Week 2, Statistically Speaking

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A statistical snapshot of the week that was in college football…

2 — Yards of offense allowed by Michigan in the last three quarters of a win over Oregon State.  The Beavers had posted 136 yards of offense in the first quarter.

2 — 300-yard passing games to start the 2015 season for Northern Illinois’ Drew Hare.  He came into the year with zero such games to his credit, with 285 yards last September serving as his previous career-high.

4 — Touchdown receptions for Corey Coleman in Baylor’s win over Lamar, setting a single-game school record.

4.5 — Miles between the campuses of Duke and North Carolina Central, which met Saturday for the fourth time since 2009.

5 — FBS programs with a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) above 80 percent and have averaged 10 or more wins a season from 2012-14: Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Stanford, UCF and Utah State.

5 — Consecutive 300-yard passing game for Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the longest such current streak in the FBS.  During the streak, Mahomes has passed for 2,105 yards.

7 — ESPN College Gameday appearances each for Alabama and Florida State, the most of any team in the country since 2013.  Oregon and Michigan State are next with six and five, respectively.

11 — Total yards of offense for Howard in a 76-0 loss to Boston College.  The margin of victory was BC’s widest since 1949, with it getting so bad in the first half — a 62-0 BC lead — that both coaches agreed to shorten the third and fourth quarters to 10 minutes apiece.

13 — Number of Georgia Tech players credited with at least one carry as the Yellow Jackets ran for 439 yards in a 65-10 win over Tulane.

Idaho v USC14 — Number of USC players to catch passes in the Trojans’ 50-point romp over Idaho, led by JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s 10 for 192 yards.  Additionally, nine players recorded at least one carry in the contest.

11:30 — Kickoff time for the Florida State-USF game Saturday morning, the earliest the Seminoles have kicked off a football game in the program’s history.

17 — Consecutive home wins for Alabama and Baylor after dropping Middle Tennessee State and Lamar, respectively, this weekend to extend the nation’s longest such streak.

18 — Former ACC quarterbacks on NFL rosters opening weekend, the top total for any FBS conference.

20 — With the defeat at the hands of No. 14 Ole Miss, Fresno State has now lost 20 straight games against ranked opponents.  Their last win against such a team came in the 2004 MPC Computers Bowl against No. 18 Virginia.  The Bulldogs are also now 0-6 all-time against teams from the SEC.

27 — Freshmen, redshirt included, who played for Clemson in Week 1, easily the most of any FBS team.  In fact, the ACC had the top five totals in that category: Clemson’s 27, followed by Florida State and North Carolina State with 23 each, Syracuse with 21 and Wake Forest with 20.  The first non-ACC school was Texas with 20, while the first non-Power Five team was Rice with 19.

27 — Consecutive games in which TCU has forced a turnover, the longest streak at this level.

31 — Consecutive games in which Ohio State has scored at least three touchdowns.  The next closest to OSU’s nation’s-best streak is Baylor at 17 straight.

California v Oregon33 — Seasons running backs coach Gary Campbell has been an assistant coach at Oregon.  Brown’s served on the coaching staffs of four different head coaches: Rich Brooks (1983-94), Mike Bellotti (1995-2008), Chip Kelly (2009-12) and Mark Helfrich (2013-14).

36 — With its game against Virginia in Charlottesville, the number of states in which Notre Dame has played football games in its history.  The Irish have also played games in Ireland (1996, 2012) and Japan (1979).

43 — Consecutive non-conference home games won by LSU, the longest such streak in the country.  Miami (Fla.) holds the all-time record of 48 straight, which began Oct. 12, 1985, with a 38-0 win over Cincinnati and ended Sept. 24, 1994, with an 18-point loss to Washington.

58 — Consecutive games Iowa has played without missing an extra point, the longest in the nation.

70 — With a late fourth-quarter toss, consecutive games in which Oregon has thrown at least one touchdown pass, breaking the FBS record of 69 previously held by Texas Tech (2006-11).

74 — Career wins for Frank Solich at Ohio, moving him past Gary Pinkel (Toledo) and into fifth place on the all-time win list for MAC head coaches.  Next up is Bowling Green’s Doyt Perry (77), while he has a long way to go to catch record holder Herb Deromedi of Central Michigan (110).

149 — Points scored by Ole Miss the first two games, the most in school history to open a season.  Ole Miss beat Fresno State Saturday 73-21, one week after dropping UT-Martin 76-3.

Penn State v Temple193 — Career-high rushing yards for Temple’s Jahad Thomas in the win over Cincinnati.  It was his second straight 100-yard game after coming into the season with just one career such effort.

