PHOTO: USA Today Sports
I grew up on box scores. Before the age of the internet, I always looked forward to waking up in the morning and getting the paper and finding out who beat who and also digging into the box score. To this day, I will often keep my internet browser open and I will keep it on the box score so I can glance over at it from time to time as I watch a game.
Statistics are just one part of the game but they tell the story of what happened and how it happened on the field. The college football site I visit the most for my statistically fix is cfbstats.com. If you follow me on Twitter (sameless promo- @cfbz), you probably noticed that I will shoot out random stats from time to time. Stats are just something that have been in my blood since I was a kid and collected baseball cards and intently read box scores for all sports
Let's take a look back at 50 fun (or maybe not so fun depending on who you root for) stats from the 2013 college football season….
– On the opening weekend of college football, seven FCS schools beat FBS teams. Those FBS teams paid a total of $2.375 million for those losses (credit: Brett McMurphy)
– Two running backs averaged 10 yards per carry (or more) in 2013. Georgia Tech's Robert Godhigh (10.06 ypc; 69 attempts for 694 yards) and Auburn's Corey Grant (10.00 ypc; 65 attempts for 650 yards).
– Only Washington's Bishop Sankey had a rushing TD in all 12 games this season. Indiana's Tevin Coleman had a rushing TD in every game but only played in 9 games.
– South Carolina's Connor Shaw was the only QB in the FBS to attempt over 200 passes and only throw one interception. Kentucky's Maxwell Smith had 1 INT but only attempted 183 passes.
– Fresno State's Derek Carr led the FBS with 48 TD passes. That's 10 more than the number two QB in the Nation, Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston.
– Washington State's Connor Halliday attempted the most passes in the FBS, 656. That's over 54 a game! He attempted 80 against Oregon on 10/19. That's almost 100 passes in a single game by one player! He also led the Nation with 21 interceptions.
– UNC's Ryan Switzer returned four punts for TDs in 2013. Somehow he came in third place for average punt return (19.95 ypr) behind USC's Nelson Agholor (21.63) and Auburn's Chris Davis (20.14)
– Boston College's Nate Freese (18 for 18) and Ohio's Josiah Yazdani (12 for 12) were the only kickers who made 100% of their kicks in 2013.
– Auburn's Cody Parkey led the Nation with 67 touchbacks (72.83% of his kicks). Tulane's Cairo Santos had the best percentage as 75.86% of his kickoffs were touchbacks but Parkey also attempted 3 onside kicks (Santos attempted one).
– Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon was the only player to have three rushing plays of 70 or more yards.
– Miami's Stephen Morris had 3 passes of 80 yards or more. Clemson's Tajh Boyd, Georgia's Aaron Murray, Baylor's Bryce Petty and Notre Dame's Tommy Rees all had two.
– Sammy Watkins was the only receiver to have more than one reception for over 90 yards (he had two).
– Baylor led the Nation averaging 53.5 points per game. On the flip side, FIU and Miami (Ohio) averaged just 9.8 ppg which was 43.7 ppg less than Baylor.
– 13 players, including Navy's Keenan Reynolds (14.7 ppg) and Colorado State's Kapri Bibbs (12.9 pgg) scored more points per game than FIU and Miami (Ohio).
– Georgia and Northern Illinois were the only teams in the Nation to have two players average 10 or more points per game. For Georgia it was kicker Marshall Morgan and RB Todd Gurley (both averaged exactly 10 points per game). For NIU it was QB Jordan Lynch and K Mathew Sims (Lynch averaged 10.6 and Sims averaged 10.0).
– Florida State led the Nation in scoring defense giving up just 10.7 ppg. Idaho gave up 46.8 ppg or 36.1 more ppg than FSU.
– San Diego State made the most two-point conversions this season with five. San Jose State, Illinois and Colorado all converted four.
– Air Force and Colorado State both gave up four two-point conversions, which was the most in the Nation.
– Cal gave up 5 punt returns for TDs. The rest of the Pac-12 combined to give up just one.
– Ohio State led the Nation in rushing yards per attempt at 7.03. Auburn led the Nation in rushing yards per game (335.69) and rushing TDs (46).
– USF only had 4 rushing TDs on the season which placed them last in the FBS.
– Michigan State led the Nation in rushing defense giving up an average of just 2.7 yards per rush and 80.77 yards per game. They gave up 273 rushing yards to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.
