Week 11 in College Football seemed to have almost everything, including a few almosts. There were 5 top ten teams that suffered a loss in Week 11 and almost a couple more. LSU almost beat Alabama before giving up a late, game-tying field goal and then losing in overtime; Utah almost scored a touchdown before starting the celebration too soon resulting in an Oregon touchdown instead and drastically shifting the momentum of that game (you can see the play by clicking here). And, Notre Dame almost had an amazing comeback after being down by 28 points against Arizona State before the rally stalled near the end.
Week 11 consisted of an even 50 games in which at least one FBS team participated. For a second week in a row, over 50% of the visiting teams had a happy, victorious ride home with 28 (56%) visiting teams winning their games. In 24 of the 50 games played, or 48%, the winning team never trailed. And, in the 26 games that included some sort of a comeback, 8 teams were able to overcome double-digit deficits. Even though there was that one, almost huge comeback by Notre Dame, the largest deficit overcome was a year-low 14 points, achieved by two teams, in the two highest scoring affairs of the week including the game with the largest margin of victory by an FBS team over another FBS team.
And, a great big sigh of relief for SMU. Although the Mustangs continue to remain un-victorious on the year, after scoring a touchdown on their first play from scrimmage, a 64 yard touchdown pass from Matt Davis to Der’rikk Thompson, SMU secured their first lead of the season and can now be removed from our infamous list of Teams That Have Never Held the Lead. We are glad to not have to report on this any more for 2014.
TEAMS THAT HAVE NEVER HELD THE LEAD
TEAMS WITH THE MOST DOUBLE-DIGIT COMEBACKS
3: Iowa, Washington 2: Baylor, Bowling Green, California, Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Illinois, Kentucky, LSU, Memphis, Nevada, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Florida, Toledo, UAB, Washington State
TEAMS WITH THE MOST DOUBLE-DIGIT COLLAPSES
4: Massachusetts, Western Kentucky 3: Ball State, Colorado, Louisiana-Monroe, South Carolina 2: Arkansas, Boston College, BYU, Buffalo, Florida International, Georgia State, Hawaii, Iowa, Iowa State, New Mexico, Purdue, Troy, Tulsa
In the Week 11 comebacks from a deficit of 10 points or more:
After being on the losing end of last week’s Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award winning game, Louisville came back from an early 10 point deficit against Boston College before pulling away, 38 – 19.
One week after the sad and unfortunate end to quarterback Connor Halliday’s esteemed career at Washington State, the Cougars overcame an early 10 point deficit to defeat Oregon State, 39 – 32. Next up quarterback Luke Falk led the way with 471 yards passing and 5 touchdown passes to ease the pain of Halliday’s loss.
In a battle between two Big 12 heavyweights, the Baylor Bears found themselves down by 11 to Oklahoma at the end of the first quarter before putting up 45 unanswered points and pulling away with an impressive, road win, 48 – 14.
But, no team overcame a larger deficit in Week 11 than the two teams who won the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award!
You don’t expect to see the team who overcomes the largest deficit of the week to also be the team to win by the largest margin of victory, but that’s exactly what the Thundering Herd from Marshall accomplished. Marshall is the most unrecognizable undefeated FBS team in America. The Thundering Herd entered Week 11 with an 8 – 0 record but on the outside looking in at the FBS Playoff rankings due to their weak schedule and non-Big 5 conference affiliation. Whether or not Marshall should be considered as a playoff contender is fodder for another article.
The Thundering Herd, however, did not look like playoff contenders to start their Saturday against Southern Mississippi. The Golden Eagles put up 14 points before the thunder was heard. (See what I did there? Clever, huh?) But then, after the second Southern Miss touchdown, there appeared to be a new Marshall in town. (Man, I am on a roll with this one!)
Marshall racked up a massive 63 points against just one more field goal from the Golden Eagles to easily win the game by 46 points – the largest margin of victory in Week 11 between two FBS schools (Ole Miss did defeat Presbyterian 48 – 0, but Presbyterian is not an FBS school). Nonetheless, the Thundering Herd still wins a share of the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award. That’s pretty amazing.
The other award winning comes from the Week 11 game with the highest number of total points scored between the two teams. New Mexico and Boise State came out of the gates on fire putting up one touchdown after another. New Mexico scored on a 75 yard touchdown pass on their first play from scrimmage, and, then, Boise State did the exact same thing on their first play from scrimmage. Two plays into the game, just 23 seconds gone off the clock, and the game had 2 75 yard touchdown passes and was tied 7 – 7. Buckle your seats folks; we’re in for a bumpy ride!
By the time the first quarter ended, 42 points were already up on the scoreboard with New Mexico holding a 28 – 14, 14 point lead, but no one believed the scoring was over or that lead was safe. The second quarter had only 5 touchdowns scored (compared to 6 in the first quarter) and the teams entered half time with New Mexico on top, 42 – 35.
The pace slowed down a little bit in the third quarter as the Broncos from Boise State only managed 2 field goals against the Lobos’ lone touchdown. As a result, New Mexico entered the final quarter holding an 8 point lead, 49 – 41.
But, the 4th quarter belonged to the Broncos. The Broncos finally decided to play some defense, holding the Lobos scoreless, while their offense continued to click, putting up 3 4th quarter touchdowns and pulling away with a 60 – 49 victory. 109 total points! And, a share of the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award for Week 11.
Congratulations Marshall and Boise State!
Well that was fun. We managed to shake up the early playoff picture and we still have future games between top ranked teams that promise to shake it up even more. Can hardly wait for Week 12!
You can read our Week 1 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 2 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 3 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 4 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 5 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 6 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 7 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 8 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 9 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 10 report by clicking here.