Stats & Info: Case Keenum

Tom Brady gets back on track

November, 4, 2013

Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY SportsTom Brady played his best game of the season on Sunday, posting a Total QBR of 97.7.
As a reminder, Total QBR is a quarterback rating that takes into account all of a QB’s significant contributions (passing, rushing, sacks, fumbles, penalties) to his team’s scoring and winning and summarizes them into one number on a 0-100 scale, where 50 is average. Since 2008, the team with the higher QBR has won about 84 percent of the time. Complete QBR statistics for all quarterbacks can be found here.

Brady dominates
Tom Brady posted season-highs Sunday with a 97.7 Total QBR, four touchdown passes and 432 yards passing. He had a huge day after throwing for only two touchdowns in his previous four games.

Brady completed 8-of-12 (66.7 percent) passes for 290 yards and four touchdowns on throws more than 15 yards downfield. He completed 30.3 percent of such throws this season entering Sunday, ranked 29th in the NFL, with two touchdowns in eight games.

Where QBR and passer rating differ
Andrew Luck had a 99.3 Total QBR in the fourth quarter Sunday night(6-8 passing, 119 yards, 2 TD), raising his fourth-quarter Total QBR to 83.8 this season, the fifth best in the NFL. His fourth-quarter Passer Rating is 73.0 this season, tied for 21st in the NFL.

Foles picks apart Raiders
Nick Foles had a 99.1 Total QBR, a mark only surpassed by one performance this season: Colin Kaepernick. Foles became the third quarterback to throw seven touchdown passes in a game without throwing an interception, joining Y.A. Tittle (1962 New York Giants) and Peyton Manning (Week 1, 2013). Click here for more on Foles' great day.

Newton solid again
Cam Newton posted a 70.5 Total QBR Sunday, his fourth straight game with a Total QBR over 70 (65 to 70 over a season is a Pro Bowl-level rating). Newton has an 83.5 Total QBR since Week 6, the second-best in the NFL behind Colin Kaepernick.

Smith shaky, but a winner
Geno Smith finished with a 14.8 Total QBR in the Jets' win on Sunday. That's the second-lowest Total QBR by a winning QB this season (minimum 15 action plays). The only one lower was a 9.8 by E.J. Manuel of the Bills against the Ravens in Week 4.

Win probability on Cowboys comeback
Sunday, Tony Romo went from goat to hero in one quarter. His fourth quarter interception with 4:35 left dropped the Cowboys’ win probability to just 21.4 percent. But he got a second chance and engineered a nine play, 90-yard drive to put the Cowboys ahead of the Vikings with 0:42 seconds left.

The Cowboys' win probability was at 32.6 percent with 2:44 left when their final drive started, but rose by 20.3 percentage points after a 34-yard pass to Dez Bryant, and 38.3 percentage points to 97.5 after his go-ahead touchdown pass.

Quick hitters
Case Keenum had a Total QBR of 96.6, the highest Total QBR by a Texans quarterback since 2006. The previous single-game high for a Texans quarterback this season was 63.5 (Matt Schaub - Week 6). It was also the highest Total QBR in a loss over the last five seasons.

Jason Campbell posted a 76.5 Total QBR Sunday and his 60.1 Total QBR this season ranks 13th in the NFL (min. 75 action plays). Brian Hoyer and Brandon Weeden rank 22nd and 38th respectively in Total QBR this season.

Alex Smith had a 30.5 Total QBR against the Bills, his fourth win this season with a Total QBR of less than 40 (most in the NFL).
The Washington Redskins mortgaged their future on QB Robert Griffin III, trading their 2012 first- and second-round picks and their first-round picks in 2013 and 2014 in order to draft the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner.

So it came as a surprise to many when the Redskins used their fourth-round pick on Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins.

From an historical standpoint, the Redskins are:

• First team since the 1989 Green Bay Packers to draft two quarterbacks in the first four rounds. In '89, Green Bay selected Anthony Dilweg in the third round then Jeff Graham in the fourth round. (They combined to make seven NFL starts, all by Dilweg.)

• First team since the 1971 Houston Oilers to use two of their first three draft picks on quarterbacks. In 1971, the Oilers took Dan Pastorini with the third overall pick, then selected Lynn Dickey in the third round. (Both went on to start more than 100 games during their careers.)

