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Sooners Pull Away From Tulsa; Texas A&M, MTSU Fall

by Mike Mitchell
September 21, 2007

Oklahoma scored the last 27 points of the game to pull away for a 62-21 win at Tulsa on Friday night.

After Tulsa cut the lead to 35-21 in the third quarter, the Sooners returned the ensuing kick-off for a touchdown and dominated the over-matched Golden Hurricane the rest of the way.

Still, Tulsa managed to accumulate over 400 yards of offense against the nation's second-ranked defense, 356 of it through the air. It was only the fourth time the state rivals met in Tulsa since 1942. In the previous 3 games at Tulsa, the Sooners held the Golden Hurricane scoreless and won those matches by a combined score of 125-0.

The computer's underdogs went 2-for-2 Thursday night as Miami had an unexpectedly easy 34-17 win at home over Texas A&M, and Middle Tennessee fell 20-17 at home to Western Kentucky.

The Aggies were the nation's fifth-best rushing team entering the Miami contest, averaging 296 yards per game, but the 'Canes held them to just 99 yards and kept them off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter. By the time Texas A&M tallied a field goal, Miami was well on its way to a victory with a 24-0 lead.

The game was vastly different than Miami's foray into Big 12 country earlier this season. Two weeks ago, the Hurricanes were dismantled 51-13 at Oklahoma.

The result of this game left both teams with 3-1 records.

The computer favored Texas A&M, ranked No. 21 in the latest CCR Top 119, by a mere 1.23 points over 39th-ranked Miami.

Western Kentucky served notice to its future league rivals by defeating one of its 2006 co-champions, Middle Tennessee, 20-17 on their own field. The Hilltoppers are currently in transition to become the ninth Sun Belt Conference football playing institution and the 120th Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) member. The Hilltoppers will play six SBC teams in 2008 and will be eligible for the conference title and a bowl berth in 2009.

Middle Tennessee fell to 0-4 with the loss.

1-A vs. 1-AA
The divisions were re-named late last year. 1-A was given the new moniker of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) while 1-AA was labeled the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

Thursday night, Western Kentucky beat Middle Tennessee 20-17, giving FCS teams seven wins over FBS teams this season. The Hilltoppers are currently in transition to become the ninth Sun Belt Conference football playing institution and the 120th Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) member. The Hilltoppers will play six SBC teams in 2008 and will be eligible for the conference title and a bowl berth in 2009.

The other wins are:
Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32 (Week 1)
Nicholls State 16, Rice 14 (Week 1)
Northern Iowa 24, Iowa State 13 (Week 2)
Southern Illinois 34, Northern Illinois 31 (Week 2)
New Hampshire 48, Marshall 35 (Week 3)
McNeese State 38, Louisiana-Lafayette 17 (Week 3)

Championship subdivision teams were 7-71 in 2006 against their higher-classified brethren.

Bowl subdivision teams entered this week with a record of 43-6 this season, and 263-31 (.895) since 2003, in games against lower-division schools.

This season, 78 bowl subdivision teams face schools from the championship subdivision. WAC members New Mexico State and Hawaii double-dip. The Aggies play Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sept. 29 and already defeated Southeastern Louisiana 35-14 in their season-opener. The Warriors, who trounced Northern Colorado 63-6 in their opener, host Charleston Southern on Sept. 22.

STREAKS
Boise State has won 38 consecutive regular season home games. The Broncos also have a perfect home record against their fellow WAC conference members (24-0). Boise State is idle this week.

Wisconsin owns the nation's current longest winning streak at 12 games. The Badgers host Iowa.

Florida has won 10 straight. The Gators visit Ole Miss.

LSU has also won 10 straight games. The Tigers host South Carolina.

USC has won a nation's-best 34 consecutive home games. The Trojans host Washington State.

FIU owns the nation's longest current losing streak at 15 games. The Golden Panthers visit Kansas.

Colorado State has lost 9 straight. The Rams visit Houston.

Utah State has also lost 9 straight. The Aggies host San Jose State.

N.C. State ended its 9-game losing streak with a 38-17 victory over FCS member Wofford last week. But the Wolfpack still have a 9-game losing streak to FBS schools. They will try to snap that string this Saturday at home against Clemson.

NEW COACHES
The 2006 season featured 11 new head coaches. Five led their team to a bowl game.

This year, there are 24 coaching changes for the highest number since 2001 when there were 25. We'll track their progress throughout the season.

Here is how they stand, in order, by won-loss record.

Air Force, 3-0 under Troy Calhoun, visits BYU.
Alabama, 3-0 under Nick Saban, hosts Georgia.
Arizona State, 3-0 under Dennis Erickson, hosts Oregon State.
Boston College, 3-0 under Jeff Jagodzinski, hosts Army.
Cincinnati, 3-0 under Brian Kelly, hosts Marshall.
Indiana, 3-0 under Bill Lynch, hosts Illinois.
Michigan State, 3-0 under Mark Dantonio, visits Notre Dame.
Tulsa, 2-1 under Todd Graham, lost at home on Friday to Oklahoma 62-21.
Louisville, 2-1 under Steve Kragthorpe, host Syracuse.
Miami (Fla.), 3-1 under Randy Shannon, won at home on Thursday over Texas A&M 31-17.
Stanford, 1-1 under Jim Harbaugh, hosts Oregon.
Army, 1-2 under Stan Brock, visits Boston College.
Central Michigan, 1-2 under Butch Jones, hosts FCS member North Dakota St.
Idaho, 1-2 under Robb Akey, hosts Northern Illinois.
Iowa State, 1-2 under Gene Chizik, visits Toledo.
Louisiana Tech, 1-2 under Derek Dooley, is idle.
Minnesota, 1-2 under Tim Brewster, hosts Purdue.
North Carolina, 1-2 under Butch Davis, visits South Florida.
N.C. State, 1-2 under Tom O'Brien, hosts Clemson.
UAB, 1-2 under Neil Callaway, is idle.
North Texas, 0-2 under Todd Dodge, hosts FAU.
Tulane, 0-2 under Bob Toledo, hosts FCS member Southeastern Louisiana.
FIU, 0-3 under Mario Cristobal, visits Kansas.
Rice, 0-3 under David Bailiff, visits Texas.