TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL: INSIDE THE NUMBERS
#3 FLORIDA VS. SOUTH CAROLINA
Florida is 12-2 at home against South Carolina since the Gamecocks joined the SEC in 1992, losing only in 2010 and 2014.
Last week Kyle Trask became the fifth FBS quarterback in the last 25 seasons to throw for 400+ yards with 6+ touchdown passes and no picks in a season opener, along with Kentucky’s Tim Couch (1998), Hawaii’s Colt Brennan (2007), Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty (2014) and Cincinnati’s Gunner Kiel (2014).
Florida’s 642 total yards against Ole Miss were the fourth most by an SEC team in its conference opener in the last 25 seasons, behind Texas A&M in 2014 (680) and Alabama in 2017 (677) and 2014 (672).
South Carolina has just seven turnovers over its last nine games dating back to September 28 of last season, tied for the third fewest in the FBS over that span behind Oregon State and San Diego State (five each).
Shi Smith had 10 catches against Tennessee in the opener after having 11 catches against the Volunteers last season. He’s the only FBS player to have two 10-catch games against a single opponent since the start of last season.
#24 PITT VS. NC STATE
Pitt beat No. 24 Louisville 23-20 at home last week, bringing them to 3-0 for the first time since 2014. The last time the Panthers started 4-0 was in 2000, and prior to that it was 1991, when they started 5-0.
The Panthers have a 5-4-1 all-time record against NC State. The Wolfpack have won the last two, most recently on October 14, 2017, getting a 35-17 win in Pittsburgh. Pitt’s last win over NC State came in the 2001 Tangerine Bowl.
Pitt has outscored opponents 23-3 in the second half this season, and has allowed an average of 177.0 yards per game, second best in FBS (BYU, 165.0 through two games). The 10.0 points per game allowed by Pitt rank tied for sixth in FBS.
Freshman Jordan Addison had seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown in the win over Louisville, giving him a team-leading 21 catches for 169 yards. No other Pitt receiver has more than nine receptions. The last freshman to lead Pitt in receiving was Tyler Boyd in 2013.
NC State is coming off a 45-24 loss to No. 20 Virigina Tech, dropping to 1-1 this season. The Wolfpack has now lost seven straight against ranked teams, last getting a win on October 5, 2017 against No. 17 Louisville. Six of those seven losses have been by at least 21 points.
MISSOURI AT #21 TENNESSEE
Tennessee won last season’s meeting, 24-20, after Missouri scored 50 points in each of the two previous meetings. The Tigers have averaged 253.4 rushing yards in the last five meetings with Tennessee while the Volunteers have averaged 194.6 rushing yards in those five games.
Missouri lost to Alabama, 38-19, in its first game, allowing 28 of those points in the first half. Since October 19 of last season, the Tigers have been outscored by 77 points in the first half, second worst in the SEC behind Arkansas (-137).
Shawn Robinson completed 19 of his 25 passes against Alabama (76.0 percent). The transfer from TCU is just the fourth player in the last 15 years to complete at least 75.0 percent of his passes in a game against the Crimson Tide (min. 25 attempts), joining Joe Burrow, Jarrett Stidham and Johnny Manziel.
Tennessee beat South Carolina, 31-27, after losing two consecutive season openers. The Volunteers held the Gamecocks to seven points in the first half, their seventh game holding their opponent to a touchdown or less in the first half since the start of last season.
Josh Palmer had six receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown in Tennessee’s first game of the season — four of those catches came on first down (66 yards). The senior is one of nine active SEC players with over 1000 career receiving yards (1124).
#9 TEXAS VS. TCU
TCU has won five of the last six games in this series, outscoring the Longhorns by 115 points over that span (206-91).
The 119 combined points in Texas’ 63-56 win over Texas Tech last week were the second most ever in a Big 12 conference opener, behind only West Virginia’s 70-63 win over Baylor in 2012.
Sam Ehlinger is the fourth FBS quarterback in the last 25 seasons to throw 5+ TD passes in back-to-back games to start a season, along with Kentucky’s Tim Couch (1998), Rutgers’ Mike McMahon (2000) and Bowling Green’s Omar Jacobs (2005).
TCU is looking to avoid its first 0-2 start under Gary Patterson. The last time the Horned Frogs started a season 0-2 was in 1999.
Matthew Downing threw for 159 yards in TCU’s season-opening loss while Max Duggan threw for 241. It marked the first time TCU had two players throw for 150+ yards in the same game since September 24, 2005, at BYU (Tye Gunn and Jeff Ballard).
