Stats & Info: Nick Florence

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.

Records crash in Geno Smith masterpiece

September, 29, 2012

AP Photo/Christopher Jackson
Geno Smith was the star attraction in the fireworks show in Morgantown Saturday.
If defenses were being put to the test in Saturday's Big 12 clash of high-flying offenses at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, everyone failed. The offenses combined for 19 touchdowns, the most ever in a game involving FBS teams.

But no one in Morgantown came out of the 70-63 West Virginia Mountaineers win looking better than Geno Smith in what could have been the first Heisman Trophy-defining performance of the season.

The senior quarterback set school single-game records for completions (45), pass yards (656), total offense (687) and passing touchdowns (8) in a virtuoso performance. He threw for more touchdowns than incompletions (6).

Going back to the 2012 Orange Bowl, Smith has 26 touchdowns and zero interceptions and hasn't thrown for fewer than 323 yards in a game.

Compared to last year's Heisman winner, Robert Griffin III, through four games, Smith has 345 more pass yards with a better completion percentage and more touchdowns. And his team was still perfect while Griffin III's Baylor team was 3-1. Smith actually has the most touchdown passes in his team's first four games of any season since the turn of the century with 20.

West Virginia's Stedman Bailey turned 13 grabs into a school-record 303 yards and he didn't even have the most receiving yards in the game. Baylor's Terrance Williams also set school records with 17 receptions and 314 yards. Bailey also had five touchdown catches, tied for the second-most in a game by an FBS player since 2000 (Oklahoma State’s Rashaun Woods had seven in 2003). No Mountaineer player has ever had more receptions in a game than Bailey's teammate Tavon Austin, who had 215 yards himself.

We can't confirm when the last time opposing teams each had a 300-yard wide receiver. But the NCAA does note that a pair of Tulsa players, Rick Eber (322) and Harry Wood (318), did so in the same game against Idaho State on October 7, 1967.

For a program that took some beatings in its history versus powerhouses like Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska, Baylor's defense broke some dubious school records today. It gave up 807 total yards, 656 of them through the air.

Baylor elected to send three pass rushers or fewer on 32 of Geno Smith’s 56 dropbacks. He completed 27 of 31 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns when Baylor did that. He was under duress on just three plays and was not sacked when Baylor dropped eight into coverage.

It's not common that a team can score 63 points in a loss. The Bears' point total matches the FBS record for the most points scored in regulation by a losing team (Rice versus San Jose State in 2004; Toledo versus Western Michigan in 2011).

The sunny side of that stat is that Baylor's quarterback had to have a pretty memorable day as well. And Nick Florence did, setting school records with 581 pass yards and 575 total yards en route to five scoring tosses. But it's too bad he couldn't help out on defense.

Smith and Florence combined to throw for 1,237 yards, 16 yards shy of the NCAA single-game record by opposing players.

• West Virginia: 807 total yards.
• Most total offense by a player: Geno Smith, 687 yards
• Most Pass TDs by a player: Geno Smith, 8 (tied B.J. Symons' record)
• Most receiving yards by a player: Terrance Williams, 314
• Combined passing TDs: 13 (tied for most in a game among FBS opponents -- San Diego State/New Mexico State, 1969 & Hawaii/BYU, 2001)