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CFB after dark: Rutgers’ Kyle Flood gets big win, Vandy’s Derek Mason dealt big loss

Paul James AP

In case you fell asleep early last night (or at a reasonable hour, depending on your time zone)…

Rutgers running back Paul James rushed for 179 yards and three touchdowns to pace the Scarlet Knights to a 41-38 win over Washington State at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, a hugely important win for Kyle Flood as he ushers his program into the Big Ten. Rutgers, roundly picked to finish last in the Big Ten East, looked like a team capable of bowl eligibility Thursday night in the Pacific Northwest.

On Rutgers’ first play from scrimmage as a Big Ten team, Gary Nova hit Leonte Carroo for a 78-yard touchdown. But it was James who took over, rushing six times on Rutgers’ game-winning drive (that was teed up when Washington State’s River Cracraft fumbled a punt) and scoring the go-ahead touchdown.

Granted, Washington State’s defense didn’t look good, but the Cougs were a bowl team a year ago and quarterback Connor Halliday threw for 532 yards and five touchdowns. Make no mistake, this was a good win for a Rutgers program that’ll be scrapping for bowl eligibility come November.

And over in Nashville, Derek Mason’s Vanderbilt debut was a disaster. In a game that didn’t kick off until 10:50 p.m. ET due to thunderstorms in the area, Temple embarrassed the ‘Dores 37-7.

It wasn’t necessarily that Temple played well — the Owls converted two of 17 third down chances and only gained 352 yards of total offense — but it was moreso that Vanderbilt played some awful, awful football Thursday night and into Friday morning. Vanderbilt players fumbled four times while Mason cycled through three quarterbacks, who combined to throw three interceptions.

Between the 30-point loss, shocking string of turnovers, storm-delayed game and the “ANCHOR DOWN” mess, things probably couldn’t have gone worse for Mason in his first game at Vanderbilt.

Oh yeah, and this game featured the first fat guy touchdown of the year.

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15 Responses to “CFB after dark: Rutgers’ Kyle Flood gets big win, Vandy’s Derek Mason dealt big loss”
  1. bigdawg24 says: Aug 29, 2014 9:17 AM

    Rough opening night for the SEC East.

  2. mydixienormus says: Aug 29, 2014 9:41 AM

    Hey CFT. Nice job tagging South Carolina as #7 in your pre-season top 25.

    I also noticed that TX A&M was not on the list…

    You guys do this for a living, right? :)

  3. pricecube says: Aug 29, 2014 9:49 AM

    The James Franklin era at Vanderbilt is over. It will be a tough act to follow for anyone. His success was an outlier.

  4. overratedgators says: Aug 29, 2014 9:53 AM

    SEC … the most dominant conference in football. LOL.

  5. jimr10 says: Aug 29, 2014 10:28 AM

    overraredgators… who is your choice as the dominant one?

  6. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 29, 2014 10:29 AM

    Yeah that Vandy game was a disaster. Vandy looked terrible. Was such stark contrast after watching the A&M game where A&M only punted twice, to see Vandy punt on just about every possession.

  7. robconstant says: Aug 29, 2014 11:25 AM

    Hopefully more SEC teams lose games like this just so people will realize they’ve done their scheduling to make them look the best. Hopefully Temple makes a bowl game this year!

  8. patriottony says: Aug 29, 2014 12:30 PM

    CASE IN POINT SEC Scheduling gimmicks:

    The SC Chickens open the season with 4 out of 5 home games…4 out of 5!! (1/3 of the season) Their only away game in the first half of the season is VANDY (look how bad they are). How is that a meaningful test?

  9. germanflats13a38 says: Aug 29, 2014 1:19 PM

    Best thing about fat guy touchdown is the fat guy dance at the end.

    The clip above is several seconds to short, or that young man needs to work on his moves.

  10. noaxetogrind says: Aug 29, 2014 5:13 PM

    Yea, the whole SEC thing has been a mirage of scheduling with smoke and mirrors. When they won those NC’s in a row they were really beating some very bad teams in Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Notre Dame and so on. Not to mention those tricky SEC people have the NFL fooled as well. That is why every year for the last 20 years more SEC players have been drafted than any other conference. They also have the bowl games snookered as well, that is why the SEC has the highest all time wining percentages in the bowl games. Wait, I know, that’s because they play the games in good weather and northern teams can’t play in good weather and those SEC guys can’t play in bad weather. Interestingly enough, those NFL teams in New England and other cold cities seem to keep drafting those SEC guys and they amazingly play okay in spite of the temperature. Sorry to be so sarcastic, but I am not even an SEC guy but this silly inability to acknowledge what is painfully true is wearisome. Vandy got their clock cleaned last night, not good for the SEC. South Carolina got taken to the woodshed by another SEC team. Hard to say we have big trend here. If we are going to over react we might as well say the ACC is a joke since Sun Belt La. Monroe beat Wake Forest last night. I guess that means FSU isn’t really that good.

  11. germanflats13a38 says: Aug 29, 2014 7:05 PM


    {sound of noaxetogrind dropping the mike}

    I just hope he then moonwalked off stage.

  12. jec332 says: Aug 29, 2014 8:24 PM

    No more James Franklin. Vandy is back to being Vandy.

  13. bigedefense says: Aug 30, 2014 2:52 AM

    I am not an SEC fan, nor am I an SEC hater. I enjoy college football. However, after I read some of these posts, it got me curious, so I looked it up. Surprisingly, the SEC has a losing record against the mighty Big East in bowl games. In the rest of the conferences, it’s pretty close.

    Here are the records I found. This is since the beginning of the BCS:

    SEC vs. PAC-12 regular season: 10-12
    SEC vs. PAC-12 bowl games: 1-0
    SEC vs. Big 12 regular season: 6-10
    SEC vs. Big 12 bowl games: 21-8
    SEC vs. ACC regular season: 42-36
    SEC vs. ACC bowl games: 16-9
    SEC vs. Big 10 regular season: 7-4
    SEC vs. Big 10 bowl games: 19-19
    SEC vs. Big East regular season: 16-15
    SEC vs. Big East bowl game: 3-8

    This, to me, doesn’t show dominance. It shows competiveness, but not dominance. Granted, the SEC has won several NC’s as of late, but that’s only 1 team and only 1 bowl game.

    I personally thought that the SEC would have had much better numbers than they do. I guess I fell for espn’s bias as bad as anyone. I understand why ESPN pushes the SEC to hard, they have A LOT of money invested in the SEC. Of course they want dominance. So, until the SEC can achieve said dominance, the four letter network will just have to keep talking them up like they have. (They’ve done a fine job of it so far).

  14. germanflats13a38 says: Aug 30, 2014 4:12 PM

    Do you have the stats for the SEC versus the power conferences since 2007. I don’t remember the SEC getting the benefit of the doubt before then, and I don’t remember the SEC getting a significant consideration until 2010. Before 2007, I remember the SEC was feeling disrespected, which led to the SEC chant.

  15. dmvtransplant says: Aug 30, 2014 8:58 PM

    How do you throw for 532 yards and lose?

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