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Inside the Boxscores, Week 5, Part 2
by Matt Fargo - 10/03/2007
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.
GEORGIA TECH 13 (22) Clemson 3
The defenses were the story here as Georgia Tech outgained the Tigers 256-228. The Yellow Jackets fumbled on their first play from scrimmage but Clemson was held to a field goal. On the day, the Tigers missed four field goals which obviously made a difference in both the win and Georgia Tech cover. Clemson was held to just 34 yards rushing on 32 carries (1.1 ypc).
Maryland 34 (21) RUTGERS 24
Maryland dominated the line of scrimmage as it outgained the Scarlet Knights on the ground 239-82 and 458-392 in total yards. Rutgers scored first on a field goal but the Terrapins responded with two touchdowns only to see the Scarlet Knights match that and take a three-point lead into halftime. Rutgers was down by three late in the fourth quarter but could not convert on fourth down and Maryland punched it in on the next play.
Louisville 29 NC STATE 10
Louisville outgained the Wolfpack 498-334 but still needed two fourth quarter scores to put the game away. NC State pulled to within six points and then moved the ball to midfield on its next possession before being forced to punt. The Cardinals put up a touchdown and the Wolfpack fumbled on their next drive and lost it on downs to end the game. The 13 fourth quarter points solidified the cover for Louisville.
NEVADA 27 U-N-L-V 20
There were four lead changes and four ties before the Wolf Pack scored the winning touchdown with 27 seconds remaining and grab the 3.5-point cover. The Rebels tied the score but Nevada was able to drive the field in just 35 seconds for the win. Both teams had costly interceptions in the redzone. Nevada scored on its final three possessions while UNLV had a chance to match that but turned it over on downs.
Texas-El Paso 48 S-M-U 45
It took overtime to decide this shootout as the teams combined for 1,074 yards of offense and 61 first downs. The Mustangs picked off a pass early in the fourth quarter and scored on their next offensive play to take a 14-point lead. The Miners had drives of 79 and 66 yards to tie the score while the defense forced two punts for SMU. The winning touchdown in overtime got the win and also the five-point cover for the Miners.
FLORIDA STATE 21 Alabama 14
Defense dominated for three quarters but the offense came alive for both teams in the final period as each team put up two touchdowns. Alabama was forced to punt on each of its first 10 possessions and then fumbled on its own five-yard line on its 11th possession to set up Florida St. with an easy touchdown. The Tide did score twice but never got closer than seven points. The Seminoles covered the field goal spread.
(16) Hawaii 48 IDAHO 20
Hawaii took a 7-0 lead before the Vandals tied it but the Warriors then ran off 31 unanswered points to pull away. Hawaii outgained Idaho 485-303 but most of the Vandals yards came in garbage time as 164 of those yards came in the final 18 minutes of the game. Idaho finished with five interceptions but Hawaii was even worse with five interceptions and a fumble. Despite the late Idaho run, Hawaii covered by four points.
U-C-F 37 UL Lafayette 19
Central Florida outgained the Cajuns 466-314 but it was La-Lafayette that looked to have the upper hand early. It drove inside the redzone three times in its first four possessions however it came away with just six points on three field goal attempts. The Golden Knights scored one of its touchdowns on a blocked punt but they could not cover the 22.5 points as they fumbled twice inside the Cajuns 30-yard line in the fourth quarter.
U-C-L-A 40 OREGON STATE 14
UCLA fumbled in its first two possessions, both on the first play of the drive, but allowed just a touchdown off them. The Beavers jumped ahead 14-0 before UCLA scored the final 40 points of the game. Oregon St. had a two-point lead going into the fourth quarter but the Bruins scored four touchdowns on four possessions, two aided by two fumbles. Oregon St. finished with five turnovers that led to 21 points and an easy UCLA cover.
Western Mich 42 TOLEDO 28
Toledo jumped ahead 14-7 but the Broncos scored 28 unanswered points to pull away for the easy win and cover. Western Michigan had two turnovers in its first four possessions but then scored touchdowns on five of its next six possessions. Toledo rushed for 224 yards on 36 carries (6.2 ypc) yet the Broncos won the time of possession by over 15 minutes as they ran 28 more plays from scrimmage.
TULSA 38 U-A-B 30
Tulsa racked up 695 yards of offense as it built a 22-point lead but the Blazers did not give up. They had a rough start as they punted five times to go along with two turnovers in their first seven possessions. UAB scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull within eight points with 3:47 remaining but the Golden Hurricane did not give the ball back as they ran out the clock.
ARKANSAS 66 North Texas 7
Arkansas dominated from start to finish as it gained 713 yards on offense including 446 yards rushing on 55 carries (8.1 ypc) while the defense allowed 329 total yards. The score could have been even worse but the Razorbacks fumbled twice in the fourth quarter, once at the two-yard line and once in the North Texas endzone. The Mean Green did enter Arkansas territory six times but scored just once, missing the cover by 24 points.
VANDERBILT 30 Eastern Mich 7
Vanderbilt dominated on defense as it allowed only 173 total yards while forcing six turnovers including five interceptions, one that was returned for a touchdown. In total, the Commodores had 20 points off turnovers. The Vanderbilt offense generated only 341 yards as it tossed four interceptions, three of which occurred inside the Eagles 33-yard line, wiping out 173 yards of offense. A field goal with 2:06 left gave it the cover.
