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


Many of you are probably wondering how I come up with the information featured in this article? Each Saturday I have 12 TV’s in front of me so I myself have an eye on 12 games but it’s possible to miss things happening in 11 others when I’m focusing in on 1. I also have my staff out in the office also watching one individual game on TV and doing totalcasts for as many as 3 others at the same time. They chart each play in the game then I collect the information and dissect EACH AND EVERY FBS game – even when an FBS is playing an FCS (formerly IAA) team.

What makes my News & Notes different from others is that I analyze each and every drive of every single game – giving you information that you WON’T find by glancing at a boxscore and providing an overall feel for how the game was REALLY played. Enjoy!

Let’s get it started…

Arizona had a young O-line making its first road trip and was also without top WR Juron Criner. Oklahoma St dominated going 88/9pl, 80/12pl and 70/10pl on their first 3 poss for a 21-0 lead while UA had 2 FD’s on their first 3 poss. OSU led 21-0 at the half and was never threatened. QB Brandon Weeden hit 22 of his first 23 passes and finished 42-53-397.

FIU got its first ever win against a BCS foe and did it with 3 big plays. For the game Louisville had a 24-9 FD edge but UL’s first drive was 10pl but not only ended on an int, Winston Fraser returned it 71 yards for a TD. FIU got a short pass to TY Hilton who took it 74 yards for a TD then Hilton split the DB’s and got behind them for an 83 yard TD pass and FIU stunningly led 21-3. UL did blow a couple of opportunities in the game. Trailing 24-10 they were SOD on 4&1 at the FIU12, SOD on 4&13 at the FIU36 and then scored a TD with 1:49 left to pull within 24-17 but FIU rec’d the onside kick. Hilton set a school record with 201 yards receiving.

It was an interesting Friday nighter for Missouri and Arizona St. Each team settled for some FG’s after long drives and MO led 16-10 at the half thanks to a blocked xp. ASU scored TD’s on 89/10pl and 60/7pl drives and led 30-16 with 14:23 left in the game. The Devils then forced a punt on 4&18 but fumbled the punt then pass interference on 3&15 gave MO a FD and MO got a 25 yard TD pass on the next play. On MO’s next drive they converted on 3&14 and later on 4&gl from the 3 to tie it with 2:50 left. MO did miss a 48 yard FG with :12 left and ASU won it on a TD in OT.

Oregon St came in as a banged up team vs Wisconsin and was only outgained 397-284 but didn’t do themselves any favors. They had a -4 yard punt in the 1Q setting up the Badgers first TD, a 3&13, 17 yard pass 3pl later. An OSU PF pen on the punt gave UW the ball at their own 49 and Wilson hit a 10 yard TD pass on 3&5.The Badgers added a TD with :27 left in the half to lead 21-0. Once again OSU benched QB Katz early and Mannion took almost all of the snaps. OSU fumbled at the UW13 and was SOD at the UW17 on 2 of their last 3 drives.

It’s not very often that a team has 1 FD for an entire game. In fact the last time Michigan St held an opponent to just 1 FD was back in 1944 vs Maryland. MSU scored a TD or got a FG or missed a FG on their first 8 drives then got a 39 yard FR TD to lead FAU 44-0 with 8:22 left and finally punted for the first time with 3:36 left in the game. They had a 434-48 yard edge.

Army did have a 446-292 yard edge vs San Diego St but was -3 in TO’s. Army fumbled at the SDSt42, fumbled at their own 26 and trailed 14-0 but it was 14-14 at the half with Army having a 245-130 yard edge. Army was SOD at the SDSt48 and on their final drive, down by 3, were on the fringe of FG range on 3&19 from the 34 when they took a 6 yard sack and had to go for it on 4&25 and fired incomplete.

Toledo scored their first points ever vs Ohio St having lost their previous 2 vs the Buckeyes by a combined score of 87-0 in ‘98 and ‘09 as they nearly upset OSU. In fact, OSU needed a 69 yard PR with :46 left in the half to lead 21-15. In the 2H TOL had a bad snap on a 51 yard FG and on their final drive they took over with 3:08 left and got to the Buckeye15 but on 4&5 fired incomplete and came up 5 pts short. TOL had a 338-301 yard edge.


Illinois had their biggest win since 1944 as they scored on 7 consecutive drives and rolled to a 56-3 win. They had 27-6 FD and 519-96 yard edges. South Dakota St did not get their first FD until the 2Q and had just 54 yards offense at the half. Illinois FB Becker left the game in the 1H and may be out for the season. It was 42-3 when backup QB O’Toole came in with 8:58 left in the 3Q guiding the team to a 30/4pl TD drive.

Tough loss for Central Michigan vs Kentucky and the key play came on a 4th down gamble. In the 1H CM went on an 81/16pl drive and settled for a 19 yard FG. Later they went 67/12pl settling for a 31 yard FG. They had a 227-93 yard edge but only led 13-6 at the half. On their 3rd 3Q poss, they went for it on 4&inches at their own 34 and were SOD. On the next play, UK got a 34 yard TD pass UK was then pinned at its own 13 when they got an 87 yard TD run to take their first lead, 20-13 and finally drove 85/13pl for a TD with 5:35 left to clinch it. CM finished with a 383-344 yard edge but lost by double digits.

