clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Numerical, Week 2: Killer Turnovers And Efficient Passers

Your weekly look at the numbers that mattered from this past weekend of college football, from Penn State QB Matt McGloin's 0 passing yards to the 655 days since Auburn last lost a close game.

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Marcus Lattimore #21 of the South Carolina Gamecocks rushes upfield against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 10, 2011 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 10: Marcus Lattimore #21 of the South Carolina Gamecocks rushes upfield against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 10, 2011 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Getty Images

It was all or nothing in Week 2 of the college football season. You had plenty of snoozers (Alabama-Penn State, Kentucky-Central Michigan) and matchups that were close but less than entertaining (BYU-Texas, UConn-Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech-East Carolina, North Carolina-Rutgers). But then you also had a robust set of genuinely exciting games and finishes: Iowa State-Iowa, Auburn-Mississippi State, California-Colorado, Kansas-Northern Illinois, Georgia-South Carolina and, of course, Michigan-Notre Dame. Let's go to the abacus to see what you may have missed.


Total yards gained by Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin's 10 passes (and one completion) against Alabama on Saturday. That means McGloin managed to do 1.5 yards per attempt worse than fellow Nittany Lion Rob Bolden did last week. Bolden averaged a comparatively robust 5.0 yards per attempt with his 11-for-29 passing. The Nittany Lions have been solid on defense, and they've got a good back in Silas Redd, but they need a quarterback, badly.


Total yards gained, including sacks, in Florida Atlantic's 16 pass attempts against Michigan State. Poor Howard Schnellenberger's last team may be his worst.

Snaps it took SMU quarterback Kyle Padron to get sacked in the Mustangs' 28-17 win over UTEP. That's a sack rate of infinity, and it officially made me feel bad about making fun of Padron, who has managed to get sacked three times and throw two picks in nine pass attempts on the season. Luckily, J.J. McDermott (18-for-31, 244 yards) picked up the slack.


Purdue games that have finished with a blocked field goal in 2011. The Boilermakers beat Middle Tennessee last week thanks to such a thing, and they lost to Rice, 24-22, on Saturday thanks to the same thing.

PAT attempts Washington defensive end Everette Thompson blocked versus Hawaii. The second was returned for two points. So Thompson's giant paws were directly responsible for four points in an eight-point win.

Games Eastern Michigan has won in 2011. Yes, both wins have come against FCS competition, and yes, the Former Hurons only managed to beat Alabama State by a touchdown this weekend. Don't ruin this for them. They were 2-22 over the last two seasons, so any two wins are cause for celebration.


Bryn Renner passes that hit the ground this week. If you'll recall, Renner, North Carolina's quarterback, threw one incompletion last week, and it was a pick. This week, he threw a whopping six incompletions in UNC's 24-22 win over Rutgers ... and three were picks. So if you're keeping score at home, that's three passes that have hit the ground in two games and four that have landed in opponents' hands. It's okay to throw the ball away occasionally, Bryn.

Texas quarterbacks who threw a pass against BYU on Saturday. The last two did much better than Garrett GIlbert, who is now officially the No. 3 man after completing as many passes to BYU defenders (two) as Texas players in eight tries. Case McCoy will start this weekend against UCLA; he completed seven of eight passes for a solid 57 yards.

Number of Florida running backs who averaged at least seven yards per carry in the Gators' 39-0 win over UAB. Despite Jeff Demps' injury, the skill positions were well taken care of as Chris Rainey, Mike Gillislee and Trey Burton combined for 244 yards on 33 carries, and look! John Brantley was completing longer passes as well (his 12 completion averaged 16.3 yards).


Yards Ohio State averaged per play after their first three drives against Toledo. Early success for Joe Bauserman gave way to nothingness, and it almost cost them. They needed a late redzone stand to win, 27-22.


Average gain, in yards, of Trent Richardson's 39 carries so far this season. Yes, he has scored five touchdowns in the process, but Trent Richardson is not a Heisman candidate because of his short-yardage running ability. The Alabama defense has been impenetrable thus far, but the offense has been a bit hit-or-miss.


