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

iowaIowa used the hurry up offense to make a big comeback vs Pitt the previous week overcoming a 17 pt 4Q deficit. They stayed in the hurry up vs ULM. UI scored TD’s on their first 2 drives and ULM went on a 57/14pl drive in between but settled for a 43 yd FG. Later ULM was SOD at the UI20 on a 4&4 dropped pass with 4:10 left in the half trailing 21-3 and UI marched 80/8pl getting a TD with 2:07 left in the half. That gave them a 28-3 lead with a 294-134 yd edge. ULM scored TD’s on their opening two 3Q drives to make it 35-17 but UI scored a TD and a 32 yd FG on their next 2 drives to ice it.

Michigan St bounced back off the Notre Dame loss taking advantage of 4 Central Michigan turnovers. They led 7-0 after 1Q when CM was intercepted on their next 3 poss. The 2nd of the interceptions, MSU returned directly for a 37 yd TD and they converted on the other two into a TD and a FG to lead 24-0. At the half MSU was up 31-0 and did have a 256-47 yd edge. CM had beaten MSU 29-27 on a last second FG when they last met in 2009. This time MSU finished with a 481-112 yd edge and ended the game at the CM26 taking a knee in the 45-7 win.

Penn St lost LB Michael Mauti to a knee injury in the 1Q vs Eastern Michigan and he’s out for the year. CB D’Anton Lynn went off strapped to a backboard as trainers looked at his neck and upper back after a 3Q hit. Rob Bolden started the game but PSU led just 3-0 when McGloin replaced him with 10:46 left in the 2Q. McGloin led drives of 63/5pl for a TD, 64/6 to a 1st & gl at the 5 but Zordich fumbled into the EZ for a TB and PSU went 31/5pl (after int) for a TD to lead 17-0 at the half. They had a 222-119 yd edge. McGloin’s TD pass on his first series was PSU’s first TD pass all season. Bolden returned for 2 series including a 71 yd TD pass (his first TD pass since Oct ‘10). PSU led 31-0 and 34-3. EM took over with 8:26 left and went 72/16pl and surprisingly on 4&gl from the 5 opted for a 22 yd FG.

Memphis suffered another demoralizing defeat with the stadium half empty for Homecoming. They were mauled by SMU 42-0. UM got into the RZ once which was late 1H when they got to the 10 yd line but their 4th down pass fell incomplete. Taylor Reed started and hit 17-32-153. SMU scored TD’s on their first 2 poss, fumbled at the UM37 then actually punted twice before going 47 (after 33 yd PR) and 44 yards for TD’s to lead 28-0. They also got to the 20 and were intercepted in the EZ and had a 302-117 yd edge at the half. SMU did only lead 28-0 after fumbling at the UM5 in the 3Q but went 88/15pl and got a 3&14 TD pass with 7:51 left then after a fumble went 13/3pl for another TD to lead 42-0 with 6:10 left.

Michigan’s Denard Robinson rushed for a season high 200 yards vs San Diego St but did hit just 8-17-93 yards passing. SDSt actually had a 20-18 FD edge and UM only a 413-376 yd edge. SDSt had won their first 3 games for the first time since 1981 but were matched up vs their former HC who knew them inside and out. UM led 21-0 at the half. In the 1H, SDSt fumbled at the UM39, was SOD on 4&3 at the UM29, had a FD to the UM18 called back on a hold and ended up punting. UM was intercepted on their first two 3Q poss and missed a 40 yd FG then fumbled at their own 38 setting up the Aztec’s only TD, 21-7 after 3Q’s. SDSt was SOD on 4&2 at the UM43 and UM went 57/4pl for a TD with 6:29 left. The Aztecs fumbled at the UM33 and on 4&10 from the UM13 had the pass dropped at the 1 at the end.

Bernard Pierce set a school record with 5 rushing TD’s as Temple, which gave Penn St a good fight the previous week, absolutely throttled Maryland leading 31-0 at the half and 38-0 before MD got a TD with 4:31 left to avoid a shutout. MD wore more questionable uniforms of yellow, black and red and QB O’Brien was sacked for the first 3 times on the year. TU drove 74, 78, 7 (after punt blk), 93 and 66 yards for 4 TD’s and a FG on their five 1H drives while MD punted on their first 4 poss and were SOD at the TU10 on their last. MD got an 80/8pl drive for a TD with 4:31 left to avoid the shutout and TU even finished with a 1st & gl at the 2 taking a knee.

Mohamed Sanu set a Rutgers school record with 16 rec’s but for just 176 yards. Tyler Tettleton threw for 339 yards for Ohio while Rutgers only had a 410-404 yd edge they turned three 1H TO’s into TD’s for a 21-7 lead. Ohio fumbled at their own 29 setting up a 5 pl drive for a TD and OU drove 26 yards for a TD after an int. OU fumbled at the RU37 with 5:43 left in the half trailing 14-7 and after RU got 1 FD & punted, OU not only fumbled the punt, but RU fell on it in the EZ for a TD and a 21-7 lead with 2:30 left in the half. OU pulled within 28-20 and had the ball at their 46 but fumbled again setting up a RU FG and RU then went 80/13pl with a substitution infraction on 4&1 giving RU a FD at the OU11 and they got an 11 yd TD pass on the next play to put it away 38-20 with 5:00 left. OU went 88/12pl getting a TD with 1:39 left.