Alabama’s D gave up 54/16pl on the opening drive of the game for a 43 yard FG and pretty much controlled the 1H with a 171-92 yard edge settling for a 22 yard FG after one 10pl drive and led 17-3. Bama got a TD by Richardson with 6:14 left as he rushed for 111 yards and 2 TD’s. Penn St then went 71/14pl incl 3&10 and 3&20 conversions and got a garbage TD with 1:53 left for a big part of their 251 yards.

N Carolina had a 5-0 TO deficit vs Rutgers and was actually outFD’d 19-17 but that is not indicative of the game. NC had a 286-91 yard edge in the 1H but due to the TO’s, only led 17-12. They led 24-15 with 1:12 left in the 3Q when RU went on a 62/13pl drive including a 4&12 conversion getting a TD with 10:40 left. RU’s last drive went 33/9pl but on 4&7 they were SOD at their own 42 and NC ended the game at the RU7.

Nobody gave Auburn a chance vs Miss St after their poor performance vs Utah St but they managed to extend the NCAA’s longest win streak to 17 and were highly motivated by being an underdog at home. AU led 14-0 but after MSU tied it at 14, AU gave up a 27 yard IR TD. AU still rallied and led 34-24 at the half and then got a TD with 14:03 left in the game for a commanding 41-27 lead and even forced a MSU punt with 9:43 left. MSU went 83/12pl getting a TD with 4:51 left then forced a punt with 2:52 left. MSU drove 67/11pl. On 2nd & gl from the 2 with no time-outs, they swept QB Relf and he was tackled at the half yard line.

Iowa had a 10-0 lead early vs Iowa St but it was 10-10 at the half. ISU led 17-16 but UI drove 80/11pl and got a TD with 5:50 left and the 2 pt conv put them up 24-17. ISU’s last drive in regulation featured a 3&16, 20 yard pass, a 3&20, 40 yard pass, a 4&1 conv and then on 3&gl got a 4 yard TD run. UI scored in the first of 3OT’s with a TD and ISU faced a 4&gl at the 4 and got a TD to keep the game going. In the 3rd OT UI got a FG and ISU a TD for the win. ISU had not scored a meaningful TD vs UI since 2006.

East Carolina QB Davis had 260 yards and 4 TD’s vs South Carolina but finished with just 127 yards passing, an int and was sacked 5 times. Virginia Tech did have 20-11 FD and 332-112 yard edges but blew a couple of opportunities and actually needed a TD with 7:30 left to take their first lead of the game in their 17-10 win. VT got a 38 yard drive for a TD after a 30 yard punt, on 1st & gl from the 6 were int’d in the EZ and after having a FD at the EC14 settled for a 39 yard FG at the end of the half. VT’s winning drive was 89/13pl for the TD with 7:30 left and EC’s last 2 poss ended on a punt with 5:33 left from their own 26 and on 4&18 they fired incomplete from their own 43 and VT took a knee.

Idaho QB Reader threw for 299 yards and 4 TD’s and UI’s D had 2 IR TD’s. UI finished with 424-197 yard and 23-11 FD edges. They missed a FG and settled for a FG and only led 3-0 when North Dakota got a 79 yard PR TD to stunningly lead 7-3 (9:37 2Q). ND then got a 54/1pl TD pass 14-3 (7:33 2Q). UI went 80/15pl for a TD with 1:01 left in the half then went 71/6, 58/9, 91/11, their first 3 3Q poss to lead 31-14. They blew it open late when a 19 yard IR to the ND18 set up a 1pl 1 yard TD run by Bass then 2pl later with backup QB Goska in for ND, the Vandals got a 37 yard IR TD with 4:41 left for the 44-14 final.

Tulsa/Tulane was a 3-3 game with 4:08 left in the half. TLN was at the TLS35 but on 3&15 they were int’d and TLS went 73/6pl for a TD and a 10-3 lead. TLN’s first two 3Q drives ended in a missed 44 yard FG and a fumble at the TLS23 and TLS had TD drives of 82, 77 and 67 yards to go ahead 31-3. TLN fumbled at the TLS39, was SOD at the TLS42 and punted on their final 3 drives.

The key play of the Arkansas St/Memphis game happened early 2Q when Memphis, down 10-0, was SOD on 4&1 at the ASU29. ASU got a 71 yard TD pass on the next play to make it 16-0 and would go 82/13pl and 90/11pl for TD’s on their next 2 poss to blow it open at the half. ASU scored 2 TD’s and a FG on their first three 3Q poss, the 2nd 2 were led by backup QB Smith and they had a 611-169 yard edge.

Ohio had a dominant 22-9 FD and 392-124 yard edges vs Gardner-Webb. OU got scoring drives of 40 and 28 yards and also got an IR TD but also blew some scoring drives. They had a 1st & gl at the 5 but fumbled, missed a 53 yard FG, fumbled at the GW47, were int’d at the GW35, SOD at the GW15 and settled for a 24 yard FG with 4:51 left.


