We’ve reached the halfway point of the 2018 college football regular season. Multiple players and teams are already standing out, so here we take a look at some of the more eye-catching stats from the weekend. Let’s dive into the numbers that really stick out from the Big 12’s Week 6 slate.
FIFTH-MOST POINTS IN SCHOOL HISTORY
In other news, Matt Campbell continues to make awesome backup quarterbacks appear out of thin air. No starter? No problem. The latest signal caller to come off the bench and have a career day goes by the very pun-friendly name of Brock Purdy.
Purdy ignited the Cyclone offense on Saturday, showing himself to be a very fleet of foot quarterback who can sling it. The 48 points of offense put up by Iowa State was the fifth most points scored on the road in school history. Purdy stat, you might say.
580 YARDS RUSHING COMBINED
Baylor and Kansas State put up plenty of offense in their conference contest in Waco, especially on the ground. The two teams combined for 580 yards rushing and almost seven yards per rush.
By far, the most productive player on the day was Alex Barnes. He amassed 250 yards rushing on 22 carries and ran in three touchdowns. Teammate Skylar Thompson added the only other touchdown for Kansas State, running it in from 52 yards out. When you’re running the ball like that, why air it out?
BEST IN THE COUNTRY
The Kansas defense continues to prove itself to be opportunistic, having managed to get four turnovers from the Top 10 West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday. The Jayhawks are currently the best in all of FBS in turnover margin, having taken the ball away from opponents 18 times while giving it up only five times.
Of course, the turnovers have yet to translate into wins. Kansas is the only team in the top ten in terms of turnover margin – company that includes teams like undefeated Alabama and one loss North Texas – to have a record below .500.
PERFECT IN THE RED ZONE
The Iowa State Cyclones might have found a new quarterback in Brock Purdy, but they’ve continued to score in the red zone no matter who’s taking snaps.
Iowa State has put points on the board any time they cross the opponents’ 20 yard line, making them a perfect 13-for-13 when they get an opportunity to score. That’s the best in the Big 12, and it speaks to the ability of Matt Campbell’s offense to take advantage of their opportunities.
MOST GAMES WITH A RUSHING TOUCHDOWN
Even though the Pokes lost to Iowa State last week, running back Justice Hill still managed to break records. With his seventh rushing touchdown against the Cyclones, Hill now has twelve games with a score on the ground. That’s a Big 12 record, one that is close to the number of rushing touchdowns by a player at any position.
Kansas State’s Collin Klein holds that record, having run it in for a score in 15 consecutive contests. Justice Hill could get closer to surpassing that record this week in Manhattan, where the Cowboys taken on the Wildcats in the fourth game of conference play.
THE STATE OF KANSAS, TOTING THAT ROCK
Two of the top three rushing leaders in the conference both come from schools inside the state of Kansas. Kansas State’s Alex Barnes and Pooka Williams of the Jayhawks have combined 1,141 yards on the ground this season. Outside of Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill, both of those two are the only running backs on pace to have 1,000 yards rushing this season.
That number might surprise, but it also raises a question: does the Big 12 have too many capable backs or not enough? Only Barnes and Hill have topped 100 rushing attempts this season, meaning that this season could see players have the least amount of total carries since 2013.
Seven Big 12 teams have run it at least 200 times so far this season, though, suggesting that there’s just not enough carries to go around. Most teams in the conference seem to have enough depth at running to give their lead back a breather every now and then.
DO OKLAHOMA AND WEST VIRGINIA NEED TO RUN THE BALL?
Both the Sooners and Mountaineers are putting up some eye-popping numbers when they air it out. Their respective quarterbacks, Kyler Murray and Will Grier, are both averaging over 10 yards per pass attempt. Murray is at 13.1 yards per attempt, while Grier sits at 10.3.
When you’re averaging a first down every time you drop back to throw, running the ball seems almost unnecessary.
BOLTON PUTTING IN SOME WORK ON DEFENSE
Oklahoma’s senior linebacker Curtis Bolton is having a standout season so far in 2018. He leads the Big 12 in total tackles, having posted 75 total through six games. That’s also good enough for second-best in all of FBS.
Fellow Sooner Kenneth Murray isn’t far behind, either. Murray currently has 74 tackles total on the season, good enough for him to be tied for fourth in the entire country.
MOST RECEPTIONS IN THE BIG 12
After just three weeks of Big 12 play, Baylor wide receiver Jalen Hurd appears to have made the transition to wide receiver relatively smoothly. After all, he’s currently leading all other Big 12 pass catchers in receptions, having caught 42 up to this point at the season.
He’s also racking up the receiving yards, having put up 550 of them halfway through the 2018 season. It’s safe to say that the Bears will have another 1,000 yard receiver this season. Nothing helps bolster the image of “Wide Receiver U” like those kinds of statistics.
CAN YOU SAY PARITY?
We’re just a few weeks into conference play, but already seven Big 12 contests have been determined by less than ten points. That includes three of last week’s four matchups, which averaged out to a score of 44.3-37. That’s a good way to spend your Saturday if you ask me.
It also speaks to the fact that the Big 12 race is far from decided yet. For all of the talk coming into 2018 about how the conference was going to be “wide open,” that appears to have played out as promised.