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Inside The Boxscores, Week 2, Part 2

   by Matt Fargo - 09/09/2008

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.

Saturday, September 6, 2008 (cont.)

(14) EAST CAROLINA 24 (25) West Virginia 3

East Carolina won as underdogs as it outgained West Virginia 386-251. The Pirates were able to keep the Mountaineers offense off the field as they won the time of possession by over 10 minutes. East Carolina finished at 5.4 ypp while West Virginia finished at 4.6 ypp and the Mountaineers had only 12 first downs. The Pirates were very efficient in the passing game, completing 23-29 passes for 243 yards.

Texas A&M 28 NEW MEXICO 22

Texas A&M won despite getting outgained 370-236 as it took advantage of four New Mexico turnovers. The Aggies scored their first touchdown on an interception return while two more touchdowns were set up by turnovers as well. Those two scores were on drives a combined 41 yards. The Lobos rushed for 216 yards on 38 carries (5.7 ypc) while Texas A&M ran for only 92 yards on 39 carries (2.4 ypc).

PITTSBURGH 27 Buffalo 16

This game was even in almost every aspect except the most important one. Pittsburgh barely won the yardage battle 352-348 while first downs were tied at 22 and time of possession was won by Buffalo by just over a minute. Buffalo pulled to within a point late in the third quarter but the Panthers were able to tack on the only points in the fourth quarter and the defense came up with two crucial stops in that period.

(23) California 66 WASHINGTON ST 3

This game was pretty much over right from the start. California scored on an 80-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game, intercepted the Cougars two plays later and then scored another touchdown two plays after that. The Bears outgained Washington St. 505-167 and they gave up just nine first downs. The Cougars were intercepted four times and all four led to touchdowns.

(11) ALABAMA 20 Tulane 6

Tulane put forth a great effort against Alabama and there is no reason the Green Wave could not have won the game. Alabama scored two of its touchdowns from its punt team, one on an 87-yard return and one on a blocked punt. Tulane outgained the Tide 318-172 and held them to just 11 first downs. The Green Wave were able to control the ball for over 13 more minutes as they ran 33 more plays from scrimmage.

ARKANSAS 28 UL-Monroe 27

UL-Monroe jumped ahead in this game 24-6 but it could not hold on to the big lead. Arkansas was able to use three long drives in the second half and ultimately went ahead thanks to a 79-yard touchdown drive with just 1:22 remaining. The Warhawks had one last chance but missed a 45- yard field goal with 36 ticks remaining. Arkansas outgained the Warhawks 506-341.

Northwestern 24 DUKE 20

Duke outgained Northwestern 472-328 but the Wildcats defense stepped it up when needed. The Blue Devils had two chances to score the go ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter and both times they were stopped on fourth down. Duke ran 31 more plays from scrimmage and controlled the clock for almost 20 more minutes but Northwestern was able to strike quick as two touchdown drives were two and four plays.

IOWA STATE 48 Kent State 28

Kent St. was able to outgain Iowa St. but it fumbled the ball four times which led to 14 points for the Cyclones. Two of those fumbles were deep in its own territory will another occurred at the Iowa St. four-yard line. The Cyclones were a perfect 5-5 inside the redzone while the Golden Flashes only made it inside the 20-yard line twice, scoring on only one of those opportunities.

(13) KANSAS 29 Louisiana Tech 0

Kansas dominated by outgaining the Bulldogs 538-267 and the score could have been much worse than it was. The Jayhawks were forced to kick three short field goals while also turning it over on downs at the Bulldogs 12-yard line. Louisiana Tech actually got inside the Kansas redzone twice but missed a field goal and tossed an interception in the endzone. The Jayhawks went 32-38 passing for 412 yards.


Maryland was only outgained 402-357 but it was hurt by turnovers and missed opportunities. The Terrapins tossed three interceptions, one deep in their own territory and the other two in Middle Tennessee territory. Maryland also missed a field goal and failed on a fourth down conversion at the Blue Raiders 36-yard line. Middle Tennessee won the time of possession by over 19 minutes.

Tulsa 56 NORTH TEXAS 26

Tulsa racked up 55 yards of total offense and scored touchdowns on six of its first seven possessions. North Texas was able to put up yards on offense as it tallied 450 total yards but it was unable to execute when needed. The Mean Green were forced into two field goals, fumbled twice inside Tulsa territory including once at the seven-yard line and turned it over on downs at midfield.

