Phil Steele’s College Football News and Notes: Week Three


It was a strange game between Iowa St and Connecticut on Friday night. After the first 9 possessions of the game, Conn had a 131-(-7) yard edge. ISU QB Steele Jantz’s first 4 passes resulted in 0-4 with 3 int, but the problem with UC was that they didn’t take advantage of the opportunities. They were intercepted at the ISU40 and then K Teggart who had hit 13 straight FG’s, missed a 41 yarder and with 12:58 left in the 2Q, missed a 43 yarder. ISU got a key play when on 3&19, a jump ball, which was caught by Reynolds for a 48 yard pass and ISU would continue on for a TD. QB Jantz was injured at the end of the half and looked doubtful to return but played the entire 2H. UC led 10-7 at the half, but ISU ran a double reverse pass for a 40 yard TD to make it 14-10. UC went ahead with 12:51 left, 20-17 but ISU answered with a TD with 9:08 left. UC punted with 6:57 left, was SOD on 4&2 at the ISU38 with 1:48 left then from the ISU44 their Hail Mary was knocked down on the last play.

Boise St’s Kellen Moore must be considered one of the Heisman frontrunners. He had an impressive Friday night outing at Toledo, the same team that took Ohio St to the wire the previous week. Moore hit 32-42-455 yards as BSU rolled up 32 FD’s in their 40-15 win. Both teams blew opportunities late with UT fumbling at the BSU9, BSU going on a 62/12pl drive and being SOD at the UT29 but BSU passed yet another test and will be a double digit favorite in the rest of their games.

Auburn had its 17 game win streak snapped and they also had a 14 game win streak in the series vs Clemson snapped. AU actually led 21-7 with 8:54 left 2Q but CU scored 2 TD’s including one with 1:11 left to tie it at 21. CU scored a TD on a 65 yard pass on their first drive of the 3Q and never trailed again. At the end of the game, CU got a 38 yard FG with 11:48 left to lead 38-24. It appeared AU was ready for another one of its patented comebacks and got to the CU8 but they were intercepted at the 5 with 9:34 left and CU went on an amazing 73/18pl drive running out the clock and taking a knee at the AU18.

Georgia Tech was playing with revenge for the previous year’s loss to Kansas in which they came in ranked and finished with a losing season. Their game was competitive at the half as GT only led 24-17 with a 337-246 yard edge but it turned into a record-breaking day for GT. They opened the game with a school record 95 yard TD run by Orwin Smith to make it 7-0. They opened the 3Q on the first play with a 63 yard TD run by Peeples and would score TD’s on their first 6 possessions of the 2H to blow it open, 66-17 with 5:13 left before Kansas moved 63 yards for a TD. GT set a school record for rushing yards with 604 (previous high 558 vs VMI in 1975) and total yards with 768 (previous high 706 vs The Citadel, 1948).

Penn St had 308-197 yard and 18-13 FD edges vs Temple but missed a 45 yard FG, had a 49 yard FG blocked and then had a 36 yard FG bounce off the goal post. PSU led 14-10 and TU did get the ball down the field with a personal foul to the PSU34 and on 4&10 was sacked and fumbled and PSU just fell on it at the 41 with 1:01 left and ran out the clock.

Pitt appeared to have this game locked up leading 27-10 with 12:00 left but Iowa made a miracle comeback. Pitt actually led by as much as 24-3 with 3:11 left in the 3Q. UI finished with a 475-422 yard edge. UI would go 73/7pl, 64/7pl (after Pitt was SOD on 4&3 at UI36) and 64/7pl for the last for a TD with 2:51 left to take the lead and Pitt’s final possession ended on an interception at the UI43.

Bowling Green did finish with 28-18 FD and 514-396 yard edges over Wyoming, but gained 212 yards on their final 3 possessions when they trailed 28-14. BG had a 6-1 TO deficit. Trailing 28-14 BG was intercepted at the WY47 but WY was SOD at the BG36. BG was SOD at the WY8 with 8:11 left. BG went 67/8pl scoring a TD with 4:16 left and WY punted with 1:18 left and BG had no time-outs. They went 89/10pl getting a 10 yard TD pass with :03 left but WY blocked the xp and held on for the upset.

