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College Football Season

USC Keeps Hex On Ohio State; Houston Upsets Oklahoma State

by Dave Congrove
September 13, 2009

A dramatic finish keeps USC at the forefront of the national title picture, along with Florida, Texas and Alabama. Others are still in the chase, too, but those appear to be the top candidates at this early point of the season.

True freshman QB Matt Barkley led USC on an 86-yard, 14-play drive in 6:10 to lift the Trojans over Ohio State 18-15. Stafon Johnson scored the go-ahead touchdown on 2-yard run with 1:05 left in the game, and a 2-pt. conversion provided the final margin. USC has won 7 straight over the Buckeyes since losing the 1973 Rose Bowl.

Florida trounced Troy 56-6; Texas roped Wyoming 41-10; and Alabama beat FIU 40-14.

Aside from Ohio State, which was 8th in my computer rankings going into the weekend, the big losers were No. 11 Oklahoma State, No. 14 Michigan State, and No. 25 Vanderbilt.

Oklahoma State entered the contest with Houston ranked as high as No. 6 in the Coaches' Poll, a BCS component. But the Cowboys were felled by one of the biggest upsets of the day as the Cougars rallied with 21 points in the 4th quarter to pull out a 45-35 shocker at Stillwater. Case Keenum had 3 TD passes for Houston while OSU's Zac Robinson was held to 1 TD pass and the dangerous Robinson-to-Dez Bryant combination was kept off the scoreboard. The Cougars led 24-7 at the half, but Oklahoma State won the 3rd quarter 21-0, helped by Bryant's touchdown an an 82-yard punt return.

Michigan State appeared to have their game in-hand when Central Michigan failed on a 2-point conversion attempt after cutting MSU's margin to 27-26 with 32 seconds left in the game. However, the onside kick was executed beautifully by the Chippewas' Andrew Aguila who then got two chances to boot the game-winning field goal. The first one from 47 yards out missed to the left, but Michigan State was flagged for being offside. His 42-yarder barely snuck inside the left upright with 3 seconds remaining.

Vanderbilt lost 23-9 at No. 21 LSU.

Michigan 38, Notre Dame 34 - Freshman QB Tate Forcier's 5-yard TD pass with 5 seconds lifted the Wolverines over the Irish. The 9-play, 57-yard drive started with just 2:19 left on the clock. Michigan is off to a 2-0 start for the first time in three seasons, a year after finishing 3-9.

Utah 24, San Jose State 14 - The Utes ran the nation's longest streak to 16 games, but it wasn't easy. The game was tied at 7-apiece before Utah outscored the Spartans 17-7 in the final quarter.

Missouri 27, Bowling Green 20 - The No. 24 Tigers rallied from a 20-6 3rd quarter deficit to avert the upset loss in Columbia.

Georgia 41, South Carolina 37 - Georgia hasn't opened 0-2 since 1996. Were it not for a missed PAT and a last-second defensive stand, they would be 0-2 right now. An interception return for a touchdown made it 38-37 with 12:56 left in the game, but the PAT was blocked to leave the 'Dawgs up by a point. After Georgia extended the lead to 41-37, South Carolina had the ball for the remaining 6:13 of the contest but came away empty with a tipped pass on 4th-and-4 from the Georgia 7.

Wisconsin 34, Fresno State 31 (2 overtimes) - Last year, 3 missed field goals sunk Fresno State in a 13-10 home loss to the Badgers. The same kicker missed another one in this game, but hit a tying 40-yarder with 20 seconds left to force overtime. After exchanging touchdowns in the first OT, the Bulldogs began the second overtime by throwing an interception in the endzone and Wisconsin won on a 22-yard field goal.

UCLA 19, Tennessee 15 - That's twice now. No matter who's coaching Tennessee, Rick Neuheisel has its' number. He beat the Vols in Pasadena last year in his UCLA coaching debut. On Saturday, he did the trick in Knoxville as kickers scored 20 of the game's 34 total points. Each team scored just one TD and Tennessee scored on a safety for the other 14 points. The teams combined for only 394 total yards on offense.

Boise State 48, Miami (Ohio) 0 - Miami lost 42-0 to Kentucky last week. The RedHawks have been outscored by a combined 90-0 in Michael Haywood's first two games as head coach. They have 382 total yards of offense in those two games.

North Carolina 12, UConn 10 - A safety via penalty with 1:32 remaining gave UNC the win. The penalty occurred when the Huskies were called for holding in their own endzone on an attempted pass. UConn entered the final period with a 10-0 lead.

30 more teams can forget about going undefeated. After two weeks of the season, a total of 73 schools have already suffered a loss. 69 have dropped heads-up battles to other FBS members while 4 schools have fallen to FCS foes.

Only 22 teams are winless. That number is low thanks to a 50-4 record vs. FCS teams.

FBS vs. FCS:
FBS teams went 15-1 against FCS squads this week, and are now 50-4 on the season. FBS teams are 425-41 (.912) vs. the FCS since 2003.

