Believe it or not, we have already reached the last full week of FBS football games for 2014. Seems like only yesterday I was typing out our Week 1 report. And, what a great week to end the year on!
Week 14 made my Week 13 report look prophetic; Week 13 was indeed the calm before the storm. Week 14, Rivalry Week, had plenty of excitement, lots of come-from-behind victories (with no 5 way tie for 1st place), shake ups at the top of the playoff rankings, close calls, significant broken ankles and lots of turkey sandwiches consumed during the watching of these contests.
Week 14 consisted of a total of 60 contests with at least 1 FBS opponent. Of those 60 games, only 23 (38%) were won by teams that never trailed in the game. Of the 37 games in which the winning team trailed at some point in the game, 13 of those contests included comebacks from deficits of 10 points or more.
TEAMS WITH THE MOST DOUBLE-DIGIT COMEBACKS
3: Florida State, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, South Florida, Washington 2: Appalachian State, Arizona, Ball State, Baylor, Boise State, Bowling Green, California, Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Minnesota, North Carolina State, TCU, Toledo, UAB, Washington State, Western Michigan, West Virginia, Wisconsin
TEAMS WITH THE MOST DOUBLE-DIGIT COLLAPSES
4: Iowa State, Massachusetts, Western Kentucky 3: Arkansas, Ball State, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana-Monroe, Purdue, South Carolina 2: Arizona State, Boston College, BYU, Buffalo, Florida International, Georgia State, Hawaii, Louisiana Tech, Nebraska, New Mexico, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, Texas State, Texas Tech, Troy, Tulsa, UNLV, Washington State
In the Week 14 comebacks from a deficit of 10 points or more:
Missouri overcame an 11 point deficit against Arkansas to secure their spot in next week’s SEC Championship Game while their opponent in that contest, Alabama had to come back after being 12 points down to Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
Wisconsin, West Virginia, Ball State and Northern Illinois all trailed by 2 touchdowns before rallying back for their victories. Wisconsin defeated Big Ten Rival Minnesota, 34 – 24 to land a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game next week; West Virginia downed Iowa State 37 – 24; Ball State defeated Bowling Green, 41 – 24; and, at the end of the game, it was Northern Illinois 31, Western Michigan 21.
Nebraska had to come back after being 17 points down against Iowa before securing the win, 37 – 34. And, Ohio rallied back from a 21 point deficit to defeat in-state, conference rival Miami (OH), 24 – 21.
But, no team overcame a larger deficit in Week 14 than the winner of the Safe Harbor College Football Crisis Management Award Winner did!
And, the winner is … the Rutgers Scarlet Knights!
The final, regular week of the 2014 College Football campaign matched the two new schools in the Big Ten Conference against one another. Both schools had already outperformed the analysts’ predictions for their inaugural season in the Big Ten and one of these teams was looking to put an exclamation point on their promising start in this new football chapter for their university.
Maryland scored first with a touchdown on their first possession of the game and ended the 1st quarter with a 7 – 3 lead.
The Terrapins added another touchdown on the first play of the 2nd quarter on a 71 yard touchdown pass from C.J. Brown to Amba Etta-Tawo. After Rutgers responded with a touchdown pass of their own, from Gary Nova to Leonte Carroo, the Terrapins put up three touchdowns on consecutive possessions to take a commanding 35 – 10 lead with just under 3:00 left in the first half.
As Rutgers’ fans started to give up hope, the Scarlet Knights put together a nice, 13 play, 77 yard touchdown drive that ended with a 1 yard pass from Nova to Andre Patton to pull the Knights to within 18.
A 71 yard kickoff return by Rutgers’ Jenarion Grant to start the second half set up the Scarlet Knights for a quick, 3 play touchdown drive ending on a 1 yard TD plunge by Robert Martin to make the score Maryland 35, Rutgers 24.
On Rutgers’ next possession, the Scarlet Knights marched 70 yards in 10 plays ending on another Nova to Carroo touchdown pass, to pull the Scarlet Knights to within 4 points and bring the lamenting Rutgers’ fans back to their TV sets.
A 50 yard field goal by Maryland’s Brad Craddock put the Terrapins back up by 7, but still only one possession away from a tie with one more quarter left to be played and the Knights sitting on the Maryland 10 yard line.
Amazingly enough, Rutgers tied the game up at 38 – 38 on the first play of the 4th quarter on Gary Nova’s 4th touchdown pass of the day – this one to Andre Patton from 10 yards out. A Kyle Federico, 20 yard field goal on Rutgers’ next possession gave the Scarlet Knights their first lead of the day, 41 – 38, with just over 6:00 minutes left in regulation play.
Maryland attempted and missed a would-be tying 54 yard field with 3:45 left on the scoreboard clock. But, instead of running out the clock, Rutgers handed the ball back over to Maryland on a lost fumble at their own 45 yard line! This time, instead of attempting another 50+ yard field goal to tie the game, the Terrapins went for it on 4th and 1 and were held short of the first down.
No more Rutgers’ gifts would come the Terrapins way and the gun sounded to end the two new Big Ten teams’ first season in their new conference with Rutgers on top 41 – 38, after coming back from 25 points down to win the Week 14 Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award.
Congratulations Scarlet Knights!
Week 15 is an abbreviated schedule with a few games between teams in conferences that have no championship game and a few conference championship games. Even so, most of the games being played will have a significant impact on the final ranking of teams to play in the inaugural FBS playoff. With so much on the line, each game promises to be an exciting contest with hair being pulled by fans all across the nation. I can hardly wait!
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.
You can read our Week 11 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 12 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 13 report by clicking here.