Here's your weekly look at the numbers that mattered in Week Five of the college football season.
0: Turnovers committed by Notre Dame on Saturday! Once again, if Notre Dame doesn't hand their opponents 20 points per game (or worse) in turnovers, they win.
2: Drives it took West Virginia to get rolling against Bowling Green. As they did against Norfolk State, the Mountaineers started the game in a bit of a funk and trailed 10-3 after each team had gotten the ball twice. The rest of the way, they outgained the Falcons, 609-147
Times Ohio State crossed Michigan State's 40-yard line in their dreadful 10-7 home loss to Michigan State. Including sacks, quarterbacks Braxton Miller and Joe Bauserman combined to average 3.3 yards per pass attempt, barely worse than the average yards per carry generated by running backs Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde (3.4). Michigan State made seven trips inside Ohio State's 40, but their own mistakes (three turnovers and a missed field goal) allowed the game to remain close. This game was a miserable experience for everyone involved.
Road games won by New Mexico State this year. They took out New Mexico, 42-28, in Albuquerque on Saturday. Three weeks ago, they knocked off Minnesota. They are 2-1 on the road in 2011; they were 2-15 in their previous 17 games dating back to 2008.
2.3: Average yards per play generated by Baylor's last three drives in their 36-35 loss to Kansas State. The Wildcats won in exactly the way one would have thought they would: by controlling the ball, forcing a couple of turnovers, and saving their biggest defensive plays for key moments. Up 35-26 early in the fourth quarter, Baylor got conservative, kept the ball on the ground and eventually turned the ball over on downs. Following a touchdown, KSU ratcheted up the pressure, and Robert Griffin III's body language curdled. The Wildcats picked off a pass (Griffin's first interception all season), kicked the go-ahead field goal, then forced an immediate four-and-out to end the game. Baylor got their yards (429) and points (35), but K-State got the win, just as they have in all three one-possession games this season (Eastern Kentucky, Miami, Baylor). Bill Snyder's mojo is strong so far in 2011.
3: Passes Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson intercepted in consecutive possessions during the first half of Oklahoma's 62-6 win over Ball State. This was both an incredible accomplishment and proof that college football needs better data. After Jefferson pulled in his third pick, the reaction was the same throughout the Internet: "Has that ever been done before?" "Hmm. I don't know. Probably not, huh?" If this were Major League Baseball, it would have taken somebody about 13 seconds to look up similar occurrences from 1926. Alas.
Utah State losses this season in which they have led by at least eight points in the fourth quarter. They blew a 38-28 lead against Auburn, a 21-13 lead versus Colorado State and, on Friday night, a 24-13 lead against BYU. Utah State running backs Robert Turbin and Michael Smith combined for 208 yards in 18 carries, but BYU quarterback Riley Nelson came on in favor of the benched Jake Heaps and directed two late scoring drives.
Games won by Eastern Michigan in 2011. Their 31-23 win over lowly Akron was their first against FBS competition, which tamps down the overall feeling of accomplishment, but the Eagles have still now won as many games in five opportunities this season as they had in their last 30.
Touchdowns scored on fumble returns in the Southern Miss-Rice game. Rice scored two of them and, therefore, actually led USM in the third quarter despite getting drastically outgained. Southern Miss eventually pulled away to win, 48-24, outgaining the Owls by a 654-229 margin, but their four turnovers (worth 30.3 Equivalent Points as defined here) made things more difficult than they could have been.
4: Seconds separating two Hawaii touchdowns in their 44-26 road win over Louisiana Tech. With 7:50 remaining in the third quarter, Richard Torres scored on a 49-yard interception return to give the Warriors a 34-13 lead. Lyle Fitte then muffed the kickoff at the Tech 20, and the beautifully named Tank Hopkins took it to the house with 7:46 left.
Incompletions thrown by Stanford's Andrew Luck in the Cardinal's 45-19 win over UCLA. He went 23-for-27 for 227 yards and three touchdowns, and just for fun, he threw in 11 rushing yards, 13 receiving yards (on a now-you're-just-showing-off, one-handed catch) and a bunch of awesome play-calling.
5: Tackles for loss made by Clemson defensive end Andre Branch in Saturday evening's huge, 23-3 win over Virginia Tech. Branch had 7.5 tackles for loss (a respectable total in its own right) in all of last season as a complement to Da'Quan Bowers. Clemson's offense was the story of the Tigers' wins over Auburn and Florida State, but it was the defense that wrecked shop in Blacksburg.
7: Average points scored by Wisconsin drives in the second half of their dominant, 48-17 win over Nebraska. They got the ball three times, scored three times, and just choked the life out of the Huskers.
9: Trips Penn State made inside Indiana's 40-yard line on Saturday. They scored 16 points. They got to the 18 and threw an interception. They got to the 38 and punted. They got to the 33 and missed a field goal. They got to the 2 and fumbled again. Between that and having to settle for three field goals, they actually gave Indiana the ball with a chance to win at the end despite allowing just 256 yards to the Hoosiers (and two trips inside the PSU 40). It was not a good weekend for Big Ten teams (not named Wisconsin or Michigan) taking advantage of the opportunities given to them.
17: Years that had elapsed since the last time an ACC school lost to both Duke and Wake Forest at home in the same season. Congrats, Boston College. Two weeks after losing, 20-19, to Duke, the Eagles completed the feat with a 27-19 loss to the Demon Deacons. Montel Harris rushed for 108 yards, but quarterback Chase Rettig averaged just 3.6 yards per pass attempt (including sacks); in fairness, Rettig has no weapon anywhere near as effective as Wake's Chris Givens, who caught seven of nine passes for 132 yards on Saturday and is averaging 14.2 yards per target for the season.
