Inside the Boxscores Week 5 Part 1
Inside the Boxscores is a weekly article by Matt Fargo that has been widely recognized as the best summary of college football. Take an in-depth look at each game and extract the most relevant information that will help you in future handicap games. College football is full of wacky plays, tricky scores, and unexpected endings. Fargo takes you inside the action.
Miss South 19 UCF 14
Central Florida outscored the Golden Eagles 325-273 turnovers made the difference. The Golden Knights fumbled at the South Mississippi 1-yard line and also threw an interception at their own 1-yard line that was returned for a touchdown. They also missed a 23-yard field goal on their only chance to score in the first half. Southern Mississippi went 3-14 on third-down conversions.
BYU 31 UTC 17
TCU actually outscored the Cougars 437-393 but the Horned Frogs couldn’t execute in the first half and fell behind and couldn’t recover. TCU’s first four drives totaled 194 yards, but a fumble inside the red zone and a missed field goal killed two chances. Worse yet, three of those four drives were 10 or more plays. BYU finished with just 72 rushing yards on 34 carries (2.1 ypc).
(2) Auburn 24 S.C. 17
The Tigers dodged a big bullet when the Gamecocks had a chance to tie this game, but turned it around at the five-yard line to end the game. In the first half, South Carolina turned the ball over twice inside Auburn’s 30-yard line. The Gamecocks outscored the Tigers 349-307, but the last difference was going 1-4 inside the red zone. Auburn was limited to 127 rushing yards on 35 carries (3.6 ypc).
(24) Rutgers 22 SOUTH FLORIDA 20
South Florida blocked a field goal late in the fourth quarter, setting up a potential game-tying drive. The Bulls ran 66 yards to get within two points with 15 seconds remaining, but the two-point conversion was unsuccessful. South Florida had three turnovers and also missed a field goal. Rutgers controlled the clock for more than 14 more minutes thanks to 226 rushing yards on 45 carries (5.0 ypc).
(13) Tennessee 41 MEMPHIS 7
Tennessee put up 566 yards of offense while limiting the Tigers to just 121 total yards, including just 42 rushing yards on 20 carries (2.1 ypc). Things could have been even worse, but the Volunteers faltered once at midfield early in the game as they lost it at the Tigers’ one-yard line. Memphis’ only touchdown came on a late Tennessee fumble that set up a 21-yard drive in one play.
PITTSBURGH 45 Toledo 3
Pittsburgh just outscored the Rockets 374-230 but used four Toledo turnovers to score 21 points. The Panthers jumped ahead 17-0 and only had 55 yards of offense at the time. Not only did the Rockets have four turnovers, they also turned the ball over three times, giving the Panthers average starting field position from their own 39-yard line. Toledo threw for just 106 yards.
Virginia 37 DUKE 0
Virginia managed just 253 yards of offense, but the defense limited the Blue Devils to 100 yards and only eight first downs. Duke had blocked the punt and dropped a fourth-down cross that set up two easy scores. The Cavaliers scored 31 points on Blue Devils errors as Duke finished with five turnovers. Duke crossed midfield just once and had only one possession for more than 15 yards.
Navy 41 CONNECTICUT 17
Navy had 605 yards of offense, including 464 rushing yards on 56 carries (8.3 ypc). The Huskies closed within 10 points late in the third quarter, but could only eat 61 total yards in the final period, committing a fumble and giving it up twice. Three of the Midshipmen’s touchdowns were 52 or more yards and all three occurred on the opening play of each drive.
Illinois 23 STATE OF MICHIGAN 20
Illinois won its second conference game in its last 26 attempts as it drove 58 yards to set up the game-winning field goal with just six seconds remaining. The Illini outscored Michigan St. 390-259, but the Spartans returned an interception for a touchdown and scored their final touchdown thanks to a video replay that reversed a fumble. Michigan St. opened the game with a fumble at the Illinois two-yard line on their first possession.
Wisconsin 52 INDIANA 17
The Badgers racked up 539 yards of offense and built a 52-0 lead before the Hoosiers got most of their offense going. Indiana finished with 280 total yards, but 167 of them came in the fourth quarter. Wisconsin punted on their opening drive, but then scored on eight of their next nine possessions, the only exception being a missed field goal. The Badgers were 4-8 on third down and a perfect 7-7 inside the red zone.
(9) LSU 48 Mississippi State 17
LSU outscored the Bulldogs 446-226 as they jumped out to an early 35-0 lead and got it going the rest of the way. The Tigers scored touchdowns on their first five drives, but struggled to execute their next four possessions, gaining just 52 yards and throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown. LSU went 7-9 on third-down conversions while the Bulldogs went 2-11.
(23) MISSOURI 28 Colorado 13
Colorado outscored the Tigers 373-353, but the problem came down to executions on fourth down. The Buffaloes went 0-5 on fourth-down conversions that included two missed attempts inside the red zone. Missouri was able to move the ball at will on its first two possessions, but the offense faltered a bit after that, despite going 11-18 on third-down conversions.