#2 ALABAMA VS. #13 TEXAS A&M
Alabama is 10-2 all-time against Texas A&M, with wins in seven straight since a 29-24 home loss in 2012 — the Aggies’ first year in the SEC. It’s Texas A&M’s longest active losing streak versus any opponent.
The Crimson Tide have won 18 consecutive home openers since a 20-17 loss to UCLA in 2001; among SEC teams, only Florida has a longer active streak (30 straight). The Tide have opened 2-0 overall in 16 straight seasons (2004-19), the longest active streak in the FBS.
Texas A&M opened its season with a 17-12 home win over Vanderbilt, the Aggies’ fewest points scored in a win since a 9-6 victory over Nebraska in 2010. They are 2-15 since joining the SEC when scoring fewer than 20 points, with the other win coming in 2017 at Florida (19-17).
In three career starts against Alabama, Kellen Mond has averaged 232.3 yards passing and 67.3 yards rushing, with four pass TD and three rush TD. He’s the first player to have 90+ rushing yards and a rush TD in back-to-back games against Alabama since Darren McFadden of Arkansas had three straight from 2005-07.
Jaylen Waddle had a career-high eight receptions in last week’s 38-19 win over Missouri, for 134 yards and two touchdowns. His 15 career receiving touchdowns are tied for ninth most in program history; teammate DeVonta Smith ranks fourth with 23.
#12 NORTH CAROLINA VS. BOSTON COLLEGE
The Tar Heels lead the all-time series, 5-2, and this is the first matchup since a 34-10 North Carolina win on October 26, 2013. UNC has won all four meetings since Boston College joined the ACC in 2005, with the Eagles’ last win coming in the 2004 Continental Tire Bowl.
North Carolina defeated Syracuse 31-6 in its opener on September 12 for its fourth straight win. The Heels have yielded 13 or fewer points in all those games, the longest active streak in the FBS of allowing 13 or fewer points.
Sam Howell threw for 295 yards in the opener with four passes going for at least 20 yards. He now has had 62 pass plays go for 20+ yards since the start of last season, and among ACC quarterbacks, only Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence (67) has more in this span.
Boston College has just 171 yards rushing, their fewest rushing yards through two games since gaining 161 in 2011. The Eagles led the ACC in rushing yards per game last season at 253.2, the first time they led their conference in average rushing yards since leading the Big East in 2001.
After throwing for 300 yards on 23 attempts for an average of 13.04 yards per attempt in the opener, Phil Jurkovec passed for 210 yards on 38 attempts last weekend for an average of 5.53 yards per attempt. Only two other BC QBs in the last 10 seasons have had 38+ attempts and 210 or fewer yards in a game, Anthony Brown (2017) and Chase Rettig (twice in 2011 and once in 2012).
#15 CINCINNATI VS. SOUTH FLORIDA
Cincinnati leads the all-time series, 10-7, winning the last two matchups after losing the previous three. In the last meeting last November, the Bearcats had just 78 passing yards in a 20-17 win. They’ve been held to less than 200 yards passing in each of their last three meetings, and this is their longest active streak against an AAC opponent of passing for fewer than 200 yards.
After rushing for 276 yards in their season opener against Austin Peay, Cincinnati was held to just 69 yards rushing on 35 attempts in last week’s win over then-No. 22 Army. It was the first time the Bearcats rushed for fewer than 70 yards on 35+ attempts since a 31-17 win over UAB on October 13, 2001.
Gerrid Doaks has had 20+ rushing yards and 60+ receiving yards in each of the first two games. He is the first Bearcat to have two games in a season with 20+ rushing yards and 60+ receiving yards since Isaiah Pead in 2011.
South Florida allowed Notre Dame to rush for 281 yards in a 52-0 loss on September 19. The Bulls have permitted 200+ rushing yards in each of their last five games, and among FBS teams, only Massachusetts has a longer active streak of allowing 200+ rushing yards at seven.
Johnny Ford has a 42-yard run and a 43-yard run this season and is averaging 9.4 yards per carry – second best in the FBS among those with at least 15 attempts. He and Liberty’s Malik Willis are the only two players in the FBS to have played fewer than three games and have a pair of 40+ yard runs.
#17 OKLAHOMA STATE VS. KANSAS
Oklahoma State has won 10 straight against Kansas dating back to 2010, scoring at least 40 points in seven of those games. The Cowboys rushed for at least 200 yards in four of the last five meetings.
Oklahoma State has allowed only 20 points this season, its fewest through two games of the season since 2006 (17). The Cowboys held West Virginia to 68 rushing yards last week — they held only two opponents to 75 or fewer rushing yards last season: West Virginia again (26) and Kansas (39).
