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Inside the Boxscores, Week 6, Part 2

   by Matt Fargo - 10/10/2007

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.

(5) South Florida 35 FLA ATLANTIC 23

South Florida had four turnovers but only one of those led to points for the Owls. Florida Atlantic missed out on several opportunities as it got inside the Bulls 30-yard line four times in the first half but missed three field goals and turned it over on downs once. The Owls were down by five late with the ball but were stopped on fourth down at their own 21-yard line setting up the Bulls last touchdown. They still covered by five points.

OREGON STATE 31 Arizona 16

Oregon St. jumped out to a 31-3 lead and never looked back. The Beavers held Arizona to 231 total yards including nine yards rushing on 27 carries (0.3 ypc) while the defense also returned an interception for a touchdown. The Wildcats lone touchdown also came on an interception return. Oregon St. did not cross midfield in the second half but by then the game was well decided as it covered by 12 points.

(14) Arizona State 23 WASHINGTON ST 20

Washington St. outgained the Sun Devils 451-296 and had a chance to tie the game but missed a 46-yard field goal with 12 seconds remaining. Washington St. was up by seven points midway through the third quarter and driving but Arizona St. picked off a pass and returned it 69 yards for a touchdown. The Cougars also turned it over on downs at the Sun Devils 23-yard line late in the third quarter but still managed to cover by six points.

SAN JOSE ST 28 Idaho 20

San Jose St. outgained the Vandals 436-251 but needed two late turnovers to secure the win and half-point cover. The Spartans had a 22-point lead early in the fourth quarter but Idaho was able to block a punt in the endzone for a touchdown and then got the ball back to score again to pull within eight points. The Vandals got possession two more times but threw interceptions both times on the first play of the drive.

Fresno State 49 NEVADA 41

Nevada outgained the Bulldogs 702-475 but had two costly fumbles. The Wolf Pack fumbled in the Fresno St. endzone that resulted in a touchback and also fumbled at their own 17-yard line. Fresno St. scored on a punt return and also blocked a field goal and ran it back for a touchdown. Nevada trailed by 29 points heading into the fourth quarter but put up three touchdowns however the Bulldogs still covered as three-point dogs.

San Diego St 24 COLORADO STATE 20

San Diego St. rallied three times including scoring the game-winning touchdown with just 43 seconds remaining. The Rams grabbed the lead prior to that thanks to an 86-yard touchdown drive but the Aztecs responded with an 80-yard drive of their own. Colorado St. had one last shot and drove down to the San Diego St. 42-yard line as time expired. The Aztecs covered outright at 12.5-point underdogs.

(12) Virginia Tech 41 CLEMSON 23

This was a very misleading final score as Clemson outgained the Hokies 380-219. Virginia Tech’s first three touchdowns came on an interception return, a punt return and a kickoff return. The Hokies accumulated 100 of those 219 yards on their final two drives of the game. Clemson was held to eight yards rushing on 23 carries (0.3 ypc) as Virginia Tech covered the number by 23.5 points.

TEXAS TECH 42 Iowa State 17

The Red Raiders outgained Iowa St. 489-287 and the game was not even as close as the score indicates. The Cyclones picked up 112 of those yards on their final two drives of the game in garbage time. Texas Tech fumbled at the Iowa St. eight-yard line in the first half and also turned it over on downs at the Cyclones two-yard line in its first possession of the second half. Nonetheless, the Red Raiders covered by a point.

Stanford 24 (10) U-S-C 23

This was the biggest upset since 1960 as the Cardinal covered and won outright as 39-point underdogs. USC outgained Stanford 459-235 but the Cardinal forced five turnovers that led to 14 points including an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Another interception set up the final game-winning drive as well. It was improbable considering Stanford punted on its first eight offensive possessions.

Akron 39 WESTERN MICH 38

Akron outgained the Broncos 501-491 and won this game in dramatic fashion. The Zips trailed by 15 points midway through the fourth quarter but scored once to pull within a touchdown but were stopped on fourth down at the Broncos four-yard line. The defense forced a three and out and Western Michigan took a safety with 15 seconds left and then the Zips returned the free kick for the winning score. Akron covered by 10.5 points.


Despite getting outgained 374-308, Middle Tennessee was in good shape to pull off the upset but the Cavaliers forced a punt with 1:26 remaining to set up the game-winning drive on a field goal with eight seconds remaining. The Blue Raiders trailed by six points but picked off a pass that set up a one-yard scoring drive to take the lead. Middle Tennessee missed an early field goal but still covered as 10-point underdogs.

ARMY 20 Tulane 17

The Green Wave outgained Army 401-240 but could not finish. Tulane had a 10-point lead with just 1:40 remaining but Army kicked a field goal, forced a punt and then scored the game-tying touchdown by going 80 yards in just 29 seconds. The Black Knights got the ball first in overtime and took their first lead of the game with a field goal and then Tulane missed its 34-yard attempt. Tulane still managed the cover by 2.5 points.

UL-MONROE 30 Arkansas State 13

Arkansas St. jumped ahead 13-0 before the Warhawks ended the game by scoring the final 30 points in the rout. The Indians scored on their first three possessions but missed field goals in their next two possessions inside La-Monroe territory. After starting the game with three punts, the Warhawks scored on six of their final eight possessions as they covered the number as three-point home underdogs.

