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College Football Season

Navy Finally Wins;
B.C. and ASU Suffer First Losses

by Mike Mitchell
November 4, 2007

Navy finally beat Notre Dame; Boston College and Arizona State saw their perfect seasons end; and Texas staged a tremendous comeback on another crazy Saturday in college football.

Navy ended its 43-game losing streak to Notre Dame with a 46-44 triple-overtime win in South Bend. Twice, the Midshipmen stopped the Fighting Irish from converting the tying two-point conversion. The Navy defense stuffed the run after a questionable pass interference penalty gave Notre Dame a second chance.

The 43-game streak is an NCAA record for consecutive wins against the same opponent. The Midshipmen are 2-1 in overtime games this season.

Nine days after avoiding its first defeat at Virginia Tech, Boston College (No. 2 in the BCS Standings) was unable to pull the same rabbit out of its hat against Florida State. Trying to rally from a 20-17 fourth quarter deficit, the Seminoles returned an interception 35 yards for the clinching touchdown with only 1:10 left in the game.

No. 4 Arizona State also went down to defeat, 35-23, at No. 5 Oregon. The Ducks never trailed in the contest, and led by 19 points entering the fourth quarter. The Sun Devils turned the ball over twice in Oregon territory in the final period.

The losses by Boston College and Arizona State leave just three teams in the shrinking ranks of undefeated teams - Ohio State, Kansas, and idle Hawaii.

No. 1 Ohio State erased a 17-10 third quarter deficit by scoring the last 28 points of the game to thump Wisconsin 38-17. It was the 28th consecutive regular season win, and 20th straight Big Ten win for the Buckeyes.

No. 8 Kansas clobbered Nebraska 76-39 to keep the Jayhawks perfect record intact. It's the most points ever scored against Nebraska who have lost five straight games for the first time since 1958 - two more historic negatives for the Cornhuskers under the watch of embattled coach Bill Callahan.

Comebacks were another big story of the day, especially where Texas was concerned..

Texas scored 24 points in the final 11:40 of its game at Oklahoma State to storm back from a 35-14 deficit and win 38-35. The rally was completed with a 40-yard field on the final play of the game. The Cowboys have failed to hold onto huge leads over the Longhorns in four of their last five meetings. In 2005, Texas reeled off 37 unanswered points for a 47-28 win after trailing 28-9 in the second quarter. In 2004, the Longhorns scored 49 unanswered points for a 56-35 victory after trailing 35-7 in the first half. In 2003, Texas won 55-16 after falling behind 16-7 in the first quarter. In those four meetings, OSU has won the first halves by a combined score of 107-47, but lost the second halves by a total of 142-7.

Oklahoma State isn't alone this season. Just last week, Texas rallied from a 17-3 deficit early in the fourth quarter to hand Nebraska a 28-25 defeat.

Meanwhile, LSU escaped Tuscaloosa with a 41-34 win as 'Bama head coach Nick Saban was defeated by his former team. LSU tied Alabama at 34-all on a 32-yard pass-and-run with 2:49 remaining, then scored the winning points after the Crimson Tide fumbled at its own 3-yard line on their ensuing series. It was their third comeback victory in their last four games. In their last game two weeks ago, the Tigers squashed the upset bid from Auburn on a 22-yard touchdown pass with 1 second left for a 30-24 comeback victory. Four weeks ago against Florida, LSU never led until it scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 2-yard run with 1:09 left in the game.

Michigan scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:28 remaining to sink Michigan State 28-24. The Spartans led 24-14 before the Wolverines closed the gap on a touchdown with 6:47 left in the game. Michigan has won six straight games in the series, 7 of the last 8, and 10 of the last 12. The Spartans have lost five of their last six games this season. Michigan has won 8 straight.

Sam Swank missed a 48-yard field goal wide right as time expired to preserve a 17-16 come-from-behind win for Virginia. It was the fifth time this season that the Cavaliers were victorious by 2 points or less. Virginia took the lead on a 2-yard run with 2:18 to play.

Rice scored 28 points in the fourth quarter to surge past UTEP 56-48 for its second win of the season. The Owls fell behind by giving up 22 points in the third quarter. Rice is allowing an average of 42.2 points per game.

One of the wildest finishes occurred at Louisiana-Monroe where three touchdowns were scored in the final 2:36. Middle Tennessee took a 37-33 lead on a 1-yard QB sneak on 4th down, but the Warhawks went back in front 40-37 on a 15-yard touchdown pass on their next possession. No sweat for the Blue Raiders - they simply returned the ensuing kick-off 89 yards to retake the lead at 43-40 (the PAT failed) with 45 seconds left in the game. UL-Monroe reached the MTSU 25-yard line on a hook-and-lateral, but the play ended in a recovered fumble by the Blue Raiders to secure the 43-40 win.

