Stats & Info: Johnathan Franklin

Stats to know: Baylor-UCLA (Holiday Bowl)

December, 26, 2012
Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesBrett Hundley has aired it out for UCLA this season.
The Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl matchup between the Baylor Bears and No. 17 UCLA Bruins should be a high-scoring affair.

Baylor is one of the fastest and most efficient offenses in the country and UCLA has been adept at playing high-scoring games, winning all four in which both teams scored at least 28 points.

Here are five stats to know on this contest, scheduled for 9:45 PM ET on Thursday.

1. Jim Mora has won nine games in his first year as UCLA head coach and could notch a 10th win in this one. He’s the first UCLA head coach to win as many as nine games in his first year since UCLA coaching legend Terry Donahue in 1976, who went 9-2-1.

No UCLA coach has ever won 10 games in his first season.

2. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley needs 60 passing yards to break the school’s single-season passing record, set by Cade McNown in 1998.

Hundley has connected often with tight end Joseph Fauria, who has 41 catches this season, 11 of them for touchdowns. Fauria’s 11 touchdowns are the most in the nation by a tight end

3. UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin has consistently moved the chains this season. He ranks second in the FBS behind Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey for number of rushes gaining 10 yards or more (54 to Carey’s 58) and number of rushes to gain a first down (52 to Carey’s 56).

Franklin has gained 648 of his 1,700 yards (38 percent) after contact this season. He has gotten stronger as the game progresses, averaging four yards after contact per rush in the fourth quarter, compared to 2.1 per rush in the first three.

4. Baylor starting quarterback Nick Florence has averaged more total yards per game (387.7) this season than his predecessor Robert Griffin III (384.0) averaged in his Heisman-winning season in 2011.

Griffin accounted for 47 touchdowns (37 via pass, 10 by run); Florence has accounted for 40 (31 by pass, nine by run).

The key will be keeping Florence protected. Baylor is 6-1 when allowing one sack or fewer, 1-4 when allowing more than one sack.

UCLA is fourth in FBS with 44 sacks this season and has multiple sacks in 12 of its 13 games.

However, the Bruins defense may be susceptible to Baylor's big-play offense. UCLA has allowed 36 plays of 30 yards or more this season, fourth-most among BCS-AQ schools

5. Baylor’s Terrance Williams needs 236 yards to become the second 2,000-yard receiver in FBS history. He’s had one game in his career with that many receiving yards- earlier this season against West Virginia.

Williams leads FBS with 32 receptions of at least 20 yards, nine more than any FBS player. He’s five receptions away from 100 this season. He’ll likely end up the all-time leader in yards-per-catch among receivers with at least 100 catches in a season. He’s currently averaging 18.6. The record of 16.7 was set by Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech in 1997.

-- Brett Perrotta contributed research to this post.

Rushing title on the line in Albuquerque

December, 14, 2012
Amid the elevation of University Stadium in Albuquerque, which sits almost a mile above sea level, the top two rushers in FBS will go rush for rush against each other Saturday in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl (1 p.m. ET, ESPN).

The Arizona Wildcats' Ka'Deem Carey leads FBS with 146.4 rushing yards per game. Nevada Wolf Pack running back Stefphon Jefferson is second in the country with 141.9 yards per game. Carey was an AP All-American first-team selection (along with Wisconsin’s Montee Ball), and Jefferson was a third-team selection.

A big game could lead to the FBS rushing title for either player, so let’s break down the pair head-to-head:

Big-play potential
Carey is tied with UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin for the FBS lead in rushes of at least 10 yards with 54.

He leads the country -- all of FBS -- in rushes of at least 20 yards with 20. Carey also has ripped off eight runs of at least 30 yards this season. All of those tallies are much higher than those of Jefferson, who has 11 runs of at least 20 yards. Edge: Carey

Jefferson has had his number called time and again in coach Chris Ault’s pistol-style offense; his 341 rushes are the second-most this season in FBS behind Michigan State’s LeVeon Bell. Jefferson has six games when he has run the ball at least 30 times. That’s tied with Bell for the most such games in FBS. By comparison, the most rushes Carey has had in a game this season is 29. Edge: Jefferson

Getting first downs
Their first-down totals are nearly identical (86-85 in favor of Jefferson), but Carey’s rate gets the upper hand. Carey has picked up first downs on almost 31 percent of his rushes this season compared with 25 percent for Jefferson. Edge: Carey

Jefferson has converted almost half of his goal-to-go rushes into touchdowns (17 TDs on 35 rushes). Carey has been no slouch (13 TDs on 36 rushes), but his 36.1 conversion rate is lower than Jefferson's. Edge: Jefferson

Chasing records
With one more rushing touchdown, Carey will tie the school record for most in a season with 21. With 9 more rushing yards, Jefferson will set the Mountain West Conference single-season record, and with 30 more yards he’ll set the school single-season record. Edge: Even

Teammate rushing threat
Nevada’s pistol offense also has another rushing threat in QB Cody Fajardo, who averages 89.1 yards per game. Combined, Jefferson and Fajardo are rushing for 231.1 yards per game – the highest total by any teammate duo in FBS. Carey’s top rushing teammate is also his quarterback, but Matt Scott’s average of 44.1 yards per game is less than half of Fajardo’s. Edge: Jefferson

The bowl game itself will have to decide this one. The backs are similar even in their height (Jefferson 5-11 to Carey 5-10), weight (Jefferson 210 to Carey 197) and jersey. Both wear No. 25. As Carey told the Tucson Citizen, “It’s going to be show time between me and him. There’s the game, and then it’s me vs him. I think it’s two games in one.”

