Week 9, Statistically Speaking

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0 — Lost fumbles for UNLV in eight games this season, the only FBS team that can make that claim.  At the opposite end of the spectrum is Eastern Michigan, which has lost 14 in 2014.

0 — Games UCF has lost in American Athletic Conference play, vs. 11 wins.  The Knights are the only AAC team to have never lost a game in that conference’s brief history.

2 — Times this season, in seven games, SMU has scored more than six points in a single game, including the 48-10 loss to Memphis.  The winless Mustangs are averaging exactly seven points per game,with a high-water mark of 24 in Week 6.

2-5 — Whatever it means, that’s the record of teams the next game after playing Navy this season.  Rutgers and Temple are the only ones to avoid “The Curse of the Middies” in 2014.

3.07 — Yards per play Maryland averaged in its ugly 52-7 loss to Wisconsin.

4 — 200-yard rushing games for Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah this season; no other back at the FBS level has more than two.  The running back also totaled a school-record 341 all-purpose yards (225 rushing, 26 receiving, 90 on kickoff returns) in NU’s 42-24 win over Rutgers (previous record: 321 for Roy Helu Jr. vs. Missouri in 2010).

4 — Quarterbacks Vanderbilt has started this season, the only school that has had to reach that deep into its depth chart at the position.  Utah State will hit that mark in Week 10 as the Aggies lost their third starter of the year to injury, while SMU could very well reach the same number the same week.

Justin Hardy
Justin Hardy

4.6 — Number of receptions per game East Carolina’s Justin Hardy needs to average over the next five contests to break the FBS record of 349 career receptions set by Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles.  Hardy is averaging 8.7 catches per game in 2014 and 7.6 for his career.

5 — First-quarter lost fumbles by Pittsburgh, tying the one-quarter FBS record set by East Carolina (1980) and San Diego State (1982).  Pitt finished with six lost fumbles — on seven total fumbles — in its 56-28 loss to Georgia Tech.

7 — Games in which Dak Prescott has thrown for 200-plus yards to start the season, the first Mississippi State player to accomplish that feat in the football program’s 115-year history.

10-0 — Stanford’s record under David Shaw coming off a loss.

11.2 — Yards per carry for true freshman Mike Boone as he rushed for a career-high 212 yards in Cincinnati’s 34-17 win over USF Friday night.

13 — Different players who caught passes in TCU’s 82-27 evisceration of Texas Tech.  No player caught more than four passes.

15.6 — Yards per completion Blake Frohnapfel averaged in throwing for 438 yards and five touchdowns in UMass’ 42-35 loss to Toledo.

20-0Jameis Winston‘s record as a starting quarterback at Florida State, the only quarterback in the ACC to ever start a career off with 20 consecutive wins.

33 — Consecutive seasons Nebraska won at least nine games in a season from 1969-2001, an NCAA record.  It’s not really relevant to this weekend’s action, but I just wanted to bring it up as it’s still simply a staggering statistic.

Dominic Rufran
Dominic Rufran

45 — Consecutive games in which Wyoming’s Dominic Rufran has caught at least one pass, the longest such current streak in the country.  The school and Mountain West record is 47 straight by Jovon Bouknight (2002-05), while UNLV’s Casey Flair (2005-08) holds a portion of the conference mark as well. The FBS record is 54 straight by Central Michigan’s Bryan Anderson (2006-09).

46 — Consecutive games in which Kansas State has scored a rushing touchdown, the longest streak in the country.  Navy and Stanford are next at 30 straight.

70 — Yards of total offense for UT-San Antonio in its shutout loss to UTEP.  The Roadrunners averaged just 1.52 yards per play.

85.7 — Percentage of his 21 passes Garrett Grayson completed in throwing for 390 yards and a career-high five touchdowns during Colorado State’s 45-31 Border War win over Wyoming.

93 — From the fourth quarter of the Arkansas game Oct. 11 through the second quarter of the Tennessee game Saturday, the number of consecutive points scored by Alabama while its opponents were scoreless.

