With multiple weeks of data (for most teams) and the slightest of opponent adjustments taking hold in the numbers, I thought it would be interesting to seek out potential trends in the early-season football data. So that's exactly what I did for this week's Varsity Numbers. (And yeah, I didn't have to wait long to get my answer about USF.)
BIggest Difference Between Standard Downs And Passing Downs Rankings, Offense (SD > PD): Georgia Tech (20th on standard downs, 105th on passing downs), UL-Lafayette (32nd on standard downs, 112th on passing downs), Middle Tennessee (24th on standard downs, 98th on passing downs), Nebraska (seventh on standard downs, 78th on passing downs), Duke (55th on standard downs, 119th on passing downs).
Nebraska's Taylor Martinez looked fantastic throwing the ball in the season opener against Southern Miss. But as has always been the case with Martinez, you need to be able to stay on schedule and out of standard downs. Defenses are wary of his legs, and he can find some easy throws to make, but when the Huskers fall into second-and-9 or third-and-7, Nebraska's drive is probably about to end.
BIggest Difference Between Standard Downs And Passing Downs Rankings, Offense (PD > SD): Temple (eighth on passing downs, 120th on standard downs), Oregon State (32nd on passing downs, 123rd on standard downs), UTSA (18th on passing downs, 108th on standard downs), Wyoming (10th on passing downs, 94th on standard downs), South Florida (second on passing downs, 82nd on standard downs).
Either USF quarterback B.J. Daniels has turned into the second coming of Colt McCoy, or USF is about to find life a lot tougher when better defenses don't grant him open receivers on passing downs. He has thrived thus far, but USF has played only Chattanooga and Nevada.