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Friday, November 2, 2012
3-point stance: Another low-scoring affair

By Ivan Maisel

1. Just a reminder for Saturday night: No. 1 Alabama and No. 5 LSU combined for one touchdown in two games (plus one inning of overtime last season). The streak stops in the fourth quarter of the 2010 game, when both scored a touchdown in the Tigers’ 24-21 victory. This game figures to be a defensive tour de force, too, although I expect that Tide quarterback AJ McCarron will get his offense into the end zone. LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger has three straight games with a passing efficiency rating below 100.

2. In the old days, coaches used the quick kick to flip field position. It turns out that it’s still important. According to ESPN Stats & Info, No. 2 Kansas State and No. 19 Boise State are tied for first in the FBS at plus-13 in field position differential, the margin between where you start a drive and where your opponent starts. Tied for third, at plus-11, are Alabama, No. 9 Florida State and No. 25 Louisiana Tech. The combined record of those five teams: 38-3.

3. If Navy (5-3) defeats visiting Florida Atlantic (2-6) Saturday, the Midshipmen will become the first of 70 teams to secure a specific bowl berth. Navy has a deal to play the No. 6 team from the Pac-12 in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. More important, Navy, which beat Air Force earlier this season, will keep an eye on the Falcons’ game at Army. Air Force has won the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy the last two seasons, and would keep it if the three teams split their games. Army last won the trophy in -- gulp -- 1996.