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October 19, 2010
Inside the stats: Running wild
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. There were eight players who rushed for 1,500 yards last season, and 10 players are on that pace this season. Two of them are quarterbacks, Michigan's Denard Robinson and Nebraska's Taylor Martinez. The only player who rushed for 1,500 last season on a pace to do it again is Oregon's LaMichael James.
2. There were three 4,000-yard passers last season, but just one quarterback -- Hawaii's Bryant Moniz -- is on a pace to reach that plateau this season. Moniz is averaging 361.7 yards per game and is on a pace to throw for 4,703 yards (Hawaii plays 13 games). He is throwing for almost 35 more yards per game than the No. 2 quarterback, Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden.
3. The folks at cfbstats.com have added a component that tracks "big plays," and Nebraska leads the nation with 10 plays from scrimmage covering at least 50 yards. Oregon and San Diego State have had nine each, and Maryland and Michigan have had eight each. At the other end of the spectrum, East Carolina, Kent State, San Jose State, Syracuse, Tulane and UCF have had zero plays covering at least 50 yards.
5. Fourteen teams are converting at least 50 percent of their third downs, led by Nevada at 60.0 percent. Two teams -- Vanderbilt (24.3 percent) and San Jose State (19.6 percent) -- are converting less than 25 percent of their third-down opportunities.