Dan Persa sat out a 2nd straight game and Kolter hit 10-14-104 yard and rushed for 109 for Northwestern. Kolter injured his shoulder and only returned for a few plays later vs Eastern Illinois with 3rd string QB Trevor Siemian guiding 2 drives incl a 1 yard TD pass with 11:01 left and then Watkins was in for the final NW 2 drives. NW on 4&8 at the EI22 just ran the ball in the line for 3 yards with 1:27 left and EI got a 76 yard run and a 3 yard garbage TD with :07 left to make the stats closer than they really were at NW 437-341.

Nothing misleading about the Wash St/UNLV final. WSU scored on their first 5 drives of the game as Marshall Lobbestael hit 24-32-361 and they then scored on their first 3 drives of the 2H with the 3rd drive being led by backup Halliday. WSU made it 59-0 with 5:29 left and LV’s only score came on a 95 yard KR TD. WSU’s final drive was SOD at the LV20 and they also had a 35 yard FG blocked.

Southern Miss appeared in control vs Marshall as they were up 17-3 and had the ball with 2:00 left 1H. They only got off a 27 yard punt and MU went 41/7pl for a TD, 17-10. In the game SM turned it over SIX times and had a punt blocked. SM fumbled at their own 35 early 3Q setting up a MU TD. MU took the lead with a TD with 1:19 left 3Q. SM was pinned at its 1 and RB Hardy was tackled for a safety and MU led 26-17. SM fumbled at the MU27, settled for a 28 yard FG then rec’d the onside kick but as you would expect, with 1:00 left on 3&10 ended the game on their 6th TO, an int at the 43.

New Mexico St/Minnesota looked to be a high scoring game as at the half, NMSt had a 21-14 lead and a 271-199 yard edge. They even blew a couple of scoring opportunities in the 1H as UM had a 1st & gl at the 4 but was int’d in the EZ and NMSt missed a 45 yard FG. UM missed a 38 yard FG in the 3Q but down 28-21, the Gophers had a 1st & gl at the 7 and got the game-tying TD with 7:54 left to make it 28-28 but replays re-spotted the ball at the footline and on 4&gl at the footline UM was stopped. NMSt got 4 FD’s’ and punted and UM got to the NMSt25. Coach Kill had a seizure on the sideline and the game was halted for a half hr and when they returned UM’s 4th&10 pass fell incomplete and NMSt held on for the upset.

Texas/BYU was played in 98˚ heat and BYU wilted in the 2H with UT having a 201-67 yard edge. UT QB Gilbert was benched and QB’s Ash and McCoy alternated on every poss the rest of the game. Gilbert had a couple of costly int’s and BYU jumped to a 13-0 lead. UT settled for a 23 yard FG late 1Q. In the 2H UT was SOD on 4&1 at the BYU13 and then up 17-16, had the ball at the BYU30. RB Brown broke off a run and had a shot but was tackled at the 14 of BYU and the Longhorns took a knee 2x.

Not many teams survive a defensive TO for a TD. It’s extremely rare when a team wins a game having 2 def TD’s go against them. Georgia pretty much controlled the South Carolina game from start to finish. In fact 3 of their first 4 drives got to the RZ but they settled for 3 FG’s and actually missed a chipshot 33 yard FG and led 6-3. SC ran a fake punt on 4&7 at their own 32 and DT Ingram got a FD and the 276 lb’r raced 68 yards for a TD. In the 3Q UGA appeared in control again leading 20-14 and had the ball at the SC39. RB Crowell, who hurt his ribs in the 1H was not 100% and fumbled when SC returned it 57 yards to the 5 basically a TO for a TD as SC got a 5 yard “drive” for a TD. SC then got a 25 yard IR TD to lead 28-20. UGA tied it and then retook the lead 35-31 but again was sacked & fumbled and SC returned it for a TD. At the end, SC rec’d an onside kick and got a FD and took a knee. Basically 4 def and ST TD’s vs UGA and they only lost by 3.

Connecticut/Vanderbilt was a pure defensive struggle. The two teams combined for 12 sks for -72 yards, there was 2 def TD’s and a blocked punt for a TD. CT fumbled at their 42 setting up a 42/1pl TD pass for VU and VU went 80/6pl for a TD to lead 14-3 after 1Q with the 2Q producing 5 FD’s combined and 7 punts and 2 TO’s. After an int CT drove 6 yard for a 28 yard FG then blocked a punt for a TD, 14-13 and got a 64 yard FR TD in the 4Q to lead 21-14. VU got a 50 yard IR TD with 6:45 left to tie then after a 48 yard run by Stacy got a 31 yard FG with 2:56 left for the lead. Conn on 4&16 fired incomplete from their own 25 with 2:09 left.

Florida was impressive for a 2nd straight week. They settled for FG’s on their first 2 drives. UAB had 2 of their first 3 drives getting 2 FD’s and had another FD wiped out by a hold on the first drive and punted. On their 3rd drive UAB got a 38 yard TD pass after 2 FD’s but it was wiped out by illegal shift and on 4&2 they were SOD. UAB had a snap go over the P’s head for a safety with 2:32 left and after the extremely poor free kick UF drove 52/5pl for a TD with 1:09 left to score 9 pts in the final 2:32 and open it up 25-0. UF had a 308-95 yard edge at the half. In the 2H UAB had a FD at the UF30 and fumbled then ran a fake punt from its own 36 and was SOD setting up a UF 36/3pl TD drive. The Gators finished with 512-212 yard and 28-11 FD edges and led 39-0 after 3Q before putting the offense away in the 4Q. UF had the advantage of a game under their belts as both teams who didn’t play the opening weekend were blown out.

