SEC Football By The Numbers: 2017 Top 10 For Alabama

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SEC Football by the Numbers: Top 10 oddities of the 2017 season

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Florida wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland catches a 63-yard touchdown pass on the final play of an SEC game against Tennessee on Sept. 16, 2017, in Gainesville, Fla.
Florida wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland catches a 63-yard touchdown pass on the final play of an SEC game against Tennessee on Sept. 16, 2017, in Gainesville, Fla.(AP Photo)

By Mark Inabinett

[email protected]

0 Victories for the home team in the Auburn-Texas A&M series after the Tigers defeated the Aggies 42-27 on Nov. 4 in College Station, Texas. Since Auburn and Texas A&M became SEC opponents, the Tigers also won at College Station 45-41 in 2013 and 26-10 in 2015 and the Aggies won at Auburn 63-21 in 2012, 41-38 in 2014 and 29-16 in 2016.  

2 Consecutive seasons have included a season-ending knee injury for an Ole Miss QB who was leading the SEC in passing yards. On Oct. 21, Ole Miss QB Shea Patterson suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Rebels' 40-24 loss to LSU. Patterson led the SEC with 2,259 passing yards at the time. On Nov. 5, 2016, Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Rebels' 37-27 victory over Georgia Southern. At the time, Kelly led the SEC with 2,758 passing yards.

5 TD passes were caught by Henry Ruggs III in the 2017 season before the Alabama WR made a reception that didn't go for a score. Ruggs' first five receptions in 2017 were TD catches of 16 yards against Fresno State on Sept. 9, 8 yards against Ole Miss on Sept. 30, 8 yards against Texas A&M on Oct. 7, 20 yards against Arkansas on Oct. 14 and 60 yards against Tennessee on Oct. 21. Ruggs' first catch in 2017 that didn't result in a TD was a 47-yard reception against LSU on Nov. 4. Ruggs didn't catch another TD pass until the final game of the season - a 6-yarder for Alabama's first points in the CFP championship game against Georgia on Jan. 8.

10 Yards, six points and a school record were lost by Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond because of an officiating error during the Aggies' 50-43 overtime victory against Arkansas on Sept. 23. In the second quarter, Mond broke an 89-yard touchdown run - except he was ruled to have stepped out of bounds at the Arkansas 10-yard line. Replays showed he hadn't. The SEC later issued a statement: "On the play at 10:02 in the second quarter of the Texas A&M vs. Arkansas game, the ball-carrier was incorrectly ruled out of bounds and the play was whistled dead by the official. Based on NCAA football playing rule 12-3-3-9, 'If the ball-carrier is ruled out of bounds, the play is not reviewable.'" The officially 79-yard run left Mond 3 yards short of the longest run by an Aggies QB - an 82-yarder by Bucky Richardson against Southern Miss in 1987.

10 Completions to 10 different receivers were thrown by Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald to open the Bulldogs' game against Alabama on Nov. 11. Fitzgerald completed 13-of-24 passes in MSU's 31-24 loss to the Crimson Tide. It wasn't until the fourth quarter, when Deddrick Thomas, who caught the 10th completion, also caught Fitzgerald's 11th completion that an MSU player had two receptions in the game.

13 SEC teams have won their most recent game against Tennessee. The Volunteers do not have a 13-game conference losing streak, but they have lost their most recent game against each of the other teams in the SEC. Missouri is the most recent SEC rival that Tennessee has beaten, scoring a 63-37 victory over the Tigers on Nov. 19, 2016. Since then, the Vols have lost to each of the other six teams in the SEC East (including twice to Vanderbilt), and they haven't beaten an SEC West opponet since topping Ole Miss 52-14 in 2010. During its 15-game losing streak against the SEC West, Tennessee has lost to Alabama seven times, Arkansas and LSU twice each and the other division members once apiece. 

20 Yards of field position were gained by South Carolina when Gamecocks QB Jake Bentley threw a first-quarter interception against Florida on Nov. 11. South Carolina had the ball at its 4-yard line when Florida CB CJ Henderson intercepted a pass and got as far as the Gamecocks 1-yard line before tight end Hayden Hurst caused him to fumble. South Carolina RB A.J. Turner picked up the loose football and returned it to the Gamecocks 24. South Carolina's good fortune didn't end there, though. When the Gamecocks punted to end their new series, Florida's Brandon Powell fumbled on the return, giving South Carolina the ball at the Gators 13-yard line. South Carolina had snapped the ball six times, gained 9 yards, thrown an interception and punted, but moved 83 yards down the field thanks to two Florida return fumbles. For all that, though, on South Carolina's first snap from the Florida 13, Gators S Chauncey Gardner intercepted a pass at the 1-yard line and returned it 46 yards. South Carolina still beat Florida 28-20.

63 Yard TD passes by Florida have beaten Tennessee in each of the Volunteers' past two visits to Gainesville. On Sept. 27, 2015, Florida QB Will Grier threw a 63-yard TD pass to WR Antonio Callaway with 1:26 to play to lift the Gators to a 28-27 victory over Tennessee. The play call for both passes was "Train Ride Open, Big Bend In."

87 Yards were lost on a single play by Louisiana Tech in its 57-21 defeat by Mississippi State on Sept. 16. On a second-and-goal play at the Mississippi State 6-yard line early in the fourth quarter, a bad snap resulted in a "Football Follies"-style chase of the ball down the field. Louisiana Tech WR Cee Jay Powell finally recovered the bouncing ball at the Louisiana Tech 7-yard line, resulting in an 87-yard loss and leaving Louisiana Tech facing third-and-goal from 93 yards out. The lost yardage came off Louisiana Tech's rushing, stats leaving it with 152 rushing yards in the game. Louisiana Tech compiled 239 yards on its other 49 carries.

This play resulted in a loss of almost 90 yards.

HOW IS THIS EVEN REAL? pic.twitter.com/gsD9GulNaF

-- CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 10, 2017

105 Football seasons came between the years that featured 3-0 starts for Kentucky, Mississippi and Vanderbilt. Those three SEC teams won their first three games in 2017, the first time that all three of them had been 3-0 since 1911. Kentucky opened 1911 by beating Maryville 13-0, Morris-Harvey 12-0 and Miami (Ohio) 12-0. Mississippi State started 1911 by beating Mississippi College 27-6, Rhodes 30-0 and Samford 48-0. Vanderbilt kicked off 1911 by beating Birmingham 40-0, Maryville 46-0 and Ross-Hullman 33-0. In the 105 intervening seasons, Vanderbilt had been 3-0 25 times, Mississippi State 21 times and Kentucky 20 times. Kentucky and Vanderbilt were 3-0 in the same season six times (1930, 1932, 1946, 1950, 1984 and 2008) in that time, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt were 3-0 in the same season five times (1912, 1913, 1921, 1927 and 1938) in that time and Kentucky and Mississippi State were 3-0 in the same season once (1939) in that time. Before 1911, Vanderbilt and Kentucky held 3-0 records in the same season four times, but Mississippi State's only 3-0 start pre-1911 (1903) didn't coincide with those campaigns. In 2017, Kentucky finished 7-6, Mississippi State went 9-4 and Vanderbilt had a 5-7 record.

FOR MORE OF AL.COM'S COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE SEC, GO TO OUR SEC PAGE

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.

Source : http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2018/01/sec_football_by_the_numbers_to_89.html

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