SYRACUSE 40 Wyoming 34
The Cowboys outscored Syracuse 512-275 but had four turnovers, three of which came inside their own territory. They also missed two field goals and had another turnover at the Orange 30-yard line. Of Syracuse’s five scoring drives in regulation, only two went for more than 21 yards, while a fourth went for 44 yards. Wyoming missed a fourth-down conversion in overtime and gave Syracuse the ball.
Bowling Alley 21 OHIO U 9
Bowling Green outscored the Bobcats by just 14 total yards, but Ohio turned the ball over twice inside the Falcons’ 34-yard line, throwing an interception at their own 31-yard line and missing a field goal on their opening possession. The Falcons held Ohio to 54 rushing yards on 32 carries (1.7 ypc) and also had four sacks that cut that total. Bowling Green finished with just 108 passing yards.
AIR FORCE 24 New Mexico 7
New Mexico limited the Falcons to 281 yards while the offense racked up 273 yards, but lost the turnover battle 3-1 and those three turnovers resulted in two touchdowns for the Air Force. The Lobos also lost the ball on downs in their own territory that led to a field goal. Air Force has only one drive over 45 yards, while New Mexico finished with 41 rushing yards on 31 carries (1.3 ypc).
KENT STATE 37 Akron 15
Kent St. jumped out to a 30-7 lead early in the third quarter and cruised the rest of the way. The Golden Flashes should have been much higher, but they fumbled at the Akron five-yard line on their opening drive and then blocked a 22-yard field goal on their next possession. Kent St. finished with 461 total yards, while Akron turned the ball over three times past midfield and had just 73 rushing yards on 23 carries (3.2 ypc).
(12) NOTRE DAME 35 Purdue 21
Notre Dame was outscored 490-454, but the Boilermakers missed a field goal, missed at the Irish 34-yard line and turned the ball over three times, all in Notre Dame territory. The Irish scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions and basically put him on neutral after scoring his final touchdown early in the third quarter. Notre Dame controlled the clock for more than 16 more minutes.
(20) Boise State 36 UTAH 3
After the first quarter, the game was tied to three before the Broncos took control and scored the final 33 points. Boise St. scored 17 points on turnovers as the Utes threw four interceptions. Once the Broncos went up 17-3, Utah managed a total of 44 yards on its last eight possessions. Utah was limited to just 51 receiving yards and finished averaging 3.2 ypp.
Idaho 41 UTAH 21
Utah St. jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but the Vandals responded with 41 unanswered points to pull away. Idaho outscored the Aggies by just 11 total yards, but had an interception return and a fumble recovery that both went for touchdowns after Utah St. was driving. The Aggies were inside the Vandals’ 38-yard line on four of six possessions between the second and fourth quarters but did not score points.
PENN STATE 33 Northwest 7
Penn St. racked up 528 yards of offense but was forced to kick four field goals. The Nittany Lions were inside the Wildcats’ 17-yard line on their first four possessions, but made just three field goals after turning the ball over on their first possession. Of Northwestern’s 238 total yards, 108 came in the fourth quarter. It’s the only touchdown cam in a short drive after a fumble.
Texas Tech 31 TEXAS A&M 27
Texas Tech outscored the Aggies 433-353 but needed a touchdown with 26 seconds remaining for the victory. Texas A&M broke the tie with a field goal with 2:12 remaining before the Red Raiders drove 80 yards to score the win. The Aggies rushed for 250 yards on 47 carries (5.3 ypc) and thus controlled more than 14 minutes left on the clock. Texas Tech was 1-7 in third-down conversions.
(11) Oregon 48 STATE OF ARIZONA 13
Oregon outscored the Sun Devils 574-175 as they jumped out to a 31-3 lead and never looked back. The Ducks were inside Arizona St. territory on all but three possessions as they amassed 28 first downs and rushed for 315 yards on 40 carries (7.9 ypc). The Sun Devils threw for an unlikely 33 yards as they were sacked six times. They finished the game just 1-13 on third-down conversions.
CINCINNATI 24 Miami-Ohio 10
Cincinnati outscored the RedHawks 296-226 and left the door open for Miami. The Bearcats led 17-3 before giving up an 80-yard punt return for a score, but sealed it with an early fourth-quarter score. Cincinnati put up just 81 total yards in the second half and Miami was able to get inside the Bearcats’ 40-yard line on its last three possessions, but two interceptions and a turnover left it with nothing.
(18) Georgia Tech 38 (21) VIRGINIA TECH 27
Virginia Tech actually outscored the Yellow Jackets 381-325, but two turnovers ended up being the difference. Georgia Tech led by 11 points heading into the second half before returning two fumbles for game-opening touchdowns. The Hokies scored two meaningless touchdowns in the fourth quarter and then finished the game at the Yellow Jackets’ two-yard line. Virginia Tech had 42 rushing yards on 27 carries (1.6 ypc).
(5) FLORIDA 28 Alabama 13
Florida rallied from an early 10-0 deficit and pulled away late by scoring the last 14 points of the game. The Tide returned a fumble for a touchdown to take that early lead and the Gators returned the favor by returning an interception 70 yards for the final touchdown after Alabama was looking to tie the game. Florida’s last two scores were due to turnovers, as they outscored the Tide by just seven total yards.