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College Football Season

San Diego State Literally Throws Upset Away; Michigan Escapes Again

Stanford Stifles Arizona Sate; Trojans Slip By Aggies; Irish Edge Sparty

by Dave Congrove
September 22, 2013

It didn't seem like much of a schedule heading into the week as the 58-game slate featured very few marquee matchups, and a lot of the top teams - Oregon, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, to name a few - were idle. But many of the games played out more interestingly than they appeared on paper.

San Diego State literally threw away an upset of Oregon State on a 16-yard pick-6 touchdown with 2:38 left in the game. The Aztecs had never trailed until that 2nd-and-19 play from their own 16-yard line. Oregon State had cut SDSU's lead to 30-28 just seconds earlier on a touchdown pass. The loss sent San Diego State reeling to an 0-3 start after being a preseason favorite to contend for the west division title in the MWC. The Beavers won their third straight game after opening the season with a home loss to FCS member Eastern Washington.

Did Michigan prove last week's narrow escape at home vs. Akron wasn't a fluke after all? This week, it was winless bad boy Connecticut that almost embarrassed the Wolverines as the bail-out came with 4:46 left on a 21-yard field goal. Michigan trailed by as much as 21-7 in the contest. UConn was 0-2 coming into the game, including a 33-18 loss to FCS member Towson in the opener. That's not quite as bad as last week's nail-biter vs. Akron which took place in "The Big House " against a team that has now lost 28 straight road games and 25 straight FBS games after losing 35-30 at home to Louisiana-Lafayette yesterday.

A week after a hapless officiating crew saved Arizona State from a home loss to Wisconsin, the Sun Devils were blown out at Stanford. The 42-28 final score is much closer than the game as the Cardinal held a 29-0 halftime lead and a 39-7 edge entering the 4th quarter. ASU did manage a 21-0 run in the final stanza to pull within 39-28.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin regrouped from last week's disappointment by boiling Purdue 41-10.

USC used its defense to avert the home upset loss to Utah State. A field goal early in the 4th proved to be the difference in the 17-14 outcome.

Notre Dame and Michigan State played the defensive game everyone expected with the Irish prevailing 17-13.

The opposite was true for Pitt and Duke as the ACC contest produced 113 points. The Panthers won 58-55, but had a heckuva time holding on to huge leads. A 27-7 advantage was trimmed to 30-28 11 a little more than 11 minutes within the 2nd quarter of play. Pitt expanded the margin to 51-28, then held on for the victory at Durham.

Baylor has scored at least 69 points in all three of its games after crushing Louisiana-Monroe 70-7. The Bears' season-opening 4-game homestand ends next Saturday vs. a West Virginia team that lost 37-0 this week to Maryland in Baltimore. Baylor has also downed FCS member Wofford 69-3 and MAC member Buffalo 70-13.

Texas ended a 2-game losing streak with a 31-21 home win over Kansas State. Last week, Ole Miss pounded the Longhorns 44-23. Before that, Texas was throttled 40-21 by BYU in Provo.

Florida lost QB Jeff Driskel for the season with a broken leg that he suffered in the 1st quarter of a 31-17 home win over Tennessee. Junior backup Tyler Murphy completed 8-of-14 passes for 134 yards and a TD with no INT's, in place of Driskel. Two Vol QB's combined to throw 4 picks and completed just 14-of-34 passes while the team also lost 2 fumbles. Florida had 3 turnovers, including a pick-6 that gave the Vols a 7-0 lead.

Rutgers rallied from a 24-7 deficit midway through the 3rd quarter to beat Arkansas 28-24 at home.

West Virginia was shellacked 37-0 by Maryland in a game played in the Baltimore Ravens' home stadium. The Terps forced 6 Mountaineer turnovers and limited the team to 75 yards of offense in WVU's first shutout loss since a 35-0 defeat against Virginia Tech on Oct. 6, 2001. West Virginia scored 212 points in its first three games a year ago and started 4-0, compared to just 72 this year amid a 2-2 start.

Kansas earned its first win since Sept. 10, 2011 vs. a FBS team when it edged Louisiana Tech 13-10. The Jayhawks had lost 22 straight to schools within their own division.

