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Inside the Boxscores, Week 7, Part 2

   by Matt Fargo - 10/15/2008

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, October 11, 2008 (cont.)

(6) U-S-C 28 Arizona State 0

The USC defense was the story here as the Trojans held Arizona St. to 229 total yards including 75 yards rushing on 36 carries (2.1 ypc). The USC offense was far from dominant as it committed five turnovers including four on its first four possessions of the second half. The shutout was preserved as the Trojans blocked two field goals and held the Sun Devils to 3-18 on third down.


The score was not indicative of the actual game played as the Miami defense was stifling, allowing just 78 total yards and 10 first downs. Central Florida scored its touchdowns on a 62-yard interception return as well as a 91-yard kickoff return. The Knights punted 12 times while going 3-18 on third down. Miami didn’t fare a whole lot better as it tallied just 216 total yards and 12 first downs.

CENTRAL MICH 24 Temple 14

Temple actually outgained the Chippewas 301-297 but the Owls finished with four turnovers including three on consecutive possessions of the second half. Central Michigan jumped ahead 14-0 but Temple responded by tying the game thanks to short fields set up by punt returns. The Chippewas finished 3-15 on third down and the Owls ended the game by failing on fourth down on their last two possessions.

NORTHERN ILL 17 Miami-Ohio 13

Northern Illinois jumped ahead 10-0 but the RedHawks came back to take the lead thanks to a punt return for a touchdown. The Huskies took the ball 63 yards for the go ahead score late in the third quarter and the defense was able to stop Miami on fourth down at the 15-yard line with 1:22 remaining in the game. The RedHawks were hurt by 12 penalties for 79 yards.

New Mexico St 48 NEVADA 45

The score tells the story as this was a back and forth game throughout. New Mexico St. outgained Nevada 513-507 and the teams both finished with 28 first downs. The difference came down to turnovers as the Wolf Pack lost the turnover battle 3-1 which led to 10 points for the Aggies. Nevada scored a touchdown with 3:51 remaining to pull within three points but New Mexico St. was able to run out the clock to end it.

Arkansas 25 AUBURN 22

Arkansas outgained the Tigers 416-193 but it needed a big comeback to pull out the win. Auburn scored its first touchdown on a 97-yard kickoff return and eventually built a 20-10 lead early in the third quarter. The Razorbacks scored the next 15 points to take the lead and Auburn had a shot to regain the lead but failed on fourth down at the Razorbacks four-yard line. Arkansas took a safety to provide the final score.

STANFORD 24 Arizona 23

Stanford outgained the Wildcats 438-336 but it needed a late score to pull out the win. With the game tied entering the fourth quarter, Arizona had two great chances to put the game away but had to settle for two short field goals of 22 and 23 yards. Stanford got the ball with 5:41 remaining and drove 60 yards for the winning touchdown with just 25 seconds left. The Cardinal had three turnovers that led to 14 points.

Bowling Green 37 AKRON 33

Bowling Green won the yardage battle 419-367 but it took a big comeback to pull out the win. The Falcons trailed by 13 points entering the fourth quarter and outscored the Zips 23-6 in the final period. Akron had one last chance as it got the ball back with 2:14 remaining but failed on a fourth down at the Falcons 33-yard line. The Zips also failed on a fourth down attempt in their prior possession.

(9) B-Y-U 21 New Mexico 3

After a scoreless first quarter, New Mexico put up the first points but the Cougars defense took over the rest of the way. The Lobos entered BYU territory only twice after that and both times the drives ended on failed fourth down attempts. The Cougars offense gained just 382 total yards but it was enough as New Mexico finished with 285 yards including only 130 yards in the second half.

OREGON STATE 66 Washington St 13

Oregon St. jumped ahead 21-0 in the first quarter but the Cougars took advantage of two interceptions that led to scores to pull within eight points. The Beavers then scored the final 45 points of the game to run away with it. Oregon St. outgained Washington St. 548-132 and had a 26-8 edge in first downs. The Cougars were also guilty of 12 penalties for 145 yards while going just 3-15 on third down.


Arkansas St. had a 23-point lead early in the fourth quarter before the Warhawks made things interesting. They scored touchdowns on consecutive drives to make it a one-possession game. UL-Monroe then forced a punt to get the ball back but failed on a fourth down attempt at midfield. The Warhawks won the yardage battle 396-391 but lost the turnover battle 3-0 with those miscues leading to 13 points.

BAYLOR 38 Iowa State 10

Baylor outgained the Cyclones 435-257 and it pretty much put the game away when it returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown to take a 28-3 lead. The Bears were very efficient in the passing game, completing 22 of 26 passes despite going only 3-11 on third down. Iowa St. punted on six of its first seven possessions before scoring a late touchdown.

FLORIDA INTL 31 Middle Tennessee 21

Middle Tennessee started the scoring with a field goal but the Golden Panthers then took advantage of mistakes to pull ahead. An interception led to Florida International’s first touchdown and it then returned an interception for a touchdown on the second play of the second half. In total, three interceptions by the Blue Raiders led to 21 points. Middle Tennessee finished with only 72 yard passing.