Western Michigan had lost 5 straight to Central Michigan and HC Cubit said it was like an elephant in the room, they needed to beat CM. They simply dominated. They led 24-0 at the half and opened it up to 41-7 in the 4Q. CM gained 173 yards on their final 3 possessions making it a misleading final statistically as WM gained just 16 yards in that span. Those 3 drives including a TD when trailing 41-7 in the 44-14 rout.

ULM played even better than the final score vs TCU as they led 17-14 mid-2Q. TCU got a TD with 5:16 left 1H to lead 21-17 and ULM missed a 43 yard FG on the final play of the half. TCU used 2 key plays at the start of the 3Q to break it open. They got a 94 yard KR TD to open the 3Q then after a fumble, drove 28 yards for a TD and led 35-17. TCU’s final score came when ULM was SOD on 4&12 at the 50 with 3:40 left. TCU added a 28 yard FG with :28 left. TCU only had a 23-19 FD edge.

Duke vs Boston College was an interesting game. BC led 19-7 with a TD with 1:21 left in the half but Duke went 63/4pl getting a 21 yard TD pass with :30 left to get back in it, 19-14. The 2H was dominated by Duke. Duke went 73/10pl but was intercepted at the BC6. Duke went 46/9pl but missed a 33 yard FG, they went 70/14pl for a TD and missed the 2 pt conversion then went 51/10pl and they were SOD on 4&5 at the BC30 with 4:15 left, up by 1. BC had earlier missed an xp and took over at their 21 with 2:24 left. They had a FD at the Duke14. On 3&1 they ran into the line for no gain and lined up for the chipshot game winning FG from 23 yards out and it bounced off the upright with :43 left and Duke pulled the upset.

It was a story of 2H’s in the West Virginia/Maryland game. After 1 series in the 3Q where WV opened going 78/7pl for a TD, WV had a 380-176 yard edge and led 34-10. MD then went 71/11pl but was SOD on 4&gl at the 6, went 61/5pl for a TD, 44/7pl (after int) for a TD with 1:20 left in the 3Q then 66/12pl for a TD to pull within 34-31. WV had 2 FD’s in that span. WV then went 65/14pl settling for a 21 yard FG with 4:42 left in the game to go up by 6. MD got to the WV35 but on 3&8 were intercepted at the 13 and WV held on. WV had a 480-477 yard edge in the shootout with both teams using no huddle offenses.

Missouri St played a decent game vs Oregon. In fact at the half MSU had an amazing 23:28 to 6:32 TOP edge. UO had 4 scoring drives total 267 yards but ate up just 2:52 on the clock. MSU was SOD at the 7 at the end of a 9pl drive and only trailed 353-217 in yards at the half but the Ducks scored TD’s on their first 3 possessions of the 3Q to break it open to 56-7.

FIU returned a fumble 51 yards for a TD and won despite losing T.Y. Hilton to a hamstring injury in the 1Q. UCF led 7-0 and was going in for another score in the final seconds of the half. They got to the FIU28 when on 2&16 with :16 left Godfrey was sacked and fumbled and FIU returned it 51 yards for a TD. Early 3Q UCF fumbled a punt at its own 8 and FIU rec’d. Offsides set up FIU at the 4 and they got a TD run and totaled 4 yards offense for 2 TD’s and a 14-7 lead. They did go 85/9pl for a 27 yard FG, 17-7. Late in the game UCF settled for a 31 yard FG with 1:52 left but FIU rec’d the onside kick and won despite being outgained 300-238.

Arkansas St had been avg 481 ypg but Virginia Tech, after allowing a 51 yard pass on ASU’s first play which set up a TD 2pl later and put ASU up 7-0, allowed just 210 yards the rest of the game while VT finished with 427. Logan Thomas hit 21-33-292. VT missed a 40 yard FG and in the 2H was intercepted and returned to the ASU42, intercepted at the ASU4 and SOD at the ASU27 on their final 3 poss.

Tulane was actually a 13 pt underdog to UAB but TU dominated. They had 28-10 FD and a 540-193 yard edges. UAB even got a 92 yard KR TD to only be down 28-7 at half with TU having a 305-122 yard edge. TU got 39 and 55 yard IR TD’s the latter when they were safely up 42-10 and TU even ended the game taking over with 7:40 left driving 73/8pl and were at the UAB8 at the end.

