National News and Notes, Week 1

Cherry picking some scores and stats from outside the SEC for your consideration.

BOISE STATE 33, VIRGINIA TECH 30

A combined 18 penalties. Three turnovers. Three missed field goals (one negated by penalty) and a missed extra point. Blown coverages. Suspect kick off coverage on both sides. Hilariously inconsistent and terrible officiating. It was a fun and exciting game for sure, but it was not a great game. I have no idea how good these teams are still, primarily because it looked like neither wanted to win this game for stretches.

TCU 30, OREGON STATE 21

TCU was clearly the better team, and it would have won by more if not for two turnovers. Still, I was impressed by Oregon State's fight. Jacquizz Rodgers pounded out a good 4.2 YPC on TCU's defense, and the Beavers could have had an even better shot at winning if first-year starting QB Ryan Katz didn't play like a first-year starter. Also impressive: Andy Dalton's running. 

OKLAHOMA 31, UTAH STATE 24

This outcome is probably a fluke given the general quality of the two teams, but it's not given the stat sheet. OU outgained the Aggies by only a single yard (422-421). Perhaps the most troubling thing is that after USU pulled within a touchdown late in the third, the Sooners' subsequent drives went punt-INT-punt-punt. I'll chalk this one up to looking ahead to FSU next week, but Oklahoma was closer to losing this one than Florida ever was against Miami (OH).

USC 49, HAWAI'I 36

If you just look at the box score, you might think Hawai'i won it. The Warriors outgained the Trojans 588-524, had a 31-25 edge in first downs, committed six fewer penalties for 58 fewer yards, held the ball longer, and was +1 in turnovers. So how did USC win? The Trojans always got into the end zone, while the Warriors had to settle for three field goals. That, and USC coasted a bit after racking up a big lead late.

KANSAS STATE 31, UCLA 22

The Wildcats' Daniel Thomas made a case for player of the weekend by gaining more than a sixth of his output of a year ago. He gained 234 yards on the ground against UCLA and generally looked like he couldn't be tackled. As for the Bruins, when exactly is Rick Neuheisel going to turn things around? The program has been stuck in neutral since Karl Dorrell's last season. 

NEBRASKA 49, WESTERN KENTUCKY 10

There is no need to be concerned with Nebraksa's defense allowing 299 yards to the Hilltoppers. Last year's excellent unit allowed 274 to Arkansas State and 358 to FAU.

NORTH DAKOTA STATE 6, KANSAS 3

Don't mess around with NDSU, man. Seriously. The Bison now have wins over Kansas, Central Michigan, and Minnesota over the last four seasons with a one-point loss to Minnesota in '06. They have no other I-A opponents this season, so their reign of terror is just on pause for now.

BYU 23, WASHINGTON 17

Can someone explain again why Jake Locker gets so much hype? He had 7.2 yards per pass, 2.6 yards per run, and led his team to a rousing zero second half points. BYU's a good team and all, but that's not that great.

MARYLAND 17, NAVY 14

The Midshipmen beat the Terps everywhere but the scoreboard. They outgained Maryland 485-272. They converted 10 of 18 third downs as compared to one of five for UMD. They had a 26-11 edge in first downs. So what happened? On seven trips into the red zone, Navy had two touchdowns, a missed field goal, two fumbles, a turnover on downs, and had a drive ended by halftime. Not good.

OREGON 72, NEW MEXICO 0

The best word I can think of for Oregon's win here is "pitiless." After that, it's "symmetrical." The Ducks scored 72 points on 720 yards. They also had 351 yards passing and 369 yards rushing. Oh yeah, and they allowed just 107 yards for a margin of 613. New Mexico is terrible, but for one day at least, it looked like Oregon isn't missing Jeremiah Masoli in the least.

MINNESOTA 24, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 17

Middle Tennessee had the ball for only 14:26 and still had a chance to win. Only one of its drives lasted longer than five plays.

SYRACUSE 29, AKRON 3

I only highlight this one because it's the first case in five seasons of Syracuse actually dominating a I-A team. The Orange won by 26 and had a 431-166 edge in total yardage. There might actually be some improvement going on at Syracuse, unlike, say, Washington State who got throttled 65-17 by a rebuilding Oklahoma State team.

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