Teams off losses have been pummeling their FCS opponents and Boston College did just that to UMass, even though they only finished with a 389-313 yd edge. Kellen Pagel is the UMass QB and he is ex-NFL QB Mike Pagel’s son. On his first pass on the first play of the game he was intercepted and BC drove 47 yards for a TD. BC was up 17-0 when UM got a 100 yd KR TD to get within 17-7 but at the half BC had a 213-103 yd edge and led 24-7. BC got an 18 yd FR TD to go up 38-10 with 1:17 left in the 3Q and UM went 76/13pl. On 3&gl from the 1, Pagel was intercepted and LB Pierre-Louis returned it 96 yards for a TD to make it 45-10 with 12:28 left. UMass gained 93 of their yards after that on their final 3 drives including a 69/6pl garbage TD.

Ball St dominated as in the 1H they had a 333-101 yd edge. It was 7-0 when Army drove 48/12pl and missed a 32 yd FG. BS then went 80/6pl, 7/11pl, 17/6pl (after int) for TD’s and went 56/11pl settling for a 21 yd FG on the final play of the half to lead 31-0. It was 45-7 after 3Q’s and Army drove 80/10pl for a TD with 12:49 left and each team would get a TD in the final 3:00.

Toledo lost RB Adonis Thomas in the 1Q and was missing 4 starters on defense. UT appeared in control early leading 10-0 after 1Q but Syracuse took a 30-27 lead on a score and a missed PAT which somehow was called good by the Big East officiating crew and was not overturned via replay with 2:22 left. UT’s opening drive was 75/22pl and they settled for a 20 yd FG and later UT was SOD at the Syr 31. The game was tied at 13 and 20 and UT got a TD with 10:54 left to take a 27-23 lead. Syr punted but then took over with 6:51 left and went 71/10pl for a TD and the lead. UT, after a PF face mask, had a 1st & gl at the 9 threatening for the win but settled for the tying FG and OT and was intercepted in OT while SU got a FG. The BE issued a formal statement 2 hours after the game admitting the officials erred on the xp call.

Georgia dominated Mississippi more than the final as they had 25-8 FD and 475-183 yd edges. UGA was intercepted at the Mississippi 41 but still led 17-0 when QB Rebs Mackey lined up at WR and threw a 38 yd TD pass on a reverse. With just 1:26 left in the half, UGA was up comfortably, 24-7 when UM ran a reverse on the PR and went 81 yards for a TD to make it 24-13. In the 3Q UGA missed a 48, 48 and 35 yd FG’s and Blair Walsh had 15 misses on 73 career FG’s and had 3 misses here. UM was SOD on 4&10 at their own 33 and Walsh finally hit a 43 yd FG with 4:16 left for the 27-13 final margin.

North Carolina appeared in control early with the opening drive going 63/8pl. RB Giovanni Bernard rushed for 155 yards including 52 on the opening drive, 7-0. Georgia Tech settled for 2 FG’s and missed 1 to make it 7-3 after 1Q. GT was up 10-7 when NC was intercepted at the GT21. GT took over with 5:16 left in the half and got a TD with :11 left to make it 17-7. At the half GT did have a 271-93 yd edge. It was 28-21 when GT punted for the first time with 12:03 left. NC was intercepted but got it back and Bernard’s 55 yd D run tied it with 7:22 left. GT went 61/4pl for a TD with 5:20 left, forced a punt with 3:07 left but punted with 1:35 left. NC got to their 41 but ran out of time.

Notre Dame had a 398-268 yd edge over Pittsburgh but only led at the half 7-6 because of a 79 yd Gray TD run. ND was intercepted at the Pitt5 and missed a 39 yd FG on the 1H. They had a 258-143 yd edge. Pitt had its opening 3Q poss kept alive by roughing the P and they got a TD for a 12-7 lead. the next 4 poss were punts. They Irish took over with 11:28 left and went 85/11pl getting a TD and 2 pt conv with 6:48 left. Pitt got to the ND40 but on 4&25 fired incomplete with 2:24 left.

It was unusual to see that Miami, OH and Bowling Green combined for 60 points yet BG only had a 310-308 yd edge. BG got an 18 yd TD drive after a fumble and MU got a 6 yd IR TD in the 1H. BG blocked a punt and rec’d at the 1 setting up a TD and led 20-17 at the half. BG opened it to 20-17 when MU got a TD with 11:03 left but BG fumbled the KO at their own 3 and faced a 2nd & 9 when Anthon Samuel set a school record with a 96 yd TD run. The TD was also a stadium record to put it away. MU’s last shot ended on an int in the EZ with 2:20 left.