94 — Gap in years between games involving Nebraska and Rutgers (1920, at the Polo Grounds in New York and 2014 in Lincoln) is the largest for any opponent in Cornhusker history.

98 — Yards rushing for Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson in the loss to Arizona State, leading the Huskies in that category.

212 — Receiving yards for Western Michigan’s Corey Davis in a 42-21 win over Ohio.

Amari Cooper
Amari Cooper

224 — New Alabama single-game receiving yards mark set by Amari Cooper in the win over Tennessee, breaking the record of 210 set by Julio Jones vs. the Vols in 2010.  With four games left in the regular season, Cooper is now eight receptions and two yards away from breaking Jones’ single-season records of 78 and 1,133. One more: Cooper now ranks second in Tide history for career receiving yards with 2,868 (DJ Hall, with 2,923 from 2004-07, holds the all-time school record).

249 — Career-high rushing yards for Duke Johnson in Miami’s whipping of Virginia Tech Thursday night.  The junior’s previous career-best was 186 in the 2013 opener against FAU.

251 — Most rushing yards for an FBS quarterback this season, by Keenan Reynolds in Navy’s win over San Jose State.

251 — Combined passing yards for South Alabama and Troy in the former’s Friday night win.  Entering Week 9, 48 teams were averaging more than that per game.

272Devon Johnson‘s school-record rushing total in Marshall’s closer-than-it-looked 35-16 win over FAU.  Johnson has now rushed for 100-plus yards in seven of eight games this season.

290 — Combined rushing yards for running back Paul Perkins (180) and quarterback Brett Hundley (110) as UCLA outlasted Colorado in double overtime.  It was the second 100-yard rushing game of Hundley’s career, with the first (161) coming in the Bruins’ bowl game last season.

Fredi Knighten
Fredi Knighten

344 — First career 300-yard passing day during Arkansas State’s Tuesday night win over Louisiana-Lafayette for junior Fredi Knighten.

410 — Career-high passing yards Friday for Boise State’s Grant Hedrick in the 55-30 win over BYU.  His four touchdown passes were one off his career-best effort.

423 — Career-high passing yards for Louisiana Tech’s Cody Sokol in the win over Southern Miss.  It also marked Tech’s first win in Hattiesburg since 1982.

445 — Passing yards for Shane Carden in East Carolina’s closer-than-expected win over UConn Thursday night.  It’s the sixth 400-plus performance of his career, with three of those coming in 2014.  His career-high of 480 yards came in an October overtime loss to Tulane last year; that marks the only loss during one of Carden’s 400-yard games.

471 — Passing yards for Old Dominion’s Taylor Heinicke in a 66-51 loss to Western Kentucky.

616 — Rushing yards for Georgia Southern in its 69-31 waxing of Georgia State.   That’s more rushing yards than eight teams had all season entering Week 8, but still 152 yards behind Oklahoma’s 1988 FBS record in a game against Kansas State.  The Eagles averaged 10.1 yards on its 61 carries.

1,244 — Combined yards of total offense for Old Dominion (643) and Western Kentucky (601) in the latter’s 66-51 win.

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Gus Malzahn (L), Steve Spurrier (R)

1931 — Last year Georgia Tech had played in the state of Pennsylvania prior to Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh.  The matchup with the Panthers in Week 9 was also the Yellow Jackets’ first in the city of Pittsburgh since 1920.

1933 — Last year South Carolina beat Auburn in football.  That equates to an eight-game losing streak for the Gamecocks, including Saturday night’s loss to the Tigers.

2001 — Last year Trinity (Conn.) College lost a home football game prior to a 27-7 loss to Middlebury (Vt.) Saturday.  The loss snapped a 53-game home winning streak for the Div. III Bantams at Jessee/Miller Field.

2002 — Until 2014, the last year Colorado State won six consecutive games in a single season.

