October 7, 2008

Inside the numbers: Quick scores

MORE: Power rankings | Weekly Whispers | Olin's Heisman Ballot

Each week, we'll look at some statistics involving individuals and/or teams that we find intriguing.

1. Missouri is 119th in the nation in time of possession. That's next-to-last. You often hear folks say time of possession is an overrated stat, and Missouri (5-0) is proof this season. The Tigers' average time of possession this season: 26 minutes, 7 seconds. (The only team worse is San Diego State, at 23:18 per game.) The Tigers' average point total this season: 53.4 per game (ranked second nationally). Missouri has run 348 plays, which is almost 70 per game, and the Tigers average 8.2 yards per play. Mizzou has scored 30 offensive touchdowns, which is one every 11.6 plays. Two other teams with winning records Maryland (4-2) and North Carolina (4-1) also are in the bottom five in time of possession. The Terps have the ball for an average of 26:21 per game, the Tar Heels 26:32 per game.

2. Oklahoma is perfect in the red zone. The Sooners have had the ball in the red zone 24 times and scored on all 24. In those possessions, the Sooners have 16 rushing touchdowns, seven passing touchdowns and one field goal. UNLV (18), Pittsburgh (17), Troy (15), Western Kentucky (15) and shock of shocks Syracuse (12) also are perfect in the red zone. But each of those teams has kicked at least three field goals. Of note: Oklahoma plays Texas on Saturday, and the Longhorns are 25-of-26 in the red zone, with 23 touchdowns and two field goals. At the other end of the spectrum, Notre Dame (4-1) is last in red-zone efficiency, with nine scores (all TDs) in 19 opportunities.

3. Washington can't stop anyone on third down. Winless Washington is off this week, and one thing you can be sure the Huskies will work on is their third-down defense. Opponents are converting third downs at an amazing 65.6 percent clip (40-for-61), which makes the Huskies the worst in the nation in the category. Auburn leads the nation in third-down defense, allowing just 18.3 percent to be converted (17-for-93).

4. Two teams Fresno State and Purdue didn't commit any penalties last week. Thanks to the folks at cfbstats.com, we know they are the fourth and fifth teams this season to commit no penalties in a game. Since the beginning of the 2004 season, they are the 24th and 25th teams to have a penalty-free game. There were six in 2004, three in 2005, seven in 2006, four in 2007 and five already this season. Also of interest: Fresno and Purdue both lost at home.

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be heard on Rivals Radio every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. ET and can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.



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