CFB week in review: Marshall, Stanford best

Week 11 featured an impressive defensive performance by Florida State, an efficient rushing game by Stanford and a dominant second half by Alabama.

With the help of ESPN’s new college football metrics (see explanations here), ESPN Stats & Information takes a look back at the best individual and team performances of Week 11 and ahead to next week’s matchup between Stanford and USC.

Highest Opponent-Adjusted QBR
Single Game This Season

Best Individual Performances

Nick Marshall posted a 99.6 opponent-adjusted QBR in Auburn’s 55-23 win at Tennessee despite throwing only seven passes.

It was the highest opponent-adjusted QBR in a game this season. Marshall rushed for a career-high 214 yards and averaged 15.3 yards per carry.

Overall, Marshall gained a first down on 10 of 14 rushing plays and rushed for two touchdowns when the score was within one possession.

Kevin Hogan had a 99.0 opponent-adjusted QBR in Stanford’s dominant 26-20 win against Oregon. He converted 4 of 5 third-down chances, including all three of his rushing attempts. Hogan ran for 57 yards on eight carries and added a career-high 4.4 clutch-weighted expected points on running plays.

AJ McCarron had an 87.6 opponent-adjusted QBR in Alabama’s win against LSU. In his last three games against ranked opponents dating back to the BCS National Championship, McCarron has a 94.1 opponent-adjusted QBR and has thrown for 11 touchdowns and no interceptions.

Best Team Performances

Offense – Stanford added 14.4 expected points on offense, but when adjusted for the strength of Oregon’s defense, the Cardinal had the third-highest adjusted offensive EPA of Week 11.

The Cardinal running game added 10.3 expected points, the most that Oregon has allowed in a game in the last eight seasons.

Lowest Total QBR - Last 10 Seasons

Defense - Florida State added 54 expected points on defense, the highest defensive EPA in a game in the last 10 seasons.

The Seminoles held Wake Forest’s three quarterbacks to a combined 0.001 Total QBR. That's the lowest Total QBR for a team in any game in the last 10 seasons.

Special teams – USC added 13.8 expected points to their net scoring margin via special teams.

Nelson Agholor had two punt return touchdowns and the Trojans also returned a blocked punt for a touchdown. It was the eighth time an FBS team returned three punts for scores and the first time since Oklahoma did so against UCLA in 2003.

Looking ahead to Stanford vs USC

No. 4 Stanford heads to USC (8 ET, ABC) in a matchup of teams that have each won three-straight games.

USC has improved on offense with Ed Orgeron as its interim head coach. The key has been quarterback play. USC’s quarterbacks have had a 66.1 opponent-adjusted QBR in their past five games after posting a 35.8 opponent-adjusted QBR in their first five games under Lane Kiffin.

USC’s quarterbacks will be challenged on Saturday against Stanford’s stout defense. The Cardinal rank seventh in adjusted defensive efficiency and are coming off of a game in which they held Heisman-favorite Marcus Mariota to a season-low 46.5 Total QBR.