Numbers and statistics are a huge part of college football. Every week during the regular season, 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. The same can be said after bowl games. While postseason matchups are just one game in sample size of around 13 contests, the bowl games often produce plenty of interesting or intriguing totals. Additionally, the bowl season often allows players to reach various statistical milestones they couldn't hit with just 12 regular season matchups.
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 the 2016-17 college football bowl action:
35 Amazing College Football Stats from the 2016-17 Bowl Season
97-1: Nick Saban’s Record When Leading by Double Digits in 4th Quarter
The one loss? Clemson on Monday night. Alabama held a 24-14 lead going into the fourth quarter but was unable to hold on thanks to the Tigers’ high-powered offense and quarterback Deshaun Watson.
99: Plays Run by Clemson in the National Championship
Alabama’s defense was the best in college football this season, but the Crimson Tide spent a ton of time on the field in Monday night’s game. Clemson ran 99 plays against Alabama, which was the most this defense faced in 2016 – and it’s also a big reason why the Crimson Tide came up short.
941: Total Yards by Clemson QB Deshaun Watson In Games Against Alabama
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was the difference maker in Monday night’s victory. Over the last two seasons, Watson has accumulated 941 total yards and eight overall scores in national championship matchups against the Crimson Tide.
11: Touchdowns Scored by Alabama’s Defense in 2016
The Crimson Tide scored a total of 15 non-offensive touchdowns in 2016, with 11 coming on defense. Alabama scored on an interception return against Washington and nearly had a fumble return for a score against Clemson in the national title game.
1: Times Urban Meyer’s Teams Have Been Shutout on Offense
Ohio State’s offense was completely dominated in the Fiesta Bowl loss to Clemson, as the Buckeyes managed only 215 total yards and were held scoreless. The shutout by the Tigers was the first time in Urban Meyer’s head coaching career his offense failed to score a point.
6,405: Donnel Pumphrey’s Career Rushing Yardage
San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey rushed for 115 yards in the 34-10 win over Houston in the Las Vegas Bowl, giving the senior the NCAA record for most career rushing yards (6,405) over Ron Dayne (6,397).
5,285: Career Receiving Yardage by WMU WR Corey Davis
Western Michigan receiver Corey Davis finished his career with 5,285 receiving yards, which is the most in FBS history.
196.4: Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield Sets New NCAA Mark for Efficiency
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield capped a standout 2016 season with a stellar performance against Auburn in the Sugar Bowl. Mayfield finished 2016 with an efficiency mark of 196.4, which sets a new NCAA record (previously held by Russell Wilson 191.8).
111: Combined Points by Colorado State and Idaho in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
The Rams and Vandals combined for 111 points in chilly Boise, Idaho on Dec. 22, which was the third highest total in bowl history. These two teams also combined for 1,206 total yards.
1: Tulsa Sets FBS Record
Tulsa became the first team in FBS history to have a 3,000-yard passer, 2 1,000-yard rushers and 2 1,000-yard receivers in the same season.
0: Punts by Tulsa in the Miami Beach Bowl
The Golden Hurricane were firing on all cylinders in the 55-10 win over Central Michigan in the Miami Beach Bowl. Coach Philip Montgomery’s offense averaged 6.8 yards play (581 total) and never punted over 11 possessions.
30: Points by Florida State and Michigan in the Fourth Quarter
The Orange Bowl matchup between Florida State and Michigan was one of the better matchups from the postseason. The Seminoles and Wolverines combined for 30 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning touchdown by Florida State with less than 40 seconds to go.
9: Completions by Florida State QB Deondre Francois in Orange Bowl
Florida State redshirt freshman quarterback Deondre Francois capped a standout season with a unique performance in the Orange Bowl. Francois only connected on 9 of 27 passes but averaged a whopping 24.7 yards per completion.
186: Total Yards by Louisville QB Lamar Jackson in Citrus Bowl
LSU’s defense limited Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson to just 186 total yards in the Tigers 29-9 victory over the Cardinals. The 186 total yards were the fewest in a game by Jackson in 2016.
35-0: Virginia Tech’s Second-Half Run Beats Arkansas
After falling behind 24-0 in the first half, Virginia Tech was a completely different team after halftime in the Belk Bowl. The Hokies scored 35 unanswered points to defeat the Razorbacks 35-24.
473: USC QB Sam Darnold Sets New Rose Bowl Record for Total Yards
In USC’s thrilling 52-49 victory over Penn State, quarterback Sam Darnold set a new Rose Bowl record with 473 total yards. The 473 mark broke the previous record set by Texas quarterback Vince Young.
5-0: Kansas State’s Record Against Teams from Texas in 2016
Kansas State quietly finished 9-4 and ended the season on a four-game winning streak after defeating Texas A&M 33-28 in the Texas Bowl. The victory over the Aggies gave the Wildcats five victories over teams from Texas in 2016.
2-1: Interim Coaches in Bowl Games
The 2016-17 bowl season had three teams guided by interim coaches. T.J. Weist of USF and Nick Holt of WKU guided their programs to wins, while Ed Foley from Temple came up short in the Military Bowl against Wake Forest.
40+: WKU’s Scoring Average in Each of the Last Three Seasons
WKU is the only team in the nation to finish each of the last three seasons with a scoring average of more than 40 points.