2004 — Prior to the 23-0 loss to Kansas State, the last year Texas was shutout in a game.  After losing to Oklahoma 12-0 Oct. 9 of that year, the Longhorns had scored in 132 straight games before the Week 9 whitewashing.

2010 — Stanford played in a game Saturday unranked for the first time since the opener four years ago.  The Cardinal had been in at least one of the major polls for a school-record 72 straight weeks.

2010 — Last time Utah played a game as a ranked team vs. another ranked team until Saturday’s No. 20 USC Trojans vs. No. 19 Utes matchup.

8,343 — Career passing yards for Bill Musgrave, which was an Oregon record until Marcus Mariota surpassed it in the win over Cal.  Mariota now has 8,625 in his Ducks career thanks to a 326-yard effort in the 59-41 win over Cal Friday night.  It wasn’t all statistical puppy dogs and rainbows for Super Mariota, though, as the junior threw his first interception of the season, breaking a streak of 235 straight attempts without a pick.

(For the latest “The Fifth Quarter: Week 9 Rewind,” click HERE.)

Kenny Dillingham out as Auburn offensive coordinator, Chad Morris could be in

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Florida State’s hiring of Mike Norvell looks like it could lead to some major changes at Auburn.

First, multiple outlets reported Monday morning that Kenny Dillingham is leaving Auburn to reunite with Norvell in Tallahassee; Norvell “discovered” the 29-year-old Dillingham while at Arizona State and brought him along to Memphis, so the move is anything but a surprise.

Furthermore, though, Dillingham’s departure could lead to Chad Morris‘s hiring on the Plains. According to Auburn Undercover, the former Arkansas head coach is the leading candidate, and a deal could be done this week.

Morris and head Tiger Gus Malzahn go back years, to when Morris, then a high school head coach struggling to fill Art Briles‘s shoes at Stephenville High School, trekked to Arkansas to sit at the feet of Malzahn, then building his reputation as a guru in Northwest Arkansas. The two have maintained a relationship ever since, and now that relationship could turn professional.

If and when Morris is hired, it will come with two interesting dynamics.

The first is recruiting, where Chad’s son Chandler Morris is a 4-star quarterback in the class of 2020. Auburn recruited Morris before he committed to Arkansas, then continued recruiting him when Chandler re-opened his recruitment following Dad’s firing. Chad accompanied Chandler during his first recruiting trip to Auburn, including a sit-down with the head coach — just like any dad would on a recruiting trip, only this dad was the head coach of one of Auburn’s direct competitor.

“You go in and you sit down and you get straight to the chase,” Chad Morris told ESPN over the summer. “A lot of it is roster talk more than anything. You talk about injuries and how they handle kids that get hurt, and how does that work. You deal with their trainers. It’s more, from my standpoint, how they go about the strength and conditioning, how they specialize in their quarterbacks and looking at the overall development of the coach. Is he an offensive-minded coach? Is he a defensive-minded coach? You talk strategy, you talk scheme, you talk offense with him. I don’t do a whole lot of talking. I do a lot of listening and let Chandler do a lot of the talking.”

Chandler visited Auburn during the Iron Bowl, and Auburn Undercover reported Chad accompanied him on that visit.

The second prong here is play-calling. The push-pull of the play sheet has been a constant source of palace intrigue during Malzahn’s seven seasons at Auburn, as it seems he’s always relinquishing or reclaiming play-calling duties depending on the results of the last drive.

Malzahn called plays during Dillingham’s one season on staff, which made sense because Dillingham is still in his 20s and had never coached in the SEC before, while Gus Malzahn is Gus Malzahn. But Chad Morris is not Kenny Dillingham. Remember, it was the hiring of Morris (and Brent Venables) that served as the turning point in Clemson’s rise from pretty good program to the nationally elite.

Would Gus keep play calling with Morris on staff or would he hand it over? It could be months before we know that answer, but we could know the answer of if Morris will join the Auburn staff within days.

