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December 9, 2008
Interesting stats: Sooners are highly efficient
Each week, we'll look at some statistics involving individuals and/or teams that we find intriguing.
1. In the regular season, Houston led the nation in total offense and USC led in total defense. If that holds up through the postseason, it will continue a trend. Houston would be the third non-"Big Six" school in a row to win the total offense title and USC would be the sixth consecutive "Big Six" school to win the total defense title. Houston would be the fifth non-"Big Sixer" to lead the nation in total offense this decade, and USC would be the seventh "Big Sixer" to lead in total defense this decade.
2. Three teams tied for the national lead in red zone efficiency. The numbers for the three, though, varied wildly. Ohio State, Oklahoma and UNLV each scored on 95 percent of their trips into the red zone. But OU had 80 such forays to just 37 for UNLV and 38 for Ohio State. Plus, the Sooners scored touchdowns on 69 of those possessions. Ohio State scored 23 touchdowns and UNLV scored 27. Put another way, Ohio State and UNLV made it into the red zone a combined 75 times – and Oklahoma scored 69 red zone touchdowns.
3. Three teams in the top 20 in third-down defense aren't going to bowls – and three teams in the bottom 20 in third-down defense are going to bowls. The three teams who finished in the top 20 in third-down conversion defense who didn't make the postseason are No. 4 Auburn (foes made just 28.7 percent of their third downs), No. 18 San Jose State (32.4 percent) and No. 20 Army (32.7 percent). The teams in the bottom 20 who made the postseason are No. 101 Missouri (45.5 percent), No. 102 Buffalo (45.7 percent) and No. 109 Colorado State (47.2 percent).
4. Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick has made history. Kaepernick, a sophomore, is just the fifth player in major-college history to pass for 2,000 yards and run for 1,000 yards in a season. The others: Clemson's Woody Dantzler in 2001, Missouri's Brad Smith in 2002 and 2005, Texas' Vince Young in 2005 and Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour in 2007.
Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.