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October 26, 2010

Inside the stats: Running quarterbacks

Each week during the season, we look at some statistics involving individuals and/or teams that we find intriguing. Here is this week's version:

1. Three of the top nine rushers in the nation are quarterbacks. Michigan's Denard Robinson (156.6 ypg) is second, Auburn's Cameron Newton (134.6 ypg) is sixth and Nebraska's Taylor Martinez (124.3 ypg) is ninth. All are first-year starters, Robinson as a sophomore, Newton is a junior (he's a JC transfer) and Martinez as a redshirt freshman. The last "running" quarterback to win the Heisman was Nebraska's Eric Crouch in 2001; he ran for 1,115 yards that season. Robinson (1,096 yards) and Newton (1,077) should surpass that total this weekend. The record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a season is 1,494, by Air Force's Beau Morgan in 1996.

2. UCLA had the ball for 38:31 of its game Thursday against Oregon, holding the ball for 17:02 more than the Ducks. The Ducks rolled 60-13. Oregon ran an incredible 73 plays from scrimmage in its 21:29 with the ball; UCLA ran 70. Oregon averaged a robust 8.0 yards per play and finished with 582 yards. The Ducks are 114th this season in time of possession, averaging 26:39.

3. One reason Baylor is 6-2 and headed for its first bowl game since 1994 is the Bears' explosive offense. Baylor leads the nation with 53 plays of at least 20 yards, is tied for the lead (with Michigan and Hawaii) with 27 plays of at least 30 yards, is tied for the lead (with Michigan and Oregon) with 16 plays of at least 40 yards and is second with nine plays of at least 50 yards.

4. Louisville RB Bilal Powell is fourth nationally in rushing, at 143.3 yards per game. Powell, a senior, has rushed for 1,003 yards this season; he ran for 105 yards in last week's win over Connecticut, meaning he now has run for more yards this season than he had in his career entering the season (933).

5. Ohio State and Stanford are tied for the national lead with trips into the red zone, with 44. Each has scored on 40 of those trips, and each has scored 30 TDs and made 10 field goals. The 40 red zone scores is tied for the national lead, but the TD total is tied for third; TCU and Wisconsin each have scored 33 red zone touchdowns on 41 trips.

6. Army is the only team that hasn't thrown an interception this season, and the only team that hasn't lost a fumble is Oregon State.

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