- Ivan Maisel, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Here’s one measure of Texas A&M’s progress under Kevin Sumlin: punter Ryan Epperson went from eighth in the nation last week to not having enough “at-bats” to qualify for the NCAA statistics. Epperson’s average of 45.23 yards per punt would be 11th in the FBS. But his 21 punts in six games are one short of the minimum required (3.6 per game). The Aggies have 37 touchdowns and 21 punts. I don’t know what the appropriate ratio is, but I’m guessing that’s pretty good.
2. Tommy Tuberville has won games (128-73, .637) for 17 seasons because he can coach defense and his teams knock off the big dogs. Texas Tech’s 49-14 rout of No. 5 West Virginia is Tuberville’s sixth over a top-five team in his career. Tech regularly dropped seven defenders into pass coverage and still pressured Mountaineer quarterback Geno Smith. The Red Raiders have allowed only eight plays of 20 yards or more this season, best in the FBS. They also haven’t allowed a 300-yard passing game. In the Big 12, that’s as good as a shutout.
3. The Dri Archers of the world are relegated to schools like Kent State, where they measure speed and heart along with height and weight. Kent State lists the junior at 5-foot-8, 164. Here’s a few other numbers: He leads the nation in kickoff returns (47.73 avg., three TDs) and all-purpose yardage (230.60), is fourth in scoring (12 TDs) and even threw a touchdown pass in the Golden Flashes’ 31-17 defeat of Army. Archer rushed for 222 yards against the Black Knights. He’s averaging 10.8 yards per carry this season.