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November 30, 2010

Inside the stats: Big gains

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. We're going to keep a weekly eye on Oregon as it continues to put up big offensive numbers. The Ducks are averaging 50.5 points per game, and the NCAA record is 56.0 by Army in 1944 (the NCAA began keeping records in 1937). Oregon has scored 74 touchdowns in its 11 games, which is 6.7 per game. Over a 13-game schedule, that would be 87 TDs for the season; the record is 96 by Oklahoma in 2008, when the Sooners played 14 games. The per-game record is 7.0, by the 1983 Nebraska squad. Of note: Neither the '83 Nebraska nor the '08 Oklahoma teams won the national title.

2. Thanks to cfbstats.com, we know that 12 teams scored 60-plus points in 2006, 21 reached that plateau in 2007, 25 did it in 2008 and 21 did it in 2009. This season, there have been 37. In addition, the 70-point plateau was reached a total of 21 times from 2006-09; this season, there have been seven such occurrences, including twice this past weekend (71 for Northern Illinois against Eastern Michigan and 70 for Wisconsin against Northwestern). That was the third time the Badgers have hit 70 this season; only one team (Houston) had scored more than 70 even twice in the previous four seasons combined. Of this season's 70-point games, Eastern Michigan was the victim twice; the Eagles gave up 71 to NIU and 73 to Ohio State on Sept. 25.

3. More from cfbstats.com: The three players with the most runs covering 30-plus yards will be in action this week. Hawaii RB Alex Green, Oregon RB LaMichael James and Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez each have 10 runs of 30-plus yards. Arkansas WR Cobi Hamilton caught two 70-yard-plus TD passes and Auburn WR Terrell Zachery had one such catch over the weekend; that ties them with Michigan's Roy Roundtree for the most receptions covering 70-plus yards, with three.

4. Oklahoma ran 107 plays in its victory over Oklahoma State; that's the most of any team this season. In second is Texas A&M with 106 plays -- also against Oklahoma State. Thus, it shouldn't come as a big surprise that Oklahoma State's defense is not that good in third-down situations; the Cowboys are allowing foes to convert 43.6 of their third-down attempts, which ranks 97th in the nation.

5. West Virginia has allowed just three rushing TDs this season, which leads the nation. Just twice since the turn of the century has a run defense been that effective: Ohio State allowed three rushing TDs in 2007 and TCU allowed three in 2000.

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