If your team is going to play 15 games this season, then incredibly, you’re already a third of the way through the season. Wasn’t week one like just two weeks ago?
We’re not real ‘mathy’ here at EiCF, but we do know conference play is in full swing and chances are you’re studying your team’s schedule to calculate the number of wins available and the number of miles you’ll need to travel to get to your bowl game. Unless, of course, your team is LSU. Then you want the season to be over. Now. And maybe it is. Going 0-9 on third down and turning it over four times isn’t going to beat a lot of teams and Troy certainly is one of those teams. Congrats to the Trojans for knocking off a SEC team on the road.
As for the “bye you” Tigers, don’t you wonder what’s going through the heads of their fans, especially the big money folks who tossed Les Miles aside because he couldn’t beat Alabama and committed themselves to a coach who can’t beat Troy? That’s easily the funniest story of the year to date and I’m guessing it will hold the top spot all year. Of course, the fun is only half the story with games comprising the rest, and there were some great games this weekend, and for me, some of the best occurred “Elsewhere in College Football”…
Biggest Blowout of the Week
You may remember last week we introduced you to the Clan of Simon Fraser University, a D-III school in British Columbia, that refers to itself as “Canada’s NCAA Team”, who claimed the title in this category by falling to Azusa Pacific 83-7. That 76-point loss was their 27th straight and #28, the longest losing streak in college football, wasn’t much better as Central Washington rolled over SFU 62-0. Alas, sixty-two-point wins didn’t take the cake in week #5. Neither did Concordia’s 65-point win over Lindenwood University-Belleville. No, this week the number was 69 and the #18 team in NAIA worked the magic. The Ravens of Benedictine College set a new school record for points in a game as they rolled over Central Methodist University 76-7.
Benedictine College is located in Atchison, Kansas and Central Methodist is, as you plot your Methodist Universities on a map, pretty much in the middle. North of Southern Methodist and south of Northern Methodist as well as east of Western Methodist and west of Eastern Methodist. The Ravens broke a single game scoring record that had stood for three weeks. They defeated Avila 72-14 on September 9th and established a new mark with Cole Holloway’s 12-yard run with 2:38 left in the game. Benedictine scored 5 times in the second quarter and needed just 12 plays and 4:56 of game time to make that happen. The Ravens ran the ball 48 times for 342 yards. Ejay Johnson carried it 16 times for 145 yards and three touchdowns and Holloway added another 133 yards rushing and two more scores. Central Methodist was limited to just 254 yards of total offense and they turned the ball over six times. The only blemish on Benedictine’s 4-1 2017 record is a 7-point loss to #2 Baker. They are off this week then head to Lamoni, Iowa to take on Graceland. For Central Methodist, the Eagles drop to 1-5 on the season.
Fewest Points by a Winning Team
The Phoenix of Elon University only needed two Owen Johnson field goals to secure a 6-0 over the Albany Great Danes. A strong defensive effort, including four takeaways, made the difference in Elon’s first shutout since 2009. The Phoenix D rose up with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries and added four sacks and eight tackles for a loss as Elon improved to 4-1 for the first time since that 2009 season. The win also marked the first time the Phoenix have been 2-0 in Colonial Athletic Association play ever. Yep, EVER. But that distinction comes with this small caveat—Elon’s membership in the CAA dates all the way back to 2014.
Both teams ran 64 plays and the game only took 2:34 minutes to play. Johnson hit a 23-yard field goal with 4:45 to play in the first half and following an interception return of 48 yards by Tyler Campbell early in the fourth quarter the freshman from Louisville, Kentucky connected from 27 yards out to complete the scoring. Albany saw its three game win streak end and the Great Danes are now 3-2 and 1-1 in the CAA.
Most Points by a Losing Team
Several teams lit up the scoreboard only to add to the loss column last weekend. In a classic MAC defensive battle UMASS dropped a 58-50 decision to Ohio University and slipped to 0-6 on the season but nobody did less with more than the Hornets of Emporia State who were stung 53-52 by the Bronchos of Central Oklahoma.
Emporia led by 15 points with 5:33 left in the game following Landon Nault’s 16-yard run and Austin Morton’s PAT but Central Oklahoma quarterback Chase Stallard led a frantic comeback with two TD passes and a pair of two-point conversions—the last one coming with 20 seconds on the clock—to get the win.
