In fact, as Florida State prepared for the national championship game last season, confident fans routinely chalked up the punting game as perhaps the only area where Auburn held a distinct advantage, and how much could punting matter in a game like that anyway?
Of course, the Tigers proved a bit more difficult an opponent than those projections assumed, and as fate would have it, punting mattered a lot.
Had Kermit Whitfield not returned a fourth-quarter kickoff for a score, had Jameis Winston not rallied his troops on the final drive, had Kelvin Benjamin not snagged the game-winning touchdown with just seconds to spare, the one area of Florida State’s championship team that wasn’t talked about all season -- the punting -- might have been the single biggest reason the Seminoles came up short in Pasadena.
With FSU ahead 3-0 in the first quarter, Auburn's Steven Clark came on to punt, booming a kick that the Auburn coverage team downed at the 2. The Seminoles went nowhere on the ensuing drive, and Cason Beatty’s resulting punt was a line drive that Auburn's Chris Davis returned 22 yards to the FSU 22. Auburn took advantage of the field position for a touchdown that started a 21-0 run.
In the game, Clark punted six times. Five were downed inside the 20, none resulted in a return by Florida State. Beatty, meanwhile, punted six times as well. Only one was downed inside the 20.
In the end, punting didn’t cost FSU a national championship, and as the Seminoles get set to open spring practice in 2014, Beatty’s performance is again likely to fade into the background as bigger concerns on offense and defense grab the headlines. And, again, Jimbo Fisher has no obvious alternatives to his two-year incumbent punter in spite of a now-substantive track record of struggles. But as the quest to replace Timmy Jernigan or develop young receivers takes center stage, it's worth keeping an eye on how tied Fisher remains to Beatty and whether the Seminoles might start looking at giving some work to a walk-on.
On national signing day, Fisher was asked about the punting potential of quarterback recruit J.J. Cosentino, who has a big leg to go with his strong arm. Fisher didn’t laugh off the idea, and while it’s unlikely Cosentino’s redshirt would be burned for punting purposes, it’s a telling statement that fans -- let alone Fisher -- would even consider it.
So why should punting be a focus for Florida State in 2014? The numbers are gruesome.
First, in Beatty’s first two seasons as the Seminoles' punter, FSU has averaged 38.9 yards, which is the worst in the ACC and seventh-worst among AQ teams.
But more than simply the short kicks, FSU has looked awful trying to cover Beatty’s boots. Despite fielding a punt coverage unit with as many standout athletes as any team in the nation -- including several veterans -- Florida State allows 14.7 yards per punt return behind Beatty, the fourth-worst average in the nation. The Seminoles are netting just 35.3 yards per punt during Beatty’s tenure, easily the worst by any BCS-qualifying schools. (It's perhaps worth noting that Alabama leads the country in punting and net punting, while also averaging the fifth fewest punts per game.)
Two numbers have kept the Seminoles' punting shortcomings from being a serious issue -- first, FSU has punted so rarely; and second, that a relatively low percentage of Beatty’s (usually short) punts have been returned (24 percent, 20th nationally). But, as Florida State saw in both the NC State game in 2012 and the national championship game in January, a few bad kicks can dramatically change the outcome of a game and, in turn, the outcome of a season.
Beatty did show some improvement as a sophomore, adding roughly 3 yards per punt to his average, but at the same time, FSU’s coverage team surrendered nearly 7 more yards per return. In other words, the added distance on punts likely came at the expense of hang time. Meanwhile, just 28.5 percent of his punts were downed inside the 20 -- nearly half the rate he enjoyed in 2012.
Beatty’s struggles were a minor blemish on an otherwise sterling season in 2013, but the schedule gets tougher this season, and it’s unlikely Florida State will win all its games by an average of 40 points again. And, as last year’s national title game proved, it doesn’t take a season’s worth of bad punts to torpedo a team’s goals. Sometimes, it can come down to one bad kick.
- Clemson coach Dabo Swinney says his team is practicing with a sense of urgency.
- Jimbo Fisher and Al Golden weigh in on the proposed early signing period.
- So does Paul Johnson.
- Good insight on recruiting from Florida State assistant Tim Brewster.
