Tag Archives: P.J. Walker

Inside The Box Scores: College Football Week 8

Cody Kessler had 7 touchdown passes against Colorado on Saturday (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America)
Cody Kessler had 7 touchdown passes against Colorado on Saturday (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America)

 

Final scores do not always tell the tale of how a game truly went or how comprehensive a team performed. This article is intended to shed light on some of those discrepancies and highlight some stats put up by teams and individuals alike.

 

Virginia Tech Hokies at Pittsburgh Panthers (Pittsburgh won 21-16 on Thursday (10/16))

The Hokies ran for only 26 yards on 22 carries as a team against Pittsburgh. That comes out to an average of 1.2 yards per carry. Even worse, the offense was 2 of 14 on third down yet the Hokies managed to stay in the game until late in the fourth quarter.

For Pittsburgh, James Conner ran for 85 yards on 16 carries, but he did have two touchdowns. This marked his third straight game where he failed to eclipse the 100-yard mark. His first four games saw him run for at least 153 yards each game and total 699 rushing yards. In the last three games, Conner has produced 260 yards. That total is respectable, but it is quite a drop off from his early season output.

 

Temple Owls at Houston Cougars (Houston won 31-10 on Friday (10/17))

The story of this game was the four turnovers by Temple quarterback P.J. Walker. He had three interceptions and a fumble lost. One interception was returned for pick-six and another led to a Houston touchdown. The lost fumble came on the doorstep of Houston’s end zone at the one yard line. Those three turnovers combined were a 17 to 21 point swing, which undoubtedly cost the Owls a chance to win.

 

South Florida Bulls at Tulsa Golden Hurricane (South Florida won 38-30 on Saturday (10/18))

South Florida trailed 27-7 at halftime, but outscored Tulsa 31-3 in the final minutes to win the game. Outside of their first drive of the third quarter, Tulsa ran only 7 plays in South Florida territory and failed to score a point.

 

Baylor Bears at West Virginia Mountaineers (West Virginia won 41-27 on Saturday)

This game had several noticeable stats. First, Baylor committed 18 penalties for 215 yards!! West Virginia committed 14 penalties for 138 yards. Combined, the two teams had 32 penalties for 353 yards. Those 353 penalties yards are more than Baylor put up on offense (318 yards)!

As impressive (or pathetic) as those penalty yards are, the Mountaineers did everything they could early on to let Baylor put up points. Clint Trickett had a lost fumble and an interception that led to 10 Baylor points in the first quarter. Daryl Worley lost a fumble on a punt return, but Baylor could not take advantage of that turnover.

 

 Kansas State Wildcats at Oklahoma Sooners (Kansas State won 31-30 on Saturday)

We will not dwell on this game too much because this is obvious why the Sooners lost. Oklahoma kicker Michael Hunnicutt missed two field goals (including a horrendous shank late in the game) and an extra point. One could also point to Danzel McDaniel’s 5 yard pick-six as another reason.

 

Texas A&M Aggies at Alabama Crimson Tide (Alabama won 59-0 on Saturday)

This one has to be included for the way Alabama utterly dominated the Aggies. The Tide were up 45-0 at the break and held the high-flying Aggies offense to 172 yards for the entire game!! The Tide scored 35 second quarter points, the most ever in a single quarter for an Alabama team.

The shutout is even more impressive because it marks the first time Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin has been shut out as a coach in 86 games at the FBS level.

We all know Nick Saban is looking for something to critique in this performance and there are few he can sheepishly use. The first is that the Aggies managed to convert two third downs… out of 13 attempts. In addition, the Tide only forced one turnover. There are your areas for improvement, coach Saban.

 

Michigan State Spartans at Indiana Hoosiers (Michigan State won 56-17 on Saturday)

Indiana actually led 17-14 with 5:25 left in the second quarter, but Michigan State quickly put an end to that. They scored 14 points in the final 4 minutes to take a 28-17 lead and then poured on 28 more points in the second half.

The most striking stat was that Indiana had 11 yards passing. Zander Diamont went 5 of 15 for all 11 yards in his first start as a true freshman. He has drawn comparisons to Johnny Manziel, but that is all hyperbole for a kid who had a total of one negative yard on the game (Diamont also ran 10 times for -12 yards).

