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 2
132: Michigan State’s Yards on Final Six Drives Against Oregon
After taking a 27-18 lead against Oregon early in the third quarter, Michigan State’s offense was stuck in neutral for the rest of the game. The Ducks’ defense put the clamps on coach Mark Dantonio’s offense, holding the Spartans to just 132 yards on the final six drives. Oregon forced two three-and-outs in the second half after recording just one in the first two quarters. The Ducks also made a key stop on fourth down and picked off quarterback Connor Cook to rally for a 46-27 victory. Oregon’s defense has been criticized for its struggles against physical rushing attacks, but Don Pellum’s unit held the Spartans to just 123 yards on the ground.
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58.2: Average Length of Baylor’s TD Passes in Week 2
No Bryce Petty? No problem. Baylor’s offense maintained its big-play ability with Seth Russell at the controls, as the sophomore completed 16 of 25 passes for 438 yards and five scores. Russell’s five touchdown tosses averaged 58.2 yards per completion, with three of those going to freshman standout KD Cannon. Fellow freshman standout Davion Hall also caught one of Russell’s passes for a score. Cannon averaged 37.2 yards per catch (six receptions), as Baylor’s offense had no trouble putting points on the board against Northwestern State.
5: Broken Tackles by Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah on Winning TD
It’s only Week 2, but did the 58-yard touchdown reception by running back Ameer Abdullah with less than a minute to play save Nebraska’s season? Maybe so. Abdullah caught quarterback Tommy Armstrong’s pass and broke five tackles en route to scoring the game-winning touchdown. The Cornhuskers were not expected to have much trouble with McNeese State, but the FCS opponent nearly pulled a shocking upset in Lincoln. Abdullah is one of the top players in the Big Ten, and his big-play ability saved Nebraska from a disappointing loss.
27.1: UAB’s Per Completion Average Against Miss. State
UAB fell short in its upset bid against Mississippi State (47-34), but first-year coach Bill Clark’s team may have exposed a flaw in the Bulldogs’ defense. The Blazers completed only 16 passes and finished the game with 435 yards. UAB’s quarterbacks averaged 27.1 yards per completion, and all three touchdown tosses traveled at least 75 yards. Was this a one-time flaw or is pass defense a huge concern for Mississippi State?
9: Stanford Drives That Went Into USC Territory
If you didn’t see the game and read the box score, it would be easy to assume Stanford defeated USC just by this stat. After all, the Cardinal took all nine of their drives to at least the USC 32-yard line. But there’s just one problem. On those nine drives, Stanford scored only 10 points, missed two field goals and lost two fumbles. The Cardinal outgained USC 413 to 291 and held the Trojans’ passing attack to just 135 yards. However, with an inability to score or avoid turnovers on USC’s side of the field, Stanford couldn’t close out a key Pac-12 game.
596: Pitt RB James Conner’s Rushing Yards in Last 3 Games
Behind an improving offensive line and rushing attack, Pittsburgh is quietly on the rise in the Coastal Division. Sophomore James Conner has emerged as the Panthers’ workhorse, recording 596 yards over his last three games. Conner started this run by rushing for 229 yards in the bowl win over Bowling Green last season, recorded 153 in the opener against Delaware and gashed Boston College for 213 on Friday night. While the yardage is nice, Conner’s yards per carry is even better. The sophomore is averaging 7.5 yards per attempt and has five rushing scores through two games in 2014.
48.5: LSU WR Travin Dural’s YPC Through Two Games
It seems Anthony Jennings has edged Brandon Harris for LSU’s starting quarterback job – for now – and Dural has developed quite a rapport with Jennings. The sophomore has caught six passes for 291 yards and four scores this year, averaging a whopping 48.5 yards per catch. Dural has been the offense’s top big-play threat, averaging 55 yards on his four touchdown catches.
655: Florida’s Total Offense Against Eastern Michigan
Yes, total offense stats are misleading, but Florida’s offense had a solid debut. Under the direction of new coordinator Kurt Roper, the Gators recorded 655 yards – the most by a Florida team since beating Cincinnati 51-24 in the Sugar Bowl during the 2009 season. Florida also had six plays of 30 yards or more, which is nearly half of its total from 2013 (14).
6: Players That Scored a Rushing TD for Army
Army held off a furious rally by Buffalo to win 47-39 in new coach Todd Monken’s debut. The Black Knights executed the option almost to perfection against the Bulls, averaging 6.3 yards per carry and recording seven rushing touchdowns. Six of the seven rushing scores came via different players, including Larry Dixon, Terry Baggett, Raymond Maples and quarterback Angel Santiago.