- Miami offensive lineman Hunter Knighton is out of the hospital after falling ill during a workout.
- North Carolina picked up a commitment from in-state quarterback Anthony Ratliff.
- Incoming Syracuse freshman Adly Enoicy hopes for a contributing role in 2014.
- Mark Leal is determined to win the starting quarterback job at Virginia Tech.
- Former Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price is preparing for his shot at the NFL.
On Monday, we looked at Jameis Winston’s follow-up to his Heisman season.
Next up: Will Karlos Williams emerge as one of the nation’s top runners?
Jared Shanker says Williams still has some work to do.
JS: There is no denying Williams’ physical traits. There is no argument from me that Williams is capable of being one of the most dominant running backs in the ACC and possibly the country.
I just need to see it first.
Considering his preseason switch from safety to running back, the 6-foot-1, 223-pound Williams did just about everything you could ask of him. He rushed for more than eight yards per carry and scored 11 touchdowns serving as Devonta Freeman's and James Wilder Jr.'s backup.
Therein lies the issue for me: He was No. 3 on the Noles’ depth chart last season.
If Williams rushes for more than 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns, I would not be surprised at all. Few players across the country are in the category of elite athlete Williams belongs to. It is just too early to already pencil Williams in for All-ACC honors with so few meaningful snaps in his career.
David Hale says Williams is ready to become a superstar.
DH: No running back from an automatic-qualifier conference last season had at least as many carries as Williams (91) and ran for more yards per rush (8.02). No running back in the country from any school had as many carries and scored with more regularity (a TD every 8.3 rushes) than Williams. And, it’s probably fair to say, no running back in the country opened 2013 with higher expectations from fans -- as a safety.
Such was the journey of the one-time five-star recruit in his junior season, which began at safety and ended with 730 rushing yards and the designation among many FSU fans as the Seminoles’ next great tailback.
From his first career carry -- a 65-yard touchdown against Nevada -- it was obvious Williams had star potential on offense. It was actually something Jimbo Fisher saw years before, but it took some convincing to push Williams to make the move from defense. And when he did, Williams was stuck behind two NFL-caliber runners on the depth chart, meaning the bulk of his work in 2013 came in the latter half of blowouts.
But that shouldn’t diminish what’s possible. Williams might have racked up yards against backups, but he also did it behind second-string linemen. He might have had just 18 first-half rushing attempts all season, but he also scored on three of them. He might have largely been a straight-line runner when he got the ball, but that didn’t make it any easier for defenders to bring him down.
Now with Freeman and Wilder gone, it’s Williams who figures to take over the FSU ground game. Given that he’ll be playing with a Heisman-winning quarterback and an offensive line likely to have five senior starters, the expectations are high for good reason. He’s got all the physical tools to be a star, and he has plenty of stars already surrounding him on offense.
So what’s the ceiling for Williams? If he maintains his 2013 average over the same number of carries Freeman got last season, he would finish 2014 with nearly 1,400 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns. Of course, maintaining those numbers will be difficult against stiffer competition, but remember that Williams will now have a full year of experience at the position under his belt when 2014 begins. And while he’s likely to endure more bumps and bruises in a larger role, he’ll also have a chance to get into a routine, to wear defenders down with his unique blend of size and speed.
In other words, the question marks surrounding Williams are largely about when he played in 2013, but there’s no doubt that what he did once he got on the field was spectacular. This season, Williams will get every chance to prove it was no fluke, and if he reaches those projected totals, Winston won’t be the only Heisman contender on Florida State’s offense.
- Athlon Sports ranks the top coaching jobs in the ACC. Can't argue with the top 2.
- Is Clemson capable of becoming the No. 1 defense in college football?
- Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris spent time in Columbus, Ohio, talking football with Ohio State and Texas A&M assistants.
- Two Florida State football players got into a dispute that led to an alleged shooting.
- Louisville coach Bobby Petrino is in no hurry to choose a starting quarterback.
- Former Miami football player JoJo Nicolas was laid to rest this weekend.
- Pitt's oldest known living football letterman turned 100 Saturday.
- Highly-touted recruit Andrew Brown eases into spring practice at Virginia.
- Recruiting forced Virginia Tech coordinators Bud Foster and Scot Loeffler to join Twitter.