The Hoosiers had 224 yards of offense, even without a passing game from Diamont, who was replacing the injured Nate Sudfeld. Tevin Coleman had 132 yards on 15 carries, which is excellent for a one-dimensional offense against the Spartans.

 

Colorado Buffaloes at USC Trojans (USC won 56-28 on Saturday)

USC quarterback Cody Kessler went 19 of 26 for 391 yards and 7 touchdowns. Yes, 7 touchdowns for Cody Kessler. It is a pretty good day when 27% of your attempts go for a touchdown and 37% of your completions end up as a score. Unsurprisingly, Kessler is now the USC single game record holder for touchdown passes in a game. He also tied the Pac-12 record with 7 touchdown passes in a game with Mike Pagel of Arizona State in the 1981 season.

 

Tennessee Volunteers at Ole Miss Rebels (Ole Miss won 34-3 on Saturday)

Ole Miss gave up a total 191 yards of offense to Tennessee on Saturday night. All 191 yards came through the air, as the Volunteers did not gain a single yard via the ground game. Jalen Hurd had 40 yards rushing, but that was cancelled out by Justin Worley’s 8 rushes for -41 yards performance. One caveat, however, is that sack yardage goes against the rushing stats in college football.

 

Missouri Tigers at Florida Gators (Missouri won 42-13 on Saturday)

Most people probably heard this on Saturday night or Sunday morning, but it is worth repeating. Missouri had 119 yards of total offense (20 passing and 99 rushing), yet the won by 29 points over Florida. How? Turnovers and touchdown returns.

Missouri had a kickoff return for a touchdown, a punt return for a touchdown, a fumble return for a touchdown, and an interception return for a touchdown. Marcus Murphy had both the kickoff and punt returns for a touchdown from 96 and 86 yards respectively. Markus Golden had a 21 yard fumble return and Darvin Ruise had a 46 yard interception return.

The Gators committed 6 turnovers, three fumbles and three interceptions, which led to 24 points for Missouri.

Will Muschamp should start packing his bags now because he is well on his way out of Gainesville.

 

Utah State Aggies at Colorado State Rams (Colorado State won 16-13 on Saturday)

The highlight of this game was Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins. He caught 10 passes for 187 yards during the game while the Rams threw for 243 yards. That equates to Higgins accounting for 77% of the receiving yardage. Higgins managed to account for only 59% of the total offense for Colorado State.

 

Iowa State Cyclones at Texas Longhorns (Texas won 48-45 on Saturday)

This needs a bit of context to explain why it makes it here. According to Las Vegas Insider, the over/under of this game closed at 45.5 points, which makes them believe it would be a defensive game. Texas closed as an 11-point favorite so it was expected that Texas would not give up many points.

Boy, those expectations were way off.

The two teams combined for 1,036 yards of total offense with the yardage nearly split 50/50. Iowa State had 524 yards and Texas amassed 512 yards. By halftime, the score was 28-28, well over the 45.5 points expected for the ENTIRE GAME.

Both quarterbacks had over 300 yards passing with Sam B. Richardson (ISU) having 345 yards and Tyrone Swoopes (UT) throwing for 321 yards. Iowa State ran for 179 yards while the Longhorns had 191 yards on the ground.

This just goes to show that even Vegas can be way off once in a while.

 

Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Florida State Seminoles (Florida State won 31-27 on Saturday)

Controversial ending aside, this game did feature one incredible strength. That was the run defense of Notre Dame. They allowed only 50 yards rushing on 26 carries for the Seminoles.

There may be recipe in there to beat Florida State. By stopping the run, they put the pressure on Jameis Winston to lead the Seminoles offense with his arm. If a team can force Winston into mistakes and turnovers, they can pull the upset. However, it is far more difficult to force Jameis into mistakes on the football field as opposed to off of the field.

 

Nevada Wolf Pack at BYU Cougars (Nevada won 42-35 on Saturday)

This was a late night game, but it had plenty of fireworks and not a lot of defense. The two teams combined for 58 first downs, 1,012 yards of total offense, and 20 third down conversion out of 38 attempts.

BYU led 28-13 at the break, but saw their lead evaporate with four scoring drives by Nevada in the second half. All four of those scoring drives resulted in touchdowns and a 42-28 lead with less than 6 minutes remaining. The Wolf Pack held on for a 42-35 win to send BYU to their third straight loss without Taysom Hill.

