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Inside The Boxscores, Week 2, Part 1

   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.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

VANDERBILT 24 So Carolina 17

South Carolina outgained the Commodores 325-225 but miscues from the offense and special teams allowed the upset. The Gamecocks committed three turnovers, two of which let to 10 points while they also missed two late field goals, one of which was blocked. Vanderbilt held South Carolina to 92 yards rushing while the Gamecocks allowed only 90 yards passing.

Friday, September 5, 2008

BALL STATE 35 Navy 23

Navy was able to generate 346 yards rushing on 59 carries (5.9 ypc) but it was not enough as the defense let down again. The Cardinals put up 488 yards of offense including 326 yards through the air on 21-28 passing. The Midshipmen were able to score on their first four possessions but the first three resulted in field goals. Ball St.’s touchdown drives were all 71 yards and longer as it gained 8.6 ypp.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Georgia Tech 19 BOSTON COLLEGE 16

Boston College outgained the Yellow Jackets 262-235 but it was forced into four field goal attempts, three of which were converted. Georgia Tech finished with only 12 first downs and was just 3-12 on third down but was able hold on the defensive side. The Yellow Jackets were able to survive three first half fumbles but the Eagles could not survive three second half turnovers and a safety.

MICHIGAN 16 Miami-Ohio 6

Michigan drove 77 yards on its first possession but the offense sputtered the rest of the day with just 204 total yards after that. The Wolverines held Miami to 252 yards including 47 yards rushing on 32 carries (1.5 ypc). The RedHawks controlled the clock by over 10 minutes, finished 8-19 on third down but had to settle for two short field goals and failed on both of their fourth down attempts.

MICHIGAN STATE 42 Eastern Mich 10

Michigan St. bounced back by putting up 418 total yards after a sluggish first quarter. The Spartans drove 69 yards on their first possession but fumbled into the endzone to kill the drive. Eastern Michigan tied the game early in the second quarter before Michigan St. scored the next 35 points to run away with it. The Eagles had just 106 total yards in the first half and ended up with only 11 first downs.

(5) OHIO STATE 26 Ohio U 14

Ohio St. only outgained the Bobcats 272-254 and trailed by eight points late in the third quarter before scoring the final 20 points to pull it out. Ohio took the lead by recovering a fumble in the endzone but its own fumble two possessions later set up the Buckeyes go ahead touchdown. Ohio St. closed the scoring on a 69-punt return late in the fourth quarter. In total, the Bobcats committed five turnovers.

Connecticut 12 TEMPLE 9

In horrible weather conditions, the Huskies survived in overtime. Temple jumped ahead with two field goals in the first half wile Connecticut sent it into overtime with two field goals in the second half. The problem was that it also missed three field goals on the day. The Huskies rushed for 293 yards on 55 carries (5.3 ypc) while the defense held the Owls to 298 total yards and just 10 first downs.

(10) WISCONSIN 51 Marshall 14

Wisconsin spotted the Thundering Herd a 14-0 lead before scoring 51 unanswered points and running away with it. Marshall put together back-to-back touchdown drives of 58 yards but the offense was held to 173 the rest of the way. After the Badgers punted on their first three possessions they scored on eight of heir final nine possessions. Wisconsin finished with 487 yards of offense and was a perfect 6-6 inside the redzone.

IOWA 42 Florida Intl 0

Iowa outgained the Golden Panthers 512-218 and dominated them in first downs 25-13. Florida International moved inside Iowa territory on four occasions but threw two interceptions and turned it over on downs the other two times. The Hawkeyes were past midfield in 13 of their 14 possessions and the score could have been worse but a missed field goal, a missed fourth down conversion and an interception halted three drives.

(9) AUBURN 27 Southern Miss 13

Auburn drove down inside the redzone on its first two possessions but came up empty thanks to two fumbles. The Tigers were able to take a 24-0 lead but had to hold off a late Southern Miss comeback attempt. The Golden Eagles pulled to within 11 points but their last four possessions resulted in three turnovers and a turnover on downs. Southern Miss finished with only 37 yards rushing on 27 carries (1.4 ypc).

