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Fascinating stats from week 1

As coaches, we are all aware that winning the turnover differential leads to victories more often than not, and that was evident with games in week 1. While recapping the action up until Sunday morning, 45 of the 49 teams that won the turnover differential won their game. Massachusetts, Vanderbilt, Toledo, and Boise State were the only teams to win the turnover battle but lose the game. Of the 14 teams that gained four or more turnovers, only Boise State (4) came out on the losing end.

Other interesting notes from this weekend's action:

Three teams stuffed the run well enough to show a negative in the "yards gained" column of the stat sheet. Illinois (-6 rushing yards allowed), BYU (-5 rushing yards allowed), and Ohio State (-1 rushing yards allowed) all defended the run well and won by at least 17 points. Only two teams, Texas Tech and Wisconsin, did not allow a rushing first down over the weekend.

Eleven defenses allowed less than 5 yards per pass attempt, including Western Kentucky and Oklahoma who set the bar at less than 2 yards per (Western Kentucky - 1 yard per attempt, Oklahoma - 1.85 yards per attempt).

Two offenses attempted at least three fourth down attempts and converted on 100% of them (Air Force went 4/4 and Utah went 3/3). On that same note, both Hawaii (4/6 on fourth down - 67%) and Arkansas State (4/5 on fourth down - 80%) had impressive fourth down conversion percentages, but lost.

Nebraska, Purdue, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State are all converting an impressive percentage of third downs. Nebraska and Purdue are converting at an 80% clip while Notre Dame and Oklahoma State are sitting pretty at 70%. Each team won their opener by at least 29 points.

The only teams to escape with a win after throwing two or more interceptions were Michigan State, and Maryland.

Four teams accounted for no, or negative punt return yardage that had the opportunity to return two or more punt returns. Florida Atlantic (2 attempts and -1.5 yards per return), North Carolina State (2 returns and -1.5 yards), UAB (3 returns at -2 yards per return), Akron (2 returns at -3.5 per attempt) all finished with negative punt return yardage.

Even though they each had only had one return, USC (100 yards), New Mexico (98 yards) and East Carolina (90 yards) are all averaging over 90 yards per return with touchdowns coming on those returns.




Inside Scoop: Alan Hall - Transitioning from NAIA to D-II

In December Alan Hall was named head coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State. Since his hiring, the University has been approved to move up to NCAA Division II. Northwestern Oklahoma State begins play in the Great American Conference this season. 

Coach Hall speaks about the transition and some of the challenges (including not having his full staff for all 12 months). 

Glenn Spencer: "We were playing for the shutout for Bill Young"

Despite having linebackers coach Glenn Spencer calling the defense in Bill Young's absence on Saturday, and playing the fourth string guys late in the game, the goal of a shutout remained the same for the Cowboys against Savannah State.

"Even when it was the fourth-team guys there most of the second half, I said, 'It doesn't matter. We're holding you accountable, so we can get this shutout for Bill.' That's what the defense was playing for." Spencer, who is filling in for Young while he recovers from a medical procedure, explained.

In his post game press conference, Gundy noted that Young is doing well and wants to be back as soon as possible.

"Anytime you lose a coach, it can affect your team. We have some young coaches that have been with us for a number of years, and we have a lot of faith in them. They work hard and do a good job, but, you know, essentially we're down a coach and we want to get him back as soon as possible, and he wants to be back as soon as possible."

"There's some communication that has to take place there, because for however many years now, he's been calling defenses and that communication has to get out to the field. So you have a new guy calling them, and then once he's made those calls, recording what's going on on the field, there's one less guy doing that. So, there are some adjustments that have to go on."

See how Temple prepared for Villanova in "Temple Tuff"

Temple is one of a handful of programs across the country that does an exceptional job allowing unprecedented access behind their closed doors. In the latest episode of their "Temple TUFF" series, they provide a look into the 28 days of preparation that led up to their 41-10 victory over Villanova.

