Inside the Boxscores Week 4 Part 2

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Inside the Boxscores is a weekly feature by Matt Fargo that has been widely recognized as the best roundup in 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, misleading scores, and unexpected endings. Fargo takes you inside the action.

NEW MEXICO 26 Texas-El Paso 13

New Mexico only outscored the Miners by 48 total yards, but recovered a fumble on the third play of the game that set up a small touchdown drive and also made two big stops on fourth down. The Lobos were 9-14 on third-down conversions and a perfect 4-4 inside the red zone. UTEP went three-and-out on its first four possessions and fell into a hole from which it couldn’t recover. The Miners had 30 rushing yards on 23 carries (1.3 ypc).

Wake Forest 27 OLE MISS 3

Wake Forest won the yardage battle by just 46 total yards, but had a short field most of the day. The Deacons’ average starting field position was their own 41-yard line compared to the Rebels’ 22-yard line. Ole Miss missed a field goal, turned the ball over on downs at the Wake Forest 18-yard line, and threw an interception that set up a one-play, one-yard drive for the Deacons’ final touchdown.

MARYLAND 14 Florida International 10

Maryland held on despite being outscored 310-275. The Golden Panthers had to settle for a short field goal early in the fourth quarter and then were stopped at the Maryland 9-yard line on a first-and-goal after an interception as time expired. Florida International made 17 fewer snaps and lost the TOP battle by 12 minutes, but averaged 5.8 ypp compared to just 3.9 ypp for the Terrapins.

AKRON 33 North Texas 13

The Mean Green actually outscored Akron 287-278, but the Zips jumped out to a 26-0 lead early in the second quarter and held on the rest of the way. Akron scored touchdowns on its first five drives, but managed just 78 total yards in the second half. North Texas had two turnovers inside Zips territory and also turned the ball over twice at Akron’s four and eight yards.

State of Mississippi 16 UAB 10

Mississippi St. outscored the Blazers 281-210, but mistakes and lack of execution nearly cost them the game. The Bulldogs had two fumbles inside the UAB 23-yard line and also turned the ball over on downs at the 25-yard line. The Blazers kicked the tying field goal with less than two minutes to go and then got the ball first at overtime, but they threw an interception that opened the door for the Bulldogs.

SOUTH CAROLINA 45 Florida Atlantic 6

Florida Atlantic scored a touchdown on their opening drive to pull within a point, but the Gamecocks got the last 38 points for the blowout win. South Carolina outscored the Owls 492-243 and the defense allowed them to cross midfield only twice after that opening score. Florida Atlantic was just 2-14 on third-down conversions and finished with just 105 passing yards.

(21) NEBRASKA 56 Troy 0

Nebraska scored early and often, as they recorded two touchdowns in each quarter while outscoring the Trojans 597-140. The Huskers rushed for 316 yards on 46 carries (6.9 ypc) and held Troy to just 48 yards on 27 carries (1.8 ypc). Troy crossed midfield just once and that resulted in an interception. Two more turnovers created a short field for Nebraska, which held the Trojans 1-11 on third-down conversions.

(16) OKLAHOMA 59 Middle Tennessee 0

Another blowout saw Oklahoma outscore the Blue Raiders 462-95 to build a 45-0 lead at halftime. Middle Tennessee finished with just seven first downs and their biggest drive was the Oklahoma 42-yard line on their final drive of the game. The Sooners crossed midfield on every possession thanks to their average starting field position from their own 49-yard line.

TEXAS A&M 45 Louisiana Tech 14

Louisiana Tech led 7-0 late in the first quarter after recovering a fumble that set up a 24-yard touchdown run. The Aggies, who only had seven total yards in the first quarter, rushed the next 38 points and scored on six straight possessions. Texas A&M had 489 yards of offense and went a perfect 4-4 inside the red zone. The Bulldogs went 2-14 on third-down conversions.


UCLA led 16-0, but the Huskies defense took over and held the Bruins to just 80 yards in the final three quarters. Washington took the lead midway through the fourth quarter and then intercepted a Bruins pass on the next play and returned it for a score to pull away. The Bruins got the ball two more times, but could only handle two first downs. The Huskies had just 49 rushing yards on 27 carries (1.8 ypc).

KANSAS 13 Florida 7

Kansas outscored the Bulls 391-309, but fell behind heading into the fourth quarter before two scores stopped the game. After a scoreless first half, the Jayhawks took the opening possession of the second half 60 yards to set up a field goal. South Florida responded with the go-ahead score before Kansas pulled away. The Bulls had two turnovers inside the Kansas 30-yard line and turned it over on downs at the 2-yard line.

