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Inside The Boxscores, Week 6, Part 1

   by Matt Fargo - 10/06/2008

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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

MIDDLE TENNESSEE 14 Fla Atlantic 13

The Blue Raiders were as good as dead after the Owls kicked a field goal with 1:15 remaining to grab a six-point lead. Middle Tennessee was able to move the ball down the field and eventually won the game on fourth down as time expired on a 32-yard touchdown pass. The Owls finished with four turnovers, the final three all taking place across midfield including a fumble at the Blue Raiders one-yard line.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

(15) BOISE STATE 38 Louisiana Tech 3

Boise St. outgained the Bulldogs 464-320 and it was aided by numerous missed opportunities by Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs drove into Boise St. territory on four of their first five possessions but came away with just one field goal as it missed another long attempt as well as turned it over on downs once. The Broncos doubled Louisiana Tech in first downs 26-13.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

(24) Pittsburgh 26 (19) SO FLORIDA 21

Pittsburgh outgained the Bulls 374-245 but it still needed a late touchdown to pull off the upset. South Florida scored the go ahead touchdown with 5:57 remaining following an 86-yard drive but the Panthers took the ensuing kickoff and went 60 yards for the eventual game winner. South Florida started the scoring on a blocked punt for a touchdown but it hurt itself with 11 penalties on the night.

Memphis 33 U-A-B 30

Memphis spotted the Blazers a 10-point lead in the first quarter but rallied and kicked the game winning field goal with only two seconds remaining. UAB was down a touchdown, got the ball with 4:37 remaining and tied it up just two plays later. The Blazers outgained Memphis 455-436 but they had two fumbles that led to 10 points for the Tigers while they also missed a field goal right before halftime.

(14) UTAH 31 Oregon State 28

Utah jumped out to a 20-9 lead before the Beavers came storming back with 19 unanswered points to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. Oregon St. took an eight-point lead with just 2:18 remaining but the Utes drove 60 yards in just 42 seconds to tie the game. Utah forced a three and out and went 35 yards to set up the game winning field goal as time expired. The Beavers won the yardage battle 405-337.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Cincinnati 33 MARSHALL 10

The Bearcats had no problem with Marshall on Friday night and the significant part was the rushing edge. Cincinnati outgained the Thundering Herd 203-90 on the ground and it didn’t allow them in the redzone all night. Marshall was able to pull within six points early in the third quarter before the Bearcats scored the final 17 points of the game. The Thundering Herd threw three interceptions all in its own territory.

(9) B-Y-U 34 UTAH STATE 14

BYU jumped ahead 24-0 after the first quarter and took a 34-0 lead before the Aggies tacked on two late scores to make it more respectable. Utah St. turned it over on three of its first four possessions which led to 17 points for the Cougars including a 38-yard fumble return for a score. BYU outgained the Aggies only 406-322 but it had 12 penalties for 123 yards which hurt both sides of the ball.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Georgia Tech outgained the Blue Devils 454-132 and held them to just nine first downs. Duke punted on its first eight possessions while crossing midfield only three times the entire game. The Yellow Jackets meanwhile were in Duke territory in six of their first seven possessions but hurt themselves with two failed fourth down attempts as well as a fumble at the Blue Devils nine-yard line.

Akron 30 KENT STATE 27

Kent actually outgained the Zips 413-301 and won the turnover battle 3-2 but it was unable to convert on several opportunities. The Golden Flashes fumbled twice around midfield, turned it over on downs and missed two field goals including a second one in double overtime. Akron made the most of its excellent field position and was able to get it done despite going 3-15 on third down.

MINNESOTA 16 Indiana 7

Minnesota won a surprisingly low scoring game as it outgained the Hoosiers by only 40 total yards 333-293 despite running 33 more plays from scrimmage. The Gophers controlled the clock by more than 15 more minutes as they finished 8-19 on third down while holding Indiana to just 1-10. Neither team was able to run as Indiana had 49 yards on 24 carries (2.0 ypc) while Minnesota had 59 yards on 44 carries (1.3 ypc).

Boston College 38 NC STATE 31

Boston College outgained the Wolfpack 578-253 but still needed a touchdown with 23 seconds remaining to pull out the win. The Eagles punted only twice the entire game but were hurt by three turnovers in NC State territory as well as a missed fourth down attempt. The Wolfpack were able to cut into an early lead thanks to a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. NC State rushed for just 35 yards on 22 carries (1.6 ypc).

(6) Penn State 20 PURDUE 6

Penn St. dominated as it allowed Purdue to cross midfield on only three possessions with the first two times resulting in missed field goals. The Nittany Lions outgained Purdue 422-241 with 82 of those Boilermakers yards coming on their final drive of the game. Penn St. entered Purdue territory in eight of its nine possessions and the score could have been worse but the Nittany Lions settled for two field goals of 25 and 20 yards.

WEST VIRGINIA 24 Rutgers 17

The Scarlet Knights lost in a game that should not have been as close as the final score ended up. Rutgers was outgained by 63 total yards including 103 yards on the ground. The Mountaineers forced Rutgers to punt on all four first quarter possessions and they were able to build a 10-0 lead and hold on. The Scarlet Knights had the ball with 1:54 remaining at the West Virginia 45-yard line but failed to convert a fourth down attempt.