John Beck
Cousins was not the only QB transaction made by the Redskins on Wednesday. They also released John Beck, who started three games last season. Combined with Rex Grossman the pair committed 30 turnovers, which was tied with Tampa Bay last season for the most turnovers committed by a team’s quarterbacks.

For what it's worth, the only team to select three quarterbacks in the same draft in the Common Draft Era is the Oakland Raiders, who took Dave Humm (5th), Harry Knight (9th) and Tom Doyle (14th) in 1975.

Draft Wrap-up
• More than 55 percent of the drafted players (142 of 253) came from four conferences: SEC (42 players), Big Ten (41), ACC (31), Pac-12 (28). It’s the sixth straight year that the SEC had the most selections. Almost 20 percent of the players drafted (50 of 253) were defensive backs.

• Alabama had the most players drafted with eight, followed by Oklahoma and Georgia with seven.

• Some schools that did not have any players drafted: UCLA, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Minnesota, BYU, Kansas, Texas Tech, Washington State.

• The Browns made the most picks (11) and the Saints made the fewest (5).

• The Minnesota Vikings selected wide receivers Greg Childs and Jarius Wright from Arkansas. Minnesota is the first team to draft two wide receivers from the same school in the same draft since the 2007 Indianapolis Colts took Anthony Gonzalez and Roy Hall from Ohio State.

• After allowing an NFL-worst 411.6 yards per game in 2011, the Packers drafted defensive players with their first six picks. The Patriots, who finished 31st in yards allowed last season, also took six defensive players with their first six picks. Green Bay and New England became the first teams since the 2002 Titans and 2002 Colts to draft defensive players with their first six picks of a draft, and just the seventh and eighth teams to do so in the Common Draft Era (since 1967).

• The draft started with the Colts taking a quarterback and it ended with them taking a quarterback. Mr. Irrelevant is Northern Illinois' Chandler Harnish, the first time since 1997 that a QB was the last pick. (In '97, Mr. Irrelevant was Ron McAda from Army.)

• Speaking of quarterbacks, Case Keenum (155) and Kellen Moore (142) rank first and second, respectively, with the most touchdown passes in FBS history. Both, however, went undrafted. At Boise State, Moore went 50-3 (.943 win percentage), the best record by starting quarterback in the history of college football. (Moore signed with the Detriot Lions shortly after the draft.)

Matthew Emmons/US Presswire
Houston Cougars quarterback Case Keenum (7) throws in the pocket against the Penn State Nittany Lions in Sunday's TicketCity Bowl.
Case Keenum and Houston ended Penn State's difficult season by making it look easy in the TicketCity Bowl.

The Cougars jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, as Case Keenum set a bowl record for any quarter with 277 pass yards, besting the 223 yards by Louisville's Browning Nagle against Alabama in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl.

Keenum proceeded to throw for 532 yards on the day, the most pass yards ever surrendered by a Penn State team, topping the 520 by Boston College's Doug Flutie in 1982.

The record does come with an asterisk, as Ty Detmer threw for 576 against Penn State in the 1989 Holiday Bowl, but bowl stats were not official then.

He threw two touchdowns of more than 25 yards, the first such touchdowns surrendered by the Nittany Lions this season. Entering the game, Penn State was the only FBS team yet to allow a pass touchdown of more than 25 yards this season.

Keenum finishes his career owning most every career FBS passing record, including yards (19,217), touchdowns (155) and 300-yard games (39).

Houston's 600 net yards in the game were actually only a yard above the team's season average, but they pushed the Cougars season total to 8,387 yards and made them the first team to rack up 8,000 yards of total offense in a season.

Houston concludes the season with a school-record 13 wins, while Penn State loses back-to-back bowl games for the first time since the 1975 and 1976 seasons.

The Nittany Lions have now played three bowl games without Joe Paterno at the helm, and they have failed to win all three games, tying SMU in the 1948 Cotton Bowl and losing to USC in the 1923 Rose Bowl.

AP Photo/Dave Einsel
Case Keenum, in his final collegiate game, looks to lead Houston to a win in the TicketCity Bowl.
Something has to give in the TicketCity Bowl on January 2 (Noon ET on ESPNU) when the Houston Cougars and Penn State Nittany Lions take the field at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

Houston boasts the top-ranked offense in the country, ranking first in total yards, pass yards and points. If the Cougars have a big game against the Nittany Lions on Monday, they could set FBS single-season records in those same categories (see chart on right).

