Game-leading rushers Notre Dame has had this year. Amir Carlisle led the way against Temple and Michigan (well, "led" -- those combined for 132 yards), Cam McDaniel did the deed five times (while never gaining more than 92 yards), George Atkinson III did it once (148 in a loss to Oklahoma), and with 140 yards on Saturday against Navy, Tarean Folston did it as well. It was the first time a strong rushing performance led to a win in 2013, and while it's perhaps good news that this strong performance came from a freshman ... well, let's see if he can do it twice before we read too much into it.
Games in which Houston quarterback John O'Korn has completed at least two-thirds of his passes. He's played eight games. Inefficient outings vs. Rice (15-for-33) and Memphis (13-for-30) have kept his season completion rate down a bit, but in the last two weeks, he countered those performances by going 46-for-57 (81 percent) for 627 yards, eight touchdowns, and no picks (with six sacks) vs. Rutgers and South Florida. He's on fire.
He's also a true freshman, by the way.
Colorado drives with at least nine plays on Saturday. The Buffaloes lost to UCLA, 45-23, because their offense couldn't close drives and their defense couldn't hold up its end of the bargain (UCLA averaged 7.2 yards per play), but they came in with a plan and executed it. They held the Bruins to 57 plays and 24 minutes of clock time; Colorado's Sefo Liufau completed 69 percent of his (mostly short) passes, and CU emphasized efficiency over all else.
Actually, seven represents another data point from the CU-UCLA game as well: scoring opportunities for Colorado. I tend to define "scoring opportunities" as trips inside the opponent's 40; the teams made nearly the same number of trips, but while UCLA scored six touchdowns and a field goal in eight trips (points per trip: 5.6), the Buffs settled for five field goals and missed two of them (points per trip: 3.3). Colorado executed its plan and found a moral victory because of it, but you've got to finish when you have the chance.
And while we're talking about blown chances ... hello, Illinois-Penn State. The Illini and Nittany Lions combined for 14 scoring opportunities (eight for PSU, six for UI) and came away with five touchdowns, three field goal attempts (one missed), a punt, three turnovers, and two turnovers on downs in a 24-17 overtime win for Penn State. Either team could have run away with this one, had it taken advantage of its opportunities.
Yards per play averaged by Pittsburgh in its first three games of the season against Florida State, New Mexico and Duke. In the Panthers' last four games, not including Old Dominion, they have averaged 4.0. They averaged 3.9 against Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Total points by which South Alabama has lost games to Southern Utah (22-21), Tennessee (31-24), Troy (34-33), Texas State (33-31), and Arkansas State (17-16) this season. The Jaguars also beat Tulane by two (41-39) and Western Kentucky by seven (31-24). That's seven of eight games decided by seven or fewer points. South Alabama isn't necessarily good yet (although the F/+ rankings would disagree), but it is entertaining, at least. Or maybe just stressful. Regardless, watch the fourth quarter of a USA game, and you'll probably enjoy yourself.
Approximate yards separating Missouri's L'Damian Washington from the nearest Tennessee defender when Maty Mauk found the Tiger senior for a second-quarter touchdown.
The best part of the play: Bud Sasser (at the 17-yard line when the ball is thrown) pointing out Washington, just to make sure he wasn't so open that Mauk missed him.
Consecutive carries by UAB to start the Blazers' game vs. Middle Tennessee. The Blazers were up 10-0 when they finally threw a pass. They were outscored, 24-11, from there.
This reminds me of one of my favorite box scores: Navy's 13-10 win over Wake Forest, in which the Midshipmen went 0-for-0 passing with two sacks. You clearly should have tried to pull a Niumatalolo, UAB head coach Garrick Williams.