Darron Thomas matched a school record with 6 TD passes as Oregon rebounded from their LSU loss with a 69-20 win. The loss snapped Nevada’s 7 gm win streak as they came out of last season 13-1 and ranked #11. Tyler Lantrip took over at QB for Kaepernick (NFL) and hit 21-35-219 yards and rushed 10x for 51 yards. UO led 55-13 after 3Q and the Ducks scored 2 TD’s in the last 2:24, one after UN was SOD at their own 27 and the 2nd on a 68 yard IR TD with :20 left.

Mike Glennon, the man who replaced Russell Wilson at NC State hit 24-41-315 yards but a lot of it came in the 2H with NCSt down 34-13. At the half Wake Forest had a 278-127 yard edge. With Tanner Price at QB, WF led Syracuse by 15 when he was injured in Wk1. He returned to the lineup and hit 22-35-297 yards completing his first 8 passes. NCSt did pull within 34-27 on a 4&10, 63 yard TD pass with 5:34 left. NCSt’s final drive got to the WF38 and on 4&10 they dropped what would have been a sure a FD pass.

Keith Price is replacing Jake Locker at Washington and he hit his first 8 passes hitting 18-25-315 yards. UW survived the dreaded 14 pt swing in the 2Q threatening to take a 28-7 lead on 3&8 from the 10 Price was int’d and returned 99 yards for a TD. In the 1H UW had a 370-192 yard edge and led 28-14. Hawaii did fmbl at the UW5 and were SOD at the UW9 in the 1H. UH took over at the UW27 following a -5 yard punt and they trailed 38-26. They got a TD with 1:39 left but UW blocked the xp and returned it for 2 and instead of only trailing 38-33 it was an 8 pt game at 40-32. UW rec’d the onside kick.

USC had a 416-319 yard edge vs Utah but a 3-1 TO deficit. The Trojans were SOD at the Utah32, int’d at the Utah15, had a FD at the Utah12 and fumbled and Utah which had been outgained 239-68 drove 84/12pl for a TD with :34 left in the half to get back in it at 10-7. USC led 17-7 when a fmbl set up Utah for a 51/1pl reverse to the 1 and a TD on the next play to make it 17-14. USC had a 47 yard FG wiped out by a false start pen and punted and the next 8 poss were punts. Utah took over at their own 33 and on the controversial final drive they had an int dropped by a LB and on 4&10 were spotted short but they reversed the spot via replay it and gave them the FD at the 38. A pass interference penalty gave Utah a FD to the 23 with :11 left and the Utes lined up for the game tying 41 yard FG. It was blocked and returned for a TD. The officials originally wiped it off the board as the USC players came on the field while the return was in progress and the final was announced 17-14. The Pac-12 stepped in and said the Pac-12 rule is that unsportsmanlike conduct penalties by substitutes are enforced as dead ball fouls. Therefore the TD was allowed making it 23-14.

Air Force came in expecting an upset and while they actually had a 416-410 yard edge, AF gained 128 of their yards in the 4Q when trailing 35-9. TCU had the game locked up 35-9 and AF surprisingly went for a 22 yard FG on 4&4 with 8:18 left. Still their next 3 poss were punts and AF took over at their 22 with the score 35-12. AF would get 2 FD’s and then a 33 yard pass to the 4 with :28 left and with :04 left in the game, a 1 yard TD run to make it 35-19. Once again, AF had 128 of their yards in the 4Q.


Colorado St has won the last 16 meetings in this series and are 17-0-1 vs Northern Colorado. This time they had 28-9 FD and 501-216 yard edges but NC got a garbage TD with 6:43 left to only lose by 19. CSU got a safety with 10:23 left for a 33-7 lead and had the game in hand. After the free kick they got 2 FD’s to the NC28 and were running out the clock when they fired incomplete on 4th down. On the next play, NC got a 66 yard TD run with 6:27 left. CSU went 47/10pl and they ran out the clock.

Keenan Allen got a 5 yard TD pass in OT’s from his half brother Zach Maynard as Cal beat Colorado, 36-33, in a game that did not count as a league game. Tyler Hansen finished with a school record 474 yards with speedy Paul Richardson having 11 catches for 284 yards. CU had a 582-370 yard edge. The Bears had leads of 16-6 and later 23-13 but CU got a FG with :30 left to force OT. Cal’s TD came 2pl after they converted on 1st & 30 at their 35 in OT with a 32 yard pass. Hanson became the first QB to top 400 yards passing vs Cal since 2005.

Pitt did struggle at times vs Maine and MU’s QB Smith hit 27-45-334 yards. QB Tino Sunseri was pulled with Pitt ahead 28-15 in the 4Q and backup Anderson led a 52/11pl TD drive and Pitt led 35-15 with 8:39 left. MU gained 159 yards on their final 2 drives going 81/13pl for a TD with 3:12 left. Pitt rec’d the onside kick, got 1 FD and missed a 39 yard FG with 1:13 left and MU gained 78 yards on 10pl getting a garbage TD with :03 left.