Virginia Tech and Marshall went three OT's before the Hokies pulled out a 29-21 win in which Beamerball returned with a blocked punt return for a touchdown and a blocked field goal. But Virginia Tech also missed 3 FG's of its own - two in overtime - and ultimately relied on QB Logan Thomas' legs to score a TD and and the ensuing 2-point conversion. Thomas managed to throw for 2 TD's, but only after he threw 2 more picks to run his season totals to 5 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

Georgia Tech scored 21 unanswered points to fight back from a 20-7 2nd quarter deficit against North Carolina in Atlanta, blanking the Tar Heels 14-0 in the second half.

Georgia Tech (3-0) hosts Virginia Tech (3-1) this week on Thursday night.

When Air Force lost to Wyoming 56-23, it was a matter of the last-place FBS team beating the No. 1 FBS team - alphabetically speaking, that is.

Only 29 teams have kept their records unblemished, including Navy and Colorado which have only played 2 games. 19 teams are 3-0 while just 8 teams have managed to maintain perfect records through 4 games.

The winless list contains 14 schools. It includes 6 that have played 4 games, 7 that have played 3 games, and 1 that has played only 2 contests.

The new Congrove Computer Rankings have Oregon at the top for the second straight week, and fellow PAC-12 North rival Stanford at No. 2. Idle Oklahoma stays at No. 3 while Baylor rises to 4th and Ohio State climbs to 5th.

The computer was 36-8 in picking straight-up winners of FBS vs. FBS games, 49-9 overall. And's feature picks saw Mike Mitchell was 17-0 to raise his record to 57-3 for the year. He's 33-27 against the spread. The computer was also 7-3 in outright upset picks against the spread.

FBS vs. FCS:
Georgia State lost at home to Jacksonville State in overtime 32-26, making the Panthers winless in all of three of their scheduled games versus FCS schools.

FBS teams were 13-1 vs. FCS schools this weekend and are now 81-14 on the year (.853) and 817-79 (.912) since 2003. FCS teams won just 10 games all season a year ago.

106 FBS schools scheduled a total of 110 games against FCS foes in 2013. Clemson and Georgia Tech each scheduled two such schools while FBS newcomer Georgia State scheduled 3 FCS teams.

Here are the results of the FBS losses to FCS schools this season:
8/29: Towson 33, Connecticut 18
8/29: Southern Utah 22, South Alabama 21
8/30: Samford 31, Georgia State 21
8/30: North Dakota State 24, Kansas State 21
8/31: Northern Iowa 28, Iowa State 20
8/31: Eastern Washington 49, Oregon State 46
8/31: Eastern Illinois 40, San Diego State 18
8/31: McNeese State 53, USF 21
9/7: UT-Chattanooga 42, Georgia State 14
9/7: Maine 24, Massachusetts 14
9/7: Nicholls State 27, Western Michigan 23.
9/14: Fordham 30, Temple 29
9/14: Bethune-Cookman 34, FIU 13
9/21: Jacksonville State 32, Georgia State 26 (OT)

Eastern Washington, McNeese State and North Dakota State also had wins vs. FBS teams last year.

Ohio State - Won 16 straight overall. Won 76-0 vs. Florida A&M (FCS) on Saturday.

Northern Illinois - Won 22 straight at home and 18 straight vs. conference foes. Won 43-39 vs. Eastern Illinois (FCS) on Saturday.

LSU - Won 44 straight regular season nonconference games. Won 35-31 vs. Auburn on Saturday.

Michigan - Won 17 straight home games. Won 24-21 at Connecticut on Saturday.

Oregon - Won 16 straight road games. Idle this week.

Southern Miss - Lost 15 straight overall. Idle this week.

Akron - Lost 28 straight road games, 25 straight FBS games and 16 straight conference games (MAC). Lost 35-30 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday.

Kansas - Had lost 22 straight FBS games before downing Louisiana Tech 13-10 on Saturday. The Jayhawks still have losing streaks of 21 straight conference games and 20 straight road games.

UNLV - Lost 23 straight road games. Won 38-7 vs. Western Illinois (FCS) on Saturday.


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