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College Football's 13 Most Important Stats from Week 1

Bryce Young, Alabama Crimson Tide Football

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young set a school record with four touchdown passes in his first start in the Crimson Tide's season-opening rout of Miami

The first week of the 2021 college football season is in the books. As expected, the extended weekend of action produced plenty of surprises, big moments and interesting stats from all 84 games. To help recap the games and why some of the games played out the way they did, Athlon Sports rounded up some of the most important numbers to know from Week 1.

College Football's 13 Most Important Stats from Week 1

7: Georgia Sacks Against Clemson
Talk about clutch: Of Georgia’s seven sacks on Saturday night, five came on third downs. Also, Clemson’s three points scored were the fewest under coach Dabo Swinney.

4: TD Passes by Alabama QB Bryce Young
Young’s four touchdown passes were the most in a first career start by an Alabama quarterback.

56.3: Length of Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud’s TD Passes
It was a tale of two halves for Stroud. In his Buckeyes debut, he connected on just eight of 14 throws for 58 yards in the first two quarters but landed five of eight passes for 236 yards and four scores in the final 30 minutes. His four touchdown passes averaged 56.3 yards in length.

1 of 4: Red Zone Scores on Trips by Wisconsin
Want to know why Wisconsin lost on Saturday? The Badgers ran 98 plays and averaged only 3.8 yards per snap. However, scoring just once in four red-zone trips prevented the Badgers from beating Penn State.

326: Rushing Yards by Michigan State in Opener
Just how impressive was Michigan State’s rushing performance against Northwestern in the season opener? Consider this: The Spartans managed only 640 rushing yards (and two TDs on the ground) in the team’s seven games last year. Against the Wildcats, coach Mel Tucker’s team ran for 326 yards and four scores.

2: Florida State’s Plays of 60+ Yards Against Notre Dame
The Seminoles landed two plays of 60-plus yards versus Notre Dame on Sunday night. That’s notable considering the Fighting Irish allowed only two all of last year.

100: LSU has Rushed for Less than 100 Yards in 6 of Last 11 Games
LSU’s rushing attack has struggled since the start of the 2020 season. The Tigers rushed for less than 100 yards in six of the team’s last 11 games after posting just seven performances from 2014-19.

8.3: Average Yards Per Play for New QBs Hudson Card and Haynes King
Two quarterbacks in the state of Texas had impressive debuts on Saturday, as both Card (Texas) and King (Texas A&M) averaged 8.3 yards per play in Week 1.

1-5: Record by the Pac-12 North in Week 1
It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day for the Pac-12 North in Week 1. Oregon was the only team that won, while Washington (Montana) suffered an awful loss to FCS Montana, and Washington State (Utah State) and California (Nevada) dropped games as home favorites versus foes from the Mountain West.

6: FCS Teams that Won in Week 1
UC Davis (Tulsa), East Tennessee State (Vanderbilt), Eastern Washington (UNLV), South Dakota State (Colorado State), Holy Cross (UConn), and Montana (Washington) all scored FCS upsets over FBS teams in Week 1.

551: Michigan’s Yardage Versus Western Michigan
Michigan’s 551 yards versus Western Michigan is the most by the program under offensive coordinator Josh Gattis. Also, the team’s 334 rushing yards on Saturday were the most since Nov. 4, 2017.

3: Completions of 40+ Yards by Kentucky Versus ULM
The number of completions of 40-plus yards by the Wildcats on Saturday under new offensive coordinator Liam Coen is notable considering they landed just one in 11 games last year.

9-4: UCLA’s Record When Rushing for 200 Yards Under Chip Kelly
This seems to be the magic mark for UCLA under coach Chip Kelly. The Bruins have 12 victories under Kelly, with nine coming when the program reaches 200 rushing yards.

Podcast: Complete Week 1 Recap + Numbers to Know