Inside the Boxscores is a weekly feature that has been widely recognized as the best summation in college football. This article takes an in-depth look at each game and pulls out the most pertinent information that will help you handicap games in the future. College football is filled with quirky plays, misleading scores and surprise endings. It takes you inside the action.
COLORADO 30 Texas Tech 6
Colorado picked up its first win of the season as it outgained the Red Raiders 380-276 and forced five turnovers. The Buffaloes were inside Texas Tech territory on all but three possessions while the Red Raiders didn’t cross midfield until late in the 3rd quarter. The score could have been worse but Colorado turned the ball over on downs at the Texas Tech 18-yard line and also had two fumbles inside the 30-yard line.
TEXAS A&M 25 (19) Missouri 19
The Tigers lost for the first time this season as numerous mistakes did them in. Missouri fumbled at the goal line in its opening drive and turned it over on three of its first five possessions. After Texas A&M took the lead late in the 3rd quarter, the Tigers got the ball four more times but could not cash in as they turned it over on downs at the Aggies six-yard line early in the 4th quarter.
(7) LOUISVILLE 23 Cincinnati 17
Louisville survived a big scare from the Bearcats who used ball control to keep the potent Cardinals offense off the field. Cincinnati controlled over 13 more minutes of the clock and was able to run 18 more plays but came up short at the end. The Bearcats moved the ball down to the Louisville 16-yard line but a penalty and two incomplete passes ended the game. Cincinnati also missed two field goals.
ALABAMA 26 Ole Miss 23
Alabama outgained the Rebels 434-287 but needed a touchdown in overtime to pull out the victory. The Tide were in Mississippi territory in all but two drives but they had to settle for two field goals and also turned it over on downs twice at the Rebels 26-yard line, including once late in the 4th quarter. Mississippi was just 2-11 on third down conversions while Alabama went 9-16 on third down.
TROY 24 UL-Monroe 19
This game was marred by turnovers but it was the Warhawks who were hurt more. They turned the ball over four of their final five possessions, three of which occurred in Troy territory. UL-Monroe had two chances at the end of the game but threw an interception at the Trojans six-yard line and then turned it over on fourth down at the 27-yard line in the final two minutes. Troy turned it over four times inside Warhawks territory.
KENT STATE 40 Toledo 14
Kent St. finished with just 348 total yards but it held Toledo to 234 yards and forced four turnovers while also stopping the Rockets three times on fourth down. Toledo was inside Golden Flashes territory in four of its first five possessions but came away with nothing. Kent St. rushed for 270 yards on 47 carries (5.7 ypc) while holding the Rockets to 102 yards on 38 carries (2.7 ypc). Kent St. fumbled nine times but lost just one of those.
BOWLING GREEN 24 Eastern Michigan 21
Bowling Green scored the game-winning touchdown early in the fourth quarter and the defense forced two punts and grabbed an interception to pull out the victory. The Eagles actually outgained the Falcons 330-324 but three interceptions and a missed field goal led to 14 Bowling Green points. The Falcons lost the time of possession battle but won field position as their average starting spot was at their 41-yard line.
Hawaii 68 FRESNO STATE 37
Fresno St. scored on its third play of the game to take a 7-0 lead after forcing a Warriors punt but it was all Hawaii after that. The Warriors racked up 570 yards of offense and despite the defense allowing 470 yards, they scored 21 points off turnovers. Hawaii was 7-9 on third down conversions and it was a perfect 7-7 inside the redzone, scoring touchdowns on each possession.
Arizona 20 STANFORD 7
Arizona was spectacular on defense, holding Stanford to just 52 total yards and four first downs. The Cardinal scored their only touchdown on a 72-yard interception return while the offense never got past their own 39-yard line. The Wildcats scored on three of their first four possessions and let the defense do the rest. Stanford had the ball for just over 21 minutes and finished with -6 yards on the ground.
(10) California 21 WASHINGTON ST 3
California outgained the Cougars by only three total yards but the defense held when it needed to. Washington St. turned the ball over on downs four times inside the Bears 35-yard line, included three times on its final three possessions. The Cougars also threw two interceptions inside California territory. Washington St. ended 1-3 inside the redzone and went 0-11 on third down conversions.
SAN JOSE ST 21 Utah State 14
Utah St. jumped ahead 14-0 but the Spartans rallied as the defense shutout the Aggies the rest of the way. San Jose St. turned the ball over four times, twice inside the Utah St. redzone and another time at the 35-yard line. The Aggies were driving for the tying score but turned it over on downs at the Spartans 26-yard line to end the game. The Aggies controlled close to 14 more minutes of the clock.
Oregon State 27 WASHINGTON 17
Oregon St. outgained the Huskies 488-256 but had to rally after trailing by seven points at the break. The Beavers scored the only 17 points of the second half as their three scoring drives accumulated 236 total yards. Washington rushed for only 84 yards on 37 carries (2.3 ypc) and that number was brought down by six sacks by Oregon St. Both of Washington’s touchdowns came off interceptions.