The crowd of 3,845 at Wantland Stadium in Edmond, Oklahoma saw a high-powered, fast-paced game between two teams that were as close statistically as they were on the scoreboard. The teams combined for 1,083 total yards. ESU had 536, UCO had 547. They ran 162 plays, 80 by Emporia and 82 by Central Oklahoma, both teams averaged 6.7 yards per play.
The two quarterbacks had, oh I don’t know, a decent day, going a combined 59 of 91 for 871 yards, 11 TD’s and no interceptions. The Bronchos’ Stallard finished 32 of 49 for 442 yards and 6 TD’s. The sixth, a 13-yard toss to J.T. Luper, came with twenty seconds remaining and brought UCO to within one at 52-51. Stallard then executed the read option to perfection and pitched to Josh Crockett who showed pass then tucked the ball and ran to secure the final two points and 53-52 victory. Hornets QB Braxton Marstall led Emporia going 27 of 42 for 429 yards and 5 scores. Both teams are 2-3 on the season.
2 for One
We look for the weird and unusual each week and teams that score uncommon point totals are something that always catches our eyes and this week scrolling through the scores we saw one 2. Only one team scored just two points over the weekend so we have to acknowledge Georgetown as they dropped at 41-2 decision to Harvard. The Hoyas lone score came late in the first half when a Crimson punt snapped sailed through the back of the end zone.
By the way, this game was played at RFK Stadium and 3,265 fans attended the game. In case you’re wondering what 3,265 fans look like in a stadium with a capacity of 45,596, it looks a lot like Death Valley, Tiger Stadium, in Baton Rouge did late Saturday night in the fourth quarter of the LSU game.
Franklin, Marshall and Franklin & Marshall All Won
Nobody had a better week five than the Franklins and the Marshalls, who came away with three wins. The Grizzlies of Franklin College maintained a share of first place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference by manhandling Manchester 69-19; Marshall’s Thundering Herd defeated Luke Fickell’s Bearcats 38-21 in a regional non-conference game; and Franklin & Marshall topped Muhlenberg 17-14 in the final game played at Sponaugle-Williamson Field in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Franklin College gutted the Spartans of Manchester for 702 yards of offense. Quarterback Chase Burton, a senior from Corydon, Indiana, the city former Happy Days star Erin Moran was living in when she passed away earlier this year, accounted for most of the yardage going 30 of 40 for 417 yards and 5 TD’s. He also ran for another score.
Marshall forced three Cincinnati turnovers and converted each into touchdowns with TE Ryan Vurachek scoring each one to earn a road win over the Bearcats. I think these two teams should play each year with the winner taking home a trophy depicting an old tire pulled from the banks of the Ohio River.
The Diplomats of Franklin & Marshall improved to a perfect 5-0 on the season by turning back the Mules of Muhlenberg. F&M QB Tanner Erisman threw two two-yard TD passes to K.J. Petty and Drew Tomlinson added a 21-yard field goal in the 17-14 win. The Diplomats next home game on October 21st will be played in recently completed, state-of-the-art Shadek Stadium. F&M played at Sponaugle-Williamson Stadium for 27 years and won 63% of their games compiling a record of 370-197-23.
Finally, Box Scores We Love
|#23 Peru State (Neb)||7||7||7||21||42|
|#2 Baker (Kan)||28||7||14||16||65|
This game featured a couple of Top 25 NAIA teams and the Wildcats of #2 Baker won their 27th consecutive Heart of America Athletic Conference game in the 65-42 victory. Logan Brettell, Baker’s quarterback, passed for 374 yards and 5 touchdowns in the win and he is now the all-time passing yards leader with 8,446 yards. He broke Mack Brown’s mark of 8,278. Brettell also set a new school record when he hit Clarence Clark with a 99-yard TD early in the fourth quarter. The old record of 98 yards had been held by Jake Morse who is now the Offensive Coordinator for Baker. Baker has a bye week before hosting MidAmerican Nazarene University on October 14th. The Bobcats of Peru State will also take a week off to lick their wounds before travelling to Des Moines to take on Grand View that same day.