It’s time to take a look at some interesting facts that you may not have known about the SEC as we head into the fifth weekend of the season:
Arkansas leads SEC, averaging 47.0 points per game in wins. Kentucky, averaging 20.5 points per game in its wins, is 12th.
Alabama’s offense is averaging 6.9 yards per play, which leads the SEC. Last year, three SEC teams were above 6.9 yards per play -- Auburn (7.4), Arkansas (7.1) and Alabama (7.0).
Alabama has allowed only four plays of 20 or more yards this season, which is tied for second nationally. The Tide is also one of eight FBS teams to not allow a rushing play of 20-plus yards this season.
Florida leads the SEC and is tied for seventh nationally with only two sacks allowed in four games this season.
Saturday marks the first game between Alabama and Florida since 2006 that one isn't ranked No. 1 in the nation. This will also be the 14th straight game between the two in which one is ranked in the top 10 (every game since 1990).
In its two wins, Mississippi State has not allowed any sacks this season. Only Duke and Texas A&M have not allowed any sacks in its wins (two-or-more) this season.
Only Vanderbilt and Connecticut have given up just one red zone touchdown this season, lowest in FBS. Vandy opponents have only score one touchdown in six trips to the red zone.
Florida leads the nation in opponents’ third-down conversions. The Gator defense has allowed opponents to convert just 21.1 percent of their third downs (11 of 52).
Auburn leads the nation in kickoffs with the average kickoff going 69.54 yards. Tiger kicker Cody Parkey leads the SEC with 15 touchbacks this season.
Georgia’s Bacarri Rambo leads the nation in passes defended per game (interceptions and pass deflections) with 2.33 (seven in three games). He has four interceptions and three pass deflections this season.
The average game time in the SEC is three hours and 16 minutes, which is four minutes more than the average for all FBS games (3:12). Arkansas plays the quickest games in the SEC at three hours, 10 minutes while Auburn’s games are the longest at three hours, 25 minutes.
SEC teams are leading the nation in punt returns, averaging 31.0 yards per game and 11.03 yards per return. The next closest is the Pac-12 at 19.6 yards per game. The national average is 17.5.
Alabama allowed just seven points in the first half of last week’s Arkansas game. The Crimson Tide has allowed seven points or less in the first half of its last nine games. The Crimson Tide has surrendered three points or less six times over the span including three first half shutouts. Chronologically, these games are: 3 by LSU (Nov. 6, 2010), 3 by Miss. State (Nov. 13, 2010), 7 by Georgia State (Nov. 18, 2010), 7 by Auburn (Nov. 26, 2010), 0 by Michigan State (Jan. 1, 2011), 0 by Kent State (Sept. 3, 2011), 3 by Penn State (Sept. 10, 2011), 0 by North Texas (Sept. 17, 2011), 7 by Arkansas (Sept. 24, 2011).
Arkansas is a perfect 15-of-15 (100.0 percent) inside the 20-yard line this season, which is tied for the NCAA lead. Arkansas has scored a touchdown on 12 of 15 (80.0 percent) trips in the red zone, which is tied for first in the SEC and 12th in the NCAA. Arkansas’ defense has held its opponents to 3-of-7 (42.9 percent) in the red zone, which leads the SEC and ranks second in the NCAA, and allowed touchdowns on just two of seven trips (28.6 percent), the third best percentage in the conference and sixth best in the nation.
Arkansas should have the mental edge over Texas A&M this weekend. The Aggies haven’t beaten an SEC team in 16 years and are 0-6 against the conference since their last win in 1995 when they beat LSU in their season opener.
Auburn has scored 14 points or more in a span of two minutes or less 11 times under Gene Chizik. The Tigers have pulled the trick twice this season, scoring 14 points in 58 seconds against Mississippi State and 14 points in 1:37 against Utah State. The 2009 Tigers set the bar by scoring 16 points in 1:27 of game time in the second quarter against Ball State. The 2009 team also scored 14 points in eight seconds against Ole Miss. The 2010 Tigers scored 14 points in less than two minutes six times.
Florida has had 36 rushes of 10 or more yards this season and 10 passes of more than 20 yards this season. The combined total is an average of 11.5 plays per game during the first four games of this season. In 2010, the Gators had 106 total plays of 10 or more rushing yards or 20 or more passing yards, an average of 8.2 plays per game. Last week against Kentucky, the Gators scored four big-play touchdowns: a 45-yard pass, a 20-yard run, an 84-yard run and a 60-yard run.
Georgia sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray is already fifth in Georgia’s record books in career touchdown passes thrown with 35. He has thrown multiple touchdowns in eight of his last nine games dating back to last season. In those nine games, he has thrown 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Mike Bobo (1994-97) is fourth in Georgia history with 38 touchdowns thrown in his career.
Turnover margin has been a key in Kentucky’s results under Joker Phillips. In his two seasons as head coach, the Wildcats are 5-0 in games in which the Wildcats win the turnover margin, 2-2 when the margin is tied and 1-7 when the Cats lose the turnover battle. Kentucky is plus-eight in turnover margin in its victories and -13 in losses in the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
LSU has capitalized on eight of its 11 takeaways this season. Against West Virginia, the Tigers scored three touchdowns following takeaways. LSU’s 11 takeaways have resulted in a total of 50 points through four games. LSU has allowed just a field goal following its three turnovers this year.
LSU is one of five FBS teams that is currently allowing fewer than 2.0 yards per rush. The Tigers defense has allowed just 213 yards on 111 carries so far this season (1.92 yards per rush).
Sixteen players have made their first career start this season for Ole Miss. They are (OFFENSE): Nickolas Brassell (CB/WR), Barry Brunetti (QB), H.R. Greer (FB), Matt Hall (OG), Donte Moncrief (WR), Jamal Mosley (TE), Collins Moore (WR) and Aaron Morris (OL). On DEFENSE, Aaron Garbutt (SAF), Uriah Grant (DT), Wesley Pendleton (CB), Justin Smith (DT), Senquez Golson (CB), Byron Bennett (DL), Frank Crawford (DB) and Ralph Williams (LB). In all, 30 Ole Miss Rebels have seen their first career action this season.
Last season, Mississippi State was plus-11 in the turnover margin in its seven wins and -4 in four losses. State turned the ball over just nine times in nine wins and 12 times in four losses. Through the first four weeks of the 2011 season, State is plus-4 in its victories and -1 in its losses.
South Carolina is off to a 4-0 start for just the eighth time in school history and for the first time since the 2001 season. In 2001, Carolina started 5-0 and finished 9-3 on the year. The Gamecocks’ best start was in 1984, when they started 9-0 and finished the season with a 10-2 mark. Carolina is 2-0 in the SEC for just the third time in its 20-year SEC history. It was 4-0 in 2001 and 2-0 in 2000.
South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore has 18 rushes of 10 yards or longer this season, second most in FBS.
Tennessee leads the SEC and ranks seventh nationally with a 57.1 percent conversion rate on third downs (24-of-42). UT is the only team in the SEC above 50 percent on third-down conversions. The Vols converted 37 percent of their third downs a year ago (69-of-189). Tennessee successfully converted 10 third-down attempts in each of its first two games in 2011 after not posting 10 conversions in a game since 2006.