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The Scoop on stats - Week 5

Here's a quick look at some interesting stats through week 5 of college football.

Let us know what you've noticed as well.

- Air Force and UTSA remain the only teams in the country to not allow a sack. Air Force has played four games, UTSA has played three. The two teams rank toward the bottom nationally in pass attempts. Air Force has attempted 44 passes (123rd nationally) and UTSA has attempted 87 (115th nationally).

- Of the six teams yet to throw an interception, two are from the state of Louisiana. Toledo, Alabama, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech, Ohio, and Air Force have all yet to throw a pick. Of those teams, Toledo has the most pass attempts (186), and Ohio has the most touchdowns (13).

- Arkansas has given up 101 plays of 10 yards or more through five games. That's 73 more than Alabama has given up in their five games.

- During Geno Smith's record setting Saturday where he had more touchdown passes than incompletions, (6 incompletions to 8 touchdowns) he also surpassed former Mountaineer quarterback Mike Timko's total passing yardage for the entire 1985 season (567 yards).

- Fresno State defensive back Phillip Thomas is averaging an interception a game through the first five games of the year. Thomas has also taken 2 of those interceptions back for touchdowns.

- FCS teams have beaten FBS teams ten times already this year, tying the record for most wins in a single season. That record has a good chance of falling with 11 more FCS vs. FBS match ups before the season ends.

- The Pac 12 and SEC are among the best teams in the country in third down conversion percentage, with three teams from each conference making the list. Pac 12 members making the top ten are Oregon State (#2 - 20.5%), Stanford (#4 -  24.2%), Oregon (#5 - 24.7%) and SEC teams include Texas A&M (#7 - 26.5%), LSU (#8 - 27%), and South Carolina (#10 - 27.4%). TCU is the top ranked third down defense allowing teams to convert on only 19.3% of their tries.

- Marshall continues to lead the country in plays over 10 yards with 111. Arizona moved into the #2 spot tied with Oregon at 102 plays over 10 yards.

- Fresno State is the only team in the country with 2 scrimmage plays over 90 yards.

- The top three teams in scoring offense are from the Big 12. Oklahoma State leads the nation with nearly 56 points per game, Baylor is a close second at 54.3 and West Virginia is sitting at 53 points per game.

- According to USA Today, back in 2007 teams scored at least 60 points 24 different times. Through five weeks this season, 23 teams have already hit the 60 point mark.

- Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien is the only kicker in the country to attempt over 10 field goals so far this season and convert on 100% of his attempts (11/11).

- Kansas State (4-0) and Central Michigan (2-2) are the least penalized teams in the country. Each team is committing less than 3 penalties per game for less than 20 yards.

- Louisiana Tech (10.5) and Rutgers (10.3) are the only two teams in the country that are averaging double digit penalties. Both teams are also 4-0. Louisiana Tech also has the most penalty yardage per game (98 yards per contest).

- Buffalo, Wake Forest, Alabama, and Oklahoma State are all coming out of the red zone with points on 100% of their trips. Oklahoma leads the nation with 25 attempts (20 touchdowns), while Buffalo has taken 9 trips (8 of them being touchdowns).

- The top 5 teams in time of possession are a combined 19-2 (Oregon State, UTSA, Florida, Louisville, Louisiana-Monroe). The bottom five (Houston, Kentucky, Baylor, Northern Illinois, Buffalo) are a combined 10-12. Which is very different than least season when Oregon and Houston (who finished a combined 25-3) ranked 120th and 114th in time of possession.

- Both Mississippi State (6) and Temple (5) have forced at least 5 fumbles and have recovered every single one of them.

- North Texas, Rutgers and Western Michigan have yet to allow an offense to convert a fourth down attempt. Each defense has stayed on the field and stuffed four separate attempts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cage Match - Grantham, Dan Quinn, and VanGorder

Legend has it (or maybe we just dreamt it up) that during the off-season Todd Grantham and Dan Quinn square off in an annual cage match in order to sort out SEC east defensive coordinator supremacy.

We also heard that Brian VanGorder wanted in so badly that he took the job at Auburn and plans to challenge every defensive coordinator in the west...

