College football Week 4: By the numbers

Our stats guy puts the biggest games in focus for Week 4, going deep inside the numbers to shed some light on college football.

Florida Atlantic (1-2) at No. 1 Alabama (3-0)

35 — The Owls enter Saturday's contest with two losses, both of which got out of hand in the third quarter. Florida Atlantic trailed Middle Tennessee State just 7-0 at the end of the first half, and were down two scores, 28-14, at Georgia last week. Then, the Owls were beaten down in the third, losing the stanza 17-3 against Middle Tennessee and 21-0 against Georgia. That's a combined 38-3 third-quarter shelling, or a 35-point margin between the two games.

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527:26 — How long, in minutes and seconds, it's been since Alabama has trailed in regulation of a football game, going back to the first quarter against Tennessee last season. Since then, Alabama has led or tied for 527 minutes and 26 seconds of regulation time ... remember that the Crimson Tide didn't trail until overtime of last season's lone loss to LSU.

No. 2 LSU (3-0) at Auburn (1-2)

6 — The number of lost starters from last year's stellar LSU defense. Yet despite having to replace most of its defensive front line, the Tigers sit fourth nationally in both total defense and rushing defense. They've displayed typical depth while doing so as well, with 13 players recording either a sack or a tackle for loss, and five players creating at least one turnover.

20 — The points per game averaged by the 2012 Auburn Tigers. It's certainly in vogue to point out Gene Chizik's lack of success without one Cam Newton at quarterback. But what about without former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn? Even if you take out Newton's 2010 season, Malzahn's Auburn offenses averaged 9.5 more points per game than this year's group.

No. 22 Arizona (3-0) at No. 3 Oregon (3-0)

7 — Arizona quarterback Matt Scott's passing touchdown total for the season. That's more in three games than Scott totaled in 22 career appearances heading into 2012. Over those 22 games, including five career starts, Scott passed for six touchdown passes to five interceptions. This season, seven of his passes have resulted in touchdowns, while he has only thrown one pick.

Arizona QB Matt Scott is having no trouble finding the end zone. (Wildcat Authority)

8 — The average number of offensive touches per game for Oregon dynamo De'Anthony Thomas. That's the good news if you're an Arizona fan. Now for the bad news: Thomas has turned those limited touches — 13 rushing, 11 receiving — into 382 yards (228 rushing, 154 receiving), or an average of 15.9 yards per offensive touch. That's also an average of more than 127 yards per game.

No. 10 Clemson (3-0) at No. 4 Florida State (3-0)

3 — How many points Florida State has allowed through three games this fall. That's not a typo: The 'Noles are giving up an average of one point per game. Murray State kicked a field goal with 4:44 left in the second quarter of the season opener, and Florida State hasn't been scored on since, outscoring opponents 155-0 over that time period and shutting out both Savannah State and Wake Forest.

12 — The points produced in last season's Clemson-Florida State matchup by then-freshman Sammy Watkins. Watkins hauled in seven passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns, helping Clemson to a 35-30 victory over the Seminoles. A Florida native, Watkins chose Clemson after Florida State, a favorite growing up, chose to pursue other receivers.

Vanderbilt (1-2) at No. 5 Georgia (3-0)

16 — The national rank of Vanderbilt's current recruiting class, per Scout/FOX Sports NEXT. Vanderbilt's 2012 class, ranked 45th, was the Commodores' best class since Scout began ranking classes in 2002. But thanks to a bevy of strong prospects, including blue chippers Jay Woods and Ryan White, Vanderbilt has continued its ascension as a recruiting force to be reckoned with.

21.5 — The number of impact plays made by Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones. He has 4.5 tackles for loss (remember that in college football, sacks are included in that category), an interception, two passes broken up, 11 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles. If he continues on with that performance, an invitation to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation might be in order.

No. 15 Kansas State (3-0) at No. 6 Oklahoma (2-0)

9 — Collin Klein's national rank in passing efficiency. Not bad for a quarterback known as a run-first (or potentially run-only) guy. Of course, his rating of 180.8 might be ninth nationally, but it's only good enough for sixth best among Big 12 starters, no surprise in a league that has quarterbacks putting up video game numbers.

142.2Landry Jones' 2012 passer rating. While not bad, it continues his string of performing among the worst of Big 12 quarterbacks since the injury, and now departure, of top target Ryan Broyles. Only two Big 12 starting quarterbacks have worse ratings — Iowa State's Steele Jantz and Kansas' Dayne Crist — though it should be noted that Jones' rating is significantly higher than the 116.5 that he put up in the four full games after Broyles' injury last fall.

Missouri (2-1) at No. 7 South Carolina (3-0)

.88 — South Carolina's winning percentage at home in its last 25 games. Missouri will be traveling for the first time this season, and it would be difficult to picture a more challenging atmosphere for the Tigers' first SEC road trip. South Carolina has won six straight at home, and 22 of its last 25.

7 — The number of times Missouri has intercepted a pass to effectively end a game in the fourth quarter with the Tigers leading. That exact scenario played out last week against Arizona State, with safety Kenronte Walker intercepting Taylor Kelly in the Tiger end zone to hold onto a 24-20 win. On Arizona State's previous possession, Walker knocked down a fourth down pass to hold on a fourth-and-goal.

Maryland (2-1) at No. 8 West Virginia (2-0)

There's been no stopping Geno Smith and the West Virginia offense. (Jeremy Clark)

45 — The average points per game scored by West Virginia ... if you left out the fourth quarter. Sure, the Mountaineers haven't exactly been playing Murderer's Row. But scoring 45 points per game, when leaving out a quarter, is impressive, even if you're doing that against air (or, in the case of Oklahoma State and Florida State, Savannah State).

119 — Ever hear a coach say that his team can't afford to get into a shootout with a superior offensive team? That probably goes triple for Maryland, which ranks 119th nationally in total offense. If the Terrapins are going to have a chance Saturday, they'll have to play better offensively, but even if they're firing on all cylinders, it probably won't be enough.

No. 18 Michigan (2-1) at No. 11 Notre Dame (3-0)

12 — Notre Dame's rank in defensive S&P+. S&P+ is a play-by-play success rate tweaked to account for disparities in competition. And the Irish, who have fielded a number of maligned defenses the past several years, have produced a top-15 defensive unit so far.

191 — The yardage total needed by Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson to set a new total career offensive yardage record for the Wolverines. With 191 yards, he'd surpass Chad Henne, the current record holder. And if Robinson manages to find the end zone on the ground, he'll become just the eighth player in NCAA history to rush for 40 touchdowns and pass for 40 touchdowns.

1,753 — The number of combined wins put up by Michigan and Notre Dame. Michgan (897) and Notre Dame (856) rank first and third in NCAA history in wins by a BCS school. Texas is second with 861.

California (1-2) at No. 13 USC (2-1)

40 — The yards per carry of Cal's Brendon Bigelow against Ohio State. Bigelow carried the ball just four times, but rushed for 160 yards, including touchdown runs of 81 and 59 yards. Don't be shocked to see him get a few more carries this week.

41 — The number of minutes USC's explosive offense was held without scoring to end the Stanford game, resulting in a 21-14 Cardinal upset over the favored Trojans. So far this season, the Trojans have a habit of jumping out huge, holding a 63-10 edge over their opponents in the first half. But USC is losing the third quarter 30-14, and holds a slim 28-20 margin in the fourth.

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