Georgia Southern runs like crazy but can pass, too
Sep. 22, 2014
Those Big Ten-record 644 yards on the ground against Bowling Green weren't enough to move Wisconsin to the top of the national rushing chart.
Georgia Southern, in its first season as a full-fledged Bowl Subdivision member, is running for 365.8 yards a game compared with Wisconsin's average of 359.7.
The Eagles have had three different 100-yard rushers through four games, with Matt Breida going for 187 on 21 carries in a 28-6 Sun Belt Conference win over South Alabama on Saturday.
Offensive coordinator Doug Ruse calls running plays on more than three of every four snaps. When he elects to pass, he has a quarterback who can deliver in Kevin Ellison. The sophomore attempts fewer than 10 passes a game, but he's completing 62 percent for an average of 119 yards a game. The Eagles' 11.2 yards per attempt is second nationally behind Oregon's 11.4.
Other statistics of note after the fourth week of the season:
STANFORD 'D' GETS AN 'A': Stanford has shut out multiple opponents for the second time since 1973. Never mind that this year's victims were UC Davis and Army. The 35-0 win over the Cadets was a continuation of the job the Cardinal has done on defense. Stanford has held the opposition to 20 or fewer points in 11 straight games and in 39 of the last 50 since 2010. The Cardinal is allowing 4.3 points and 204.3 yards a game, both national bests.
WHAT A DEBUT: This FBS thing seems to be working out for Old Dominion. Taylor Heinicke passed for 430 yards and five touchdowns in a 45-42 win at defending Conference USA champion Rice. Ricky Segers' 25-yard field goal with no time left gave Old Dominion the win in its inaugural Conference USA game a week after it picked up its first FBS victory over Eastern Michigan. Heinicke has completed 67 percent of his passes for an average of 293 yards a game, with 10 TD passes against four interceptions.
TOP RUSHERS, PASSERS: Indiana's Tevin Coleman had a season-low 132 yards in the 31-27 upset of Missouri, but he's still leading the nation in rushing (189.7 ypg). He's just ahead of UTEP's Aaron Jones (182). Passing leader Brandon Doughty (486.3 ypg) of Western Kentucky threw for 593 against Middle Tennessee for his second 500-yard game of the season. Washington State's Connor Halliday (475.3) is second after a brilliant 436-yard, four-touchdown night in a seven-point loss to Oregon.
STICKY FINGERS: Louisville safety Gerod Holliman followed his two-interception game against Virginia with two more picks against Florida International. Holliman made his first start against FIU and ran back one of his interceptions 32 yards for a touchdown. He now has a nation-leading five interceptions.
STREAK CONTINUES: Division II Colorado State University-Pueblo finished a length-of-the-field drive in the last minute to win their 40th consecutive regular-season game, 26-23 over Western State of Colorado. The ThunderWolves held Western State on a fourth-and-1 at their 3-yard line, then went 97 yards in nine plays. The ThunderWolves' streak is the second-longest in Division II history behind Grand Valley State's 48 in a row from 2004-09.