Penn State counters Houston’s high-powered attack with one of the nation’s stingiest defenses. The Nittany Lions rank fifth in both scoring defense and pass defense, and have held opponents to just 300 yards of total offense per game (10th in FBS).

The last time the Cougars were held to 300 yards or fewer was September 30, 2006 at Miami (FL) when they gained 276 yards in a 14-13 loss to the Hurricanes. Houston has reached the 400-yard mark in every game this season, punctuated by 753-yard effort vs Tulane on November 10.

Houston Offense vs Penn State Defense
The Cougars prolific offense is powered by the big arm of Case Keenum, who is playing in the final game of his collegiate career. Keenum owns nearly every NCAA passing record, including yards, completions and touchdowns.

The Nittany Lions have allowed just nine passing touchdowns in 12 games the entire season. Keenum, who has thrown an FBS-best 45 touchdown passes this season, threw nine in a game against Rice on October 27.

Keenum also leads FBS this season with 49 completions of 25 yards or longer and has thrown 19 touchdown passes of 25 yards or longer this season, second-most of any player in FBS.

Keenum will be tested against a Penn State secondary that has been among the best this season in defending the deep ball. Penn State has allowed nine completions of 25 yards or longer this season, tied for the fewest in FBS.

The Nittany Lions have only allowed one such pass in their last four games and are the only team in FBS who has not allowed a touchdown pass on throws of 25-plus yards.

Penn State Offense vs Houston Defense
The Nittany Lions offense has struggled for much of the season, tied for 109th out of 120 FBS teams with a scoring average of 19.8 points per game. The lone bright spot has been a running game that has piled up 165 yards per contest.

Silas Redd leads Penn State with 99 rush yards per game, but has been held in check the past few weeks. After leading the nation with 703 rushing yards in October, including five straight 100-yard games, Redd averaged just 60.7 yards on the ground in three November games.

Redd will look to get back on track against a Houston defense that is allowing 172 rush yards per game (78th in FBS). In the team’s only loss to Southern Miss, the Cougars gave up 207 yards on the ground, one of five games this season they have allowed 200-plus rushing yards.

Stats of the Game
• Penn State, which lost 37-24 to Florida in the 2011 Outback Bowl, hasn't dropped consecutive bowl games since 1975-76.

• Houston has just one bowl win since 1980, a 34-28 victory over Air Force in the 2008 Armed Forces Bowl.

Cougars BCS hopes dashed

December, 3, 2011
Conference USA's first-ever BCS invitation may have to wait for another year. The Houston Cougars, the sixth-ranked team in the country entering Saturday's contest, was upset by No. 24 Southern Miss, ending what had been a dream season for Kevin Sumlin and the Cougars, 49-28.

In a rematch of the 2006 Conference USA Championship Game - in which Houston won 34-20 - the Golden Eagles limited the Cougars' potent offense from the start of the game. Entering Saturday, the Cougars had played 48 quarters this season and had been held scoreless in just four of them. Houston was held scoreless in the first and last quarters against Southern Miss and never got back on track as they did in other games in which they were held scoreless in the first quarter - they scored 35 against Louisiana Tech, 49 against UTEP and 73 against Tulane...but just 21 on Saturday.

Everything went wrong for Houston in a loss that marked the second time an undefeated non-AQ team lost its conference championship game, joining Ball State's loss to Buffalo in 2008. The Cougars entered averaging 52.7 points per game; they finished with 28. They entered allowing 20.9 points per game and allowed 49 points, their most since allowing 59 to Southern Miss in their second-to-last game last season. Overall, Southern Miss held Houston to season lows in points, total offense and plays of 20+ yards in the Conference USA Championship Game.

Case Keenum entered having thrown 43 touchdowns to just three interceptions; he threw two interceptions on Saturday, including his first in the red zone since Sept, 18, 2010. It was his only game this season where he didn't throw more touchdowns than interceptions. Perhaps more pertinent, he averaged just 5.6 yards per attempt on Saturday, compared to 10.1 on the season.