Coach Addazio talks about why turnover among the coaching staff during the offseason is a good thing and shares some thoughts on each new coach and what they bring to the table.

Also, Addazio explains why he likes to address the areas of emphasis for the day's practice before practice begins and then addresses their progress, or the progress they need to make at the end of practice.

Holgo: "We're not concerned with the yards we give up right now"

West Virginia's offense was impressive in their 69-34 win over Marshall. The Mountaineer offense put together five scoring drives that ate up less than two minutes off the clock, keeping the defense on the field for a substantial amount of time.

Despite the lopsided score, the Mountaineers defense spent almost five more minutes on the field than the Thundering Herd defense did.

"As far as how many yards we gave up, that's not something we're going to be too concerned with at this point." Holgorsen explained.

"The football got kinda sloppy there in the second half, both on offense and defense. It's more about evaluating each and every position to see what we have to do to get better between now and two weeks."

The Mountaineers are off this week before a match up with James Madison on the 15th.

"We were making adjustments every time we came off the field"

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables had very little of Auburn offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler's "offensive DNA" to work with going into their season opener on Saturday. Both coordinators joined their respective staffs during the offseason.

Venables noted that it seemed like every time that the defense came off the field they were having to make some type of adjustment. In the end, it became a chess match.

The defensive game plan, and adjustments were pretty solid, as the Clemson defense gave up only one touchdown in their 26-19 win over Auburn, which came on a 57 yard pass in the first quarter. 

Monday TV features college football

Monday night NFL action starts next week, while we get Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech to hold us over in the meantime, as well as a pair of Alabama high school's. 

Eastern time listed.


No games


Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech - 8 - ESPN

High School:

Daphne (AL) vs. Spanish Fort (AL) - 4 - ESPN

FootballScoop's thoughts on other FBS games

Quick thoughts on games that didn't feature "Top 25" teams...

UConn 37 - UMass 0 - UMass' first season competing in the FBS is going to be a tough one.

UCLA 49 at Rice 24 - UCLA showed some offensive firepower from their young guys; but Rice's defense isn't much of a barometer. 

McNeese State 27 at Middle Tennessee 21 - McNeese ran for nearly 300 yards against. 

New Mexico State 49 - Sacramento State 19 - A good win for DeWayne Walker's guys. They needed it after a long off-season.

Eastern Washington 20 at Idaho 3 - Demoralizing loss for Idaho (although EWU is a good team). Hoping the wheels don't come off up in Idaho. 

BYU 30 - Washington State 6 - BYU has an experienced team, Washington State is young. Everyone was hoping to see Leach's guys put up 50; but there will be better days for Wazzou. They will surprise some people this year. 

Arizona State 63 - Northern Arizona 6 - Todd Graham's team handled a team they should handle. On to next week.

Tennessee 35 - NC State 21 (in Atlanta) - I thought Tennessee looked significantly better than last year's team. I liked the way defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri's squad pressured the quarterback and thought their tackling and coverage were pretty good as well. 

FAU 7 - Wagner 6 - Carl Pelini's team turned it over four times and really struggled with FCS Wagner. FAU didn't score until the 4th quarter. It's going to be a tough year for FAU.

Notre Dame 50 - Navy 10 (Dublin, Ireland) - I didn't see much of this one; but a couple of things I heard...Notre Dame's offense looked good, their pass defense not so much (and this was against Navy). Notre Dame did seem to do a good job against the run, holding Navy to well under 4 yards per rush. 

Northwestern 42 at Syracuse 41 - Northwestern had a big lead...then lost it...then rallied to win. During Syracuse' come back, SI's Andy Staples had the tweet of the day: 


Ohio 24 at Penn State 14 - Ohio played with heart the entire game. Their quarterback is a gamer. You never know what is going to happen in conference (especially in the MAC); but with a favorable schedule, Ohio could have a storybook season. 

Illinois 24 - Western Michigan 7 - Didn't see this one. Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhasse led the Illini to a 17-0 halftime lead...but then was injured in the 3rd quarter. Illinois hung on behind their defense in the second half. Dan Hawkins pointed out to us over twitter that Illinois held Western Michigan to -6 yards rushing.

