Comparing statistics between teams from different conferences in college football is difficult, but in an attempt to gauge what matters and what not, we look at the current leaders in offense and defense, whether it’s run or pass, and not surprised to see Florida and Ohio State doing pretty well in most metrics.
All the stats are for games between two FBS teams. Facing FCS rivals doesn’t come into play.
Unlike the NFL, in college football, running, whether it’s power or finesse, is still the best way to get ahead in life. So far in the 2016 season, no one does it better than the Louisville Cardinals, leading the nation in yards per attempt with 8.2 per rush. Lamar Jackson is their leading rusher with 494 yards and 9.5 per carry, so far scoring an incredible 10 rushing touchdowns. Oregon trail with 6.9 yards per carry, San Diego State with Donald Pumphrey (599 yards, 8.2 per carry) are third, winless Buffalo are fourth, and North Carolina (6.4 yards per carry) are fifth.
It’s hard to find one number that distinguishes a great pass defense, but we’ll focus on two this time: Sack percentage and opponents average yards per attempt.
When it comes to sacks, no one does it better than Florida, 3-0 this season. They sack 23.19% of the time on their opponents drop backs, way more than anyone else in the nation. Illinois (15.16%) and Toledo (15%) come in to complete the top 3. Toledo are also 3-0, while the Fighting Illini are 1-5. Miami (3-0) and Duke (1-2) are the two other teams with over 14% sacking ratio this season through 3 games.
When it comes to making it difficult for teams to move the chains through passing, Virginia Tech are the best, holding teams to 3.6 yards per pass attempt, followed by Baylor with 3.7 yards for their opponents. Middle Tennessee are holding teams to 4 yards per pass attempt, while Tulane and Memphis, both American conference teams, complete the top 5 picture, holding teams to 4.7 yards per pass attempt.
Once again, Florida. The Gators hold their opponents to 1.3 yards per rushing attempt. Air Force come in second, holding teams to 1.9 yards per carry. Both Houston and Boise State hold their rivals to 2 yards per carry so far this season, while Miami average 2.1, completing the top 5. Alabama, the number one team in the rankings, are 6th in this category, just ahead of Michigan State. Ohio State are 21st in this category, while the Wolverines are only 40th.
No one does better in this than Memphis, averaging six takeaways per game thanks to their win against Kansas. Cincinnati come in second with 4 forced turnovers per game, while Ohio State are third with 3.7. Obviously the Tigers, 2-0, have played just one FBS opponent so far, which means they have just one game on record to base the numbers upon. Clemson are 4th with 3, just like Washington, Michigan State and Nebraska.