First up: Can Jameis Winston manage to eclipse last year’s Heisman Trophy-winning numbers in his second season as Florida State’s starter?
Jared Shanker says 2014 will be an even bigger year for Winston.
But if we are strictly talking about the numbers Winston will accumulate in his second season as the starter, I believe 2014 will be a better season.
A season ago, Winston threw for more than 4,000 yards and tossed 40 touchdowns, but even those numbers fail to accurately portray his 2013 campaign. Florida State dominated nearly every one of its opponents, leading to Fisher pulling Winston in the second half and putting a cap on Winston’s yards and touchdowns. Backup quarterbacks Jacob Coker (seven games) and Sean Maguire (eight) appeared in at least half of FSU’s games.
Gone are running backs Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr., which could force Fisher to keep the ball in Winston’s hands at least through the early portion of 2014. And two of the Seminoles’ first three opponents are Oklahoma State and Clemson, which both finished in the top 15 in scoring last season. Those games quickly could turn to shootouts, and remaining on the schedule in the second half of the season is Notre Dame, a Louisville team now led by top offensive mind Bobby Petrino, Miami and Florida.
While Winston will not have as many elite weapons around him, one of the country’s best offensive lines will stand guard as Winston drops back and surveys the field. There might not be a single program outside of Alabama that has recruited better than Florida State the last four cycles, too, so there are bound to be a few names to emerge at receiver and running back.
It would be unfair for Winston to have to duplicate everything he did from a season ago in order to have a bigger year. Only Archie Griffin has won the Heisman Trophy twice, but he wasn’t coming off a national championship when he went to repeat in 1975.
David Hale says life will get a bit tougher for Winston this time around.
DH: In his first season as Florida State’s starter, Winston set school and ACC records for passing, became one of college football’s most recognizable stars, endured a massive off-field controversy, won a Heisman trophy and led his team to a national championship that included a final-minute touchdown drive for the victory.
So, really, how much more can he do in 2014?
There’s no question Winston is as talented a quarterback as college football has seen in recent years, but the standard he set last season is an awfully high one. It would be nearly impossible for any player to duplicate -- let alone, improve upon -- those numbers, particularly with an even bigger spotlight on him from Day 1. In the past 10 years, four Heisman Trophy QBs returned the next season, and none accounted for more TDs the following year. Matt Leinart, Tim Tebow and Johnny Manziel all had impressive enough second acts, but none managed to repeat their Heisman victories.
But more than the struggle to build upon greatness, Winston will be working with far different weapons in 2014. As a redshirt freshman, he was buoyed by Freeman, Wilder, Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw. All are gone this season, meaning a supporting cast that might not be quite as reliable as what Winston worked with in 2013. Yes, Rashad Greene brings some veteran savvy to the receiving corps, but the rest of the group is young and unproven.
Add in a far tougher schedule than last season, and it figures to be a bit more rocky a road in 2014 than it was in 2013 for Winston. Of course, he’s made a habit of proving critics wrong, and with a year of experience now under his belt, it’s probably silly to start putting any limits on what Winston might accomplish.
Spotlight: Mario Edwards Jr.
The skinny: That's a truly fitting headline for Edwards, who tipped the scales at 300 pounds in 2012 when he landed in Tallahassee, Fla., as the No. 1 high school recruit. Following a freshman season that nearly ended that August with a redshirt, Edwards dropped 30 pounds and was listed at 6-foot-3 and 277 pounds before the start of his sophomore season in 2013. He broke into the starting lineup and was dominant at times, especially in the national championship game, helping to contain Auburn’s explosive rushing attack.
Edwards had the help of defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan last season, though. This spring, Jernigan is preparing for NFL draft, and Edwards will be looked upon to lead a defensive line that is routinely considered among the best in the country. His maturation will be a talking point this spring as the Seminoles hope to generate more of a pass rush from their defensive linemen, especially as the defensive backfield replaces two new starters and copes with the loss of Lamarcus Joyner. The Seminoles’ secondary talent is among the country’s best, but a mediocre pass rush could put too much pressure on the back end of the defense.
Assignments will not be limited to just getting after the quarterback, though. Edwards is solidly built and will be asked to take on blockers if and when new defensive coordinator Charles Kelly mixes in three-down-linemen sets.
