Nevada's Fajardo racks up big dual-threat numbers

September 17, 2012

The season is now three weeks old, and the stats are proving what defensive coordinators have known for years.

A dual threat quarterback is still the most dangerous weapon an offense can have.


DUAL THREAT TRIO: Michigan's Denard Robinson and Ohio State's Braxton Miller are the nation's most prominent dual-threat quarterbacks.

They're both looking up at Nevada's Cody Fajardo in the stat book.

Robinson, Miller and Fajardo are the only quarterbacks in the nation with at least 1,000 yards passing and 300 yards rushing this season. But Fajardo has more yards of total offense per game than either of his more famous counterparts after running for 118 yards and three touchdowns and throwing for 237 yards and a score in Saturday's 45-34 win over Northwestern State.

Fajardo has 362.3 yards of offense per game, good for eighth-best in the nation. Robinson is ninth at 350 yards a game, and Miller is 12th after throwing for a season-high 249 yards and four TDs in a dramatic 35-28 win over California.


GENO ON POINT: West Virginia's Geno Smith doesn't need to use his feet to beat up on opposing defenses.

Smith is 66 of 75 passing for 734 yards and nine touchdowns through two games. He's got as many passing TDs as incompletions and his 88 percent completion percentage leads the nation.

Smith might not find as many open receivers starting this week when the Mountaineers (2-0) face Maryland. West Virginia then starts its first season in the Big 12 by hosting Baylor on Sept. 29.

Based on Smith's passing prowess, the Mountaineers should fit right in to their new league.


BAD START: Massachusetts could use a dual-threat quarterback - and pretty much everything else.

UMass, in its first season in the FBS, is last nationally in scoring offense and defense. The Minutemen are scoring 6.5 points per game and giving up 48.3 after getting blown out by Robinson and the Wolverines 63-13.

UMass (0-3) is also the only team in the country gaining less than 200 yards a game and one of just nine allowing more than 500 per outing.


RUSHING STARS: UCLA freshman quarterback Brett Hundley can run when he needs to.

He's quickly learned that it's better to turn around and hand it to Johnathan Franklin.

Franklin and Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson are the only players in the country with over 500 yards rushing this season. Franklin maintained his national lead despite a season-low 110 yards on 25 carries in a 37-6 win over Houston. Franklin has 541 yards, and Jefferson has 529 after exploding for 247 yards in Saturday's win over Northwestern State.

Fresno State's Robbie Rouse is third with 382 yards rushing.


SEMINOLE SHUTDOWN: Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd will take touchdowns any way he can get them next weekend in Tallahassee.

Florida State (3-0) leads the nation in points allowed per game at 1 having pitched a pair of shutouts after allowing a field goal in a season-opening win over Murray State.

The Tigers are scoring nearly 40 points per game behind Boyd, a junior. But they'll be hard-pressed to match that total against the Seminoles.


EXTRA POINTS: Ohio State's Braxton Miller is also the only quarterback ranked in the top 10 in rushing yards per game with 125.7 ... Utah's Sean Sellwood leads the nation with 48.9 yards per punt. ... Louisiana-Monroe, which nearly knocked off Auburn on Saturday after stunning Arkansas, is averaging 37:02 in time of possession. ... Oklahoma State has reached its opponent's red zone 20 times in three games and has scored every time. The Cowboys have settled for field goals inside their opponent's 20 twice. ... It's no surprise that Alabama is the nation's top-ranked team. The Crimson Tide leads the country in turnover margin, with 12 takeaways against just one turnover.