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Tar Heels’ record half, underperforming LSU and other interesting stats from this weekend’s college football

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This week’s college football action had some surprises and near misses. Some of the best performances were on defense, but there were plenty of offensive numbers to talk about. Here are just a few…

404 – Passing yards by No. 21 North Carolina QB Marquise Williams at halftime of the Tar Heels’ 66-31 smashing of arch-rival Duke. Williams finished the game with 494 yards and 4 touchdown passes, while rushing for another.

216 – Receiving yards by No. 2 Baylor’s Corey Coleman in the Bears’ 31-24 win at Kansas State on Thursday. Coleman hauled in two touchdown passes from first-time starting QB Jarrett Stidham, subbing for the injured Seth Russell.

182 – Yards of total offense by No. 4 LSU in their 30-16 loss to No. 7 Alabama. The Tigers had a paltry 54 yards rushing and 128 yards passing against the Tide’s stifling defense. Coming into the game, LSU was the nation’s 6th best rushing offense, averaging 277 yards per game.

57 – Second half total offense generated by No. 11 Florida in the 9-7 squeaker over Vanderbilt. The Gators also managed just four first downs after the break.

47 – Number of years since Florida won a game when scoring as few as 9 points. Before Saturday’s 9-7 win over Vanderbilt, the last time the Gators left the field as winners while scoring so little was 1968, when they defeated Florida State, 9-3.

41 – Number of years since Navy beat a top-15 team on the road. Saturday’s 45-20 victory at No. 20 Memphis marked the first time the Midshipmen had accomplished the feat since 1974, when they won at No. 8 Penn State. Navy is now 7-1 this season.

31 – Yards rushing by No. 4 LSU’s Leonard Fournette in the Tigers’ 30-16 smackdown by No. 7 Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Crimson Tide gave the nation’s leading rusher no breathing room and held him to his lowest rushing total this season by far. His previous worst was 154 yards against Western Kentucky.

15 – Number of rushes of 20 yards or more this season by No. 17 Florida State’s Dalvin Cook. After his first carry against Clemson went for a 75-yard touchdown, Cook later added a 36-yard run. He now leads the nation in that category.

12 – Yards needed by Cook on Saturday against North Carolina State to break Florida State’s single season rushing record. The mark of 1,242 is held by Warrick Dunn set in 1995. Cook has missed nearly two games this season due to injury.

6 – Touchdown passes by Arkansas’s Brandon Allen in the Razorback’s thrilling 53-52 overtime victory over No. 19 Mississippi. Allen also scored the game winning two-point conversion to seal the win over the Rebels.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at

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