Field goals made by Virginia kicker Robert Randolph in the Hoos' 34-31 win over Indiana. You could say that Randolph and UVA are going in the riiiiiiiight ... diiireeeeeccccction. I'm not saying you should, just that you could.


Third downs Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz converted with his legs against in the Cyclones' 44-41 overtime victory over rival Iowa. For the game, he gained only 45 yards on 15 carries, but he was, to say the least, timely with his big plays. His clutchitude allowed ISU to pull the upset despite losing three fumbles, committing 11 penalties and missing two field goals.


Points added to USC's score between when I went to bed Saturday night and when I woke up Sunday morning. Good to see we're all clear on how that awful new live-ball celebration penalty works.


Fumbles Army committed in Saturday's 23-20 home loss to San Diego State. Granted, they only lost three, but still. The turnovers (and Ronnie Hillman's 117 yards) were enough for the Aztecs to overcome their three-timezone trip and emerge with a win.


Average yards gained on Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler's 33 pass attempts against Missouri on Friday night. He needed every one of them, as the Sun Devils blew a 14-point fourth quarter lead before winning in overtime on, of course, an 11-yard Osweiler touchdown pass.


Stanford Cardinal defenders who at least shared in a tackle for loss against Duke. The Blue Devils had one guy who managed the feat. Guess who won? Stanford's attacking defense is a nice complement to Andrew Luck's right arm, and the Cardinal have outscored their two (admittedly less than impressive) opponents by a 101-17 margin thus far.


Years since New Mexico State had beaten a BCS conference opponent before Saturday's upset win at Minnesota. The win was quite a feat, but it was understandably overshadowed by Minnesota coach Jerry Kill's late-game seizure. Kill is apparently doing well enough to potentially coach this coming weekend.


Combined margin of Washington State's last three wins against FBS opponents (Washington by three in 2008, SMU by three in 2009, Oregon State by 17 in 2010) before their 59-7 shellacking of UNLV on Saturday more than doubled that margin. Against cupcakes, there is no pass-fail scale, only meh-fail. But two "meh" finishes are a step forward for Wazzu, and you do have to take notice of the fact that, without starting quarterback Jeff Tuel, the Cougars outgained the sad Rebels, 610-158. They gained 35 percent more yardage than what Vanderbilt and Connecticut combined for in their battle.


Value, in Equivalent Points, of Georgia's three turnovers against South Carolina. The Dawgs played like a Top 20 team Saturday afternoon in Athens, but they lost, 45-42, primarily because their mistakes were more devastating than the Gamecocks'. As I mentioned on Sunday, the biggest challenge for Georgia is simply avoiding the undertow of the "Dead Richt Walking" talk. They are better than at least eight of their ten remaining opponents, and if they cut down on the mistakes (an "if" that could have unsuccessfully applied to most of the last year and a half), they could still make something of the season. But negativity can take its toll.


TCU's lead, in points, 36 minutes into their make-or-break game versus Air Force. They built a 28-3 lead before the Falcons started moving the ball. AFA gained 172 yards in garbage time and made the score a more respectable 35-19.


Percentage of Darron Thomas' completed passes that went for touchdowns in Oregon's 69-20 rout of a Nevada team breaking in too many new players. He completed 13 of 19 passes for six touchdowns and 295 yards, and the Ducks scored on seven of their first eight possessions.


Value, in Equivalent Points, of Notre Dame's 10 turnovers in two games this season. Almost eight touchdowns. They committed five more turnovers for 21.6 points in Ann Arbor this weekend -- three inside Michigan's 30 -- and fell to 0-2 despite, on a play-by-play basis, outplaying their second straight solid opponent. The next time you think your team is being negatively affected by turnovers, realize it could be worse. On a play-for-play basis, Notre Dame has played like a Top 20 team this year. But 10 specific plays have massacred them.


