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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ultimate Football Tournament Midwest 1st Round

16 Memphis vs. 1 Oklahoma - The top overall seeded Oklahoma Sooners advanced to round two with a 55-23 win over Memphis. The Sooners ground out 341 yards behind the duo of Allen Patrick(22-163-2) and Demarco Murray (20-159-4). TJ Pitts went over the 100 yard marker for the Tigers on just 9 carries.

9 Wake Forest vs. 8 Wisconsin - Wisconsin stormed to a 31-7 lead over Wake Forest and then held on for a 38-23 win in Madison. PJ Hill carried much of the load for the Badgers. The running back picked up 153 yards on 30 carries and found the end zone twice. Lance Smith-Williams also went over 100 yards for the Badgers, as he broke off a big 73-yard touchdown run to seal the outcome. His long TD run came after the Deacons had cut the lead to 31-23 late in the fourth quarter. Josh Adams ran for 153 yards for Wake.

13 Mississippi State vs. 4 Cincinnati - The Bearcats became the third Big East team to advance to the second round, holding off Mississippi State 27-24. The Bearcats never trailed but would have to consider themselves quite fortunate as Blake McAdams missed three extra points and two field goals for the Bulldogs. Anthony Dixon had a great game for MSU rushing for 93 yards and a score, and hauling in three passes for 113 yards and another touchdown. Ben Mauk led an efficient Bearcat offense, completing 20-of-25 passes for 210 yards and running for another 60.

12 Purdue vs 5 Boston College - Andre Callender's 1 yard TD run and Steve Aponavicius' ensuing conversion with 13 seconds left gave the Eagles a 20-19 heartstopping win over Purdue. Four second half field goals from Chris Summers had given the Boilers a 19-13 lead. BC made a huge 15-play 79-yard drive after Summers' final field goal to advance. The Eagles converted 2 third downs on the drive and one fourth down to earn the win. Callender finished as the leading rusher and receiver for the victors. He picked up 148 yards on the ground and 63 receiving.

15 Central Michigan vs 2 USC - The Trojans might just end up being the team to beat in this whole thing. They certainly looked that way in the opener, destroying the Chippewas 62-7. John David Booty threw for 4 scores, including two to Vidal Hazelton as USC built a 31-0 lead before Central scored on a long Justin Hoskins run. Then the Trojans matched the early scoring outburst with 31 more after the CMU touchdown. Stefon Johnson had 103 yards rushing, while Fred Davis had 112 receiving. Booty finished 25-of-39 for 365 yards.

10 Alabama vs 7 Connecticut - In the short history of the Ultimate College Football Tournament there has never been a more memorable game. And it's possible there will never be one. UCONN defeated Alabama 71-63 in five overtime sessions to earn advancement. Andre Dixon's 3-yard touchdown run in the fifth overtime proved to be the difference, as the UCONN defense stopped John Parker Wilson just short of the yard marker as he tried to scramble for a first down during the fifth overtime. Alabama seemed to be in control in regulation as they scored 24 straight points to take a 38-20 lead on Leigh Tiffin's 30-yard field goal with 14:13 left. But the Huskies had some fight left. Dixon ran in one touchdown, Steve Brouse caught another, and Dixon hauled in a Tyler Lorenzen td strike with 1:26 left to give the Huskies a 41-38 lead. Tiffin knocked one through the uprights as time expired to force overtime. The teams matched touchdowns with little dramatics in the first two overtime sessions, before UCONN was held and missed a field goal attempt in the third session. Alabama had the advantage but Glen Coffee (who ran for better than 100 yards) coughed up the football on the Tide's second play and UCONN recovered. Bama scored first in overtime four on a Wilson to DJ Hall (7-120-2) td, and then got the needed two-pointer. But Dixon and the Dogs answered quickly with a 25-yard run on the first play. Lorenzen then found Dixon for the two point conversion to keep things going. That set the stage for more Dixon heroics. He finished with 274 yards on 26 carries and the four touchdowns. He also caught one of six td's that Lorenzen threw. Lorenzen finished 23-34 for 301 yards. In total, there were 1257 yards of offense in the game. Not only did Coffee go over 100 yards for the Tide but Terry Grant led them with 205 yards and 3 touchdowns.

14 East Carolina vs. 3 Georgia - Georgia broke a 14-all tie with three touchdowns in the final four minutes of the second quarter and went on to defeat East Carolina 59-21. Matthew Stafford who completed all four of his touchdown passes before intermission, hooked up with Mohamed Massaquoi on a 37-yard strike to start the onslaught. Mikey Henderson followed with a 64-yard punt return, before Stafford found Bruce Figgins in the back of the end zone from six yards away just before halftime to complete the trifecta. Stafford finished with 317 passing yards on 24-of-32 accuracy. Knowshon Moreno gave the Dawgs some balance with 107 rushing yards and a pair of second half scores.

11 Rutgers vs. 6 Arkansas - In a matchup of two of the top running backs in the country, Ray Rice and his Scarlet Knights prevailed over Darren McFadden 42-35. Rice carried the ball an unthinkable 45 times for 273 to outduel McFadden's 235 yard 29 tote performance. Rutgers, which became the fifth Big East team to advance to the Round of 32, never trailed and the game was last tied at 21 after McFadden's 19 yard touchdown in the third quarter. But Rutgers scored two straight touchdowns to get the lead to 35-21 and Arkansas could never fully recover. The Hogs did close to one touchdown on two occasions, but Rutgers always had an answer. Mike Teel hit Kenny Britt from 8 yards away to restore the lead to 14. The two had hooked up on a 67-yard completion earlier in the drive to set up the score. Then after Felix Jones scored from 4 yards out with 2:29 left, Rutgers was able to run out the clock. Rice gained 54 yards on the final drive, picking up three first downs, as the Knights kept the ball in his hands to secure the upset.

Midwest Region 2nd round Matchups
8 Wisconsin vs. 1 Oklahoma
5 Boston College vs. 4 Cincinnati
7 Connecticut vs. 2 USC
11 Rutgers vs. 3 Georgia

The matchups here seem to favor the top seeds, with the exception of the BC/UC contest which seems to be a tossup. But with the top three in this bracket all being legitimate title contenders, you would expect them to advance. However, there opponents all got impressive wins in their openers and although there haven't been a lot of upsets yet in the tournament, anything could happen as more of the mediocre teams are eliminated from competition.

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