(23) MICHIGAN STATE 16 Iowa 13

Michigan St. won despite getting outgained by the Hawkeyes 309-275. Iowa turned the ball over on three of its first five possessions including twice inside the Michigan St. 15-yard line and once at its own 12-yard line. The defense forced a punt with 7:40 remaining in the game and the Hawkeyes made it down to the Spartans 24-yard line before turning it over on fourth down with 2:10 left.

(11) Florida 38 ARKANSAS 7

Florida bounced back nicely as it outgained the Razorbacks 514-361 and took advantage of several miscues. Arkansas failed on fourth down inside the Gators 35-yard line on its first two possessions while also throwing an interception at the 12-yard line and missing a field goal. Florida was very balanced with 236 yards passing and 278 yards rushing on 38 carries (7.3 ypc).

(1) Oklahoma 49 BAYLOR 17

Oklahoma jumped a head 28-0 in the first quarter and coasted the rest of the way. The Sooners outgained Baylor 594-269 including an advantage of 377-75 in passing yards. Oklahoma entered Bears territory on all 11 of its possessions and in the four possessions that did not result in scores, the Sooners still ran at least nine plays in those drives and in total, the Sooners ran 25 more plays from scrimmage.

(16) Kansas 35 IOWA STATE 33

Iowa St. jumped ahead 20-0 at halftime before the Jayhawks stormed back with four straight touchdowns to move ahead for good. Kansas crossed midfield only once in the first half as it committed three turnovers in its first seven possessions but was lucky that it led to just six points. The Cyclones had one last shot as they got the ball at their own 41-yard line with 1:13 remaining but failed to gain a single yard in four plays.

(18) VIRGINIA TECH 27 Western Ky 13

Virginia Tech took a 27-3 lead while holding the Hilltoppers to only 66 total yards until the defense let up and allowed two late long drives and scores. Western Kentucky ended up with only eight first downs as it finished just 3-14 on third down. The Hokies won the yardage battle by only 50 total yards but benefited from Western Kentucky committing 13 penalties for 113 yards.


Colorado St. outgained the Rebels 510-347 but the game was a back and forth affair the whole way. UNLV jumped ahead 14-3 before the Rams scored 24 unanswered points to take a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Rebels were once again able to get the lead back but Colorado St. drove 80 yards and scored the game winner with just nine second left. The Rams scored on a fumble to end the game.

So Carolina 31 OLE MISS 24

South Carolina spotted the Rebels a 14-3 lead before scoring four of the next five touchdowns to pull away. Mississippi committed three turnovers that led to 14 points including a fumble recovery that was returned for a touchdown by the Gamecocks. The third turnover took place on its final possession as the Rebels were trying to drive for the tying score. Both teams finished 7-13 on third down.


Western Michigan outgained the Bobcats 506-356 while it built a 27-7 lead early in the fourth quarter and coasted the rest of the way. Ohio got inside the Broncos 40-yard line on its first two possessions but tossed an interception and missed a field goal to come away with nothing. The Broncos finished with three turnovers that led to 14 Ohio points while also missing a field goal.

NOTRE DAME 28 Stanford 21

Notre Dame scored touchdowns on three of its first four possessions and built a comfortable 28-7 lead before holding off a late Cardinal rally. Stanford pulled to within a touchdown midway through the final period and the Irish were able to pin Stanford at its own three-yard line on its last possession and Notre Dame held on fourth down. The Irish won the yardage battle 430-343 despite first downs being even at 20 each.

Army 44 TULANE 13

Army pulled off the big upset despite getting outgained 486-334. The Green Wave finished with four turnovers that led to 21 points for the Black Knights including an 81-yard fumble recovery and a 35-yard interception return for scores. Army ran 31 fewer plays from scrimmage as Tulane was also guilty of a missed field goal and a turnover on downs at the Black Knights 37-yard line.

(2) ALABAMA 17 Kentucky 14

Alabama jumped ahead 14-0 thanks to a 78-yard touchdown run as well as a fumble recovery that was returned four yards for a touchdown. The Wildcats tried to make a comeback as they pulled to within a touchdown and were driving again for the tying score before an interception ended that drive. Alabama sealed it with a field goal with 2:12 remaining before Kentucky added one late touchdown.

CALIFORNIA 24 Arizona State 14

California only outgained the Sun Devils 277-236 but took advantage of three Arizona St. turnovers that led to 14 points. The Bears scored on three of their first four possessions but the offense slowed down, gaining just 90 yards in their final eight possessions. Neither team was able to generate much on the ground as California rushed for 79 yards on 33 carries (2.4 ypc) while Arizona St. rushed for 71 yards on 32 carries (2.2 ypc).

(7) Texas Tech 58 KANSAS STATE 28

Texas Tech racked up 626 yards of offense while the defense held Kansas St. to just 296 total yards. The Red Raiders scored on nine of their first 10 possessions before the offense took off the second part of the fourth quarter. Kansas St. had this game tied early in the second quarter at 14 apiece before Texas Tech ran off 24 unanswered points before halftime. The Red Raiders were a perfect 8-8 inside the redzone.

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