Once again the Irish shot themselves in the foot and lost a game they were in control of. In the 1H Notre Dame had a commanding 15-3 FD edge and 268-90 yard edge. The Irish went 57/7pl and 83/10pl for TD’s and Michigan would have 2 FD’s on their first 4 poss. On their 5th poss, on 2&8 they got 43 yard TD pass and stunningly pulled within 14-7. ND was intercepted at the UM2 and settled for a 38 yard FG and only led 17-7. ND fmbl’d at the UM29 but drove 71/7pl for a TD, 24-7. UM got a 77 yard TD pass to Hemmingway which Robinson threw as he was being sk’d and that set up a TD, 24-14. ND got off a 25 yard punt and UM went 40/5pl for a td to pull within 24-21. ND was poised to put it away when they had a 1st & gl at the 9 but fmbl’d. UM took over with 2:16 left and got a 21 yard TD pass with 1:12 left for a stunning 28-24 lead. ND appeared to put it away again getting a 29 yard TD pass with :30 left to go up 31-28 but UM went 80/3pl and got a 64 yard pass to Gallon on 2&10 on a pass around midfield which he was left wide open and weaved through the secondary. UM turned down the FG and went for the TD and got a 16 yard TD on the next play with :02 let for the win. It was the first night game at Michigan Stadium and the crowd was loud and vibrant throughout.

Stony Brook blew a couple opportunities vs Buffalo as they were SOD on 4&3 from the BUF36 and BUF got a 57 yard TD pass on their first play, 21-7 at the half. SBU fmbl’d at their own 25 setting up a BUF TD in the 3Q and in the 4Q SBU had a 1st & gl at the 4 and fmbl’d again.

Wyoming did only lead Texas St 17-10 at the half thanks to a 20 yard FG on the last play of the half. After being intercepted at the TSU20 on their first 3Q poss, WY went 62/6, 80/8p and 77/4pl for TD’s to blow it open 38-10. TSU missed a 32 yard FG with 6:36 left and WY added a 50 yard TD run with 2:11 left, actually gaining 116 of their 618 yards on their final 2 drives and Texas St had just 189 total yards.

Eastern Michigan had a dominating 336-(-13) rush edge vs Alabama St but blew a couple opportunities and ASU got a 48 yard TD drive following a fmbl and EM only won 14-7.

Preparing for the triple option is always tricky and Clemson struggled vs Wofford’s triple option as they only had a 476-399 yard edge and only led by 1 score late and WU had the ball 2x, down by 8. CU took a chance out of the box going for it on 4&1 at the Woff49 and were SOD and WU for a TD 5pl later. WU used a fake punt late 2Q to go 74/12pl for a TD to lead 21-13 and it was 21-21 at the half. WU got a 61 yard pass on the 2nd play of the 3Q for a FG to lead 24-21. CU went 65/12pl for a TD to take the lead. WU went on a 13pl drive for a 38 yard FG and CU answered with a 58/8pl drive for a TD with 14:35 left, 35-27. WU was intercepted at the CU40, punted from the CU39 and were SOD at their own 31 on the final 3 poss.

It was 2 completely different games in the Norfolk St/West Virginia game. NSU dominated the 1H with a 242-143 yard edge and WV did not get its first FD until their 2nd play of the2Q. NSU led 12-10. WV scored TD’s on its first 5 poss of the 2H and NSU got 2 FD’s in the 2H. WV’s final score was with backup QB Mallard in and a 4&8, 30 yard TD pass with 3:18 left in the 55-12 win.

Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson had concussion like symptoms and only played the 1H vs New Mexico. The Hogs rolled up 362 yards in the 1H and blew a couple scoring opportunities as they missed a 48 yard FG and settled for a 24 yard FG and were intercepted at the NM21. NM fmbl’d at the UA20 blowing a scoring chance for them. In the 3Q UA with backup QB Mitchell in went 55/8pl for a TD then went on an 8pl drive but fmbl’d at the NM15. Later, UA got a 54 yard TD pass and a 91/13pl drive for a TD to make it 52-3 with 4:28 left. NM was SOD at the UA31 with :46 left.

Tennessee did roll up a 34-18 FD edge vs Cincy and 531-396 yard edge. UC scored on their opening drive and UT answered with a 73/7pl TD drive then onside kicked and went 59/5pl for a TD. After a UC TD the Vols fmbl’d at the UC28, drove 80/7pl for a TD, UC was SOD at their own 48 but UT missed a 43 yard FG. UC was SOD on 4&1 at the UT46 with 5:02 left in the half and UT got 2 scores ahead with a 53/9pl drive for a TD to lead 28-14 then got the opening KO of the 3Q and went 70/10pl for a TD to get ahead by 3 scores and coasted from there.

It was an exciting 1H for North Texas in their brand new home stadium and they played Houston even in the 1H. It was 17-17 when UH got a 27 yard FG with :33 left in the half to take a 20-17 lead and the yards were 230-183 UH. Case Keenum then took over and on the first 4 poss of the 3Q, UH went 85/10, 75/9, 91/9 and 90/5pl for TD’s and just like that it was 48-17 with 13:42 left. NT had 1 FD on their first 2 poss of the half. Keenum hit 26-41 for 458 and 5 TD’s.