It would be unfair to put the success of the defensive line on just Edwards’ shoulders, considering ESPN 300 recruits make up nearly the entire unit, but being recognized as the No. 1 high school player nationally inherently brings about a few unfair expectations. Naturally, there will be a lot of eyes fixated on Edwards when spring practice kicks off March 19. If Edwards lives up to the billing of a five-star recruit and takes on added leadership responsibilities, the defensive line should fall into place, which would go a long way toward masking any growing pains elsewhere on defense.
Spring practices have begun at college football programs across the country, and early 2014 projections are shining a spotlight on a handful of teams that have question marks to answer in the coming weeks. Our Football Outsiders preseason projections won't be complete until after spring position battles settle themselves, but some of the key ingredients are already in place, and we've begun to formulate a pecking order for the fall.
Our drive-based FEI ratings include a number of transition factors that remain to be calculated, but the core piece of the formula is the annual program FEI ratings. Program FEI is a measure of five years of drive efficiency data, weighted for more recent seasons, and it has a strong correlation to the next year's success.
At this point in the offseason, we've also included returning starter data and a specific factor that accounts for the replaceability of the quarterback for those teams that are looking for a new starter this fall.
Here is a look at the top 10 teams for 2014 according to our pre-spring FEI projection model, including their likelihood to contend for one of the four spots in the inaugural college football playoff.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
67 percent likelihood to finish 11-1 or better
In the last quarter century, no program has had more sustained elite success over a five-year period than the Crimson Tide. They are 55-7 against FBS opponents since 2009, and their program rating lead over No. 2 Oregon is greater than Oregon's lead over the No. 10 program, Wisconsin. Anything less than a championship is characterized as a major letdown in Tuscaloosa; coach Nick Saban has hoisted the crystal football at season's end in three of the last five years, and early projections mark Alabama as a favorite once again.
Florida State transfer quarterback Jacob Coker is one of a handful of players looking to claim the starting job this fall, with new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin in the fold. Their schedule this fall doesn't get particularly tricky until November, so whoever ends up the starter will have some time to settle into the role.
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
- Former BC center Dan Koppen has taken a volunteer coaching job at Hendrickson (R.I.) High, Carolyn Thornton writes in the Providence Journal.
- Clemson has a countdown clock for the South Carolina game — with a not-so-friendly reminder.
- Duke has promoted GA Jeffrey Faris to receivers coach.
- FSU is searching for new leaders as spring looms, Brendan Sonnone writes in the Orlando Sentinel.
- Bill Parcells met with former Louisville quarterback coach Teddy Bridgewater in Florida.
- Miami is breaking for spring break, Christy Cabrera Chirinos writes in the (South Florida) Sun-Sentinel.
- AthlonSports ranks the top 10 ACC quarterbacks of the BCS era.
- Athlon also previews North Carolina's spring.
- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Sam Werner looks at the Panthers' quarterbacks entering this spring.
- The (Syracuse) Post-Standard's Nate Mink looks at which former Orange players are unsigned as NFL free agency nears.
- Keeon Johnson is ready to take the next step for Virginia, Jeff White writes on VirginiaSports.com.
- Wake Forest athletics received a $7.5 million donation from former player Bob McCreary.
While many of the Seminoles’ top players will return to Doak Campbell Stadium this fall, graduation, early departures and transfers have left coach Jimbo Fisher searching for answers at a handful of positions. There is talent and depth across the board, but the FSU staff is hoping key replacements emerge this spring before being thrust into pivotal roles in the fall.
Replacing: Telvin Smith
Candidates: E.J. Levenberry, Reggie Northrup, Kain Daub
Gone for the NFL is Smith, who registered 15 tackles against Auburn in the VIZIO BCS National Championship. The good news for Florida State is there is a strong crop linebackers who have patiently waited to crack the starting lineup.
Terrance Smith could slide from middle linebacker to the weakside, Telvin’s old position. Terrance (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) is physically similar to Telvin (6-3, 218) and would likely adjust well to the outside. Regardless, Telvin’s departure leaves one spot open at linebacker for the Noles whether it is on the inside or the weakside of the offense’s formation. The strongside position could go to a hybrid DE/LB, similar to graduated linebacker Christian Jones.
