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The bizarre, important and historic numbers from around the nation.
Numbers and statistics are unquestionably a huge part of the game. Any game, for that matter.
Some fall on the sabermetric side of things, while others like to keep it simple and use the ol' eyeball test. In the football world, that means total offense, total defense and points scored versus points per play and defensive efficiency ratings. Rational and logical arguments can be made for the legitimacy and relevance of both sides of the stats spectrum.
With that in mind, Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from around the weekend of college football action:
3: Georgia quarterbacks to beat Florida three years in a row
The Bulldogs stayed alive in the SEC East championship hunt with a heated, hard-fought victory over rival Florida. The win was Georgia's third straight win over the Gators for the first time since Steve Spurrier arrived in Gainesville (1987-89). It was Murray's third win over Florida, making him the third quarterback in school history to win three in a row over the Gators. Buck Belue, who led Georgia to its last national championship, won three straight from 1979-81. Johnny Rauch, 1945-48, is the only Dawgs signal caller to ever win four straight in the series.
41-3: Team that rushes for more yards in the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry
The Spartans were one of Week 10's biggest winners nationally after dominating their in-state rival in record-setting fashion. Michigan State held Michigan to minus-48 yards rushing, the worst mark in Maize and Blue history. The Spartans were able to nearly quadruple the Wolverines in rushing — against an equally as stingy rushing defense — by totaling 142 yards on the ground. In the last 44 meetings between the Big Ten rivals, the team that has run for more yards is 41-3. Michigan totaled just 168 yards, but more on that in a second. The 29-6 win was the most lopsided victory for Sparty over the Wolverines since a 34-0 shutout in 1967.
43.4: Michigan State's yards rushing allowed per game
The Spartans allowed just 168 total yards of offense, two field goals and minus-48 yards rushing. With the dominant performance, Michigan State is on pace to become just the fourth team in the last 30 years to allow less than 50 yards rushing per game. TCU allowed 47.1 yards per game in 2008 and Michigan gave up 43.4 yards per contest in 2006. Only Arizona's Desert Swarm unit of 1993 (30.1 ypg) allowed fewer rushing yards per game over the last three decades than MSU's current pace. Additionally, Mark Dantonio's defense is leading the nation in total defense at 210.2 yards per game — second only to Alabama's elite national championship 2011 unit (183.6 ypg) since 2000.
116: Tajh Boyd all-time ACC total TD record
The Clemson quarterback threw for 377 yards and accounted for four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) in an easy road win over Virginia. It gave Boyd 116 career total touchdowns, passing Philip Rivers' 112 for No. 1 all-time in ACC history. The Tigers gunslinger has 93 passing scores and 23 rushing touchdowns and is just three away from breaking Philip Rivers' ACC passing touchdown mark (95). Boyd has 10,673 career passing yards and 11,632 total yards of offense in his career, both of which are good for No. 2 all-time behind, you guessed it, Rivers (13,484 passing; 13,582 total offense). Interestingly, Russell Wilson is third all-time with 93 total touchdowns in ACC history — in just three seasons at NC State.
56.0: Arizona State points per game over their last four Pac-12 games
The Sun Devils limped out of Palo Alto with a bad loss and a tough schedule ahead. But Todd Graham's team has rallied in a big way, thanks in large part to its offense. It has scored at least 53 points in each of its four Pac-12 wins since losing to Stanford. Quarterback Taylor Kelly is playing his best football and is leading a team that has scored 27 touchdowns in four games for an average of 56 points per game. The Sun Devils now sit a full game up in the division over Arizona, UCLA and USC with looming games with each one.
5: Jameis Winston's career 300-yard games
EJ Manuel played in 43 games as a starting quarterback for Florida State, becoming just the second player in NCAA history to start and win four bowl games (Pat White). He had five career 300-yard passing efforts and was the No. 16 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Christian Ponder played in 35 games prior to Manuel and had just four career 300-yard passing games before getting picked 12th overall by the Vikings. In just eight career games, Winston has topped 300 yards five times and has yet to lose a game as a starter. Despite two bad interceptions, the Seminoles quarterback finished with 325 yards on 72.4-percent passing. He is No. 2 nationally to Bryce Petty with a 201.12 quarterback rating.
1: TCU three-game losing streaks under Gary Patterson
The Horned Frogs are headed in the wrong direction. TCU lost 20 yards on three plays before having to attempt a 62-yard field goal in the first overtime against West Virginia. The Mountaineers kicked a field goal on the ensuing possession to give the Frogs its third consecutive loss for the first time in the Gary Patterson era. Patterson is 119-41 in 13 seasons as the head coach in Fort Worth and after losing to Oklahoma State, Texas and WVU. The Frogs are 5-10 in conference play since entering the Big 12 in 2012.
3: Teams to win three straight as at least a TD underdog since 1980
According to ESPN/Grantland's R.J. Bell, only three teams since 1980 have won three consecutive games as a touchdown underdog. Minnesota defeated Indiana on the road as a 10-point underdog, giving it a third straight win as a double-digit dog after toppling Northwestern (+12.5) and Nebraska (+10.5). Arkansas in 1991 and Arizona in 2006 were the only two teams since 1980 to win three straight games as a TD underdog until the Gophers did it. Not only were they at least 10-point underdogs, but Minnesota has moved to 7-2 without head coach Jerry Kill. Defensive coordinator-turned-acting head coach Tracy Claeys is quietly turning the Gophers into one of the nation's best stories.
Minnesota only 3rd team since 1980 to win 3 straight games as over a TD underdog in each (1991 Arkansas & 2006 Arizona)— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) November 3, 2013
1990: Last time Arkansas lost six straight games
Guz Malzahn returned to his home state in impressive fashion by thumping Bret Bielema's Razorbacks 35-17 in Fayetteville. It gives Arkansas its sixth consecutive loss following a 3-0 start to the season — something that has never happened since joining the SEC in 1992. In fact, the last time Arkansas lost six straight games, it was a member of the Southwest Conference. The last four have been particularly painful and uncompetitive. The Hogs have been outscored 167-34 during that span and own the SEC's worst scoring offense at 20 points per game. Bielema has one chance at an SEC win left on the schedule: at Ole Miss, Mississippi State (Little Rock), at LSU.
29: Quinn Epperly NCAA-record consecutive completions
Princeton junior quarterback Quinn Epperly started the game against Cornell by completing the first 29 passes he threw. It broke Richie Williams' NCAA record for consecutive completions (28) set in 2004. He threw six touchdown passes for the second straight game and finished with 325 yards on 32-of-35 passing. East Carolina's Dominique Davis owns the FBS record with 26 straight completions against Navy in 2011.