NFL Draft News & Analysis

5 crazy good stats following Week 1

SYRACUSE, NY - SEPTEMBER 02: Wide receiver Ervin Philips #3 of the Syracuse Orange is tackled by linebacker Kyle Diener #38 of the Colgate Raiders after a short reception gain on September 2, 2016 at The Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. Syracuse defeats Colgate 33-7. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ervin Philips; Kyle Diener

College football is back, and with Week 1 in the books we're bringing back our deep dive into the week's craziest stats. Each Wednesday of the season, we'll sift through the numbers to find the most interesting facts and impressive performances and share them here. Without further ado…

1. Aaron Jones (RB, UTEP) forced more missed tackles against New Mexico State than any player in any week for the last two years.

Junior running back Aaron Jones of UTEP ran through Aggie defenders en route to 285 total yards and two touchdowns. In all, Jones forced 16 missed tackles — the most by any player in any one week for the last two years. His Week 1 elusive rating of 279 is more than double the 2015 season leader (Paul Perkins, 115). Jones is putting to rest any doubt about his ability to return to form after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2 of last season. His Week 1 grade of 3.5 was good for seventh in the nation among running backs.

2. Cordrea Tankersley (CB, Clemson) gave up -3 yards passing when targeted by Auburn.

Tankersley was in coverage for 37 snaps against Auburn. He was targeted twice and gave up one reception…. for -3 yards. You can see that reception here:

While shielding the blocker with one arm, Tankersley wrapped up the receiver with the other arm and brought both players to the ground. Eleven from Stranger Things would have stood up and applauded that effort.

3. The top three Syracuse wide receivers caught 32 of 35 targets against Colgate.

The trio of Amba Etta-Tawo, Steve Ishmael and Ervin Philips caught nearly every pass thrown their direction. They combined for 333 yards and two touchdowns to go with their 32 receptions. The defenders covering Etta-Tawo and Ishmael had an exceptionally tough time with a total grade of -6.5. The Orange quarterback responsible for the carving session was Eric Dungey with a grade of 8.0 – good for second in the country in Week 1. The Syracuse passing attack will face a much tougher opponent in Louisville this Saturday.

4. The Baylor offensive line did not allow a single pressure on 28 pass plays against Northwestern State.

At no point during the entire game did a Baylor quarterback need to rush a throw due to pressure from a defender. This is somewhat of a misleading stat due to Baylor’s quick-hitting spread offensive, but it’s impressive none the less. At first glance it seems that the credit should go to the offensive line. In reality it’s a reflection of quarterbacks Seth Russell and Zach Smith’s ability to read and react. On 25 dropbacks, their average time before attempting a pass was 1.76 seconds. The average across all college football in Week 1 was 2.43 seconds.

5. Kieron Williams (S, Nebraska) was not targeted once on 51 coverage snaps and still recorded an interception.

Okay, so his interception came on a tipped pass. It’s still a weird stat. The junior safety took full advantage of his first career start with a grade of 4.3 and was on the field for 71 of the 74 defensive snaps. After the game, the Husker coaches praised Williams for his positioning. The fact that he was not even targeted in coverage affirms the coach’s assessment. In addition to the excellent pass coverage, Williams provided solid run support with four stops. Williams graded out as PFF College’s fourth ranked safety in week one.


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