115,109. People in attendance at the Big House for Michigan's 41-30 win over Notre Dame. And I can personally attest that there were thousands more outside, looking for a ticket. And if you scored one, you saw an incredible college football spectacle, from Devin Gardner's awesome, awesome jersey number change (and his awestruck, humbled reaction to it), to Gardner's outstanding performance (aside from one mind-numbingly terrible play), to receiver Jeremy Gallon's even better performance, to Notre Dame's multiple comeback attempts. This was a doozy. So is this rivalry.
Last time Florida, Notre Dame, Texas & USC all lost same day Sept. 11, 1976. Kiffin was 1-year old, Muschamp was 5— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) September 8, 2013
1,002. Yards for which Baylor was on pace at halftime against Buffalo. In just 9:59 time of possession and 41 plays, the Bears gained 501 yards and scored 56 points. They could have scored 100 if they wanted to (and with a leaky first-quarter defense, it almost appeared as if they would need to for a bit). And though they only finished with 70 points, Baylor accomplished the impossible: making Oregon's offense seem quaint. The Ducks were lagging far behind with a meager 325 yards and 28 points in an easy win over Virginia.
In the past two years, Baylor has lost quarterbacks Robert Griffin (10,000 career passing yards, 2,250 rushing yards, 111 touchdowns, 2011 Heisman Trophy) and Nick Florence (4,300 passing yards and 560 rushing yards in 2012 alone), running back Terrance Ganaway (1,547 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2011) and receivers Kendall Wright (302 career receptions, 4,004 yards, 32 total touchdowns) and Terrance Williams (201 career receptions, 3,294 yards, 27 touchdowns). That is a nearly impossible collection of talent for a program outside of college football's top tier to replace. And the 2013 offense might be Art Briles' best yet.
Yes, Baylor has played only Wofford and Buffalo. But considering that the first string hasn't sniffed the fourth quarter yet, these numbers are still staggering: 1,473 yards of offense (863 passing, 610 rushing), 139 points. New starter Bryce Petty is 32-for-40 for 650 yards, four touchdowns, and no picks. Three Bears have at least 99 rushing yards, and four have at least 90 receiving yards. In 15 first-half possessions, Baylor has scored 13 times. This unit is terrifying.
(And how about Northwestern, by the way? The Wildcats have scored 92 points in two games and, even without running back Venric Mark, raced to a 34-7 halftime lead over Syracuse before cruising to a 48-27 win. Trevor Siemian and Kain Colter combined to complete 30 of 37 passes, and Tony Jones caught nine for 185.)
243. Yards gained by Kent State in its first four possessions against a stalwart Bowling Green defense. The Golden Flashes scored 22 points, jumped out to a lead ... and then gained 59 yards and scored zero points the rest of the way in a 41-22 loss.
143. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill's previous career high for single-game rushing yardage before Saturday. He topped that before the midway point in the second quarter against Texas.
100. Percentage of Stanford's drives that reached at least the San Jose State 35-yard line in a 34-13 win. The biggest questions for the Cardinal heading into the 2013 campaign were on the offensive side of the ball, where powerful options like tight ends Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo and running back Stepfan Taylor raised red flags. But against a potentially decent SJSU defense, Stanford gained over 400 yards, broke off a couple of 40-yard passes, and moved into scoring position on all nine possessions. The result: four touchdowns, three field goal attempts (two made), a lost fumble, a clock-killing final drive, and an easy win.
Of course, simply moving into scoring position doesn't guarantee victory. Just ask Arkansas State; the Red Wolves crossed the Auburn 40 seven times and finished with just nine points after three field goals, two turnovers on downs, a punt, and an expired clock. Auburn, meanwhile, made just six such trips and scored 38 points. And Toledo scored just nine points on its first five such trips against Missouri; the Rockets settled for three field goals and turned the ball over twice (one of which was returned for a touchdown). They eventually broke into the end zone a couple of times, but their opportunity passed in a 38-23 loss.
93. Players with more receiving yards than USC's Marqise Lee after two weeks. The list includes Toledo's David Fluellen, Northwestern's Dan Vitale, and Illinois' Josh Ferguson, also known as "running backs." Lee caught seven of 10 passes for an absurdly paltry 27 yards and has averaged an awful 5.2 yards per target in two games. Of all the reasons to be mad at Lane Kiffin, depriving us of some ridiculous, 2,000-yard receiving season before Lee goes to the pros might be at the top of my own personal list.
61.7. Passer rating for Virginia Tech opponents after two games. Yes, the Hokies wrecked shop on Western Carolina this past Saturday, but half of that sample still comes from the Alabama game. This defense might be Frank Beamer's best in years.
