LSC and school records shattered Thursday night in 98-20 win. pic.twitter.com/vdxdMcVH8K
— A&M-Commerce FB (@Lions_FB) September 5, 2014
Normally, our college football focus here at The Cheat Sheet is aimed squarely at Division I football, with the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) variety getting the overwhelming bulk of our coverage. But when we came across this bit of news from the Division II ranks, it bears putting into some context. It seems that the early season schedule led to some less-than-even matchups on this most recent Thursday night, as evidenced by two results that defy belief at first glance. As the aforementioned link says, Texas A&M-Commerce defeated Division III foe East Texas Baptist 98-20. Yes, you read that right — 98 points. By one team. In one football game. Elsewhere in Division II, Tusculum set an NCAA record by allowing -100 yards of total offense in a 71-0 win over College of Faith. We wish the ‘dash’ before the 100 was a typo. It is not. Let’s look at the ugly, ridiculous, insert-your-adjective-of-choice-here numbers, shall we?
Texas A&M-Commerce 98, East Texas Baptist 20
How does a team manage to score 98 points in a game? By rolling up a record 986 yards of total offense, of course. The TAMU-Commerce Lions scored at least 20 points in each quarter (although they ‘slumped’ to only 41 in the second half after reaching 57 by intermission).
Lions quarterback Tyrik Rollison was 26-33 for 562 yards and a half dozen touchdown passes, while a trio of his teammates tallied multiple rushing scores. Perhaps most amazingly from the box score, the time of possession was nearly even, with East Texas Baptist holding the ball for 29 minutes and 46 seconds (compared to 30:14 for their opponents). That means the victors averaged over three points for each minute of possession.
Texas A&M-Commerce scored touchdowns on each of its last six drives, which helped in turning a scoreline that was at one point a respectable 34-14 to — well, how can we say this? Something less than respectable.
To make matters worse, FootballScoop.com points out that the Lions actually should have had at least an even 100 on the scoreboard — well, assuming there would even be room for three digits on the scoreboard — but failed to convert a pair of extra points.
The only good news for the East Texas Baptist Tigers? (Don’t worry — we admit we’re stretching to find some.) ETBU’s 98 points allowed isn’t even half as bad as the legendary 222-0 beating Georgia Tech put on Cumberland in 1916.
Tusculum 71, College of Faith 0
So how could a 71-0 blowout possibly be more embarrassing than the 98-20 game described previously? Well, let’s start with the offensive — er, offense stat that jumps out from the box score. College of Faith finished the game with -100 yards of total offense, by far the worst in NCAA history.
The rushing side of that equation is even less. Or would that be more? The Saints had -124 rushing yards, also an NCAA record for futility. Think about that for a minute. College of Faith lost an average of 3.4 yards on every rushing play. Kneeling the ball on each snap would have been a more successful outcome!
According to The Greeneville Sun, “the Saints struggled mightily with long snapping on their punt attempts.” This could be the understatement of the year. The Sun’s Darren Reese told ESPN that Tusculum “got three safeties off snaps that went through the end zone.” (It’s official: the long snapper on a successful team has to be the most underrated player on the roster.)
The game story begs the question, though: why would you keep punting? The box score says College of Faith was still attempting punts in the fourth quarter, which makes sense; Field position can be critical when you’re trying to stay within 70 points of the opposition. (Please excuse our sarcasm.)
Apparently, according to Reese, College of Faith is an online-only school that went 1-7 last year in its first season of football. (Wait, they beat someone?) While the Saints were also blown out by the Pioneers in 2013 (63-0), at least College of Faith managed 219 yards of offense in that game — a far cry from Thursday’s proceedings. Those were positive yards, in fact.
One final note from a game that we’ll be glad to soon forget: the teams actually played eight-minute quarters in the second half. Imagine how many more yards College of Faith could have lost in a full 60-minute game!