Inside the Boxscores is a weekly feature that has been widely recognized as the best roundup in college football. This article takes an in-depth look at each game and extracts the most relevant information that will help you in future handicap games. College football is full of wacky plays, misleading scores, and unexpected endings. It takes you inside the action.
COLORADO 30 Texas Tech 6
Colorado earned its first win of the season when it outscored 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 did not cross midfield until late in the third quarter. The score could have been worse, but Colorado turned the ball over on chances at Texas Tech’s 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 due to numerous mistakes. Missouri fumbled at the goal line on their first drive and turned it over on three of their first five possessions. After Texas A&M took the lead late in the third quarter, the Tigers got the ball four more times but were unable to capitalize as they turned it over on tries at the Aggies’ six-yard line early in the fourth quarter.
(7) LOUISVILLE 23 Cincinnati 17
Louisville survived a major scare from the Bearcats, who used ball control to keep the Cardinals’ potent offense off the field. Cincinnati controlled more than 13 more minutes on the clock and was able to run 18 more plays, but fell short late on. The Bearcats moved the ball to the Louisville 16-yard line, but a penalty and two incompletions ended the game. Cincinnati also missed two field goals.
ALABAMA 26 Ole Miss 23
Alabama outscored the Rebels 434-287 but needed a touchdown in overtime to clinch the win. The Tide were in Mississippi territory on all but two of the drives, but had to settle for two field goals and also missed two attempts at the Rebels’ 26-yard line, including one late in the 4th quarter. Mississippi was just 2-11 on third-down conversions, while Alabama was 9-16 on third-down.
TROY 24 UL-Monroe 19
This game was marred by turnovers, but it was the Warhawks who suffered the most. They turned the ball over on four of their last five possessions, three of which occurred in Troy territory. UL-Monroe had two chances late in the game, but threw an interception at the Trojans 6-yard line and then turned it over on fourth down at the 27-yard line in the final two minutes. Troy went around it four times inside Warhawks territory.
STATE OF KENT 40 Toledo 14
Kent St. finished with just 348 total yards, but held Toledo to 234 yards and forced four turnovers while stopping the Rockets three times on fourth down. Toledo was inside Golden Flashes territory on four of his first five possessions, but was left 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 them.
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 hauled an interception to clinch the win. The Eagles actually outscored the Falcons 330-324, but three interceptions and a missed field goal led to 14 Bowling Green points. The Falcons lost time in the battle for possession, but gained field position as their average starting point was at the 41-yard line.
Hawaii 68 FRESNO STATE 37
Fresno St. scored on their 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 amassed 570 yards of offense, and despite the defense allowing 470 yards, they scored 21 points on turnovers. Hawaii went 7-9 on third-down conversions and was a perfect 7-7 inside the red zone, scoring touchdowns on every 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 minus-6 yards rushing.
(10) California 21 WASHINGTON ST 3
California outscored the Cougars by just three total yards, but the defense held when needed. Washington St. turned the ball over four times inside the Bears 35-yard line, including three times on their last three possessions. The Cougars also threw two interceptions inside California territory. Washington St. finished 1-3 inside the red zone and was 0-11 on third-down conversions.
SAN JOSE ST 21 Utah State 14
Utah St. jumped out ahead 14-0 but the Spartans rallied when the defense shutout the Aggies the rest of the way. San Jose St. turned the ball over four times, twice inside the Utah St. red zone and again at the 35-yard line. The Aggies were looking for the tying score, but lost it on attempts at the Spartans 26-yard line for finish the game. The Aggies controlled about 14 more minutes on the clock.
Oregon State 27 WASHINGTON 17
Oregon St. outscored the Huskies 488-256 but had to rally after trailing seven points at halftime. The Beavers scored the only 17 points of the second half as their three scoring drives racked up 236 total yards. Washington rushed for just 84 yards on 37 carries (2.3 ypc) and that number was dwarfed by six sacks by Oregon St. Both of Washington’s touchdowns came from interceptions.