UL LAFAYETTE 38 North Texas 29

North Texas actually outgained the Cajuns 527-414 but could not overcome four turnovers, three of which came within its first four possessions. La-Lafayette rushed for 300 yards on 36 carries (8.3 ypc) but despite this, the Mean Green controlled the clock for over 21 more minutes as it ran 41 more plays from scrimmage. North Texas went just 3-8 on fourth down but still covered the number by a half-point.


Troy outgained the Golden Panthers 494-329 and also used a punt return for a touchdown. Florida International scored a garbage touchdown with 29 seconds remaining to pull out the one-point backdoor cover. The Trojans held the Golden Panthers to just 81 yards rushing on 34 carries (2.4 ypc) while they put up 299 yards on 39 carries (7.7 ypc). Florida International got into Troy territory only once in its first 13 possessions.

Colorado 43 BAYLOR 23

Baylor actually outgained the Buffaloes 465-450 but most of this came late in the game when it was well decided. 255 of the Bears yards came on their final four possessions where they managed two touchdowns but were stopped once on fourth down at the 15-yard line and ended the game at the Colorado four-yard line. Those two missed opportunities led to the 12-point cover for Colorado.

TEXAS A&M 24 Oklahoma State 23

Oklahoma St. dropped a tough one as it outgained the Aggies 459-368 and could not hold on to an early 17-0 lead. After Texas A&M scored on four straight possessions, the Cowboys took the ball down to the Texas A&M seven-yard line with 3:11 remaining but were forced to kick a field goal to pull within a point. The Aggies were able to run out the final 3:11 and not give the ball back but failed to cover as a seven-point chalk.


East Carolina was outgained 495-370 but took advantage of five turnovers, four of which led to the final 28 points for the Pirates. Central Florida led by as many as 14 points and after taking a seven-point lead early in the third quarter, East Carolina ran off 28 straight points before the Golden Knights scored one late touchdown. All five of Central Florida’s turnovers came on five straight possessions, enabling the Pirates to cover outright.

(3) Ohio State 23 PURDUE 7

Ohio St. outgained the Boilermakers 381-272 and had a shutout going until Purdue drove 88 yards and scored with just 10 seconds remaining. The Buckeyes scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and could have gotten more but they tossed three picks and were stopped on downs at the Purdue 28-yard line. Ohio St. held Purdue to four yards rushing on 17 carries (0.2 ypc) as it easily covered the seven-point spread.

(15) Cincinnati 28 RUTGERS 23

Rutgers outgained the Bearcats 432-407 but four turnovers did the Scarlet Knights in. Three of those occurred in Cincinnati territory including the first one which was a fumble at the 29-yard line and the final one, an interception at the Bearcats 17-yard line with 1:19 remaining. Rutgers was past midfield on six of its final seven possessions but managed just six points as it failed to cover the 3.5-point line.

Notre Dame 20 U-C-L-A 6

Notre Dame picked up its first win on the season despite getting outgained 282-140. The Bruins defense held the Irish to just 46 yards rushing on 38 carries (1.2 ypc) and 15 first downs but the offense committed seven turnovers which led to 17 points for Notre Dame including a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. UCLA turned the ball over on six of its final seven possessions as it never came close to covering the 21-point line.

(1) L-S-U 28 (13) Florida 24

Florida had the lead from the start as it jumped out to a 10-point led and regained that lead late in the third quarter until LSU came back. The Tigers grabbed an interception deep in Florida territory which led to a touchdown and then the defense forced a punt and the offense drove 60 yards for the winning score. The Gators ran 22 fewer plays and lost the TOP by 12 minutes but still covered as eight-point underdogs.


UNLV actually outgained Air Force 471-432 but the Rebels turned it over on down three times including once at the one-yard line, missed a field goal and fumbled at the Falcons 44-yard line. Air Force finished with 309 yards rushing on 42 carries (7.4 ypc) but did have two fumbles inside the UNLV 40-yard line. The Rebels ran 30 more plays from scrimmage but missed the cover by 11.5 points.

TEXAS-EL PASO 48 Tulsa 47

UTEP scored 48 or more points for the third straight game as it nearly blew an early lead. Tulsa took its first lead right before halftime and held it until the midway through the fourth quarter when UTEP scored on back-to-back possessions. The Golden Hurricane struck back with a touchdown but the Miners scored the game-winning touchdown with 50 seconds remaining to get the win and cover despite getting outgained 648-570.

(11) MISSOURI 41 Nebraska 6

Missouri dominated from start to finish as the Tigers outgained Nebraska 606-297. The defense held the Huskers to just two field goals while the offense scored on seven of its first eight possessions with six of those scoring drives totaling 64 or more yards. Missouri finished 10-15 on third down and went a perfect 6-6 inside the redzone as it had the 6.5-point spread covered by the first quarter.

(16) HAWAII 52 Utah State 37

Hawaii outgained the Aggies 512-370 and had a 25-point lead late in the fourth quarter but Utah St. tacked on 10 garbage points in getting the cover by 10 points. Both teams scored touchdowns on kickoff returns, the first which came by the Aggies as they built a 10-7 lead. Hawaii then ran off 24 of the next 27 points to pull away. Utah St. won the TOP by 10 minutes but was outgained by an average of 4.1 yppl.

BOISE STATE 58 New Mexico St 0

The potent New Mexico St. offense was completely shut down as it was held to just 89 total yards while the Broncos piled up 604 yards of offense and covered by 33 points. The Aggies had only one drive that was longer than 11 yards while Boise St. had five drives of 65 yards or longer. The Broncos scored on five of their first six possessions with the lone non-score coming on a fourth down stop at the five-yard line.

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