2007 Ultimate Nat'l Title - East Semifinals

Posted Aug 12, 2007

CFN 2007 Preview - The Ultimate National Title Playoff East Semifinals

CFN's 2007 Annual Ultimate College Football Playoff

East Division - Semifinals

North | South West
Third Round
North | South
East |
Second Round
North | South
East |
First Round
North | South
East |
Ultimate National Title Seedings & Brackets
1. Oklahoma
2. Wisconsin
3. Georgia Tech
4. Florida
5. Penn State
6. Nebraska
7. Auburn
8. Maryland
9. Oregon
10. South Carolina
11. Virginia
12. Notre Dame
13. Utah
14. Hawaii
15. Southern Miss
16. Mississippi State
17. Kansas
18. Stanford
19. Connecticut
20. North Carolina
21. Memphis
22. New Mexico State
23. UNLV
24. San Diego State
25. UTEP
26. Ball State
27. Arkansas State
28. Florida Atlantic
29. Buffalo
30. Utah State

No. 5 Penn State 14 ... No. 1 Oklahoma 13
Penn State got what it needed to from the offense, going 77 yards in 12 plays in the first quarter with Anthony Morelli sneaking it in from one-yard out, and going 58 yards in eight plays early in the fourth on a five-yard scoring pass to Derrick Williams to take the lead for good. The rest of the time, it was all about the Nittany Lion defense.

Penn State forced four turnovers and got a blocked field goal midway through the third quarter, but it was a key fourth down stop that ended the game. OU had a fourth and eight on its own 48 with :39 to play, when QB Sam Bradford connected with Malcolm Kelly for a seven-yard pass. Penn State safety Tony Davis arrived at the same time as the ball, and stopped Kelly just short to end the threat.

Oklahoma moved the ball well in the first half, getting a 14-yard DeMarco Murray touchdown run and Garrett Hartley field goals from 29 and 38 yards out, but first downs were hard to come by in the second half. Trying to pound away with the running game didn't work, and Bradford had problems with the Nittany Lion secondary.

"That was a great defensive effort on both sides," said Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops. "We played well, they played better, and they got the plays they needed to. We didn't."

Penn State was outgained 324 yards to 286, but didn't turn the ball over and had the better field position all game long.

Player of the Game - Penn State FS Tony Davis made 12 tackles, an interception, and came up with the game-clinching stop
Fun Stat - Third down conversions: Oklahoma 2 of 12 - Penn State 1 of 10

No. 2 Wisconsin 16 ... No. 3 Georgia Tech 13
Basically, the Badgers won the field goal kicking contest. Actually, the Badger kicking game, as a whole, proved to be the difference, as PK Taylor Mehlhaff connected on shots from 45, 29 and 38 yards out, while punter Ken DeBauche had a brilliant day averaging 46.8 yards per kick and keeping Georgia Tech pinned deep all game long helped by three kicks placed inside the 15.

Georgia Tech PK Travis Bell hit a 38-yard field goal to start the scoring, and connected on a 29-yard kick early in the third quarter, but he missed from 45 and 41 yards out, with the second miss coming with just under five minutes to play. Wisconsin was able to grind out the clock, highlighted by five straight tough runs from P.J. Hill.

Down 3-0, Wisconsin got two Mehlhaff field goals before going on its best drive of the day, marching 92 yards in 16 plays, eating up 7:19 of the second quarter clock, and finishing with a five-yard touchdown catch from Luke Swan. The final Mehlhaff field goal put the Badgers up for good in the third quarter, but Georgia Tech threatened, thanks to a 25-yard touchdown catch from James Johnson and Bell's second field goal.

"Our kicking game really came through today, in all phases," said Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema. "Having veterans like Taylor and Ken bailed us out of several big jams. We get thumped if those two weren't terrific today."

Not to be outdone was Georgia Tech's fabulous punter, Durant Brooks, who put five kicks inside the 20 and didn't allow a single punt return yard. Tech RB Tashard Choice was held to 55 yards on 19 carries.

Player of the Game - Wisconsin P Ken DeBauche averaged 46.8 yards on eight kicks with three put inside the 20
Fun Stat - Average starting field position: Wisconsin, its own 23 - Georgia Tech, its own 21

East Final - No. 5 Penn State vs. No. 2 Wisconsin