So Florida 31 U-C-F 24

South Florida outgained Central Florida 504-226 and looked like it had the game in hand until the Knights rallied late. The Bulls were looking to run the clock out up by two scores but tossed an interception which Central Florida turned into a touchdown four plays later. The Knights forced a three and out and then tied the game with 1:40 remaining and headed into overtime where it went four and out to lose.

WESTERN MICH 29 Northern Ill 26

Northern Illinois outgained the Broncos 439-384 but two second half turnovers as well as a turnover on downs ended any chance of an underdog win. It was a back and forth game and the Huskies took the lead early in the final quarter but Western Michigan drove 82 yards to go back on top and then used an interception to set up a short touchdown drive to ice the game. Both teams went 3-4 inside the redzone.

OKLAHOMA STATE 56 Houston 37

Houston made this a game for a while as it actually took a lead into halftime. It was more the case of Oklahoma St. keeping the Cougars in the game with mistakes. After scoring a touchdown in their opening possession, the Cowboys turned it over in three of their next four possessions, all in Houston territory. They made up for it in the second half, scoring touchdowns on their first six possessions and finished with 699 total yards.

Minnesota 42 BOWLING GREEN 17

Minnesota took the lead to open the game and never gave it away despite outgaining the Falcons by only eight total yards and finishing with the same amount of first downs. The problem for Bowling Green was turnovers as it finished with five turnovers overall. The Falcons were within four points in the final quarter but gave it away on three straight possessions in their own territory which led to three Minnesota touchdowns.

(4) FLORIDA 26 Miami-Florida 3

The Florida defense came up huge as it allowed only 140 total yards and 11 first downs to the Hurricanes. Miami did not cross midfield in its final eight possessions and the furthest it got all night was the Florida 32-yard line where it settled for a field goal. The Gators scored on their opening possession but then punted on their next six possessions as they finished with only 345 total yards but it was more than enough.

Rice 42 MEMPHIS 35

Rice provided another miraculous finish as it came back late. Memphis led by 15 points with just over six minutes remaining but the Owls closed to within eight points after a lengthy drive. Rice got the ball back after forcing a punt and drove 94 yards to tie the game. The Tigers were driving but Rice picked off a pass and ran it back for the winning score with just 11 seconds remaining.

(22) UTAH 42 U-N-L-V 21

UNLV hung around for a half as it went into the break ties with the Utes 14-14. Utah then poured in on in the second half as it scored touchdown on its first four possessions, putting the game away. The Utes outgained the Rebels 440-288 and 77 of those Rebels yards came on their final drive that went for a touchdown in garbage time. Utah rushed for 225 yards on 36 carries (6.2 ypc) while passing for 215 yards.

(12) Texas Tech 35 NEVADA 19

The Red Raiders may have won by 16 points but they were outgained 488-421 and they lost the time of possession battle by over 13 minutes. Texas Tech got a questionable call on a touchdown that was instead ruled a fumble and it also returned a punt 86 yards for a score. The Wolf Pack were very balanced, passing for 264 yards and rushing for 224 yards but they went just 3-16 on third down attempts.

ARIZONA 41 Toledo 16

Arizona outgained the Rockets 452-244 and more than doubled the first down output 28-12. After losing eight yards on their first possession, the Wildcats scored on their next six possessions before fumbling early in the fourth quarter which set up a short field for Toledo’s only touchdown. The game could have been closer but the Rockets settled for two field goals after making it down to the Arizona three-yard line.

(15) ARIZONA STATE 41 Stanford 17

The Sun Devils outgained Stanford 472-233 but the game was very much in question entering the final quarter. Arizona St. held on to a 10-point lead and was able to add to it with another touchdown before the Cardinals tossed two interceptions on their next two possessions and then turning over on downs on their last drive. The Sun Devils drove deep into Stanford territory in their first two possessions but had to settle for field goals.

(8) Texas 42 TEXAS-EL PASO 13

UTEP jumped on top by scoring on its first two possessions but it was limited to field goals both times. The Longhorns then took over, scoring the next 28 points and not looking back. Texas had a 15-point lead heading into the final quarter before scoring the first touchdown of the second half and then adding one more on a fumble return the very next play. Despite this, UTEP won the yardage battle 412-404.

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