Florida St was off their big game vs Oklahoma which they had looked forward to for 9 months and also was starting backup QB Clint Trickett who looked pretty good. Trickett hit 24-38-336 yards in his first start. He led FSU 67/8pl for a 32 yd FG. Clemson went 80/7pl for a TD then roughing the P gave them a FD and they went 77/8pl for a TD. They were up 21-10 at the half with a 227-168 yd edge. FSU got a 25 yd IR TD on the 4th play of the 3Q to get back in it 21-17. After a punt CU went 70/12pl for a TD, 28-17 but FSU went 80/7pl to make it 28-23. CU got a 62 yd TD pass, 35-23 (13:06 4Q). FSU went 78/4pl for a TD, 35-30 (7:21). CU was SOD on 4&1 at the FSU24 (2:49). FSU got to the 37 but on 4&9 Trickett was sacked with 1:37 left.

Akron finally got a win but it was vs lowly VMI who came in 0-3 in FCS play. VMI is shifting from the option to a pass offense and just in the 2nd year of that transition. UA rolled up 29-12 FD and 534-239 yd edges. UA did lead just 13-7 when running into the K gave them a FD and they continued on a for a FG to make it 16-7. At the half AU had a 359-105 yd edge.

Air Force piled up a school record 792 yards vs Tennessee St. The Falcons were coming off a bye week and a home loss so despite having Navy on deck, they put up some big points but they did give up a TD with :51 left and only won by 39 which was less than what they were favored by. AF had 37-17 FD and 595-188 yd edges. AF led 35-10 at the half and scored TD’s on their first 4 poss of the 4Q before punting with 5:57 left.

Wisconsin kept Russell Wilson in the game 3 drives into the 4Q when he got a TD to make it 52-3 with 12:28 left. South Dakota got a 44 yd IR to the UW22 with 7:37 left and their 4 yd TD pass with 6:44 left made it 52-10 but UW33 got 2 FD’s then on 2&12 Lewis ripped off a 41 yd TD run with 2:06 left. UW did have 612-173 yd and 25-9 FD edges.

Oregon St fell to 0-3 for the first time since 1996. OSU did have an 85 yd PR TD just before the half to get back in this one. It was the 2nd longest PR in school history. OSU finished with 375-357 yd and 22-17 FD edges. They went on an 82/17pl drive to open but settled for a 25 yd FG. UCLA went 80/3pl for a TD then after an int went 46/7pl for a TD and after a fumble went 4 yards for a TD and led 21-3 with :32 left in the half UCLA punted and OSU got an 85 yd PR TD. At the half UCLA had a 209-138 yd edge and led 21-10. OSU pulled back to 21-19 but missed the 2 pt conv on the final play of the 3Q. UCLA got a TD with 6:15 left but the xp was blocked leaving OSU within 8. They were SOD on 4&8 at the LA22 with 2:12 left and UCLA got 2 FD’s and ran out the clock..

Tulane did not force Duke to punt until the 4Q and Duke finished with a 484-318 yd edge despite the fact TU drove 77/8 and 96/11 for TD’s in the final 10:37 while Duke gained just 29 yards in that span after leading 48-13.

Trent Richardson rushed for 126 yards and added 85 yards in rec plus had 24 KR yards. Alabama had a 210-89 yd edge at the half but only led Arkansas 17-7 but Maze got an 83 yd PR TD, Richardson took a screen pass 61 yards for a TD and Bama rolled to a 38-14 lead after 3Q’s before playing conservative in the 4Q.

Braxton Miller got his first start for Ohio St and the passing numbers were not overwhelming as he hit just 5-13-83 yards after the Buckeyes not completing a pass to a WR the previous week, Miller hit a 32 yd pass to WR Devon Smith in the 2Q. Miller rushed for 83 yards on 17 carries. While it shows OSU only had a 336-314 yd edge and 20 point win, OSU did lead 37-10 when Colorado took over with 8:35 left and put together a 91/13pl drive including 3&10 and 4&10 conversions and they got a garbage TD with 3:31 left. After recovering the onside kick OSU ended the game on the CU1.

Houston rolled to a 56-0 rout of Georgia St. They had a 732-241 yd edge and at the end were at the GSU1 taking a knee in the final 2 plays.

The UAB/East Carolina game was very interesting. EC turned it over 7 times but still managed a 28-23 win. UAB also had 3 TO’s including an int in the EZ in the 2Q. EC led 14-10 at the half when they gave up a 35 yd IR TD. The Pirates still appeared poised to take control as they drove 62/6pl and 80/6pl for TD’s, 28-17. UAB QB Ellis was ? coming in and was taken off on a backboard and backup QB Perry fumbled. EC took over at the 50 and drove 50/7pl but going in for the TD with 13:29 left, Dobson fumbled into the EZ for a TB. Perry led UAB 80/6pl including a 51 yd pass and the TD made it 28-23 with 10:58 left. EC35 was driving for the clinching score and was at the UAB15 on 2&5 when they were intercepted at the 9. UAB9 took over with 7:02 left at their own 9 and went 73/17pl. Looking for the game winning TD on 4&8 from the 18, they fired incomplete in the EZ with 2:22 left and EC got 1 FD and ran out the clock. EC did have a 542-400 yd edge.

