September 29, 2009

Inside the stats: Failing in passing game

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

1. Up in the air. Four schools have thrown just one TD pass, and two of them are Big Six programs. One is Vanderbilt, whose lack of passing production, frankly, isn't surprising. The other is Illinois, which has QB Juice Williams and WR Arrelious Benn. Benn might be the most underutilized offensive player in the nation; he has five catches (for just 42 yards) and one rush (for 8 yards) this season.

2. Time to get tough. A cool stat from the folks at is that Washington is allowing 7.3 yards per carry on first down. If you watched the Huskies get gashed repeatedly by Stanford's Toby Gerhart this past Saturday, that stat is easy to believe. That's not the worst figure nationally; that belongs to Florida Atlantic, which is allowing 8.3 yards on each first-down run. USC's defense has the lowest per-carry average on first down, at just 1.3 yards.

3. Up for grabs. Four quarterbacks have thrown eight interceptions already, and one of them, surprisingly, is BYU's Max Hall. SMU's Bo Levi Mitchell, San Diego State's Ryan Lindley and Tennessee's Jonathan Crompton are the others. Hall, who in four games also has thrown eight TD passes, is eighth nationally at 296.3 passing yards per game.

4. Getting off to a good start. Florida has rushed for 727 yards on 92 first-down carries alone. The 727 yards is more than 85 teams have rushed for on the season.

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for He can be reached at

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