Alabama leads nation in total defense for 2nd straight year
Alabama’s latest national championship season came with another set of impressive defensive statistics.
The Crimson Tide allowed 260.4 yards per game to finish first in the Bowl Subdivision in total defense for the second straight year and fourth time since 2011.
They gave up 94.7 rushing yards per game to lead the nation for the third straight year and fifth time since 2011. Alabama allowed nine rushing touchdowns, and only two players ran for 100 yards against the Tide.
The 11.9 points per game they surrendered put them at the top of the scoring defense chart for the second year in a row and fourth time since 2011.
After Georgia’s Jake Fromm threw for 232 yards against the Tide, they slipped from third to seventh in passing yards allowed (165.7).
A look at the final leaders in other major categories:
TOP OFFENSES FROM SAME STATE
The Big 12′s Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were the top two offenses. The Sooners, led by Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, averaged 579.6 yards per game and the Cowboys 568.9.
OU went over 600 total yards seven times and had its highest output (785) against the Cowboys. A total of eight teams averaged better than 500 yards this season.
UCF’s 48.2 points per game were the most since Baylor had the same average in 2014.
Other national leaders were Army in rushing (362.3 ypg) and Oklahoma State in passing (389.2).
PENNY TOP RUSHER
San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny was the national rushing leader with 2,248 yards and a 172.9-yard average. Stanford’s Bryce Love was the only other 2,000-yard rushing, going for 2,118 and averaging 162.9.
Penny ended the season with 221 yards against Army in the Armed Forces Bowl, making him the fourth player in FBS history with at least 200 yards rushing in five straight games.
RUDOLPH TOP PASSER
Mason Rudolph’s 377.2 yards passing for Oklahoma State was best in the FBS. His 351 yards against Virginia Tech in the Camping World Bowl gave him a school-record season total of 4,904, topping the 4,727 by Brandon Weeden in 2011. Rudolph ended his career with 10 400-yard games and 23 300-yard games, both school records.
Rudolph’s favorite target, James Washington, led the nation with 119.3 receiving yards per game.
Louisville’s Lamar Jackson became the fourth player in five years to average more than 400 yards per game in total offense. Jackson’s 404.7-average topped the 393.4 during his 2016 Heisman Trophy-winning campaign.
OTHER DEFENSIVE LEADERS
San Jose State linebacker Frank Ginda led the nation with 173 tackles, most since Carolina Panthers star Luke Kuechly totaled 191 for Boston College in 2011.
Sutton Smith of Northern Illinois and Joe Ostman of Central Michigan each had 14 sacks, and Smith had 29.5 tackles for loss. Iowa’s Josh Jackson had eight interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns.
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