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Inside the Boxscores, Week 4, Part 2

   by Matt Fargo - 09/26/2006

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.

NEW MEXICO 26 Texas-El Paso 13

New Mexico only outgained the Miners by 48 total yards but it recovered a fumble on the third play of the game that set up a short touchdown drive and also came up with two big fourth down stops. The Lobos were 9-14 on third down conversions and a perfect 4-4 inside the redzone. UTEP went three and out on its first four possessions and fell in a hole it couldn’t recover from. The Miners had 30 yards rushing on 23 carries (1.3 ypc).

Wake Forest 27 OLE MISS 3

Wake Forest won the yardage battle by only 46 total yards but had a short field most of the day. The Deacons average starting field position was its own 41-yard line compared to the 22-yard line for the Rebels. Ole Miss missed a field goal, turned the ball over on downs at the Wake Forest 18-yard line and tossed an interception that set up a one-play, one-yard drive for the Deacons last touchdown.

MARYLAND 14 Florida International 10

Maryland hung on despite getting outgained 310-275. The Golden Panthers had to settle for a short field goal at the start of the fourth quarter and then were stopped at the Maryland nine-yard line on a first and goal after an interception as time expired. Florida International ran 17 less plays and lost the TOP battle by 12 minutes but averaged 5.8 ypp compared to just 3.9 ypp for the Terrapins.

AKRON 33 North Texas 13

The Mean Green actually outgained Akron 287-278 but the Zips jumped out to a 26-0 lead early in the second quarter and coasted the rest of the way. Akron scored touchdowns on its first five drives but managed just 78 total yards in the second half. North Texas had two turnovers inside Zips territory and it also turned the ball over on downs twice at the Akron four-yard line and the eight-yard line.

Mississippi State 16 U-A-B 10

Mississippi St. outgained the Blazers 281-210 but mistakes and lack of execution nearly cost it the game. The Bulldogs had two fumbles inside the UAB 23-yard line and also turned the ball over on downs at the 25-yard line. The Blazers kicked the game-tying field goal with less than two minutes remaining and then got the ball first in overtime but threw an interception which opened the door for the Bulldogs.

SOUTH CAROLINA 45 Florida Atlantic 6

Florida Atlantic scored a touchdown on its opening drive to pull within a point but the Gamecocks ran off the final 38 points for the blowout win. South Carolina outgained the Owls 492-243 and the defense allowed them to cross midfield only twice after that opening score. Florida Atlantic was only 2-14 on third down conversions and finished with only 105 yards through the air.

(21) NEBRASKA 56 Troy 0

Nebraska scored early and often as it registered two touchdowns in every quarter while outgaining the Trojans 597-140. The Huskers rushed for 316 yards on 46 carries (6.9 ypc) and held Troy to just 48 yards on 27 carries (1.8 ypc). Troy crossed midfield only once and that resulted in an interception. Two other turnovers set up a short field for Nebraska who held the Trojans to 1-11 on third down conversions.

(16) OKLAHOMA 59 Middle Tennessee 0

Another blowout saw Oklahoma outgain the Blue Raiders 462-95 in building a 45-0 lead at the break. Middle Tennessee finished with only seven first downs and its furthest penetration was the Oklahoma 42-yard line on its final drive of the game. The Sooners crossed midfield on every possession thanks to their average starting field position of their own 49-yard line.

TEXAS A&M 45 Louisiana Tech 14

Louisiana Tech had a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter following a fumble recovery that set up a 24-yard touchdown run. The Aggies, who had just seven total yards in the opening quarter, ran off the next 38 points and scored on six straight possessions. Texas A&M racked up 489 yards of offense and went a perfect 4-4 inside the redzone. The Bulldogs finished 2-14 on third down conversions.


UCLA jumped ahead 16-0 but the Huskies defense took over as it held the Bruins to just 80 yards in the final three quarters. Washington took the lead midway through the fourth quarter and then intercepted a Bruins pass on the very next play and retuned it for a score to pull away. The Bruins got the ball two more times but could manage just two first downs. The Huskies had only 49 yards rushing on 27 carries (1.8 ypc).

KANSAS 13 So Florida 7

Kansas outgained the Bulls 391-309 but it trailed heading into the fourth quarter before two scores put the game away. After a scoreless first half, the Jayhawks took the opening possession of the second half 60 yards to set up a field goal. South Florida responded with the go ahead score before Kansas pulled away. The Bulls had two turnovers inside the Kansas 30-yard line and turned it over on downs at the two-yard line.

SYRACUSE 34 Miami-Ohio 14

Syracuse outgained the RedHawks by just 43 total yards but the defense came up with big stops when needed. The Orange stopped Miami twice on fourth down inside the 35-yard line and also blocked a 35-yard field goal attempt. The defense also returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown. Syracuse registered eight sacks which dropped the RedHawks net rushing to 31 yards on 29 carries (1.1 ypc).

