North Carolina State nearly became the victim of an upset loss to an FCS program Saturday evening, but a field goal in the final minute of the game gave the Wolfpack a 23-21 victory. Niklas Sade connected on a 48-yard field goal to give North Carolina the late lead to avoid disaster.
Richmond made one last effort to steal the win but the game ended on an incomplete pass from Richmond quarterback Michael Strauss, who passed for 300 yards and two touchdowns in the losing effort. North Carolina State turned the football over four times to allow Richmond opportunities to grab the upset bid, but North Carolina State’s defense held Richmond to just 22 rushing yards on 25 rushing attempts. Pete Thomas passed for 237 yards and completed 24 of 31 attempts but was intercepted twice. Bryant Shirreffs completed three pass attempts, including one for a touchdown midway through the third quarter for the Wolfpack.
Elsewhere, James Madison fell just short on the road at Akron. The Dukes had the ball and moved down in to what may have been considered field goal range but a final play was never called dead for forward progress and the final seconds on the clock expired, securing a 35-31 victory for Akron.
Down in SEC country, Samford has been giving Arkansas a tough time, but Arkansas has taken a 31-21 lead at the time of this posting in the fourth quarter.
If this is the last game Randy Edsall coaches at Maryland, at least he is making it count. Maryland may be down at the half, but the overmatched Terrapins are giving No. 1 Ohio State all it can handle it would seem. Ohio State holds a 21-14 lead on Maryland at the half, with big plays being the key.
Maryland struck first when Perry Hills connected to an open D.J. Moore down the middle of the field for a 52-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Ohio State would battle back, switching up the quarterbacks between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett along the way. The Buckeyes ripped off three touchdowns, with Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott each running for one and Jones throwing for the third, to Braxton Miller. Up 21-7, all seemed to return to normal for the Buckeyes, but Maryland cut the lead to seven late in the first half.
Hills broke free for a 75-yard run from the Maryland 22-yard line all the way down to the Ohio State three, and he finsihed off the quick touchdown on the next play with a short touchdown run. So Maryland continues to linger, which appears to be a theme with Ohio State’s opponents this season.
Jones has completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 195 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State. Barrett attempted just one pass, which was good for a 20-yard gain. Elliott has just 25 rushing yards on 11 attempts at the half.
Nobody could have seen this coming, even after throwing out the records. A week after being ambushed by TCU, Charlie Strong and his Texas Longhorns looked like a completely different team in the first quarter against No. 10 Oklahoma in the old Cotton Bowl. Texas holds a surprising 14-3 lead at the half.
Jerrod Heard completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Johnson midway through the first quarter. The Longhorns made it 14-0 when a break went their way. Lorenzo Joe recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score to make it 14-0 after Oklahoma had fumbled away the ensuing kickoff after the first score.
Texas outgained Oklahoma in the first quarter, 133 yards to just 15, and at the half (169 yards to just 85). Oklahoma went three-and-out on each of its two drives, and the Sooners had to punt four times before being able to put a dent on the scoreboard with a short 21-yard field goal by Austin Seibert after a 12-play drive stalled at the Texas four-yard line. Meanwhile, Texas was building a double-digit lead.
Without a doubt, the first half of this game was the best half we have seen from Texas in a while. Can they keep it going and score what would be a significant upset to get our day started?