Saturday, by the numbers

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-8California had compiled a total of negative-eight offensive yards throughthe first quarter of its game with USC.

1No. 5 Nebraska trailed in a game for the first time against Texas onSaturday, when the Longhorns’ placekicker Justin Tucker nailed a 28-yard field goal. Italso suffered its first loss of the year.

7There were a combined seven turnovers–four by Russell Wilson–in Saturday’s game between East Carolina and North Carolina State. The Pirates won the game33-27 in overtime.

7If you thought the above statistic was pathetic, then don’t finish reading this one–Duke turned the ball over seven times itself against Miami (FL) in a 28-13 loss.There were two turnovers by the ‘Canes, as well.

13 TCU’s defense surrendered an astounding 13 total offensive yards toBYU’s offense on Saturday. The Horned Frogs scored two late first-half touchdowns to go up 17-0. The Cougars finished with just 147 total offensive yards.

15 Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles caught 15 passesSaturday for 182 yards and a score against Iowa State. Broyles broke his own Sooner record forreceptions in a game with the new total.

19 A total of 19 different receivers caught passes in East Carolina’s win overthe Wolfpack of N.C. State.

29 Northern Illinois running back Chad Spann (31) had 29 morecarries than backup quarterback Jordan Lynch (2), but just 15 more rushing yards thanksto a 90-yard touchdown run by Lynch.

31.6 In Texas’ win over No. 5 Nebraska, three quarterbacks–Garrett Gilbert, TaylorMartinez, and Zac Lee–combined for a completion percentage of 31.6%.

42 The Trojans of USC put up 42 points on California’s defense in thefirst half Saturday. Quarterback Matt Barkley is putting together an honest case forthe Heisman. Barkley added five touchdowns through the first two quarters to become the firstquarterback to reach 20 passing touchdowns this year.

49 Virginia Tech put up 49 points on Wake Forest’s defense in the first halfof Saturday’s matchup, with quarterback Tyrod Taylor and running back DarrenEvans literally exchanging seven touchdowns. The Hokies piled up 430 offensive yards inthe first half.

51 Shawn Powell of Florida State punted five times Saturday against BostonCollege, averaging an amazing 51.0 yards per punt.

108 No. 7 Auburn beat No. 12 Arkansas on Saturday by a final score of 65-43, a totalof 108 points.

165 Georgia’s defense limited Vanderbilt’s offense to a paltry 165 totaloffensive yards.

191 Boston College running back Montel Harris rushed for 191yards on 28 carries against Florida State.

207 Stud Cowboy receiver Justin Blackmon racked up 207 receivingyards for Oklahoma State Saturday against Texas Tech in a 34-17 win. Blackmon scored once on10 catches.

329 The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets racked up 329 rushing yards on 57rushes shared between 12 different players against Middle Tennessee State on Saturday.

413 Eastern Michigan quarterback Alex Gillett rocked Ball State’s defensetoday for 413 total offensive yards–rushing for 188 yards and two scores on 35carries and passing for 225 yards and another three scores. The Eagles won its first game ofthe year 41-38 over the Cardinals.

Herm Edwards visits Illini to give pep talk

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Head coach Herm Edwards of the Kansas City Chiefs looks on against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game on November 30, 2008 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
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Former NFL head coach and current ESPN analyst Herm Edwards paid a visit to another former NFL coach on Tuesday. Edwards was in Champaign to visit Lovie Smith and his Illinois football program. While there, Edwards was scheduled to give the Illini a good old-fashioned pep talk. He’s good at that.

This is a reminder that the NFL coaching fraternity remains a strong bond over the years. Smith and Edwards were never a part of the same coaching staff in the NFL, but the two have remained friends over the years. Smith having these types of connections should be exploited at every opportunity to help promote the Illini program and boost it when needed. Edwards has been a vocal supporter of Smith, so it makes sense Smith would have his pal stop by and do what he does best. And he’s done it a number of times…

At Alabama in 2013…

Or the previous year before the Las Vegas Bowl…

Or this past summer with NC State…

Illinois is 2-5 this season and now flirting with the likelihood of not going to a postseason bowl game in Smith’s first season on the job. We’ll see if Edwards is able to give the program the extra juice it needs.

Here’s hoping we get some video footage of Edwards speaking to the Illini.