NEBRASKA 35 San Jose St 12

San Jose St. actually outgained the Huskers 353-315 and was within just two points early in the fourth quarter. After a field goal to make the score 14-12, Nebraska returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and then tacked on two more touchdowns on its next two possessions. The second Nebraska touchdown came on an interception return. The Spartans held Nebraska to 99 yards rushing on 30 carries (3.3 ypc).

(18) B-Y-U 28 WASHINGTON 27

The most controversial game of the day took place in Seattle as the Huskies scored the supposed game-tying touchdown with just two seconds remaining but an excessive celebration penalty was called. Washington was backed up 15 yards and the extra point attempt was blocked. The game should not have been that close as BYU outgained the Huskies 475-337 and finished a sparkling 12-14 on third down.

(2) GEORGIA 56 Central Mich 17

Georgia racked up 552 yards of offense with a very balanced attack of 289 yards passing and 263 yards rushing on 36 carries (7.3 ypc). After Georgia jumped ahead 28-0 on a 78-yard interception return for a score, the Chippewas would not quit as they cut the lead in half before the Bulldogs tacked on three more touchdowns to pull away. Central Michigan finished with just 59 yards rushing on 22 carries (2.7 ypc).

NOTRE DAME 21 San Diego St 13

Notre Dame started the season with a win but it was far from easy. The Irish trailed 13-7 with the Aztecs driving but San Diego St. fumbled at the goal line and Notre Dame was able to drive 80 yards for the go ahead touchdown. The Aztecs then went three and out and the Irish tacked no another score. San Diego St. outgained Notre Dame 345-342 and the Irish committed four turnovers, two of which led to Aztec touchdowns.

(3) OKLAHOMA 52 Cincinnati 26

The Cincinnati defense was no match for the Sooners as Oklahoma totaled 592 yards of offense but the game was still in question late in the third quarter. The Bearcats returned a kickoff for a score to pull within eight points but Oklahoma scored the next 24 points before Cincinnati scored a meaningless touchdown with no time left. The Bearcats turned it over three times in Oklahoma territory.

(16) OREGON 66 Utah State 24

The Ducks piled up 688 yards of offense while holding Utah St. to 306 total yards. Oregon finished with 408 yards rushing on 53 carries (7.7 ypc) while the Aggies accumulated just 88 yards on the ground on 31 carries (2.8 ypc). The Ducks tossed an interception on their first possession but then scored five straight touchdowns on their next five drives.

(17) PENN STATE 45 Oregon State 14

Penn St. went up 28-0 early in the second quarter and never looked back. The Nittany Lions scored touchdowns in five of their first six possessions and finished with 454 total yards of offense with 442 of those yards coming in the first three quarters. Oregon St. did have its chances but tossed two interceptions around midfield while turning it over on fourth down three different times.

Akron 42 SYRACUSE 28

Akron outgained Syracuse 478-353 but it needed two late touchdowns to secure the win. Syracuse tied the game at 28-28 but the Zips drove 78 yards in their next possession to take the lead again and then tacked on an insurance touchdown after Syracuse failed on its own 46-yard line. Both teams rushed for 218 yards but the Orange were able to generate only 135 yards through the air compared to 260 for Akron.

(20) WAKE FOREST 30 Ole Miss 28

It was a back and forth battle throughout and the lead changed hands four times in the fourth quarter. The Rebels took a 28-27 lead with just over a minute remaining but Wake Forest was able to drive 57 yards in the final minute culminating with the winning 41-yard field goal. Mississippi outgained the Deacons 360-348 but it finished with three turnovers that led to 10 points.

Air Force 23 WYOMING 3

The Air Force defense was the story as it allowed only 216 total yards and 10 first downs. Wyoming was able to tie the score at 3-3 late in the first half but the offense got nothing going in the second half as it could not get past the Falcons 48-yard line in seven possessions. The Falcons did not do much better on offense, gaining 276 yards and 12 first downs but benefited from five Cowboys turnovers.


The game was in doubt late into the fourth quarter as the Owls hung on to an eight-point lead with UAB driving. The Blazers were unable to convert a fourth and three from the Florida Atlantic 27-yard line and the Owls scored on a 73-yard run on the very next play. The Owls outgained UAB 554-482 although Florida Atlantic accumulated its yardage in 23 fewer plays from scrimmage (9.2-5.8 ypp).

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