Tale of 2H’s. Weber St led 17-10 late 2Q when they allowed a 42 yard PR with 1:37 left 1H. That set up Utah St with :53 left and allowed them to pull even at 17. USU simply dominated the 2H. They scored TD’s on their first 3 poss then rec’d a fumbled KO and added a 39 yard FG. They continued with a 99/3pl TD drive for a 47-17 lead. USU brought in backup QB Kennedy in and punted with 8:58 left but then drove 56/8pl for another TD with 3:01 left to close the scoring.

ULM was dominant with a 21-4 FD and 452-144 yard edges vs their state rival. RB Donald rushed for 144 yards becoming the first ULM player to top 100 yards rushing since 2008. ULM did miss a 40 yard FG but blocked a punt to set up a 6 yard TD drive. Grambling’s only TD came after ULM fumbled the punt at their own 46. Five plays later Grambling got a TD to actually tie it at 7. ULM missed a 31 yard FG but got a 32 yard IR to the 3 setting up another TD to lead 14-7. Grambling did miss a 45 yard FG with 7:48 left in the half and ULM went 72/10pl the key was a roughing the kicker on 4&2 that kept the drive alive. The TD with 4:00 left in the half made it 21-7 then following another int, ULM on 3&20 ULM got a 55 yard TD run by Donald to lead 28-7 at the half with a 232-86 yard edge. The 3Q opened with 5 punts. ULM fumbled at the Grambling 44 then went 77/13pl for a TD. With backup QB Wells in they went 72/13pl and on 4&7 were SOD at the Grambling 20.

Western Michigan’s 38-7 final was indicative of the game. In fact, Nicholls St’s only score came on a 36 yard IR TD when they trailed 21-0 in the 2Q. WM led 28-7 at the half with a 202-86 yard edge and fmbl’d at their own 43 to open the 3Q then drove 44/7pl for a TD. Backup QB VanTubbergen was intercepted at the NS7 but 2 poss later drove WM 37/8pl for a 40 yard FG in the 38-7 final. WM had a 399-185 yard edge.


UCF went 3 & out on their first poss then Boston College went on a 10 play drive for a 47 yard FG and UCF went 49/15pl for a 36 yard FG, 43/11pl for a 35 yard FG and 36/8pl for a 32 yard FG on their next 3 poss and led 9-3 at the half with a 183-68 yard edge. Each team was SOD to open the 3Q and there were 8 punts in the defensive struggle entered the 3Q, 9-3 but UCF went 67/8pl for a TD. After an int went 49/6pl for a TD, 2 poss later after another int, went 30/4pl for a TD to blow open a close game 30-3. UCF had an 18-7 FD edge and 422-141 yard edge.

USF was off of their big win over Notre Dame and ranked for the first time since Nov. 2009 but Ball St was also off a big win over rival Indiana in Indianapolis. USF simply dominated this game and in the 1H they had a 386-76 yard edge and settled for 24, 31 and 38 yard FG’s and also had a 33 yard FG blocked and were intercepted at the Ball St 9 so they “only” led 30-0. They missed a 41 yard FG early 3Q. USF opened it up to 37-0 and Ball St got a TD early 4Q on a drive where an int was wiped out by a roughing the passer and USF went to backup QB Eveld for 5 of their seven 2H drives.

Rhode Island gave Syracuse a game. SU got a TD with 6:17 left in the 1Q and then was SOD at the RI14. RI went 86/13pl for a TD to tie it at 7 (9:43 2Q). SU got a 62 yard pass to the RI4 and a TD on the next play to lead 14-7 and RI missed a 45 yard FG (4:12 2Q). SU had a 226-171 yard edge at the half. RI opened the 3Q with a 75/6pl TD drive to tie it. After 4 punts, SU went 80/8pl getting a TD with 8:34 left for the lead. RI punted with 5:20 left and then took over at their 47 with 3:16 left but after a pair of sacks on 4&24, from the RI33 they were intercepted on a deep pass at the SU24 with 1:29 left. Each team had 20 FD’s.

Navy opened with a 50 yard TD run on the games 4th play in the sloppy conditions. Navy fumbled a punt at their 35 late 1Q but WKU missed a FG and Navy went 80/4pl for a 44 yard TD pass on the last play of the 1Q, 13-0. Navy went 78/5pl for a TD and WKU went 71/7pl for a TD, 20-7. Navy went 60/5pl for a TD to lead 27-7 at the half with a 300-122 yard edge. WKU turned it over on their first two 3Q poss and Navy was SOD at the WKU26 and got a 57 yard TD run to lead 33-7. WKU converted on 4&10 with a 13 yard pass on an 86/12pl drive and got a TD to pull within 33-14. Navy fmbl’d at the WKU24 with 13:27 left but got a 49 yard IR TD with 9:51 left. Navy’s last drive was 62/9pl. They had a 1st & gl at the 3 but ran out the clock at the 12. Navy had a 510-277 yard edge.

