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Curiosities: 13 Questions Behind the Box Scores

The questions that remain from these stats are more curious than the stats themselves.

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 10 CFP National Championship

Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Box scores in a vacuum can often tell you a great part of the story, but usually not the whole story. Here are 13 questions we have from some curious data points we saw on Saturday:

  1. 200 — That’s how many yards rushing Old Dominion rang up against Virginia Tech. Considering was coming off a 3-9 season, and returned just 20% of its offensive line, and zero of its top four running backs, that number would terrify me if I were a Hokie fan and staring down a power-running conference schedule. Is the Virginia Tech Defensive Line that bad?
  2. 91 on 7 — Georgia only had 159 yards rushing against an undersized FCS defense. Worse, 2/3rds of that production came off of a handful of large 1st down running plays: 91 yards and seven carries. Outside of those seven plays, UGA had just 23 carries for 68 yards: 3.38 YPC, and just 1 rushing TD on the ground... and 4 of their 5 running backs were under 5 YPC. What’s up with the UGA offensive line?
  3. 17-14 — That was the final score of UTSA at Houston. Both of these teams were in the middle of the pack defensively last season, and had Top 30 offenses last season — and the Roadrunners especially were in good shape coming into this year. Did one or both commit themselves to defense this offseason? Was this just excellent preseason scouting by both staffs? Should we worry about the Coogs and UTSA offenses?
  4. 14-0 — I wrote in Giving Away Money that the Sam Houston defense had carried them to FCS title games the last few years and could likely float them in their early days of FBS ball. But just two scores allowed at BYU? Is the Bearkats defense that good? Or is the BYU offense that bad?
  5. 60 — even conceding the new clock rules are garbage and stealing plays from us, that was a bit ridiculous: UCLA ran just 60 plays in its fugly 27-13 win over rebuilding Coastal Carolina. Coastal ran 74 plays, and the national average was 68.9. The Bruins have a new QB: does that explain it? Or is it time for Chip Kelly to revamp his offensive style?
  6. 81 — Basketball on grass is how Colorado OC Sean Lewis describes his offense. He left his HC job at Kent State to come run the Buffs offense, and TCU was absolutely unprepared to face this many snaps. Can running that many plays every game help disguise a lack of talent in Boulder?
  7. 19.6 — That’s how many yards per pass Tulane Sr. QB Michael Pratt averaged vs. the USA secondary. He went 14 of 15 for 294 yards and 4 TDs — no INTs — as the Green Wave made this one a 37-17 laugher. Can Tulane be this year’s Midmajor behemoth?
  8. -2 — That’s how many rushing yards South Carolina had vs. UNC. Last year, the Tarheels were 96th in the nation in YPC, and 86th in YPG allowed on the ground. Is South Carolina’s backfield that bad?
  9. -20.5 — That was the closing spread for Penn State vs. West Virginia. Penn State was clinging to a convincing 16-point lead with just over three minutes remaining. Good win, but not covering...except that PSU got the ball back, went tempo, called all their timeouts, and then punched in a final score with just :06 remaining on the clock. Penn State would win by 23. Was Franklin just keeping the State boosters happy by covering the spread that late, no matter how tacky?
  10. 73 — That’s how many Oklahoma rang up on Butch Jones’s hopeless Arkansas State Red Wolves. It wasn’t competitive at any point past the coin toss. 73-0, Sooners. Does Butch survive the year at this rate?
  11. 269 — So much for that new-look Iowa offense. That’s how many total yards the Hawkeyes had at home vs. a woeful Utah State defense: 24-14 final. Does Brian Ferentz (OC) make through the entire season without being fired or demoted?
  12. 58.3 — That’s the passing percentage for Devin Leary in his first start as the Kentucky QB...against Ball State. He went for a meager 234 yards and 1:1 in a game where the Wildcats had their way otherwise. If that is the output we see on a weekly basis, will Kentucky revert back to their dinoball offense? Or will Stoops stay committed to actually trying to win through the air.
  13. 5 — That’s the total number of TFL that Alabama had vs. MTSU. With sacks, the Tide rang up just 8 negative plays on the night vs 61 snaps... and none of the negative plays came from the down four. Does the Alabama defensive line still give you concern?


Are you worried about the DL lack of production?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    No. They held up well and allowed the very speedy linebackers to cook.
    (182 votes)
  • 28%
    Yes. You want to see much more productivity out of that group, especially against an undersized team.
    (258 votes)
  • 50%
    Maybe? Let’s get past Texas and see what we have.
    (453 votes)
893 votes total Vote Now