LD Brown and Chuba Hubbard both rushed for at least 100 yards with a touchdown against West Virginia. The game moved Hubbard to 3028 career rushing yards, becoming the 10th player in school history with at least 3000 rushing yards.
Kansas risks starting 0-3 on the season since going 0-12 in 2015. The Jayhawks are 3-43 in conference play since that winless season, worst conference record by any FBS team.
Pooka Williams Jr. had a 21-yard touchdown run as well as a 16-yard touchdown run against Baylor. It was his ninth and 10th rushing touchdown of at least 15 yards in his career — those 10 such touchdowns are the most by any Jayhawk in the last 25 seasons.
#25 MEMPHIS VS. SMU
On Saturday, Memphis will have gone 28 days since their season-opening win over Arkansas State on September 5, its largest gap between games since a 28-day gap from the 2017 AAC Championship Game on December 2 and the 2017 Liberty Bowl on December 30. It’s the first time Memphis has played one September game since 1964.
Memphis leads the all-time series 9-3, and has won each of the last six meetings, averaging 51.7 points per game in those contests. Last season, No. 24 Memphis topped No. 15 SMU 54-48 at home.
The Tigers beat Arkansas State 37-24 at home for their first win, their most points in a season opener against an FBS opponent since 1993. Since 2016, the Tigers are 26-4 (.867) at home, the 12th-best record in FBS, and fifth best by a non-Power Five team.
Brady White completed 27 of 37 passes for 280 yards and four touchdowns against Arkansas State. It was his fifth career game with at least four touchdown passes, tied for fifth most by any active quarterback. White threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions last year against SMU.
The Mustangs are coming off a 50-7 win over Stephen F. Austin last week, and have now scored an FBS-high 146 points this year. SMU has started the season 3-0 for the second straight year — the Mustangs hadn’t done it prior to that at all since a run of five straight 3-0 starts from 1980 — 1984.
#7 AUBURN VS. #4 GEORGIA
Georgia has won six straight home games against Auburn, last losing to the Tigers at home in 2005 by a single point (31-30).
Georgia has held its last 22 opponents to fewer than 200 rushing yards, the second-longest active streak in the FBS behind Clemson (46).
Stetson Bennett has completed 71.4 percent of his passes over his career, making him one of six active FBS players with a career completion percentage of 70.0 percent or higher (minimum 50 attempts).
Auburn has had no more than one turnover in any of its last eight games, tied with Buffalo for the third-longest active streak in the FBS behind Oregon State (12) and Clemson (10).
Against Kentucky, Seth Williams became the first Auburn player to have at least 100 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in a season opener since Karsten Bailey in 1997.
#18 OKLAHOMA VS. IOWA STATE
In last year’s meeting, Iowa State nearly came back by outscoring Oklahoma, 20-0, in the fourth quarter, but still lost, 42-41. The Cyclones are just 1-13 against the Sooners since 2000, their lone win coming in 2017 (38-31). The last four meetings have been decided by 10 or fewer points.
Oklahoma was up by 14 points entering the fourth quarter against Kansas State, but lost, 38-35. It was the Sooners’ first loss after leading by at least 14 points after three quarters since December 6, 2014 against Oklahoma State. They had won 36 consecutive games when leading by that much after three quarters in between those two losses.
Spencer Rattler threw for 387 yards and four touchdowns against Kansas State, but also threw three interceptions. He’s the first Sooner with at least 350 passing yards, four pass TDs and three picks since Landry Jones on November 27, 2010 against Oklahoma State.
Iowa State bounced back from a loss to Louisiana with a 37-34 win over TCU. However, the Cyclones allowed the Horned Frogs to throw for 400 passing yards after holding the Ragin’ Cajuns to 154 passing yards.
Breece Hall had 154 rushing yards and three touchdowns against TCU and now has 257 rushing yards and four rush TDs on the season. He’s the first Cyclone with at least 250 rushing yards and four rush TDs in the team’s first two games of the season since Ennis Haywood in 2001 (326 rush yards, four rush TDs).
#16 MISSISSIPPI STATE VS. ARKANSAS
Mississippi State has won three in a row over Arkansas and seven of eight in the series after losing 12 of the previous 13 matchups. The Bulldogs have scored 50+ points in each of the last two games, the only SEC team they’ve scored 50+ points against in their last two meetings.
Mississippi State set an SEC record with 623 passing yards in its 44-34 win over then-No. 6 LSU last Saturday. This came after the Bulldogs threw for fewer than 250 yards in all 13 of their games last season. Mississippi State, Georgia Tech and Northwestern were the only Power 5 teams to throw for fewer than 250 yards in all of their games in 2019.
