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4Q Covers NCAA Wk 13

4th Quarter Covers – NCAA Week 13

11/24/2019

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread in the fourth quarter last week in the 13th and second-to-last full weekend of the college football season. Each week there are several teams that cover despite not necessarily deserving it, as well as other teams that played much better than the final score shows.

Georgia Tech (+2½) 28, NC State 26: The Yellow Jackets opened as a slight favorite but Thursday afternoon the line flipped to leave the Wolfpack as a slight road favorite in the underwhelming ACC prime time matchup. Georgia Tech came to play with a 14-0 edge early and also delivered a touchdown on a short field in the final minute before halftime. Another score late in the third quarter seemingly put the game away with a 28-10 edge for the Yellow Jackets but early in the fourth quarter NC State was back within one-score down by eight, making the most of an extra opportunity off a fumble. With about five minutes remaining NC State completed a lengthy drive for a touchdown but the two-point conversion attempt failed and Georgia Tech was able run off the remaining time to hold on.

Wyoming (-4) 17, Colorado State 7: The Friday night home favorite line crashed down to -4 from -7 or -6½ much of the week and in chilly conditions in Laramie it was a 7-7 tie at halftime. Out of the break Colorado State went for it on 4th-and-short on its own side of the 50 and came up short with Wyoming able to take advantage of the short field for a touchdown drive to lead by seven heading into the fourth quarter. After the aggressive call backfired earlier in the game Mike Bobo opted to try a 50-yard field goal on 4th-and-2 early in the fourth quarter down by seven for a puzzling move that also failed to work out. The Rams later failed going for it on 4th-and-6 just across midfield and also came up short for another missed opportunity. Wyoming added a field goal to lead by 10 and the final Colorado State threat ended in an interception as the Cowboys managed to win and cover despite totaling just 17 points and 273 yards.

Kent State (+3) 41, Ball State 38: In a bowl elimination game Ball State led 24-21 at halftime as a slight road favorite in a game where both teams wound up with big yardage totals. Kent State score 10 points in the third quarter but Ball State answered twice in the fourth to keep the game tied at 31-31 and then 38-38 with four minutes to go. The Flashes were able to work the field and the clock, kicking the game winner with 19 seconds to go for a minor upset, with 6-6 still in reach next week.

Oklahoma State (-7) 20, West Virginia 13: With Spencer Sanders injured, Hawai’i transfer Dru Brown stepped in at quarterback for Oklahoma State. The road favorite trailed in Morgantown through three quarters but consecutive scoring drives put the Cowboys up by seven in the fourth, even with the closing number although much of the week the line was down to -6 and even -5½ though it briefly hit as high as -7½ early in the week. Needing a touchdown to tie West Virginia was a late threat, reaching the 17-yard-line in the final minutes but the Mountaineers got stuck in a long downs and distances and could not finish the drive.

BYU (-42) 56, Massachusetts 24: The Cougars had a 49-0 edge at halftime and with little at stake in the second half, Massachusetts was able to get a muffed punt for short field to set up a score to get on the board. BYU still led by 46 heading into the fourth quarter and stopped the next UMass drive at the goal line to keep points off the board. The Minutemen would still add two late touchdowns with the game out of hand to secure the underdog cover with the massive price.

Minnesota (-16) 38, Northwestern 22: Tanner Morgan being cleared to play for the Gophers pushed this line upward but the Gophers turned in a 21-0 edge by early in the second quarter. Northwestern would stay in the game however and is was only a 28-16 score through three quarters. Minnesota would add 10 points in the fourth to lead by 22 but with about two minutes to go Northwestern completed a 77-yard drive and down 16 went for two in a key play for some with the late rise on the spread. The conversion failed as Minnesota cleared the number for all but the latest backers who left with a push.

UCF (-8) 34, Tulane 31: UCF had a 31-17 lead through three quarters and a field goal made the margin 17 with about 10 minutes remaining. Tulane didn’t mail it in however and added a touchdown with seven minutes to go. Rather than adding a field goal UCF went for it on 4th down late in the game and didn’t get there, leaving time for the Wave. After an earlier 4th down conversion Tulane faced 4th and goal from the 7 with 26 seconds left down by 10 and converted for the spread-stealing score.

