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:
23-1: Bob Stoops' record in first meetings with a coach in Big 12 games since 2000
The Red Raiders handed the game over to the Sooners on Saturday in Norman by turning the ball over three times in critical spots. At home, veteran coach Bob Stoops and his team capitalized on Texas Tech's mistakes by outscoring Kliff Kingsbury's team 17-7 over the final 16 minutes. It was Kingsbury's first loss as a head coach and Stoops' 23rd victory in his first meeting with a coach in a Big 12 game during his tenure at Oklahoma. He won his first Big 12 meeting with Art Briles, Bill Snyder, Gary Pinkel, Mike Gundy, Gary Patterson, Mike Leach, Tommy Tuberville and now Kliff Kingsbury (among many others).
1: Teams that have outscored every opponent by at least 15 points
Missouri and Oregon entered the weekend as two of the 10 remaining unbeatens in college football. They were the only two teams in the nation who had yet to play a "close" game because they were the only two teams to have defeated every opponent by at least 15 points. Mizzou collapsed against South Carolina in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Gamecocks gave the Tigers their first loss of the season. Meanwhile, the Ducks scored 28 unanswered points in the final 20 minutes of play to crush UCLA 42-14. Oregon is now of the only team left in college football to have defeated every team its played by more than two touchdowns.
5: Scoring drives led by Connor Shaw in the fourth quarter and OT
The Gamecocks touched the ball five times in the fourth quarter and overtime against Missouri and scored on all five possessions after whiffing on their first 10 drives. Connor Shaw led five scoring drives by completing 17-of-25 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns in the final period and extra time. He didn't turn the ball over, ran three times for 23 yards and was battling a less-than-perfect left knee. The Gamecocks need to win their final two SEC games against Mississippi State and Florida at home and get one loss from Mizzou to make just their second trip to Atlanta as SEC East champs.
1960: Last time Minnesota defeated Nebraska before this past Saturday
The Golden Gophers and Cornhuskers have actually been longtime rivals. The two programs have played 53 times overall with Nebraska dominating the series for more than 50 years. Prior to Saturday's meeting in Minneapolis, the Gophers hadn't beaten the Huskers since 1960 — a streak of 16 consecutive losses. In fact, the Big Red had dominated the series so much that Minnesota hadn't even had a lead in the series since 1969. It was the first Big Ten loss of the season for Bo Pelini and the Cornhuskers. Speaking of...
7: Ranked Bo Pelini teams who have lost to unranked opponents
A ranked Nebraska team has lost to an unranked foe in each of the last five seasons under Pelini and seven times overall. The final month of the season — Northwestern, at Michigan, Michigan State, at Penn State, Iowa — will determine his fate as the Nebraska head coach.
Ranked Nebraska losses to unranked teams
Oct. 26, 2013
Minnesota def. No. 25 Nebraska 34-23
Dec. 1, 2012
Wisconsin def. No. 14 Nebraska 70-31 (Big Ten Championship Game)
Sept. 8, 2012
UCLA def. No. 16 Nebraska 35-30
Nov. 5, 2011
Northwestern def. No. 9 Nebraska 28-25
Dec. 30, 2010
Washington def. No. 17 Nebraska 19-7 (Holiday Bowl)
Oct. 7, 2010
Texas def. No. 5 Nebraska 20-13
Oct. 17, 2009
Texas Tech def. No. 15 Nebraska 31-10
6: Cities in which Duke has defeated Virginia Tech
The 13-10 road win for Duke over the Hokies features a plethora of interesting stats. It was the first road win over a ranked opponent for Duke in 42 years. The Blue Devils sixth win makes Duke bowl eligible in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history. The two starting quarterbacks, Anthony Boone and Logan Thomas, combined for eight interceptions and zero passing touchdowns. In fact, Duke didn't complete a pass in the second half and was 0-11 on third downs for the game. Lastly, it was Duke's first ever win in Blacksburg, giving the Blue Devils a win over the Hokies in six different cities. Duke has beaten Tech in Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, Norfolk, Roanoke and, now, Blacksburg.
3,173: Jordan Matthews' SEC-record receiving yards
Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel crushed Vanderbilt 56-24, but Vanderbilt star wide receiver Jordan Matthews caught eight passes for 92 yards. He passed Georgia's Terrence Edwards' 3,093 yards (1999-02) for No. 1 all-time in SEC history. Matthews is one of just four players to top 3,000 yards receiving (Alshon Jeffery, Josh Reed). He has 216 career receptions, trailing only fellow Commodore Earl Bennett's all-time SEC record of 236 receptions. If Vandy doesn't make a bowl game, Matthews needs to average just under eight receptions per game to pass Bennett. Only six players in SEC history have ever caught more than 200 passes (Craig Yeast, Kenny McKinley, Edwards, Keith Edwards). Finally, Matthews has 22 career touchdown receptions — 11 behind the SEC's all-time record of 31 set by Florida's Chris Doering.
28: Quarters Houston has scored a point in 2013
Houston is 6-1 after an impressive 49-14 road win over Rutgers. They have played 28 quarters of football and have scored in every frame of the season. Houston needed a safety against BYU in the third quarter to keep the streak alive in Week 8, the lowest total of any quarter this season for the Cougs. Houston is still perfect in the American Athletic Conference and control its own destiny with games against Louisville and UCF looming in coming weeks.
455: Octavius McKoy NCAA all-division single-game rushing record
TCU's LaDainian Tomlinson owns the FBS single-game rushing record when he rolled up 406 yards against UTEP in 1999. But Marietta College's Dante Brown actually owns the all-division mark with 441 yards in 1996. That record has fallen as Western Connecticut's tailback Octavius McKoy rushed for 455 yards on 43 carries to an all-division NCAA single-game record. Western Connecticut is a Division III program.