WEEK 5 – College Football Crisis Management Award

With Week 4 happily in our rear view mirror, we anxiously anticipated many of the intriguing match-ups on the Week 5 slate.  Most of the early season cupcake games are over with now (although a few of those supposed cupcakes did some damage) and conference play is starting to dominate the schedule.  Although there were some interesting match-ups and games to separate the real contenders for conference championships from the early season pretenders, there was not a whole lot of excitement on the field of play and few games with amazing comebacks.

Just like the football adage, “The best offense is a good defense”, in the field of crisis management, sometimes the best emergency preparedness program is in what you do to prevent a crisis.  There are numerous disaster prevention techniques ranging from backing up data to building redundant technology and operations infrastructure that make for a good defense.  While awarding the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award each week, we have also been tracking those teams that have, thus far, prevented a crisis and have not yet faced a deficit.  Five weeks into the college football campaign for 2013 and out of the 123 FBS schools, there are still 5 teams that have yet to trail at any point in any of their games.  Those five teams are: the Louisville Cardinals; Miami Hurricanes; Ohio State Buckeyes; Texas Tech Red Raiders; and, Washington Huskies.


With most of the FCS, pre-season-type games over with, and with quite a few byes on the schedule for Week 5, there were only 49 football games with FBS schools scheduled for this week.  Of those 49 games, 21 were won by teams that trailed at one point or another in the game.  And, of those 21 games, only 7 teams came back after trailing by more than 8 points (one score).  Of the 28 teams that won without ever trailing in the game, a relatively large number – 13 – were the visiting team.

The UNLV Rebels came back from a 14 point deficit in their victory over New Mexico to almost become our first repeat winner of the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award, but they came up two points shy of our Week 5 winner, the San Diego State Aztecs, who defeated New Mexico State (not a good week for New Mexico football teams).

San Diego State


SD StateThe San Diego State Aztecs rolled into Aggie Memorial Stadium in Las Cruces, NM still looking for their first win of the 2013 college football season at 0 – 3.  Their hosts, the New Mexico State Aggies had fared no better thus far this year losing their first 4 contests of the season.  But, that is one of the things we love about the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award; every team, every week, no matter their record, no matter what conference they play in, no matter their ranking or their history, has the opportunity to win this award.  Of course, that means you must first suffer the angst of falling behind by a relatively large margin before rallying your way back to victory – but, any team can do it – and, this week, the award would come from a game in which neither team had yet to secure a victory.

The Aggies would be the first team on the scoreboard scoring on their first possession of the game.  With an impressive 10 play, 68 yard drive, the Aggies would go ahead 7 – 0 on a 6 yard TD pass from Andrew McDonald to Joshua Bowen.

The Aggies would tally 3 more points on their second possession of the game after a 9 play, 69 yard drive ended with a 28 yard field goal by Maxwell Johnson.

Although New Mexico State did not score on their third possession of the game, they would get the ball back one play after punting when Darien Johnson recovered an Aztec fumble at the San Diego State 30 yard line.  Two plays later, Andrew McDonald tossed a 15 yard touchdown pass to Andrew Dean to add to their lead.  The funny thing about the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award winning games is – you never know when the tide will change or what play will signify the shift in momentum.  In this instance, that shift started with the rare blocked extra point attempt returned for a 2 point safety when David Lamar scooped up the blocked kick and ran the length of the football field for the safety.

The Aggies’ 16 point lead – the lead that qualified San Diego State for this week’s award – was actually cut to 14 points without any time coming off of the scoreboard clock.  A true rarity.

San Diego State scored the 2 points on New Mexico State’s extra point attempt and got possession of the ball on the kick-off.  San Diego State converted the pursuing drive into a 25 yard Wes Feer field goal to make the score 16 – 5.

On San Diego State’s next possession, they also marched the ball down field but were held one yard shy of a score on a 4th and goal from the 3.  After getting the ball back again with 13 seconds left in the half, San Diego State moved close enough to attempt a 40 yard field goal which was blocked by the Aggies who went into half time holding that 16 – 5 lead.

On San Diego State’s first possession of the 2nd half, after stymying the Aggies on a 4th down attempt at the Aztec 31, they went on an impressive 14 play, 69 yard drive culminating in a Donnel Pumphrey 12 yard touchdown run.  The Aztecs then failed in their two point attempt and trailed 16 – 11.

 San Diego State would then take the lead on the first play of the 4th quarter.  Donnel Pumphrey scored his second touchdown of the day from 2 yards out capping off an 8 play, 60 yard drive by the Aztecs.  The successful two-point conversion put the Aztecs up by a field goal at 19 – 16.

When, later in the 4th quarter, Donnel Pumphrey reached the end zone for the third time on the day, on a 43 yard scamper, the Aztecs would secure their first victory of the year and win the Week 5 Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award.

Certificate - Week 5 - San Diego State


Businesses, just like college football teams, can experience huge deficits from business interruption events in which they must rally from behind to stay in the game.  In the area of Crisis Management, game day is the arrival of the tornado; the coming floods; the day the hurricane strikes; a fire; a regional pandemic; technology failures; or any of a variety of risks and threats that can interrupt your business processes and/or the technologies that support them.  And, just like college football teams, your ability to overcome these deficits is directly related to the time and effort you put into planning your strategies and practicing your emergency response, business continuity and disaster recovery plays.

Safe Harbor Consulting has assisted companies and organizations, large and small, in preparing and exercising their crisis management and business continuity playbooks.  To learn more about how Safe Harbor Consulting can help you prepare for your greatest comeback, please visit our website at www.safeharborconsulting.biz; visit us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Safe-Harbor-Consulting/204353729604053; or, call us at (253) 509-0233.

Congratulations to the San Diego State Aztecs for overcoming adversity and rallying back from the largest deficit faced by a winning team during Week 5 of the 2013 college football season.   Now that we are getting into the meat of the College Football schedule and conference play is under way, we can hardly wait to see what is in store for Week 6.

Week 5 – Honorable Mention

Florida State coming from 14 behind to beat Boston College 48 – 34

UNLV coming from 14 behind to beat New Mexico 56 – 42


Week 4 – Winner (To read the Week 4 article, click here.)

Northern Illinois coming from 20 behind to beat Eastern Illinois 43 – 39


Week 3 – Winner (To read the Week 3 article, click here.)

UNLV coming from 21 behind to beat Central Michigan 31 – 21


Week 2 – Winner (To read the Week 2 article, click here.)

SMU coming from 17 behind to beat Montana State 31 – 30


Week 1 – Winners (To read the Week 1 article, click here.)

North Dakota State coming from 14 behind to beat Kansas State 24 -21

Troy coming from 14 behind to beat UAB
34 – 31

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