Joe Burrow: I wanted to go to Nebraska, but they told me I wasn’t good enough

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The legend of Joe Burrow is well-told by now. A guy who barely got a scholarship at Ohio State, waited his turn, realized his turn wasn’t coming, re-invented himself at LSU, and is now bound for a Heisman Trophy. The adopted son of Louisiana has put together one of the best passing seasons in college football history — 77.9 percent completion (on pace to shatter Colt McCoy‘s single-season FBS record), 10.7 yards per attempt, 48 touchdowns against just six interceptions with a 201.47 efficiency rating (on pace to break Tua Tagovailoa‘s record) — while guiding the Bayou Bengals to the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff.

It’s a season they’ll remember forever in Louisiana, and one they’d like to forget in Nebraska.

During an interview with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi in Saturday’s edition of College GameDay, Burrow shared that he really wanted to be a Cornhusker all along.

“I had one offer after my junior year of high school, and it was my dad’s team. I wanted to go to Nebraska,” he said, via 247Sports. “They told me I wasn’t good enough.”

Burrow played high school football in Athens, Ohio, but he spent much of his youth in Lincoln, where his father, Joey Burrow, was an assistant coach. Joey played at Nebraska, and he coached Joe’s older brothers, Jamie and Dan Burrow, who were also Cornhuskers. Joey Burrow was on staff at Ohio U. during Joe’s high school years, and for a time his only FBS offer was from the hometown Bobcats, which he dubbed a “pity offer.”

He wanted more. He wanted Nebraska.

The good news for those in Huskerland is that Burrow was recruited during the Mike Riley era. This is all Riley’s fault, right? There’s no egg on Scott Frost‘s face, is there?

Oh, no.

UConn AD gives Randy Edsall a vote of confidence

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UConn is 6-30 in the 2.0 tenure of Randy Edsall, having gone 3-9 in 2017, 1-11 last year and 2-10 this. The program reportedly also has more than a dozen players in the transfer portal.

Needless to say, it’s not a good time in the annals of Husky football, but it’s also not a good time to make a coaching change. The program is short on cash and in the midst of transitioning from the American to life as an FBS independent, and AD David Benedict has no plans to add another major change on top of that. As he told the AP on Sunday:

“I’m not saying that everyone has to share the same opinion or have the same level of confidence in Coach Edsall that I do, but he has to be given the time to build the program and you can’t do it in three years,” he said. “Ultimately over the next three years, we’ll hopefully see our program become more and more competitive.”

As far as votes of confidence go, this is about the least confident you’ll ever see an AD be when he backs his coach.

But at the same time, it’s also one of the most concrete. Whereas most ADs will commit to backing their coach through the end of that season and the one following at the absolute most, Benedict seems to indicate Edsall will not only be back in 2020, but 2021 and ’22 as well.

LSU opens as double-digit favorites vs. Oklahoma; Ohio State slight underdog to Clemson

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While definitely subject to change, the initial wagering odds for the degenerates in the reading audience are out.

Earlier Sunday, and in a surprise to absolutely no one, the four semifinalists for the 2019 College Football Playoff were released.  LSU was given the No. 1 seed by the selection committee and will face No. 4 Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl.  No. 2 Ohio State, which came into Championship Saturday ranked first in the country, will square off with No. 3 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.

According to the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, LSU is a 7/5 favorite to win the 2019 national championship.  Clemson is next at 2/1, while Ohio State sits at 3/1.  Oklahoma, which won its way into the playoffs at the expense of Georgia, is a decided underdog at 16/1.

Speaking of underdogs, the SEC Tigers are currently listed as a 12½-point favorite in their matchup with the Sooners.  Despite being the higher seed, the Buckeyes have opened as a two-point underdog to the ACC Tigers.

The over/under for Ohio State-Clemson opened at 63; for LSU-Oklahoma, it’s at 75.

LSU and Oklahoma have squared off just twice previously, with the most recent matchup coming in 2004.  Clemson and Ohio State have met three times in their collective histories, the most recent meeting coming in the 2016 College Football Playoff — a 31-0 win for the Tigers.