Week 11, Statistically Speaking

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

-9 — Rushing yards for Northwestern in the one-point loss to Michigan.  Quarterback Trevor Siemian totaled minus-37 yards rushing, while the Wildcats’ leading rusher, Justin Jackson, had plus-35.

.844 — Overall career winning percentage (54-10, fifth season) for Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, the best for any ACC head coach with three or more seasons.  His winning percentage of .842 in ACC games is best of all-time, ahead of the legend he replaced at FSU, Bobby Bowden (.814).

1.3 — Interceptions for Louisville’s Gerod Holliman after a three-pick performance against Boston College.  Holliman now has 12 interceptions with two regular season games and a bowl game remaining; the all-time FBS record for interceptions in a season is 14 by Washington’s Al Worley in 1968.  Incidentally, there are only 17 FBS teams with more interceptions this season than Holliman.

2 — FBS players and who have accounted for more than 9,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing in a career, and both played at Nevada: Cody Fajardo (9,084 and 3,025, 2011-present) and Colin Kaepernick (10,098 and 4,112, 2007-10). Kaepernick’s 14,210 yard of total offense is No. 1 in FBS history, while Fajardo’s (12,109) is currently 16th.

2 — Rushing touchdowns allowed by Alabama’s defense this season, the fewest in the FBS.  Next lowest?  Utah’s allowed five.

2-7 — Record of teams the game after playing Navy this season.  That includes Notre Dame’s second loss of the season, a 55-31 decision to Arizona State this weekend.

Tevin Coleman
Tevin Coleman

3 — Weeks in a row a player from Rutgers’ opponent has been named as the Big Ten’s Player of the Week.  That streak temporarily came to an end this week as the Scarlet Knights are on a bye, although Indiana — and the nation’s second-leading rusher Tevin Coleman — await next week and could easily extend the streak to four straight.

4-3 — Touchdowns vs. incompletions for Hutson Mason in Georgia’s blowout win over Kentucky.

5 — FBS players who have ever totaled 200-plus yards rushing and 100-plus yards receiving in a single game: Brian Hill, Wyoming vs. Fresno State, Nov. 1, 2014 (281 rushing, 106 receiving); Donald Buckram, UTEP vs. Tulane, Nov. 7, 2009 (234, 109); Steve Slaton, West Virginia vs. Pittsburgh, Nov. 16, 2006 (215, 130); Emmett White, Utah St. vs. New Mexico St., Nov. 4, 2000 (322, 134); and Thomas Jones, Virginia vs. Buffalo, Nov. 13, 1999 (221, 110).

10.1 — Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett leads the FBS in passing touchdown percentage (26 TDs on 233 attempts; 11.1 percent).

11 — Games in a row Oregon’s Marcus Mariota has thrown two or more touchdown passes, the longest such streak for an FBS quarterback.

13.1Nick Chubb‘s yards per carry average as he ran for 170 yards on just 13 rushes in Georgia’s blowout win over Kentucky.

14 — 300-yard passing games for Baylor’s Bryce Petty, breaking the school record of 13 previously held by Heisman winner Robert Griffin III.

17 — Times Kansas State has played or will play in a bowl game in Bill Snyder‘s 23 seasons in Manhattan, including 2014.  In the 96 seasons not coached by Snyder, K-State played in one bowl game (1982).

19 — Commander-in-Chief’s Trophies won by Air Force, the most of any service academy.  Navy has 14 (last in 2013) and Army has six (1996).  Four times in the 43-year history of the round-robin competition the trophy has been shared, the last coming in 1993.

20-0 — Oklahoma’s record in its first 20 meetings with Baylor.  The Bears, however, have won three of the last four games vs. the Sooners, including Saturday’s 48-14 spanking.  The win over OU also marked BU’s first-ever win in Norman in 12 meetings.

21 — Consecutive bowl appearances for Virginia Tech, the second-longest streak in the country behind Florida State’s 32.  That streak is in jeopardy, however, as the 4-5 Hokies must win two of their last three games (at Duke, at Wake Forest, vs. Virginia) in order to reach bowl eligibility.

