By Mike Kern
September 15, 2019
Another installment of Fraud Five. And where did my summer go? I hate the cold and snow, but somebody’s has to shovel. Anyway, here we go:
Boston College – As relevant a place to start as any. Kansas hadn’t won a road game against a Power Five program since like the 1970s. Or at least it seemed that long (actually it was only 2008, or a mere stretch of 48 straight). So the Jayhawks and new coach Les Miles, coming off a home loss to Coastal Carolina, hangs a 48-24 number on the Eagles and one-time Temple coach Steve Addazio. I know stuff happens, but yo. Good thing BC was up by 10 after a quarter. Too bad KU scored the last 27. At least the Eagles, who were favored by three touchdowns, now get to go to Rutgers, which will be coming off a bye. Unless maybe that turns into a problem too. Hey, sometimes you never know.
Michigan State – Sparty, ranked 18th, was a 15-point fave. Didn’t matter. It lost at home to Herm Edwards and Arizona State, 10-7. Good for Herm. That’s why they play the game, right? So Mark Dantonio remains tied with Duffy Daugherty atop the school’s all-time win list, with 109. ASU has scored more than seven points in 137 consecutive games, the longest active streak in FBS. The Sun Devils got a 1-yard TD run with 50 seconds left. Then MSU had a 42-yard field goal negated by a penalty for having 12 men lined up. The kicker missed the next one, his third miss of the day.
Pat Narduzzi – The Pitt coach elected to go for a field goal, which would of course clank off the left upright, instead of trying to get into the end zone from a yard out when his team was down seven at Penn State with less than five minutes left. Is that any way to end a 126-year-old rivalry, at least for the forseeable future. According to ESPN, since the start of last season stats show that teams get the touchdown 70 percent of the time in those situations. Oh well. Yes, the Panthers did need two scores. But one of them had to be a TD. There is that too. Just saying. Give me Doug Pederson. At least Pitt did get back to the PSU 26 on the final possession (it took 10 plays to move 58 yards, in just under two minutes). But the last two passes were incompletions. Maybe if the Panthers just needed three points at that point … but that kind of speculation would be a little unfair, no? Then again, that’s what FF is sometimes about.
North Carolina State – The Wolfpack were favored by a TD, on the road, against a West Virginia team that had just lost 38-7 at Missouri and was averaging an FBS-worst 1.1 yards per rush. The visitors did lead 21-14 after 27 minutes. But maybe this is what happens when your first two games were at home against East and Western Carolina. The Wolfpack had 97 yards of offense after halftime. Not necessarily an egregious loss, even by my FF standards, but still not a real pretty look. And it was a tough week to come up with a worthy five.
Maryland – I don’t want this to come across as a knock on Temple, whose defense was forced to come up with three goal-line stops (one early and two late), mostly because the Owls’ special teams were awful. And that’s the point. The Terps, who should have been in big-time revenge mode since Temple went down there last year as a touchdown underdog and got a blowout win, watched it happen again. After laying 60-some on Syracuse the week before, and moving into the Top 25, they should have been able to take advantage of all the opportunities Temple’s kicking game handed them. That included a long punt return in the fourth quarter to inside the 5 and a subsequent 7-yard punt from the end zone. Did we omit the muffed punt? But they didn’t, as the visitors had some field-goal issues of their own. Amazingly, neither side could convert a third down in the first half either, which is borderline impossible. So good for the Owls and their new coach, who now go to Buffalo before hosting Georgia Tech and their coach of the previous two years, Geoff Collins. Should be interesting.