SYRACUSE 34 Miami-Ohio 14

Syracuse outscored the RedHawks by just 43 total yards, but the defense made big stops when necessary. The Orange stopped Miami twice on fourth down inside the 35-yard line and also blocked a 35-yard field goal attempt. The defense also returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown. Syracuse recorded eight sacks that netted the RedHawks rushing 31 yards on 29 carries (1.1 ypc).

Army 27 BAYLOR 20

Baylor lost its second straight close game, this one in overtime as it failed to match an Army touchdown run. The Bears tied the game in the last minute of regulation with a 24-yard field goal. Army started the game reaching the Baylor 19-yard line on his first three possessions, but settled for three field goal attempts, making just one. The Bears suffered 11 penalties for 107 yards.


Western Michigan held Temple to just 149 total yards and forced four turnovers, two of which led to brief second-half touchdowns. The Broncos blocked a field goal as time expired in the first half and returned it for a touchdown. Temple’s lone touchdown was set up on a missed punt. 13 of the Owls’ 14 possessions were five plays or less and 11 of them were 11 yards or less.

(5) FLORIDA 26 Kentucky 7

The Wildcats held on for the half while trailing by just five points before halftime. The scoring should have been much worse than the Gators, who outscored Kentucky 514-249, but committed two turnovers inside the Wildcats 30-yard line and also turned around on chances at the 19-yard line. just 54 total yards in the second half and finished with just 39 rushing yards on 22 carries (1.8 ypc).

(9) LSU 49 Tulane 7

The Tigers didn’t dominate as much as the score indicates, outscoring Tulane 373-231, but they used two turnovers to set up short touchdown drives. The Green Wave managed to drive into LSU territory on six of their last eight possessions, but two interceptions, a missed field goal and a turnover on attempts kept them scoreless until a touchdown on their final drive. LSU was a perfect 7-7 inside the red zone.

NC STATE 17 Boston University 15

The Wolfpack pulled out the improbable victory on a 34-yard touchdown pass with just five seconds remaining. Boston College trailed a point early in the fourth quarter and scored a touchdown, but missed the two-point conversion, which was the final difference. The Eagles outgained NC State by one yard, but missed two chances inside the Wolfpack 32-yard line with an interception and a turnover on attempts.

(22) STATE OF BOISE 41 Hawaii 34

Offenses dominated as they racked up a combined 991 yards, but it was Hawaii that missed numerous opportunities. The Warriors had three turnovers inside Boise St. territory while turning it over on chances at the Broncos 4-yard line. Hawaii came within a touchdown with three minutes to go, but was unable to get the ball back. The Warriors went 18 fewer plays and outscored Boise St. by 1.6 ypp.

Utah 38 SAN DIEGO ST 7

San Diego St. tied the game at seven late in the first quarter, but then Utah scored the final 31 points of the game to pull away. After driving 74 yards for the tying score, the Aztecs crossed midfield just once in their next 10 possessions, gaining just 130 total yards in that span. The Utes turned the ball over twice inside the red zone, but returned two of San Diego St.’s five interceptions for touchdowns.

SMU 55 Arkansas State 9

The Mustangs had 457 yards of offense and held the Indians to just 69 rushing yards on 41 carries (1.7 ypc). Arkansas St. got within a point in the first quarter with a 69-yard TD pass, but the errors took over after that. The Indians turned the ball over four times, twice inside the red zone and their five total turnovers led to 24 SMU points. The Mustangs were 5-5 inside the red zone.

(12) Notre Dame 40 STATE OF MICHIGAN 37

Notre Dame pulled off a miraculous comeback by scoring 19 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, including a 27-yard interception return for a score with 2:53 remaining. The Spartans had three turnovers in the entire game, but all three came on their last three possessions, two of which led to touchdowns. Michigan St. got to the Notre Dame 44-yard line before an interception ended the game.

(3) USC 20 ARIZONA 3

Arizona trailed by just one touchdown early in the fourth quarter despite being outscored 381-154. The Trojans increased the lead to 10 points and a Wildcats fumble late in the period set up a short touchdown run that put the game out. USC finished 12-18 on third-down conversions, but missed three scoring opportunities inside the Arizona 30-yard line. The Wildcats rushed -16 yards on 19 carries (-0.8 ypc).

HOUSTON 34 Oklahoma State 25

The Cougars had 509 yards of offense and controlled possession time by more than 10 minutes. The Cowboys had two costly fumbles as Houston rallied from a seven-point second-half deficit to take a 10-point lead. Oklahoma St. ran 25 fewer snaps, but still gained 446 yards of offense and averaged 9.1 ypp. The teams were forced to punt only twice each.


Oregon St. limited the Vandals to just 185 total yards and seven first downs while forcing six turnovers. The Beavers returned an interception for a score and had one shortstop for the entire game. Oregon St. had 380 yards of offense and finished averaging just 5.2 ypp. Idaho finished with just 57 rushing yards on 24 carries (2.4 ypc) and was 0-10 on third-down conversions.

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