194 — Rushing yards for Nick Wilson in Arizona’s win over Nevada.

390 — Team rushing yards for Colorado as it ended its 10-game losing streak with a 48-14 win over UMass.

410 — Career-high passing yards for USC quarterback Cody Kessler in a 59-9 win over Idaho.  His previous career-high was 400 against Washington State last November.

413 — Team rushing yards for Georgia Southern in a win over Western Michigan.  Two Eagles topped the 100-yard mark: Matt Breida (176) and quarterback Favian Upshaw (103).

427 — Passing yards for Cincinnati’s Gunner Kiel in a loss to Temple.  It’s the third 400-yard performance in his 14 starts with the Bearcats.

441 — Passing yards for Brandon Doughty in Western Kentucky’s Thursday night win over Louisiana Tech.  The sixth-year senior now has 13 career games of 300 or more yards passing, including three 400-yard games and two 500-yard games.

487933328468 — Passing yards for Washington State’s Luke Falk in the three-point road win over Rutgers.  It’s Falk’s third 400 yard-plus passing effort in his last six games.

651 — Yards of total offense for Memphis in a 55-23 embarrassment of Kansas in Lawrence.  That total was the Tigers’ most-ever against a Power Five opponent.

1916 — The last year prior to this one that Notre Dame did not have a team from the Big Ten on its football schedule.  This is also the first time in the program’s history they will not play a fellow football independent as Navy is in its first year as a member of the AAC.

1922 — Until this year, the last time Penn State played five consecutive games at home.  They began this current streak Saturday against Buffalo, and will follow it up with home dates against Rutgers, San Diego State, Army and Indiana over the next four weekends.

1931 — Prior to Thursday’s game against Western Kentucky, the last time Louisiana Tech had played a conference opener east of the Mississippi River.

1966 — The year of the last meeting between Associated Press Top 10 teams at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing before Saturday’s non-conference clash between No.5 Michigan State and No. 7 Oregon.  In 1966, No.2 MSU and No. 1 Notre Dame played to a 10-10 tie in the “Game of the Century.”

1988 — Last year Eastern Michigan had won a non-conference road game prior to a 48-29 win over Wyoming in Laramie.

18,040 — Distance in round-trip miles Hawaii traveled for its game against Ohio State in Columbus, the longest road trip any FBS team will take this season.  It was the first-ever meeting between the two football programs, and the second time the Rainbow Warriors had played in the state of Ohio — the first was in 1951 vs. Cincinnati.

311,371 — As of approximately 3:30 ET Sunday morning, the number of Twitter followers for Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, the most of any head coach at the FBS level.  Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh is next with 307,565.

For this week’s Fifth Quarter, please click HERE.

 

Ole Mis AD: Hugh Freeze would’ve been fired for cause if he hadn’t resigned

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In the end, regardless of how he chose to play it out, Hugh Freeze‘s time in Oxford would’ve come to an end.

Thursday night brought the stunning news that Freeze’s tenure as the head coach at Ole Miss had come to an end because of at least one call from his university-issued cell phone to a known escort service.  Freeze, to Yahoo! Sports, blamed the call on a misdial; Freeze’s now-former boss, athletic director Ross Bjork, led the same website to write that “further vetting of Freeze’s phone records disclosed a ‘pattern of conduct’ that led the school administration to confront Freeze this week.”

After meeting with Freeze Wednesday night and then again Thursday morning, the die had been cast for the coach.

Bjork said that if Freeze had not offered his resignation he would have been fired for cause, citing the “moral turpitude” clause in Freeze’s contract. Bjork said there was no buyout of the contract and no settlement.

“He admitted that conduct to us,” Bjork said. “None of us are perfect. Nobody in this room is perfect. I think we need to respect how he resigned and respect his privacy.

The infamous call in question — it lasted one minute, which gives at least some credence to Freeze’s claim that this one was a misdial — came to light as a result of Houston Nutt’s recently-filed lawsuit against Freeze, the university and other high-ranking school officials.  No other calls to that specific phone number were found in a review of an estimated 39,000 calls made from Freeze’s school-issued phone; “[h]owever, the school kept digging through the records and must have found additional troubling information,” the website wrote

Freeze’s admission to “that conduct” according to Bjork says as much.

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze resigns after discovery of phone calls to escort service

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Forget about Hugh Freeze being on the hot seat in Oxford. He won’t even be coaching a single game for the Rebels this fall.