Duke, Virginia and Temple were the victims last week. This week's lone loser was Ball State. The Cardinals fell 23-16 to New Hampshire which also has wins at Army in 2008 (28-10), Marshall in 2007 (48-35), and Northwestern in 2006 (34-17).

Others came close to losing this week. Maryland survived James Madison 38-35 in overtime; Colorado State rallied to beat Weber State 24-23; Florida State scored twice in the final 35 seconds to beat Jacksonville State 19-9; and New Mexico State had to hold off a Prairie View comeback for a 21-18 win.

This year, 87 FBS teams will play a total of 94 games against FCS foes. Duke, Kansas State, Mississippi, North Carolina, N.C. State, Rutgers and USF each play two FCS teams.

Utah has won 16 straight games. The Utes beat San Jose State 24-14 on Saturday.

Florida has won 12 straight. The Gators beat Troy 56-6 on Saturday.

USC has won 12 straight. The Trojans beat Ohio State 18-15 on Saturday.

Alabama has won 14 straight regular season games. The Tide beat FIU 40-14 on Saturday.

Oklahoma has won 24 straight home games. The Sooners beat FCS member Idaho State 64-0 on Saturday.

BYU has won 18 consecutive home games. The Cougars' 2009 home opener is next Saturday vs. Florida State.

Boise State has streaks of 21 consecutive home wins, 51 straight regular season home wins, and 38 straight conference home victories. BSU has never lost at home to a fellow WAC member (32-0). The Broncos' last home loss to a conference foe occurred in 1998 when they were a member of the Big West and fell to Idaho in the final regular season game. The Broncos are 4-1 in their last five matches against BCS conference schools. They beat Miami (Ohio) 48-0 on Saturday.

Washington snapped a 15-game overall losing streak, and 9-game home losing streak, with a 42-23 win over Idaho on Saturday. The Huskies still have a 10-game conference losing streak and a 7-game road losing streak.

SMU snapped losing streaks of 17 straight conference games, 15 consecutive road games, and 21 straight to FBS teams with a 35-33 win at UAB on Saturday. They still have a 9-game home losing streak to FBS teams.

Iowa State has lost 11 straight to FBS teams and 17 consecutive road games. The Cyclones lost 35-3 at home to Iowa on Saturday.

Western Kentucky has lost 10 straight overall and 16 straight to FBS teams. The Hilltoppers lost 35-13 to USF on Saturday.

Tulane has lost 10 straight overall. The Green Wave lost 54-3 to BYU on Saturday.

North Texas has lost 11 straight Sun Belt games. The Mean Green lost 31-30 in 2 OT's to Ohio on Saturday.

(See Coaching Changes for details)

There are 22 new college football coaches in the FBS ranks this season. 16 have already secured their first victory, but 12 have yet to defeat a FBS school (Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Iowa State, Kansas State, Miami (Ohio), Mississippi State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, San Diego State, Syracuse, Utah State and Wyoming).

Coaching Changes For 2009 Season
Army 1-1 Rich Ellerson Lost 35-19 vs. Duke
Auburn 2-0 Gene Chizik Won 49-24 vs. Mississippi State
Ball State 0-2 Stan Parrish Lost 23-16 vs. New Hampshire (FCS)
Boston College 2-0 Frank Spaziani Won 34-7 vs. Kent State
Bowling Green 1-1 Dave Clawson Lost 27-20 at Missouri
*-Clemson 1-1 Dabo Swinney Lost 30-27 at Georgia Tech
Eastern Michigan 0-2 Ron English Lost 27-24 at Northwestern
Iowa State 1-1 Paul Rhoads Lost 35-3 vs. Iowa
Kansas State 1-1 Bill Snyder Lost 17-15 at Louisiana-Lafayette
Miami (O.) 0-2 Michael Haywood Lost 48-0 at Boise State
Mississippi State 1-1 Dan Mullen Lost 49-24 at Auburn
New Mexico 0-2 Mike Locksley Lost 44-10 vs. Tulsa
New Mexico State 1-1 DeWayne Walker Won 21-18 vs. Prairie View (FCS)
Oregon 1-1 Chip Kelly Won 38-36 vs. Purdue
Purdue 1-1 Danny Hope Lost 38-36 at Oregon
San Diego State 1-1 Brady Hoke Won 35-19 vs. Southern Utah (FCS)
Syracuse 0-2 Doug Marrone Lost 28-7 at Penn State
Tennessee 1-1 Lane Kiffin Lost 19-15 vs. UCLA
Toledo 1-1 Tim Beckman Won 54-38 vs. Colorado
Utah State 0-1 Gary Andersen Idle
Washington 1-1 Steve Sarkisian Won 42-23 vs. Idaho
Wyoming 1-1 Dave Christensen Lost 41-10 vs. Texas
*-Dabo Swinney took over halfway through last season when Tommy Bowden stepped down after a 3-3 start. Swinney was 4-3 over the last 7 games of the season.


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