North Carolina had not won an ACC opener since winning at Wake Forest in 2000 and Virginia had a 468-401 yard edge. UVA actually had a 228-173 yard edge in the 1H but trailed 14-3 as they missed a 45 yard FG, settled for a 38 yard FG, were SOD at the NC36 and fumbled at the NC37. The Tar Heels opened it to 28-10 and they fumbled at the UVA5 with 13:05 left. UVA got a TD with 5:09 left to pull within 11 and then got to the NC36 and were intercepted at the 14 with 2:53 to go.

Dan Persa missed another game for Northwestern. Kain Colter hit 12-23-89 and Army dominated with 24-14 FD and 40:19 to 19:41 TOP edges. Army went on 18 and 10pl drives for a TD and a missed 47 yard FG. NW went 51/11pl to tie it with 5:23 left in the half but missed a 26 yard FG on the final play of the half. Army, up 14-7 went on a 14pl drive but missed a 25 yard FG and NW got a 62 yard TD pass with 6:03 left but Army went 75/9pl for a TD with 2:49 left and NW was SOD at the Army33 on their last drive.

San Jose St opted to sit Matt Faulkner and started Dasmen Stewart and Nevada was more impressive than the score would indicate with Stewart in the lineup. At the half NV had a 270-52 yard edge but only led 14-7 because they fumbled at their own 34 and SJS got a 2pl TD “drive” and at the end of the half NV was SOD on 4&gl at the 1 with :44 left. It was 17-7 when Faulkner came off the bench. His 4 drives ended on a fumble at the NV38, a 10pl drive with a missed 37 yard FG, 72/9pl drive for a TD to pull SJS within 17-14 with 7:59 left and then a 69/13pl drive to the 15 where he was intercepted in the EZ.

Alabama was even more dominant than the final as at the half they had a 282-25 yard edge over North Texas but settled for 37 and 26 yard FG’s and missed a 36 yard FG and only led 20-0. Trent Richardson rushed for 167 yards on 11 carries and Eddie Lacy for 161 on 9 as Bama rolled up a 586-169 yard edge. NT did have 2 chances to avoid the shutout but had a 42 yard FG blocked at the start of the 3Q and went for it on 4&gl from the 3 with 3:28 left and fired incomplete.

Indiana St was led by Washington transfer Ronnie Fouch who hit 14-24-227 yards and their RB Shakir Bell rushed for 221. Bobby Rainey tied a school record for WKU with his 8th straight 100 yard game but they came up short on 4th down numerous times. The first they were SOD on 4&1 at the ISU16 (3:33 1Q). Late in the half, trailing 14-3 they were at the ISU24 when they were not only intercepted but returned 65 yards with :02 left and ISU got a 43 yard FG to lead 17-3. WKU fumbled on their first and third possession of the 3Q and ISU led 34-3. WKU was SOD at the ISU20 and 36 on two 4Q possessions and their final drive had a 4&4 at midfield and gained 12 yards but fumbled at the end.

USC got a big win over Syracuse, at one point leading 38-10 in the 4Q. Up 38-17, USC took over at their 17 with 5:32 left and worked it down to a 1st & gl at the 5 where they ran out the clock. Matt Barkley hit 26-39-324 yards.

While Marshall turned it over six times vs Ohio, the Bobcats were pretty much dominant. The Bobcats settled for 20 and 21 yard FG’s in the 1H and led 34-7 and opened it up to 44-7 early in the 4Q. Marshall gained 92 of their yards on their final 2 drives as OU reeled off 559 yards.

Kansas St rolled to a 34-0 halftime lead vs Kent St. The Cats did have a 45 yard IR TD but also had drives of 95/6pl and 98/17pl. The closest the Flashes got to scoring was taking over at their 21 late 3Q and drove 76/19pl and had a 1st & gl at the 3 but were SOD after a pen at the 9 with 5:53 left.

Buffalo led 7-0 after 1Q but Ball St led 21-7 at the half. Buffalo battled back but did have an extra point blocked and also had a 2 pt conversion fail. Buffalo got a TD with 6:28 left to lead 25-21 when BSU went on a 75/18pl drive. The drive including improbable conversions on 4&13 and 4&7 and their TD with :22 left allowed BSU to escape with a 28-25 win.