Ronnie Thornton's interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter made it eight total interceptions returned for a touchdown this season for Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles now hold the FBS record for most interceptions returned for touchdowns in a season. They entered the game tied at seven with UL Lafayette this year and the previous record holder, Tennessee which set the mark in 1971. Southern Miss' win was also its first at Robertson Stadium since 2003. They were 0-3 there since.

• Cincinnati took care of business on Saturday against Connecticut, improving to 5-2 in the Big East. However, West Virginia has likely clinched the Big East's automatic BCS bid. The selection will come down to a three-way tie between West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Louisville. As of this week, West Virginia was the only team ranked in the Top 25 of the BCS Standings.

Bucked from Big Ten contention

November, 19, 2011
The Penn State Nittany Lions' Big Ten title dreams remain alive while the Ohio State Buckeyes' are officially over. Penn State’s 20-14 win over the Buckeyes means that for the first time since 2004, Ohio State will not earn at least a share of the conference title.

Penn State rebounded from its tough loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers last week to give interim coach Tom Bradley his first career win. The last Penn State coach to earn a win besides Joe Paterno was Charles “Rip" Engle on December 4, 1965.

Penn State’s defense held Ohio State scoreless in the second half and forced two key turnovers. They now lead the Big Ten with 25 turnovers this season. The Buckeyes were also the seventh Penn State opponent in 11 games this season to be held under 300 yards of total offense.

Ohio State has now lost five games in a season for the first time since 2004, and has lost two games in November for the first time since 1999. They finished 6-6 that year and didn’t reach a bowl game after losing their final three games of the season.

The focus for Penn State now turns to next week’s matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers. The winner of that game will clinch the Big Ten Leaders division and a berth in the Big Ten Championship game.

Something’s gotta give in Madison next Saturday, as the Nittany Lions will bring their perfect 4-0 road record to Camp Randall, where the Badgers are 6-0 this season and outscoring opponents by more than 40 points per game.

Penn State beat Wisconsin 48-7 in its last trip to Madison in 2008, a game that was both its largest-ever win against the Badgers and the most points Penn State has ever scored against Wisconsin.

Elsewhere around CFB Nation
• The Houston Cougars improve to 11-0 for the first time in school history as they beat SMU 37-7. Case Keenum racks up two more NCAA career records, passing Graham Harrell in completions (1,427 to 1,403) while tying Timmy Chang with his 36th 300-yard passing game.

• The North Carolina State Wolfpack upset No. 7 Clemson 37-13 for their first win against an AP top-10 team since 2005 when they beat No. 9 Florida State. Wolfpack defensive back David Amerson intercepted his 11th pass of the season, tying the ACC record for most interceptions in a season set by UNC's Dre' Bly in 1996.

• The Arkansas Razorbacks defeat Mississippi State 44-17 as they improve to 10-1 heading into next week’s showdown with the LSU Tigers. Tyler Wilson (365 yards) now has 3,215 yards this season, joining Ryan Mallet as the only players in Arkansas history to throw for at least 3,000 yards in a season.

Analyzing the unbeaten teams: Houston

November, 15, 2011

Thomas Campbell/US PresswireCase Keenum and Houston have been celebrating all season, but can the Cougars keep their dreams of an unbeaten season alive?
After 11 weeks of football, there are three unbeaten teams remaining in the Football Bowl Subdivision. What makes these teams go? Do they have a weakness that will cost them a chance at an undefeated season? And what is each team’s toughest game remaining on the schedule? ESPN’s Statistics & Information Group will be answering these questions for each of the three teams in a series, starting with the Houston Cougars.

Houston Cougars: 10-0 (6-0 CUSA)

What they do well
Case Keenum and the Cougars throw the ball as well as any team in the country. Keenum leads all FBS quarterbacks in pass yards per game (395.1) and pass touchdowns (37) this season. Two weeks ago, he passed Hawaii’s Timmy Chang for the most career passing yards in NCAA history (17,537).

While they throw the ball frequently, the Cougars are hardly “compilers.” Keenum ranks second in the nation with an average of 10.5 yards per attempt and he leads all quarterbacks in completions of both 20 yards or more (61) and 50 yards or more (11). As a team, Houston is on pace to complete more 20+ and 50+ yard passes in a single season than any school in the past eight seasons.

