The Most Surprising Numbers of the 2018 CFB Season
by Rick Bouch Scores & Statson
Four teams made the 2018 College Football Playoff. Only two – Alabama and Clemson – made it to the national title game and just one – Clemson – earned the title of 2018 college football national champions. While these numbers were not so surprising, there were plenty of others that were. Here’s a look.
50 Touchdown Passes Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins led the nation in both passing yards (4,831) and touchdown passes. Fourteen of Haskins’ 50 scoring tosses came in his last three games. In the annual Michigan-Ohio State season finale, Haskins tossed six touchdown passes. He had five more in the Big Ten championship game and threw three against Washington in the Rose Bowl.
I’m Only 19! What Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence did in his first season was truly amazing. Lawrence became the first true freshman to lead his team to a national championship since Jamelle Holieway at Oklahoma in 1985. Lawrence turned 19 during the season. Most true freshmen are usually 18. Either way, what Lawrence accomplished (and what he will continue to accomplish) was incredible.
A Record-Breaking 135 Last year, 119 underclassmen declared for the 2018 NFL draft. This year, that record has been broken. A total of 135 college underclassmen have declared their intentions to be available for the 2019 NFL draft. Among them is Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, who will be able to choose between an NFL contract and the MLB contract he already was offered by the Oakland A’s.
617 and 50.4, Ugly Numbers at UConn The 2018 UConn football team was not very good on defense. That’s putting it lightly. The Huskies gave up 617 yards of total offense per game, a full 80 yards more than the next worst team (Oregon State, 537). The Huskies were so bad they allowed 335 yards rushing per game and 50.4 points. UConn gave up over 7,400 yards in 2018. Needless to say, the defensive coordinator got fired.
17.5 Sacks for Ferguson Jaylon Ferguson, a 6-foot-5-inch, 262-pound senior at Louisiana Tech, led the nation in sacks this season. He recorded four in a big win over North Texas and 3.5 more in a win over UTEP. The Bulldogs won the Hawaii Bowl to finish 8-5. Ferguson had 2.5 sacks in that game.
2,194 Yards Rushing Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor becomes the latest Badger to lead the nation in rushing. Taylor’s 2,194 yards were tops in the country. His total puts him in some elite company. Taylor will sit ahead of the legendary Tony Dorsett who rushed for 2,150 yards for the Pitt Panthers back in 1976. Taylor will be a Heisman candidate once again in 2019.
570 Yards of Total Offense The Oklahoma offense was unstoppable in 2018. Head coach Lincoln Riley, Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, and the rest of the Sooners averaged 570 yards of total offense per game. They also led the nation in points per game scoring an average of 48.4 a game. The only team to slow down the Sooners was Army, which also made this list.
34 Minutes Opponents of Army sometimes didn’t see the ball for an entire quarter at a time. The Black Knights finished in the Top 5 in the country in time of possession holding the ball for an average of 34 minutes per game. Army recorded a record 11 wins and the defense finished in the Top 10 in total defense allowing only 294 yards per game. Tough to move the ball when you don’t have it. Just ask Oklahoma.