Louisiana Tech had a costly int in the 4Q or would have upset Miss St. MSU had 10 pts via special teams as they got their first PR TD since 2007. It was a 72 yd punt that Bumphis returned 82 yards for a TD in the 1Q. LT led 10-7 but MSU rallied to lead 17-10 at the half. MSU took a gamble in the 3Q going for it on 4&1 at their own 34 and was SOD and LT got a TD 6pl later to tie it but then LT fumbled a punt on their own 25 setting up a MSU FG and trailed 20-17. With 8:42 left, LT got a 28 yd FG to tie. They took over at their 20 with 6:50 left and got 3 FD’s to the MSU20. On 3&5 from the 20, Isham floated a pass in the corner of the EZ which was intercepted for a TB and the game went to OT. Isham tossed another int on the 2nd play of OT and MSU on 2&2 got a 17 yd TD pass to Perkins to pull out the win. LT had a 359-340 yd edge.

Western Michigan settled for too many FG’s in the 1H vs Illinois. WM in the 1H had a 227-200 yd edge but missed a 44 yd FG, went on an 18pl drive and missed a wide open rec on 1st & gl settling for a 26 yd FG, missed another FG, this one from 49 yards and went on a 13pl drive and settled for a 24 yd FG. At the half they only led 13-10. Illinois battled back to lead 20-13 but WM tied it with 13:58 left. UI got a 21 yd FG with 8:14 left for the lead. WM punted with 5:59 left and IU did a good job getting 3 FD’s before being SOD with 1:05 left and WM having no time-outs left. WM got 2 FD’s but too many of the plays were in bounds and they ran out of time at the IU41.

Troy won its 6th straight vs Middle Tenn despite being outgained 582-479 and not taking their first lead until 1:11 was left in the 3Q. They named the field at Veterans Memorial Stadium Larry Blakeney Field. MTSU led 28-24 when they settled for a 42 yd FG and missed it. Troy got a 75 yd TD pass on the next play and they forced 2 MTSU punts while scoring a TD and Troy led 38-28. MTSU got a TD with 3:18 left then forced a punt and got it back with 2:53 left and got to the Troy 35 but on 4&5 were intercepted at the 17.

Kansas St QB Colin Klein was very impressive hitting 12-18-133 vs Miami, FL while rushing for 93 including a crucial 26 yd run on 2&29 pinned at their own 3. K-St led 14-3 at the half and missed a 46 yd FG to open the 3Q. They still led 21-10 but UM got some big plays like a 59 yd TD run by Miller and a 34 yd TD pass to Benjamin and took a 24-21 lead. KSU answered with an 80/8pl drive for a TD. Each team punted but KSU only got off a 20 yd punt with 3:52 left and UM was able to get down to the 2 yd line. On 4&gl from the 1 Harris took off to the left and was clearly down and it didn’t even look like the ball ever crossed the goal line but he was awarded a TD. Replays marked the ball at the 1.5 yd line and KSU held on for the upset.

Southern Miss and Virginia appeared on their way to a shootout as it was 21-13 in the 2Q. UVA was intercepted at the 10 and SM missed a 41 yd FG. At half SM had a 243-183 yd edge and 21-13 lead with the key play being a 4&15 faked punt from their own 8 when the P doing his rugby style punt saw open field and took off running. They went 87/14pl for the TD. UVA went on a 17pl drive to open the 3Q and settled for a 21 yd FG. SM led 27-16 when UVA got a TD with 5:18 left and the 2pt conversion pulled them within 3. SM converted on 3&9 and then on 3&23 got a 41 yd pass to the 18. They settled for a 27 yd FG with 1:31 left and only led by 6. UVA got to the 50 but on 4&4 dropped a pass.

Bud Foster has a bit of work to do on his 2:00 defense but Virginia Tech was pretty dominant vs Marshall. They led 23-3 settling for a 41 yd FG with 1:10 left in the half but after holding Marshall to just 83 yards , gave up 71/3pl in the final 1:00 including a 29 yd TD pass and only led 23-10 at the half. VT missed a 37 yd FG in the 3Q and then had a FD at the MU33 and got an 18 yd run by Wilson down to the 15 but he fumbled with 5:28 left. Once again the last minute defense allowed 52/9pl before MU was SOD at the VT29 with 1:58 left. MU had 123 yards in the 2 last minute drives and 128 the rest of the game as VT rolled up 444.

Buffalo played Connecticut much closer than the 17-3 final. In fact, it was basically an even game. BU had a 319-293 yd edge and 16-13 FD edge. UC had an early 49 yd FG blk’d but BU had 3 trips inside the 20 result in 3 pts. They missed a 30 yd FG early 2Q. BU went 57/13pl and had a 1st & gl at the 7 but settled for a 28 yd FG and led 3-0. UC got a 47 yd FG with just 2:34 left in the half to tie it and appeared content to go to the locker room that way. They got it back on their 17 with 1:13 left. They got a 15 yd screen pass then a 64 yd pass to Williams got them to the 4 where they got a TD 2pl later and shockingly led 10-3. BU went on an 80/11pl drive but on 3&gl from the 5 was intercepted at the 2. The next 5 poss were punts. UC had a 3&7 at midfield when they got a 49 yd TD pass with 4:52 left to seal the game. BU punted with 3:26 left and was SOD on 4&9 at its own 33 with 1:46 left.