24 — Points Bowling Green scored off of five Akron turnovers in the Falcons’ 27-10 win over the Zips Tuesday night.

28 — Games in a row won by Wisconsin when the contest kicked off at noon ET.  UW’s last loss with that kickoff time was Oct. 17, 2009, to Iowa.

28 — Season-high in points put up by SMU in its loss to Tulsa Saturday.  77 FBS teams average more than that on the season.

33 — North Dakota State’s all-division-best winning streak that was snapped in Week 11 by Northern Iowa in resounding fashion, with the Panthers coming away with a 23-3 home win.

37 — Road games in a row Baylor had lost in a row to ranked teams prior to the win over Oklahoma, a streak that had stretched all the way back to 1991.  That was the longest such streak in the country; that “honor” now falls to Kentucky and its 23 straight.

Yankee Stadium41 — Times Army has played a football game at new/old Yankee Stadium, including Saturday’s game against UConn.  The Black Knights were 14-19-5 at the old Bronx home of the Yankees, 1-2 at the new version including the Week 11 win to the Huskies.  That win, incidentally, was the service academy’s first at Yankee Stadium in 54 years.

43 — FBS teams that average less than Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon‘s 166.8 rushing yards per game.

47 — Games in a row with a reception for Wyoming’s Dominic Ruffin, the best current streak in the FBS and tying a school and Mountain West record held by Jovon Bouknight (2002-05).  The all-time FBS record of 53 is held by Central Michigan’s Bryan Anderson (2006-09).  As the Cowboys have at most four games remaining, the senior Ruffin won’t be able to match or exceed Anderson’s standard.

92 — Yards on Bill Belton‘s second-quarter scoring jaunt against Indiana, the longest rushing touchdown in the history of Penn State football.  Blair Thomas also had a 92-yard run in 1986, but that didn’t result in a score.

94 — FBS teams with fewer rushing touchdowns than Western Michigan true freshman running back Jarvion Franklin‘s 22.

221 — Rushing yards for Cameron Artis-Payne in Auburn’s loss to Texas A&M.  His previous career-high was 177, set in the 2014 opener against Arkansas.

224 — Receiving yards for Corey Coleman in Baylor’s win over Oklahoma.  His previous career-high was 167, set a week before against Kansas.

386 — Total offense (300 passing, 86 rushing) for Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett in the huge road win over Michigan State.  The redshirt freshman also tossed three touchdown passes and scored two on the ground.

402 — Rushing yards for Ole Miss in the win over Presbyterian, its most since 1969.  The 640 yards of total offense was second in school history (751 vs. Troy last season).

446 — Passing yards for Everett Golson in Notre Dame’s loss to Arizona State.  It was Golson’s first 400-yard passing game, and bested his previous career-high of 362 set against Syracuse Sept. 27 this year.

Washington State v Oregon State
Luke Falk

471 — In his first career start, passing yards for redshirt freshman Luke Falk in Washington State’s surprise 39-32 win over Oregon State.

498 — Total offense (367 passing, 131 rushing) produced by Grant Hedrick in Boise State’s wild win over New Mexico.  Hedrick also accounted for six touchdowns, four passing and two rushing.

505 — Rushing yards for New Mexico in its 60-49 loss to Boise State.

582 — Total offense for Auburn vs. Texas A&M, its most ever in a loss.

965 — Rushing yards for Boston College’s Tyler Murphy entering Week 11, the most for any quarterback in the country (Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott had 725) and more than 16 teams had totaled all season.  The Florida transfer added 41 yards to that total in BC’s game against Louisville, his lowest out put of the season.

1942 — Last year Georgia scored more points in an SEC game than UGA did in Saturday’s 63-31 win over Kentucky.  In that 1942 game, they beat Florida 75-0.

1956-57 — Prior to 2013-14, the last time Duke was ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 in back-to-back seasons.

1967 — Last year Minnesota won both the Little Brown Jug (Michigan) and Floyd of Rosedale (Iowa) rivalry trophies in the same season.

