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College Football: BCS Crasher Stock Report


Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton passed for 324 yards and two touchdowns against Penn State on Saturday.

Although last season marked the first time since 2003 the BCS bowls lacked a team from outside of the six automatic-qualifying conferences, the scene around Mountain West, Conference USA and MAC remained intriguing until the final weeks of the season.

Both Boise State and Houston had big-time bowl games in their sights until their first (and only) losses of the season

With teams like TCU and Utah now in automatic-qualifying conferences and Boise State seemingly out of the picture after a loss to Michigan State, the BCS crasher -- if there will be one -- will come from a new source. Unless, of course, Notre Dame reaches its first BCS game since the 2006 season.

We understand the big leagues tend to dominate the airwaves, and figuring who’s hot and who’s not outside of the mainstream can be tough task. We’re here to help parse through some of the movers and shakers out side of the six major conferences. Whether it’s Notre Dame’s bid for a BCS bid or a key weeknight high-scoring MAC game, we’ll keep you up to date in the BCS Crasher Stock Report.

Last week: Defeated Penn State 24-14
The Bobcats’ win at Penn State was hardly a fluke. Ohio outgained Penn State 316-130 in the second half. The Bobcats were able to move the ball methodically on the Nittany Lions’ defense, using scoring drives of 12, eight and 14 plays (plus an 11-play drive that ended on a missed field goal). The backfield duo of quarterback Tyler Tettleton and Beau Blankenship -- both of whom hail from Norman (Okla.) North High School -- accounted for 480 yards of total offense on Saturday. This could be the toughest test for Ohio until a potential MAC Championship Game.
This week: New Mexico State

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Last week: Defeated Washington State 30-6
BYU carried its momentum from the final months of last season into the opener against Washington State. The BYU defense had little trouble containing Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel behind the pass rush of Kyle Van Noy. Tuel finished with two interceptions and was sacked three times as Wazzu failed to score an offensive touchdown. BYU quarterback Riley Nelson made easy work of a porous Washington State defense, but the Cougars showed an intriguing wrinkle by using freshman Taysom Hill in red zone situations. Hill, who committed to Stanford out of high school before signing with BYU after an LDS mission, threw an 18-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
This week: Weber State

Last week: Defeated Cal 31-24
Wolf Pack coach Chris Ault will hope a victory over Cal is a harbinger of sorts. The last time Nevada defeated the Bears in 2010, the Wolf Pack finished the season 13-1. Nevada may have received a helping hand when the Bears started Allan Bridgford over Zach Maynard for disciplinary reasons. Bridgford started 2-for-9 for six yards as Nevada jumped to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Maynard led a comeback, but Nevada still broke a tie in the final minute of the fourth quarter. In quarterback Cody Fajardo and running back Stefphon Jefferson, Nevada has a backfield capable of putting up numbers similar to the 2010 team.
This week: USF

Notre Dame
Last week: Defeated Navy 50-10
The Notre Dame-Navy series has returned to normalcy with the Irish defeating the Midshipmen by at least 40 point in each of the last two seasons. In Dublin, Everett Golson had a good showing in his first career game, completing 12 of 18 passes for 144 yards with a touchdown, but he also threw an interception in the red zone. Notre Dame didn’t miss suspended running back Cierre Wood with Theo Riddick, George Atkinson III and Cam McDaniel combining for 265 yards and four touchdowns on 37 carries. Up next, Notre Dame will face Purdue -- and jet lag.
This week: Purdue

Louisiana Tech
Last week: Idle
Louisiana Tech lost its chance to make an opening week statement when its opener with Texas A&M was postponed to Oct. 13. After Houston lost at home to Texas State in the opener, Louisiana Tech’s first game looks a little less imposing than it once did. The Bulldogs will face Rice on Sept. 15 before facing three major conference teams (at Illinois, at Virginia, Texas A&M) in a four-weeks span.
This week: at Houston

Boise State
Last week: Lost to Michigan State 17-13
The Broncos failed to score an offensive touchdown for the first time since 1997, and the defense allowed Le’Veon Bell to put up 265 of the Spartans’ 461 yards from scrimmage. Still, the Broncos went on the road with a bunch of new starters and lost by only four points. Boise State has plenty of room to grow -- especially on offense where the Broncos rushed for only 1.5 yards per carry an completed fewer than half their passes -- before facing BYU on Sept. 20.
This week: Idle

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Utah at Utah State (Friday): Utah State has not defeated Utah since 1997, but Gary Andersen is working to close the gap.

USF at Nevada: Back-to-back wins over major conference programs is realistic for Chris Ault’s crew.

Air Force at Michigan: Falcons RBCody Getz rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries against Idaho State last week.

The fallout from Houston’s 30-13 loss to FBS newcomer Texas State was swift as offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt resigned under pressure by Monday. First-year coach Tony Levine would like to see Charlie Sims more involved. Will he get his wish this week against BYU?

Southern Miss: In the first game without Larry Fedora and quarterback Austin Davis, Southern Miss amassed only 75 passing yards and 7 of 19 completions from three quarterbacks in a 49-20 loss to Nebraska. The defense allowed 632 yards to a Nebraska offense that played most of the game without Rex Burkhead.

FIU: Mario Cristobal has FIU as a fast-rising program in the Sun Belt, but the Golden Panthers lost 46-26 at Duke on Saturday. Remember, this was a program that has played in back-to-back bowl games and upset Louisville a year ago.

Jahwan Edwards, Ball State
Ball State opened the season with a 37-26 conference win over Eastern Michigan on Thursday, powered by Edwards. A year after rushing for 786 yards and 11 touchdowns, Edwards ran for 200 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries in the opener. Edwards will face Clemson this week, meaning the game will feature two of the six players who topped 200 yards in Week 1 (Edwards and Andre Ellington).

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by David Fox

Follow @davidfox615