New Mexico St was without its starting QB Manley but his backup proved pretty capable as Matt Christian hit 17-28-238. He also rushed 13-58. San Jose St RB Rutley rushed for 209 yards, the first Spartans to top 200 yards rushing 7 year and SJS ended a 13 game losing streak. After a fumble, NMSt drove 45/5pl for a TD with 4:12 left in the half and actually led 10-7 but SJS tied it at the half. SJS got a 64 yd TD pass to open the 3Q then onside kicked and NMS rec’d and went 53 yards for a TD to tie. NMS got a 78 yd TD run to lead 24-17 with 8:35 left in the 3Q but the Spartans went 75/14pl for a TD (3:19 3Q), 53/6pl for a TD (31-24 13:59), 55/5pl for a 31 yd FG, 34-24 and were SOD at the NMSt33 with 1:47 left. The Aggies gained 47 garbage yards at the end getting to the Spartan 20 down by 10.

For the 3rd straight year Oklahoma St came back from a half time deficit. Brandon Weeden threw for a school record 438 yards and 2 scores. Texas A&M appeared in complete control scoring on 4 of their 1H poss while OSU had 3 punts. OSU scored TD’s on their first 3 poss of the 3Q while A&M punted, fumbled at the OSU44, was intercepted at their own 23, intercepted at their own 34, and punted on their first 5 poss. They trailed 30-20 when they drove 80/15pl for a TD with 2:20 left. They forced a punt with 1:47 left but turned it over again on an int on 2nd & 9. On the last play of the game OSU with :05 left opted for Blackmon to race 39 yards into the EZ for a safety which skewed the rushing stats a little as they lost 55 yards on the final 4pl and made the final 30-29.

Nevada unfortunately could not hold on to a 28-13 lead mid-3Q. Texas Tech on 4&4 with :36 left got a 4 yd TD pass to pull out the 1 pt win. Doege looked stymie as he took the snap on the final score, back peddled to the 17, scanned for an open rec, and found Eric Ward for the TD. Nev alternated QB’s Cody Fajardo and Tyler Lantrip but Fajardo’s 139 yards rushing were a spark. TT was without top WR Moore for most of the game (inj’d ankle 1Q). The key to the game was that Nev went on an 83/12pl, 63/11pl and 78/12pl drives that resulted in 3 FG’s of 31, 25 and 21 yards. Not only did they settle for those FG’s, the missed the 13 yarder and lost by a point.

All week Tulsa QB GJ Kinne was doubtful to play and while he did play, he hit just 14-24-123 yards. TU did not cross midfield in the first 38:30 of the game. Boise St had a 307-90 yd edge at the half leading 27-0 and scored a TD to open the 3Q to lead 34-0. Kellen Moore’s day was done and the backups played the rest where TU got 3 TD’s after that including a 59/8pl drive for a garbage TD with 3:19 left making the game appear closer than it really was.

Baylor punted on their first poss vs Rice but scored TD’s on the next 5 poss. They did have 2 short fields with a 28 yd PR setting up a 43 yd TD and a fumbled KR setting up a 21 yd TD drive. It was 35-17 when RJ3 fumbled at the end of a 26 yd run at the Rice 4 with :36 left. Baylor had a 381-211 yd edge at the half and 673-416 yd edge for the game.

Tim Flanders scored his 5th TD of the game in OT as Sam Houston St got past New Mexico. SHSt was favored in the game winning by 3. NM actually got a 98 yd KR TD to open but SHSt finished with a 547-528 yd edge. It was tied at 21 at half. Flanders’ 53 yd TD run with 7:33 left put SHSt up 42-28 but NM got a pair of TD’s (5:56, :27) to force OT. NM settled for a FG and SHSt got the Flanders’ 4 yd TD run in what would be NM HC Locksley’s final game for the Lobos.

Florida punted on their first 2 poss but then Kentucky fumbled with 8:18 left in the 1Q which opened the floodgates. UF has now outscored UK 94-3 in the 1Q of their last 4 games. They got a 45 yd TD pass on the first play after the fumble. UF went 43/4pl for a TD then after an int went 28/2pl for a TD to lead 21-0. UK went 69/11pl for a 24 yd FG to make it 21-3 at the end of the 1Q. UK fumbled and UF returned it 2 yards for a TD early 2Q. UF went 60/12pl for a 45 yd FG. UF fumbled on their own 26 and UK got a TD 2pl later, 31-10 (1:18 2Q). Driskell was intercepted at the UK10 on the last play of the half. UF in the 3Q got an 84 yd TD run by Demps, their longest run for a TD since Emmitt Smith had a 96 yarder vs Mississippi St in 1988. UK was intercepted and returned 30 yard to their 45 and UF got a 27 yd FG 11pl later. UK’s last 4 poss were all SOD’s at the UF44, 39, 32 and own 31 and UF got a 60 yd TD run on the next play after 1 of them. UF did have a 522-299 yd edge.