MIAMI-FLORIDA 35 Florida International 0
In a game marred by a huge brawl, the Hurricanes shutout the Golden Panthers and held them to just 114 total yards and 12 first downs. The game was scoreless until late in the 2nd quarter when Miami finally got on the board. The Hurricanes missed a field goal and turned it over on downs at the Florida International six-yard line prior to that. The Hurricanes had only 279 total yards but their average starting position was midfield.
Idaho 24 LOUISIANA TECH 14
Idaho outgained the Bulldogs 382-211 but still had to rally by scoring the final 17 points of the game. Louisiana Tech committed eight turnovers but still trailed by just a touchdown early in the final quarter. The Vandals scored 17 points off those turnovers and the defense held the Bulldogs to just 42 total yards in the second half. Idaho was hurt by three turnovers and 12 penalties totaling 100 yards.
SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI 31 Houston 27
Southern Mississippi never trailed in this game despite getting outgained 377-325. The Golden Eagles struck first off a Houston fumble, its only turnover of the game, and scored on a one-play, one-yard drive. The Cougars were hurt by that along with a missed field goal and two turnovers on downs. Houston finished with only 38 yards rushing on 27 carries (1.4 ypc).
(6) TEXAS 63 Baylor 31
Texas spotted Baylor a 10-0 lead through the first quarter but the Longhorns ran off 28 unanswered points in the second quarter. The Bears still trailed by just 18 points going into the fourth quarter but Texas scored three touchdowns to ignite the rout. The Longhorns defense scored twice, once on a fumble return and once on an interception return and in total, scored 35 points off five Baylor turnovers.
Ohio U 20 ILLINOIS 17
Ohio kicked the game-winning field goal with five seconds remaining despite getting outgained by the Illini 397-238. Illinois turned the ball over five times including a fumble at its own 15-yard line that set up the Bobcats field goal. Four of the Illini’s turnovers were in their own territory but Ohio could not take advantage with the exception of the final one. Illinois rushed for 211 yards on 36 carries (5.9 ypc).
(21) Nebraska 21 KANSAS STATE 3
Nebraska scored a touchdown on its first possession on a fake field goal and the defense held the Wildcats in check the entire game. Kansas St. finished with just 294 yards including 22 yards rushing on 18 carries (1.2 ypc). The Wildcats punted on six of their first seven possessions and had opportunities late but tossed an interception at the Nebraska 34-yard line and turned it over on downs at the three-yard line.
RICE 34 U-A-B 33
Rice scored the game-winning touchdown with only three seconds remaining. UAB should have had the game won after an interception two plays earlier but it fumbled the ball back to the Owls. The Blazers outgained the Owls 484-421 and rallied to take a five-point lead late into the fourth quarter before Rice won it. UAB missed a short field goal before halftime which was the ultimate difference.
(11) AUBURN 27 (2) Florida 17
Florida led by nine points and took a six-point lead into halftime but Auburn shut the Gators out in the 2nd half to pull out the win. The Tigers scored on a blocked punt return and also on a fumble return for the only two touchdowns of the second half. The Gators scored on their first three possessions but had only 90 total yards in the second half and crossed midfield only once which resulted in a fumble at the Auburn 16-yard line.
(3) U-S-C 28 Arizona State 21
USC jumped ahead 21-0 but the Sun Devils rallied to tie the game before the Trojans scored the game-winner late in the fourth quarter. Arizona St. tied the game on an interception return for a touchdown. The Sun Devils held USC to just 307 yards but their own offense could muster only 245 yards as they committed 12 penalties for 97 yards. Arizona St. punted after the final USC score and never got the ball back.
(14) L-S-U 49 Kentucky 0
The Tigers racked up 546 yards of offense while the defense pitched a shutout. Kentucky was never in the game as it fell behind 28-0 after four possessions on each side. The Wildcats had two late chances to avoid the shutout but threw an interception at the LSU nine-yard line and turned it over on downs at the seven yard line. LSU rushed for 268 yards while holding the Wildcats to 61 yards on the ground.
(4) Michigan 17 PENN STATE 10
Michigan held Penn St. to just 186 total yards and 11 first downs. The Wolverines had seven sacks while holding the Nittany Lions to -14 yards rushing on 25 carries (-0.6 ypc). Michigan had two long touchdown drives but did not do much other than that as it gained only 176 yards in its other nine possessions. Penn St. missed a chance to strike first, missing a field goal on its opening possession.
TEXAS-EL PASO 34 Tulane 20
Tulane actually outgained the Miners 481-365 but the Green Wave lost the turnover battle 5-0 as they turned the ball over on each of their first three possessions. Two of the turnovers occurred inside the UTEP redzone and Tulane also turned it over on downs at the Miners 16-yard line. UTEP jumped ahead by three touchdowns right before halftime after returning a punt 88 yards for a score.
New Mexico 39 U-N-L-V 36
UNLV outgained the Lobos 379-280 but four turnovers led to 16 New Mexico points. The Rebels had a 14-point lead at halftime but the Lobos scored the first 22 points of the second half. UNLV tied the game with just over a minute remaining and after New Mexico kicked a field goal to take the lead in overtime, the Rebels were sacked and fumbled on their first play to end the game.