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The Numerical, Week 2: 1-Man Offenses And The Spike Factor

Looking at the numbers that mattered in Week 2 of the college football season.

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 08:  Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates a 31-25 win over the Air Force Falcons with his teammates at Michigan Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 08: Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates a 31-25 win over the Air Force Falcons with his teammates at Michigan Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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0. Incomplete passes thrown by TCU quarterbacks two weeks into the football season. Granted, the Horned Frogs were off in Week 1, and granted, they got to torture Grambling State in Week 2 (they won, 56-0, gaining 531 yards and allowing just 70). But still ... Casey Pachall and backup Trevone Boykin combined to complete 17 of 17 passes for 276 yards and four touchdowns. As they say, that's impressive against air.

1. Yards gained in Kansas' final six plays while milking a late lead over Rice. Up 24-16, the Jayhawks went three-and-out and punted. Rice scored a touchdown but missed the two-point conversion. On the next series, two rushes gained two yards, and quarterback Dayne Crist threw a 3rd-and-8 interception with 3:47 remaining. Rice worked the clock all the way down and banged in a 45-yard field goal at the buzzer to win, 25-24.

1.4. Average yards per pass attempt for Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn in what turned out to be his final football game. Before leaving with another arm injury, Wynn completed just six of 11 passes for 47 yards and was sacked three times for 28 yards. Jon Hays took over the offense and almost led the Utes to a win, but they fell in overtime, 27-20. It was their first loss to the Aggies since 1997.

2. Career wins for Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz over Iowa. After a 9-6 road win on Saturday, he is 2-0 versus the Hawkeyes and just 2-4 versus all other FBS opponents. Jantz was very, very Jantzian on Saturday in Iowa City: he completed 24 of 36 passes and gutted out 14 carries, but he also threw two picks and averaged just 2.9 yards per tote. Iowa State turned the ball over three times inside Iowa's 40, but the Cyclones' defense led the way, allowing just 304 yards and allowing Iowa inside their 40 just three times all game.

Shutdown Fullback reslaps Week 2!

2.2. Average yards per pass attempt by Illinois quarterbacks Reilly O'Toole and Miles Osei in a 45-14 Illini loss at Arizona State. Illinois actually ran the ball pretty well -- Josh Ferguson and Donovonn Young combined to gain 166 yards in 26 carries -- but drives ended when they had to pass. O'Toole and Osei filled in for the injured Nathan Scheelhaase and completed 14 of 24 passes for 101 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions; they were also sacked six times for 35 yards. Yuck. For those who justifiably question Scheelhaase's passing ability: realize that it could be worse.

3.8. Yards per play averaged by Washington in the Huskies' last 19 possessions. They scored on their first two drives versus San Diego State, then held on for dear life in a 21-12 win. Then they got completely emasculated by LSU, gaining just 183 yards and scoring only on a drive that began at LSU's 20-yard line. Are we sure that's still Keith Price behind center?

5. Turnovers committed by Auburn in its 28-10 loss to Mississippi State. Combine that with the fact that the Tigers averaged only 3.5 yards per play, and we'll just say they were lucky to lose by only 18. Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier actually beat out other live bodies for the starting quarterback job, but he did not back up his coaches' faith this weekend; the sophomore averaged 4.7 yards per pass attempt (including sacks) and 3.8 yards per carry.

6. Three-and-outs for Duke on their first seven drives of a 50-13 loss to Stanford. The Blue Devils gained just 56 yards in their first 23 plays before finding a rhythm and gaining 344 yards in their final 63. Not a single running back carried the ball more than four times, putting too much pressure on the arm of quarterback Sean Renfree (4.5 yards per pass attempt). Syracuse can relate. The Orange averaged just 2.8 yards per play over their first five drives in a 42-29 loss to USC before making it a game and gaining 382 yards in their final 61 plays.

6.6. Yards per play allowed by Colorado in a 30-28 loss to Sacramento State. That's almost what USC averaged against Syracuse (7.1). That makes me sad, so I'm just going to move on.

