Bonus Numbers, Week 9

Jonathan Ferrey

I just couldn't stop talking about the numbers from Week 9, evidently, so now that you've read The Numerical, here's some bonus footage for you (a la Alphabetical Bonus Letters).

2. Kickoffs returned for touchdown by Utah's Reggie Dunn in a 49-27 win over California. Utah's offense actually looked better than normal as the Utes built a 42-6 lead over the Golden Bears, but it still only averaged 5.0 yards per play. Dunn's first return, followed by a fumble return touchdown, helped Utah build the lead, then Dunn's second return put the game away early in the fourth quarter.

3. Field goals kicked by Arizona State against UCLA. Usually, that's a good thing. But it amounted to a service break for the Bruins. ASU crossed UCLA's 40 eight times and scored five touchdowns, but the Sun Devils lost a 45-43 shootout because, in seven such trips for UCLA, the Bruins scored six touchdowns and kicked a last-second field goal. The last two weeks have seen a serious setback for an ASU defense that had looked pretty strong through the season's first half. But Oregon and UCLA combined for 88 points and 940 yards, and that total would probably be much higher had Oregon's Chip Kelly not called off the dogs in the second half.

10. Sacks of Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel in a 24-17 Stanford win over the Cougars. Mike Leach completely handed the game to Tuel, who attempted 69 passes (including the sacks) and rushed seven times for 52 yards. And it almost worked. Tuel completed 42 passes for 403 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but the sacks and a pick six gave the Cardinal the win despite a surprisingly outstanding defensive effort (256 total yards, 70 on one play) from Washington State.

14.3. TCU's third-down conversion rate (2-for-14) in a 36-14 loss to Oklahoma State. The Horned Frogs built an early 14-0 lead thanks to a pick six and a lovely, 83-yard drive. But they could not maintain any offensive momentum afterward, and when OSU finally took the lead midway through the third quarter, things pretty quickly got out of hand. First 38 minutes: TCU 14, OSU 9. Last 22 minutes: OSU 27, TCU 0. It's one step forward (easy win over Baylor), one step back for TCU and new, young quarterback Trevone Boykin.

75. Teddy Bridgewater's completion percentage over his final 28 passes in a 34-31 overtime win over Cincinnati. Bridgewater's game began horribly in windy, wet conditions on Friday night; he completed just three of his first 13 passes and was sacked twice. But he caught fire when it counted, completing 21 of 28 for 333 yards (and one more sack) to finish the game. Of course, some of those yards were easier than others. With under two minutes remaining, DeVante Parker (six targets, four catches, 120 yards, two touchdowns) turned a short pass into a 64-yard touchdown. It briefly gave Louisville its first lead since the fourth quarter before Cincinnati responded with a 59-yard, 53-second drive to tie. This game was not particularly appealing for about three quarters, but things got really, really fun late.

154. Yards gained by Texas in its last two desperate drives to salvage a 21-17 win over Kansas. The Longhorns had gained just 188 yards in their first nine possessions and trailed, 14-7, heading into the fourth quarter, but thanks to some nifty running by Marquise Goodwin and some clutch passing by backup Case McCoy, Texas avoided what would have been a major disaster in an already frustrating season.

157. Total yards gained by Georgia Tech in a 41-17 home loss to BYU. BYU's defense is tremendous, but … really, GT? Nine plays involving Tech's Orwin Smith gained 52 yards. The Yellow Jackets' other 38 plays gained 105 yards.

183. Plays run in Iowa State's 35-14 win over Baylor. ISU actually beat Baylor at its own game, taking advantage of four Bears turnovers and controlling the game to the tune of 102 plays for 557 yards. Bipolar quarterback Steele Jantz was Good Steele, completing 36 of 52 passes for 381 and five touchdowns and carrying 10 times for 54 yards. ISU's defense is the primary reason Paul Rhoads' Cyclones are 5-3, but the offense came to play on Saturday. Of course, what offense doesn't against Baylor?

252. Yards gained on 40 touches by Central Michigan's wonderfully-named Zurlon Tipton in a 35-14 win over Akron. It's been a fantastic year for MAC running backs; Tipton was the latest beneficiary. In the major-conference version of the MAC (the Big East), it took two Pittsburgh running backs to manage nearly the same feat; in a 47-17 win over Temple, Ray Graham and Rushel Shell combined for 259 yards and four touchdowns in 36 touches.

343. Yardage margin in the first half of Oregon's 70-14 win over Colorado. This was a "pick your score" game for the Ducks, and they chose a 56-0 halftime lead, gaining 447 yards to the Buffaloes' 104. This might be Oregon's best team ever, and I just cannot explain how bad Colorado is this year.

Meanwhile, Texas A&M nearly pulled the same feat against an increasingly hapless Auburn squad. The Aggies scored touchdowns on each of their first six possessions, built a 42-7 halftime lead, and finished the game with 671 yards. When you are mercifully dismissed in the coming weeks, Gene Chizik, remember that you do get to keep the 2010 national title ring (and quite a bit of buyout money).

1,017. Combined yards gained in Syracuse's 37-36 win over South Florida. The 'Cuse's Ryan Nassib once again looked strong, throwing for 328 yards and four touchdowns (Marcus Sales and Jarrod West: 19 targets, 16 catches, 223 yards, three touchdowns), and the Orange kept their Big East title hopes alive despite allowing B.J. Daniels to throw for 183 yards and rush for 134. Like I said last week, what the Big East may lack in elite quality, it is making up for with entertaining games and an intriguing title race.

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