Matt Barkley making most of short throws

September, 11, 2012
In order to win a Heisman Trophy, candidates must find a way to separate themselves from the competition. One amazing performance can vault a player into the national spotlight, and one bad game can end a player’s Heisman aspirations.

In Week 2, there were several outstanding performances by potential Heisman Trophy candidates, led once again by USC’s senior quarterback.

Matt Barkley had 187 yards passing and threw a school-record six touchdowns in USC’s 42-29 victory over Syracuse.

Barkley became the first FBS quarterback in the last 12 seasons to throw at least six touchdown passes with less than 200 yards passing in a game. Barkley has 20 touchdown passes in his last four games, six more than any other player in FBS during that span. He kept his passes short in a stormy MetLife Stadium, averaging a career-low 3.7 air yards per attempt. USC’s receivers turned these short passes into big gains with 137 yards coming after the catch -- the 10th straight game that the Trojans gained 100 yards after the catch.

With his play the first two weeks of this season, UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin has vaulted himself into the Heisman discussion.

Franklin had 217 rushing yards on 26 attempts in the Bruins’ 36-30 upset of Nebraska. It was his second consecutive 200-yard rushing game and third of his career. Franklin’s 215.5 rushing yards per game leads FBS this season. In fact, he’s averaging more than 90 teams. Franklin leads FBS with six runs that gained 20 yards or more, and is one of two players with two touchdown runs of at least 60 yards.

Ohio State’s Braxton Miller accounted for a career-high four touchdowns (three rushing, one passing) and 296 yards in Ohio State’s 31-16 win against UCF. Miller gained 141 yards on the ground, his second-straight 100-yard game and seventh of his career. Only Terrelle Pryor has more 100-yard games rushing than Miller among Ohio State quarterbacks. Miller gained a career-high 106 rushing yards inside the tackles, including two touchdowns. After averaging 4.6 yards per rush between the tackles last season, Miller is averaging 7.2 yards in 2012.

After being kept in check by Alabama, Denard Robinson was back to making plays with his arm and his legs.

In Michigan’s 31-25 win over Air Force, he completed 14-of-25 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns. On the ground, he had 20 carries for 218 yards and two more touchdowns. It was his third career game with at least 200 rushing yards and at least 200 passing yards, the most among all FBS players since 2000. Robinson gained 211 of his 218 rushing yards on 19 designed-running plays. During Michigan’s Week 1 loss to Alabama, the Wolverines called only six designed-running plays for Robinson, who gained 25 yards.

Defense key to Arizona turnaround

October, 20, 2011
In his first game as interim head coach, Tim Kish and the Arizona Wildcats host the UCLA Bruins on Thursday night (ESPN, 9 ET). Kish, previously the defensive coordinator, took over for former head coach Mike Stoops after Stoops was relieved of his duties last week.

Arizona has lost five straight games since a season-opening win over FCS Northern Arizona, but has won its past four meetings against the Bruins. In last season’s contest, Arizona jumped out to an early lead and racked up a season-high 583 yards of total offense in a 29-21 win at the Rose Bowl.

If the Wildcats hope to turn their season around they’ll need to start on the defensive side of the ball. Arizona comes into the game ranked last in the Pac-12 and among the 10 worst teams in the FBS in scoring defense (37.5 points per game), rush defense (196.0 yards per game) and total defense (487.7 yards per game). Arizona hasn’t finished worse than fifth in the conference in any of those categories since 2007.

If there has been a bright spot thus far for the Wildcats, it’s been the play of QB Nick Foles. Foles enters the game second among FBS passers in completions (201) and pass yards (2,255) this season and leads the Pac-12 in completion percentage (71.5). Foles has thrown for 7,932 yards in his Arizona career, third most in school history and sixth in the FBS since 2009.

On the other sideline, UCLA comes to town having leaned on its ground game this season to move the ball on offense. UCLA leads the Pac-12 in percentage of plays that were rushes (61.8) and trails only Oregon in rush yards per game (196.0). Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman have led the way, combining for 839 yards on the ground in six games this season. That total is the second most among teammates in the Pac-12.

