Friday, September 21, 2012
Did you know?
By Edward Aschoff
Checking out some notes and facts from the SEC and ESPN Stats & Information:
SEC offenses were in high gear last Saturday. The 14 SEC teams combined for 6,331 total offensive yards, an average of 452.2 yards per team. SEC teams averaged 355.0 total offensive yards per game last year. Five SEC teams had more than 500 offensive yards -- Georgia (713), Texas A&M (605), Vanderbilt (605), Florida (555) and South Carolina (501). Georgia’s 713 total is tied for sixth in SEC history for a single game and the most in the league since Florida had 705 yards against The Citadel in 2008.
Alabama is 18-1 against current Sun Belt members. The loss came to Louisiana-Monroe in 2007, Nick Saban’s first season with the Tide. That was also Alabama’s last regular season nonconference loss. The Tide are 18-0 in such games since.
Alabama has dominated on defense this season and is seeking its third straight shutout on Saturday.
Alabama has shut out its past two opponents, beating Western Kentucky 35-0 and Arkansas 52-0. It’s the first time Alabama has posted consecutive shutouts since 1980. Looking ahead, the last time Alabama shut out three straight opponents was its 11-0 season in 1966 (four straight). The last FBS team to post shutouts in three consecutive games was Kansas State in 1995.
Alabama hasn’t trailed after the first quarter in clock time since its 2010 loss to Auburn. The Tide hasn’t trailed at any point in regulation since going down 3-0 to Tennessee last season. That was nine games ago.
Auburn hasn't been 0-2 in the SEC since 1980. Only one current FBS team that's been in a conference at least that long has a longer streak without starting a conference season 0-2. Michigan hasn't done so since 1967, two seasons before Bo Schembechler came to Ann Arbor. Auburn certainly doesn't want to replicate its 1980 start. The Tigers went 0-6 in the SEC that season.
Auburn coach Gene Chizik is 22-31 in his coaching career without Cam Newton (including his Iowa State days). With Newton, he was 14-0 with a national championship.
LSU has won 26 straight games in August/September, the longest active streak in FBS. The Tigers are looking for their sixth straight 4-0 start.
Auburn is trying to get out of this month with fewer than three losses. The Tigers have NEVER had three losses before Oct. 1 in school history.
Zach Mettenberger has completed more than 50 percent of his passes thrown 15 yards or more downfield in three straight games. Mettenberger is the first LSU quarterback to accomplish this feat in the past four seasons. The Tigers are 12-0 since the start of 2010 when they complete more than 50 percent of their throws of 15 yards or more.
LSU completed 4-of-7 passes thrown downfield 15 yards or more for 138 yards and two touchdowns in its win against Auburn last season. In its loss to Auburn in 2010, LSU was 1-of-7 for 38 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
Auburn is allowing its ranked opponents to complete 41.7 percent of their passes thrown 15 yards or more since the start of 2011 season. In the Tigers’ five losses to ranked opponents during that time period, they allowed opponents to complete 48.3 percent with five touchdowns and no interceptions (31.6 pct, 2 TD, 2 interceptions in 2 wins).
LSU has sent five or more pass rushers on 24.7 percent (24/97) of its opponents’ passing plays this season. When blitzing this season, the Tigers have allowed three touchdowns and have yet to sack the quarterback. When sending four or fewer pass rushers, they have four sacks and have allowed just one touchdown on 69 attempts.
In 28 home SEC games this season, the SEC has averaged 72,220 fans per game with an average capacity of 95.93 percent. More than two million fans (2,022,156) have attended the 28 home SEC games this season. Twelve of the 28 games have been at or above capacity.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier won his 200th game in his college coaching career. Spurrier is now 200-75-2 (.726) in his coaching career. Spurrier’s 180 wins at SEC schools is fifth in SEC history and his 74.3 win percentage at SEC schools is 13th in league history. His 117 SEC wins is second in SEC history and his 73.6 win percentage against SEC teams is 6th in league annals.
Quarterback changes are extremely rare under Missouri coach Gary Pinkel. After his first year at Missouri (2001), Pinkel had never had a midseason QB change. He’s had a slew of dependable and injury-free starters. Until last week when starter James Franklin missed Mizzou's game against Arizona State because of a shoulder injury.
The Gamecocks are one of just two teams in the country that’s played three games and not allowed a red zone touchdown -- Florida State the other. Both Oklahoma and TCU haven’t allowed a red zone touchdown, but they each played only two games.
South Carolina is riding the second-longest win streak in school history (seven). A win against Missouri and a win next week at Kentucky and it would tie the longest with its 1984 season (nine).
Florida has the SEC’s best record in conference games away from home since 1992. The Gators have won twice already this season (at Texas A&M, at Tennessee) and are now 68-23 (.747) in games away from Gainesville (record includes games in Jacksonville).
Florida is 3-0 for the eighth straight season, the longest active streak among FBS teams.
Florida has won 25 straight games against Kentucky. That is the longest active streak of wins by a FBS team over another FBS team (Penn State’s current streak over Temple would be longer, but PSU vacated seven of those wins). Kentucky’s last win against Florida came in 1986.
Kentucky has lost eight straight SEC road games. The last time the Wildcats won a SEC road game was in 2009 against Georgia.
Georgia seeks its first 4-0 start since 2008, and its sixth under Mark Richt. Two of the previous five times Georgia started 4-0 under Richt, it went on to win the SEC championship (2002 and 2005).
Vanderbilt's quarterbacks could be in for a long day against the Georgia pass defense. Since the beginning of last season, the Bulldogs rank in the top seven in the FBS in opponent passer efficiency, yards per pass attempt and interceptions. Jordan Rodgers was just 4-of-19 for 47 yards and an interception in relief against the Bulldogs last season.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray is tied for seventh nationally with eight passing touchdowns entering this week. Murray, who led the SEC in interceptions last season (14), has just two through three games this year. The only other SEC QB’s with eight TD and two interceptions or fewer this year are Tyler Bray (8-2) and Tyler Russell (8-0). Murray has 12 completions of 25 yards or longer, most in FBS.
Mississippi State is 3-0 for the first time since 1999 when the Bulldogs started 8-0. Mississippi State is looking for just its third 4-0 start since 1965. A big reason for the Bulldogs 3-0 start is turnover margin. They are tied for the FBS lead with Alabama with 12 takeaways. They are also tied with the Crimson Tide for the FBS lead in turnover margin at plus-11.
The Bulldogs starting cornerbacks have been responsible for half of the takeaways. Darius Slay is tied for the FBS lead with four interceptions. Teammate Johnthan Banks has two interceptions.
Saturday marks the first meeting between Arkansas and Rutgers. Arkansas has only played one Big East team (membership at time of game). In 1991, the Razorbacks lost to Miami 31-3. Rutgers is 5-12-2 all-time vs SEC teams, but won its last meeting (2004 at Vanderbilt).
With Tyler Wilson sidelined last week and out for the second half against Louisana-Monroe, the Razorbacks' offense has really struggled. Arkansas has averaged just 257.0 yards per game in its last two games (both losses).