Numbers and statistics are a huge part of college football. Every Sunday, reading updated box scores and stats is like Christmas for fans and media members. Some stats like total offense and total defense are overrated, but each help paint a picture for a team or particular game.
Whether the stats are historic, advanced or just an observation from a box score, Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from around the weekend of college football action:
10 Amazing College Football Stats from Week 12
132: Ohio State’s Total Yardage Against Michigan State, Lowest Under Urban Meyer
Ohio State’s hopes of a repeat took a huge hit with Saturday’s loss to Michigan State. The Buckeyes have struggled to find the right mix on offense, but this unit appeared to turn a corner with J.T. Barrett as the starting quarterback. However, Michigan State exposed Ohio State’s biggest flaw. The Spartans stacked the line of scrimmage and forced Barrett and the receivers to win the game. The Buckeyes couldn’t and managed only 132 total yards, which was the lowest mark for this program under coach Urban Meyer. The 132 total yards was also the lowest by any of Meyer’s teams in his 14 years as a head coach.
2: Wins by Michigan State in 2015 With First and Only Lead at 0:00
For the second time this season, Michigan State won a huge conference matchup on the road in unusual fashion. The Spartans knocked off Michigan on the final play of the game after a dropped snap by the punter resulted in a fumble return for a touchdown. The ending of Saturday night’s Ohio State-Michigan State game wasn’t as chaotic, but the Spartans found a way to win without starting quarterback Connor Cook and used a 41-yard field goal by Michael Geiger to score the 17-14 victory in Columbus. The field goal by Geiger connected as time expired, which marked the second win in 2015 by the Spartans with their first lead of the game coming at 0:00.
1999: LSU’s Last Three-Game Losing Streak
LSU’s late-season collapse continued on Saturday with a 38-17 loss at Ole Miss. After starting 7-0 and climbing to No. 2 in the first College Football Playoff rankings, the Tigers have been dominated in three consecutive losses. Coach Les Miles’ team lost 30-16 at Alabama, followed by a 31-14 to Arkansas in Baton Rouge. On Saturday, LSU looked disorganized and distracted in a 38-17 loss to Ole Miss. This is the first three-game losing streak for the Tigers since 1999. And the losing streak is a big reason why Miles is on the hot seat going into LSU’s final game against Texas A&M this Saturday.
35.7: Average Yards on Oregon QB Vernon Adams’ Six TD Passes Against USC
A healthy Vernon Adams makes a huge difference for Oregon’s offense. The Ducks have been on fire since Adams returned from a finger injury, reeling off five consecutive wins and three performances of 44 or more points in that span. In Saturday’s 48-28 win over USC, Adams completed 20 of 25 throws for 407 yards and six scores. The six touchdown passes by Adams averaged 35.7 yards, including a 48-yard strike to Bralon Addison to open Oregon’s scoring on Saturday. Additionally, the six touchdown passes were the most by an opponent against USC in program history.
914: Combined Passing Yards in Saturday Arkansas-Mississippi State Game
The box score from Saturday night’s Arkansas-Mississippi State game didn’t resemble the usual SEC slugfest between Arkansas and Mississippi State. Instead, the scoreboard and stat sheet looked like Big 12 shootout. The two teams combined for 1,110 yards and 101 points, with quarterbacks Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) and Brandon Allen (Arkansas) combining for 914 yards and 12 passing touchdowns. Allen became just the seventh player in SEC history to throw seven touchdowns in a game.
Related: 25 Must-See Moments from Week 12
389: Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey’s All-Purpose Yards Against California
Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey continued to build a strong case for the Heisman in Saturday night’s win over California. The sophomore rushed for 192 yards on 29 attempts, caught a 49-yard pass for a score and accumulated 148 yards on three kickoff returns. McCaffrey recorded 389 all-purpose yards against the Golden Bears, which set a single-game school record. The sophomore leads the nation with an average of 255.2 all-purpose yards per game.
3: Rushing TDs Needed by Alabama RB Derrick Henry to Break SEC Record
Alabama didn’t need much from running back Derrick Henry in Saturday’s easy 56-6 victory over Charleston Southern. However, the junior was quite effective in limited snaps, rushing for 68 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. Henry has 21 rushing touchdowns this season, including 11 over the last five matchups. He needs three rushing scores the rest of the year to break the SEC’s single-season record, currently shared by former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and Auburn running back Tre Mason at 23.
22: Consecutive Wins by Northern Illinois in November
Northern Illinois moved one step closer to winning the MAC’s West Division on Wednesday night with a 27-19 victory over Western Michigan. The win over the Broncos marked the 22nd consecutive victory by the Huskies in November. The last time Northern Illinois loss in November came in 2009 (Nov. 27) at the hands of Central Michigan. The Huskies have also won 35 out of their last 36 games at home.
27.6: Average Yards Per Completion by Baylor QB Chris Johnson on Saturday
Baylor has been hit hard by injuries to its quarterbacks this season. The Bears lost starter Seth Russell to a neck injury against Iowa State, and true freshman Jarrett Stidham suffered a back injury in last week’s loss against Oklahoma and injured an ankle in Saturday night’s win over Oklahoma State. Even though Stidham was a huge loss in the second half against the Cowboys, Baylor’s offense never missed a beat. Third-string quarterback Chris Johnson – who converted from quarterback to receiver this preseason – replaced Stidham and completed five of his 10 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the 45-35 victory over Oklahoma State. Johnson averaged 27.6 yards on his five completions, which were his first pass attempts in a game since Sept. 6, 2014.
2: Unbeaten Teams Remaining After Week 12
Three teams – Ohio State, Houston and Oklahoma State – lost on Saturday, which leaves just two teams unbeaten going into Week 13. Iowa and Clemson are both 11-0 and have clinched spots in their conference championships. The Hawkeyes will be tested at Nebraska on Friday, while the Tigers play at rival South Carolina this week. Saturday’s results should ensure the College Football Playoff’s final top four will have at least two teams with one loss. Finishing the season with an unbeaten record is no easy task for any team.