Tag Archives: Matthew McCrane

Under The Radar Games For College Football Week 6

Jamaal Williams (in white) and BYU will face Michigan State this week. Williams ran for 286 yards and 5 touchdowns against Toledo in week five. (George Frey/Getty Images North America)
Jamaal Williams (in white) and BYU will face Michigan State this week. Williams ran for 286 yards and 5 touchdowns against Toledo in week five. (George Frey/Getty Images North America)

Under The Radar Games For College Football Week 6

Week five provided three games featuring matchups between top ten teams and two of them were excellent with Louisville and Clemson topping off the action in an instant classic that the Tigers won 42-36. There are not as many big time games this week, but there are still some good ones to watch.

Let’s take a look at some of the under the radar games for week six. Note, these games are listed in order of when they will be played and all times listed are Eastern.

Edit: Tulane at Central Florida has been postponed until November 5 due to Hurricane Matthew.

1. Tulane at Central Florida (10/7 at 8 PM) – Tulane comes into this game on a two game winning streak while their two losses have been by a combined 10 points. The running game has nearly 2.5 times as many yards on offense than the passing game. Dontrell Hilliard (384 yards and 5 touchdowns), Josh Rounds (266 yards and 4 touchdowns), Johnathan Brantley (156 yards), Lazedrick Thompson (153 yards and 3 touchdowns), and Glen Cuiellette (125 yards) have all had a big part in the rushing attack. Terren Encalade has come alive in the receiving corps the last two games with 14 catches for 228 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Central Florida has also won two in a row and the offense has come alive with an average of 50 points per game in those two contests. The Golden Knights have a more balanced offense, but starting quarterback job is still up for grabs between McKenzie Milton and Justin Holman. Eight different players have recorded a rushing touchdown though Dontravious Wilson has the lion’s share with 7.

The offenses have come alive for both teams in the previous two games, which could lead to quite a few points. Both teams enter this contest at 3-2 and a win here would help both teams in their quest to make a bowl game. UCF went 0-12 last year while Tulane has only been to a bowl game twice in the last 15 years (2002 and 2013).

2. Iowa at Minnesota (10/8 at 12 PM) – Despite this being a nationally televised on contest (will be on ESPN2, if their schedule is correct), this probably does not strike a lot of people a major game this weekend. Iowa has not been very good in their last three games, which includes losses to North Dakota State and Northwestern and an ugly 14-7 win over Rutgers. The loss to Northwestern last week was probably most surprising (yes, even more so than the loss to NDSU) because they gave up 38 points to a Northwestern team that was very lethargic the first four weeks on offense.

Minnesota opened 3-0 and lost a heartbreaker against Penn State last week in overtime. The Gophers took a 23-20 in the final minute of the game only to see Penn State hit a 40 yard field goal to tie the game and send it into overtime. The duo of running backs Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks (both had 100+ yards against PSU) along with quarterback Mitch Leidner will be looking to move the sticks against an Iowa team that has given up an average of 210 yards per game on the ground in the last three contests.

This game is big for both teams if they want to have a chance at winning the Big Ten West. Both already have a loss in conference play and still have to face Wisconsin and Nebraska later this year. This is basically an elimination game.

3. Air Force at Wyoming (10/8 at 3:30 PM) – Air Force comes into this game 4-0 with a win over Navy at home. Wyoming is 3-2 with losses on the road against Nebraska and Eastern Michigan, but the Cowboys are a much improved team since last year. Air Force has won four of the last five games on the road in this series as well.

Brian Hill has been a monster running the ball for Wyoming with 629 yards and 7 touchdowns this year (5.4 average per carry), but the key will be Josh Allen. In Wyoming’s two losses this year, Allen has 2 touchdowns against 6 interceptions, but in the three wins has thrown 6 touchdowns and no interceptions. He will need to be wary of throwing anywhere near Weston Steelhammer, who has 2 interceptions this year and led Air Force with 5 last season.

Both teams sit at 1-0 in the Mountain West with each team still having to go up against Boise State and in Wyoming’s case, they have to face San Diego State this year too. This could be a good game to watch.

4. Army at Duke (10/8 at 3:30 PM) – Army is 3-1 after an overtime loss on the road to Buffalo in week four while Duke could not back up their huge victory over Notre Dame on the road in week four. They lost last week to Virginia at home 34-20 and a bowl game looks out of reach for the Blue Devils now.

This is more focused on Army because a win here and they could open 7-1 going into the game against Air Force on November 5. After Duke, Army faces Lafayette and North Texas at home before a road game at Wake Forest on October 29. It will not be easy to go 7-1, but they can get closer with a win over Duke.

5. BYU at Michigan State (10/8 at 3:30 PM) – This game features two teams that are .500 or worse, which probably was not expected before the season. BYU sits at 2-3, but they have faced a tough gauntlet: Arizona, Utah, UCLA, West Virginia, and Toledo. All of those teams were in a bowl game last season and the Cougars have been competitive in each of those games. Not a single one of their first five games has been decided by more than a field goal.

Michigan State started with a sluggish opening win over Furman before what was considered an impressive road victory against Notre Dame. The last two games for the Spartans have been disastrous with a big loss at home to Wisconsin 30-6 and then last week’s overtime loss at Indiana. BYU’s duo of Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams will have to like their chances after viewing the tape of the Michigan State-Indiana game.