UL Lafayette 59 NORTH TEXAS 30

UL-Lafayette outgained the Mean Green 590-528 and amassed 338 yards rushing on 47 carries (7.2 ypc). North Texas hung tough for a while as it pulled to within eight points early in the third quarter before the Cajuns scored 24 of the final 27 points of the game. North Texas was hurt by two turnovers in UL-Lafayette as well as a missed field goal. The Cajuns scored one of their touchdowns on a 97-yard kickoff return.

SAN JOSE ST 30 Utah State 7

San Jose St. dominated from start to finish as it outgained the Aggies 401-190. The defense had a shutout going until Utah St. drove 40 yards for a touchdown on its final drive of the game. Over half of the Aggies yards came in the fourth quarter as it did not register a drive longer than 13 yards in their first 11 possessions. Neither team ran well as the Spartans had 87 rushing yards and the Aggies had 71 rushing years.

(5) FLORIDA 51 (13) L-S-U 21

Florida jumped out to a 17-0 lead and never looked back. The Gators outgained LSU 475-321 and the rushing game was the big difference. Florida rushed for 265 yards on 41 carries (6.5 ypc) while the Tigers had 80 yards on 26 carries (3.1 ypc). The Gators scored on four of their five second half possessions as well as returning an interception 52 yards for a touchdown. Florida was a perfect 6-6 inside the redzone.

(8) Oklahoma State 28 (11) MISSOURI 23

Missouri outgained the Cowboys 454-402 but too many mistakes did the Tigers in. They missed two field goals, one in which was blocked and they also tossed three interceptions all in Oklahoma St. territory. The final one came at the Cowboys 31-yard line with 1:41 remaining as Missouri was driving for the winning score. The Cowboys had three turnovers as well but none led to any Missouri points.

Tulsa 37 S-M-U 31

Tulsa remained undefeated as it racked up 602 yards of offense in the come-from-behind victory. SMU took the lead late in the first quarter and did not give it back until the Golden Hurricane picked off a pass and drove 26 yards for the go ahead touchdown. The Mustangs had one last chance but they failed on fourth down at the Tulsa 26-yard line with 54 seconds remaining.

(15) Boise State 24 SOUTHERN MISS 7

All of the scoring took place in the second quarter as turnovers and missed opportunities on both sides ruled the game. After Boise St. went three and out on its first two possessions, it scored on its next four possessions to take a 17-point lead. Southern Mississippi was inside Broncos territory eight times but missed on fourth down twice, tossed an interception and had a field goal attempt blocked.

(3) Penn State 48 WISCONSIN 7

Penn St. rolled yet again despite only outgaining the Badgers 377-313. The Nittany Lions took advantage of four turnovers by Wisconsin as well as returning a punt 63 yards for a touchdown. The Badgers entered Penn St. territory only once in their first 10 possessions and eventually turned it over on three straight possessions in the second half. The Nittany Lions had just one penalty for seven yards.

TEXAS-EL PASO 24 Tulane 21

It was a back and forth game that was close throughout as both Tulane and UTEP finished with 20 first downs. After a three and out on its first possession, Tulane scored touchdowns on its next three drives but was shutout the rest of the way. The Green Wave missed a field goal as well as turned it over on downs at midfield. Tulane finished with 318 yards rushing on 39 carries (8.2 ypc).

Air Force 35 SAN DIEGO ST 10

The Aztecs started strong as they took a 10-7 lead into the break but Air Force poured it on in the second half with 28 unanswered points. The Falcons outgained San Diego St. 473-165 and had a 30-12 edge in first downs. The yardage variance included a 401-35 advantage in rushing yards. The Falcons returned an interception for a touchdown and picked off another pass two plays later that led to another touchdown.

FRESNO STATE 45 Idaho 32

Idaho actually outgained the Bulldogs 452-443 but the Vandals had two costly fumbles inside Fresno St. territory with one of those occurring at the 10-yard line. The Bulldogs had the ball eight minutes less than Idaho and ran 17 fewer plays but they were very efficient as five scoring drives were 63 yards or longer. Fresno St. rushed for 318 yards on 38 carries (8.4 ypc).

OREGON 31 U-C-L-A 24

Oregon dominated the first half as it outgained the Bruins 242-90 and the 14-0 score should have been a lot more but the Ducks missed two field goals. UCLA pulled to within a touchdown on four different occasions in the second half but could not get closer. The Ducks had only 42 yards passing but finished with 323 yards rushing on 46 carries (7.0 ypc).

HAWAII 24 Louisiana Tech 14

Hawaii outgained the Bulldogs 401-358 and took advantage of four Louisiana Tech turnovers. The Warriors ran nine fewer plays from scrimmage yet won the time of possession battle by over 12 minutes. The Bulldogs scored their final touchdown on a fumble recovery with just 19 seconds remaining, the Warriors lone turnover of the game. Hawaii hurt itself with 13 penalties for 127 yards.

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