Weekend Recap: Alabama Averts Upset at Florida, BYU Takes Down ASU, Fresno State Upsets UCLA

September 19, 2021 by Staff

Alabama prevented Florida from converting a two-point conversion run with 3:19 left to play to secure a 31-29 win in Gainesville. The Tide led 21-3 in the first quarter and 28-16 with 4:43 to go in the 3rd, but the Gators were true to their Tom Petty anthem and didn't back down. Florida pulled to within 28-23 just before the 3rd quarter ended. 'Bama got a field goal to up 31-23 with 9:25 to play in the game. The Tide have now taken 8 straight over the Gators.

Meanwhile, Auburn put up a fight, but Penn State took care of business. The teams battled to a draw in practically every stat  - first downs, time of possession, total offense - but the Nittany Lions had the 28-20 advantage on the scoreboard when the clock struck :00.

BYU has beaten AP-ranked teams in back-to-back weeks for the first time in school history after dropping Arizona State 27-17 late Saturday night. The Cougars are 3-0 vs. the PAC-12 South with wins over Arizona, Utah and the Sun Devils.

Another PAC-12 team, UCLA, also fell late Saturday night as Fresno State scored the game-winning points on a 13-yard pass with 14 seconds left to sink the Bruins 40-37. UCLA had just taken the lead a mere 40 seconds earlier.

Arizona lost a 15th straight game, falling 21-19 at home to Northern Arizona. A touchdown cut the gap to two with 2:16 to play but the 2-point conversion attempt failed and the Lumberjacks ran out the clock.

San Diego State gave up a 14-point lead in the final 4:17, but stole the game back in the third overtime for a 33-31 win over Utah. After finishing regulation in a 24-all deadlock, both teams scored TD's in the first extra period, and both missed field goals in the second. A new rule this year makes teams run alternating 2-point plays beginning with the 3rd OT, instead of starting another drive at the opponent’s 25-yard line. This is a change from the previous rule, which started to use 2-point plays in the fifth overtime period. It was the second straight win for the Aztecs over a PAC- 12 school this season and their fourth straight dating back to the 2018 season. Utah, which was expected to compete for the PAC-12 South title, has yet to win a game vs. a FBS school this season.

Minnesota went on the road and routed Colorado 30-0 as the defense held the Buffaloes to 63 total yards, including minus-19 rushing. The Gophers were a narrow underdog by the oddsmakers, but a slight favorite by the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com.

Speaking of the computer, this week's computer picks performed spectacularly with marks of 36-16 against the spread and 41-11 straight up. The Feature Picks also did well as they were 5-2 SU and ATS in opposite plays, 4-0 ATS and SU on Easy Pickins games, and 3-1 SU and 1-3 ATS in the Hold Your Horses category.

USC was a 45-14 winner at Washington State for Donte Williams in his first game as head coach. Williams was called on to serve in an interim capacity when Clay Helton was fired early in the week following a 42-28 loss at home to Stanford.

Oregon is the only PAC-12 team with an unblemished record after a 48-7 romp over FCS member Stony Brook.

West Virginia took a 14-0 lead in its first 5 plays vs. Virginia Tech, then held on to win 27-21. The Hokies had multiple opportunities to score go awry, including a final chance at victory when an interception set them up with a 1st-and-10 at the Mountaineer 17-yard line with 2:06 to play. But Virginia Tech turned the ball over on downs six plays later with a pass that fell incomplete just short of the goal line. The Hokies had won 10 of the previous 13 meetings, and the last 3 in-a-row, but this was the first clash of the two rivals since 2017 and only the second since 2005.

Aside from Virginia Tech, the ACC suffered losses by Pittsburgh and Miami in non-conference play. The Broncos never trailed the Panthers in a 44-41 win, while the Spartans unloaded with a 21-point barrage in the final stanza to pull away for the 38-17 win over the home-standing Hurricanes.

A rare bright spot for the ACC came on Friday night when Louisville claimed a last-minute 42-35 win over visiting UCF on a 66-yard interception return with 13 seconds left, one play after the Knights had intercepted the Cardinals.

Also on Friday night, a 32-yard field goal as time expired gave Maryland a 20-17 win at Illinois and the Terps are 3-0 for the first time since 2016.

On Saturday, Duke ran raced out to a 27-0 lead and held on to beat Northwestern 30-23 in Durham.

Clemson needed a late goal line stand to secure a 14-8 win at home over Georgia Tech. It was 14-6 after the Tigers stopped the Yellow Jackets at the 1 on 4th-and-goal, but Clemson gave Georgia Tech another chance when Will Shipley recovered his own fumble in the end zone for a safety with 7 seconds left. After the kickoff, the Jackets ran two plays that went nowhere.

Florida State's troubles continue in the second year of Mike Norvell's tenure as head coach. The Seminoles were throttled 35-14 at Wake Forest to fall to 0-3 for the first time since 1976 which was Bobby Bowen's first season as head coach.

Memphis snapped a 12-game losing streak to Mississippi State with a 31-29 comeback victory at home after trailing 17-7 at the half. The Tigers ultimately had to deny MSU a 2-point conversion run attempt that would have tied the game with 30 seconds remaining. One of the strangest plays of the day saw Calvin Austin III pick up a punted ball and return it 94 yards for a touchdown for Memphis after the Bulldogs appeared to have already 'downed" it.