VIRGINIA 44 Pittsburgh 14
Special teams were the difference as the Cavaliers scored four touchdowns in the first quarter. The Panthers tried an onsides kick to start the game but failed, giving Virginia a short field. Pittsburgh also fumbled a punt return and allowed a 45-yard punt return the next possession. The Panthers pulled to within 16 points but the Cavaliers tacked on two late touchdowns for the easy cover. The Panthers were outgained by only 54 total yards.
East Carolina 37 HOUSTON 35
East Carolina was outgained 484-329 but squeaked out the victory thanks to two missed field goals by the Cougars in the fourth quarter. The final 38-yard kick was missed with just three seconds remaining. It was back and fourth the whole way and the Pirates did their best to give it away as they allowed a 100-yard kickoff return for a score at the end of the third quarter while the offense mustered only 15 yards in the fourth quarter.
TROY 24 UL-Monroe 7
Troy had the only score of the first half as it intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown. The Warhawks had the best offensive opportunity in the half but they were stopped on fourth down at the Trojans one-yard one. Neither team did itself any favors by committing 20 penalties in total. Troy tacked on the final 10 points of the game which got it the cover by 5.5 points.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE 47 Florida Intl 6
Middle Tennessee scored all 47 points in the first half as it outgained the Golden Panthers 316-32 in the first 30 minutes as the cover was locked in the first quarter. Florida International finished with only 145 total yards and it crossed midfield twice. Its lone touchdown came on a blocked punt in the Blue Raiders endzone. In eight second half possessions, Middle Tennessee punted six times and fumbled in the other two.
T-C-U 24 Colorado State 12
TCU outgained the Rams 398-271 as it rushed for 201 yards while holding Colorado St. to only 55 yards on 28 carries (2.0 ypc). The Rams pulled to within four points after the Horned Frogs led off the game with an 83-yard scoring drive but TCU ran off the next 17 points to pull away. The Rams pulled to within 3.5 points of covering but they threw two interceptions on their final three possessions to miss coming in the backdoor.
(2) U-S-C 27 WASHINGTON 24
The game was not as close as the final score indicates as USC outgained the Huskies 460-190 but turnovers almost did them in. The Trojans picked off Washington at the eight-yard line, saving a touchdown but USC gave it back and Washington took advantage with a short field and a touchdown. The Huskies also returned an interception for a touchdown to tie the game in the second quarter. Washington covered from start to finish.
(4) Ohio State 30 MINNESOTA 7
The Buckeyes shut down the powerful Minnesota rushing attack, holding the Golden Gophers to just 45 yards rushing on 29 carries (1.6 ypc) while the offense ran for 250 yards on 47 carries (5.3 ypc). Minnesota did have some chances but missed a field goal on its opening drive, threw two interceptions in Ohio St. territory and was stopped on fourth down at the Buckeyes four-yard line. Minnesota still covered by a point.
Auburn 20 (9) FLORIDA 17
Auburn had the game won however a timeout was called prior to the kick but the Tigers nailed the second attempt for the huge upset. The Gators were down by two touchdowns heading into the final quarter but scored touchdowns on back-to-back possessions, the first coming off an Auburn fumble. An interception led to the Tigers first field goal while Florida also fumbled at the Auburn 29-yard line and missed a field goal as well.
B-Y-U 31 NEW MEXICO 24
BYU jumped ahead 14-0 including an interception return for a touchdown on the fourth play of the game. The Lobos stormed back and tied the game at 21 apiece thanks in part to a Cougars fumble at their own 19-yard line. BYU was up by four points midway through the fourth quarter and New Mexico fumbled on its own 22-yard line to set up the late field goal and the cover. BYU scored 24 points off turnovers.
ARIZONA 48 Washington St 20
Arizona racked up 567 yards of offense as it got into Cougars territory on 11 of its 12 possessions. Washington St. scored on its opening drive of the second half to tie the game at 20-20 before the Wildcats ran off the final 28 points of the game and covered easily. Following that, the Cougars managed just 103 total yards the rest of the way and they finished with only 71 yards rushing on 25 carries (2.8 ypc).
(18) Arizona State 41 STANFORD 3
Arizona St. had just 96 yards and only six points in its first six possessions but exploded for 344 yards and five touchdowns the rest of the way. One of those touchdowns came on an interception return, one of three turnovers for the Cardinal. Stanford finished with only 235 total yards and 13 first downs while going just 2-14 on third down. The Cardinal never got past the Sun Devils 25-yard line.
(20) Cincinnati 52 SAN DIEGO ST 23
The Bearcats string of blowouts continued as they outgained San Diego St. 547-377 while also returning an interception 58 yards for a touchdown. Cincinnati finished with 263 yards rushing on 50 carries (5.3 ypc) while holding the Aztecs to just 65 yards on 24 carries (2.7 ypc). The Bearcats scored touchdowns on six of their first seven possessions and finished a perfect 5-5 inside the redzone.
FRESNO STATE 17 Louisiana Tech 6
Fresno St. was outgained by the Bulldogs 282-262 and trailed 6-0 at halftime before scoring the only 17 points of the second half. After its second field goal, Louisiana Tech punted on its next six possessions. It got to the Fresno 33-yard line late in the fourth quarter but was stopped on fourth down and then ended the game at the Bulldogs 18-yard line as time expired but still covered the number by a point and a half.