Michigan State (-21½) 27, Rutgers 0: Michigan State looked to snap its losing streak and got in front of Rutgers 17-0 by halftime. The Spartans only added a field goal in the third quarter but got the ball right back with an interception. Michigan State added a touchdown four plays later and forced two late Rutgers punts to preserve the shutout and road favorite cover.

Air Force (-24½) 44, New Mexico 22: Air Force had only a 14-10 lead at halftime as the heavy favorite cover looked unlikely. The lead was just 21-16 after exchanging touchdowns but a blocked PAT gave Air Force two points after New Mexico’s touchdown. A few minutes later the Falcons hit on a 59-yard pass play to lead by 14. Air Force added two more scores both in the air in the fourth quarter to lead 44-16 but New Mexico would eventually answer with fewer than two minutes remaining. Down 22, the Lobos went for two and failed to leave the margin there at 22 on a spread that climbed from 21½ to 24½ during the week.

Georgia (-12) 19, Texas A&M 13: Georgia never really got going on offense but managed to lead by 13 into the second half even with only one of four scoring drives going further than 23 yards. Field goals were exchanged as early in the fourth Georgia still led by 13 but the Aggies converted a pair of 3rd-and-longs on the way to a touchdown with 11 minutes remaining. Texas A&M reached the Georgia 43 on a late drive down six but opted to punt on 4th-and-11 with still more than four minutes remaining and three timeouts left but the Bulldogs never gave the ball back.

USC (-12½) 52, UCLA 35: USC scored four straight touchdowns in the middle of this game to lead by 24 but UCLA trimmed the margin to 10 by the start of the fourth quarter. Seconds into the final frame USC connected for a 49-yard touchdown to go back up by 17 but UCLA was able to answer. Defensive stops weren’t common in this rivalry game and USC was back in the end zone a few minutes later on the way to amassing 643 yards in the game. Down 17 UCLA went for it on 4th-and-7 in field goal range came up short late in the game leaving the deficit at 17 despite producing 540 yards in the game.

California (-1½) 24, Stanford 20: The Game was knotted at 17-17 halfway through the fourth quarter before Stanford connected for a 44-yard field goal with just 2:23 remaining. Chase Garbers led the Bears 75 yards in just six plays, finishing the drive with a 16-yard run to go in front and the Bears held on defense for the win, eliminating Stanford from bowl contention.

Navy (-3) 35, SMU 28: SMU led 21-10 at the half but Navy was within one by the start of the fourth quarter. Just seconds into the fourth the Midshipmen delivered the go-ahead touchdown and got the two-point conversion to lead by seven. SMU didn’t take long to answer hitting a 61-yard touchdown pass but Navy had a 70-yard touchdown run a few minutes later. SMU reached the Navy 12-yard-line in the final minutes before being stopped on 4th-and-4.

UAB (-6½) 20, Louisiana Tech 14: The Blazers led 20-7 through three quarters but Louisiana Tech spoiled the cover with a 14-play touchdown drive in the fourth quarter following a UAB interception in the end zone. There was little production either way in the final eight minutes as the final margin landed on six with a push a common result as well and results both ways possible depending on the timing.

New Mexico State (-7) 44, UTEP 35: The Aggies led 21-16 through three quarters before scoring exploded in the fourth. UTEP would briefly take the lead 22-21 but then New Mexico State added the next 16 points including a defensive score to lead by 15. UTEP closed to within eight but The Aggies answered with a 53-yard touchdown run. As time expired UTEP would find the end zone but it wasn’t quite enough with a nine-point final.

Wake Forest (-6) 39, Duke 27: Wake Forest had a convincing yardage edge and a 10-point lead heading into the fourth quarter but Duke was able to stay within striking distance with a touchdown early in the fourth and then held the Demon Deacons to a short field goal. Duke then delivered 98-yard kickoff return touchdown to suddenly take the lead. Wake Forest would answer in only three plays but couldn’t get the conversion and led by just five on a favorite spread that fell from -7½ to just -6 by kickoff. Duke wasn’t able to pick up a first down but the defense had a chance to get the ball back as Wake Forest went for it on 4th down just outside of field goal range. An 11-yard run followed and the Demon Deacons were into the end zone two plays later for the 12-point final margin.