51.8: Average Length of Maryland’s TDs Against Boston College
Maryland scored four touchdowns in a 36-30 loss against Boston College in the Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 26. The Terrapins averaged a healthy 51.8 yards on their four scores.
33: Career Sacks by Tennessee DE Derek Barnett
Barnett passed Reggie White in the Tennessee record books for the most career sacks in the win over Nebraska in the Music City Bowl. Barnett recorded one sack against the Cornhuskers, which gave the junior 33 for his career.
4.1: Yards Per Play by Washington State Against Minnesota in Holiday Bowl
Washington State’s high-powered offense never got on track in the Holiday Bowl loss to Minnesota. The Cougars averaged just 4.1 yards per play and was limited to 264 yards by the Golden Gophers.
-20: Rushing Yards by Temple Against Wake Forest in Military Bowl
Counting yards lost by sacks, Temple’s ground game notched minus-20 yards on 23 attempts against Wake Forest in the Military Bowl. The Owls entered the postseason averaging nearly 200 rushing yards per game (191.2).
15: Tackles for a Loss by Florida State Against Michigan
Florida State’s defense won the battle up front against Michigan in its Orange Bowl win, recording 15 tackles for a loss and four sacks.
26: Combined Penalties by UCF and Arkansas State in Cure Bowl
Arkansas State and UCF kept the referees busy in the Cure Bowl. These two teams combined for 26 penalties in the Red Wolves 31-13 victory.
46: Rushing TDs by Army in 2016
The Black Knights set a school record by posting 46 rushing touchdowns in 2016. The 46 scores broke the record by the 1945 team (45).
9.1: Yards Averaged by Colorado State in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Usually, teams that average 9.1 yards per play don’t come out on the losing end of a game. However, that was the case in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Despite averaging 9.1 yards per play and scoring 50 points, the Rams fell 61-50 to Idaho on Dec. 22.
24-20: ODU Beats Eastern Michigan in the Bahamas Bowl
ODU capped an outstanding season with the program’s first bowl victory in the Bahamas. The Monarchs defeated Eastern Michigan 24-20 to earn win No. 10 in 2016.
5: Carries by Ohio State RB Mike Weber Against Clemson
Ohio State’s offense was completely dominated by Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl, but the usage – or lack thereof – for Weber was puzzling. The standout redshirt freshman only had five carries against the Tigers after rushing for over 1,000 yards in the regular season.
10-1: Utah’s Record in Bowl Game Under Kyle Whittingham
Thanks to Utah’s 26-24 victory over Indiana in the Foster Farms Bowl, the Utes improved to 10-1 under coach Kyle Whittingham in postseason matchups.
4: Seasons of 1,000 Rushing Yards by Appalachian State RB Marcus Cox
Thanks to 143 yards on 22 attempts in the Camellia Bowl win over Toledo, Appalachian State running back Marcus Cox reached 1,000 rushing yards for the fourth season in a row.
8: Sacks Recorded by Boston College Against Maryland
Boston College’s defense dominated the line of scrimmage in the Quick Lane Bowl against Maryland. The Eagles recorded eight sacks, 14 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and one interception.
362: Combined Receiving Yards by Carlos Henderson and Trent Taylor
Louisiana Tech’s dynamic receiving duo of Carlos Henderson (129) and Trent Taylor (233) combined for 362 yards in the Armed Forces Bowl win over Navy.
9: Completed Passes by Stanford in Sun Bowl
Stanford quarterbacks Ryan Burns and Keller Chryst combined for just nine completions in the Sun Bowl win over North Carolina. However, the lack of a passing game worked out just fine for the Cardinal, as Bryce Love led a backfield that rushed for 129 yards and the defense made enough stops to secure the victory.
229: Yards by West Virginia in Russell Athletic Bowl
West Virginia’s offense was limited to just 229 yards in the Russell Athletic Bowl against Miami. The 229-yard mark is the first time the Mountaineers have been held under 300 yards since 2013.
Other Interesting Statistics
Baylor receiver KD Cannon set a Cactus Bowl record by posting 226 receiving yards in the win over Boise State.
Toledo running back Kareem Hunt rushed for 120 yards against Appalachian State in the Camellia Bowl, which gave him 4,945 for his career. That’s a new Toledo school record.
South Alabama recorded 313 total yards against Air Force. However, 163 of that yardage came on three plays.
Tennessee has claimed three straight bowl victories for the first time since 1994-96.
Washington recorded 64 yards on its second drive of the game against Alabama. However, it managed only 130 yards on 13 other drives.
LSU recorded 10 tackles for a loss and eight sacks in the Citrus Bowl win over Louisville.
Iowa recorded 226 yards in its Outback Bowl loss to Florida. The Hawkeyes posted 124 of that yardage on two drives.
TCU finished 6-7 in 2016. The 6-7 mark is just the third losing season under coach Gary Patterson.
Louisiana Tech finished the 2016 season by scoring points in all 14 games on the opening possession.
San Diego State recorded four interceptions and posted seven sacks of Houston quarterback Greg Ward. The Aztecs are also the first team in FBS history to have a 2,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard rusher in the same backfield.
WKU receiver Taywan Taylor finished the season by catching a touchdown pass in 10 consecutive games.