8. Rushing touchdowns scored by Oklahoma in the Sooners' 69-13 win over Florida A&M. OU started slow, scoring just twice in the first six drives of the game, but turned on the afterburners soon enough. The Sooners gained 560 yards, and scored 55 points, in their final 55 plays; running back Damien Williams may have usurped starter Dom Whaley after gaining 156 yards and scoring four touchdowns in just 10 carries.

9. First downs allowed by Maryland in a 36-27 win over Temple. The Terrapins gained just 4.8 yards per play and turned the ball over four times -- still a work in progress, to say the least -- but the defense showed some fire. Temple gained just 230 yards, and running back Matt Brown (10 carries, 31 yards) found no room to run whatsoever.

14.0. The sack rate of Pittsburgh quarterback Tino Sunseri in Cincinnati's 34-10 win over the Panthers. Sunseri was taken down six times in 43 pass attempts, harkening back to last year, when he was sacked an amazing 60 times. Throw the ball, Tino. Of course, Sunseri had nothing on Florida's Jeff Driskel or Alabama's A.J. McCarron. We'll get to the Gators below, but while the Tide beat Western Kentucky easily, 35-0, thanks mostly to four turnovers worth 20.2 turnover points, McCarron was sacked six times in just 25 pass attempts (a 24-percent sack rate) by an aggressive Western Kentucky squad. WKU actually logged more tackles for loss (eight) than it allowed (six). Throw the ball, A.J.!

15. Penalties committed by Oklahoma State in a 59-38 loss at Arizona. Give away 130 yards in penalties and 23.1 equivalent points in turnovers, and you probably aren't going to win, even when you gain 636 yards.

45.7. Percentage of Rutgers' offensive output accounted for by running back Jawan Jamison. He has single-handedly gained 288 of the Scarlet Knights' 630 yards through two weeks. RU has not exactly lit up the scoreboard of late (they have scored just 50 points in wins over Tulane and Howard), but don't blame Jamison: he has gained 222 yards in 28 carries and caught three of three passes for 66 yards.

48.0. Georgia's average starting field position in the second half of the Bulldogs' 41-20 win over Missouri in Columbia. While Jarvis Jones justifiably stole the headlines with his monstrous game (and even more monstrous fourth quarter), Georgia had subtly tilted the table in the Tigers' direction for a while, first pinning Mizzou deep (the Tigers' average starting field position in the second half: 24.0) then finding the big plays to finish the game off. The Dawgs' last three scoring drives started at Mizzou's 38, 1, and 5. (Field position also made an enormous difference in Notre Dame's 20-17 win over Purdue. The Irish outgained the Boilermakers by 88 yards, but their first four possessions averaged a starting field position of just 15.3. This, and a plodding pace, allowed Purdue to keep the game close before the Boilers' offense sparked a surge to 17-17 in the fourth quarter.)

55. Tulane's Spike Factor in a 45-10 loss to Tulsa. In 58 plays, the Green Wave threw 14 incompletions/interceptions, were tackled for loss 12 times and gained zero yards on another six plays.

60. Length of the field goal Washington State kicker Andrew Furney bombed home at the end of the first half of an eventual 24-20 win over Eastern Washington. Wazzu made this game far closer than it should have been -- in six trips inside the 40, the Cougars scored three touchdowns but missed a (shorter) field goal and turned the ball over twice -- but Furney's kick gave them a little bit of a cushion.

66. Percentage of Texas A&M's 334 yards that the Aggies gained on their first three drives of a 20-17 loss to Florida. Freshman quarterback Jonny Manziel's debut looked easy early on, but after A&M built a 17-7 lead, the offense dried up. After gaining 220 yards on their first three drives (5.9 per play), the Aggies gained just 114 (3.6) after that. This wasn't the same type of collapse that A&M suffered quite a few times last year; this was just a somewhat limited offense running out of tricks pretty quickly against a fast, impressive defense. Florida adapted, shut the Aggies down, and somehow carved out enough offense to win despite Gator quarterback Jeff Driskel getting sacked eight times in 24 pass attempts. Throw the ball, Jeff! (Meanwhile, A&M's sudden stagnation overshadowed Nevada's in a 32-31 loss to South Florida. Nevada gained 228 yards in 23 plays and scored 21 points in three drives, averaging 9.9 yards per play; they gained just 321 yards in 78 plays the rest of the way.)

