As coaches, we are all aware that winning the turnover differential leads to victories more often than not, and that was evident with games in week 1. While recapping the action up until Sunday morning, 45 of the 49 teams that won the turnover differential won their game. Massachusetts, Vanderbilt, Toledo, and Boise State were the only teams to win the turnover battle but lose the game. Of the 14 teams that gained four or more turnovers, only Boise State (4) came out on the losing end.
Other interesting notes from this weekend's action:
Three teams stuffed the run well enough to show a negative in the "yards gained" column of the stat sheet. Illinois (-6 rushing yards allowed), BYU (-5 rushing yards allowed), and Ohio State (-1 rushing yards allowed) all defended the run well and won by at least 17 points. Only two teams, Texas Tech and Wisconsin, did not allow a rushing first down over the weekend.
Eleven defenses allowed less than 5 yards per pass attempt, including Western Kentucky and Oklahoma who set the bar at less than 2 yards per (Western Kentucky - 1 yard per attempt, Oklahoma - 1.85 yards per attempt).
Two offenses attempted at least three fourth down attempts and converted on 100% of them (Air Force went 4/4 and Utah went 3/3). On that same note, both Hawaii (4/6 on fourth down - 67%) and Arkansas State (4/5 on fourth down - 80%) had impressive fourth down conversion percentages, but lost.
Nebraska, Purdue, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State are all converting an impressive percentage of third downs. Nebraska and Purdue are converting at an 80% clip while Notre Dame and Oklahoma State are sitting pretty at 70%. Each team won their opener by at least 29 points.
The only teams to escape with a win after throwing two or more interceptions were Michigan State, and Maryland.
Four teams accounted for no, or negative punt return yardage that had the opportunity to return two or more punt returns. Florida Atlantic (2 attempts and -1.5 yards per return), North Carolina State (2 returns and -1.5 yards), UAB (3 returns at -2 yards per return), Akron (2 returns at -3.5 per attempt) all finished with negative punt return yardage.
Even though they each had only had one return, USC (100 yards), New Mexico (98 yards) and East Carolina (90 yards) are all averaging over 90 yards per return with touchdowns coming on those returns.