What ever happened to the extra point? College Football Week 4 Recap

Okay, so Notre Dame’s unthinkable comeback stole the show during what turned out to be a more exciting weekend of football than I anticipated. But what was the deal with the special teams?

You really had to feel for Alabama kicker Leigh Tiffin after the Tide lost a heartbreaker in double overtime at Arkansas 24-23. Such a loss is always heartbreaking, but it certainly feels worse when your kicker misses an extra point and THREE field goals inside of 40 yards. He was able to the first of his four attempts, but it was from 46 yards! Go figure.  Oh, and the missed extra point came after the Tide scored on the opening possession of double overtime. Arkansas then promptly scored to tie the game and converted an extra point that felt like a 50-yard field goal to win the game. Wooey pig suey!!!

Then, later in the day, Boston College scored quickly in their game at NC State but missed the extra point. They later scored a field goal to make the game 9-7, which was suprisingly close as I expected BC to dominate. When they scored again, the missed extra point early on forced them to go for a two point conversion, which they also failed to convert, giving them a 15-10 lead after an NC State field goal. The Wolfpack then threw a hail mary to give them the win thanks to BC’s trouble on special teams.

And then, of course, the game of the day, and probably the year, Notre Dame at Michigan State. The Spartans jumped out feriouciously to a 17-0 lead, but everyone knew that the Irish offense would put some points on the board before the game ended, especially after recalling that last year’s game between these teams began on a similar note. Notre Dame’s offense got rolling, but Michigan State was still powering the points onto the scoreboard. Leading 31-21 in a monsoon of a downpour, the Spartans scored again to seemingly push the game to a three possession differential and virtually seal the deal early into the fourth quarter. However, a missed extra point kept the game within two scores for the Irish, a tremendous difference with time winding down. Notre Dame did indeed score again and was unable to convert on the two point conversion, and the game remained a two possession deficit, but this was a giant mistake by the Michigan State special teams.

Of course, Notre Dame would score again to pull within four points, 37-33, with the extra point coming, which they then returned the favor by missing. This was another giant miss, as now the Irish would have to score a touchdown for the win. Michigan State’s ineptness at clock management and protection of field possession led to Stanton throwing an inexplicable pass that was intercepted and returned by the Irish for the game winning touchdown. Why were the Spartans even passing the ball at this point? Your guess is as good as mine. This play really bailed out the Irish, who wouldn’t have had the luxury of getting into field goal range to force overtime.

Anyway, the extra points missed in this game didn’t determine the outcome like the previous two did, but they certainly could have, and they definitely cost me my 3.5 point spread. Curses!

In other action:

– Penn State gave Ohio State all they could handle in Columbus, despite a misleading 28-6 score. The Nittany Lions actually had the ball with three minutes to play trailing 14-6 and with a shot to tie the game. Then they threw two interceptions that were both returned for touchdowns. Regardless, they showed that the Buckeye offense can be kept in check.

– California played like the team I expected them to be in a 49-21 thrashing of Arizona State. It contiunes to amaze me how weak Pac-10 defenses are.

– Georgia survived what would have been a devastating home loss against winless Colorado with some late heroics from their backup QB. The Bulldogs have one of the best running attacks in the nation and a stout defense but until they find more balance offensively they are going to struggle against more formidable opponents.

TOP 25 OF THE MATTY, games through September 23rd

  1. Ohio State (4-0)
  2. USC (3-0)
  3. Michigan (4-0)
  4. Auburn (4-0)
  5. West Virginia (4-0)
  6. Florida (4-0)
  7. Texas (3-1)
  8. Notre Dame (3-1)
  9. LSU (3-1)
  10. Louisville (4-0)
  11. Georgia (4-0)
  12. Iowa (4-0)
  13. Oklahoma (3-1)
  14. Oregon (3-0)
  15. Tennessee (3-1)
  16. California (3-1)
  17. Clemson (3-1)
  18. Nebraska (3-1)
  19. Florida State (3-1)
  20. Virginia Tech (4-0)
  21. Arkansas (3-1)
  22. TCU (3-0)
  23. Boston College (3-1)
  24. Alabama (3-1)
  25. Georgia Tech (3-1)

Heisman Watch

  1. Troy Smith, Ohio State
  2. Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma
  3. Brady Quinn, Notre Dame
  4. Steve Slaton, West Virginia
  5. Chris Leak, Florida
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