Northrup, a junior out of Jacksonville, Fla., was listed on the depth chart as Telvin’s backup during the 2013 season. Northrup played as a reserve in all 14 games and totaled 46 tackles last season. If Terrance Smith remains at inside linebacker, Northrup could slide right into the starting position on the weak side.
What could work against Northrup’s chances to land in the starting lineup is the hype surrounding sophomore Levenberry. A meteoric rise throughout fall camp last season had the 6-3, 236-pound already in the two-deep at middle linebacker as a freshman. He played in 13 games and even posted a start in the win against Boston College. Late in the season, Levenberry announced himself to FSU fans with an athletic showcase that resulted in a 78-yard interception return for a touchdown. Levenberry tipped a pass to himself and raced down the sideline outrunning the Idaho offense. Now with a full season and another spring practice under his belt, it is going to be tough to keep Levenberry out of the starting lineup.
Daub is a member of Florida State’s 2014 recruiting class who enrolled in January. He will be able to participate in spring practice, although it seems unlikely he will find a place in the starting lineup when the Noles travel to Dallas for the season opener. Daub certainly has the credentials to make an impact as a freshman, however. He was ranked third among inside linebackers nationally and was No. 32 in the ESPN 300.
One key component of this positional battle will be how much of an emphasis Fisher and linebackers coach Charles Kelly put on leadership to replace Telvin Smith. Few voices were stronger than his in the locker room last season, and linebacker is the type of position that calls for a leader who will not only direct his teammates at linebacker but the entire defense.
Along with defensive tackle, this could be the most intriguing position battle of the spring.
College football teams might not win or lose games this time of year, but a quarterback certainly can win or lose a starting job in the spring months.
Here are some of the top QB storylines to monitor in the five power conferences, including a potential rebound at Florida, a Heisman winner playing baseball and rising stars in the Big Ten and Big 12.
1. Jeff Driskel, Florida
Every position, including quarterback, is open when you go 4-8 at Florida. That was what embattled coach Will Muschamp told me a couple of weeks ago when I asked about Driskel and the other QBs, including Elite 11 early enrollee Will Grier.
That comment aside, Muschamp spent very little time talking about Grier, Skyler Mornhinweg and Treon Harris (yet to enroll). Instead, he was explicit in his hope for Driskel to deliver, finally.
“I’m excited for him and for us,” Muschamp said of Driskel coming back from the broken leg that caused him to miss most of 2013. “He had a great spring, great camp [in 2013] and then got hurt. He’s never had a chance to show what we’ve seen.”
With Muschamp seated squarely on the hot seat, it’s obviously a pivotal year at Florida. Driskel’s success, working with new coordinator Kurt Roper, could be instrumental in deciding the fates of many.
Muschamp said he already has witnessed good vibes shared between QB and coordinator since Roper arrived. He noted, too, that Roper has a track record of solid quarterback development.
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
It is still early March, but following the completion of winter conditioning, Fisher liked his team’s makeup despite losing key contributors and leaders on offense and defense. He saw the same insatiable appetite among a squad coming off a national title as he did last season, when Florida State entered an offseason having left a championship bid in Raleigh, N.C.
“What I’m looking for is another group of hungry guys who are willing to pay the same price as last year when they didn’t know they were really good,” Fisher said. “I’ve been pleased with our demeanor, work ethic and consistency. ... We’re not defending anything.”
With a roster rivaled by maybe the likes of only Alabama, leadership could be one of the few pitfalls of a team that will be preseason No. 1. But Fisher offered individual plaudits for Karlos Williams, Rashad Greene, Tyler Hunter, Terrance Smith and Ukeme Eligwe as emerging leaders.
Spring practices will help establish new starters, but winter workouts allowed a few already to break away and earn the praise of coaches and teammates.
At running back, Mario Pender is back with the team after missing 2013 for academic reasons, and top 2014 signee Dalvin Cook is enrolled in classes and eligible to participate in spring drills. FSU must replace leading rushers Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr.
“Pender’s fast and he’s working his tail off, doing so well in school,” Fisher said. “Ryan Green jumps out at you. Cook can flat fly, change of direction, he’s up over 200 pounds.”