Area of concern
Houston allows over 184 rushing yards per game, 87th among 120 FBS schools this season. With games remaining against Tulsa (209.4 rush yards per game) and potentially Southern Miss (198.8 rush yards per game) in the Conference USA championship game, the Cougars could face two offenses currently ranked among the top 30 teams in the country in rush yards per game.

If there is a breaking point for Houston, it has been the 200-yard mark. Over the past three seasons, the Cougars are 9-7 when allowing more than 200 yards on the ground and 16-4 when allowing 200 or fewer. Tulsa and Southern Miss have combined to eclipse 200 yards on 24 occasions during that span, including each team’s win over Houston last season.

Biggest hurdle remaining
Houston still has to play at Tulsa, who defeated the Cougars 28-25 last season in Houston. Entering this weekend, Tulsa is 6-0 in conference play and tied with Houston atop West Division of C-USA. The two teams are scheduled to meet the day after Thanksgiving in a matchup that will decide the division’s representative in the C-USA championship game in addition to impacting Houston’s pursuit of the league’s first BCS bowl bid.

Along with its ground attack, Tulsa’s ability to create turnovers in the passing game could work in its favor. Tulsa has picked off a league-high 14 passes this season (T-ninth in FBS), including at least one pass in seven of its ten games. In five of those games, the Golden Hurricane has intercepted at least two passes.

If Tulsa can reel in a Keenum pass or two on November 25, its chances to win will greatly improve. Since Keenum began his career in 2007, Houston is 23-3 in games when he has not thrown an interception, 15-12 when he has a thrown at least one pick, and 4-7 when he’s thrown two or more.

Boise St and Stanford losses shake up BCS

November, 14, 2011

Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesLaMichael James runs for one of his three touchdowns in Oregon's win over Stanford
The latest BCS standings feature a lot of changes in the top 10 after the Stanford Cardinal and Boise State Broncos suffered their first losses.

The Cardinal fall five spots to number nine after getting handled convincingly by the Oregon Ducks in Palo Alto. Despite the loss, they are still in position to make a BCS game as an at-large bid. The Ducks, meanwhile, jump up three spots to number four.

The Broncos also drop five spots -- to number 10 -- after their dramatic loss to the TCU Horned Frogs. The Broncos no longer control their destiny in the Mountain West, needing help to make it to a BCS bowl game. Also not helping is the fact that their schedule the rest of the way is less than impressive – closing with the San Diego State Aztecs (6-3), Wyoming Cowboys (6-3) and New Mexico Lobos (1-9).

The Horned Frogs are rewarded for upsetting Boise State by making their season debut in the standings at number 19.

At the top of the standings, LSU remains number one for the fifth straight week and seventh total week in school history. The only teams that have spent more time atop the standings are Oklahoma (20), USC (15) and Ohio State (15).

The Tigers are the sixth team to hold the number one spot in the BCS for the first five weeks. Only two of those previous five teams went on to win the national title.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys and Alabama Crimson Tide remain two and three in the BCS respectively. The Oklahoma Sooners did not play this week, but move up to number five. The Sooners have spent 48 weeks in the top 5 -- most in BCS history.

Case Keenum and the Houston Cougars remain unbeaten, but stay at number 11.
Two more unbeaten teams cruised to victory, while three men behind center had record-setting performances on a busy late Saturday afternoon in college football.

Despite playing without two of their four leading tacklers and their leading rusher, the top-ranked LSU Tigers crushed the Auburn Tigers 45-10. LSU is now 8-0 for the first time since 1973 and just the fourth time in school history (1908, 1958). Their 5-0 conference start is also their best since 1973.

The Tigers continue to dominate their competition, as they have now won each of their first eight games by at least 13 points. In 480 minutes of action this year, LSU has trailed for just 6:33 and hasn’t been behind since Week 1 versus Oregon.

The 45 points are the most that LSU has scored in 46 all-time meetings between the two schools. The Tigers also hand their SEC brethren its worst conference loss since a 36-0 shutout by Alabama in the 2008 regular season finale.

Auburn’s 35-point loss was the worst by a defending national champion in the BCS era, and is tied with Miami's 38-3 loss to Florida State in 1984 for the fourth-worst by a defending champ in the AP Poll era.

The Boise State Broncos improved to 7-0 overall with a 37-26 win over the Air Force Falcons in their first home game as a member of the Mountain West. The Broncos have now won 35 consecutive home games, the second longest active streak in the nation.