2,951 — Career receiving yards for Amari Cooper, breaking Alabama’s all-time record (DJ Hall, 2,923, 2004-07).  Cooper also broke Julio Jones‘ school record for single season receiving yards (1,133) in 2010, and now has 1,215 with three regular season games plus at least one postseason game remaining.

Pac-12 player group ‘disappointed’ after commissioner call

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The Pac-12 players of the “WeAreUnited” movement said they were “disappointed and deeply concerned” after a recent meeting with the conference’s commissioner.

The players sent an email to Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott late Friday accusing him of not taking the issues they have raised seriously enough. The email was also shared with members of the media.

The group’s correspondence came after Scott followed their Thursday call with an email to the players that struck a very different tone, thanking them for the “passion and honesty with which you spoke yesterday evening.”

The group is pushing the conference to address their concerns about COVID-19 protocols, racial injustice in college sports and economic rights for college athletes. Players threatened opting out of practices and games if their demands aren’t addressed. Leaders of the group have said their movement has more than 400 players from around the conference supporting it.

In their email to the commissioner, the players said they were unsatisfied with Scott’s answers to question about increasing the frequency of COVID-19 testing done on athletes and the mandating of best practices across the conference.

“Without a discernible plan and mandates to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes, it is absurd, offensive, and deadly to expect a season to proceed,” they said.

When the players went public with their demands last Sunday, they reached out to the Pac-12 and requested daily meetings with conference officials. Instead, they got one call last week and a pledge from the conference for continued communication.

“You informed us we cannot have legal representation attend these meetings to assist in connection with our legal rights, nor were you willing to even have regular meetings with us to provide updates,” the players wrote to Scott.

Scott’s email addressed four topics that made up the bulk of the Thursday call with 12 players: health and safety; eligibility; COVID-19 liability waivers; and opt-out due to COVID-19 concerns.

Scott wrote the conference will attempt to provide the players an opportunity to speak with the Pac-12 medical advisory committee and keep them abreast of work being done at the NCAA level to address whether athletes who opt out of the coming season will be permitted to retain eligibility.

Scott said the conference office would ensure none of the league’s schools ask athletes to sign liability waivers and reiterated Pac-12 schools were committed to honoring scholarships of players who chose not to play this season because of COVID-19 concerns.

“We will work on gathering the information listed above and providing it to you as soon as possible,” Scott wrote.

Clemson QB Lawrence says he’s completely committed to 2020 season

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Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence said he considered opting out of this season when he was unsure what college football would look like going forward amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Lawrence said Friday once he understood he’d play an 11-game season with a chance for an Atlantic Coast Conference and national championships, he decided to play his junior season.

The Heisman Trophy hopeful said he’s completely committed to this season and confident in Clemson’s ability to keep himself and his teammates safe.

Lawrence, who is the likely No. 1 overall pick in the next NFL draft should he leave college early, was 25-0 as a starter until he and Clemson fell to LSU in the national title game last January. The 6-foot-6 junior, had perhaps his poorest performance in college in the 42-25 loss to LSU. He joked how after his freshman year when he led Clemson to a championship he heard how amazing he was and since the LSU defeat, he heard how much work he has to do improve.

Pac-12 responds to football players threatening opt-outs

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The Pac-12 responded Monday to football players who have threatened to opt-out of the season because of concerns related to health and safety, racial injustice and economic rights with a letter touting the conference’s work in those areas and an invitation to meet later this week.

A letter from Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, dated Aug. 3, was sent to 12 football players leading the #WeAreUnited movement. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press and first reported by Sports Illustrated.

The players say they have been communicating with more than 400 of their peers throughout the Pac-12. The group released a lengthy list of demands Sunday and said if they are not addressed they will not practice or play. The group said it reached out to the Pac-12 on Sunday to request a meeting. In the letter, Scott said he was eager to discuss their concerns.

“I will come back to you in the coming days following discussion with our members and student-athlete leaders to schedule a call for this week to discuss the matters that you have raised,” Scott wrote.

Also Monday night, Washington State coach Nick Rolovich said in a statemen t he regretted cautioning one of his players about being part of the #WeAreUnited movement. A recording of a conversation between Rolovich and receiver Kassidy Woods obtained by the Dallas Morning News revealed the coach seemingly warning the player that being involved with the group would hurt his standing with the team. Woods had called Rolovich to inform him he was opting out of the season for health reasons related to COVID-19.

“I spoke with Kassidy Woods in a private phone conversation last Saturday afternoon. This was before the #WeAreUnited group had released its letter of concerns,” said Rolovich, who is in his first season was Washington State coach. “Without knowing the concerns of the group, I regret that my words cautioning Kassidy have become construed as opposition. I’m proud of our players and all the Pac-12 student-athletes for using their platform, especially for matters they are passionate about. WSU football student-athletes who have expressed support for the #WeAreUnited group will continue to be welcome to all team-related activities, unless they choose to opt out for health and safety reasons.”

The #WeAreUnited players’ demands focused on four areas: health and safety protections, especially protocols related to COVID-19; guarding against the elimination of sports programs by schools during an economic downturn; ending racial injustice in college sports; and economic freedom and equity.

Scott addressed each area, highlighting the conference’s:

— Medical advisory committee working on COVID-19 protocols and webinars for student-athletes and their parents;

— Support for reforming NCAA rules regarding name, image and likeness compensation for college athletes;

— Recent initiatives to address racial inequities such as the formation of a social justice & anti-racism advisory group that includes student-athletes representatives.

Scott also listed 10 areas in which, he wrote, “The Pac-12 has been a leader in supporting student-athlete health and well-being …” Included were enhanced medical coverage post-eligibility; cost-of-attendance stipends added to the value of scholarship; mental health support; and the Pac-12′s support of reforming NCAA transfer rules to allow athletes more freedom to switch schools.

Pac-12 football teams are scheduled to begin preseason practices Aug. 17 and the league’s conference-only regular season is set to start Sept. 26.

Big 12 to allow teams to play 1 non-conference football game

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Two people involved with the decision say the Big 12 will permit its teams to play one nonconference football game this year to go along with their nine league contests as plans for the pandemic-altered season continued to fall into place.

The people spoke Monday night to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the conference was still preparing an official announcement.

The Big 12 university presidents signed off on the conference’s scheduling model, which gives schools the ability to play one nonconference game at home. The conference’s championship game is scheduled for Dec. 5, but one of the people told AP that the conference is leaving open the possibility of bumping it back a week or two.

The 10-team Big 12 already plays a nine-game, round-robin conference schedule. Unlike other Power Five conference that have switched to either exclusively (Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC) or mostly (ACC) league games this season, the Big 12 could not add more conference games without teams playing each other more than once.

Several Big 12 teams have already started preseason practice, with Kansas and Oklahoma slated to play FCS teams on Aug. 29.

As conferences take steps toward a football season that seems to be in precarious shape, the NCAA is expected to weigh in Tuesday on fall sports other than major-college football.

The association’s Board of Governors is scheduled to meet and whether to cancel or postpone NCAA championship events in fall sports such as soccer, volleyball and lower-division football is expected to be a topic.

Only the Pac-12 has a full football schedule with matchups and dates in place among Power Five conferences. The Pac-12 will begin Sept. 26, along with the Southeastern Conference, which is still working on its new 10-game slate.

The Atlantic Coast Conference has opponents set for its 10-game conference schedule and will start the weekend of Sept. 12, but no specific game dates. The ACC has also said it will permit its teams to play one nonconference game.

The Big Ten, first to announce intentions to go conference-only this season, has yet to release a new schedule, but that could come later this week.

Now that the Power Five has declared its intentions the Group of Five conferences can start making plans and filling holes on their schedules.

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco has said the AAC could stick with its eight-game conference schedule and let its members plays as many of their four nonconference games as they can salvage or replace.

The Mountain West, Conference USA, Mid-American and Sun Belt conferences are likely to take similar approach.

Early Monday, Texas State from the Sun Belt announced it was moving a nonconference game against SMU up from Sept. 5 to Aug. 29.