73.7: Average Length of Ole Miss’ Scoring Drives in Week 2
Big plays are always preferred, but Ole Miss’ offense had a methodical (but impressive) showing in Week 2. The Rebels averaged 73.7 yards per touchdown drive in Week 2. Ole Miss recorded four offensive scores against Vanderbilt, with six of its 10 drives lasting at least 10 plays. Despite the methodical drives, Ole Miss still averaged a healthy 6.2 yards per play and never punted against the Commodores.
Other Stats to Know
* Pittsburgh quarterback Chad Voytik completed 10 passes in Friday night’s win over Boston College. Five of those 10 passes went to sophomore receiver Tyler Boyd. The sophomore has caught three of Voytik’s four touchdown tosses in 2014.
* Alabama tight end O.J. Howard (picked by most outlets as a preseason All-American) has zero catches through two games. Meanwhile, Amari Cooper has 25 receptions through two games – more than half of his 2013 total (45).
* SMU has scored only six points in two games. Only two times from 2012-13 were the Mustangs held under 10 points in a single contest.
* Utah quarterback Travis Wilson threw five touchdowns in Saturday’s win over Fresno State. The last time the Utes had five passing scores in game was 2008 (Brian Johnson).
* Oklahoma averaged 8.4 yards per play against Tulsa in Week 2. That’s the first time since Nov. 17, 2012 the Sooners have averaged eight yards per play in a contest.
* Northwestern has lost nine out of its last 10 games.
* Nebraska receiver Jordan Westerkamp has caught 11 passes through the first two games of the season. That’s more than half of the total he recorded all of last season (20 catches).
* Iowa State receiver Jarvis West had a standout all-around performance against Kansas State. He threw a 29-yard touchdown, caught eight passes for 77 yards and one score and returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown. According to STATS LCC, he’s only the fourth player since 1996 to score on a pass, catch and punt return in a single game.
* West Virginia recorded its first shutout since Sept. 4, 2010 by blanking Towson 54-0.
* Michigan’s zero points against Notre Dame represented the first time the program has been shut out since a loss versus Iowa in 1984.
* Washington quarterback Cyler Miles accounted for four touchdowns in his 2014 debut. Miles threw for 180 yards and rushed for 58 in the Huskies’ wild 59-52 victory over Eastern Washington.
* Washington and Eastern Washington combined for 1,109 total yards on Saturday.
* North Carolina has scored a special teams or defensive touchdown in three consecutive games.
* UMass threw only nine touchdown passes last year. Marshall transfer Blake Frohnapfel has tossed four scores for the Minutemen in two games this season.
* Colorado receiver Nelson Spruce has recorded 100 yards receiving in back-to-back games.
* Daxx Garman averaged 15.3 yards per completion (16 of 26) in Oklahoma State’s 40-23 win over Missouri State. Garman replaced an injured J.W. Walsh.
* Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock threw for a career-high 322 yards in Saturday’s 17-13 win over Ball State.
* Despite being outgained 419 to 280 and converting only one third-down attempt, Eastern Kentucky defeated Miami (Ohio). The RedHawks have lost 18 consecutive games.
* Northern Illinois is 5-3 against the Big Ten since 2009.
* Eight of Ohio’s 12 drives went for 10 yards or less against Kentucky. The Bobcats lost 20-3.
* Minnesota running back David Cobb recorded 220 in Saturday’s win over MTSU. That’s the first 200-yard effort from a Gophers’ running back since 2005.
* Maryland had six turnovers, yet still managed to beat USF. The Terrapins outgained the Bulls 317 to 257.
* Arkansas averaged 12.7 yards per play against Nicholls State. All four of quarterback Brandon Allen’s throws went for scores.
* Georgia Southern averaged a whopping 11.7 yards per play in a 83-9 victory over Savannah State.
* Kansas receiver Nick Harwell (Miami, Ohio transfer) caught two touchdown passes in his debut with the Jayhawks.
* Louisiana Tech averaged 7.8 yards per play against UL Lafayette. That’s the highest per game total during Skip Holtz’s tenure.
* Through two games, Vanderbilt’s offense has managed only 22 first downs.
* Auburn has rushed for 300 yards in back-to-back games.
* Arizona State averaged nine yards per play against New Mexico.
* Boise State recorded 676 yards in Saturday’s win over Colorado State. That’s the first time the Broncos went over 600 yards of offense since Oct. 15, 2011.
* After going 52 yards on eight plays in the third quarter against Hawaii, Oregon State’s final seven drives went only 49 yards.
* Clemson held FCS opponent South Carolina State to a miniscule 0.8 yards per play.
* LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings is averaging 26.7 yards per completion.
* Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk scored six times in Saturday’s win over Toledo. His five touchdown tosses tied a school record.