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Inside the Boxscores, Week 4, Part 1

   by Matt Fargo - 09/25/2007

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.


Miami outgained the Aggies 402-240 as the Hurricanes offense showed signs of life for the first time this season against a solid opponent. Miami jumped ahead 31-0 as the defense completely dominated through the first three quarters, not allowing a point and forcing three turnovers. Over half of Texas A&M’s yards came in the final quarter when the game was well decided as Miami easily covered the field goal.

(3) Oklahoma 62 TULSA 21

Tulsa was in the game throughout the first half and midway through the third quarter until Oklahoma ran off the final 27 points of the game to cover the contest easily. The Golden Hurricane pulled to within 14 points in their opening drive of the second half but the Sooners returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. Oklahoma racked up 553 yards of offense while its defense held Tulsa to -7 yards in the 4th quarter.

(5) WEST VIRGINIA 48 East Carolina 7

West Virginia outgained the Pirates 599-160 including a 397-106 advantage on the ground. East Carolina had crossed midfield only three times prior to scoring its garbage touchdown with under a minute remaining, costing the Mountaineers its first shutout since 2005. West Virginia crossed into Pirates territory on every possession and was a perfect 8-8 inside the redzone as the cover was never in doubt.

Illinois 27 INDIANA 14

Indiana outgained the Fighting Illini 397-386 but three fumbles and an interception led to 10 points while also killing two other drives inside the redzone. Illinois piled up 288 yards rushing on 55 carries (5.2 ypc) while the defense registered seven sacks. The Hoosiers defense allowed only 111 total yards in the 2nd half but the offense was forced to punt on its first four possessions of the 3rd quarter ending any chance of a cover.

(13) Clemson 42 NC STATE 20

Clemson racked up 608 yards of offense but the Tigers had trouble in the redzone as seven trips resulted in four field goal attempts. Clemson scored a touchdown on its first possession and the Wolfpack ran the ensuing kickoff back for a score to tie the game but the Tigers ran off the next 17 points and never looked back with an easy cover. NC State finished with only 202 yards including 55 yards rushing on 23 carries (2.4 ypc).

VIRGINIA 28 Georgia Tech 23

Virginia returned an interception for a touchdown to take a 14-point lead at the end of the 1st quarter before the Yellow Jackets scored the next 16 points to take the lead. The Cavaliers then recovered a fumble in the 4th quarter and scored the game winning touchdown on the next play and covered by 8.5 points. After gaining 175 yards on its first two possessions, the Cavaliers were held to just 179 yards the rest of the game.

(18) SO FLORIDA 37 North Carolina 10

South Florida outgained the Tar Heels 428-164 with 62 of those North Carolina yards coming on its last drive, its only touchdown. The score could have been worse but the Bulls fumbled three times and turned it over on downs on another drive. The Tar Heels had four interceptions which resulted in 13 points for South Florida. A field goal with 11:56 remaining in the second quarter secured the cover for the Bulls.

Syracuse 38 LOUISVILLE 35

Syracuse pulled the upset of the day as it scored on its first play from scrimmage and while Louisville responded with a tying touchdown, the Orange responded right back by returning the kickoff for a touchdown. The Cardinals racked up 628 yards of offense in a losing effort but it was four turnovers that eventually did them in. Six different possessions in Syracuse territory got them no points. The Orange covered by 40 points.

AKRON 27 Kent State 20

Kent jumped ahead 17-7 but the Zips stormed back with 17 unanswered points and the eventual win and easy underdog cover. The Golden Flashes easily won the yardage battle 375-245 but they committed four turnovers, three in the final quarter. Akron scored its first touchdown late in the second quarter by way of a Kent fumble and prior to that, it punted on its first eight previous possessions.

BOWLING GREEN 48 Temple 35

Bowling Green got its revenge from last season as it broke a 21-21 tie by scoring the next 27 points. The Owls were able to put up another touchdown to get back within the 22-point spread and then held the Falcons on 4th down at the 11-yard line to preserve the backdoor cover as they eventually put up another meaningless score. Three Owls fumbles led to 21 points for Bowling Green, two of which were returned for touchdowns.

(25) NEBRASKA 41 Ball State 40

Nebraska barely escaped the upset as the Cardinals were in position to kick the game-winning field goal but the 55-yard attempt sailed wide left. The lead changed hands nine times as the teams combined for 1,162 total yards of offense. The Cornhuskers second to last touchdown came on an interception return while their game-winning score came on an 82-yard drive that used enough of the clock to limit Ball St. on its final possession.

(4) Florida 30 OLE MISS 24

Florida outgained the Rebels 507-390 but needed a late 4th quarter stop to avoid the upset. The Gators jumped ahead 27-9 midway through the 3rd quarter but Mississippi wouldn’t go away as it scored touchdowns on its next two possessions to pull within a field goal. The defense forced a Gator field goal but the offense stalled with 3:01 remaining and never got the ball back. The 3+ touchdown spread was never covered by Florida.