Boise State also extended its regular season home win streak to 65 games and its conference home win streak to 47. The last time they lost a home regular season game was 2001 and the last time they lost a home conference game was in the 1999 season when they were members of the Big West.

Kellen Moore notched his 45th career victory, matching Colt McCoy for the most wins as a starting quarterback in FBS history. He also threw three touchdowns, moving past Ty Detmer for fourth place on the all-time FBS list.

Other Quarterbacks Who Shined
• East Carolina QB Dominique Davis completed all 26 of his passes in the first half against Navy, breaking the FBS record for consecutive completions in a single game. The previous record was 23, set by Tennessee's Tee Martin and California's Aaron Rodgers.

• Houston QB Case Keenum set the first of what should be a trio of major passing records, when he broke the career FBS mark for total offense in the first quarter vs. Marshall. Keenum needed 130 yards to pass former Hawaii QB Timmy Chang, who had 16,910 yards from 2000-04.

Short pass game key to Luck's success

October, 18, 2011

Chris Morrison/US Presswire
Andrew Luck is completing 80.1 percent of his passes thrown less than 10 yards, a slightly higher percentage than last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton (75.5 percent).

In order to win a Heisman Trophy, candidates must find a way to separate themselves from the competition. Each week, they are presented with one opportunity to showcase their skills and impress voters. One bad game can end a player’s Heisman aspirations, while one good performance can vault a player into the national spotlight. In Week 7, we saw several outstanding performances by potential Heisman Trophy candidates. Here are the candidates who helped themselves the most.

(1) Andrew Luck, Stanford Cardinal
Luck passed for over 300 yards for the second straight game in Stanford’s win against Washington State. Despite attempting more passes (12) of 20-plus yards than in any other game over the last two seasons, Luck found success keeping it short. Luck was 20-of-24 with three touchdowns and no interceptions on throws of 20 yards or fewer and 16-of-17 on throws shorter than 10 yards. For the season, Luck is completing 80.1 percent of his passes thrown less than 10 yards, a slightly higher percentage than last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton who completed 75.5 percent of the same throws.

(2) Trent Richardson, Alabama Crimson Tide
Trent Richardson set new career-highs with 183 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries in Alabama’s win over Ole Miss. Richardson ran through the Rebel defense with 127 of his 183 yards (69.4 percent) coming after contact, including 80 such yards on his 76-yard touchdown run. It was Richardson’s third 40-plus yard touchdown run this season, which is tied with LaMichael James for most in FBS.

(3) Kellen Moore, Boise State Broncos
Moore completed 26-of-30 passes for 338 yards and four touchdowns in Boise State’s win over Colorado State. It was Moore’s eighth career game with four or more touchdown passes, trailing only Houston’s Case Keenum (14) for the most in FBS since 2008. Moore did much of his damage against the Rams in shotgun formation, where he completed 19-of-22 attempts for 294 yards and a season-high three touchdowns. It was Moore’s highest completion percentage while in shotgun during a game over the last three seasons.

(4) Russell Wilson, Wisconsin Badgers
Wilson completed 12-of-17 (70.6 percent) passes for 166 yards and a touchdown in Wisconsin’s win against Indiana. Wilson has now completed at least 70 percent of his passes in all six games this season. The only other player to accomplish this feat this season is Baylor’s Robert Griffin III. No other FBS player that has played in at least four games has completed 70 percent or more of their passes in every game. Wilson showcased his versatility against the Hoosiers. He caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from running back Montee Ball in the second quarter and both of his rushing attempts gained 15 yards or more. For the season, 25 percent (6-24) of Wilson’s rushes have gained 15 yards or more.

(5) Landry Jones, Oklahoma Sooners
Jones passed for 363 yards and three touchdowns in Oklahoma’s lopsided win over Kansas. Jones has now passed for more than 300 yards in five of his six games this season, and has thrown at least three touchdowns in four of the six games. Jones completed seven-of-13 throws of 15-plus yards against Kansas, including three touchdowns. The seven completions and three touchdowns both tied career-highs. Jones was at his best when targeting Ryan Broyles on these throws. Broyles caught four of the seven passes and two of the three touchdowns.