PJ Fleck tells Cubs to Row the Boat, and a brief look at longest conference title droughts in college football

EVANSTON, IL- SEPTEMBER 03: P.J. Fleck head coach of the Western Michigan Broncos reacts after his teams win against the Northwestern Wildcats on September 3, 2016 at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois. the Western Michigan Broncos won 22-21. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
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The World Series gets underway tonight in Cleveland. The Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs are each looking to bring an end to a championship drought that dates back over 70 years. The Cubs are playing in their first World Series since 1945. The Indians have been back to the Fall Classic a small handful of times since last winning a World Series in 1948. There are three college football programs from the Power Five that have similar droughts they continue to look to end, as far as a conference championship is concerned.

No team has waited as long to win a conference title than Iowa State, who last saw a conference championship in 1912. That came in the old Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association. That conference would pave the path to the old Big Eight Conference, which of course later merged with departing members from the Southwest Conference. As the conference has evolved, Iowa State has struggled to compete for a conference crown.

The only two conference championship droughts comparable to the current droughts of the Cubs and Indians reside in the SEC. Mississippi State has not won a conference championship since 1941 (SEC), and Vanderbilt has to go all the way back to 1923 for its last conference title (Southern Conference). Playing in the same conference as college football powers like Alabama, LSU, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia over the years has not allowed for much opportunity for either SEC program, and that likely will remain the case for many years to come.

While not quite as long of a wait, Western Michigan looks to be on track to snapping their conference championship drought that goes back to 1988. The Broncos are undefeated and have a favorable schedule the rest of the way, aside from a regular season finale against Toledo. Western Michigan head coach PJ Fleck gave the Cubs a pep talk during a stop on SportsCenter this morning.

Row the boat, Cubs (or Indians, depending on your rooting interests)!

Longest Conference Title Droughts By Conference

ACC: North Carolina State (1979)

Big 12: Iowa State (1912)

Big Ten: Minnesota (1967)

Pac-12: Arizona (1993)

SEC: Vanderbilt (1923)

American: Temple (1967)

Conference USA: Rice (1994)

MAC: Ohio (1968)

Mountain West Conference: New Mexico (1964)

Sun Belt Conference: New Mexico State (1978)

Dabo Swinney confirms Wayne Gallman will play vs. FSU

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 07:  Jalen Ramsey #8 of the Florida State Seminoles misses a tackle against Wayne Gallman #9 of the Clemson Tigers during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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It’s now officially official.

In discussing what he described as a “dirty” hit that knocked him out of the North Carolina State game Oct. 15 with a concussion, Wayne Gallman indicated Monday that he would be available and play in Clemson’s huge showdown with Florida State this Saturday.  A day later, the running back’s head coach very emphatically confirmed the back’s availability Saturday coming of the football program’s by weekend.

He’s going to play great,” Dabo Swinney said. “He practiced the whole practice and didn’t miss a rep. He’ll play great on Saturday.”

Gallman currently leads the Tigers in rushing yards (489) and rushing touchdowns (five).  Because of the concussion, Gallman was limited to a season-low 14 yards on two carries.

In last year’s 23-13 win over the Seminoles that clinched the Tigers a berth in the ACC title game, Gallman rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown.  His 25-yard touchdown run with 2:34 remaining iced the win.

Bovada still puts Ohio State second behind Alabama in title odds

STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 22:  Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes walk to the field from the locker room before the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 22, 2016 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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I tried (in vain) to explain to my Ohio State-leaning family and friends that Saturday’s loss to Penn State wasn’t the end of the world.  Sunday, Kevin explained as much.

Tuesday, one wagering website revealed it doesn’t see the postseason sky falling on the Buckeyes, either.

In its latest set of odds, has placed the Buckeyes at 9/2 to win the 2016 College Football Playoff.  While that’s longer odds than the 11-4 OSU was getting a week ago, just one team sits ahead of them: Alabama at 8/5, slightly shorter odds than the 9/4 the Tide got last week.

Michigan (6/1), Clemson (7/1), Louisville (9/1) and Washington (9/1) are the only other teams to receive single-digit odds.  The Wolverines, at 7-1 Oct. 18, are the only one of that quartet of teams to see their odds shorten.

Below is the complete set of 2016 College Football Playoff championship odds, again courtesy of