South Florida's comeback bid fell short - again. Last week, the Bulls lost 22-15 at UConn when they came away with a total of three points on two drives in the fourth quarter to the Connecticut 1- and 2-yard lines. This week, they lost 38-33 to Cincinnati in Tampa, but only after a potential 18-yard game-winning pass went incomplete in the back of the endzone on the game's final play. Cincinnati inexplicably gave USF excellent field position with 29 seconds when it faked a 44-yard field goal and lost 12 yards on the failed trickery.

The game started as a track meet with Cincinnati taking a 31-14 lead in the first quarter. In order, the opening period featured a 73-yard interception return (USF), a 63-yardTD pass (CINCY), a 100-yard kick-off return (USF), a 38-yard FG (CINCY), a blocked punt recovered for a TD (CINCY), a 79-yard interception return (CINCY), and a 16-yard TD pass (CINCY).

South Florida has lost three straight games, all in the Big East, after landing at No. 2 in the debut of this season's BCS Standings on October 14.

Miami lost 19-16 in overtime to N.C. State. The game was sent into overtime on a 27-yard Miami field goal with 19 seconds left. But the 'Canes missed from the same distance on their opening possession in overtime, paving the way for the Wolfpack to win it on a 42-yard field goal. The Hurricanes fell to 2-3 in the ACC and 5-4 over-all. It was the second straight conference win for the Wolfpack, and third straight over-all. They handed Virginia its only conference loss last week. N.C. State climbed to 4-5 over-all and 2-3 in the conference, improving their bowl hopes dramatically. The remaining schedule for the Wolfpack has two home games with North Carolina and Maryland sandwiched around a road trip to Wake Forest.

Boise State improved its home record against WAC opponents to 27-0 with a 42-7 win over San Jose State.

In other action involving teams that were highly-ranked in the BCS, No. 6 Oklahoma rolled past Texas A&M 42-14; No. 8 Missouri waltzed past Colorado 55-10; No. 10 Georgia put down upset-minded Troy 44-34; and No. 13 UConn doubled-up Rutgers 38-19.

On Friday night, Ohio, Bowling Green and Nevada each pocketed their fifth win of the season.

The Bobcats beat Temple 23-7, ending the Owls' three-game winning streak. The Falcons rolled over Akron 44-20.

The best game of the night was easily Nevada-New Mexico State. Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick threw 3 TD passes and ran for 2 more, and the Wolf Pack won the game 40-38 when the Aggies severely hooked a potential last-second 44-yard field goal wide left. Nevada had just retaken the lead with a minute left on a  31-yard touchdown pass.

In the beginning, it looked like the Wolf Pack would roll over a New Mexico State team didn't arrive back in the contiguous United States until Monday after playing Saturday night in Hawaii. Nevada took a 20-3 lead in the first 17 minutes. But the Aggies crept back in and took a 24-20 lead into the fourth quarter. The teams then traded touchdowns throughout the final period and Nevada left the door open for the Aggies when they failed to convert the PAT on their last touchdown.

After last week's last-second loss at home to Boston College on Thursday night, Virginia Tech bounced back strong with a Thursday night road win at Georgia Tech. The dominating defense intercepted five passes and recovered a fumble, while the much-maligned offense rolled up a season-high 480 yards in the 27-3 victory.

The Hokies improved to 7-2 over-all, 4-1 in the ACC and kept them in charge of their own destiny in the Coastal Division title chase. Georgia Tech slipped to 5-4 over-all, and just 2-4 in the conference while being held to its lowest offensive point output since a similar 27-3 loss to Miami on October 2, 2004.

The football week ended Sunday night with Houston knocking off SMU, and lame-duck head coach Phil Bennett, 38-28. The Cougars lead CUSA's west division while SMU sits in the basement.

The number of undefeated teams has shrunk to 3. They are (in alphabetical order): Hawaii, Kansas, and Ohio State.

There are 2 schools still searching for their first victory - FIU and Utah State.

The Golden Panthers fell 27-24 at Arkansas State when the Indians kicked a 31-yard field goal with 2 seconds left in the game. FIU had just tied it on a touchdown and 2-point conversion with 48 seconds remaining, but Arkansas State had a 60-yard return of the ensuing kick-off

Utah State lost 38-27 at Fresno State.

