicking a field goal midway through the third quarter to take a 10-point lead, the Owls ran off the final 20 points of the game. The Mean Green actually outgained Florida Atlantic 466-406 but three interceptions killed two long drives while the Owls also blocked two punts that led to two short touchdown drives.


Troy outgained the Cajuns 568-504 but it was turnovers that made the ultimate difference. La-Lafayette scored touchdowns from both of the Trojans turnovers while Troy returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown that iced the game late in the fourth quarter. Troy remains vulnerable against the run as it allowed 345 yards on 46 carries (7.5 ypc).

(24) CINCINNATI 40 Marshall 14

Cincinnati recorded its fourth straight victory as it jumped out to a 26-2 lead and held off a late Thundering Herd rally. Marshall scored the final touchdown of the first half and after a scoreless third quarter, it scored to cut the Bearcats lead to 12 points. Cincinnati took the kickoff and drove 72 yards then forced a punt and drove another 67 yards for the final score and the frontdoor cover by two points.

(15) Georgia 26 (22) ALABAMA 23

Alabama was involved in its 2nd straight game that came down to the final seconds but fell short in this one. Georgia went ahead by 10 points in the fourth quarter but the Tide kicked a field goal and then drove 88 yards and scored the tying touchdown with 1:09 remaining. The Bulldogs missed a field goal in regulation as time expired. After a Tide field goal in overtime, Georgia threw a touchdown on its first play of the extra session.

(1) U-S-C 47 Washington St 14

USC outgained the Cougars 509-247 and it broke open a close game early by scoring 27 unanswered points. Washington St. drove 84 yards on its opening possession for a score but the next six possessions resulted in minus one net yards. The Trojans scored on eight of its first nine possessions and did not punt the ball once in the entire game. Washington St. ended the game at the USC nine-yard line killing a chance for the possible push.

(9) WISCONSIN 17 Iowa 13

It took over a quarter to get the offenses moving as Iowa punted on its first eight possessions while Wisconsin punted on six of its first seven possessions with an interception being the exception. The Hawkeyes jumped ahead at the half but the Badgers scored the first touchdown in the 4th quarter and didn’t give the lead back although it didn’t cover. Iowa finished with 59 yards rushing on 26 carries (2.3 ypc).

San Jose St 23 UTAH STATE 20

San Jose St. picked up its first victory of the season thanks to a late rally as it scored a touchdown with 53 seconds remaining for the win and cover. The Spartans did have a nine-point cushion but Utah St. ran off 13 straight points to take its first lead of the game. The Aggies scored its first touchdown on a kickoff return as they were outgained 524-253 but still were in the game throughout.

T-C-U 21 S-M-U 7

SMU jumped ahead 7-0 but the Horned Frogs scored the next two touchdowns on a blocked punt return and an interception return. TCU was outgained 352-250 and besides the interception, the defense was the difference as it stopped the Mustangs on fourth down three times inside the 24-yard line including twice in the redzone on SMU’s final two possessions. The Mustangs easily covered the 24-point spread.

Purdue 45 MINNESOTA 31

Purdue had four different leads of 21 points but each time, Minnesota responded with a touchdown and was able to cover the 14.5-point spread. The Gophers were outgained by only 35 total yards but they committed four turnovers which led to 10 Boilermakers points. Minnesota also turned it over on downs on its final two possessions. Both teams were a perfect 5-5 inside the redzone.

(23) ARIZONA STATE 44 Oregon State 32

Oregon St. jumped out to a 19-0 lead after the first quarter and Beavers backers were looking good until the Sun Devils ran off 44 of the next 51 points. Oregon St. scored its final touchdown with 53 seconds remaining and the extra point would have resulted in a push but the Beavers went for two and failed. The Beavers outgained Arizona St. 514-396 but six turnovers led to 20 points.

(11) Oregon 55 STANFORD 31

Stanford hung around for a half and actually took a seven-point lead into halftime. However, the Ducks responded with the only 31 points in the second half to record the easy win and cover. Oregon outgained the Cardinal 589-402 but it was three fumbles in the second quarter that led to touchdowns for Stanford and the early deficit. Stanford crossed midfield only twice in the second half.

U-N-L-V 27 Utah 0

After an upset of UCLA last week, the Utes did everything wrong and were shutout for the first time since 1993. Utah was outgained by only 40 total yards but it had four turnovers and went only one for five on fourth down, getting stopped in UNLV territory in three of those. Three of the five Rebels scoring drives were 36 yards or fewer and they ended up with the wire-to-wire underdog cover.

U-C-L-A 44 Washington 31

UCLA outgained the Huskies 537-340 but a touchdown by Washington with 9:44 remaining in the fourth quarter cut the lead back to seven points. The Bruins responded by returning the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown to pull away and grab the eventual cover. UCLA had only two turnovers but they led to 14 points which kept the game closer than it should have been.

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