Auburn HC Chizik talked about a sense of urgency to get better but had a poor 1H vs a Florida Atlantic team that came in avg 98 ypg. The first play of the game Auburn was intercepted and FAU got a FG. Later, FAU’s woeful offense went 51/13pl for a 43 yd FG to get within 10-6 after Auburn had scored on 60 and 46 yd drives for a TD and FG. AU punted their next 2 drives then on 4&2 were SOD at the FAU41 and only led 10-6 at the half. AU threatened to blow it open in the 3Q as they got a 25 yd IR TD then after FAU was SOD at the AU34, 5pl later AU got a 51 yd screen pass to McCalebb for a TD, 24-6. FAU was intercepted and returned to the 19 but AU settled for a 31 yd FG then AU went 41/11pl and settled for a 37 yd FG and led 30-6 after 3Q’s. FAU amazingly drove 78/11pl to get a TD and 2 pt conversion with 9:26 left on what would be their very first TD of the entire season, 30-14 and Auburn missed a 47 yd FG on their next drive.

UTEP came into the USF game a banged up team missing their starting QB Lamaison as well as SAF Nixon and DL Reed. They actually played closer than the final would indicate. USF got a 71 yd Daniels TD run, the 4th longest in USF’s brief school history but UTEP hung with them and only trailed 31-17 at the half despite missing a 32 yd FG. After 3Q’s it was just 38-24. UTEP had the ball down 2 scores when they were intercepted at the USF40 with 9:44 left. USF went 60/8pl and got an 18 yd TD pass then on the next play got a 30 yd IR TD to blow it open 52-24. UTEP got 3 FD’s to the USF38 but on 4&21 fired incomplete.

Northern Illinois scored on all six 1H poss settling for a 22 and 44 yd FG and getting TD’s on the rest. Cal Poly punted on their first 3 poss but missed a 33 yd FG and trailed 34-7 at the half with NI having a 364-122 yd edge. CP scored a TD and FG on their first 2 drives of the 3Q to get within 34-17 and got a TD with 10:10 left to pull within 40-24. NI went 80/6pl for a TD with 6:58 left. After CP was SOD and NI fumbled, CP went 69/14pl getting a TD with :37 left for the final score.

Colorado St trailed 14-3 vs Utah St but rallied back to 14-13. They fumbled at their own 27 setting up a Utah St TD, 21-13. CSU opted to punt on 4&30 with 2:06 left as they had all 3 time-outs remaining and USt fumbled the punt at their own 15. CSU got the tying TD with :42 left and the 2 pt conversion. Each team scored TD’s on the first 2 poss. Utah St opted to go for the win and RB Turbin was stopped on the left sideline 3 yards short of the EZ and CSU got the outright upset win.

Oregon/Arizona was an interesting game as in the 1H the Ducks jumped out to a 35-3 lead and even though they had scoring drives of 80/8pl, 72/10pl and 80/8pl, those 3 drives ate up just 2:42, 2:19 and 2:06 TOP. It appeared over at 35-3 with 2:38 left in the half but Arizona drove 81/7pl for a TD with 1:04 left. Arizona then opened the 3Q with a 74/12pl and 65/9pl drives for TD’s and shockingly it was 35-24 (5:43 3Q). The Ducks went 75/8pl for a TD and Arizona converted on 4&1 and 4&6 on a 38/13pl drive but on 4&gl from the 6 were sacked back at the 22. The Ducks went 78/5pl for a TD with 9:55 left, 49-24. Arizona got a TD to get back within 49-31 with 6:29 left but UO rec’d the onside kick and drove 43/7pl for a the clinching TD with 1:45 left, 56-31.

Portland St played TCU a lot closer than the final score would indicate. Portland St took their opening drive 71/14pl but settled for a 22 yd FG. TCU got a 35 yd FG and the game was tied 3-3 when TCU too over with 4:22 left in the half. Six plays later TCU got a 66 yd TD pass with 1:55 left. TCU then got a 26 yd IR TD off backup QB Hubel and after a 42 yd PR got a 10 yd TD pass to Dawson for 3 TD’s in 1:18 and a 24-3 lead. They got a 65 yd TD run by James to open the 3Q. They went 66/11pl for a 24 yd FG and then on 4&2 opted to go for it and the pass was tipped over the middle but instead of being intercepted, Dawson caught it and took it the 73 yards for the TD, 41-3. PSU after a 15 yd punt went 13 yards for a 42 yd FG, 41-6 (12:40) but TCU got an 82 yd KR TD then a 43 yd PR set up a 40/4pl TD drive with 7:51 left. PSU went 87 yards on a 15 play drive getting a garbage TD with 1:39 left.

Arkansas St got the benefit of playing a Central Arkansas team without their starting QB Nathan Dick who was injured the previous week. CA’s backup QB Wynrick Smothers did a decent job hitting 16-31-224 and even guided a 72/12pl drive for a TD on their 2nd poss to lead 7-3. Two poss later they drove 65/11pl but settled for a 22 yd FG to trail 13-10. ASU led 19-10 at the half with a 266-190 yd edge. ASU went 83/10pl for a TD, 31/7 for a 21 yd FG and 53/6pl for a TD to open the 3Q, 36-10 (3:36). Smothers hit a 53 yd TD pass, 36-17 and ASU scored on their next 2 poss with a TD and FG then added a 31 yd IR TD.