MIAMI-FLORIDA 35 Florida International 0
In a game marred by a big fight, the Hurricanes shutout the Golden Panthers and limited them to just 114 total yards and 12 first downs. The game was scoreless until late in the second quarter when Miami finally got on the board. The Hurricanes missed a field goal and gave it up on tries at the Florida International 6-yard line before that. The Hurricanes had just 279 total yards, but their average starting position was midfield.
Idaho 24 LOUISIANA TECH 14
Idaho outscored the Bulldogs 382-211, but still had to rally to score the final 17 points of the game. Louisiana Tech committed eight turnovers, but continued to trail by just one touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The Vandals scored 17 points on those turnovers and the defense held the Bulldogs to just 42 total yards in the second half. Idaho was plagued by three turnovers and 12 penalties totaling 100 yards.
SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI 31 Houston 27
Southern Mississippi never trailed in this game despite being outscored 377-325. The Golden Eagles struck first on a Houston fumble, their only turnover of the game, and scored on a one-play, one-yard drive. The Cougars were affected by that along with a missed field goal and two turnovers on attempts. Houston finished with just 38 rushing yards on 27 carries (1.4 ypc).
(6) TEXAS 63 Baylor 31
Texas saw Baylor lead 10-0 through the first quarter, but the Longhorns managed 28 unanswered points in the second quarter. The Bears were still trailing 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 overall, they scored 35 points on five Baylor turnovers.
Ohio U 20 ILLINOIS 17
Ohio kicked the game-winning field goal with five seconds remaining despite being outscored by the Illini 397-238. Illinois turned the ball over five times, including a fumble at their own 15-yard line that set up the Bobcats’ field goal. Four of the Illini’s turnovers were in their own territory, but Ohio couldn’t get ahead except for the last one. Illinois rushed for 211 yards on 36 carries (5.9 ypc).
(21) Nebraska 21 STATE OF KANSAS 3
Nebraska scored a touchdown on their first possession with a fake field goal, and the defense held the Wildcats at bay throughout the game. Kansas St. finished with just 294 yards, including 22 rushing yards on 18 carries (1.2 ypc). The Wildcats punted on six of their first seven possessions and had chances late, but threw an interception at the Nebraska 34-yard line and turned it over on chances at the 3-yard line.
RICE 34 UAB 33
Rice scored the game-winning touchdown with just three seconds remaining. UAB should have won the game after an interception two plays earlier, but got the ball back to the Owls. The Blazers outscored the Owls 484-421 and rallied to take a five-point lead late in the fourth quarter before Rice won. UAB missed a short field goal before halftime that was the ultimate difference.
(11) AUBURN 27 (2) Florida 17
Florida led by nine points and took a six-point lead until halftime, but Auburn shut out the Gators in the second half for 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 just once, resulting in a fumble at the Auburn 16-yard line.
(3) USC 28 State of Arizona 21
USC led 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 with an interception return for a touchdown. The Sun Devils held USC to just 307 yards, but their own offense was only able to amass 245 yards as they committed 12 penalties for 97 yards. Arizona St. punted after USC’s final score and never got the ball back.
(14) LSU 49 Kentucky 0
The Tigers racked up 546 yards of offense while the defense threw a shutout. Kentucky was never in the game as it fell behind 28-0 after four possessions by each side. The Wildcats had two final chances to avoid the shutout, but they threw an interception at the LSU 9-yard line and gave it up on downs at the 7-yard line. LSU rushed for 268 yards while holding the Wildcats to 61 rushing yards.
(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 rushing yards on 25 carries (-0.6 ypc). Michigan had two long touchdown drives, but didn’t do much more than that, gaining just 176 yards on its other nine possessions. Penn St. missed the chance to strike first, missing a field goal on their opening possession.
TEXAS-EL PASO 34 Tulane 20
Tulane actually outscored the Miners 481-365, but the Green Wave lost the turnover battle 5-0 when they turned the ball over on each of their first three possessions. Two of the turnovers occurred inside UTEP’s red zone and Tulane also turned them over on chances at the Miners 16-yard line. UTEP went ahead by three touchdowns just before halftime after returning a punt 88 yards for a score.
New Mexico 39 UNLV 36
UNLV outscored Lobos’ goal 379-280 four turnovers led to 16 New Mexico points. The Rebels led by 14 points 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 shot on their first play to end the game.