10 Surprising College Football Stats to Get You Ready for Week 7

Colorado is 5-0 and looking for its first-ever win against USC on Saturday night

After another Saturday jam-packed with college football surprises, the conference races and playoff picture are starting to come into focus. There are still plenty of games remaninng, starting with this weekend. Here are 10 statistics to get you ready for Week 7.

 

11: remaining unbeaten teams entering this week

With Oklahoma, LSU and Kentucky all losing this past Saturday that leaves just 11 undefeated teams in the FBS entering the second weekend of October. Some, like Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Clemson, Notre Dame, West Virginia and even UCF aren't surprising. But let's give credit to Colorado, NC State, South Florida and Cincinnati for their unblemished records thus far. As for this week, none of the unbeatens play each other and Clemson, NC State and Cincinnati are all on bye. But there are some intriguing games involving these teams, namely Georgia at LSU, West Virginia at Iowa State, UCF at Memphis and Colorado at USC.

 

0-10: Combined record for Scott Frost and Chip Kelly

For two of the biggest (and most expensive) coaching hires of this past offseason, it has been a rough start at their new schools. Neither Frost (Nebraska) nor Kelly (UCLA) has gotten into the win column this year with six of their collective losses by coming by at least 14 points. This week, the Cornhuskers travel to Evanston, Illinois, to play a Northwestern team that just beat No. 20 Michigan State, while the Bruins make the short trip to Berkeley to face Cal. Which high-profile head coach picks up the W first?

 

6.5: Yards per play allowed by Washington vs. UCLA

The Huskies beat the aforementioned Bruins 31-24 on the road last Saturday, but it wasn't easy. Washington led 24-7 at halftime but then had to hold on as UCLA's offense showed signs of life and the defense held the Huskies in check over the final two quarters. UCLA finished the game with 422 total yards, the most Washington has allowed this year. The 6.5 yards per play allowed was nearly a yard and a half higher than the Huskies' previous high of 5.2 in the season opener against Auburn. That's not a good trend for UW headed into Saturday's Pac-12 North showdown against Oregon in Autzen Stadium. The Ducks are coming off of a bye and are No. 1 in the Pac-12 in both total offense (503.6 ypg) and yards per play (6.7).

 

No. 1: Michigan's defense (yards allowed per game) vs. Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor (rushing yards per game)

Since losing to Notre Dame in the opening week, the Wolverines have rattled off five straight wins in impressive fashion. One of the keys to their success has been defense. Michigan is No. 1 in the country in total defense at 230.5 yards per game. The Wolverines have been particularly stingy against the pass (No. 1) but they also have done a good job against the run, holding teams to just 96.5 rushing yards per game (sixth in the FBS). This unit will definitely be put to the test Saturday night when the Big Ten West-leading Badgers and Taylor come to the Big House. Taylor leads the nation with 169.8 rushing yards per game and is coming off of a 221-yard, three-touchdown performance against Nebraska. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook is attempting fewer than 23 passes per game, so there's no secret to Wisconsin's game plan. It's Taylor vs. Michigan's stout defense. Something's gotta give.

 

0-12: Colorado's all-time record vs. USC

The Buffaloes are the Pac-12's lone remaining undefeated team and 5-0 for the first time since 1998. If Colorado wants to keep its unblemished record intact it will need to do something it has never done before – beat USC. The Trojans are 12-0 vs. the Buffaloes and have outscored them 419-169 in those games. That's an average margin of victory of nearly three touchdowns (20.8 points per game). USC (3-2, 2-1) has scuffled this season but has won two games in a row. Colorado has its sights on winning the Pac-12 South Division. The Buffaloes getting their first-ever win over the Trojans would go a long ways towards accomplishing that goal.

 

163: School-record consecutive passes thrown by Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger since his last interception

The Longhorns are back in the AP Top 10 for the first time since week four of the 2010 season after their last-second, 48-45 win over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. The player of the game for Texas was Ehlinger, who totaled 386 yards and five touchdowns (three rushing, two passing). More importantly, the sophomore hasn't thrown an interception since his final pass in the season-opening loss to Maryland. Ehlinger enters Saturday's game against Baylor with a streak of 163 straight passes with no picks, a school record and one of the reasons why Texas is riding a five-game winning streak.

 

258.4: Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's FBS-leading passer rating

Alabama continues to throttle opponents, as its 65-31 dismantling of Arkansas increased the Crimson Tide's scoring output to an FBS-best 56.0 points per game. The engine for this offense has been Tagovailoa, the nation's leading passer who has tossed 18 touchdowns and nary an interception thus far. The sophomore from Hawaii is completing 75 percent of his passes while averaging a ridiculous 14.8 yards per attempt. In SEC games, his passer rating is even higher (263.1), as he has averaged 304 passing yards per game in wins over Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Arkansas. Next up is Missouri, which ranks 13th in the conference against the pass (284.8 ypg, 10 TDs allowed, 2 INTs).

 

108: Difference in national ranking between Michigan State's rushing defense and offense

The Spartans enter Saturday's game with Penn State ranked No. 1 in the country in rushing defense... and No. 109 in rushing offense. Michigan State is just 3-2 (1-1 in the Big Ten) after last week's 29-19 home loss to Northwestern. The Spartans have been stellar against the run, holding opponents to 33.8 rushing yards per game but haven't been able to get their own ground game going. Injuries at running back (namely senior LJ Scott) and along the offensive line haven't helped, but with 10 returning starters on offense, the expectations for Michigan State's running game were much higher than 123 yards per game (109th in the FBS). Maybe the Spartans can find some success against the Nittany Lions, who are giving up 162 rushing yards per game. Michigan State's defense can expect its toughest test going up against a Penn State offense that's 12th in the country at 261.2 rushing yards per game.

 

20: Third-quarter margin for Miami vs. Florida State before orchestrating biggest comeback in rivalry history

FSU's D.J. Matthews returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown to give the Seminoles a 27-7 lead in Hard Rock Stadium with 11:52 remaining in the third quarter. From that point on it was all Hurricanes, as two touchdowns scored in a span of 42 second sparked the biggest comeback by Miami ever against the archrival Seminoles. A 41- yard TD pass from N'Kosi Perry to Brevin Jordan with a less than 12 minutes left in the game proved to be the game-winning points as Miami picked up its first home win over FSU since 2004. This also marks the first time the 'Canes have beaten the 'Noles in consecutive games since that season. Florida State has a bye to lick its wounds while No. 16 Miami must guard against a potential trap game in Charlottesville against Virginia (3-2, 1-1 ACC).

 

4: Average margin of defeat for Eastern Michigan during its four-game losing streak

After beating Purdue on the road to start 2-0, the Eagles have dropped their last four games by a total of 16 points. A seven-point road loss to Buffalo (who is 5-1) was followed by a three-point loss at San Diego State (4-1 with wins over Arizona State and Boise State). Eastern Michigan has since opened MAC play with two more three-point losses – vs. Northern Illinois and at Western Michigan. Coming up agonizingly short is nothing new for head coach Chris Creighton's team, as The Athletic's Matt Brown detailed this weekend:

 

 

Next up for the Eagles is a home game with Toledo (3-2, 1-0). The Rockets easily handled Bowling Green, 52-36, at home in their MAC opener last week.

 

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