The old football adage says the most improvement in a team happens between week 1 and week 2. If you’re an Oklahoma fan, that looked to be the case and if you’re an Ohio State fan, well, not so much. There were plenty of big games this weekend and as usual, the major networks provided an “all you can watch” buffet of action, but there were games that flew under the worldwide leader’s radar that, at least to me, were just as noteworthy. Maybe you’ll agree, maybe you won’t, but in case you’re interested here are few of the best stories that occurred “Elsewhere in College Football”…
Biggest Blowout of the Week
As I scanned the scores from the weekend it looked as if Colorado School of Mines had this award for the week with their 70-0 victory over New Mexico Highlands on the strength of the Orediggers’—and to be clear, I’m totally in favor of the NCAA requiring every league from FBS to NAIA to have one team with the nickname Orediggers, and it seems the multiple Tigers or Wildcats are the best options to make the switch—672 yards of total offense but once I got to the NAIA scores, Hardin-Simmons buried the Orediggers with their 74-0 win over Texas College.
Hardin-Simmons opened their 2017 campaign by bringing a smile to the faces of the 3,431 fans at Shelton Stadium in Abilene, Texas in branding the Steer of Texas College Saturday afternoon. According to the official box score posted on the H-S athletic web site, the weather was perfect. The Cowboys of H-S forced a three and out on the opening possession of the game and 45 seconds later Landry Turner hit Reese Childress for a 62-yard TD and the rout was on. Hardin-Simmons scored early, often and quickly with five scoring drives taking less than a minute and two others in under a minute and ten seconds. Texas College had a fifteen-minute time of possession edge and they ran 68 plays, eight more than Hardin-Simmons, but those 68 plays only generated 136 yards, or two yards per play which in the world of Steer is not exactly stampede pace. Turner led the Hardin-Simmons attack completing 15 of his 18 pass attempts for 246 yards and 4 TD’s.
Fewest Points by a Winning Team
It’s possible you watched this game, or at least some of it, because nobody did more with less than your defending National Champions, the Clemson Tigers. Dabo’s boys earned a tough 14-6 win over Auburn and that edged out two teams, Curry and Grinnell, who both won scoring just 15 points.
Most Points by a Losing Team
It took the entire 60 minutes and a very tense untimed two-point conversion to determine the winner of the Carleton-Lake Forest game Saturday afternoon at Farwell Stadium in Lake Forest, Illinois, but when the final whistle blew the visiting Knights of Carleton had missed their opportunity to send the game into overtime and lost 48-46. The host Foresters got a 30-yard field goal from Chris Courtney with 3:51 left in the game to go up 48-34 than hung on for dear life as Carleton scored two touchdowns in the last 1:17 of the game including a 30-yard TD toss from Christian Zaytoun to Dane Birkeland as the clock hit 0:00. The Knights went for the tie but Zaytoun’s attempt was incomplete in the end zone and they dropped a heart-breaking two-point decision. The two teams combined for 52 first downs, ran 158 plays, were 10 of 12 in red zone chances and generated over 900 yards of total offense.
Lincoln vs. Lincoln II The Saga Continues
The second annual “Battle of the Lincolns” took place Saturday night at Dwight T. Reed Stadium in Jefferson City, Missouri as the Blue Tigers of Lincoln (MO) –I’d suggest they change their name to Orediggers for no other reason than “what in the hell is a Blue Tiger?”–hosted the Lions of Lincoln (PA) in a D-II match-up. This was the first night game played at Lincoln (MO) in 40 years and the Blue Tigers dominated play and won 49-19. Lincoln QB Eugene Sainterling threw for 177 yards and 3 TD’s and Harold Lacy added 133 yards rushing and two more scores to lead the offense to 442 total yards. Lincoln held Lincoln to just 182 total yards including zero yards rushing on 22 attempts. Lincoln also had almost a 29-minute advantage in time of possession. The PA Lincoln won last year’s game 33-23 so the series is knotted at one apiece. These teams need to play every year, the game needs to get much more coverage including a “Game Day” visit and I think they should play for either a huge penny trophy or a five dollar bill.
No, not them. The other one. The Wolverines of Grove City College dropped their 32nd-straight game, falling to Washington & Jefferson 47-7 in their 2017 home opener. Alex Rowse led the Presidents of W&J by completing 22 of 29 passes for 316 yards and 4 touchdowns. An acquaintance of mine is an associate defensive coach at W&J and I saw him last Saturday night at a cookout and reminded him the Wolverines had lost 31 straight but he didn’t seem too concerned about the outcome and now I know why. Grove City finally got on the scoreboard with a Wesley Schools 2-yard TD run with just under 10 minutes left in the game. The Wolverines will hope to snap the streak next week when they travel to Cleveland to take on Case Western Reserve. The Spartans beat Grove City last year 55-0 so chances are we’ll bring the lowlights of #33 next week.
Finally, Box Scores We Love
In a wild affair at Henry Field in Hiram, Ohio, the Terriers of Hiram trailed early but scored 28 second quarter points highlighted by three TD’s in the final 4:41 of the first half to take control and cruised to victory. Randy Tucker, a junior from Twinsburg, Ohio, led the Terriers to a school record with 628 total yards and he set a new program mark with 6 touchdown passes. Tucker directly accounted for 56 of Hiram’s’ 63 points. In addition to his 6 passing TD’s, he ran for two others. Tucker passed for 369 yards by completing 28-42 passes. To put that in perspective, his 369 yards passing and 6 TD’s are exactly half the number of yards and twice as many touchdowns as Ohio State has compiled in their past four games. I’ll give a couple of seconds to swallow that thought and then add that Tucker also ran for 52 yards and two more scores. For the day, Tucker finished with 421 total yards and 8 scores. This was Hiram’s 2017 opener and Earlham falls to 0-2.