6. Texas Tech at Kansas State (10/8 at 7 PM) – There are a lot of questions concerning this game. Will Texas Tech have Patrick Mahomes back? Can Kansas State shut down the Texas Tech offense, regardless of who is at quarterback? If Kansas State is leading late in the game again, can they close the game out?

Texas Tech is 3-1 with their lone blemish being the wild shootout in the desert where they lost 68-55 to Arizona State. They crushed an overmatched Kansas team last week with two different quarterbacks throwing four touchdowns apiece. As noted above, will Mahomes be back or will Nic Shimonek take over? It may not matter based on what we saw against Kansas.

The Wildcats are 2-2 with losses at Stanford and West Virginia. The game against the Mountaineers was particularly heart-wrenching because the Wildcats held a 16-3 lead after three quarters. They were stopping the West Virginia offense from getting any points time and time again only to see them score a touchdown. The Wildcats still had a chance to win, but Matthew McCrane missed a 43 yard field goal.

Kansas State will have the home field crowd behind them, but they will need to have another stellar defensive outing against a high powered offense.

7. UNLV at San Diego State (10/8 at 10:30 PM) – The Aztecs looked like a tough team to beat after three weeks, but last week sent them coming back to earth. They went on the road and got soundly defeated by South Alabama 42-24 with the offense converting just two of ten third downs.

UNLV sits at 2-3 with wins over Jackson State and Fresno State. Their losses have been to UCLA, Central Michigan, and Idaho. This game will be an excellent measuring stick for the Rebels to see how far they have come and how far they need to go. For San Diego State, they need to just continue giving the ball to Donnel Pumphrey, who has 750 yards and 8 touchdowns on 98 carries (7.7 yards per carry average). In addition, they need to work on their pass defense as they have struggled against the pass at times this year.

Check back next week for the week seven edition of Under The Radar Games. In addition, you can find the previous columns below.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Kansas State Shuts Out Texas 23-0

Tyrone Swoopes could not get anything going against K-State (Orlin Wagner / AP Photo)
Tyrone Swoopes could not get anything going against K-State (Orlin Wagner / AP Photo)


It was an ugly game between the Kansas State Wildcats and Texas Longhorns, but the Wildcats will not care as they won 23-0. It was Texas’ first shutout loss since 2004 when they were blanked 12-0 by Oklahoma. It was Kansas State’s first shut out since 2003 when they beat Iowa State 45-0 on November 8.

Texas began the game with two false start penalties on their first drive and ended up punting. The Wildcats had a first and goal from the Texas two yard line, but were unable to punch the ball in and settled for a 19 yard field goal from Matthew McCrane. McCrane added a second field goal on the next drive from 30 yards to make it 6-0 Wildcats.

Texas’ first series in the second quarter was their best chance to get points. They started at the Wildcats’ 40 yard line and quickly moved to the 16 yard line. However, a holding penalty and sack took them out of field goal range and they punted it away.

With less than three minutes to go, DeMarcus Robinson ran in from 3 yards out when he bounced to the outside after finding no room up the middle. That made it 13-0 and was more than enough on a day when Texas’ offense could not get anything going.

Kansas State was forced to punt on their first drive of the third quarter and Texas appeared to finally have some continuity on offense. They were at the Wildcats’ 43 yard line when D’Onta Foreman’s pitch to Jaxon Shipley on the reverse was fumbled and recovered by Valentino Coleman of K-State. The Wildcats settled for a field goal from 38 yards out, courtesy of McCrane, and a 16-0 lead.

The ensuing drive by Texas had the chance to get them back in the game. On fourth and one from the K-State 14 yard line, Johnathan Gray ran to the left and was called down for no gain. The call looked incredibly egregious, but it stood and the Wildcats would take over. They ended up going 86 yards in 10 plays with Charles Jones running in from a yard out to make it 23-0.

It was a long day for Tyrone Swoopes, who had looked excellent in the previous two games. He was 13 of 25 passing for 106 yards and was the leading rusher with 31 yards on 8 carries. Johnathan Gray had 10 carries for 24 yards while Malcolm Brown ran 6 times for 21 yards. Freshman D’Onta Freeman had 3 catches for 14 yards.

John Harris was the leading receiver with 3 catches for 42 yards while Jaxon Shipley had 4 catches for 25 yards.

Jake Waters went 19 of 30 for 224 yards and no turnovers. He ran 7 times for -1 yard, but that was due to a sore shoulder he suffered last week against Oklahoma. DeMarcus Robinson ran 16 times for 50 yards and a touchdown while Charles Jones had 13 carries for 49 yards and a score. Backup quarterback Joe Hubener had 5 runs for 46 yards late in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand.

Tyler Lockett was the leading receiver with 8 receptions for 103 yards. Deante Burton caught 4 passes for 55 yards and Curry Sexton had 4 catches for 36 yards.

Neither team was impressive, but Texas looked horrendous on offense. They finished with 196 yards of total offense while Kansas State had 367 yards. There was little continuity for Texas and never got in rhythm.

Texas (3-5, 2-3) needs to win three of their last four games to reach bowl eligibility. They face Texas Tech next week on the road before playing West Virginia (11/8), going to Oklahoma State (11/15), and facing TCU at home on Thanksgiving (11/27). Texas is facing the stark reality of not playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2010.

Kansas State (6-1, 4-0) continues to make their case for a possible spot in the playoffs. However, they have plenty of hurdles left in TCU, West Virginia, and Baylor all on the road before they should even begin to think about that. They have another home game next week against Oklahoma State on Saturday.