Anyone else thinking we've got a made for TV special coming soon? 

From the looks of the video above, Quinn is one guy you don't want to see when the cage door gets locked behind you. How great would it be to see Muschamp put the gloves on, step in and just unleash his fury on Quinn? 

Leach talks about the lengths he goes to keep his assistants happy

At the end of his press conference last night, Mike Leach was asked about any pregame rituals that he finds himself doing on game day.

Leach noted that because of the way they have structured their time, the actual routine of game day becomes the ritual, and that even though games are at different times, he often finds himself in the same part of his routine at the same time prior to kick off each week.

Coach Leach then explains one ritual, involving the B12 shot, that he was forced to continue while he was at Texas Tech to give his coaches peace of mind on the sidelines.

Pretty funny story.

"Success comes when you have a team that wants discipline, accountability and education"

According to Alabama secondary coach Jeremy Pruitt, when you get a group of guys together that want the discipline, and accountability to go along with a hunger for their degree, special things can happen.

"When you put together a group of guys who want the discipline, who want the education, who want to be held accountable, then you can have something special.

Pruitt notes that winning football games and competing for championships is a combination of all of those things, as past national championship teams have demonstrated.

"Everybody knows about the winning we have going on right now at Alabama," he explained. "But we're there for more reasons than that. When we beat Texas for the national championship, we had 22 guys who played in that game who had their degrees. When we beat LSU for the national championship, we had 21 guys who played in that game who had their degrees. That's what it's about - developing the complete player."

During a recent speaking engagement, Pruitt explained that their challenge right now is maintaining their motivation while they're on top.

"Our challenge right now is: We're 5-0. We haven't had our nose rubbed in it for a while. Are we going to have the motivation to do what we have to do to keep getting better, or are we going to have to have some kind of failure to get to where we have to say, 'I told you so.'?

Alabama's remaining schedule with road games at Missouri, Tennessee and LSU, will test the identity and character that the team is made of, Pruitt explains.

"We've got five games here in a row where we'll kind of run the gauntlet in the SEC. It's hard to win on the road in the SEC, and any win you get, you are thankful for it. We're going to find out our identity. We're going to find out what kind of character we have." 

The five game SEC stretch following this weekend's bye that Pruitt is referring to is comprised of road games at Missouri (3-2, 0-2), Tennessee (3-2, 0-2) and LSU (5-0, 1-0), and the Tide will get Mississippi State (4-0, 1-0) and Texas A&M (3-1, 1-1) at home.

 

 

 

 

Butch Jones: "If we weren't mentally ready, we wouldn't be singing"

What a weekend both on and off the field for Butch Jones and the Cincinnati Bearcats. After moving their “home” game against Virginia Tech to FedEx Field just outside of Washington DC, the Bearcats went into Hokie territory and came away with an improbable 27-24 victory. 

Trailing by four with 1:43 left in the 4th, the Bearcats started at their own 15 and quickly drove into Virginia Tech territory. With just 13 seconds left in the game, QB Munchie Legaux connected with Damon Julian for an incredible diving 39-yard touchdown pass to win it for Cincinnati as they improved to 3-0. 

The game was played in the Washington Redskins’ stadium just outside of DC, a chance for Coach Jones and his staff to showcase the Bearcats program in a recruiting hotbed. Add to the fact that the University pocketed an estimated $3 million for moving their home game, leaving with a W makes it all the more sweeter. 

We included a video below from Coach Jones’ blog, which has some great footage of the game winning touchdown and the rowdy locker room celebration which ensued afterwards. We also get a glimpse into his post game address to his team, where he confidently tells his players “if we keep training and you keep believing in the way we play football, we can’t be beat.” 

One of the best moments in the winning locker room is from Cincinnati interim President Dr. Santa Ono, who addressed the team and informed them of a little friendly wager he made before the season with Jones.  Dr. Ono had pledged to his head coach that if the Bearcats were to win 10 games in a row, he would shave his head. The Bearcats are 7 more wins away from that haircut but the UC President went on to tell the players “I want to lose my hair.” Time will tell if President Ono will sport a new haircut to another BCS bowl game for the Bearcats this season.

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