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Inside the Boxscores, Week 4, Part 1

   by Matt Fargo - 09/25/2006

Inside the Boxscores is a weekly feature from Matt Fargo that has been widely recognized as the best summation 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.

(24) GEORGIA TECH 24 Virginia 7

Georgia Tech outgained the Cavaliers 335-166 with 124 of those total yards coming on two touchdown tosses. Virginia scored its only touchdown off a fumble recovery after being forced to punt on its first eight possessions. The Cavaliers also missed a field goal and fumbled at the Yellow Jackets 39-yard line. Following its first drive of the second half, Georgia Tech had only 34 yards in its final five possessions.

NEVADA 31 Northwestern 21

The Wildcats actually outgained Nevada 368-353 but they committed five turnovers that led to 24 Wolf Pack points including an interception return for a score that sealed the win late in the fourth quarter. Northwestern finished 3-4 inside the redzone but were just 3-7 when crossing the 35-yard line. Northwestern threw for only 122 yards but rushed for 246 yards on 37 carries (6.6 ypc).

(8) Louisville 24 KANSAS STATE 6

The Cardinals put up 401 yards of offense but had three turnovers and also turned the ball over on downs that kept their point total down. Kansas St. had numerous opportunities to score but was stopped on fourth down twice, missed a field goal and threw an interception at the Louisville 14-yard line. The Wildcats finished 3-16 on third down conversions and were 0-2 inside the redzone.

(18) CLEMSON 52 North Carolina 7

Clemson racked up 504 yards of offense and scored touchdowns on five of its first six possessions. The Tar Heels had only 68 total yards in the first three quarters before driving 80 yards in the final period for their only score. The Tigers controlled the clock for over 16 more minutes thanks to 324 yards rushing on 58 carries (5.6 ypc). North Carolina finished with just eight first downs.

(11) VIRGINIA TECH 29 Cincinnati 13

The Bearcats were outgained by just 55 total yards and held a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter before the Hokies pulled away. Virginia Tech scored on its next two possessions and then returned an interception 72 yards to put the game out of reach. Cincinnati controlled the time of possession by over 10 more minutes but its three turnovers were the ultimate difference.

(6) MICHIGAN 27 Wisconsin 13

Wisconsin and Michigan were tied 10-10 heading into the fourth quarter before the Wolverines scored 17 unanswered points to pull away. Michigan held the Badgers to just 12 yards rushing on 27 carries (0.4 ypc) while going only 4-19 on third and fourth down conversions. The Wolverines were hurt by two interceptions occurring in Wisconsin territory while also missing a fourth down play at the 19-yard line.

PURDUE 27 Minnesota 21

Both teams finished with 421 total yards but the turnovers were the difference as Purdue forced two including an interception in the endzone right before the end of the first half. The Gophers pulled to within six points but the Boilermakers took the ensuing kickoff and drove 93 yards to put the game out of reach. Purdue held the potent Minnesota running game to 194 yards.

(13) Iowa 24 ILLINOIS 7

Iowa only outgained the Illini by 29 yards but Illinois was hurt by four interceptions inside its own territory. 220 of Illinois’ 315 yards came on its final five drives after Iowa had built a 24-0 lead. 17 of the Hawkeyes points came on drives of 35 yards or less. The Illini defense did stiffen in the second half as they forced Iowa to punt on five of its six possessions while allowing just 139 total yards.

(10) GEORGIA 14 Colorado 13

Georgia staked Colorado to a 13-0 lead through three quarters but the Bulldogs rallied and scored the game winning touchdown with just 46 seconds remaining. The Bulldogs missed another opportunity in the fourth quarter as Colorado stopped them at the 12-yard line. The Buffaloes finished with only 46 total yards in the second half after accumulating 267 yards in the opening half.

Kent State 38 BOWLING GREEN 3

Kent St. picked up its second straight upset road victory thanks to six turnovers by the Falcons. 24 of the Golden Flashes 38 points came by way of turnovers. Bowling Green finished with 282 total yards but four drives that totaled 193 yards resulted in just three points. The Golden Flashes rushed for 216 yards on 38 carries (5.7 ypc) and they were a perfect 4-4 inside the redzone.

Tulsa 24 NAVY 23

Tulsa outgained the Midshipmen 444-356 but it took a blocked extra point in overtime to pull out the victory. The Golden Hurricane could have jumped ahead early but missed a 29-yard field goal on their first possession while turning the ball over on downs at the Navy one-yard line on their second possession. Both teams ran well withTulsa gaining 5.3 ypc and Navy gaining 5.5 ypc.

(25) MISSOURI 31 Ohio U 6

Missouri outgained the Bobcats 428-188 but took just an eight-point lead into the break before pulling away in the second half. The defense allowed only 26 total yards in the second half while forcing two turnovers. The Bobcats controlled the time of possession despite having just 43 yards rushing on 30 carries (1.4 ypc). The Tigers did have three turnovers but none resulted in Ohio points.

