College Football Handicapping: Week 2 Misleading Scores


Week two in college football saw a lot of games changed by Tropical Storm Gordon. Clemson and Texas A&M was a great game, but overall the week lacked marquee matchups. That isn’t the case in week three. College football fans will be treated to Washington at Utah, Boise State at Oklahoma State, and LSU at Auburn, among many other quality matchups.

BangTheBook always tries to help readers and listeners be well-informed. The weekly misleading scores piece I do here is a good place to go for extra information on teams, and data that helps you dive much deeper than simply knowing the final score. A final score can be very misleading. It’s hard to keep track of all the games, especially if you have a day job and are doing this on the side. I’ll highlight several games and what made the final score misleading. Keep these in mind as you update you handicap the games for the upcoming weekend.

Navy 22 Memphis 21 – Memphis should have won this game. The Tigers turned the ball over four times, and Navy took full advantage. Navy held the ball for a whopping 42:47 compared to only 17:13 for Memphis. This one was played in some pretty bad weather conditions. The Midshipmen wore down the Memphis defense in the fourth quarter. For the game, Navy averaged only 4.00 yards per play. Memphis averaged 7.71 yards per play. Navy had only 316 total yards of offense, but they were able to sneak away with a win.

Army 38 Liberty 14 – Army outgained Liberty 510-417 in this one. Liberty actually averaged 6.95 yards per play compared to only 6.22 yards per play for Army. Army averaged an impressive 6.33 points per trip into the red zone, while Liberty averaged only 4.67 points per trip into the red zone. Army didn’t turn the ball over at all. Liberty had three turnovers.

Buffalo 36 Temple 29 – Not all misleading final scores are misleading from a side standpoint. Some are misleading final scores for totals bettors as well. This one fits the bill, with Buffalo and Temple finishing much higher scoring than it should have been. Buffalo averaged only 4.97 yards per play. Temple averaged 5.3 yards per play. Buffalo had three touchdown drives of 58 yards or less. Temple scored one of their touchdowns on a long punt return touchdown. It was a sloppy game with one turnover from Buffalo and three from Temple. Neither of these offenses were as good as the final score would indicate here.

Florida State 36 Samford 26 – The Seminoles were very fortunate to get out of this game with a win. Samford outgained Florida State 525-454. Samford averaged 6.65 yards per play. Florida State averaged only 5.6 yards per play. Samford turned the ball over five times, while Florida State turned the ball over once. That was the difference in what could have been a massive upset.

Colorado 33 Nebraska 28 – Nebraska should have won Scott Frost’s first game as head coach. The Cornhuskers outgained the Buffaloes 565-395. Nebraska averaged an impressive 6.81 yards per play. Colorado averaged 4.65 yards per play. The Buffaloes were 2/3 on 4th down conversion attempts, while Nebraska was 0/3 on 4th down. Colorado won this game despite averaging only 1.3 yards per carry. Nebraska ran for 6.1 yards per carry. Nebraska turned it over three times, while Colorado didn’t turn the ball over in this contest.

South Florida 49 Georgia Tech 38 – South Florida couldn’t stop Georgia Tech in this one, but the Yellow Jackets did enough things wrong to cost themselves a victory. South Florida returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the first half. Georgia Tech still led by ten points in the fourth quarter, but turnovers ended up costing them. Georgia Tech outgained South Florida 602-426. The Yellow Jackets averaged 8.03 yards per play. The Bulls averaged just 5.68 yards per play. South Florida’s average starting field position was their own 37.5 yard line. Georgia Tech’s average starting field position was their own 24.8 yard line. Georgia Tech had three turnovers, while South Florida had only one.

Clemson 28 Texas A&M 26 – Clemson took care of business here, but they definitely got a bit fortunate. The Tigers defense was giving up yards in bunches in the second half. Texas A&M outgained Clemson 501-413. Texas A&M threw for 430 yards. The Aggies had 25 first downs compared to only 14 for Clemson. Texas A&M turned the ball over two times, while Clemson didn’t have any turnovers on Saturday night.