Cincinnati (-8½) 15, Temple 13: The Bearcats led 13-0 through three quarters in this game despite several scoring chances for Temple in the first three quarters and a substantial production edge for the underdog Owls. The favorite spread for Cincinnati crashed from -10½ to -8½ on Saturday and the favorite cover still seemed possible after Temple finally got on the board as the PAT was blocked and returned the other way to keep Cincinnati ahead by nine. Temple forced a 3-and-out on defense and converted two third downs on the way to another touchdown to trail by two with seven minutes to go. Cincinnati missed a field goal on the next drive to give the Owls a great shot at the upset. A play after converting a 4th down, Temple quarterback Anthony Russo was intercepted taking a shot into Cincinnati territory as the Bearcats survived to stay perfect in AAC play.

Arkansas State (-1) 38, Georgia Southern 33: Big plays were the name of the game for Arkansas State with four early touchdowns on passes for 27 or more yards plus a 94-yard kickoff return touchdown, taking a 35-10 lead. Georgia Southern produced a massive rushing edge in this game however and while more methodical in its pace, found a way back in the game. A touchdown and a two-point conversion in the third quarter brought the Eagles within 11 and the defense caught a break with a missed Red Wolves field goal. With about five minutes left in the game Georgia Southern scored to climb within five and Arkansas State again missed a kick trying to extend the lead to eight. In the final two minutes Georgia Southern reached the Arkansas State 33-yard-line before taking a sack and a 4th-and-11 scramble netted only 10 yards as the Red Wolves escaped.

LSU (-41) 56, Arkansas 20: Two Arkansas field goals early in the game seemed possibly enough for the underdog cover with a massive spread in this contest. LSU managed two touchdowns late in the first half however and took over in the third quarter, eventually leading by 50 early in the fourth quarter. Arkansas would score twice in the fourth however including a short field score following a successful on-side kick to take the spread win.

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NFL Close Calls Week 13

NFL Close Calls – Week 13

Glancing at the scoreboard won’t tell you the whole story in most games. Here are some of the games that went down to the wire relative to the spread and total in the fourth quarter in Week 13 of the NFL regular season.

Miami Dolphins (-3½) 21, Buffalo Bills 17 (40): The Dolphins led 14-6 at the half and 14-9 through three quarters on a spread that fell from -6 to just -3½. After both teams had interceptions late in the third quarter Josh Allen led a touchdown drive to put Buffalo in front at the 12-minute mark, with the two-point conversion making it a 17-14 edge. With the help of two penalties for 36 yards Miami answered with a touchdown drive in only six plays to go in front 21-17, past the favorite spread while inching closer to the total that closed at 40. The Bills missed a 55-yard field goal on their next drive with back-to-back sacks making that kick much more difficult. Miami only burned a minute of clock as the Bills got the ball back with more than two minutes remaining. Buffalo reached the Miami 25-yard line but a field goal wouldn’t be enough. A third down completion to the Miami 6-yard-line was overturned on replay review and on 4th-and-11 the Miami defense held to secure the narrow win while the ‘under’ also held on.

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New York Giants (+3½) 30, Chicago Bears 27 (43½): After the Bears had a comeback win last week and the Giants had a late collapse the same storyline looked to be unfolding in this matchup. The Giants led by 10 entering the fourth quarter and held Chicago to a field goal on an early drive to keep a seven-point edge. Chicago would get the ball back with more than two minutes remaining but fumbled immediately. With great field position New York had to settle for a field goal while only trimming 30 seconds off the clock. Still it was a 10-point game when the Bears got the ball back after the two-minute warning. Chase Daniel led the Bears to a field goal in just 36 seconds. Chicago got the onside kick and Daniel delivered a few big plays to tie the game as time expired. In overtime New York went first and got a 44-yard field goal. Daniel couldn’t deliver again, struggling to hold on to the ball and eventually failing on 4th-and-8 near midfield as the underdog Giants held on this week.

