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October 27, 2009

Inside the numbers: Red zone stats revisited

Each week, we'll look at some statistics involving individuals and/or teams that we find intriguing.

1. Seeing red. At first blush, the defensive red zone numbers for Florida and Texas don't jump out at you. The Gators and Longhorns have allowed opponents to score on 83.3 percent of their red zone possessions, which is tied for 66th in the nation. But a closer look reveals much better numbers. Both the Gators and Longhorns have allowed just 12 red zone opportunities; that's tied for the second-fewest in the nation. Both have allowed 10 scores, which is tied for the third-fewest. Plus, Florida has allowed just three TDs on those 12 opportunities, while Texas has allowed six on its 12. The three red-zone TDs allowed by the Gators is the lowest number in the nation.

2. Very good -- and very bad. Eastern Michigan leads the nation in pass defense, allowing just 124.4 passing yards per game. Eastern Michigan also is last in the nation in rush defense, allowing a whopping 275.0 yards per game.

3. Mr. Big Foot. Georgia P Drew Butler leads the nation in punting at 49.38 yards per boot, and the Bulldogs also lead the nation in net punting at 44.08 yards per boot. Butler is the son of Kevin Butler, a former Georgia and NFL kicker. And now's the time to cue the Twilight Zone music: In 1981 and '82, Butler's long snapper was Mitch Frix. Mitch's son, Ty, is Drew Butler's long snapper.

4. There's a handle on the ball. Cincinnati is the only team in the nation that has not lost a fumble (Hawaii and Maryland are on the other end of the spectrum, each having lost a nation-high 13 fumbles). The Bearcats also lead the nation in fewest turnovers, with four (Miami University has committed a nation's-high 26).

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.



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