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October 20, 2009
Inside the stats: A red-zone surprise
Each week, we'll look at some statistics involving individuals and/or teams that we find intriguing.
1. Seeing red. Three teams are perfect in the red zone this season. Surprisingly, none of the three has a winning record. Arkansas (3-3) is 23-of-23, with 15 touchdowns and eight field goals. Virginia (3-3) is 17-of-17, with 10 TDs and seven field goals. And San Jose State (1-5) is 13-of-13, with 11 TDs and two field goals. San Jose State's TD percentage once it gets in the red zone is 84.6 percent; only BYU, at 84.9 percent, ranks higher nationally.
2. Stop right there. The league with the best defenses -- at least statistically -- this season might surprise you. It's the ACC, with seven of the league's 12 teams in the top 41 nationally. Each of those seven give up less than 330 yards per game. The flipside is that just three league teams are in the top 50 nationally in total offense. It's the chicken-and-the-egg syndrome: Are the defenses good or the offenses bad?
3. Getting his kicks. UCLA's Kai Forbath is 17-of-18 on field-goal attempts this season, with his only miss a 52-yarder. His 17 makes have come in six games, putting him on pace to hit 34, which would be a single-season record. Georgia's Billy Bennett holds the record of 31, set in 2003 in 14 games.
4. No entry allowed. Two teams -- Oklahoma and Tulsa -- have yet to yield a rushing touchdown this season. OU is fifth nationally in rush defense, at 68.3 yards per game. Tulsa is 32nd, giving up 111.3 yards per game. Two side notes: Winless Rice has allowed a nation's-high 24 rushing TDs, and the top three teams in the polls -- Alabama (three), Florida (two) and Texas (one) -- have allowed a total of six rushing TDs. North Carolina leads in fewest passing TDs allowed, with one.
Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.