Friday, October 9, 2009
Did you know, SEC style
By Chris Low
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
A little bit of this and a little bit of that as we get ready for the biggest weekend of the season so far in the SEC:
- The SEC has had three of the top four teams in the AP poll each of the last three weeks. Prior to this stretch, there were only three times in the first 992 weeks of the poll’s history that a conference produced three of the top four teams in one poll. Two of those previous three occurrences also belonged to the SEC. The other is owned by the old Big 8 Conference, which had the top three teams in the final poll of 1971.
- This is only the fourth time in the last nine seasons that LSU has been an underdog at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers are winless in the three previous occasions, losing 44-15 to Florida in 2001, 31-0 to Alabama in 2002 and 27-21 to Alabama last season.
- LSU’s defense has not recorded a sack in any of its last three games, and going back to the final drive by Vanderbilt, opposing quarterbacks have thrown 113 consecutive passes without being sacked by the Tigers.
- Florida is one of two teams that has yet to trail in a game this season. The other is Boise State.
- Entering its game this weekend against No. 3-ranked Alabama, Ole Miss is 1-13 in its last 14 games against top-5 teams. The one win, of course, came last year at fourth-ranked Florida. The Rebels are 0-7 all-time against top-5 Alabama teams, including a 24-20 loss to the No. 2-ranked Tide last season in Tuscaloosa.
- Ole Miss hasn’t defeated a nationally ranked Alabama team in 21 years. The Rebels beat the then No. 12-ranked Crimson Tide 22-12 in 1988. That was Bill Curry’s second year as coach at Alabama. Since that game, Ole Miss has dropped nine straight to nationally ranked Alabama teams. Ole Miss was ranked in only two of those meetings.
- Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt has three career wins against top-5 teams and has won three of his last five games against top-5 foes. His Rebels beat No. 4-ranked Florida 31-30 last season, and his final game at Arkansas in 2007 was a 50-48 triple-overtime win over No. 1-ranked LSU. He also beat No. 2-ranked Auburn 27-10 in 2006 while coaching at Arkansas. Both of his recent losses to top-5 teams were close. The Rebels lost 24-20 last season to No. 2-ranked Alabama, and Arkansas lost 38-28 to No. 4-ranked Florida in the 2006 SEC Championship Game.
- Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy has now won his last 21 starts at quarterback. He won his final 16 in high school and his first five at Alabama.
- Ole Miss’ defense has been stingy against the run in the red zone this season. The Rebels’ opponents have rushed the ball 16 times for just 1 net yard in the red zone (.06 yards per carry). Only Oklahoma and Tulsa are allowing fewer yards per carry in the red zone.
- Auburn has scored 207 points through its first five games. The Tigers scored 208 points all of last season. The Tigers are fifth in the nation in rushing offense, total offense and scoring offense. Last year, Auburn finished 69th (rushing), 104th (total), and tied for 110th (scoring).
- Nine different Arkansas players have caught a touchdown pass this season, which is tied for first nationally with Texas Tech.
- Arkansas has never scored 40 or more points in four of its first five games to start a season, and this season is currently one of three seasons in school history that the Hogs have done so in three of their first four games. You’d have to go all the way back to 1911 and 1916 to find the other two.
- The Arkansas defense has given up six plays of 50 or more yards this season, tied for the second most in the nation. All six plays have occurred in the last three games, and all have gone for touchdowns.
- South Carolina is ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since Nov. 9 of last season. The ranking could be bad news for the Gamecocks, however, as South Carolina has lost its last five games when ranked in the AP poll dating back to its collapse at the end of the 2007 season.
- Kentucky has struggled to stop the run in its last two games, allowing a combined 566 yards on the ground to Florida and Alabama. Kentucky’s rushing defense is ranked 107th nationally at 190.3 yards per game.
- Tennessee has come up empty in the third quarter this season in its three losses. In their three losses to UCLA, Florida and Auburn, the Vols have been outscored 22-0 coming out of halftime. They’ve had 10 third-quarter possessions in those three games and managed just 66 total yards.
- Vanderbilt senior defensive end Broderick Stewart had a sack last week against Ole Miss, giving him 18 for his career. He needs 3.5 more to tie Alan Young for the all-time record at Vanderbilt.