Rounding up the best stats from Week 3.
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 3
12.0: LSU RB Leonard Fournette’s School Record YPC Against Auburn
Fournette was simply unstoppable in Saturday’s 45-21 victory over Auburn. The sophomore gashed the Tigers for 228 yards and three rushing touchdowns on 19 attempts. Fournette showcased his big-play ability on his 19 carries, averaging a new LSU single-game record of 12 yards per carry. Additionally, Fournette’s 387 rushing yards are the most by any LSU player through the first two games in a season.
96.0%: Georgia QB Greyson Lambert Sets NCAA Record
Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert took a huge step forward on Saturday night, setting a NCAA record by completing 96 percent (24 of 25) passes in the win over South Carolina. The 96 percent completion mark is a new NCAA record (minimum of 20 completions), which broke the previous mark held by Tee Martin and Geno Smith (95.8). In addition to setting a new NCAA record, Lambert threw for 330 yards and three scores in Georgia’s 52-20 rout over South Carolina.
3: Wins Over Power 5 Opponents by Notre Dame in 2015
Behind a strong defensive effort and an efficient game from new quarterback DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame defeated Georgia Tech 30-22 on Saturday. The victory over the Yellow Jackets secured three wins by the Fighting Irish over Power 5 opponents to open the 2015 season. Notre Dame is the first program since 2012 to accomplish that feat.
1: Touchdown Allowed by Northwestern So Far in 2015
While Northwestern hasn’t faced a gauntlet of offenses (Stanford, Eastern Illinois and Duke) so far, the Wildcats have been stellar on defense. Through three games, Northwestern has allowed only one touchdown – the fewest in college football – and is limiting opponents to just 3.8 yards per play. Additionally, the Wildcats have forced seven turnovers and have yet to allow a play of 40 yards or more. Tougher games and better offenses are ahead, but Northwestern could be a dark horse contender in the Big Ten West Division if this defense continues to perform as it has through the first three weeks.
-5 and 43: Alabama’s Turnovers, Points Allowed Against Ole Miss
Despite outgaining Ole Miss 503 to 433 and holding a 100 to 65 edge in plays, Alabama lost 43-37 in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night. Two stats sum up why the Crimson Tide lost: -5 in turnover margin and 43 points allowed. The Crimson Tide’s defense was placed into a couple of bad situations as a result of five turnovers by the offense, but this is the second consecutive SEC game where the Crimson Tide allowed at least 40 points. Alabama has to do a better job of taking care of the ball and settle on a quarterback, but the pass defense shouldn’t be overlooked after giving up an average of 18.9 yards per completion against the Rebels.
3: Interceptions by Ohio State QBs J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones in Week 3
Ohio State was supposed to have the best quarterback situation in college football this season. However, through three weeks of the season, coach Urban Meyer is still trying to sort out the J.T. Barrett versus Cardale Jones quarterback battle. Both signal-callers have struggled at times, including Saturday’s sluggish 20-13 win over Northern Illinois. Barrett completed 11 of 19 attempts for only 97 yards, while Jones threw for 36 yards on four completions. The two quarterbacks combined for three interceptions, which tied the most for the Buckeyes in a game since the Sept. 6, 2014 loss to Virginia Tech.
527: Texas QB Jerrod Heard’s Total Yards Against California
Texas has found its quarterback. While the Longhorns came up short to California on the scoreboard on Saturday night, Heard’s huge performance should answer any lingering questions about the quarterback position. The redshirt freshman accumulated 527 total yards against the Golden Bears, which set a new single-game record at Texas. Heard rushed for 163 yards and three scores and completed 20 of 31 passes for 364 yards. While the Longhorns aren’t happy with a loss, Heard is an exciting and talented piece to build around for the rest of 2015.
4: TCU Defensive Starters Lost for the Season Due to Injury
TCU coach Gary Patterson is one of the top defensive minds in college football, and his ability to adapt and develop personnel is going to be tested in a big way in 2015. The Horned Frogs lost cornerback Ranthony Texada for the season to a knee injury against SMU, which adds to the growing list of ailments for this defense. In addition to Texada’s injury, three other starters – linebacker Sammy Douglas, end James McFarland and safety Kenny Iloka – are missing for the rest of 2015. Starting linebacker Mike Freeze is taking a leave of absence, and defensive linemen Davion Pierson, Mike Tuaua and Terrell Lathan have missed action due to various ailments. While TCU still has one of the nation’s top offenses, the losses on defense are starting to add up and could cost the Horned Frogs a shot at the College Football Playoff.
3: Losses by USC Under Steve Sarkisian to Unranked Teams
Steve Sarkisian is 11-5 as USC’s coach, but three of those losses were against unranked teams. The Trojans were a double-digit favorite against Stanford but lost 41-31 on Saturday night, largely due to their inability to stop the Cardinal offense. The loss to the Cardinal won't help Sarkisian, as the second-year coach was already facing criticism after an underwhelming 9-4 debut and an incident at the program’s kickoff event in August. The loss to Stanford doesn’t end USC’s playoff hopes, but three defeats to unranked teams is not a good trend for Sarkisian.
35-24: Kliff Kingsbury’s Revenge over Bret Bielema
Texas Tech waited over a year to get revenge against Arkansas, but the Red Raiders scored a payback win on Saturday night. After watching the Razorbacks gash the Texas Tech defense for 438 rushing yards last season, the Red Raiders used a strong effort from quarterback Patrick Mahomes (three scores and 301 total yards) to upset Arkansas in Fayetteville. While the game itself was entertaining, it wasn’t as interesting as the post-game comments by Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury about Arkansas coach Bret Bielema.