Additionally, Idaho has yet to beat a team from the bowl subdivision. The Vandals fell 28-16 at home to Louisiana Tech.

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).

Two teams faced FCS schools this week and both were victorious. Auburn routed Tennessee Tech 38-3, while Ole Miss held-off a determined Northwestern State (La.) squad for a 38-31 win - the same Demons team that Texas Tech demolished 75-7 on September 29.

Bowl Subdivision teams are now 65-10 against FCS teams this year.

The ten losses 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)
North Dakota State 44, Central Michigan 14 (Week 4)
Western Kentucky 20, Middle Tennessee 17 (Week 4)
North Dakota State 27, Minnesota 21 (Week 8)
Delaware 59, Navy 52 (Week 9)

Western Kentucky is 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.

Bowl subdivision teams were 71-7 in 2006 against FCS schools. FBS teams are 285-35 (.891) in such games since 2003.

This season, 78 bowl subdivision teams face schools from the championship subdivision. WAC members New Mexico State and Hawaii double-dipped.

Boston College saw its 9-game winning streak end. The Eagles lost 27-17 at home to Florida State.

Arizona State saw its winning streak end at 8 games. The Sun Devils lost 35-23 at Oregon.

Ohio State has won 10 straight games over-all, 28 straight regular season games, and 20 consecutive Big Ten games. The Buckeyes won 38-17 at home over Wisconsin.

Hawaii has won 9 straight games. The Warriors were idle.

Kansas has also won 9 in-a-row, and 12 consecutive regular season games. The Jayhawks won 76-39 at home over Nebraska.

Michigan has won 8 in-a-row. The Wolverines on 28-24 at home over Michigan State.

Boise State has won 8 straight games, 42 consecutive regular season home games, and 15 consecutive WAC games. The Broncos also have a perfect home record against their fellow WAC conference members (27-0). Boise State won 42-7 at home over San Jose State.

FIU owns the nation's longest current losing streak at 21 games. The Golden Panthers lost 27-24 at Arkansas State.

Utah State has dropped 15 straight. The Aggies lost 28-16 at Fresno State.

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.

This week, there are four games where new coaches face each other - N.C. State won 19-16 in overtime at Miami, Army lost 30-10 at Air Force, Idaho lost at home to Louisiana Tech 28-16, and Tulsa won 49-25 at Tulane.

FIU is the only team that has yet to snag a win with its new head coach. Idaho has yet to defeat an FBS team.

Here is how each of the new coaches are faring, in order, by won-loss record.

Arizona State, 8-1 under Dennis Erickson, lost 35-23 at Oregon.
Boston College, 8-1 under Jeff Jagodzinski, lost 27-17 at home to Florida State.
Cincinnati, 7-2 under Brian Kelly, won 38-33 at South Florida.
Air Force, 7-3 under Troy Calhoun, won 30-10 at home over Army.
Alabama, 6-3 under Nick Saban, lost 41-34 at home to LSU.
Tulsa, 6-3 under Todd Graham, won 49-25 at Tulane.
Indiana, 6-4 under Bill Lynch, won 38-20 at home over Ball State.
Central Michigan, 5-4 under Butch Jones, was idle.
Louisville, 5-4 under Steve Kragthorpe, was idle.
Miami (Fla.), 5-4 under Randy Shannon, lost 19-16 at home in overtime to N.C. State.
Michigan State, 5-5 under Mark Dantonio, lost 28-24 at home to Michigan.
Louisiana Tech, 4-5 under Derek Dooley, won 28-16 at Idaho.
N.C. State, 4-5 under Tom O'Brien, won 19-16 in overtime at Miami (Fla.).
Army, 3-6 under Stan Brock, lost 30-10 at Air Force.
North Carolina, 3-6 under Butch Davis, won 16-13 at home over Maryland.
Stanford, 3-6 under Jim Harbaugh, lost 27-9 at home to Washington.
Rice, 2-7 under David Bailiff, won 56-48 at home over UTEP.
Tulane, 2-7 under Bob Toledo, lost 49-25 at home to Tulsa.
UAB, 2-7 under Neil Callaway, lost 37-7 at home to Southern Miss.
Iowa State, 2-8 under Gene Chizik, won 31-20 at home over Kansas State.
North Texas, 1-7 under Todd Dodge, was idle.
Idaho, 1-9 under Robb Akey, lost 28-16 at home to Louisiana Tech.
Minnesota, 1-9 under Tim Brewster, lost 44-17 at home to Illinois.
FIU, 0-9 under Mario Cristobal, lost 27-24 at Arkansas State.


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