(2) AUBURN 38 Buffalo 7

Buffalo was able to hang around for a half, going into the break down just 10 points. Auburn came out strong in the second half however as it scored touchdowns on its first three possessions. The Bulls pulled to within 10 points again in the third quarter but the Tigers clamped down on defense, forcing four straight punts and allowing just 17 total yards. Auburn finished with 261 yards rushing on 36 carries (7.2 ypc).

B-Y-U 38 Utah State 0

BYU scored on it first four possessions and never looked back as it outgained the Aggies 441-242. Utah St. had four opportunities inside Cougars territory to avoid the shutout but a missed field goal and two turnovers kept them at zero. BYU gained only 21 yards in its first five possessions of the second half before putting together a 99-yard drive on its final possession. Utah St. was 2-14 on third down conversions.

(20) CALIFORNIA 49 Arizona State 21

Arizona St. actually outgained California 414-409 but mistakes and special teams killed the Sun Devils. Arizona St. took the opening kickoff 76 yards for a touchdown but the Golden Bears scored the next 35 points to put the game out of reach. Overall, California scored 28 points off turnovers including two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns. The Bears also returned a punt 80 yards for a score.

Connecticut 14 INDIANA 7

Connecticut was responsible for the only offensive touchdown in this game as its other score came on an interception return while the lone Hoosiers touchdown came on an 87-yard kickoff return. The Huskies finished with 257 yards rushing on 53 carries (4.8 ypc) while Indiana had zero net yards on 27 carries. Connecticut had three turnovers and a missed field goal while Indiana had four turnovers and two turnovers on downs.

(19) FLORIDA STATE 55 Rice 7

Florida St. finally got its offense in gear as it generated 500 total yards including 287 yards rushing on 38 carries (7.6 ypc). The Owls tied the score at seven after their first possession but they were forced to punt on eight of their next nine possessions. Their final three possessions resulted in two turnovers and a turnover on downs, all in Seminoles territory. Florida St. was in Rice territory in 11 of 13 possessions.

(1) OHIO STATE 28 Penn State 6

Penn St. took a 3-0 lead into halftime and then pulled to within eight points late in the fourth quarter before the Ohio defense took over. The Buckeyes picked off two passes on consecutive possessions and returned both of them for touchdowns. Overall, Penn St. was outgained by only five total yards but two short field goals and a missed field goal took away a possible 21 points.

(7) TEXAS 37 Iowa State 14

This game was delayed for 70 minutes at the end of the third quarter but it mattered none as Texas was already well on its way to victory. Iowa St. passed for 302 yards but could get nothing going on the ground, gaining only 21 yards on 27 carries (0.8 ypc). The Cyclones pulled to within two points midway through the second quarter but Texas scored the final 21 points to seal the win.

Central Michigan 24 EASTERN MICHIGAN 17

Central Michigan outgained the Eagles 452-345 but it took a touchdown and a defensive stop in overtime to pull out the victory. The Chippewas took a seven-point lead with just 1:44 remaining but Eastern Michigan tied the game with only 13 seconds left following a 70-yard drive. This was the third consecutive year that the game was decided in overtime and the first time Central Michigan came out on top.

ARKANSAS 24 Alabama 23

Arkansas won in double overtime thanks to a missed extra point and overall, Alabama missed three field goals from 37 yards or less. The Tide outgained Arkansas 361-269 but 105 of those yards were lost due to the missed kicks. The Razorbacks took a seven-point lead after returning a fumble for a score but Alabama drove 73 yards on the ensuing possession to send the game into overtime.

(15) TENNESSEE 33 Marshall 7

Marshall pulled to within two points late in the second quarter but the Volunteers scored the final 24 points to pull away. The Thundering Herd were able to cross midfield three more times but fumbled once and also missed a field goal. Tennessee was in Marshall territory in all but three of its drives as it finished the game with 434 total yards while the defense allowed just 236 yards.

Air Force 31 WYOMING 24

Air Force never trailed but it had to hold off a late second half rally by the Cowboys to pull out the victory. Wyoming scored on a fumble return in the third quarter and then scored on its next two offensive possessions to pull within a touchdown. The Cowboys got the ball back with 1:32 remaining but coughed it up to end the game. The Falcons finished with 327 yards rushing and 40 yards passing.

(4) West Virginia 27 EAST CAROLINA 10

The Pirates did a great job of slowing down the Mountaineers rushing game, allowing just 153 yards on 42 carries (3.6 ypc) but late miscues on offense killed any chance of an upset. East Carolina was inside the West Virginia 14-yard line on four of its last five possessions but came away with just a field goal. Two turnovers and a turnover on downs left the Pirates with three points on 180 yards.

Washington St 36 STANFORD 10

Washington St. jumped ahead 22-0 and never looked back. The Cougars outgained Stanford 468-195 and held the Cardinal to just 22 yards rushing on 31 carries (0.9 ypc). Washington St. did fumble the ball twice in its first three possessions, both times inside the redzone. Stanford didn’t cross midfield until the second half as it generated only 32 total yards in the opening half.

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