Middle Tennessee was poised for a big game as they had their largest home attendance ever at 30,502 as they were celebrating their 100th year as a school. Georgia Tech deflated them right off the bat with a 73 yard TD pass from Washington to Lemon. GT went 98/17pl, then got a 71/1pl TD pass and went 90/7pl for TD’s and after 4 poss led 28-0. MT missed a 46 yard FG, were intercepted at the 10 and fmbl’d at the 16 on 3 of their first 5 poss. GT led 28-7 at the half and went 85/11pl and 63/8pl on their first two 3Q drives to lead 42-7. MT trailing 49-14 took over with 3:16 left and gained 68/9pl getting an 18 yard TD pass with :53 left.

If you look at the stats, it would appear that Southern Illinois outplayed Mississippi with a 420-315 yard edge. UM did have a short field on a lot of drives but also led 28-3. UM went 75/8pl for a TD then got a 4 yard drive after an int and a 67 yard PR by Jeff Scott. Scott was playing in place of Ole Miss’ top 2 RB Brandon Bolden and Enrique Davis who were both injured and Scott rushed for 118 yards on 16 carries along with a PR TD. Ole Miss went 62/12pl for a TD, 28-3. SI went 80/16pl for a TD to pull within 28-10 at the half and SI had a 170-151 yard edge. SI was intercepted on their first 2 3Q poss and UM got a 13 yard TD drive, 35-10. SI went 77/10pl scoring a TD on the last play of the 3Q, 35-17 then got a 74 yard run to the 20 but was intercepted in the EZ. Ole Miss fumbled with 6:47 left and SI got a 31 yard TD pass on the next play to pull within 11. Miss got a TD with 1:28 left after a 64/7pl drive and SI gained 54 of their yards on the final drive incl a 44 yard pass on the final play.

Duke and Stanford was a different type of game as Duke did benefit from a 76 yards IR TD to pull within 10-7 with 2:14 left in the 2Q. Stanford would respond with 5 straight TD drives after that but upon closer inspection, Duke blew a couple of opportunities as well. Duke’s first drive was 70/9pl with 4 straight FD’s on 15, 11 and 19 yard plays but they missed a 27 yard FG. Duke went 53/13pl and missed a 45 yard FG. Duke also missed a 49 yard FG at the end of a 46/4pl drive. Duke’s first 3Q drive went 46/12pl and was SOD on 4&6 at the SU14. Duke fumbled at their own 39 setting up a SU TD and was SOD at the SU35. Duke did got 76/15pl for a TD.

Both San Jose St and UCLA had different starters at QB. Richard Brehaut started and went the whole way for UCLA and hit a pedestrian 12-23-145 yards. Derrick Coleman ran for 135 yards (all 2H). SJS started Dasmen Stewart who hit 15-31-111 and also rushed for 47 yards. Blake Jurich did come in for 2 series. UCLA led 14-7 at the half but Jurich came in for the 3Q trailing 17-10 and handed off to Rutley who went 65 yards for a TD. UCLA fumbled at their own 34 but Jurich after 1 FD was intercepted at the 12. UCLA went on a 67/9pl drive but fumbled and SJS got the 4th TO in 6:00 when they were intercepted at their own 37. UCLA settled for a 20 yard FG, 20-17 with 7:31 left then went 79/5pl and Coleman’s 24 yard TD run with 3:35 left clinched it.

It was a wild game between Kansas and Northern Illinois. As you can tell by the final scored, 45-42 and the fact KU had a 534-462 yard edge tells you the offenses had no trouble. Ironically the game opened with a pair of punts. With the game tied at 7, KU on 4&1 got a 51 yard TD run but it was called back on a hold and they missed a FG. KU’s next drive they fmbl’d and NI scored TD’s after each and led 21-7. KU pulled within 21-14 and NI went for it on 4&6 at the KU30 with 1:51 left in the half. They got a FD pass to the 1 and hurried to the LOS to get a snap off but it was reviewed and ruled incomplete. KU took advantage, they got 1 FD and then on 3&17 a 36 yard TD pass with :17 left tied it. Each team scored a TD to open the 3Q and NI actually punted. KU took the lead because of that. Tied at 35, KU drove 73/16pl but settled for a 27 yard FG with 8:50 left. NI at one point had 5 FD’s on 5pl on their next drive which was 85/11pl for a TD with 5:03 left to go up 42-38. KU got a 51 yard KR then 2 big plays. On 4&2 a 2 yard QB run by Webb got them a FD to the 5. Then on 4&gl from the 6 they got a 6 yard TD pass with :09 left to pull off the upset.


Rice took advantage of a couple of key plays to pull off their first win over AQ foes after dropping 22 straight (since 2001). Purdue settled for a 28 yard FG in the 2Q and led 17-10 when Rice took over with 1:48 left in the half. Rice had a key 3&4 conversion early then on 3&2 fell on a fumble setting up a 4&1 and converted. They faced an interesting dilemma when they had a 2&gl at the 4 with time for 1 more play. They passed up a FG which would have pulled them within 17-13 but got a 4 yard TD pass on the last play of the half. Rice opened the 3Q with an 80/11pl TD drive. PU had another unfortunate play when on 4&1 from the 2 they were stuffed. Rice fumbled at the PU38 with 10:38 left and PU drove 52/7pl for a 27 yard FG and trailed by 2. After 3 punts. PU took over with 1:52 left at the 48. They got 3 FD’s to the 14 spiked the ball and got conservative. Rice actually called time-out and PU let the clock run down and lined up for the game winning 31 yard FG but Justin Allen blocked it.