Nebraska started 3 walk-ons on the O-line for the first time since 1998 due to injuries. NU scored at least 40 pts in each of the first 3 games for the first time since their 1995 National Title season. While they were not dominant, they still went from a 20-7 halftime lead to a 44-17 lead. They got a TD then Washington fumbled the KO and they added another TD :09 later to go up 34-17 then added a 29 yard FG and an 86/9pl TD drive and with just 12:18 left were up by 27. UW got a pair of TD’s on a 32 yard drive (after 64 yard KR) and 53 yard drive but then NU rec’d the onside kick and got went up 51-31 with 4:50 left. UW got a 52/1pl TD pass with 4:27 left. NU rec’d the onside kick and got to the UW21 but was SOD. UW got 1 FD & was intercepted on a deep pass at the NU23.

Even though Northern Illinois HC Dave Doeren had been an asst on the Wisconsin staff the previous 5 years, they were outgained by the Badgers 621-237 and outFD’d 34-11. They actually made a game of it in the 1H tying it at 7 with 1:59 left in the 1Q with UW missing a 50 yard FG. UW went 51, 97 and 77 yards on their next 3 drives for TD’s to lead 28-7 and NI missed a 42 yard FG with :02 left in the 1H. At the half UW only had a 298-178 yard edge but went 77 and 79 yard for TD’s to open the 3Q and didn’t punt until the last play of the 3Q up 42-7. UW was intercepted at the 12 and then added a TD with 3:34 left in the 49-7 win.

Teddy Bridgewater had been unimpressive so far for Louisville at QB but was forced into the lineup when Will Stein was injured. Kentucky did take their first drive 58/7pl settling for a 20 yard FG then fumbled at the UL23. Stein hit a 38 yard TD pass to give UL a 7-3 lead. Bridgewater’s first series was a 49/6pl drive with his 25 yard TD pass putting UL up 14-3. UK got an 80/9pl TD drive to pull within 14-10 at the half. Bridgewater led a 69/12pl drive for a 20 yard FG to open the 3Q and later a 46/7pl drive for a 25 yard TD pass for a 24-10 lead with 11:15 left. UK went 77/17pl getting a TD with 4:56 left to pull within 7. After a K/C interference pen UK started at the UL48 with 2:27 left. They had a FD at the 22 but on 4&6 fired incomplete with :51 left.

Navy’s option almost got the upset of South Carolina. Navy had leads of 7-0, 14-7 and 21-17. SC took the lead with 12:45 left on a 79/16pl drive. Navy’s last drive converted on 4&15 but on 4&7 they were intercepted at the SC45 with 13:33 left and SC got 1 FD & took a knee. Spurrier rode Marcus Lattimore 37 times for a career high 246 yards.

Notre Dame was outgained for the first time all season as Michigan St had a 358-275 yard edge but they won 31-13. In reality ND was in control throughout most of the game leading 21-10 at the half and opened it up to 28-10 in the 3Q. MSU’s first 3 3Q possessions resulted in 3 punts. The Spartans would get 142 yards in the 4Q. ND did get 2 big plays with an 89 yard KR TD and then with ND leading 28-13, MSU had a 1st & gl at the 3 but was intercepted and returned 82 yards to the 12 setting up a ND 33 yard FG with 3:11 left. MSU gained 35 yards in the final 3:11.

Chris Rainey had a huge game for Florida with 233 total yards including an 82 yard TD reception and also blocked a punt. Surprisingly Tennessee had a 23-17 FD edge and UF only had a 347-279 yard edge but the Gators did lead this one 30-7. UT missed a 37 yard FG on the first possession then had a punt blocked on the 2nd setting up a UF FG. UF led 16-7 at the half but only with a 167-134 yard edge. UT was intercepted on the first play of the 3Q and UF converted on 4&1 for a TD capping a 42 yard drive then UF got an 83 yard TD pass by Rainey to lead 30-7. UT settled for a 20 yard FG to pull within 30-16 with 13:13 left and made it 33-23 with a TD with 4:46 left but their final drive ended on an int at the UF17.

Colorado St opened with an 80/9pl drive for a TD and led 7-0. It was 7-0 when Colorado took over with 7:55 left 1H and went 75/9pl for a TD. CU took over with 2:16 left in the half and converted on 3&18 with a crucial run then on 3&10, got a 24 yard TD pass with :12 left in the half to make it 14-7. The game was 21-14 when CU took over with 11:25 left and they went 85/16pl and got a 2 yard Hansen TD run with 1:15 left. CSU was SOD on 4&4 from the CU42 when they were sacked for a 9 yard loss.


