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Burrowing Into Box Scores, Week 10: Michigan And Illinois Play Ping-Pong On Grass

Big Ten Football Outscores Big Ten Basketball. The last time Michigan and Illinois met on the court, the Illini won, 51-44. On Saturday at Michigan Stadium, both teams topped their basketball counterparts by the end of the first overtime.

There was a lot to love about the 67-65 triple overtime thriller between Michigan and Illinois. Here are the seven best stats from the game:

  1. In the second quarter alone, the teams combined for 49 points.
  2. Denard Robinson had 367 yards combined passing and rushing and accounted for only 54.2% of Michigan's total offense.
  3. Robinson compiled those numbers despite not playing in the fourth quarter or overtime.
  4. Roy Roundtree set a new Michigan record for receiving yards with 246. He was second on the single-game list after his 192-yard first half.
  5. Illinois punted six times.
  6. Conversely, Michigan's defense forced six punts.
  7. The game was the highest-scoring Big Ten contest in history. It topped another Michigan victory — by the 1902 Wolverines, who blanked Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State) 119-0.


Oh, and then there's this one, which we already gave you: the teams combined for over seven-tenths of a mile of total offense.

Cam Newton, Efficient Passer? The knock on Cam Newton at Florida, where he was every bit the manful runner that now lines up under center for Auburn, was that his accuracy was below average. He had a powerful arm, but tended to miss receivers by yards, not inches. That's changed.

Now, Newton's completion percentage is in the top 20 nationally, and his passer rating is in the top three. Saturday's near-exhibition against Chattanooga helped: Newton completed 15 of 21 passes for 317 yards and four touchdowns, posting a 261.08 passer rating, his highest this season. It was also Newton's first 300-yard day through the air.

Oregon Turns It On.The four remaining unbeatens had their way with overmatched foes on Saturday. In the first quarter alone, Oregon, Auburn, Boise State, and TCU outscored their opponents by an aggregate 53-0.

But the Ducks were the odd, er, duck in that bunch, failing to score in the first quarter against Washington. It was the first time this season that Oregon's offense posted a first-quarter goose egg, and the worry at the Autzen Zoo was that Washington might give Oregon a game; that fear persisted until Washington closed to 25-16 in the third quarter.

Oregon forced Washington to punt on every drive after that point, scored four touchdowns on its own next four drives, and racked up 247 yards on 34 plays after the Nick Folk field goal midway through the third quarter. If you leave these Ducks breathing for long enough, they will find a way to dive bomb you.

Oregon's Saturday massacres are becoming de rigeur at this point. The Ducks put up 53 points on USC on Saturday, their fifth game of 50-plus points this season, and gained 599 yards in their sixth game of 550-plus yards. Not to be outdone, Auburn topped 50 points for a fourth time this year and gained over 300 yards rushing for the fourth straight week.

Defense Is WAC. Boise State had a tremendous day against Hawaii. Kellen Moore threw for 507 yards and three touchdowns, the Broncos held an offense scoring 39.2 points per game to just 196 yards and seven points, and the offense rolled up a school record 737 yards. But that wasn't even the best day by a WAC offense.

That honor belongs to Nevada, which annihilated Idaho to the tune of 844 yards of total offense. Three different Wolf Pack rushers topped 100 yards, and none needed more than 18 carries to do so; the Wolf Pack had 10 drives of 57 yards or more. Nevada punted twice and missed two field goals, too, meaning the 63-17 final wasn't as bad as it could have been.

It was the most yards racked up by an FBS school since 2004, when it wasn't called FBS. And, on an even more insane note, it's not even the best offensive day in WAC history.

The Still Sponsor-Free Conference USA Shootout of the Week. Rice 64, Tulsa 27 actually featured two C-USA teams, but the winner of this dubious distinction this week is Navy 76, East Carolina 35. Navy rolled up 596 yards of total offense, 521 on the ground; punted once while scoring on every other drive; and put up 76 points while throwing nine passes. Dominique Davis threw for 413 yards and five touchdowns with no picks — likely by far the best day he will have as a collegiate quarterback — and his team lost by 41 points.

The Also Sponsor-Free MAC Foot-Shooting of the Week. Ball State 37, Akron 30 in overtime. With New Mexico getting a win yesterday, Akron's the only winless FBS team left. The Zips came the closest to victory they have all season on Saturday.

Ball State coughed up five turnovers, and now leads the nation in that category with 28 on the year. Akron rallied to tie in the waning moments of the fourth, then scored first on offense in the first overtime, only to have the Cardinals score on fourth and nine to send the game to double overtime. The game-ending pick in that period was just a predictably awful way for Akron to lose.

The Sun Belt Agonizing Moment of the Week. Western Kentucky lost, again, this time to Florida Atlantic by a 17-16 count. That's underselling the Hilltoppers' game: the 16 points are two touchdowns and a safety, quarterback Kawaun Jakes completed just eight of 24 passes, and after the Owls kicked a field goal early in the fourth quarter to take the lead, Western Kentucky never got closer than the FAU 36.

The FCS Score of the Week. Richmond 13, James Madison 10 (overtime). Since beating Virginia Tech, James Madison is 2-5. The Dukes have as many wins against ACC opponents as they do CAA opponents.

The Division II Or Below Box Score of the Week. Maine Maritime 69, Coast Guard 47 is tempting, but the winner is West Liberty State 82, Seton Hill College 36. The Hilltoppers' Zach Amedro became the leading passer in Divison II history, throwing for 525 yards and eight touchdowns, as West Liberty State scored all of their points in just 21:05 of possession.

After falling behind 22-14 after the first quarter, West Liberty outscored Seton Hill 68-14 the rest of the way. The Hilltoppers had touchdowns in the last minute of each quarter, and finished the game with a 99-yard fumble recovery for a score with 26 seconds left.

Notable Numbers. These are stats too brief for elaboration, and too good for tweets. (And I'll have more later.)

Middle Tennessee State had seven turnovers against Arkansas State in a 51-24 loss ... Nevada had eight players run for 10 or more yards against Utah State. ... Jackson State and Alabama State combined for 31 penalties for 234 yards.