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November 23, 2011

Interesting stats: RGIII goes for 500-plus

Each week during the college football season, we look at some statistics involving individuals and/or teams that we find intriguing. Here is this week's version:

Baylor QB Robert Griffin III became the seventh player this season with 500 yards of total offense in a game last week against Oklahoma. He finished with 551, the second-highest total of the season to Western Michigan QB Alex Carder's 564 against Toledo on Nov. 8.

Utah RB John White had 42 carries for 186 yards in the Utes' OT win over Washington State. That's the season-high for carries and just the third 40-carry performance of the season. White has 137 carries in the past four games.

Our weekly update on Houston QB Case Keenum: He had 30 completions in last week's victory over SMU to break the NCAA career completions record. He has 1,427, and former Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell had held the record with 1,403. Keenum already holds the NCAA career marks for total offense, TD passes and passing yards.

Staying with Houston, the Cougars were "held" to 37 points and 513 yards of offense in last week's 30-point victory over SMU. The Cougars lead the nation in total offense (618.3 yards per game), passing offense (447.5 yards per game) and scoring offense (53.1 points per game). The points-per-game average has them on a pace to shatter the NCAA single-season record for points. The 13-game record for points is 652 by Texas in 2005 (an average of 50.2 ppg); the 14-game record for points is 716 by Oklahoma in 2008 (an average of 51.1 ppg). Army holds the record for single-season average at 56.0 in 1944 (506 points in nine games). The NCAA record for total offense is 7,978 yards by Tulsa in 2008 (Gus Malzahn was the coordinator), but Houston is on a pace to break that record: At their current average, if the Cougars play in the C-USA title game, they would finish with 8,656 yards. If they don't make the league title game, they're on a pace to finish with 8,038. The NCAA record for per-game average is 624.9, by the 1989 Houston team that was on NCAA probation. That team was quarterbacked by Andre Ware, who won the Heisman. Finally, the Cougars also are on a pace to set the NCAA single-season passing mark; the record is 6,179 yards, by Texas Tech in 2003, and Houston is on a pace to have 6,265 if it plays 14 games.

N.C. State sophomore CB David Amerson picked off another pass in last week's upset of Clemson, giving him 11 interceptions this season. He's just the second FBS player with double-digit picks since Miami's Sean Taylor and Nebraska's Josh Bullocks had 10 each in 2003. UCLA's Rahim Moore in 2009 is the only other FBS player to reach double-digit interceptions in a season since '03. The single-season record is 14 by Washington's Al Worley in 1968.

Notre Dame has a grand total of 3 net yards on punt returns (10 returns) this season.

Three of the top four teams in third-down defense are from the SEC. Alabama is first (25.5 percent conversion rate), Georgia is second (28.3 percent) and Florida is fourth (29.1 percent). LSU is 22nd (34.2 percent).

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

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