Los Angeles Rams (-10) 30, Detroit Lions 16 (53½): Detroit wound up holding the Rams to just 344 yards and trailed by only three points well into the fourth quarter as a heavy home underdog. Matthew Stafford would have another big late game turnover, fumbling on a sack near midfield to give the Rams great field position. Three plays later the Rams went up by 10 with fewer than seven minutes remaining in the game to match the spread. Detroit had a costly red zone holding penalty and settled for a field goal past the three-minute mark to get back within one score. The onside kick try was not recovered and the Rams nearly could have taken a knee with Detroit exhausting its timeouts. Instead Todd Gurley ran into the end zone after the two-minute warning to suddenly give the Rams a 14-point edge. The Lions were a threat to get back within the number late reaching the Los Angeles 14-yard-line in the final seconds before Stafford threw an interception in the end zone to end a loss for a second straight week.

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Arizona Cardinals (+13½) 20, Green Bay Packers 17 (41): In what turned out to be Mike McCarthy’s final game for the Packers, Green Bay never approached the heavy-favorite spread. A three-point edge at halftime was erased as Arizona scored 10 points in four minutes late in the third quarter to lead by seven. The Packers tied the game at 17-17 with five minutes to go but Arizona managed a late field goal after the two-minute warning. Those on the ‘over’ liked their chances with a late Green Bay score either clearing the number or forcing overtime. The Packers didn’t make the task easy with Aaron Rodgers unable to move further than the Arizona 31-yard-line and in windy, wet conditions Mason Crosby missed from 49 yards.

Kansas City Chiefs (-14) 40, Oakland Raiders 33 (54): The Chiefs led 33-16 entering the fourth quarter to sit past a spread that climbed as high as -15½ before settling right on 14. Derek Carr led two fourth quarter touchdown drives to suddenly put the Raiders within three with nearly seven minutes remaining. A big offside call converted a key 3rd down for Kansas City and the Chiefs wound up in the end zone just after the two-minute warning to seal the win up by 10. Oakland would wind up with a late field goal but only 28 seconds were on the clock when the Raiders failed on an onside kick attempt.

Los Angeles Chargers (+3) 33, Pittsburgh Steelers 30 (53½): With 10 points in the final three minutes before halftime, Pittsburgh had a commanding 23-7 edge in the Sunday night game. That margin held until the final two minutes of the third quarter with the Chargers completing a 13-play, 88-yard touchdown drive and also adding the two-point conversion. Pittsburgh still led by eight but a sack and a holding call had the Steelers facing 4th-and-24 and they punted back to the Chargers who delivered a 73-yard punt return touchdown. Another successful two-point conversion tied the game at 23-23. Pittsburgh went three-and-out on offense and the Chargers turned in another touchdown drive to suddenly lead by seven at the eight-minute mark. Pittsburgh regrouped for a 12-play touchdown drive that included a 4th down conversion but more than four minutes remained on the clock. The Chargers methodically used up the remaining clock to line up a game-winning field goal from just 39 yards. The kick was missed but offsides was called. On the second attempt the Steelers got the block but again offsides was called. It was called again on the third attempt but Mike Badgley was good from 29 yards as the Chargers were able to steal a huge road win in the AFC picture, with theses teams now having a good chance of meeting again in the wild card round of the AFC playoffs.

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Philadelphia Eagles (-5½) 28, Washington Redskins 13 (45): The Eagles led 7-3 in the second quarter Monday night when Washington had to turn to third-string quarterback Mark Sanchez after losing Colt McCoy to a broken leg a few weeks after losing Alex Smith to a broken leg. Adrian Peterson broke a long run to give Washington the lead and the Redskins then stepped up on defense with a goal line stand. Washington wasn’t able to take a lead into halftime however as the Eagles found the end zone after the two-minute warning to lead by four facing a favorite spread that slipped from -7 to -5½. Washington managed a field goal just before halftime to trail just 14-13. Josh Norman came up with an interception to keep Philadelphia points off the board in the third quarter as the underdog was still in position to cover despite Sanchez providing little for the Washington offense. Early in the fourth quarter the Eagles finally completed a touchdown drive and went for two successfully to lead by nine. Sanchez was picked off a few plays later near midfield and Philadelphia added a field goal despite picking up only seven yards. Down 12 Washington was still a touchdown away from covering but had negative yards on its final two possessions and the Eagles added a late field goal to complete a big NFC East win. The total also stayed just barely ‘under’ with several missed scoring chances in the game.