- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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SEC notes and facts from the league office and ESPN Stats & Information:
In his 20th season as a head coach in the SEC, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier has accumulated 120 victories against conference foes, an average of six per season. The 120 wins are second in SEC history and his .736 against conference teams is sixth in league history.
The SEC leads all conferences in passing yards per completions. SEC teams are averaging 12.91 yards per completion, which is just ahead of the Big East (12.77) and ACC (12.75). SEC teams have completed 1,584-of-2,635 passes this season (60.1 percent) for 20,456 yards.
SEC offenses run the fewest plays per game than any other conference in FBS. SEC teams average 67.5 plays per game (38.2 rushing / 29.3 passing), which is just ahead of the Big East at 68.8 plays per game.
SEC teams have attempted the second fewest passes of all FBS conferences (29.3 per game). The Mountain West has attempted the fewest passes per game (28.7) and the Big East (30.7) is just behind the SEC.
SEC teams have given up just one punt return for a touchdown on 124 attempts this season -- South Carolina’s Ace Sanders 70-yard return for a touchdown against Georgia.
Alabama is averaging an SEC-best 3.18 points per offensive drive (229 points in 72 drives) while Texas A&M is second at 3.10 points per offensive drive (254 points in 82 drives). Since the stat has been kept in the SEC (2000 season), the SEC best is 3.54 points per offensive drive by Florida in 2008 (545 points in 154 drives). Only four times has a team finished the season better than 3.00 points per offensive drive – Florida, 2008; Auburn, 2010 (3.50); Florida, 2007 (3.49); and, Florida, 2001 (3.27).
Alabama has scored an SEC-high 98 points when receiving the ball off opponents' turnovers and has not given up any points when it turns it over. South Carolina is second in number of points off opponent’s turnovers (56) and Ole Miss is third (55) in the SEC. Mississippi State and Florida have allowed only three points each by opponents off its turnovers.
SEC teams have 169 scoring drives of two minutes or less and 49 scoring drives of more than five minutes. Arkansas, Missouri and Vanderbilt have not had a scoring drive of more than five minutes this season while Mississippi State and Florida lead the SEC (eight). Texas A&M leads the SEC with 17 scoring drives of less than two minutes followed closely by Alabama (16) and South Carolina (15).
Alabama is averaging 6.2 yards per carry on designed running plays this season with 4.6 yards coming before contact. The Tide have made it at least five yards past the line of scrimmage without being touched on 38.8 percent of their designed runs, including on 20 of 42 such runs against Missouri last week.
Tennessee is allowing an SEC-worst 6.2 yards per rush in conference play this season. The Vols’ run defense gave up season highs in yards (336), yards after contact (148) and missed tackles (12) in their first conference game against Florida.
AJ McCarron is completing 70.6 percent of his passes against the blitz on third down this season. He completed less than half of such passes last season.
When Alabama sends five or more pass-rushers on a play this season, opponents are completing 42.9 percent of their passes with more sacks (11) and interceptions (2) than first downs (12).
Tyler Bray is completing 50.7 percent of his passes when opponents send five or more pass-rushers on a play, including 43.3 percent in SEC games.
In Tennessee’s three wins this season, Bray completed 66.7 percent of his passes thrown 15 yards or longer with no interceptions and at least two touchdowns in every game. In the Vols' losses, all SEC games, Bray struggled with those passes, completing less than 33 percent with at least one interception in all three games.
Mike Gillislee and Marcus Lattimore have averaged over 90 yards per game and 4.4 yards per rush in conference play this season. Lattimore has gained over 40 percent of his yards after contact in every game this season and is averaging over two yards after contact per rush in his career against SEC opponents.
Lattimore has gained 109 of his 144 (75.7 percent) fourth-quarter rush yards after contact this season.
The Gators tightened its defense in the second half against these opponents, allowing just 6 of 80 plays to gain 10 yards or more.
LSU has sent five or more pass-rushers on 23 percent of its opponents’ drop-backs this season. When blitzing, the Tigers have allowed four passing touchdowns this season, compared to just three when dropping at least seven into coverage.
LSU has shut down opponents in the first quarter this season, allowing just one touchdown, 10 points and an FBS-low 191 yards in seven games (27.3 per game). South Carolina managed just 23 yards in the first quarter last week. On the flip side, Texas A&M averages 139.0 yards per game in the first quarter this season.