Minnesota lost again to an FCS team and it was their 3rd loss in 5 years. They key play of the game happened just before the half. North Dakota St did have a 207-181 yd edge at the half and led 21-14. Minnesota tried a Hail Mary pass on 4&8 on the final play of the half and it was not only intercepted at the NDS18 but Heagle returned it 30 yards and as he was going down he latteralled to M. Williams who took it the final 52 yards for a TD and shockingly NDS led 28-14 at the half. NDS opened the 3Q with a 55/12pl drive to lead 31-14 but UM battled back with 53/10pl and 46/10pl drives for a TD and FG. UM alternated QB’s Shortell and Gray all game, 31-24. NDS missed a 35 yd FG with 2:58 left leaving UM in the game but Shortell on 2&10 was intercepted and returned 40 yards for a TD with 2:36 left to seal it, 37-24.

The Kent St/South Alabama game can be interpreted one of 2 ways. KSU led 33-0 in the 3Q before SAU battled back for the closer than expected 33-25 final. In the 1H KSU was far from dominating using a short field for most scores. KSU started at the 50 and went 3 &out but roughing the P gave them a FD on their 2nd poss. They would go 50/12pl for a TD. After a 21-yd PR, they got a 39 yd FG on a 7 yd drive, after an int they drove 42/7pl for a TD and their longest drive was a 51/11pl drive for a 35 yd FG, 19-0 and after an int they got a 28/1pl TD run, 26-0 at the half. SAU fumbled to open the 3Q at their own 11 and KSU got a TD 2pl later. SAU then rallied with a 60/5pl drive for a TD. After recovering a fumble they went 34/8pl for a 25 yd FG and SAU got a 71/5pl drive. The key was a 61 yd pass to the 10 and on 4&gl from the 9 a 9 yd TD pulled them within 33-17. SAU went 67/11pl but was SOD at the KSU5 then went 47/3pl and got a 2 yd TD run with 6:04 left, 33-25. SAU was intercepted at their own 48 with 2:53 left but got it back once more at their 20. They got to midfield and on the final play gained 34 yards down to the KSU23 but ran out of time.

UNLV was a big underdog last week vs Hawaii and won outright by 20. This time they were a big favorite over Southern Utah and played much better than the final score would indicate as they gave up 3 IR TD’s. In the 1H UNLV had a 197-105 yd edge but the key play was a 35 yd IR TD by SUU with 11:11 left in the 2Q and they trailed 10-7 with UNLV’s only TD coming on a 23 yd pass off a fake FG. UNLV did get a 45 yd FG with :10 left in the half to tie it at 10. On the first play of the 3Q they were intercepted and returned 22 yards for a TD and SUU then went 83/7pl and 55/13pl for a TD and FG to lead 27-10. UNLV fumbled and SUU went 31/5pl for a TD then 3pl later got a 74 yd IR TD (3rd) 41-10. UNLV would be SOD at the SUU23 and got a TD with :25 left and UNLV had 21-16 FD and 402-256 yd edges.

Even though Wyoming’s stadium has an official seating of 29,200 – 32,617 crammed the stadium with a good portion wearing Nebraska red. The Huskers had a big game vs Wisconsin on deck and were far from dominant early punting on 3 of their first 4 poss. They opened up a 14-0 lead when WY got a 48 yd TD pass with 3:37 left in the half, 14-7. NU missed a 50 yd FG on the final play of the half and only had a 205-170 yd edge. The Huskers got a big KR to open the 3Q and went 41/4pl for a TD then after Wyoming was SOD at the 50, Nebraska added a 20 yd FG 5pl later, 24-7. NU fumbled at the WY47 but WY missed a 32 yd FG. NU went 80/10pl for a TD with 13:55 left to go up by 24. WY went 80/14pl and on 4&6 got a 10 yd TD pass with 8:13 left to close it to 17. NU went 80/11pl and got a 1 yd D run with 3:57 left. Two plays later they got an int at the WY40. NU got a 22 yd run to the 17, an 11 yd run to the 2 but then took a knee on the final 2 plays.

Hawaii absolutely throttled UC Davis coming off an embarrassing loss to UNLV. In the 1H UH had a 21-1 FD and 486-51 yd edge. They scored 7 TD on 7 poss and QB Moniz tied an NCAA record by throwing for 7 TD’s in the 1H tying Florida’s Terry Dean (1984) Florida’s Doug Johnson (1997) and San Diego St’s Dennis Shaw (1969) for the record. Graves QB’d 3 drives in the 2H leading 1 TD drive, Austin came in for a series where they fumbled and even 4th string QB Shutter came in for the final series which they had a 1st & gl at the 2 and took a knee 3x.