(6) Robert Griffin III, Baylor Bears
Griffin III threw for a career-high 430 yards and three touchdowns in Baylor’s loss at Texas A&M. It was Griffin’s fourth game this season with at least three touchdown passes and 300 yards passing, which is tied for the most such games in FBS. Against the Aggies, Griffin was particularly successful using play action. Griffin completed 16-of-22 passes following a run fake for 252 yards and two touchdowns. On the season, 14 of Griffin’s 22 touchdown passes have followed play action.
Every Friday during college football season, we're taking fans' questions and answering them on our blog. You can send questions to our Twitter account @ESPNStatsInfo. Be sure to follow so you can tweet us your questions (facts, not opinions) and we'll answer the best of the best.

Florida-Alabama games never seem to get a comeback win from either team. Does the first half score reflect the winner?
-- asked by @dland21

In the last 20 meetings between Florida and Alabama, the team that led at halftime has gone on to win the game 17 times (17-3 overall, no ties). And, since 1991, the team that led at halftime has gone on to win 12 of the team’s 13 meetings (2006).

The last time a team trailed at the half but went on to win the game was in 2006. Florida trailed 10-7, but went on to beat Alabama, 28-13, en route to the BCS National Championship.

When was the last time two Top 10 teams played each other in their first ever conference meeting?
-- asked by @theBAUHS

On September 10, 2004, No. 5 Miami (FL) beat No. 4 Florida State 16-10 in the Hurricanes first-ever ACC game.

Saturday, No. 7 Wisconsin hosts No.8 Nebraska in the Cornhuskers Big Ten debut (ABC, 8 ET).

When is the last Top 10 match-up in the Big Ten that did not include Ohio State?
-- asked by @codymc13

On October 16, 2004, No. 10 Wisconsin beat No. 5 Purdue, 20-17, in West Lafayette.

In that game, Wisconsin’s Scott Starks returned Kyle Orton’s fumble for a TD with 2:36 left for the game-winning score. The QB matchup was John Stocco vs Orton.

"I've been in this racket for a long time," Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez said. "And I've never been part of a game like this."

Who are the active leaders in touchdowns responsible for in FBS?
-- asked by @PocketsDeep

Houston’s Case Keenum has accounted for 141 career touchdowns (including two Thursday night in the Cougars 49-42 win over UTEP). Among FCS players, Jacksonville’s Josh McGregor has accounted for 102 touchdowns.

Offense on display in Alamo Bowl rematch

September, 8, 2011
Thursday’s rematch of the 2010 Valero Alamo Bowl between Arizona Wildcats and ninth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys (ESPN, 8 ET) features two teams with prolific quarterback-wide receiver combinations.

Arizona’s Nick Foles led the nation in the first week of action with 412 passing yards and five touchdowns in a 41-10 blowout win over Northern Arizona. That is the fourth 400-yard passing game of Foles’ career. Only Case Keenum has more 400-yard games since the start of 2009.

Foles’ favorite receiver is Juron Criner, who caught six of the nine passes thrown to him for 151 yards and a touchdown in the season opener.

While Foles led the nation in individual passing yards in college football's initial week, Oklahoma State led the nation with 666 total yards when it won 61-34 over Louisiana-Lafayette.

Quarterback Brandon Weeden’s favorite target is Justin Blackmon, who has 13 straight 100-yard receiving games. Blackmon beat Arizona deep in the Alamo Bowl with a 72-yard touchdown reception, and he has the ability to break long plays more frequently than any other receiver in the country.

Since the start of 2010, no other receiver has more 20-yard touchdown receptions than Blackmon’s 12 of this distance. Weeden knows that he can just throw the ball deep and Blackmon will likely come down with it.

In order for the Wildcats to pull off the upset, they must fix several mistakes made in the Alamo Bowl, when they lost 36-10. Foles struggled to throw the ball downfield, completing 7-of-18 attempts thrown 10-or-more yards downfield with all three of his interceptions coming on throws of that distance.

When targeting Criner on downfield passes in the bowl game, Foles was 1-for-4 with one interception. Foles showed improvement on throws of 10+ yards in his first game of 2011 as he completed 8-of-12 passes for three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Weeden and Blackmon face different challenges as they prepare for Thursday. Weeden tied his career high with three interceptions versus Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday.

The offense did not look particularly sharp after the departure of offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, and for the first time in 13 games Justin Blackmon did not catch a touchdown.