20: Points Kansas scored in their opening three drives against Texas Tech Saturday morning in Lawrence. The scripted plays worked. Unfortunately, nothing else did. The Jayhawks gained 191 yards in 15 plays (12.7 per play) in those three drives and just 287 in 58 (4.9) afterward and sprinkled in three turnovers for good measure. Tech came blazing back from their early 20-0 deficit to win, 45-34.
36: Length, in yards, of Minnesota's longest drive in their 58-0 loss to Michigan. Their 13 drives ended in 10 punts, two lost fumbles, and the end of a half. Quarterback Max Shortell averaged 3.5 yards per pass attempt (including sacks), and ... you know what? It gets really depressing, really quickly, talking about the Gophers. Let's just move on.
40: Average starting field position for Georgia Tech's first three drives against N.C. State, all of which resulted in touchdowns. Want to see field position advantage in action?
Ga. Tech's first three drives: Avg. FP: 40.0 | Points: 21
Ga. Tech's next five drives: Avg. FP: 20.8 | Points: 0
Ga. Tech's next three drives: Avg. FP: 57.0 | Points: 17
N.C. State's first four drives: Avg. FP: 23.3 | Points: 0
N.C. State's next two drives: Avg. FP: 52.5 | Points: 14
N.C. State's next three drives: Avg. FP: 16.3 | Points: 0
N.C. State's next three drives: Avg. FP: 42.0 | Points: 21
49: Percentage of Illinois passes directed at receiver A.J. Jenkins in 2011. His 49.0% target rate is second only to Army's Jared McFarlin, but Army has only thrown 37 passes all year. Jenkins, meanwhile, has 40 receptions on his own. He has caught 80 percent of the passes Nathan Scheelhaase has directed at him, and he caught 12 of 14 for 268 yards in Illinois' double-comeback win over Northwestern.
49.2: Value of the nine turnovers committed in Rutgers' aesthetically unpleasant, 19-16 overtime win over Syracuse. 'Cuse committed five worth 26.3 Equivalent Points, while Rutgers only committed four worth 22.9. This was even more dreadful than what happened in Tempe, where Arizona State defeated Oregon State, 35-20, despite committing four turnovers (three on their first three drives) worth 19.0 Equivalent Points. Oregon State blew any chance of an upset with five turnovers worth 21.7. Meanwhile, Utah did themselves in with five turnovers (worth 26.9 points) against Washington. Yuck.
83: Percentage of Kentucky's first 12 drives that ended in punts against LSU's ridiculous defense. Forty-five plays generated 55 yards. LSU had four more tackles for loss (10) than Kentucky quarterback Morgan Newton had complete passes (six in 20 attempts). That Morning Tailgate favorite Jarrett Lee struggled himself (8-for-21) is irrelevant. Kentucky's is one of the worst BCS offenses in the country; it was almost unfair that LSU didn't just start their second string. And speaking of unfair: Nevada's first 12 drives versus Boise State generated 15 yards. Boise's Kellen Moore was startlingly inaccurate, and the Broncos struggled to pull away because of that, but ... fifteen!
104: Seconds in which Middle Tennessee led Memphis in their 38-31 win over the Tigers. Desperate for a win, Memphis dictated the proceedings for most of the game, but MTSU came up with just enough at the end to avoid an embarrassing loss.
105: Plays run by Navy in their 35-34 overtime loss to Air Force. Here's your reminder that Navy runs the flexbone. This is the (extremely approximate and probably inaccurate) equivalent to Oklahoma running about 185 plays. More notably, Air Force ran only 51 plays. Since 2005, only two games saw one team run at least 50 more plays than the other: in 2007, Michigan State ran 54 more plays than Indiana, and in 2010, Indiana ran 53 more plays than Michigan. Congrats, Hoosiers, for figuring out an unorthodox way of getting into The Numerical. Like Navy, some other teams racked up large numbers of plays during comeback attempts ...
115: Yards gained by Florida in their first two drives against Alabama on Saturday night. They gained just 107 the rest of the way. As if you didn't already know, that did not get the job done in a 38-10 loss.
255: Yards gained by passes to USC's Robert Woods on Saturday against Arizona. The Trojans won, 48-41, thanks to another ridiculous performance from Woods, who caught 14 of 15 passes thrown his way and took two into the endzone. Between Woods, A.J. Jenkins, Chris Givens, Tennessee's Da'Rick Rogers (eight catches, 180 yards) and others, It was a huge day for receivers around the country. Probably the biggest single catch of the day came in Boulder, where Washington State's Marquess Wilson snared a 63-yard touchdown with 1:10 left to give the Cougars a 31-27 win and move them to 3-2 on the season.
710: Yards gained by Houston against UTEP Thursday night. They needed every one of them in a 49-42 win. That Case Keenum completed 30 of 46 passes for 471 yards almost seems standard; the Cougars kicked it up a notch through their running game. Charles Sims and Michael Hayes (not this guy, evidently) combined for 211 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries.
21,705: People who attended the Toledo-Temple game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The Linc holds up to 69,144 people, meaning the stadium was at a cool 31-percent capacity. And it didn't look anywhere near 31 percent.
1,143,953: Approximate number of Twitter posters drawing long-term conclusions about Texas A&M's viability in the SEC because they blew a lead in the second half against Arkansas. I realize it's Twitter, and this is what Twitter does, but ... we just can't help ourselves, can we?