– Missouri entered the SEC Championship Game giving up 119 rushing yards per game, which put them second behind Alabama in the SEC. They gave up 545 rushing yards to Auburn in the SEC Championship Game which moved them all the way down to eighth in the SEC in rushing defense.
– Florida State and Iowa gave up just five rushing TD's each during the entire 2013 season. New Mexico State gave up five or more rushing TDs five times during 2013.
– Four teams finished the season making less than 50% of their field goal attempts: Temple (33%), Cincinnati (40%), Mississippi State (45%) and UTEP (46.7%).
– Three teams finished the season with a completion percentage above 70%: East Carolina, Boise State and Louisville
– Eight teams finished the season with a completion percentage under 50%: Arkansas, Western Michigan, Tulsa, Army, Kansas, Georgia Tech, South Florida and Miami (Ohio).
– Southern Mississippi led the Nation by throwing 26 interceptions.
– 20 FBS teams threw more interceptions than TDs in 2013: Central Michigan, FIU, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Miami (Ohio), North Carolina State, South Florida, Southern Mississippi, Syracuse, TCU, Tennessee, Tulsa, UConn, UMass, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Western Kentucky, Western Michigan
– San Diego State was the worst team in the Nation on extra points converting on 84.2% (32 of 38). That's probably why they converted the most two-pointers.
– Bowling Green led the Nation in time of possession, possessing the ball for 445 minutes during the 2013 season. Wyoming had the ball the least, possessing the ball for just 300 minutes. Of course, time of possession can be an overrated stat as Oregon was 124th in the Nation at 303 minutes.
– Toledo allowed just 6 sacks the entire season. Idaho allowed 53 and 4.42 per game.
– Western Michigan had just 7 sacks the entire season. Stanford had 8 against Oregon State on 10/26 and Arizona State had 9 against UCLA on 11/23.
– Florida State, Arizona State and Baylor returned five interceptions for TDs in 2013. New Mexico, Air Force, Kentucky, Illinois, Temple and UTEP didn't even have five interceptions the entire season.
– Ball State forced 20 fumbles and recovered 18 of them for a recovery rate of 90%. Nebraska forced 15 fumbles but recovered just 3 of them for a recovery rate of 20%.
– Not only did Nebraska struggle to gain fumbles, they were next to last in giving them up as they lost 16 fumbles on the season. Maryland led the Nation by losing 18 fumbles.
– Tennessee had a turnover margin of -1.80 in road games. At home they had a turnover margin of +1.43.
– Florida State was the best team in the Nation in the red zone scoring on 97.1% of their trips. They went undefeated this season. Miami (Ohio) was the worst scoring on just 63.16% of their trips. They went 0-12.
– Ohio State was the best team in the Nation in terms of scoring TDs in the red zone. They scored TDs on 83.33% of their red zone trips. They lost one game all season. South Florida scored TDs on just 36.84% of trips to the red zone. They won just two games.
– San Diego State's defense was the worst in the Nation in the red zone giving up scores on 95.12% of possessions and TDs on 85.37% of possessions.
– 42% of FBS teams didn't attempt an onside kick this season. SMU and Colorado each attempted five.
– SMU had the most onside kicks attempted against them with six. Stanford and Akron each had 5 attempted against them.
– Colorado State gave up 11 plays of 60 or more yards in 2013. Cal and Eastern Michigan gave up 10. Ten teams gave up no plays of 60 or more yards: ECU, Houston, LSU, Louisville, Middle Tennessee, Navy, Nebraska, Penn State, Toledo and UTSA.
– Colorado State's Kapri Bibbs led the Nation in rushing TDs. What's more impressive is that he also led the Nation in 4th quarter rushing TDs with 11.
– The QB with the highest rating on 3rd downs? Of course, it was Jameis Winston with a rating of 192.38. The rest of the top 5? Zach Mettenberger, Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Maty Mauk.
– Teddy Bridgewater had the most TD passes on third down with 13.
– Texas Tech's Jace Amaro led the Nation with 33 receptions on third down. The runner-up was Justin Hardy (ECU) with 28.
– Navy was the least penalized team in the Nation at 23.1 yards per game. Baylor had the most at 78.3 yards per game.
– Western Kentucky's Antonio Andrews led the Nation with 184 yards from scrimmage per game. The rest of the top five: Andre Williams (Boston College), Bishop Sankey (Washington), Ka'Deem Carey (Arizona) and Brandin Cooks (Oregon State)
– In 2012, Auburn and Missouri combined to go 2-14 in SEC games. In 2013, they combined to go 14-2 in regular season conference games and won their respective divisions.