Let's take a look at the numbers that mattered from the first wonderful weekend of the 2011 college football season.
Week One of the 2011 season saw quite a few underwhelming performances, some typical Week One execution, and all sorts of glorious, glorious numbers. Here are the ones that mattered.
Bryn Renner passes that hit the ground on Saturday. The North Carolina quarterback completed 22 of 23 in UNC's 42-10 win over James Madison, and his only misfire was intercepted.
Steps it took for the ball to hit SMU kicker Brad Namdar in the worst surprise onsides kick attempt ever.
Scoring drives Utah generated in the second half of their 27-10 win over Montana State on Thursday night. The team I proclaimed to be future Pac-12 champions eased into cruise control a bit too early for my liking.
Average gain on each of Penn State quarterback Robert Bolden's 14 pass attempts (including sacks) against Indiana State. His six drives resulted in just seven points. Matt McGloin averaged nearly eight yards per attempt, making him perhaps the better option as Alabama gets set to visit the Nittany Valley. Then again, the last time McGloin faced an SEC defense, things got a bit ugly.
Average gain on each of Washington quarterback Keith Price's 28 pass attempts (including sacks) against Eastern Washington. The Huskies needed a late Marcus Trufant interception to hold off Bo Levi Mitchell and the blood-red Eagles.
Consecutive games Duke has lost to Richmond (in 2011, 2009 and 2006). But hey, they get closer to beating the mighty Spiders each time! They lost by 13, then eight, then two ...
Interceptions thrown by Alabama quarterbacks A.J. McCarron and Phillip Sims on Saturday. I can't even pretend to be worried about the Tide -- they would still get my vote for No. 1 if dirty stat bloggers got a non-BlogPoll vote -- but it's still not a good thing.
Field goals Maryland kicker Nick Ferrara nailed last night in the Terps' 32-24 win over Miami. Maryland engineered seven drives of 60 yards or more on their way to 499 yards, but they consistently stalled close to the end zone, and if not for Cameron Chism's pick six with 0:39 left, Miami was putting themselves in position to steal a win in College Park.
Plays Louisiana-Monroe ran in Florida State territory in the first three quarters of their 42-0 loss to the Seminoles. The Warhawks have a decent defense that flustered FSU for a bit (the 'Noles first five drives produced just 10 points, seven of which came on a 39-yard touchdown drive), but they had no hope of producing enough offense for an upset.
Pass attempts (including sacks) it took for SMU quarterback Kyle Padron to end up with two sacks and two interceptions against Texas A&M, which are kind of his thing. I'm not one for quick hooks (I felt pretty queasy about Notre Dame's Dayne Crist getting pulled one half into the first game), but to say the least, I had no problem with J.J. McDermott subbing in for Padron on the third possession of the season.
Fumbles Tennessee recovered (theirs and their opponent's) on Saturday. Expect some swift, remorseless correction from the God of Fumbles Luck.
Different receivers Andrew Luck targeted in the first half of Stanford's gory 57-3 win over San Jose State. He wasn't incredibly effective, averaging just 6.6 yards per target and playing things close to the vest. But it's hard to complain about the results: 20 points on the first four drives, then more and more and more throughout the game.
Plays required for Houston to score three touchdowns and gain 185 yards in the second quarter of their 38-34 win over UCLA. They were less effective in the second half -- one touchdown in four full possessions -- but their hot streaks are still hotter than anybody else's, and it allowed them to hold off the Bruins.
Length, in yards, of Joe Bauserman's, uh, shake-'n'-bake touchdown keeper against Akron, a run that should have resulted in automatic demotion to FCS for the Zips.
Rutgers defenders who registered at least 0.5 tackles for loss on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights' offense still left something to be desired, but the defense was incredible in their 48-0 win over, granted, N.C. Central.
Catches by USC receiver Robert Woods in the Trojans' 19-17 win over Minnesota. If he has only 15, then USC perhaps falls to Jerry Kill's Gophers.
Point value (using Equivalent Point Values) of Oregon's three lost fumbles in their Saturday night loss to LSU. They lost by 13. The Ducks' offensive line didn't get much of a push against a stellar LSU front four, but in a game that would be defined by who more effectively stayed out of passing downs, the three fumbles threw Oregon into, basically, a permanent passing downs situation.