83. Combined pass and run attempts by UL Monroe quarterback Kolton Browning in the Warhawks' 34-31 overtime upset of Arkansas. Ridiculous. Browning completed 42 of 67 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns, was sacked three times for 24 yards, and carried the ball 13 yards for 93 yards and the game-winning score. He earned quite a few player-of-the-week awards ... and quite an ice bath.

90. Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray's completion percentage in a 51-13 romp over Georgia State. The Vols still have something to prove against a living, breathing defense (Florida's) next week, but they passed every conceivable test against GSU. Bray completed 18 of 20 for 310 yards and four touchdowns, and go-to receiver Justin Hunter made amends for an iffy performance versus N.C. State by catching eight of eight passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns. Bring on the Gators.

105. Yards generated by seven passes to Clemson wideout DeAndre Hopkins in a 52-27 win over Ball State. He caught six balls for 105 yards and three touchdowns, and oh yeah, Sammy Watkins is back now, too. If you can overcome injuries or suspensions in the short-term, it can pay off in the long term, and Hopkins has absolutely thrived in Watkins' absence.

181. Rushing yards gained in two games by Wisconsin's Montee Ball. Over 13 games, he's on pace for 1,177 yards and seven touchdowns; he gained 1,923 and scored 33 a year ago.

326. Pre-sack rushing yards gained in two games by Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller. He rushed for 147 and three touchdowns in a 31-16 win over Central Florida, and while the OSU passing game hasn't really been very explosive so far, it doesn't matter if your quarterback can run like that.

350. Yards gained in 52 touches by Oregon's Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas. The Ducks struggled with turnovers in a 42-25 win over Fresno State, and quarterback Marcus Mariota struggled a bit with consistency (he averaged just 4.4 yards per pass attempt and fumbled twice), but Oregon had Barner and Thomas, and Fresno State did not. Barner gained 222 yards and scored three times in 39 touches (34 carries, five targets, three catches), while Thomas threw in 13 touches, 128 yards and two more scores.

426. Combined rushing and passing yards for Denard Robinson in Michigan's 31-25 win over Air Force. That is a ridiculous figure, but it gets even sillier when you realize that Michigan had only 422 yards of offense. (More problematic for Michigan: the 416 yards the Wolverines allowed to the Falcons.)

528. Yards gained by South Carolina in a 48-10 win over East Carolina. Remember last week, when the Gamecocks' plodded along to the tune of 272 yards (4.4 per play) in a tight, 17-13 win over Vanderbilt? When Connor Shaw averaged 5.3 yards per pass attempt and got hurt? Well, ECU is not Vandy, but quarterback Dylan Thompson, filling in for Shaw, looked outstanding: 21-for-37 passing, 7.8 yards per pass attempt, and six non-sack carries for 34 yards. Thanks to Thompson's exploits, it didn't matter that Marcus Lattimore got nowhere (13 carries, 40 yards) and the S.C. defense logged only one tackle for loss while allowing 403 yards of Pirate offense.

1,035. Yards allowed by Miami's defense in the first two games of the season. It was an enormous red flag when the Hurricanes allowed 537 yards (6.3 per play) and 32 points to Boston College. It got worse in a 52-13 loss to Kansas State: the Wildcats gained 498 yards (7.0 per play), and quarterback Collin Klein completed nine of 11 passes for 210 yards. At this rate, Miami will allow 504 points and 12,420 yards over a 12-game season. The Hurricanes allowed 117 points and 2,980 yards when they won the national title in 2001.

1,291. Yards gained from scrimmage in Louisiana Tech's 56-49 win over Houston -- 693 for Houston, 598 for Tech. Each team gained at least 100 more yards than the combined total in N.C. State's 10-7 win over UConn (497).


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