Two positions are open at linebacker, and sophomores E.J. Levenberry and Matthew Thomas could very well jump some of the older and more-established players for starting roles.
“Those two young guys are going to be the young guys that we are going to depend on this year,” Smith said. “This offseason they’ve just been working on getting bigger, stronger and faster and they’ve really been dedicated to the program.”
Greene is the only returning receiver to produce at a consistent level for the Noles, who will be left to rely on a mixture of seniors who patiently waited for their turn and freshmen and sophomores with high school All-America credentials. Isaiah Jones, Levonte Whitfield and Jesus Wilson will be sophomores, and Ermon Lane and Travis Rudolph -- Nos. 2 and 6 among Class of 2014 receivers, respectively -- enroll this summer.
“Those younger guys I feel like they are my responsibility,” Greene said, “so anything that goes wrong with them I take all fault for it because I’m the leader.”
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Florida State Seminoles wrapped up their winter conditioning program Thursday, and coach Jimbo Fisher raved about the atmosphere and how the players understand the culture and what it takes to be elite.
Just don't mention the defense of the school's third national championship.
"I want to see the same things," Fisher said. "I want to see the confidence and belief in what we have, but also the hunger to go get another one and don't worry about the last one.
"We're not defending anything in that regard. I don't want us to think in those terms. What I'm looking for is another group of hungry guys who are willing to pay the same price they did last year when they didn't know they were real good."
So which team has the best chance to unseat them from their throne? Let's look at some of the top contenders:
Clemson: Skeptical fans will ask how the Tigers will take down Florida State considering: 1. They have lost to the Noles the last two years; 2. They play in Tallahassee in 2014; 3. They do not have Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant and Roderick McDowell, just to name four. Well, the truth is Clemson is not going anywhere anytime soon. Florida State had a lot of questions last season about replacing 11 NFL draft picks -- including its starting quarterback. But thanks to recruiting, the Seminoles were even better. Now, this is not to say Clemson will be even better in 2014 than it was a year ago, but it is to say the Tigers are not going to go back to winning seven games. They have kept pace with Florida State on the recruiting trail, have outstanding candidates to step in at quarterback, should be better at running back and will have one of the strongest defensive lines in the ACC. Boyd and Watkins might be gone, but Clemson is here to stay.
Duke: The Blue Devils, you say? Well, yes, they are a big-time dark horse, especially because the gap between the two programs was exposed for the world to see in the ACC championship game last December. Still, Duke will be one of the favorites to repeat as Coastal champions for several reasons. First, the Blue Devils return eight starters on offense, including All-ACC receiver Jamison Crowder, starting quarterback Anthony Boone and backup Brandon Connette. Second, they have some excellent players back on defense, including linebacker Kelby Brown and safeties Jeremy Cash and DeVon Edwards. Third, their schedule should make them favorites as they avoid playing Florida State, Clemson, Louisville and Notre Dame. Given the progress that has been made, this team could easily win 10 games again.
Louisville: The Cards are a bit of a wild card for a host of reasons. Not only do they have to replace potential No. 1 draft pick Teddy Bridgewater, their front seven has to be rebuilt and they have a new coach and new schemes to get used to in a short period of time. The schedule is much more challenging in 2014, too, with games against Florida State, Clemson, Notre Dame and Miami. The program is a step behind Florida State and Clemson, but Bobby Petrino sure knows how to coach. He won 10 or more games in the SEC West. Twice. Their chances are remote, but they should still be one of the top-tier ACC teams this year.
Miami: While it is true the in-state rivals are lagging behind the Seminoles, the Hurricanes have made some major strides on the recruiting trail and have talent all over the roster. If Duke Johnson had not gotten hurt last season, perhaps Miami would have stayed in the game. The Canes have a receiving group that can challenge the Florida State secondary. A healthy Johnson is a game-changer. And they meet in Miami this year in mid-November. Still, there are questions at quarterback and on defense that make Miami a long shot to unseat the Seminoles.
Other: Is it North Carolina? Virginia Tech? Anybody else? Now it's time for you to weigh in with our handy dandy poll.
Hamilton Talks Bojanovsky
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35