Approximate percentage of onside kicks that are typically recovered by the kicking team in obvious onside situations. Granted, it gets easier when the receiving team is as suddenly passive and clammy as Utah State was with 2:07 left in their game with Auburn, but still ... AU perhaps used up as much good luck as Tennessee did in Week One, and they needed every drop of it to avoid becoming the first defending national champion to open the season with a home loss to an unranked team since Notre Dame in 1978.
Length of the field goal Oregon State kicker Trevor Romaine missed at the end of regulation in Oregon State's stunning 29-28 loss to Sacramento State. He hit the right upright, and the game remained tied at 21-21. OSU scored in two plays in their overtime possession, then Sactown State scored in six and nailed the two-point conversion to win. I've heard a couple of analysts say that this isn't too surprising, since Oregon State is customarily a slow-starting team. And to be sure, the Beavers have lost a lot of September games over the years. But most of those losses have been to excellent teams. Before this one, the worst September loss of Mike Riley's current tenure was to 6-7 UCLA at home in 2007. We can make all the jokes we want to about UCLA's current football prowess, but they are still not Sacramento State.
Point value of Notre Dame's five turnovers against South Florida, including three inside the South Florida 5. Credit to USF for pulling a Holtzian masterpiece -- take advantage of every mistake, make sure your conservative offense stays out of the way -- and coming out of South Bend with the win, but ... if these teams played ten times, the Irish would have won seven or eight. They doubled USF's yardage. But they're still 0-1.
Length, in yards, of Caleb TerBush's pretty, upset-avoiding touchdown pass to Antavian Edison with 0:49 left in Purdue's win over Middle Tennessee. TerBush patiently stepped up in a well-formed pocket and allowed Edison to break free for an easy touchdown. Unfortunately, TerBush's patience didn't prevent the Boilers' D from allowing 460 yards to the Blue Raiders.
Difference in points between Auburn's projected scoring margin (as determined by F/+ projections) and their actual scoring margin. One had to figure the numbers were overrating the Tigers -- there is no precedent for a team coming out of nowhere to rank No. 1, then losing approximately 134% of its playmakers in the offseason -- but not this much.
Colorado's Tyler Hansen actually out-passed Hawaii's Bryant Moniz by this many yards on Saturday night. Unlikely. Unfortunately for the Buffs, Moniz outgained Hansen on the ground by 142 in Hawaii's mostly easy 34-17 win. Just as unlikely.
Catch rate for South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery on Saturday. Thanks to two return touchdowns, however, the Gamecocks still overcame a spry East Carolina offense to win by 19.
Receiving yards Texas freshman Jaxon Shipley recorded in his UT debut. Should we call him Colt McCoy's Roommate's Little Brother, or Case McCoy's Big Brother's Roommate's Little Brother?
Plays Buffalo ran against Pittsburgh on Saturday; none of them really went anywhere, but the Panthers couldn't get the Bulls off the field and led just 21-16 in the fourth quarter because of it. (They eventually pulled away to win, 35-16.)
Yards generated by Georgia Tech's first two pass attempts. Paul Johnson's Yellow Jackets are an infinitely better team when they can at least pretend to pass, and in their 63-21 win over Western Carolina, they didn't have to pretend. Tech quarterbacks threw for 365 yards in just 16 attempts. We'll see what happens when they play someone with a pulse, of course, but as I like to say, 365 yards versus Western Carolina is still better than fewer than 365 yards versus Western Carolina.
Minutes between when Sunday's Marshall-West Virginia game kicked off and when it was called just 24 seconds into the fourth quarter. The weather wreaked havoc in the Midwest(ish) portion of the country this weekend, delaying games from Iowa City to Morgantown. Then again, the weather has wreaked havoc with everything this year, hasn't it?
Days between 60-point games for Washington State. The Cougars scored 63 on California on October 18, 1997, then finally broke the barrier again against Idaho State on Saturday. It had been 1,820 days since they had scored even 50 points (September 9, 2006). Their reward? Losing quarterback Jeff Tuel for an extended period of time to a broken collarbone. Chin up, Cougs.
The number of "God, I love college football" Tweets I read during Friday night's epic Baylor-TCU bloodbath. As I mentioned at Football Study Hall, "If every game included more than 1,000 yards and almost 100 points, we wouldn't appreciate it when it happens -- like the random 4-3 soccer game -- but when it does, and when it includes the exploits of the country's new favorite quarterback (Robert Griffin III), it is a special thing." TCU's defense will be fine by November, but they were not prepared for the precision assault of Hot Tub Griffin and Art Briles' Bears. I'm not sure anybody would have been.