- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here are some notes the SEC gave us that you might not know about as you enter Week 11:
Alabama has not allowed an opponent to score more than 14 points during the first nine games of the 2011 season and 10 straight games dating back to the 2011 Capital One Bowl against Michigan State. The Crimson Tide defense leads the nation in scoring defense (7.1 ppg), total defense (187.0 ypg), rushing defense (56.3 ypg), pass efficiency defense (83.1 rating) and pass defense (130.7 ypg). The last time Alabama held its opponent to 14 points or less for at least 10 straight games was 1975-76 when the Tide did it in 14 straight games. The school record for consecutive games holding an opponent to 14 points or less is 31 from 1960-63. No other team in the nation has allowed an opponent to score no more than 14 points in every game this season.
Arkansas has 16 touchdown drives of less than two minutes in 2011, bringing the total under coach Bobby Petrino to 78. Last season, Arkansas had 26 touchdown drives of less than two minutes. The Razorbacks have scored 11 touchdowns of more than 50 yards in 2011 and have scored at least one in all eight of their victories. Alabama and Arkansas are tied for the SEC lead with seven plays from scrimmage 50-yards-or-longer.
Auburn junior running back Onterio McCalebb is tied for first among SEC running backs and is tied for 22nd nationally with 23 receptions. He is tied for 16th in the SEC in catches for all players. He has caught at least one pass in 12 straight games dating to Nov. 26 against Alabama in 2010. For his career, McCalebb is ninth in school history for receiving yards by a running back with 388. He is second on the team in receptions with 23. The last back to lead Auburn in receptions was Tucker Frederickson in 1964 with 14.
Florida is one of three SEC teams -- Mississippi State and South Carolina the others -- who are tied for fourth nationally with only one play allowed on defense for more than 50 yards this season. Michigan, South Florida and Utah have not allowed a play of more than 50 yards this season. The longest play from scrimmage allowed by Florida this season was a 57-yard pass by LSU’s Jarrett Lee to Rueben Randle.
At seven wins in a row, Georgia has matched its longest winning streak during a season in the Mark Richt era. During this streak, Georgia has outscored the opposition, 250-99. The Bulldogs have held their opponents to just eight offensive touchdowns in the past seven games. A win against Auburn would give the Bulldogs six straight SEC wins for the first time since 1982. In the Vince Dooley era, Georgia had a stretch of 23 consecutive SEC wins from 1980-83.
Kentucky seniors Danny Trevathan and Winston Guy are the SEC’s top two tacklers. Trevathan has charted a career-high-tying 17 tackles in each of the past two games and is now the league’s top tackler with 111 this season. Guy trails Trevathan with 93. The duo rank fifth and tied for 16th, respectively, in the nation with 12.3 and 10.3 tackles per game. Trevathan and Guy are one of three teammate duos that are ranked nationally in tackles in the top 20 (Wisconsin’s Chris Borland and Mike Taylor; Ball State’s Travis Freeman and Aaron Morris).
LSU goes into its Western Kentucky game this weekend with a 19-3 record in games played as the nation’s top-ranked team. LSU was 5-0 as the No. 1-ranked team in 1958, followed by a 7-1 record at the top spot in 1959. LSU was 2-2 as the No. 1-ranked team in 2007 and it is 5-0 this year. LSU is 7-2 under Les Miles in games as the nation’s top-ranked team. With a 9-0 mark this season, LSU is off to its best start since 1973 when the Tigers won their first nine. LSU is 9-0 for just the fourth time in school history. In addition to 1973 and this year, LSU’s other 9-0 starts came in 1958 when the Tigers won all 11 games, and in 1908 when they were 10-0.
Ole Miss has excelled on special teams this season. The Rebels lead or are tied for the SEC lead in punt returns (25.11 ypr) and field goal percentage (100.00). Ole Miss is second in kickoff coverage (46.9 net average) and third in punting (43.91 ypp) and net punting (39.24 net). Tyler Campbell is third in the SEC and tied for 9th in the nation in punting (43.91 ypp) and Bryson Rose is tied for first nationally, hitting on all seven field goal attempts this season.
Mississippi State’s defense has given up 17 touchdowns in nine games this season, which is tied for sixth nationally and third in the SEC. The Bulldogs have given up eight touchdowns on the ground and nine through the air. Alabama (six) and LSU (10) are first and second in least touchdowns allowed nationally this year. Also on defense, the Bulldogs are tied for 26th nationally and tied for fifth in the SEC with 11 passes intercepted.
South Carolina has an SEC-leading 17 interceptions this season, including 13 over the past five games. Two have gone for “pick-sixes” with one from Antonio Allen against Georgia and one from Devin Taylor at Arkansas. The school record for interceptions in a season is 23, set three times: 1981, 1984 and 1987. The Gamecocks have matched their best season under Steve Spurrier with 27 turnovers forced through nine games. The previous mark of 27 under Spurrier was set during the 2008 season. The school record for turnovers forced in a season is 39, set in the 12-game 1987 campaign.
