by Dave Congrove
October 25, 2009
Turnovers, missed kicks, and last-second touchdowns ruled the day as several highly-ranked teams narrowly escaped defeat.
Florida pulled away from Mississippi State in a game that saw 3 interception returns for touchdowns - 2 by the Gators and 1 by the Bulldogs. The 29-19 win was a first for the Gators in Starkville since 1985, a string that actually only accounted for 4 games.
Alabama blocked Tennessee's upset bid by deflecting a 44-yard field goal attempt as time expired to preserve a 12-10 victory. The Vols had a 43-yarder blocked earlier in the 4th quarter, and missed a 47-yarder just before halftime. Tennessee was given new life when it recovered a fumble in Tide territory and scored a touchdown with 1:19 to play, and then recovered the ensuing onside kick.
Iowa improved to 8-0 for the first time ever with a 7-yard TD pass on the final play of the game to take a 15-13 win at Michigan State. The Spartans had gone ahead 13-9 on a 30-yard touchdown pass with 1:37 left.
USC oustcored Oregon State 42-36 to keep the Beavers winless in Los Angeles since 1960. Oregon State converted a pair of Trojan interceptions into 10 points to stay in the contest, but couldn't stop USC on downs in the waning minutes to get another shot at victory.
Miami fell at home to Clemson, 40-37 in overtime. A 26-yard TD pass sealed the win after the Hurricanes were held to a field goal on their overtime possession. The Tigers tied the game on a 30-yard field goal with 5 seconds left in regulation. Since Miami joined the ACC, all 3 meetings between the Tigers and 'Canes have gone to overtime and all have been won by the visitor.
Boston College turned the ball over four times on its last six possessions as a 6-game winning streak over Notre Dame came to an end with a 20-16 loss at South Bend.
Meanwhile, the days' top matchup turned into a major blowout as TCU rolled 38-7 at BYU. The outcome was 6 points worse than last year's 32-7 victory by the Horned Frogs in Ft. Worth.
Texas and Cincinnati also won with ease. The Longhorns handed Missouri its 3rd straight loss, 41-7, after the Tigers started the season with 4 consecutive wins. The Bearcats rolled to a 41-10 home win over Louisville without quarterback Tony Pike who had surgery on his non-throwing forearm on Tuesday. Backup Zach Collaros completed 15-of-17 throws for 253 yards and 3 TD's, and added 52 yards rushing.
Elsewhere, Navy never threw a pass as the Midshipmen topped Wake Forest 13-10.
Texas A&M was a head-scratching 52-30 winner at Texas Tech, a week after losing 62-14 at Kansas State and two weeks after Texas Tech blasted Kansas State 66-14. It was the first win for the Aggies in Lubbock since 1993.
Penn State laid a 35-10 whipping on Michigan in "The Big House" to end a 5-game losing streak in Ann Arbor.
On Thursday night, Florida State overcame a 24-6 deficit in the second half to beat North Carolina 30-27. The two teams entered the game at Chapel Hill with winless records in the ACC and neither had defeated a FBS team since September 19. The Tar Heels were favored by the so-called experts, but the computer projected an upset by the Seminoles.
On Wednesday, UTEP scored the last 15 points of the game for a 28-24 home win over Tulsa. The Miners took a 13-0 lead in the first quarter, then were outscored 24-0 over the next two periods before mounting the comeback. The Golden Hurricane were 14.98-point favorites in the contest as they entered the game ranked 26th in the CCR Top 120 while UTEP was 89th.
HOW WILL THEY RESPOND?
Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Kansas and Nebraska - I asked that question in my Pre-Game report. All were knocked from lofty rankings with losses last Saturday. Virginia Tech had the weekend off to lick its' wounds and prepare for a Thursday night home game with North Carolina this week. Ohio State returned home and blasted Minnesota 38-7, a week after seeing its' 16-game road winning streak against Big Ten schools come crashing to a halt at Purdue. But Kansas and Nebraska lost again. The Jayhawks were smoked 35-13 at home by Oklahoma.
Iowa State took advantage of 8 Nebraska turnovers, including 4 inside the opponents 5-yard line, to win in Lincoln for the first time since 1977. The 9-7 victory lifted the Cyclones to 5-3 overall, 2-2 in the Big 12 while the 'Huskers fell to 4-3, 1-2.
The list holds at 7 teams - Alabama, Boise State, Cincinnati, Florida, Iowa, TCU, and Texas.
Ball State downed Eastern Michigan to shrink this list to 5 teams - Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio), New Mexico, Rice and Western Kentucky.
FBS vs. FCS:
There were no such games this week. FBS teams are 80-5 vs. FCS teams on the year, and 455-42 (.915) since 2003.
Here are the results of every FBS loss to the FCS this season:
9/19: Central Arkansas 28, Western Kentucky 7
9/12: New Hampshire 23, Ball State 16. New Hampshire also has wins at Army in 2008 (28-10), Marshall in 2007 (48-35), and Northwestern in 2006 (34-17)
9/5: Richmond 24, Duke 16; William & Mary 26, Virginia 14
9/3: Villanova 27, Temple 24
This year, 87 FBS 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.
Florida has 17 straight victories. The Gators won 29-19 at Mississippi State.
Iowa has 12 straight victories. The Hawkeyes won 15-13 at Michigan State.
Texas has 11 straight victories. The Longhorns won 41-7 at Missouri.
TCU has 9 straight victories. The Horned Frogs won 38-7 at BYU.
Boise State has streaks of 19 consecutive regular season wins, 22 consecutive home wins, 52 consecutive 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. Boise State won 54-9 at Hawaii.
Oklahoma has 26 straight home victories. The Sooners won 35-13 at Kansas.
Utah has 11 straight conference wins, and 14 straight home wins. The Utes won 23-16 in overtime vs. Air Force.
Alabama has 20 straight regular season wins. The Tide won 12-10 vs. Tennessee.
Cincinnati has 13 straight regular season wins. The Bearcats won 41-10 vs. Louisville.
Western Kentucky has lost 15 straight overall and 20 straight to FBS teams. The Hilltoppers lost 62-24 at Middle Tennessee.
Miami (Ohio) has lost 13 straight overall. The RedHawks lost 27-22 vs. Northern Illinois.
New Mexico has lost 11 straight overall. The Lobos lost 34-17 vs. UNLV.
Ball State ended its' 9-game losing streak. The Cardinals won 29-27 at Eastern Michigan.
North Texas has lost 15 straight Sun Belt games. The Mean Green lost 50-26 at Troy.
(See Coaching Changes for details)
There are 22 new college football coaches in the FBS ranks this season. 18 have secured their first victory. 5 teams have yet to defeat a FBS school (Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio), New Mexico and Utah State).
||Lost 27-10 vs. Rutgers
||Lost 31-10 at LSU
||Won 29-27 at Eastern Michigan
||Lost 20-16 at Notre Dame
||Lost 24-10 vs. Central Michigan
||Won 40-37 in OT at Miami (Fla.)
||Lost 29-27 vs. Ball State
||Won 9-7 at Nebraska
||Won 20-6 vs. Colorado
||Lost 27-22 vs. Northern Illinois
||Lost 29-19 vs. Florida
||Lost 34-17 vs. UNLV
|New Mexico State
||Lost 34-3 vs. Fresno State
||Won 43-19 at Washington
||Won 24-14 vs. Illinois
|San Diego State
||Won 42-28 at Colorado State
||Won 28-14 vs. Akron
||Lost 12-10 at Alabama
||Lost 40-24 vs. Temple
||Won 23-21 vs. Louisiana Tech
||Lost 43-19 vs. Oregon
|*-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.