Filling in for Hill has been Christian Stewart who looked excellent in this game until the fourth quarter. For the game, he went 39 of 63 for 408 yards with 4 passing touchdowns. He did not have a single interception, but he lost two fumbles in the final seven and a half minutes to dent BYU’s chances of winning. The first led to a touchdown by Nevada to take a 42-28 lead and the second occurred at the Nevada 34 yard line when the Cougars were driving for the game-tying score.

It was an unfitting end to a game in which Stewart played so well.

Turnovers Doom Temple In 31-10 Loss To Houston

This article originally appeared on VAVEL USA.

Deontay Greenberry

Deontay Greenberry had a game-high 10 catches (Scott Halleran / Getty Images)

 

When most people look at the score between the Houston Cougars and the Temple Owls, they will assume it was an easy 31-10 for the Cougars. However, that was not the case, as the Owls committed four turnovers including a crucial at the doorstep of Houston’s end zone that would have tied the game at 17.

Temple’s P.J. Walker had a night to forget, as he accounted for all four of the turnovers with three interceptions and a lost fumble.

The game started with a three and out for Temple. Houston took their first possession down to the Temple two yard line, but settled for a 34 yard field goal from Kyle Bullard to take a 3-0 lead.

Walker’s long night started on Temple’s second possession with his first pass of the drive. On first and ten, he was picked off by Trevon Stewart who returned it 29 yards for a touchdown and a 10-0 Houston lead.

Houston had an opportunity to extend the lead to 13-0, but Bullard’s 32 yard field goal was no good. Walker completed a 72 yard screen pass to Jahad Thomas on the first play after the missed field goal to give the Owls first and goal at the 8. However, they had to settle for a 22 yard field goal from Austin Jones and were down 10-3 after the first quarter.

The first drive of the second quarter for Houston resulted in them extending their lead to two touchdowns. Kenneth Farrow ran in from 4 yards out to take a 17-3 lead.

Two drives later, Walker threw his second pick of the game. This time it was William Jackson who intercepted the pass, but Houston would not take advantage of the turnover and punted it back to Temple. Walker settled down considerably on the next drive and accounted for 72 of the 76 yards. His 39 yard touchdown pass to Keith Kirkwood made it 17-10 with 34 seconds remaining in the half.

Temple’s first series of the third quarter looked incredibly promising. Walker hit Thomas on another screen pass and Thomas made a nice cut back to get to the open side of the field for a 74 yard reception to the 2 yard line. On the next play, Walker kept the ball and tried to get into the end zone but the ball was knocked out by Steven Taylor, who also recovered the ball. Instead of tying the game at 17, Houston led 17-10 and Temple would not recover.

Temple’s next drive ended in disaster as the punt was mishandled and gave the Cougars the ball at the Houston 46 yard line. Greg Ward Jr. went 3 of 4 on the drive for 53 yards including the 7 yard touchdown pass to Deontay Greenberry to make it 24-10 Houston.

Walker threw his third interception of the game on the next drive when Howard Wilson picked him off at Temple’s 26 yard line. After a loss of 4 yards, Ryan Jackson atoned by running in from 30 yards out to make it 31-10 near the end of the third quarter.

Temple had a chance to close the deficit early in the fourth quarter. On fourth and one from the Houston two yard line, Thomas got the handoff but was swarmed immediately by Houston defenders and never had a chance to convert the fourth down, let alone score a touchdown.

Walker’s dismal concluded with him going 12 of 29 for 259 yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions. He was the joint leading rusher with 49 yards on 8 attempts, but he lost the crucial fumble when he was near the goal line in the third quarter. Jahad Thomas had 7 rushes for 49 yards.

Thomas also led the Owls, and the game, with 150 yards receiving on 3 catches. 148 of those yards came on two different screen passes.

Greg Ward Jr. had an efficient and effective night by going 29 of 33 for 272 yards with 2 touchdowns. He ran 13 times for 44 yards while Ryan Jackson tallied 75 yards on 18 carries and Kenneth Farrow added 52 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Jackson also had 3 catches for 59 yards.

Markeith Ambles caught 6 passes for 96 yards and Deontay Greenberry had 10 catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Temple (4-2, 2-1) suffered their first lost in the American and their next game is not easy. They travel to Central Florida next Saturday. Houston (4-3, 2-1) has a bye next week before returning to action on November 1 with a road trip to South Florida.