Percentage of passes Brandon Weeden completed Thursday night, as Oklahoma State outgunned Mike Stoops and Arizona. Weeden left the explosiveness to running back Joseph Randle (121 rushing yards, 99 receiving yards), and he moved the chains with voracity. He completed 42 of 53 passes for 397 yards and two touchdowns, both to Justin Blackmon, who caught 12 of the 14 passes directed his way.


Percentage of targeted passes Tennessee receivers Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers caught from Tyler Bray as Tennessee easily outpaced Cincinnati, 45-23. Hunter (10 catches on 11 targets for 156 yards) and Rogers (10-for-13 for 100 yards) were instrumental in the Vols gaining 531 yards of offense, 405 through the air. Tennessee has looked good so far, but with their youth and Bray's general brashness, you could talk yourself into anywhere between a second- and fifth-place finish for UT in the SEC East this year.


Number of yards by which Southern Illinois outgained Ole Miss on Saturday. Ole Miss jumped out to a 21-0 lead, then let their defense go soft. The Salukis completed passes of 31, 44 and 53 yards and posted 420 yards overall, but four interceptions allowed the Rebels to hold on for an easy 42-24 win.


Total yards gained by East Carolina against Virginia Tech on Saturday. Prolific Pirates passer Dominique Davis averaged just 2.0 yards per pass attempt. The Tech offense struggled a bit -- Logan Thomas completed just eight of 20 passes for 91 yards -- but wow, has the Hokies' defense come to play so far this year. A reminder: the Pirates gained 345 yards and scored 37 points against South Carolina one week earlier.


Length, in yards, of T.Y. Hilton's first two receptions in Florida International's 24-17 upset (?) of Louisville Friday night. The guy has had an underground (i.e. blogger) following for a while now, but this performance (seven catches for 201 yards, two kickoff returns for 67 more) on national television gave him what will inevitably be some short-lived Heisman darkhorse bugs. Why short-lived? Because, unfortunately, the entire country will forget about him when he's roasting Sun Belt defenders soon. If he wants to make it to New York, he'll need to catch 26 passes for 585 yards against Central Florida this coming weekend. Not that he can't...


The dropoff, in yards, of Oregon State's leading rusher from Week 1 to Week 2. Malcolm Agnew gained 223 yards in the Beavers' inexplicable loss to Sacramento State last week, and with Agnew nursing a hamstring injury, Jordan Jenkins filled the void with a mighty 20 yards against Wisconsin.


Rushing yards Wofford gained against Clemson in the Tigers' narrow, 35-27 win. The Terriers run an odd shotgun veer offense, one that Clemson thankfully will be seeing no more of this year.


Yards gained by Fresno State against Nebraska. The Huskers managed zero tackles for loss in the process. Nebraska still had enough offense to post a 42-29 win, but this was one of the least-impressive defensive performances we've seen since Bo Pelini's first year in charge. Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard will return from injury soon, and that should certainly help, but the defensive line is still perhaps a question mark.


Number of times ESPN's Joe Tessitore reminded viewers that Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler is 6-foot-8 during the Sun Devils' overtime win over Missouri. And yes, Spencer Hall made the same joke yesterday. In my defense, a) I had already conceived of the joke before I read yesterday's Alphabetical (I swear), and I am not wont to waste jokes the rare times I have them, and b) 6-foot-8! 6-foot-8? 6-foot-8. 6-foot-8!


Yardage margin in Florida State's 62-10 win over Charleston Southern. The final tally: 647 yards to 84. Charleston Southern is not only an FCS team, but an extremely weak one. Their last three games: a 62-10 loss to Florida State, a 62-0 loss to Central Florida the week before that, and a 72-0 loss to Coastal Carolina to end the 2010 season. The upset, I guess, is that they scored on the 'Noles at all.


Days since Auburn lost a one-possession game, a 26-21 near-upset of eventual national champion Alabama. Since then, they have won 10 such games in a row. Good luck losing every game of the 2020s, Auburn; Gene Chizik has pretty clearly sold your soul.


Miles between San Diego and West Point.