K.J. Costello had 15 pass plays go for 20+ yards in the opener with four TD passes of at least 20 yards. In all of last season, Mississippi State QBs had 10 TD passes of 20+ yards.
Arkansas lost to No. 4 Georgia, 37-10, in last weekend’s opener, extending its losing streak to 10 games. It’s the longest losing streak by a Power 5 team, and only Akron (17) and Old Dominion (11) have longer losing streaks in the FBS.
Rakeem Boyd, who finished sixth in the SEC last season with 1133 rushing yards, was limited to 21 yards on 11 carries in the opener. He is averaging 49.7 rushing yards per game and 3.3 yards per carry in his last three contests after averaging 100.5 yards and 6.7 yards per attempt in his previous 10 games.
#11 CENTRAL FLORIDA VS. TULSA
Tulsa has won 21 straight homes games – the second-longest streak in the FBS behind Clemson (23) – since a 35-20 loss to Tulsa on November 19, 2016. The Golden Hurricanes have won six of seven in the series and the last three against the Knights – this is Tulsa’s longest active winning streak against any AAC team and UCF’s longest active losing streak against an AAC opponent.
UCF has racked up 1292 total yards in winning its first two games – the most yards through two games in the history of the AAC. The Golden Knights have reached the 600-yard mark in both games and have six 600-yard games since the start of last season – tied with LSU for the most in the FBS.
Marlon Williams leads the FBS with 23 receptions and has a conference-best 290 receiving yards. He joins Tulsa’s Keevan Lucas in 2014, as the only players in the history of the AAC to have 23+ receptions and 290+ yards in their first two games.
Tulsa had six sacks in a 16-7 loss to then-No. 11 Oklahoma State on September 19, its most sacks against a ranked foe since also notching six in a 62-35 win over No. 24 Hawaii in the 2010 Hawaii Bowl. The Golden Hurricanes have lost all 19 games they’ve played against ranked foes since. Over the previous three seasons, Tulsa totaled just 40 sacks – the fewest for any team that has been in the FBS every year since 2017.
Zach Smith was 4-for-8 for 18 yards on third downs in the season opener, as Tulsa went 0-for-11 on third downs. It was only the second time since 2000 Tulsa failed to convert a third down, along with October 7, 2017 in a 62-28 loss to Tulane.
#20 LSU VS. VANDERBILT
LSU has won eight in a row against Vanderbilt dating back to 1991, and is 23-7-1 in the all-time series. In last season’s meeting, the Tigers crushed the Commodores, 66-38, the most points scored by either team in the series all-time.
LSU lost at home to Mississippi State, 44-33, becoming the first defending champion to lose its season opener since Michigan in 1998 (Michigan split the title with Nebraska in 1997). The 44 points were the most allowed by the Tigers in their season opener in school history.
Myles Brennan threw for 345 yards with three touchdowns against Mississippi State — he had 353 pass yards all of last season and just two touchdowns combined from 2017-19. He’s the fourth Tiger with at least 300 passing yards and three pass TDs in a game since 2010 (Joe Burrow had 12 such games).
Vanderbilt lost to Texas A&M, 17-12, its fifth consecutive loss against a conference foe. The Commodores scored fewer than 15 points in all five of those losses; they are 1-8 in SEC play since last season, getting outscored by 190 points.
Amir Abdur-Rahman caught five passes for 72 yards and a touchdown in Vanderbilt’s first game of the season. Abdur-Rahman, who suffered a season-ending injury in last season’s opener against Georgia, caught just four passes for 108 yards and a touchdown in 13 games in 2018.
#1 CLEMSON VS. VIRGINIA
Clemson has beaten Virginia by 49 and 45 points in the last two meetings. They will try to join Florida State (three-game streak against Wake Forest from 1993-95 and again from 2012-14) as the only ACC teams in the last 40 years to beat a conference opponent by 40+ points in three straight meetings.
Clemson has won its last seven conference games by 24+ points each (including conference championship games). The last Power 5 team to win eight straight conference games by 24+ points was Florida State, which had an eight-game streak from 2000-01.
Trevor Lawrence is the first ACC quarterback to throw for at least 500 yards on 80.0+ percent completions over his team’s first two games of a season since Florida State’s Jameis Winston in 2013.
Virginia forced seven turnovers in its season-opening win over Duke, tied for the third-most takeaways by any FBS team in a season opener in the last 25 seasons. They trail only Texas A&M in 2002 (10 takeaways against Louisiana) and Miami (Ohio) in 2002 (nine takeaways against UNC).
Against Duke, Lavel Davis Jr. became the first FBS true freshman to have at least 100 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in his team’s season opener since Kansas’ JaCorey Shepherd in 2011.