South Carolina was somewhat fortunate to win the game by 18 points vs Vanderbilt and it was almost all due to their defense. Vandy had 5 FD’s and their 77 yards was the fewest SC had allowed in a game since holding Wake Forest to 66 back in 1987. SC had a 17-5 FD and 367 yards but QB Garcia had 4 int’s and all 3 TD’s were on the fortunate side. SC was intercepted at the VU7 then SOD at their own 40 but VU punted each time. SC was intercepted at their own 45 and returned 23 yards and VU got a 33 yd FG to lead 3-0. SC was intercepted at the VU36 but VU was sacked and fumbled. Allen scooped it up and returned it then fumbled and Ingram fell on it for the TD, 7-3. VU was intercepted at the SC23 and 2 poss later SC got a 16 yd PR. SC was at their own 48 when they threw a little bubble screen to Lattimore which he took 52 yards for a TD with just :13 left in the half and stunningly SC led 14-3. In the 3Q SC faced a 3&21. Garcia threw a Hail Mary which bounced off the rec and the ball bounced into the trailers hands (Sanders) for a 51 yd gain. On the next play Lattimore got a 22 yd TD run and SC got its 3rd fortunate TD, 21-3. SC did go 27/7pl and missed a 46 yd FG then got to the VU9 and was intercepted in the EZ They brought in backup QB Shaw and ran 6 of his first 8 plays but were SOD at the VU35 with 7:20 left.

In the 1H North Texas had a 371-161 yd edge vs Indiana but had a 25 yd FG blocked, fumbled at the IU31, fumbled at the IU42 and did not score until the final 3 drives of the half when they went 91/3pl, 57/8pl and 68/8pl for TD’s to lead 21-0 with IU missing a 49 yd FG. NT got an int to open the 3Q and drove 4 yards for a 40 yd FG, 24-0. Six punts. IU went 61/13pl but was SOD at the NT23 but got a 31 yd IR by Murphy with 11:04 then recovered the onside kick. They got 1 FD and punted and NT went 3 & out and Kiel came in at QB. IU went 67/6pl with a 44 yd TD pass. NT recovered the onside kick and punted. IU13 got a 4&18 PI FD then a 67 yd TD with 1:05 left but NT rec’d the onside kick.

Oklahoma had not trailed at home in 20 straight games (since 2007).

USC played Arizona St a lot closer than the final would indicate. In the 1H USC had 4 drives inside the ASU25. They settled for 3 short FG’s and were intercepted at the 16. ASU got a 70 yd TD run, a 51/8pl TD drive then after a 36 yd IR drove 48/8pl for a TD and led 21-9 at the half with only a 220-166 yd edge. USC went 65/6pl and 80/9pl for TD’s to open the 3Q to take the lead, 22-21. ASU went 76/8pl for a TD. USC fumbled at the ASU25 then went on a 73/11pl drive. Poised to take the lead on 3&5, Barkley was sk’d and fumbled at the ASU18 with 10:21 left. ASU went 82/11pl for a TD then on the next play, got a 41 yd IR TD to blow it open, 43-22. USC was SOD at their own 30 with 4:58 left.

FIU lost starting QB Wesley Carroll in the 1Q to injury (1-3-8) vs Louisiana. FIU had scored a TD on their first poss going 67/4pl for a TD. A punt pinned FIU at the 1 and holding in the EZ gave UL as safety mid1Q and UL added a 48 yd FG after the free kick then after a 14 yd PR to the FIU30, added a 39 yd FG to take an 8-7 lead. They got a 4&1, 41 yd TD pass with :50 left in the half to lead 15-7 but FIU got a 69 yd KR and 11 yd TD run to pull within 15-14 at the half. UL did have a 208-117 yd edge. The teams scored TD’s on the first 3 poss of the 3Q with UL getting 2 of them to lead 29-21. After 2 punts, FIU went on a 93/13pl drive but settled for a 20 yd FG to pull within 29-24 and UL got a 46 yd TD pass to go up 36-24. FIU got a TD with 6:51 left to pull within 5 but was SOD at its own 41 with 3:49 left and their final drive started at their own 5 with 2:50 left and they got to the 50 but on 3&21, backups QB Jake Medlock who hit 17-27-216 was intercepted on a deep pass at the UL17.

It was an interesting game with LSU and West Virginia as WV QB Geno Smith set school records for passing yards (463) attempts (65) and completions (38). LSU’s P Brad Wing pinned WV 6 times inside their 15 including 3 inside the 5. LSU benefitted from a 4-0 TO edge. WV got off a 14 yd punt and LSU went 58/8pl for a TD. WV fumbled at the 50 and was intercepted at the LSU41 and LSU went 50/7pl for a TD, 13-0. WV went on a 73/12pl drive for a TD to get back to 13-7 but LSU got a 52 yd TD pass with 6:57 left in the half. WV had the ball in the final minute of the half and on 3&19 opted to go for it instead of running out the clock. Smith’s pass was tipped and intercepted by Mathieu who returned it 19 yards to the 1. LSU got a gift TD 2pl later with :26 left in the half to go up 27-7. At the half WV did have a 241-204 yd edge. WV scored two 3Q TD’s to pull within 27-21 and the crowd was excited by Claiborne returned the ensuing KO 99 yards for a TD. WV was SOD at the LSU43, fumbled at the LSU45 and the Tigers went 57/9pl, 55/8pl for a pair of TD’s to turn it into a blowout and impressed the pollsters to move to #1 in the AP Poll.

Phil Steele is the editor and publisher of the annual Phil Steele’s College Football Preview. Make sure to visit his website You can also interact with Phil when you “Like” him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@philsteele042).