Kevin Sumlin is the first Texas A&M head coach to start 5-1 or better in his first six games since Dana Bible in 1917 (8-0). It’s something that Bear Bryant, Gene Stallings, Jackie Sherrill and R.C. Slocum didn’t do.
LSU at Texas A&M
LSU leads the series 27-20-3 … Texas A&M is 7-1-1 in games played in College Station with the last game coming in 1995 (A&M, 33-17) … It is also the last regular-season game in the series … The two teams played in the 2011 AT&T Cotton Bowl with LSU claiming a 41-24 win … Les Miles is 3-2 in his coaching career against A&M (1-0 while at LSU) … Sumlin has never competed against LSU as a head coach … LSU leads the SEC in defensive three-and-outs, holding opponents 45.2 percent of the time (42-of-93) … A&M leads the SEC in touchdowns per offensive drives, hitting paydirt 40.2 percent of its drives (33-of-82) … LSU has played 15 true freshmen this season -- most in the nation.
Auburn at Vanderbilt
The series is tied between the two schools, 20-20-1 … Auburn has won 13 of the past 14 meetings with Vanderbilt winning the last meeting, 14-13, in 2008 in Nashville … It is the second straight sellout for Vandy, the first time in 16 seasons since the school has hosted back-to-back capacity crowds … Vandy’s Zac Stacy is second in school history with 2,501 career rushing yards, needing 131 more to become the school’s all-time leader … Emory Blake is just the ninth receiver in Auburn history to record 100 career catches (104 for 1,611 yards).
South Carolina at Florida
Florida holds a 23-6-3 series advantage over South Carolina … In games played in Gainesville, the Gators lead, 12-1-0 … South Carolina has won the past two in the series (2012, 17-12, in Columbia; 2011, 36-14, in Gainesville) … This week’s game against Florida will mark the third straight top-10 opponent for South Carolina (Georgia, LSU) … Florida has never lost three straight to South Carolina in the series history … For the first time in series history, both teams are ranked in the top 10 … Spurrier is 3-4 as head coach against his alma mater, while Will Muschamp is 0-1 as head coach against the Gamecocks, but was part of coaching staffs at Auburn (1996, 2006) and LSU (2002, 2003) that defeated them.
Middle Tennessee at Mississippi State
Mississippi State leads series, 4-0 … Last meeting was in 2009 in Murfreesboro, with State winning, 27-6 … The first three meetings were in Starkville … State has won its past eight games, which is tied for the third-longest win streak in the nation and tied for third-longest win streak in school history … The 6-0 start is tied for the second best in school history (1999, 8-0) … Through six games, State has trailed only 16 minutes and 11 seconds of game action … Only four teams have trailed for less time than the Bulldogs (0:15, Alabama; 1:51, Oregon; 12:43, Notre Dame; 15:30, Oregon State).
Alabama at Tennessee
This will be the 95th meeting between the two schools with Alabama leading the series, 49-37-8 … Alabama has won the past five meetings in the series with the last Vol win coming in 2006 in Knoxville (16-13) … In games played in Knoxville, the Tide leads, 22-20-1 ... Alabama is 27-for-28 in red zone trips, tied for fourth in the nation at 96 percent … McCarron has attempted 227 straight passes without an interception, which is the second longest streak in SEC history (325 by Andre Woodson, Kentucky, 2006-07) … Tennessee last defeated a No. 1 team on Sept. 28, 1985 against Auburn (38-20).
Georgia at Kentucky
Georgia leads the series 51-12-2 … In games played in Lexington, the Bulldogs hold a 24-7 advantage … The Bulldogs have won the last two meetings with the last Kentucky win coming in 2009 in Athens (34-27) … The Wildcats last defeated Georgia in Lexington in 2006 (24-20) … It’s Homecoming on the UK campus as well as Dermontti Dawson Day, honoring the past UK and Pittsburgh Steeler great and recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee … Kentucky has played the toughest schedule in the nation, according to Anderson and Hester and the Colley Matrix, two components of the BCS rankings … Kentucky is fourth in the nation in most total freshmen (true and redshirt) played this season (26) … The Bulldogs are 13-4 under Mark Richt after an open date … Georgia's freshman running back tandem of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall has totaled 1,040 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns this season (best freshman RB tandem by stats in UGA history is Thomas Brown and Danny Ware in 2004 with 1,567 yards and 12 TDs).
6hDavid Ching and Edward Aschoff
2dESPN Stats & Information
2dSam Khan Jr.