Army 27 BAYLOR 20

Baylor lost its second straight close game, this one in overtime as it was unable to match an Army touchdown. The Bears tied the game in the final minute of regulation with a 24-yard field goal. Army started the game by getting to the Baylor 19-yard line on its first three possessions but settled for three field goal attempts, making only one. The Bears were hurt by 11 penalties for 107 yards.


Western Michigan held Temple to just 149 total yards and forced four turnovers, two of which led to short touchdown drives in the second half. The Broncos blocked a field goal as time expired in the first half and retuned it for a touchdown. Temple’s only touchdown was set up on a fumbled punt. 13 of the the Owls 14 possessions were five plays or less with 11 of those being 11 yards or fewer.

(5) FLORIDA 26 Kentucky 7

The Wildcats hung around for a half as they trailed by just five points heading into the break. The score should have been a lot worse as the Gators outgained Kentucky 514-249 but they committed two turnovers inside the Wildcats 30-yard line while also turning it over on downs at the 19-yard line. The Wildcats had just 54 total yards in the second half and finished with only 39 yards rushing on 22 carries (1.8 ypc).

(9) L-S-U 49 Tulane 7

The Tigers didn’t dominate as much as the score indicates as they outgained Tulane 373-231 but used two turnovers to set up short touchdown drives. The Green Wave made it inside LSU territory on six of its last eight possessions but two interceptions, a missed field goal and a turnover on downs kept them scoreless until a touchdown on their final drive. LSU was a perfect 7-7 inside the redzone.

NC STATE 17 Boston College 15

The Wolfpack pulled out the improbable victory on a 34-yard touchdown pass with only five seconds remaining. Boston College was down one point early in the fourth quarter and scored a touchdown but missed the two-point conversion which was the ultimate difference. The Eagles outgained NC State by one yard but missed two opportunities inside the Wolfpack 32-yard line with an interception and a turnover on downs.

(22) BOISE STATE 41 Hawaii 34

The offenses dominated as they racked up a combined 991 total yards but it was Hawaii that missed out on numerous chances. The Warriors had three turnovers inside Boise St. territory while turning it over on downs at the Broncos four-yard line. Hawaii pulled to within a touchdown with three minutes remaining but was not able to get the ball back. The Warriors ran 18 fewer plays and outgained Boise St. by 1.6 ypp.

Utah 38 SAN DIEGO ST 7

San Diego St. tied the game at seven late in the first quarter but then Utah scored the final 31 points of the game to pull away. After driving 74 yards for the tying score, the Aztecs crossed midfield only once in their next 10 possessions, gaining just 130 total yards in that span. The Utes turned the ball over twice inside the redzone but did return two of San Diego St.’s five interceptions for touchdowns.

S-M-U 55 Arkansas State 9

The Mustangs racked up 457 yards of offense and held the Indians to just 69 yards rushing on 41 carries (1.7 ypc). Arkansas St. pulled to within a point in the first quarter on a 69-yard touchdown pass but mistakes took over after that. The Indians fumbled the ball four times, twice inside the redzone and their five total turnovers led to 24 SMU points. The Mustangs were 5-5 inside the redzone.

(12) Notre Dame 40 MICHIGAN STATE 37

Notre Dame pulled out a miracle comeback as it scored 19 unanswered points in the fourth quarter including a 27-yard interception return for a score with 2:53 remaining. The Spartans had three turnovers the entire game but all three came on their final three possessions two of which led to touchdowns. Michigan St. got down to the Notre Dame 44-yard line before an interception ended the game.

(3) U-S-C 20 ARIZONA 3

Arizona trailed by just a touchdown early in the fourth quarter despite getting outgained 381-154. The Trojans increased the lead to 10 points and a fumble by the Wildcats late in the period set up a short touchdown drive that put the game away. USC finished 12-18 on third down conversions but missed three scoring opportunities inside the Arizona 30-yard line. The Wildcats had -16 yards rushing on 19 carries (-0.8 ypc).

HOUSTON 34 Oklahoma State 25

The Cougars racked up 509 yards of offense and controlled the time of possession by more than 10 minutes. The Cowboys had two costly fumbles as Houston rallied from a seven-point second half deficit to take a 10-point lead. Oklahoma St. ran 25 less plays but still gained 446 yards on offense and had a whopping 9.1 ypp average. The teams were forced to punt only twice each.


Oregon St. held the Vandals to just 185 total yards and seven first downs while forcing six turnovers. The Beavers returned an interception for a score and had a short field the entire game. Oregon St. had 380 yards of offense and finished with just a 5.2 ypp average. Idaho finished with only 57 yards rushing on 24 carries (2.4 ypc) and was 0-10 on third down conversions.

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