Several notable teams needed fourth quarter surges to put away outmanned opponents.

Ohio State tallied the last 14 points of the game to pull away from Tulsa for a 41-20 win.

Cincinnati outscored Indiana 15-0 in the final period to pull away for a 38-24 win at Indiana, and Oklahoma turned back Nebraska 23-16 in the first renewal of that rivalry since 2010.

Kansas State outscored Nevada 21-0 in the 4th quarter in Manhattan to break a 17-17 tie and whip the Wolf Pack 38-17.

Notre Dame outscored Purdue 10-0 in the 4th quarter to break open a 17-13 game and down the Boilermakers 27-13 in South Bend.

SMU was a 39-37 winner at Louisiana Tech on a Tanner Mordecai 33-yard pass to Roderick Roberson Jr. as time expired. The Bulldogs had just taken the lead with 36 seconds left on a 38-yard field goal. Mordecai then managed to engineer a 6-play, 73-yard drive that led to the walk-off score. The game had 6 lead changes and 1,061 yards of offense.

Oklahoma State won 21-20 at Boise State in a game that saw no scoring after halftime. A turnover late in the game set up the Broncos with a chance to take the lead with 2:05 remaining but a 36-yard FG attempt was hooked wide left.

A 72-yard pass and  61-yard run on back-to-back possessions in the 4th quarter lifted Utah State to a come-from-behind 49-45 upset win at Air Force.

Louisiana-Monroe snapped a 12-game losing streak with a 12-7 win at home over FCS member Jackson State.

Bowling Green snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 27-10 win over FCS member Murray State. The Falcons were actually a 4.54-point computer underdog.

The weekend ended with San Jose State pocketing its 9th straight win in Mountain West play with a 17-13 win at Hawaii.


2 teams will play 2 FCS teams this fall (UConn and UMass), and 115 teams will play 1 FCS school for a total of 117 such matchups.

21 such games tool place this week. A pair of FCS teams were favored to win, but Murray State lost 27-10 as a 4.54-point computer choice at Bowling Green, and South Carolina State lost 43-35 as an 11.89-point favorite at New Mexico State. However, there were two FCS winners as Incarnate Word downed Texas State 42-34 and Northern Arizona topped Arizona 21-19.

FBS schools are 86-10 in such games this season. Since we began tracking this in 2003, the FBS teams are now 1,555-138 (.918).

Last year, 30 FBS teams played a total of just 34 games against FCS schools and the FCS won just 1 game (1-33). That honor also went to Jacksonville State with its 19-10 victory over FIU.

Here are the FCS wins in 2021:
September 2: UC Davis 19, Tusa 17
September 2: Eastern Washington 35, UNLV 33 (2 OT)
September 3: South Dakota State 42, Colorado State 23
September 4: Holy Cross 38, UConn 28
September 4: Montana 13, Washington 7
September 4: ETSU 23, Vanderbilt 3
September 11: Duquesne 28, Ohio 26
September 11: Jacksonville State 20, Florida State 17.
September 18: Incarnate Word 42, Texas State 34.
September 18: Northern Arizona 21, Arizona 19

This was the only FCS win vs. the FBS in 2020:
October 23: Jacksonville State 19, FIU 10

In 2019, FBS teams were 111-3 (.974) in such games. These were the only FCS wins that season:
August 29: Central Arkansas 35, Western Kentucky 28
September 7: Southern Illinois 45, Massachusetts 20
September 14: The Citadel 27, Georgia Tech 24 (OT)


ALABAMA - Won 17 straight games overall (FBS longest).
Last: Won 31-29 at Florida on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Next: Hosts Southern Miss on Saturday, Sept. 25.

OHIO STATE - Won 22 straight conference games (FBS longest), and 10 straight road games (FBS longest).
Last: Won 41-20 at home over Tulsa on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Next: Hosts Akron on Saturday, Sept. 25.

NOTRE DAME - Won 18 straight regular season games (FBS longest).
Last: Won 27-13 at home over Purdue on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Next: Versus Wisconsin at Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday, Sept. 25.

CLEMSON - Won 30 straight home games (FBS longest).
Last: Won 14-8 at home over Georgia Tech on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Next: Visits N.C. State on Saturday, Sept. 25.

NEW MEXICO - Lost 14 straight road games (tied with Akron for FBS longest).
Last: Lost 34-0 at Texas A&M on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Next: Visits UTEP on Saturday, Sept. 25.

AKRON - Lost 13 straight road games (one behind New Mexico for FBS second-longest).
Last: Won 35-14 at home over Bryant (FCS) on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Next: Visits Ohio State on Saturday, Sept. 25.

KANSAS - Lost 15 straight to FBS schools (tied with Arizona for FBS longest).
Last: Lost 45-7 at home to Baylor on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Next: Visits Duke on Saturday, Sept. 25.

ARIZONA - Lost 15 straight over-all (FBS longest), and 14 straight to FBS schools (one behind Kansas for FBS longest).
Last: Lost 21-19 at home to FCS member Northern Arizona on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Next: Visits Oregon on Saturday, Sept. 25.

MASSACHUSETTS - Lost 14 straight over-all (FBS second-longest).
Last: Lost 42-28 at home to Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Next: Visits Coastal Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 25.

UTEP - Lost 15 straight conference games (FBS longest).
Last: Lost 54-13 at Boise State on Friday, Sept. 10.
Next: Hosts New Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 25.