Hugh Freeze resigned from his position as head coach at Ole Miss suddenly on Thursday evening, just a week after SEC Media Days. The resignation is effective immediately, and the school has announced co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Matt Luke will take over the head coaching responsibilities for the upcoming season as the interim head coach. It should be expected Ole Miss will conduct a search for a new full-time head coach as soon as possible, but an official hire being made before the start of the season remains in question.

The resignation comes after the school discovered a phone call to an escort service coming from his school-issued cell phone. And it apparently was not an accidental wrong number either.

According to a report from Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com, Ole Miss reviewed phone records tied to Freeze as far back as 2012. Earlier in the day, USA Today reporter Dan Wolken reported Freeze had made a phone call to the number associated with a female escort service. The phone call in the report occurred in January of 2016. How many phone calls were discovered by Ole Miss is at this time unknown. Once confronted with the phone numbers by Bjork, Freeze is said to have offered his resignation. Whether he voluntarily offered to resign or if he was pushed to resign by the school may never be known for sure, but given the heat on Freeze already following recent headlines it may be pretty easy to see how this all played out behind closed doors.

It has been a troublesome summer for Freeze. Just last week, he was targetted in a lawsuit filed by former Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt, and Freeze has had to deny any members of his staff knowingly violated any NCAA rules following an investigation into the program. Freeze was previously targeted in a lawsuit filed by the stepdad of former Ole Miss player Laremy Tunsil just months after the NCAA discovered 13 violations against the Ole Miss program under the leadership of Freeze last year.

In five seasons at Ole Miss, Freeze was 39-25 and coached Ole Miss to a 2-1 record in postseason bowl games. Along the way, he recruited some of the best classes in school history, although how he and his staff managed to do so has been the subject of plenty of scrutinies and the findings continue to come together to suggest foul play was used. Calls to escort services will not help that look at all. Before being hired at Ole Miss, Freeze coached Arkansas State to a 19-3 record in 2011.

Luke, an Ole Miss alum from the Class of 2000, joined the Ole Miss coaching staff in 2012 with Freeze.

Todd Graham subtly names Manny Wilkins starting QB at ASU, says Barnett will have to win the job

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Arizona State picked up a nice addition to the depth chart with the addition of quarterback Blake Barnett this past winter. Barnett was given the chance to be immediately eligible to play for Arizona State this season rather than have to sit out a season, but he will have to get to work in order to win the starting job with the Sun Devils if Todd Graham‘s latest comments are accurate.

Speaking to media today at a facilities tour, Graham was asked about the quarterback competition. Graham not-so-subtly named Manny Wilkins the team’s starter for the 2017 season, barring any other changes between now and the start of the season.

“I didn’t make an announcement, I just didn’t want our opponent know who was going to play but I thought our opponent knew, I think everybody knew,” Graham said, referring to a season-opening game against New Mexico State. “We have a returning starter and he’s the starting quarterback until someone beats him out.”

Perhaps most notably, one of the quarterbacks who will look to knock Wilkins off the top of the depth chart will be Barnett, the transfer from Alabama who was a major recruit for the Crimson Tide not so long ago. Barnett started the  2016 season as Alabama’s official starter but lost the full-time job to Jalen Hurts right out of the gate with a shaky performance in the season opener while Hurts put on a show (and led Alabama to the national championship game). Barnett then opted to leave the program in search of a new opportunity to compete for the starting job.

“Right now, we have a starting quarterback and Blake knows he has to beat him out,” Graham said. “I’m looking forward to see that competition and a very physical, Sun Devil tough training camp.”

Report: Alabama RB B.J. Emmons, CB Aaron Robinson leaving program

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The Alabama Crimson Tide may not be hurting on the depth chart as a result, but two players are leaving the program in search of other opportunities. Running back B.J. Emmons and cornerback Aaron Robinson are both leaving Tuscaloosa, according to a report from AL.com.

As the news was breaking, multiple reports say Emmons has enrolled at Hutchinson Community College. Emmons missed some games last season due to a foot injury, but he is expected to be back to 100 percent health this fall. Of course, at Alabama, the running back position is stacked and difficult to get much playing time to begin with. Robinson was also expected to be a backup for Alabama this fall after working with the second team unit in the spring.

Emmons was Alabama’s fifth-leading rusher in 2016 with 173 yards and a touchdown in seven games. Robinson appeared in 13 games and recorded five total tackles as a freshman.

Both Emmons and Robinson will be eligible to play for another FBS program starting in 2018 after sitting out the 2017 season, due to NCAA transfer rules. They are eligible to play at a lower division school this fall, whether it is an FCS or lower program or a junior college. The junior college route appears to be the path Emmons is taking by enrolling at a community college.