10 Surprising College Football Stats to Get You Ready for Week 8

Jim Harbaugh's Michigan teams are just 1-5 in games against Michigan State and Ohio State

It was an upsetting college football Saturday, especially if you were a ranked team. We have now reached the halfway points of the season, but don't worry there are still plenty of game remaining. Here are 10 statistics to get you ready for Week 8.

 

8: AP Top 25 teams that lost on Saturday

It was a chaotic weekend on the gridiron as eight teams in the AP Top 25 lost. The victims included four top 10 teams – No. 2 Georgia, No. 6 West Virginia, No. 7 Washington and No. 8 Penn State. The other ranked teams that lost on Saturday were No. 15 Wisconsin, No. 16 Miami, No. 19 Colorado and No. 21 Auburn. The Bulldogs, Huskies and Badgers all fell to ranked opponents, but it was an upset-filled Saturday nonetheless. Can this week top that?

 

0-6: Nebraska's record-breaking start to the season

For the first time in the program's 129-year history, the Cornhuskers have started the season 0-6. This past Saturday's loss may have been the most painful for Scott Frost and his team, as Nebraska led 31-21 with less than six minutes remaining only to see Northwestern cap a 99-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown pass in the waning seconds to tie the game. Then in overtime, the Cornhuskers were in field goal position but opted to go for it on 4th-and-1 from the 16-yard line only to watch quarterback Adrian Martinez get picked off in the end zone. Three plays later, the Wildcats kicked the 37-yard field goal for the 34-31 overtime victory. Frost and the Huskers will try again this Saturday at home against Minnesota (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten).

 

2,109: Days between wins as a college football head coach for Chip Kelly

UCLA dominated Cal 37-7 on the road Saturday, giving Kelly his first victory as the Bruins' head coach. It also was his first victory as a college head coach in more than five years, dating back to the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3, 2013 when Kelly's Oregon Ducks defeated Kansas State 35-17. Kelly went on the NFL where he coached the Philadelphia Eagles for three seasons and the San Francisco 49ers for one (going 28-35 overall) before returning to the college sidelines at UCLA. The Bruins (1-5, 1-2 Pac-12) will go for two wins in a row this Saturday at home against a struggling Arizona (3-4, 2-2) that may be without quarterback Khalil Tate.

 

1-5: Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh's record vs. Michigan State and Ohio State

The Wolverines are rolling, winners of six in a row and now ranked sixth in the AP Poll after trouncing No. 15 Wisconsin 38-13 at home. But when it comes to Michigan, Harbaugh will be measured by games against two teams – Michigan State and Ohio State. So far, Harbaugh has just one victory against the Spartans and Buckeyes. His next chance comes Saturday in East Lansing against the No. 24 Michigan State, who just knocked off eighth-ranked Penn State 21-17 in Happy Valley. The Spartans won last year's meeting 14-10 in Ann Arbor and are 8-2 in the last 10 games against their archrivals.

 

654: Rushing yards for Clemson's Travis Etienne over his last four games

While much of the attention has been on the quarterback switch from Kelly Bryant to true freshman Trevor Lawrence, Etienne's contributions to the Tigers' offense cannot be overlooked. If not for Etienne's 203 rushing yards and three TDs two weeks ago, Clemson may have been upset by Syracuse again. The sophomore currently leads the ACC in rushing (761), rushing TDs (11) and yards per carry (9.2), numbers that also put him in the top six in the FBS for all three categories. Over the last four games alone, Etienne has averaged 164 rushing yards per game with 10 total touchdowns. Clemson returns from its bye to host NC State in a pivotal ACC Atlantic Division matchup. The Wolfpack are third in the conference against the run (107.4 ypg) and have surrendered just three rushing touchdowns in five games.

 

16: Number of Alabama punts this season

If there's one thing that the Crimson Tide haven't done a lot of this season, it's punting. Freshman Skyler DeLong has actually had two games (vs. Louisiana, at Arkansas) in which he hasn't even attempted one. This is largely a byproduct of Alabama's offense, which produces an FBS-leading 53.6 points per game. So it should come as no surprise that only two other FBS teams have attempted fewer punts so far this season both of those (Oklahoma, NC State) have played fewer games. In fact, the Crimson Tide have already scored as many touchdowns (50) as New Mexico State and Wyoming have punts this season.

 

2010: Last time Tennessee had beaten an SEC West team until Saturday

The Volunteers' 30-24 road upset of No. 21 Auburn was huge on many levels. Not only was it Jeremy Pruitt's first signature victory as head coach, it was Tennessee's first conference win since beating Missouri 63-37 on Nov. 19, 2016. Besides ending the Vols' 11-game conference losing streak it also marked their first win over an SEC West team since defeating Ole Miss 52-14 back on Nov. 13, 2010 – a stretch of 15 games. If Tennessee (3-3, 1-2 SEC) is going to make it two wins in a row then the Vols will have to accomplish something REALLY special. Next up is their annual "Third Saturday in October" meeting at home against No. 1 Alabama. UT has lost 11 in a row to the Crimson Tide.

 

8,610: Penn State QB Trace McSorley's school record for career passing yards

Even though the Nittany Lions fell 21-17 at home to Michigan State on Saturday, McSorley etched his name in the program's record books. With 192 passing yards, McSorley overtook Christian Hackenberg (8,457) to become Penn State's all-time passing leader. He also is now second on the career completions list with 620. McSorley and the Nittany Lions will look to bounce back this Saturday on the road at Indiana.

 

109.3: Rushing yards per game for Auburn vs. SEC teams

After starting the season 2-0 and ranked as high as seventh in the AP Poll, the fall for the Tigers has been swift and rather precipitous. Following Saturday's disheartening 30-24 home loss to Tennessee, Auburn not only dropped out of the Top 25, the Tigers didn't even get a vote. The primary issue for Gus Malzahn's team has been running the ball. After finishing the 2017 season ranked 26th in the country in rushing offense (218.3 ypg), Auburn currently sits 83rd in that category at 158.4 yards per game. But even that number is misleading as most of the damage (429 yards, 6 TDs) came against FCS opponent Alabama State. In four games against SEC teams, the Tigers have managed just 109.3 rushing yards per game or 3.4 yards per carry. That's why Auburn is 1-3 in conference games so far and in desperate need of better results Saturday against Ole Miss. The good news? The Rebels are last in the SEC and 112th nationally against the run, giving up 210.4 yards per game. It's pretty much now or never for the Tigers' offense.

 

-43.1: Rutgers' pass efficiency rating in loss to Maryland

The Scarlet Knights are a dreadful 1-6 but may have really hit rock bottom in Saturday's 37-7 loss to Maryland. Quarterbacks Artur Sitkowski and Giovanni Rescigno combined to complete just two of 17 pass attempts against the Terrapins for a total of eight yards and five interceptions. The two signal-callers completed more passes to their opponents than to their own teammates. Not surprisingly, Rutgers is dead last (129th) in the FBS in passing efficiency at 77.3 with 17 interceptions thrown compared to just three touchdowns.

 

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