Unanswered points scored by Florida Atlantic in a surprising 34-17 win over Tulane. The Owls had what we'll conservatively call a tough week and fell behind Tulane by 10 points at halftime, but their surge both redeemed an awful week and threw the Conference USA title race into even further chaos. Things were already getting interesting after North Texas also unleashed a late run -- 21-0 to take down Rice -- on Thursday night; after this weekend's surges/collapses, there's a three-way tie for the West lead with Rice, North Texas, and Tulane all sitting at 4-1; meanwhile, UTSA is only a game back at 3-2, and Louisiana Tech is sitting there at 2-2. And it's just as muddy in the East: ECU leads the way at 4-1, Marshall is 3-1, and Middle Tennessee is 3-2.
There's plenty to say about the general quality (or lack thereof) of the conference -- and it probably says something that, of the eight conference contenders I listed above, four were in an inferior conference last season -- but this race is certainly going to be fun down the stretch.
Poor Grayson Lambert's completion percentage in a 59-10 Virginia loss to Clemson. In subbing in for woefully ineffective starter David Watford, Lambert completed three of 11 passes for 33 yards. Watford and Lambert combined to gain 127 net yards in 36 pass attempts (including sacks); that's a dreadful 3.5 yards per attempt. Or, to put it another way, it would have taken Watford and Lambert 104 attempts to gain what Clemson's Tajh Boyd (24-for-29, 377 yards, two sacks) gained in 31.
It could have been worse (and more painful), though. FIU's E.J. Hilliard averaged 3.0 yards per attempt and took a lot more sacks in the process: nine in 42 attempts. And UTEP's Blaire Sullivan, in for injured former Aggie Jameil Showers, averaged 3.3 yards per attempt against Texas A&M, mixing hits (two sacks) with killer mistakes (three picks) while going 9-for-17.
(A&M's defense has had a good couple of weeks, by the way. Granted, they came against Vanderbilt and UTEP, who were both playing backup quarterbacks; but incremental progress is still progress.)
Days (and counting) since Purdue ran a play in the red zone.
Let that sink in a moment.
- The last time Purdue ran a play in the red zone was September 29 in a blowout loss to Northern Illinois.
- The last time Purdue ran a play in the red zone, Northwestern was undefeated.
- The last time Purdue ran a play in the red zone, Maryland was undefeated.
- The last time Purdue ran a play in the red zone, Florida was ranked 18th in the country. And Florida State was eighth.
In the last three games, Purdue has been outscored by a 114-7 margin, with the only touchdown coming off of a garbage-time bomb against Nebraska.
And while we're at it, in the last six games, the Boilermakers have been outscored by a 241-65 margin.
Purdue is really, really bad this year. It's early, obviously, but safe to say I'm still not sold on Darrell Hazell. Safe hires are often very dangerous. We'll see how this goes from here.
Length of this pass.
(And also: approximate length, in centimeters, of the mustache of the guy who caught it.)
Aside from the total heartbreak expressed by the Northwestern defenders in the end zone, this was a fun way to end a pretty dreadful game. Before this completion, Nebraska and Northwestern passers had combined to complete 29 of 62 passes for 309 yards, two touchdowns, five interceptions, and eight sacks. The touchdown dragged the per-attempt average all the way to 4.1.
Points per game allowed by Iowa State in its last four contests, losses to Texas Tech (42-35), Baylor (71-7), Oklahoma State (58-27) and Kansas State (41-7). The Cyclones host TCU for Homecoming this week, then welcome Kansas two weeks later. In theory, those two games should prevent them from a 1-11 fate; but the Iowa State defense is struggling almost as badly as the TCU and Kansas offenses. Those games aren't gimmes. A one-win season is still on the table.
Percent of Memphis' total yardage that the Tigers gained on two second-half touchdown drives against Cincinnati. The Tigers gained 145 yards in 21 plays on these two drives, scoring on two nice runs by Brandon Hayes. But in their other 40 plays, they gained just 87 yards with five punts, two turnovers, a turnover on downs, and a short touchdown drive following a good punt return. Not surprisingly, Memphis lost, 34-21. The defense did not fare as well as I anticipated, but the complete and total lack of consistent offense is holding the Tigers back in 2013.
