STAT WATCH: Midseason leaders a mix of familiar, new names

October 14, 2019

A review of college football statistics at midseason shows a lot of familiar names at or near the top of the charts, and a few surprises, too.

Oklahoma is on track to lead the nation in offense for a third straight year. Then there's LSU, which has ranked in the top 50 in offense only three other seasons since 2009, but is producing points and yards at a rate unseen in program history.

Wisconsin has posted four shutouts in six games, and Penn State, Ohio State and Iowa give the Big Ten four of the top five defenses.

Chuba Hubbard of Oklahoma State was a relative unknown before the season but has emerged to take a wide lead in the rushing race.

No surprise, a Washington State quarterback (Anthony Gordon) leads the nation in passing. Big surprise, Arkansas State's Omar Bayless is first in receiving.


LSU is one of three teams averaging more than 50 points per game. The Tigers' average of 52.5 is up significantly over the 31.3 they were scoring through six games last season. LSU has scored in the 60s in two games and hasn't been held under 42.

Alabama is second at 51 points, five under its six-game average in 2018. Like LSU, the Alabama is yet to score fewer than 42 in a game.

Oklahoma, which led the nation last year, is at 50.2.


Wisconsin is allowing 4.8 points per game on the strength of those four shutouts. The Badgers have given up a total of three points in first halves. Interestingly, a Northwestern team that ranks third to last in the nation in scoring is the one that put up the most points against them (15).

Three other teams allowing single-digit points are Penn State (8.2), Oregon (8.7) and Ohio State (8.8).

No defense has finished a season under 10 points per game since Alabama's in 2011.


Jalen Hurts-led Oklahoma is averaging 621.7 yards per game — 335.3 through the air and 286.7 on the ground.

LSU is second at 561 and Central Florida is third at 544.3.


Wisconsin is allowing 173.7 yards per game — on pace to be the lowest since Oklahoma gave up 169.6 in 1986.

The Badgers also lead the nation in rushing defense (44.7) and passing defense (129). Opponents are completing just 43.9 percent of their passes.

Ohio State is second in total defense at 234 yards; Clemson is third at 254.8.


Oklahoma State's Hubbard is running for 182.3 yards per game, the highest average since Texas' D'Onta Foreman finished 2016 at 184.3. Hubbard has gone over 200 in three games and has been held under 100 just once.

Ohio State's J.K. Dobbins and Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor are in a tight race behind Hubbard. Dobbins is at 137.7 and Taylor, the defending rushing champion, is at 137.5.


Gordon, like his predecessors in Mike Leach's "Air Raid" offense, is putting up dizzying numbers. He's throwing for 435.3 yards per game and is tied with LSU's Joe Burrow for second with 25 touchdown passes.

Burrow is second at 359.5 yards per game while completing a nation-best 79.6%.

Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa is next at 335.2, and he's thrown 27 TDs against one interception.


Bayless is averaging 140.5 yards per game and his 10 touchdowns — one more than his total through three seasons — is tied with Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb for first.

Antonio Gandy-Golden of Liberty is second, at 121.3 yards per game, and is followed by Wake Forest's Sage Surratt (118.5) and Oregon State's Isaiah Hodgins (118.2).

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