Fresno St got a 55 yard pass to the NU21 and then on 3&15 a 26 yard TD pass but the 2 pt try failed, 28-26. Nebraska KR Abdullah returned the KO 100 yards for a TD and a school record 211 KR yards. Fresno went 52/14pl but now down by 2 scores, opted for a 38 yard FG, 35-29. NU got 2 FD’s and a 46 yard TD run by Martinez put them up 42-29 before Hill punted on 4&10 with 1:34 left.

UTEP played a pretty good game at SMU. They did lose their starting QB Lamaison to injury on the first drive of the 3Q and backup Jay Hall played the rest of the way hitting 8-20-131. SMU gave the start to JJ McDermott and Kyle Padron played sparingly but did get a 12 yard TD run in the 2Q. UTEP settled for a 34 yard FG and missed a 46 yard FG and had a 33 yard FG blk’d in the 1H. SMU had a 258-184 yard edge and led 21-10. Backup Hall took over at the SMU39 after a fumble and led them in 6pl to a TD to pull within 21-17. The next 9 poss featured 7 punts and 2 TO’s. UTEP was pinned at their 1 with 2:47 left down by 4 when Hall was sacked and fumbled and SMU fell on it in the EZ for a TD, 28-17. UTEP was SOD on 4&11 at the SMU43.

LSU only led lowly Northwestern St 7-3 in the 2Q and it was 14-3 when NSU was intercepted at their 15 with 9:03 left in the half. LSU went 15/2pl for a TD. NSU went for it on 4&5 at the LSU48 with :50 left in the half and were tackled for a loss of -11 yards. LSU made them pay as they went 52/5pl and got a 3 yard TD run with :20 left in the half to go up 28-3. Mettenberger made his debut for LSU and added a 59/6pl drive for a TD to open the 3Q. NSU was SOD at their own 49 and 2 poss later LSU went 57/10pl for a TD then 68/15pl for a TD with 7:36 left 49-3. LSU fumbled at the NSt39 and punted on their final 2 drives.

Louisiana Tech appeared to have the Central Arkansas game in control numerous times. They had a 14-3 1Q lead and 21-10 lead and the ball with 1:50 left in the half at midfield but was intercepted and ret’d to their 20 and CA got a TD with 1:11 left to get back in it at 21-17. LT was up 35-20 in the 3Q when they gave up a 3&10, 43 yard D pass and CA got a 56 yard TD pass on their next drive to tie. Roughing the Punter gave CA a FD but they would miss a 43 yard FG after a 9pl drive. LT went 46/10pl but missed a 46 yard FG with 5:15 left. CA was intercepted and ret’d 19 yards to their 38 and LT had a FD at the CA26 when RB Creer who rushed for 177 yards on 32 carries, fumbled. Not only did CA scoop up the fumble, they ret’d it 73 yards for a TD and shockingly with 2:08 left, CA led 42-35. LT drove 72/7pl incl a 3&11, 12 yard run by Holley and Holley’s 7 yard TD run with :58 left forced OT. LT blocked a 39 yard FG by CA and then Creer ran 23 yards to the 2 and 2pl later his 1 yard TD run gave LT the win.

It was a very interesting game, Louisiana and Kent St, in the fact that two teams combined for just 19 FD’s and 345 total yards. Louisiana at the half had a 17-7 lead but their longest TD drive was 1 yard and their FG drive was kept alive by a personal foul on 3&10 when they gained 2 yards. At the half UL, in a game played in rain, had a 79-66 yard edge. UL got a 63 yard IR TD in the 1Q. UL fumbled at their own 44 and Kent St went 44/6pl for a TD with :39 left in the 1Q, 7-7. Kent fumbled at their own 1 and UL on 3&gl got a TD for a 14-7 lead. UL took over with 2:28 left in the half at their own 28 and after 2 FD’s, the first on a personal foul on a 5 yard run, on 3&10 they gained 2 yards and a PF gave them another FD. They got a 35 yard FG to lead 17-7. UL after the game returned from a 1:20 lightning delay at 10:18 pm, was sacked for a safety from its own 7 and Kent made it 17-9. Later Kent St added a 44 yard FG to pull within 17-12. There were 3 punts then Kent St fumbled at their own 38. Gautier came in at QB for UL and they got 2 FD’s and got a 28 yard FG with 6:08 left to lead 20-12. Kent St on 4&6 was SOD at their own 45. UL had a chance to put it away and Gautier’s 20 yard run to the 2 ended in another fumble. This time Kent on 4&2 got a 19 yard pass out to their 42 but fumbled at the end of it and UL took a knee.

The Akron/Temple game was closer than the final but not much. The first 3 poss were all punts and the game went to a 1:19 lightning delay. When they returned, TU took advantage, going 76/7pl for a TD. TU punted on their next poss but then after returning a fumble 12 yards to the 4, got a short TD DRIVE then went 43/6pl, 63/6pl for TD’s and led 28-3 at the half. Akron in the 2H was intercepted at the TU35, SOD on 4&9 at the TU36, SOD on 4&10 at the TU34 and SOD on 4&10 at the AU44 on their 4 drives. TU got a TD with 2:46 left to extend the margin and only had a 416-269 yard edge.

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).