In a matchup of differing offensive philosophies, the Bruins’ ability to control the ball and keep Foles & Co. off the field may be a deciding factor. UCLA has done a great job sustaining drives with its rush attack this season, having net an average time of possession of 34:05 per game (first in Pac-12, 10th in FBS).
Here's some quick notes on the mid-afternoon action of a busy college football Saturday:

No. 1 Alabama 24, No. 10 Arkansas 20
• The Alabama Crimson Tide took advantage of two Ryan Mallett interceptions in the fourth quarter to rally and beat the Arkansas Razorbacks, remaining unbeaten.

• Arkansas led 20-7 in the third quarter, but gained just 48 yards the rest of the way with a pair of turnovers, allowing Alabama to rally for its 18th consecutive win (the longest active streak in the country).

• Mallett threw for 250 yards and a score and rushed for another in the first half as Arkansas led 17-7. He finished with 357 passing yards and three interceptions, a career high.

Mark Ingram had a 54-yd TD run in the first quarter. It's his third run of over 45 yards this season after having two all of last year. He finished with 157 yards and two TD.

Greg McElroy completed six-of-nine pass attempts in the fourth quarter and is now 17-of-23 in the fourth quarter when trailing in his career.

• Alabama is now 4-0 vs. Arkansas under Nick Saban and has won 17 consecutive SEC regular-season games.

• Arkansas falls to 0-12-1 in its last 13 games involving top-10 teams.

No. 2 Ohio State 73, Eastern Michigan 20
• The Ohio State Buckeyes scored on their first six drives and finished with their most points in a game since 1950, when they scored 83 vs the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Dane Sanzenbacher caught four TD, tying a school record he now shares with Terry Glenn (1995) and Bob Grimes (1952).

Terrelle Pryor threw four TD passes, ran for a TD and also caught a TD pass. He's the only FBS player in the last seven seasons to reach each of those totals in a single game. In fact, only three other players have thrown three TD passes while also catching a TD and running for a TD over that span. Most recently, Mike Kafka did it last year for Northwestern.

• Eastern Michigan has lost 16 straight, spanning the entirety of Ron English's tenure as head coach.

UCLA 34, No. 7 Texas 12
• The Texas Longhorns committed five turnovers and were outrushed by 206 yards. Texas suffered its worst home loss of the Mack Brown era (since 1998).

Johnathan Franklin rushed for 118 yards and a TD for the UCLA Bruins, who defeated a top-10 team on the road for the first time since a win over the 10th-ranked Arizona Wildcats in 1998. It is their first win over a non-conference top-10 team since 2000 (Michigan Wolverines) and only the fourth non-conference home loss for Texas under Mack Brown.

• In their last 2 visits to Austin, the Bruins have outscored Texas 100-15. 264 of UCLA's 290 yards came on the ground.

No. 16 Stanford 37, Notre Dame 14
Stepfan Taylor ran for 108 yards, while Andrew Luck threw for 238 yards and a TD (but throws his first two interceptions of the season) as the Stanford Cardinal win in South Bend for the first time since 1992. That day, the opposing coaches were Bill Walsh for Stanford and Lou Holtz for Notre Dame.

• The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have now lost 11 straight games vs. opponents ranked in the AP Top 25 (five straight at home). The last time Notre Dame beat a ranked team was Sept. 9, 2006 when it beat No. 19 Penn State, 41-17, in South Bend.

Dayne Crist threw for 307 yards, a TD and an interception (which was returned for a TD by Owen Marecic) and Michael Floyd caught eight passes for 112 yards for the Irish, who lose their 3rd straight game overall.

• At 1-3, Notre Dame is off to its worst start since 2007, when it began 0-5.

• Stanford has now defeated Notre Dame two games in a row for the first time in the history of the series.

No. 20 USC 50, Washington State 16
• Lane Kiffin improves to 4-0 as the USC Trojans' head coach, and becomes the fifth coach in USC history to start his tenure with four straight wins.

• The Trojans piled up season highs of 50 points and 613 yards.

• It's the first 4-0 start for USC since 2007 and its eighth straight win over the Washington State Cougars.

• Washington State has now lost 12 straight to FBS opponents.

No. 23 Penn State 22, Temple 13
• The Penn State Nittany Lions trailed 13-9 at the half, but shut out the Temple Owls in the second half on the way their 28th straight win over Temple.

• Penn State's 28-game win streak vs. Temple is now two shy of the FBS record for most consecutive wins over an opponent in a non-consecutive series (held by the Clemson Tigers over the Virginia Cavaliers). Penn State's streak of 16 consecutive double-digit wins over the Owls is, however, snapped.

Evan Royster ran for a career-high 187 yards on 26 carries (matching a career high) for Penn State. He had just 110 yards on 31 carries in his first three games this season. His performance moved him into sixth on the Penn State all-time rushing list. He's just 105 yards behind Tony Hunt for second on the list, and 183 behind Curt Warner for the school record.

• Senior kicker Collin Wagner had a career-high five field goals for Penn State.

• Temple drops to 1-14-1 all-time against Big Ten teams, with the only win coming vs. Wisconsin in 1990.