Week 11 of the college football season is almost here after another weekend of exhilarating action.
No. 1 Clemson was upset in overtime by Notre Dame, proving the Fighting Irish belong in the College Football Playoff discussion. No. 25 Liberty nailed a 51-yard field goal with a second left on the clock just one play after an attempt to “ice the kicker” called back a blocked kick that they returned for a touchdown. Michigan also dropped another one, USC scored a late touchdown to win and Iowa State was able to hold off Baylor.
Week 11 is primed to be another exciting week, so here are the stats to know for the top 25 matchups heading into the Week 11 slate.
The Cincinnati Bearcats are attempting to become the first Group of 5 team to make the College Football Playoff. Their 6-0 start can largely be attributed to the stellar play of the defense. The Bearcats’ defense has allowed -0.263 expected points added (EPA) per play so far while earning a team defense grade of 93.5, eighth and first, respectively, among the nation's teams.
Miami quarterback D’Eriq King balled out in Week 10 against NC State. The transfer from Houston recorded a 135.4 passer rating on 20-plus-yard throws, going 6-for-12 for 176 yards and three scores on those deep attempts. King ended the week with a 92.5 PFF grade, the best mark of Week 10.
Michael Penix Jr. did it again in Week 10 against Michigan. He recorded six big-time throws against the Wolverines defense, bringing his total this season to 13 — tied for the most in the nation since the Big Ten kicked off.
Coastal Carolina has been the top dog in the Sun Belt all year and remains the last undefeated team in the conference. This season, the Chanticleers have a top-15 FBS offense, ranking 14th in team offense grade (85.9), ninth in passing grade (90.0), fourth in receiving grade (84.6) and 30th in rushing grade (80.9).
The key to the Thundering Herd's success has been the defense's dominance, but that should not overshadow the solid play of the offense. As a unit, Marshall’s offense ranks fifth in the nation in PFF grade (89.9).
Liberty is coming off a wild upset victory over Virginia Tech, where the Hokies closed as 17-point favorites. The Liberty offense has been humming with the duo of head coach Hugh Freeze and quarterback Malik Willis. The former Auburn signal-caller is the premier runner among quarterbacks in the country. He holds the second-highest rushing grade among quarterbacks with at least 25 carries (83.7), while his 0.40 missed tackles per carry also comes in at second.
Levi Lewis has been a tad inconsistent this season, but he has still managed to make big plays. Lewis has racked up 1,052 passing yards from passes thrown 10 or more yards in the air downfield this year, 12th among the nation's signal-callers.
Quarterback Ian Book recorded the highest passing grade (90.7) of his season in an overtime victory over No. 1 Clemson in Week 10 — the highest passing grade allowed by Clemson since 2014.
Kedon Slovis came into this season as one of the most accurate passers returning to college football, and that was on display in his 2020 debut. Slovis posted an 87.5% adjusted completion percentage against Arizona State in Week 10, tied for the week's third-highest mark.
The Florida Gators offense made its case as one the best in the country when Kyle Trask and Kyle Pitts ran roughshod over a stout Georgia defense. The Florida offense has the fourth-most explosive pass plays in the country since Week 4 (51). Trask has 15 passing touchdowns in the red zone, with six going to Kyle Pitts, both of which rank first since the SEC kicked off.
In the first game without Justin Herbert, the Oregon Ducks took to the ground to assert their dominance over conference-foe Stanford. Led by C.J. Verdell, the Ducks were one of the more efficient teams on the ground in Week 10. In total, 43.6% of their 39 rushing attempts went for either a first down or touchdown, the fourth-best rate among teams in Week 10.
SMU quarterback Shane Buechele is the current 2020 passing yards leader, and he has got there by being effective throwing the ball down the field. He ranks fourth among Group of 5 quarterbacks in passing grade on passes thrown 10-plus yards down the field (92.5), while his 136.3 passer rating on such throws ranks second.
Graham Mertz is eligible to play against the Wolverines this weekend after completing his 21-day COVID-19 quarantine. In his one week as a starter, Mertz led the nation's quarterbacks in PFF grade (92.8) while posting a 100% adjusted completion percentage.
Northwestern is off to its best conference start since 2000. The Northwestern defense has been dominant so far, especially in the second halves of games. The Wildcats have allowed 34 completions across 55 second-half pass attempts, tallying six interceptions and allowing zero touchdowns. Quarterbacks have recorded a 33.4 passer rating against the Northwestern defense in the second halves of games — only the Wisconsin Badgers have been better.