North Carolina 62 - Elon 0 - North Carolina's offense moved the ball at will.

UTSA 33 at South Alabama 31 - Heard this was a fun one to watch. Very competitive. 

Nevada 31 at Cal 24 - Nevada led throughout. Cal scored with 7 minutes to play to tie it at 24. Nevada gets ball but Cal holds forcing punt...key play of the game...Nevada's punt pins Cal back on their own 2. Cal can't advance it much and punts back to Nevada with just over 3 minutes to play. Nevada grinds it down the field for a touchdown and the win. 

William & Mary 6 at Maryland 7 - Maryland needed a 4th quarter touchdown to get the win over FCS William & Mary. Doesn't bode well for the rest of the season. 

Iowa State 38 - Tulsa 23 - Iowa State played very well. Paul Rhoads team will make some noise this season.

Miami 41 at Boston College 32 - I didn't see any of this one; but BC opened up a 14-0 lead and then...Miami went on a 41-9 run. 

Iowa 18 vs. Northern Illinois 17 (in Chicago) - A defensive struggle throughout with Iowa finding the end zone with 2 minutes to go to take the lead and get the win. Less than 500 total yards combined in this game. Only 1 turnover and very few penalties. 

Purdue 48 - Eastern Kentucky 6 - Purdue has a very experienced team. They will compete this year. 

Colorado State 22 at Colorado 17 - Didn't see this one. Looked like a hard fought back and forth type game. 

Youngstown State 31 at Pitt 17 - Eric Wolford, now in his third season at the helm, has Youngstown playing at a high level. Great win for the program. 

Ole Miss 49 - Central Arkansas 27 - Ole Miss was behind 20-14 at halftime; but rallied for the win. Ole Miss rushed for 235 (@ 5 yards / carry) and their QBs were 25 of 31 for 330 with 3TDs / 1Int. 

Duke 46 - FIU 26 - Cut has been saying all Summer that this is his best team thus far at Duke. 

UT Martin 20 at Memphis 17 - Tough loss for Justin Fuente's team. First, the game was delayed for a few hours due to weather...Then, Memphis got the ball with 5 minutes to play needing a touchdown to tie the score. They drove the length of the field and tied it up with 52 seconds to play. Memphis then stops UT Martin, forcing a punt (which will seemingly end the game)...but Memphis' returner fumbles it and UT Martin recovers. They nail a last second fieldgoal and leave Memphis with a 20-17 victory over the Tigers. Brutal way to lose. 

Louisiana - Lafayette 40 - Lamar 0 - Hudspeth's team was leading 40-0 at the half. This is a good football team.

Indiana 24 - Indiana State 17 - Kevin Wilson's team got a much needed win to start the season. No turnovers for Indiana, good balance on offense and they controlled the clock.  

Rutgers 24 at Tulane 12 - Neither team lit it up; but Rutgers defense was too much for Tulane's offense (Tulane only gained 8 yards on the ground). 

Texas State 30 - Houston 13 - Texas State rushed for 248 and held Houston to 1 of 13 3rd down conversions. Big win for Dennis Franchione's program. 

Fresno State 37 - Weber State 10 - Tim DeRuyter gets the win over John L. Smith Jody Sears. Fresno State rolled out to a 24-3 halftime lead and added to it in the second half. Good first win. 

Arizona 24 - Toledo 17 (OT) - A good game throughout, Arizona had a chance to win it in regulation with a 25 yard field goal but missed it. They regrouped and put 7 on the board first in OT and then held Toledo out of the end zone to win it.

Washington 21 - San Diego State 12 - The new defensive unit for Washington seemed significantly improved over last year's squad. Next up, LSU. Rocky Long's team punted three times and went for it three times on 4th down (converting 2 of those). Long had talked up the idea of going for it everytime... Here's the local paper's take on the effectiveness of the strategy he deployed