26.3. Value, in equivalent points, of Florida's five turnovers in a 21-16 loss to Miami. You think that maybe made a difference?
(And in case you have a morbid sense of curiosity like I do, Western Kentucky's five turnovers in six plays were worth a solid 30.5 equivalent points. Tennessee's first five scoring drives covered zero, zero, 22, 12, and 22 yards.)
24. Percentage of Miami's total yardage gained in this play.
There's a reason why you saw this first-quarter score in every highlight package: It was almost Miami's only offensive highlight. And hey, it was a great strike. But before we go too far down The U Is Back!! Road, let's realize that Miami basically proved that it is a top 20-30 team, capable of beating a good to very good team at home when it is plus-four in the turnover battle. And hey, top 20-30 is progress for this program. But if they're "back," they'll prove it.
(UNLV managed a similar feat on Saturday against Arizona, only without the win. A 69-yard strike from Nick Sherry to Devante Davis was worth 24 percent of the Rebels' total yardage as well. But unlike Florida, Arizona didn't hand UNLV 26 points in turnovers. And even if the Wildcats had, it wouldn't have mattered: Arizona won by 45.)
22. Career games played by Oklahoma's Blake Bell. Angry Sooner fans have been calling for Bob Stoops to start him for approximately 21 of those games, and thanks to an injury to Trevor Knight, he will indeed start for the first time in Game No. 23.
11.7. Average yardage gained in 25 Aaron Murray pass attempts. The senior completed 17 of 23 passes for 309 yards and four scores and was sacked twice, all without receiver Malcolm Mitchell and all despite being scared of South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney. He managed to overshadow Zach Mettenberger's outstanding performance -- 16-for-19, 282 yards, five touchdowns against UAB -- because, obviously, he did his against what was supposed to be a mean, fast, intimidating Gamecock D.
(By the way, there's still room on the "Mike Bobo is the best play-caller in college football" bandwagon, but it's filling up a little bit. Get your seat now.)
11. NC State's deficit to Richmond late in the first half. If Week 1 saw the Rise of the FCS Teams, Week 2 was the week of almosts. The Wolfpack eventually came back to nip the Spiders, 23-21, by scoring the game's final 13 points. And they weren't alone in their terror. Cal trailed Portland State, 20-10, early in the second quarter before rallying to win by seven. Arkansas trailed Samford, 21-17, heading into the fourth quarter, before scoring two late touchdowns. Kansas trailed South Dakota, 7-0, early in the second quarter before pulling away. TCU was tied with SE Louisiana, 14-14, late in the first half before jumping ahead and winning by 21 points. SMU trailed Montana State by a creative 22-5 margin midway through the second quarter, then won late. James Madison jumped ahead of Akron, 13-0, in the game's first eight minutes before fading just enough. Central Michigan trailed New Hampshire, 21-7, early in the fourth quarter before scoring 17 unanswered. And Louisiana Tech led Lamar by only four in the fourth quarter before winning by 13.
Meanwhile, yes, three more FCS teams finished the job: Nicholls State over Western Michigan, Maine over UMass, and Chattanooga over Georgia State. But those latter two were favored against opponents that probably shouldn't be in FBS anyway.
6. Combined passes completed by Navy and New Mexico on Saturday. Both teams won, beating UTEP and Indiana, respectively, by combining for 839 rushing yards.
5. Players who have passed for more yards than Illinois' Nathan Scheelhaase after two weeks. He has thrown for 728 yards, six touchdowns, and a pick. In a surprising wallop of Cincinnati, he completed 26 of 37 for 312 yards, four scores, no picks, and no sacks. His Fighting Illini raced to a 21-0 lead, and after Cincy cut the deficit to 28-17, Illinois scored 17 fourth-quarter points to put the game away. Nathan Scheelhaase. Illinois. Great on offense.
To put this in perspective, realize this: It would have taken USF and Michigan State quarterbacks 127 pass attempts to match Scheelhaase's performance on Saturday. The next time anybody wants to complain about their team's offense or quarterback, force them to watch USF-MSU with eyes taped open.
Quick kicks, USF. Just ... quick kicks.— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) September 7, 2013
I mean, I knew these offenses were awful, but...— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) September 7, 2013
This is ... aggressively bad. This is performance art.— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) September 7, 2013
Driving cross-country to watch USF-MSU probably has @SBN_BillC reconsidering writing a book about about how much he loves college football.— Ross Taylor (@RTaylorTX) September 7, 2013
And the State fans around us have gone through all seven stages of self-destruction in the last 5 minutes.— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) September 7, 2013
Watching USF continue to call pass plays is like watching the punishment scene in Miracle live. AGAIN. AGAIN. AGAIN.— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) September 7, 2013
AGAIN.— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) September 7, 2013