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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:
421.3: Aaron Murray's pass efficiency rating on third downs
Murray was brilliant in Athens, completing 17 of 23 passes for 309 yards and four touchdowns without turning the ball over. But he saved his best play for the most critical moments by dominating on third downs. He completed 6 of 7 third-down passes for 139 yards, two touchdowns and five first downs for a 421.3 pass efficiency rating, according to PrimeComputing.com. Murray made the biggest play of the game on a 3rd-and-13 with 13:00 minutes to go in the fourth quarter on his own 15-yard line and leading by just four points. He rolled to his left, avoided Jadeveon Clowney, and found a wide open Justin Scott-Wesley for an 85-yard game-clinching touchdown pass. It could end up a career-defining moment for the Dawgs' senior quarterback.
71.2 seconds: Average length of Baylor's TD drives
Through two weeks of the regular season, Art Briles offense looks as dangerous as ever with new quarterback Bryce Petty running the show. According to David Fox, Baylor has scored 17 touchdowns in an average of 1:11 of game time — or 71.2 seconds. Against Buffalo, Petty was 13-of-16 for 338 yards and two touchdowns for an average of 21.1 yards per attempt. The passing game has been aided by the consistency of star tailback Lache Seastrunk, who rushed for his sixth consecutive 100-yard game (150 yards, 3 TD) against the Bulls. It is the longest active steak of 100-yard games in the nation.
935: Nation-leading passing yards by Cal's Jared Goff
Goff has played in two career games, and he already put himself in the Cal record books. The redshirt freshman threw for 450 yards in Week 1 against Northwestern in his debut. He topped himself this weekend with 485 yards, finishing just 18 yards shy of breaking Cal's single-game passing record of 503 yards (Pat Barnes). Goff also became just the second Cal player ever to post back-to-back 400-yard passing efforts (also Barnes). He leads the nation in passing yards by a wide margin with Oregon State's Sean Mannion a distance second after two weeks (794).
9-13: Louisville's opponents 2013 win-loss record
Teddy Bridgewater has been unstoppable in two games for the Cardinals, throwing for another 397 yards and four touchdowns in the easy win over Eastern Kentucky. He will have to keep it up as Louisville needs to crush opponents, however, if it wants BCS national championship consideration. The Cards' schedule has been heavily criticized for a reason as its 12 opponents have started the season a combined 9-13. Houston and UCF are the only teams left on the slate without a loss while UConn, FIU, Temple, South Florida and Memphis have yet to win this year. Cincinnati might be the best team on the schedule and the Bearcats just got smoked by a team that won two games last year (Illinois).
115,109: NCAA attendance record set by Michigan
The Big House in Ann Arbor has long been ahead of its time in terms of seating capacity and it set a new benchmark this weekend against Notre Dame. Brian Kelly can downplay the rivalry all he wants, but the fans in Michigan showed the nation how important this game was to them by showing up in force. The 115,109 that showed up saw Devin Gardner make his case for the Heisman Trophy with a performance that matched the size of the crowd. The old record (114,804) was also held by Michigan when it hosted, shockingly, Notre Dame in 2011.
550: Rushing yards allowed by Texas
BYU bounced back from a Week 1 upset in big way in its home opener this weekend by embarrassing Texas. The Cougars ran the ball 72 times for a school-record 550 yards and four touchdowns, setting a new school record for rushing yards allowed by Texas in the process. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill led the way with 259 yards and three scores on 17 attempts, nearly breaking the five-decade-old single-game BYU rushing record of 272 yards set by Eldon Fortie in 1962.
26.1: Marcus Mariota's yards per carry in 2013
He is the most effortless player in the nation and, for my money, the most entertaining quarterback in the country. Not two minutes into the game with Virginia, Mariota took the ball 71 yards for the game's first score. He finished with 122 yards on four carries after rushing for 113 yards on just five carries last week. The Oregon signal-caller is 21st in the nation in rushing (235 yards) — just behind the likes Todd Gurley (286), Lache Seastrunk (261), De'Anthony Thomas (252) and Duke Johnson (245). He has three rushing touchdowns, three passing touchdowns and no turnovers in two games.
20: Wins over major-conference teams by Navy since 2003
Since 2003, no team from outside of a BCS automatic-qualifying conference has won more games over AQ opponents than Navy. The Midshipmen topped Indiana for the second consecutive season, this time 41-35 in Bloomington. The Middies rushed for 444 yards, didn't have punt and didn't turn the ball over. Navy needed just two pass completions to defeat the Big Ten squad.
54: Yards passing by USC
Lane Kiffin was booed for a reason this weekend as Washington State gave USC a loss in the home opener for the first time since 1997. Not only did USC lose to the Cougars — a team that failed to score an offensive touchdown — they nearly redefined ineptitude on offense. The 54 passing yards from Cody Kessler (8 of 13, 41 yards, INT) and Max Wittek (3 of 8, 13 yards, INT) was the worst Trojan total since totaling just 23 yards against Florida State in 1998.
5: Consecutive series with turnover for Western Kentucky
And it only took six plays for Tennessee to steal the ball away five times in the first quarter. If not for a three-yard run by Keshawn Simpson, it would have been five consecutive plays with a turnover. The NCAA record for consecutive series with a turnover is seven when Florida forced four fumbles and three interceptions against Florida State in 1972. The Hilltoppers finished with seven total turnovers. Here is what their drive chart looked like from Saturday: