Week 13, Statistically Speaking

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

.592 – Winning percentage of visiting teams in Pac-12 road games (29-20) this season. The six teams ranked in last week’s Associated Press Top 25 (Oregon, UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona, Utah and USC) have a combined overall road record of 23-6 (.793).

.815 — Ohio State’s winning percentage (97-22) in Big Ten play since 2000, the highest league winning percentage among all Power Five schools.  Oklahoma 99-24 is next at .805.

.933 — Career field-goal percentage for Florida State’s Robert Aguayo (42-45).  The all-time career mark, for at least 45 attempts per the 2014 FBS record book, was .900 (45-50) by Louisiana-Lafayette’s Brett Baer (2009-12). The career mark, for at least 55 attempts, is .895 (68-76) by Nebraska’s Alex Henery (2007-10).

0 — Touchbacks this season for Wake Forest punter Alex Kinal, the only player in the Top 25 in punting average who can make that claim.

1 — 400-yard passing games for Jake Waters in his career, the lone one coming in Kansas State’s win over West Virginia Thursday night (400 even).  Waters had only one previous 300-yard game, that coming in November of last year against Oklahoma (348).

Ohio State v Maryland
Brad Craddock

1 — Kickers at the FBS level who have yet to miss a field goal attempt (minimum eight attempts) this season: Maryland’s Brad Craddock (17-17).  Craddock has made 23 straight attempts dating back to 2013, the longest current streak at the FBS level and third-longest in Big Ten history.

1.2 — Yards per play Savannah State averaged in its 64-0 loss to BYU.  The Cougars limited the Tigers to 40 yards passing on 28 attempts and 23 yards rushing on the same number of attempts.

4 — FBS teams currently undefeated in conference play:

Florida State (ACC, 8-0)
Georgia Southern (Sun Belt, 7-0)
Marshall (Conference USA, 7-0)
Ohio State (Big Ten, 7-0)

5 — Consecutive games Auburn allowed 30 or more points prior to playing Samford, the first time that’s ever happened in the history of the football program.

5 — Number of undefeated home seasons in the history of Utah State football: 1968 (4-0), 1972 (5-0), 1982 (4-0), 2012 (6-0) and 2014 (6-0).

6 — Total touchdowns (five rushing, one receiving) for Colorado State’s Dee Hart in a win over New Mexico, the second-highest single-game total in Mountain West History.

10 — Consecutive road wins for Missouri, breaking the school record originally set between 1978-80.  Mizzou’s last road loss came in the 2012 regular-season finale against Texas A&M.

10.9 — Yards per carry Nick Wilson averaged in setting a career-high with 218 yards in Arizona’s 42-10 thumping of Utah.

USC v Washington State
Juju Smith

17 — USC wide receiver JuJu Smith‘s age prior to Saturday.  The true freshman is currently second on the Trojans in receptions 46, receiving yards 610 and receiving touchdowns five.

22 — Rushing touchdowns this season for Pittsburgh’s James Conner, breaking the ACC record of 21 set by Virginia Tech’s Ryan Williams in 2009 and tying the school record of 22 set by Tony Dorsett during his Heisman-winning season in 1976.

26 — Consecutive Big 12 road games Kansas has lost, with the last conference win away from Lawrence coming in early October of 2008 against Iowa State in Ames (35-33).  It’s last double-digit conference road win came in 2007 against Oklahoma State in Stillwater (43-28).

27 — Regulation possessions in the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest that didn’t result in points, sending an FBS game into overtime in a scoreless tie for the first time in nearly a decade.  18 of those possessions ended in punts; four in turnovers (two fumbles, two interceptions); three in missed field goals; and two at the end of halves.

30 — Years since Wake Forest had beaten Virginia Tech before winning 6-3 in overtime Saturday.

40 — Wins for Clemson’s 2014 seniors, tied with 1990 for the most wins ever by one class in school history.

48 — Consecutive games Oklahoma has won when leading at halftime, the longest such streak in the country.  Kansas State has won 46 straight when up after two quarters.

100.7 — Yards per game receiving Western Michigan’s Corey Davis has averaged in his career (21 games, 2,114 yards), the only current FBS player who 1s averaging 100-plus yards per game.

150 — Consecutive games played between Lafayette and Lehigh, the longest continuous rivalry in the history of college football.  The 150th edition of the game was played Saturday in Yankee Stadium.  Lafayette leads the series 78-67-5 after Saturday’s 27-7 win in Yankee Stadium.

150 — Career-high receiving yards for Mario Hull in Rice’s Friday night win over UTEP.  It was the first 100-yard game of the senior’s career, and just the fifth time in 32 games he’s topped the 50-yard mark.

Blake Richmond, Joey Iosefa
Joey Iosefa

219 — Career-high rushing yards for Joey Iosefa in Hawaii’s last-season 37-35 win over UNLV, topping the 191 he produced last November in a loss to Navy.

265 — Career-high rushing yards for Kareem Hunt in Kent State’s 27-20 win over Bowling Green Wednesday night.  The performance was the first 200-yard game of Hunt’s career, and bested his previous high-water mark of 198 set Oct. 25 of this year vs. UMass.

296.7 — Pass efficiency rating for Hutson Mason in Georgia’s 55-9 scrimmage win over Charleston Southern.  Mason completed 10-of-12 passes for 187 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in two quarters of work.

510 — Total offense (409 passing, 101 rushing) for Eastern Michigan’s Reginald Bell Jr. in the 45-30 loss to Ball State.  The passing yardage is a career-high for the freshman (previous high was 283 a week ago), while it’s the third time this season the quarterback has run for 10-plus yards in a single game.

601 — Yards passing for Luke Falk in Washington State’s 52-31 loss to Arizona State.  It’s the fourth time in 11 games this season a Wazzu quarterback has topped the 500-yard mark, with the first three belonging to Connor Halliday.

1,433 — Rushing yards this season for Western Michigan’s Jarvion Franklin, breaking the MAC freshman single-season record of 1,361 by Temple’s Bernard Pierce in 2009. The true freshman also has 23 rushing touchdowns, four shy of tying Pierce’s record of 27 set in 2011.

3,507 — Yards of total offense for Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, breaking the school record of 3,130 set by Braxton Miller in 2012.

13,438 — Career passing yards for Oregon State’s Sean Mannion, moving past Georgia’s Aaron Murray (13,166) and Texas’ Colt McCoy (13,253) and into 10 place on the all-time FBS list.

University of Minnesota distances itself from Minneapolis Police Department in wake of George Floyd’s death

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A despicable, abhorrent, unconscionable situation that unfolded in Minnesota Monday has a college football connection.

Monday night, 46-year-old George Floyd died after a Minneapolis Police Department officer took a knee on the man’s neck.  For several minutes.

Floyd was a black man.  The police officer is a white man.

“I can’t breathe, please, the knee in my neck. I can’t move … my neck … I’m through, I’m through.”

Four police officers connected to the death of Floyd have since been fired.

Wednesday, the University of Minnesota announced that it has severed its most significant ties to the Minneapolis Police Department.  The MPD had assisted the university for large events, including Minnesota football games. That relationship will not move forward for now and the foreseeable future.

From a letter attributed to university president Joan Gabel:

Today I am announcing two immediate changes regarding our relationship with MPD.

First, I have directed Senior Vice President Brian Burnett to no longer contract with the Minneapolis Police Department for additional law enforcement support needed for large events, such as football games, concerts, and ceremonies.

Second, I have directed University Police Chief Matt Clark to no longer use the Minneapolis Police Department when specialized services are needed for University events, such as K-9 Explosive detection units.

The university hasn’t completely severed ties with Minneapolis police, though, with Gabel explaining that UM will “limit our collaboration with the MPD to joint patrols and investigations that directly enhance the safety of our community or that allow us to investigate and apprehend those who put our students, faculty, and staff at risk.”

Outside of that? The university’s “hearts are broken” and filled with “overwhelming sadness.”

Our hearts are broken after watching the appalling video capturing the actions of Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers against George Floyd leading to his tragic death. As a community, we are outraged and grief-stricken. I do not have the words to fully express my pain and anger and I know that many in our community share those feelings, but also fear for their own safety. This will not stand.

I write to you to express our overwhelming sadness, and our demands for accountability and justice. Our campuses and facilities are a part of the communities in which they reside. University students, staff, and faculty are day-to-day participants in the life of every community in this state, and we must act when our neighbors are harmed and in pain.

According to Blake Wilcox, the punter was told he wouldn’t be welcomed back by Wisconsin after taking personal leave of absence

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The latest exit from Wisconsin football is a curious one.

In early February, Blake Wilcox took a leave of absence from the Wisconsin football team for unspecified personal reasons. Wilcox, though, continued to work out on his own.  In fact, he told the Wisconsin State Journal that “he sent coaches videos of workouts and indicated he would be back with the team.”

On May 15, however, Wilcox claimed he was told by a member of the UW football program that he was no longer a part of the team. “It wasn’t my choice at all. I think it wasn’t a good representation of the program on their end,” he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Thus far, the Wisconsin football program has not commented publicly on Wilcox’s allegations.

“I sent them videos of workouts, me punting, and somehow they thought I wasn’t planning on coming back,” Wilcox told the State Journal in a direct message. “All things considered, I learned that things don’t always work out the way you planned. I’m in a better head space than I’ve ever been it, my grades this semester were great, and I’m ready to keep grinding.”

Wilcox was a three-star member of the Wisconsin football Class of 2019.  According to the 247Sports.com composite, the Wisconsin native was the No. 8 punter in the country.

Wilcox didn’t see the field at all as a true freshman.

Anthony Lotti and Connor Allen were the only two punters who saw action last season for the Badgers.  With Wilcox’s situation, Gavin Meyers and Jack Van Dyke are the only two punters on UW’s roster at the moment.  The program also signed a pair of punters as part of its 2020 recruiting class.

Wisconsin is coming off its fifth 10-win season the past six years.  Four of those have come under Paul Chryst.  In January, the head coach was given a contract extension through 2025.

Syracuse loses second linebacker to the transfer portal in less than two weeks

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When it comes to its linebacking corps, the transfer portal hasn’t been kind to Syracuse football of late.

In mid-May Juan Wallace announced on Twitter that he has entered the NCAA transfer database.  On the same social media service, teammate and fellow Orange linebacker Kadeem Trotter announced that he has taken the plunge into the portal as well.

It appears that Trotter will be leaving the Syracuse football program as a graduate transfer.

“I would like to thank Syracuse University for everything,” Trotter wrote. “I’ve decided to enter the transfer portal with two years of eligibility remaining.”

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Trotter was a three-star member of the Syracuse football Class of 2017.  The Canton, Ohio, product was the No. 48 player in the Buckeye State regardless of position.  Boston College and Iowa State were his only other Power Five offers.

As a true freshman, Trotter took a redshirt.  Then, in 2018, he didn’t appear in any games.  This past season, the 6-2, 226-pound redshirt sophomore played in six games.  All of that action came on special teams, the kick coverage unit specifically.

It was expected that Trotter would’ve seen his role expanded to include snaps on defense prior to his decision.

NCAA extends recruiting dead period through July 31; The Association will also allow strength coaches to ‘virtually observe voluntary physical workouts’

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Not surprisingly, the NCAA has reset its recruiting trail policies.  Again.

As the coronavirus pandemic effectively shuttered the sports world, the NCAA announced in mid-March that it was putting a halt to all in-person recruiting until at least April 15.  Last month, that dead period was extended through May 31.  This month, another extension took us to June 30.

As we close in on the month of June, another extension is official.  As expected, the NCAA announced Wednesday evening that the recruiting dead period has been extended through July 31.  That means all in-person recruiting activities — either on-campus or elsewhere — are prohibited.

The latest edict impacts all sports, not just football.

“The extension maintains consistent recruiting rules for all sports and allows coaches to focus on the student-athletes who may be returning to campus,” said Division I Council Coordination Committee chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania, said in a statement. “The committee is committed to reviewing the dead period again in late June or early July.”

One potential effect of all of these dead-period extension bans?  It could force The Association to, for one year, temporarily get rid of the December Early Signing Period.

The NCAA earlier this month also announced that football programs could begin bringing players back to campus for voluntary workouts starting June 1.  In the dead-period release, The Association also updated its tack on that front:

Additionally, the committee decided to allow strength and conditioning coaches to virtually observe voluntary physical workouts for health and safety purposes but only if requested by the student-athlete. The measure goes into effect June 1. The strength and conditioning coach will be allowed to observe the workouts and discuss items related to voluntary workouts but not direct or conduct the workout.

The decision was supported by the Committee on Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports Prevention and Performance Subcommittee. The subcommittee encouraged schools that decide to allow their strength and conditioning coaches to observe voluntary workouts to proactively consider the school’s overarching responsibility to protect the health of and provide a safe environment for each student-athlete. More specifically, the subcommittee stressed that schools should plan for how the strength and conditioning coach should respond if they observe an unsafe workout environment or in the event that a medical emergency occurs during a voluntary session.

The committee will continue to explore the opportunity for strength and conditioning coaches to conduct voluntary workouts virtually, as they do during in-person, on-campus voluntary workouts.