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:
Fourth and 18: Auburn's final offensive play of the game against Georgia
With more 30 seconds left on the clock and facing a fourth and 18 on his own 27-yard line, quarterback Nick Marshall dropped back and heaved the football down the field. Two Bulldogs collided and tipped the pass into the air and a streaking Ricardo Louis snatched it (with a bobble) out of the air and strolled into the endzone in front of a rabid Jordan-Hare Stadium. The play (watch it below) won the game and kept the Tigers SEC — and BCS — championship hopes alive for two more weeks before Alabama comes to town. For the first time in history the Iron Bowl is an SEC West winner-take-all situation when Alabama comes to visits Jordan-Hare in two weeks.
Bonus Bama Tidbit: AJ McCarron leads Alabama all-time with 8,146 yards of total offense and tied Jay Barker with 35 career wins.
29: Brandon Connette's Duke school-record rushing TD
In a crazy back-and-forth 48-30 win over Miami that featured 1,108 yards of offense and three lead changes, quarterback Brandon Connette led Duke to its sixth straight win and eighth victory overall this season. He scored four rushing touchdowns from 1, 2, 3 and 4 yards out and added a 22-yard scoring strike to Shaq Powell. Connette, who doesn't even start at quarterback, has scored more rushing touchdowns than any other player in Duke history. He has 12 rushing touchdowns this season, pushing his career total to 29 and isn't even the starter. Connette has 13 passing touchdowns and just six interceptions passing this year. With two games left — at Wake Forest and at North Carolina — the Blue Devils are alone atop the ACC Coastal Division.
27: Consecutive Big 12 games Kansas lost before Saturday
The Jayhawks last defeated a Big 12 team on Nov. 6, 2010 when Kansas topped Colorado in come-from-behind fashion 52-45. Since that day, Kansas had lost 27 straight conference games and had failed to be competitive in 2013 with anyone not named Louisiana Tech or South Dakota until the 31-19 win over West Virginia on Saturday. It's a huge win for embattled coach Charlie Weis. Running back James Sims posted a career-best 211 yards and three rushing touchdowns in the win. On the flip side, Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen may be haunted by his team's performance in Lawrence. West Virginia is 6-11 in Big 12 play since joining the league, one year after winning the Big East and hanging 70 on Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
16: Turnovers forced by Vanderbilt during its last four games
After forcing just seven turnovers in the first seven games of the season, the Commodores defense has carried Vanderbilt to a third straight bowl game for the first time in school history. Vandy used a familiar narrative, topping Kentucky 22-6 by capitalizing on four Wildcats interceptions. In fact, Kentucky entered the game leading the nation with just two interceptions thrown all season before the 'Dores picked off Jalen Whitlow four times. The Commodores have won three out of four games and are now plus-9 on the season in turnover margin — good for second in the SEC and tied for fourth nationally.
465: Cartel Brooks NCAA single-game rushing record
A few weeks after Western Connecticut's Octavias McKoy set the NCAA single-game rushing record with 455 yards, Heidelberg University's Cartel Brooks put himself atop the all-division rushing record book. The junior tailback carried for 465 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Baldwin Wallace this weekend, setting the all-time NCAA single-game rushing record. The Heidelberg Student Princes — yes, that's right — are a Division-III school located in Tiffin, Ohio.
554: Wisconsin rushing yards against Indiana
Michigan State and Ohio State are on a collision course in the Big Ten championship game, but few teams in the nation are playing as well as Wisconsin. The Badgers rushed for 554 yards — 10 shy of the school record and the most by any FBS team in 2013 — against Indiana in a 51-3 romp in Camp Randall. It marked the third time his season Gary Andersen had three backs go over 100 yards rushing in the same games. James White (205 yards, TD), Melvin Gordon (146 yards, TD) and Corey Clement (108 yards, 2 TD) led the way, while star wide receiver Jared Abbrederis was just 14 yards shy of joining them (three carries, 86 yards, 2 TD). Even more impressively, the Badgers held the Hoosiers offense to 224 yards and three points. Indiana, who came into the weekend averaging 527.1 yards of offense and 43.1 points per game, had not scored fewer than 13 points in any half this year. Wisconsin shut Indiana out in the first half and allowed just a field goal in the second.
634: Andre Williams rushing yards over the last two weeks
Jim McElwain and Colorado State got to bowl eligibility by leaning on running back Kapri Bibbs for 603 yards and 10 touchdowns over the last two weeks. Except, Bibbs isn't even leading the nation rushing over that span. That honor goes to Boston College's Andre Williams, who rushed 40 times for a school- and ACC-record 339 yards and two touchdowns in an easy win over NC State. He has carried 72 times for 634 yards and four scores in the last two weeks, giving him the second-best two-week rushing total in NCAA history. Texas' Ricky Williams rushed for 668 yards in his Heisman campaign of 1998. Williams leads the nation in rushing at 181.0 yards per game and his 1,810 yards are already a new ACC and Boston College single-season rushing benchmark. He needs 364 more yards to top Montel Harris for the Eagles all-time career rushing lead (3,735). Most importantly, with the sixth win of the year, Steve Addazio has taken a team that won two games last year to the postseason in just his first season in Chestnut Hill.
3: Consecutive wins by Oklahoma State in Austin
Oklahoma State have played the Texas Longhorns 28 times and have lost 23 of them. However, with a commanding 38-13 win in Austin over Texas in Week 12, Mike Gundy has won three straight trips to Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium. The Pokes win snapped the Longhorns six-game winning streak and knocked Texas out of Big 12 contention for the time being. Mack Brown finds himself quickly back in bad graces of the Burnt Orange fans in Austin as Texas has failed to beat a ranked team at home since 2008 — against Oklahoma State. Texas was held without a second half touchdown at home versus a Big 12 foe since 1999.
202: Points allowed by Texas Tech in a four-game losing streak
Kliff Kingsbury led his alma mater Texas Tech to seven straight wins to begin his coaching tenure in Lubbock. Things have gotten ugly quickly, however, as his team lost a fourth straight game this weekend when Baylor hung 63 points on the struggling Tech defense. The Red Raiders have allowed at least 38 points in every loss and more than 50 per game during the losing streak. The problems were exemplified on Saturday in Arlington. Texas Tech started hot by jumping out to a 20-7 lead with a few minutes left in the first quarter. But Baylor stormed back to boat race Tech's maligned defense 56-14 over the final three quarters. The Bears are on pace to break every major team offensive statistic in FBS history and Tech has allowed 202 points in four games.