Tennessee’s 2011 schedule ranks as the toughest in the nation in 2011, according to the NCAA’s toughest schedule rankings based on cumulative opposition. The combined records of UT’s 2011 opponents are 65-32 (49-21 past/16-11 future), which is 67.0 percent. LSU and Oklahoma are tied for second at 66.3 percent (65-33 overall) and Iowa State fourth at 66.0 percent (64-33). Kansas and Auburn are tied for fifth at 65.6 percent (63-33 overall).
The Vanderbilt defense has limited seven of its eight FBS foes to less rushing yards than they average. Last week, Florida became the first FBS Vandy opponent to top its season rushing yardage when it totaled 197 yards on the ground. The unit has held four teams -- Elon, UConn, Ole Miss and Arkansas -- under 100 rushing yards. The unit limited its first seven FBS opponents to an average of nearly 80 yards below their game averages.
This marks the seventh week this seaosn that the SEC has had at least six teams ranked in the AP poll. The SEC has had six teams ranked in the AP poll at least one week every year since 2003. Since 1992, the SEC has had at least five teams ranked in the AP Top 25 a total of 234 times, an average of 11.7 times per season.
Going into Saturday’s LSU-Alabama game, the teams combined for 2.70 points per offensive drive and had scored on 48.7 percent (TD + FG) of its offensive drives. In the game, they combined for scores on 22.7 percent of its offensive drives (no TDs, 5 FGs) and averaged 0.68 points per drive.
Going into Week 11, Georgia has posted the biggest turnaround from this time last season. The Bulldogs’ 7-2 mark this year is three games ahead of last season’s 4-5 mark at this time. Vanderbilt has the league’ second biggest turnaround at two games, advancing from 2-7 at this time last season to 4-5 this year.
The SEC has six of the top 20 pass defenses in the nation, according to the latest NCAA statistics. Alabama leads the nation, giving up 130.67 yards per game, followed by South Carolina in third (154.00), LSU ninth (177.44), Florida 11th (182.78), Tennessee 17th (186.78) and Mississippi State 19th (188.11).
The SEC has three of the top eight rushing defenses in the nation. Alabama leads the nation, giving up 56.33 yards per game, followed by LSU in second (78.78) and Georgia 8th (91.11).
The SEC has five of the top 14 total defenses in the nation. Alabama leads the nation, giving up 187.00 yards per game followed by LSU third (256.22), Georgia seventh (282.00), South Carolina ninth (284.89) and Florida 14th (306.11).
Other SEC team national statistical leaders: LSU is second in turnover margin (+1.67), Alabama (7.11) and LSU (10.89) are 1-2 in scoring defense, Ole Miss is first in punt returns (25.11), Arkansas is eightth in pass offense (318.67) and LSU is seventh in net punting (40.68).
Among individual national leaders from the SEC: Florida’s Caleb Sturgis leads the nation in field goals per game, Georgia’s Bacarri Rambo is 2nd, Vanderbilt’s Casey Hayward and Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks is sixth in interceptions, Arkansas’ Joe Adams is sixth in punt return average, Kentucky’s Danny Trevathan is fifth in tackles, Georgia’s Jarvis Jones is eighth in sacks and seventh in tackles for loss, and Alabama’s Trent Richardson is fifth in scoring, 10th in rushing an 13th in all-purpose rushing.
This week’s SEC Community Service Team Players of the Week are Auburn junior defensive end Dee Ford (Odenville, Ala.) and Kentucky senior offensive lineman Stuart Hines (Bowling Green, Ky.). The honor recognizes football student-athletes who are active in their communities.
The SEC is now 34-4 in non-conference games this season, an 89.5 winning percentage. The percentage is second highest among all conferences, behind the Big 12’s 89.7 percent (26-3). In years of 12-game schedules (2002-03; 2005-11), the SEC has won less than 37 non-conference games only once, in 2003 (31).
In 62 regular season home games, SEC games have attracted 4,704,342 fans, an average of 75,876 fans per game. SEC stadiums have been filled to 95.47 percent of capacity this season.
This weekend’s Georgia-Auburn game continues the SEC’s longest rivalry. These teams will meet for the 115th time on Saturday, with the first game dating to 1892. Auburn holds the series edge, 54-52-8. The teams are two of the winningest SEC teams of the past 10 seasons -- Georgia is second with a 95-32 mark (.748) and Auburn is fourth with a 92-33 mark (.736).
Georgia and Tennessee are the only SEC teams to post shutouts during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. The Vols' defense shutout Middle Tennessee, 24-0, this past weekend.
Auburn is 19-2 when either Emory Blake or Philip Lutzenkirchen catches a touchdown pass, and 6-0 when they both catch one. Blake is finally healthy for the Tigers, and Lutzenkirchen has been one of Clint Moseley's favorite targets.
The Kentucky-Vanderbilt rivalry is the seventh closest in the SEC since 2000. In the 11 games, the average win margin has been 11.09 points per game. Five of the 11 games have been decided by single digits and nine of the 11 by 19-points or less.