(12) BOSTON COLLEGE 37 Army 17

Army was outgained 573-259 and was held to only seven first downs but an interception return for a touchdown cut the lead to 12 points early in the fourth quarter. The Eagles responded with a two-play drive that went 80 yards to put it away. Even with the yardage disparity, the Black Knights missed some chances as they turned it over on 4th down in their final three possessions, all in Boston College territory but still got the easy cover.

NAVY 46 Duke 43

Duke narrowly missed in pulling off its second straight upset. The Blue Devils took an 11-point lead into the 4th quarter but Navy scored the only 14 points in the final period to hold on. Navy rushed for 304 yards while Duke passed for 428 yards. The Blue Devils hurt themselves as they missed a short field goal while fumbling at the Navy 25-yard line. Four of the Blue Devils touchdown possessions were 54 seconds or less.

B-Y-U 31 Air Force 6

BYU picked off an Air Force pass on the third play of the game which eventually turned into a touchdown as the Cougars built a 24-point lead and never looked back in covering the two-touchdown number. The Cougars outgained the Falcons 452-231 with most of the disparity coming in the first three quarters. BYU ran 24 more plays which gave it a TOP edge of close to 15 minutes more.

Wyoming 34 OHIO U 33

Wyoming jumped ahead 6-0 but Ohio returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and never gave back the lead until Wyoming scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:02 remaining in the game. The Bobcats had a 16-point lead at one point and still couldn’t hold off the Cowboys despite Wyoming turning the ball over seven times. Ohio managed only 292 yards of offense and fumbled in its last possession to end the game.

COLORADO 42 Miami-Ohio 0

Colorado piled up 634 yards of offense while the defense held the RedHawks to just 139 total yards and recorded its first shutout since early 2005. The Buffaloes amassed 359 yards rushing on 63 carries (5.7 ypc) as they ran 93 offensive plays compared to 49 for Miami. They held the ball for over 40 minutes while the defense forced the RedHawks to punt in 10 of 11 possessions.

(2) L-S-U 28 (16) So Carolina 16

LSU had its toughest fight of the season but the final score was still a little misleading. The Tigers had a 28-7 lead in the 4th quarter thanks in part to a fake field goal in the first half but the Gamecocks tacked on a field goal and then scored the final touchdown on an 80-yard drive for the backdoor cover. 136 of their 261 yards came on those final two possessions. South Carolina had only 17 yards rushing on 27 carries (0.6 ypc).

OKLAHOMA STATE 49 Texas Tech 45

A wild game in Stillwater saw 1,328 yards of offense while the Cowboys got the win thanks to a dropped Red Raiders pass in the endzone. Oklahoma St. forced a punt with 1:49 remaining and scored the go-ahead touchdown on its next play but the Red Raiders were left with enough time to drive down to the 15-yard line before eventually coming up short. The biggest lead by either team was only seven points.

(8) OHIO STATE 58 Northwestern 7

Ohio St. jumped out to a 45-0 lead at halftime as the Buckeyes outgained the Wildcats 396-120. Northwestern returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown for its only score as the offense crossed midfield only two times, both in the second half. Ohio St. had two turnovers and failed on two fourth down attempts so the score could have been even worse. The 23.5-point spread was covered by the 1st quarter.

MICHIGAN 14 (21) Penn State 9

Michigan held the Nittany Lions to three short field goals and then stopped Penn St. on four plays for no yards in the final possession to ice the win. The Wolverines took a 7-0 lead early in the 1st quarter thanks to a fumble recovery and didn’t score again until midway through the third quarter. A missed field goal along with an interception at the end the first half killed two scoring chances.

WAKE FOREST 31 Maryland 24

Maryland built a 24-3 lead and was ready to strike again but the Demon Deacons picked off a pass and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown. Wake Forest then scored on drives of 82 and 80 yards with the tying touchdown coming with just three seconds left sending the game into overtime. The Demon Deacons scored in overtime and then registered two sacks on Maryland to pull out the improbable win and cover.

Michigan State 31 NOTRE DAME 14

The Notre Dame offense struggled again with only 203 total yards and nine first downs but the Irish were down only three points at halftime. This was mostly due to a Michigan St. fumble that led to a nine-yard touchdown drive for Notre Dame. Notre Dame crossed midfield only once in the second half as it was able to run only 22 plays on offense. The Spartans benefited from an averaging starting field position on its own 43-yard line.

U-C-F 56 Memphis 20

Central Florida jumped out to a 49-0 lead as it outgained the Tigers 314-47 in the first half in route to a 601-303 advantage in total yardage. Memphis got its offense going in the second half but the game and cover was well decided by that point. It all wasn’t good for the Golden Knights however as they fumbled on three straight possessions in the second half and committed nine penalties.

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