Washington St led 17-14 at the half with a 260-221 yard edge. WSU appeared in complete control of the game as they got a 76 yard TD pass in the 3Q to lead 24-14 and then forced San Diego St to go 3 & out. The game turned on a roughing the P penalty, which gave the Aztecs a FD and 3pl later SDSt got a TD to pull within 24-21. SDSt didn’t take the lead until 10:31 was left on a TD to go up 28-24 and then WSU was at the Aztec25 when Lobbestael had the ball slip out of his hands on a sack which SDSt rec’d at the 36. After a WSU offsides, Hillman ran 59 yards for a TD and stunningly it was 35-24. WSU was intercepted at the SDSt13 and with 3:59 left was intercepted and returned all the way to their 20. On 3&11 the Aztecs got a 21 yard TD pass and it looked like an easy win but that was misleading.

Turnovers were clearly the key in the BYU/Utah game. On the 3rd play of the game, a bad snap went over Cougar QB Heaps’ head and he tried to pick it up and throw it incomplete but the ball slipped out of his hands and Utah fell on it for a TD. BYU fumbled on their next drive at midfield. BYU’s next drive went 74/8pl. They had a 1st & gl at the 6 but Di Luigi fumbled at the 3. BYU went 37/6pl and settled for a 45 yard FG and at this point had a 130-48 yard edge but trailed 7-3. BYU went 66/4pl for a TD in the 2Q to lead 10-7. Utah would get a 30 yard TD pass with :32 left in the half to lead 14-10 but BYU had a 227-187 yard edge. The Cougars would have 7 TO’s in the game. Four times on 3&long Utah had a pass interference give them a FD and that happened at the start of the 3Q. Three plays later Utah got a TD on a 59 yard pass, 21-10. After a 29 yard PR Utah had a 19 yard “drive” for a 39 yard FG to go up 24-10. BYU fumbled the KO on their own 3 setting up another Utah TD. Two possessions later BYU was sacked & fumbled on their 6. Utah got a 20 yard FG. BYU was SOD after a 60/12pl drive at the Utah 18 and a beleaguered BYU D gave up a 62 yard TD run. After a 20 yard IR set up Utah at the BYU35, White ripped off another 35 yard TD run and naturally Utah’s last score came with BYU at the Utah36 when they were sacked & fumbled and it was returned 57 yards for a TD. Each team had 20 FD’s.


Georgia opened the season 0-2 but had a 470-112 yard edge vs Coastal Carolina and a 23-7 FD edge. UGA went to backup QB Mason on the 2nd drive of the 3Q leading 38-0. The Bulldogs blasted CC 59-0. UGA’s streak of 64 straight home sellouts ended with 91,946 just 800 below capacity but there were thousands of empty seats. Their last non-sellout was in 2000 in Jim Donnan’s last HG.

The stats were impressive for USF as they had a 39-10 FD edge vs Florida A&M and a 745-181 yard edge. The game was actually 28-14 with FAMU getting one 7 yard drive after a TO but USF had a 537-112 yard edge at the half in the dominating win.

Purdue was coming off a loss to Rice where Rice blocked a FG at the end of the game and PU took out their frustration on SE Missouri. PU actually fumbled on its 2nd possession and settled for a 19 yard FG on its 3rd but their next 5 possessions all went for TD’s and Robert Marve saw his first action since coming back from an ACL and QB’d 2 series with the team scoring on both possessions as he hit 7-8-91. PU had a 38-0 lead at the half with a 396-57 yard edge. In the 2H PU only had 3 series but they were 68/8, 83/11 and 80/8pl all with TerBush back at QB all resulting in TD’s in the 59-0 win.


Michigan was in a clear letdown spot after their dramatic come-from-behind win vs Notre Dame and it showed. Eastern Michigan’s first 5 possessions were all in UM territory but they fumbled at the UM35, were SOD on 4&gl from the 1, settled for a 21 yard FG and were intercepted at the 3. They punted on their 5th possession but from the UM46. UM did not unleash Denard Robinson until they trailed 3-0 and got the int at the 3. Robinson then got 55 and 17 yard runs on the next series to key a 97/7pl drive for a TD to make it 7-3. EM missed a 50 yard FG on the final play of the half and it was 14-3 with UM only having a 215-185 yard edge. In the 2H UM went 83/13pl, 75/11pl and 84/13pl for 2 TD’s and a 4&1, 21 yard FG to win 31-3.