Plenty of teams took the opposite approach this weekend, spending most of their yards and points early on and holding on for dear life (with mixed results). Georgia gained 259 yards (10.0 per play) and scored 20 points in its first four drives against Florida, then gained 155 (4.4) and scored three points afterward, barely holding on for a 23-20 win. Miami gained 100 yards (6.3 per play) and scored seven points on its first two drives against Florida State, then gained just 175 (4.3) thereafter in a blowout loss. Michigan gained 46 yards in its first two plays vs. Michigan State, then gained just 122 after that in a 29-6 loss. And out of nowhere, New Mexico State gained 316 yards (9.6 per play) in its first four drives against Louisiana-Lafayette, scoring touchdowns on all four drives and building a big lead; the Aggies gained just 134 yards (3.0) and scored seven points after that, eventually succumbing, 49-35.
(Of course, there may have been extenuating circumstances with that last one: Louisiana-Lafayette hadn't actually played a game on a Saturday for a month. Perhaps Tuesday nights are more the Ragin' Cajuns' style.
Auburn's run percentage in the Tigers' 35-17 win over Arkansas. The Tigers attempted 41 non-sack carries to 10 pass attempts (eight passes, two sacks). Hey, find what works and stick with it when you're up against a team that has lost its hope. Tre Mason carried 32 times for 168 yards and four scores, quarterback Nick Marshall carried seven times for 69 yards ... and when you throw in an 88-yard touchdown pass, that's typically a way to win easily on the road.
John Weast, Getty
Bonus yards generated by Oklahoma State through field position in a 52-34 win at Texas Tech. Over the course of 17.5 total possessions (18 for OSU, 17 for Texas Tech), the Cowboys' average starting field position was their 35-yard line; Texas Tech's: the 27. Eight yards times 17.5 = 140 hidden yards.
And it's a good thing, because OSU didn't have too many other advantages. The Red Raiders won the battle in the trenches; the OSU offensive line, easily the team's least effective in quite some time, paved the way for just 4.3 yards per carry for OSU running backs, and the 'Poke defensive line managed one sack and zero hurries in 72 Tech pass attempts. Tech superstar Jace Amaro caught 15 of 19 passes for 174 yards, but OSU made just enough plays on offense and tilted the field just enough in its advantage to pull off a win that keeps the 'Pokes in the conference title race.
Career receptions for Wake Forest's Michael Campanaro. Looks like that will be his final total.
Total yards in 45 touches from USC running backs Silas Redd and Javorious Allen in a 31-14 Trojan win over Oregon State. Oregon State's defense had fared better since getting torched in a season-opening upset to Eastern Washington, but USC did anything it wanted to do on Friday night. Redd and Allen carried 38 times for 273 yards (7.2 per carry) and caught seven passes for 53 yards, while wideouts Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor caught seven of 10 passes for 178 yards. Oregon State's Brandin Cooks did all he could -- seven targets, two carries, 128 yards -- but the Beavers just couldn't keep up. And for a week, at least, USC lived up to its strangely lofty F/+ ranking.
So in the last three weeks, NIU's Jordan Lynch has 534 rushing yards. In 2013, UConn has 534 rushing yards.— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) November 4, 2013
Career passes thrown by Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas. His 1,132nd pass was this one:
That's a pretty bad freshman mistake. Logan Thomas is a senior.
Yards allowed by Indiana in its last two games. Granted, on Saturday the Hoosiers improved on their 751-yard, 63-point "performance" against Michigan; but allowing 573 and 49 to Minnesota might be worse.
Minnesota, by the way? 7-2. Sure, the Big Ten is unimpressive, but go (interim coach) Tracy Claeys. Unfortunately, Nebraska's Hail Mary win over Northwestern cut off Minnesota's 16-step path to the Legends Division title at Step 3. Why do you always have to ruin everything, Huskers?
(And yes, there are likely other paths. But still.)
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