Big 12 teams rolling up big numbers, and quickly


Big 12 teams rolling up big numbers, and quickly

High-scoring football is being played across the nation, and no teams are more prolific than those in the Big 12.

Eight of the top 17 scoring teams and six of the top 19 yard producers are from the conference.

Per-team scoring in the Big 12 is 36.2 points a game. The next closest average is the Western Athletic Conference's 30.7.

The Big 12's per-team yardage is 461 a game, well ahead of the WAC's 428.

You want to talk efficiency?

There have been 371 touchdown drives in the Big 12. More than one-third (133) have covered 50 yards in five plays or fewer, and one of every five (74) have lasted less than a minute.

More big numbers were posted Saturday.

Kansas State and Oklahoma State combined for 985 yards and 51 first downs in the Wildcats' 44-30 win. Not included in the total yards were kickoff returns for touchdowns of 100 (KSU) and 80 yards (OSU).

Baylor had Glasco Martin and Lache Seastrunk each go over 100 yards rushing, Nick Florence threw for 367 yards and the Bears totaled 666 yards in a 41-14 win over Kansas.

Landry Jones passed for 405 yards and four TDs and Clay Brennan rushed for 157 as Oklahoma amassed 593 yards in a 35-20 victory over Iowa State.

Baylor is tops in the nation in yards, at 581.5; Oklahoma State is No. 2, at 575.9.


ACC GETS INTO THE ACT: Atlantic Coast Conference teams have combined to top 500 yards in total offense 30 times this season.

That's twice as many times as ACC teams went over 500 yards in 2011.

Florida State and Clemson are leading the way this season, each averaging better than 520 yards and 42 points a game.


DUCK SOUP: Of course, when fans think offense, they think of Oregon.

The Ducks put up crazy numbers again in their 62-51 road win against Southern California.

Kenjon Barner set the school single-game rushing record with 321 yards - the most ever by a USC opponent and fourth-most in Pac-12 history.

Oregon's 730 total yards broke the previous school record of 720 in a 72-0 win over New Mexico in 2010. The 730 yards and 62 points also were the most ever surrendered by the Trojans.


SPEAKING OF OFFENSE: Tennessee and Troy combined for 1,439 yards - the most ever in a game involving a Southeastern Conference team. The previous record was 1,329 yards, set in 1997 by Tennessee and Kentucky.

The Volunteers beat Troy 55-48. The 103 combined points were the fourth-most in a regulation game in SEC history.

Tennessee's 718 yards were the most in the SEC this season.


FIRST-QUARTER STREAK ENDS: Penn State was the last team in the Bowl Subdivision to surrender points in the first quarter.

The streak lasted 122 minutes, 1 second of elapsed first-quarter time. It ended when Purdue kicked a field goal 2:01 into Saturday's game. Penn State won 34-9 on the road.

The Nittany Lions go into their game at Nebraska having outscored opponents 76-3 in the first quarter and 137-33 in the first half.


CHASING NEWTON: Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel has 922 rushing yards this season, third highest for a quarterback in SEC history.

Auburn's Cam Newton holds the record of 1,473 yards, and Auburn's Jimmy Sidle is second at 1,006.

If the Aggies play four more games, including a bowl, Manziel would have to average 138 yards to catch Newton.

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3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

You may think this was an ugly four-game road trip for the Caps, but with a 3-2 win in Buffalo on Monday, Washington managed to earn five out of a possible eight points.

Here is why the Caps beat the Sabres and managed to save the road swing.

A missed high-stick (maybe) from Ovechkin

Ovechkin scored the first goal of the game in the second period as he deflected a high-shot from Christian Djoos down past goalie Chad Johnson. But did the deflection come on a high stick? The play was reviewed and the goal was ultimately upheld. According to the NHL, it was determined that "video review supported the Referee's call on the ice that Alex Ovechkin's stick was at or below the height of the crossbar when he tipped the puck into the Buffalo net."

NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May broke the play down during the second intermission and made his case for why the NHL actually got the call wrong.

Was that a high stick? I don't know. As compelling an argument as May made, it still looks inconclusive which means the review made the right call. What surprises me is that the referee did not disallow the goal on the initial call.

Whether the review is truly inconclusive or flat out wrong, Washington was fortunate to walk away from this sequence with the goal.


A centimeter of ice

Hockey is a game of inches and it took less than an inch to put Washington up 2-0. When an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot hit off the boards and bounced back to the front of the net, it sparked a scrum next to goalie Chad Johnson. Eventually, John Carlson was able to get a swipe on the puck sending it trickling to the goal line, but Kyle Okposo was there waiting and appeared to kick it out to safety just before it crossed. A review triggered by the Situation Room, however, revealed that the puck had just barely managed to cross the goal line before Okposo got to it.

Here's the view the NHL released after the review:

Philipp Grubauer's third period

After dominating the first 40 minutes of the game and taking a 2-0 lead, Buffalo predictably made a late push in the third period with two goals to pull within one. Washington outshot the Sabres in the first and second periods, but Buffalo reversed that trend in a big way in the third as they outshot the Caps 17-6. Grubauer turned aside 15 of those shots and was impressive after barely being tested in the first two periods.


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3 stars of the game: Caps knock out the punchless Sabres

3 stars of the game: Caps knock out the punchless Sabres

Coming off an ugly 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, a Buffalo Sabres team missing star Jack Eichel was just what the doctor ordered for the Caps to get back on track. Washington dominated the first two periods and then survived a late surge from Buffalo for the 3-2 win.

After battling to a scoreless first, Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson spotted Washington a 2-0 lead in the second. They then held on in the third period as Buffalo began to tilt the ice in their favor, with Evgeny Kuznetsov scoring the empty-netter to put this game out of reach. Evander Kane would pull Buffalo within one, but with only three seconds left it was too little, too late.

Here are the three stars of the game:

1. Alex Ovechkin: Ovechkin opened up the scoring in the second period as he deflected down an innocent shot from Christian Djoos past Chad Johnson.

Ovechkin also set a physical tone as he battled with defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen all game long. After taking a high elbow from Ristolainen early in the game Ovechkin skated up to Ristolainen prior to the faceoff on his next shift and let him know that it was on. 

2. John Carlson: Carlson had a hand in both of Washington's first two goals. He recorded a secondary assist on Ovechkin's goal as he made a blue line pass to Djoos which Djoos fired on net and Ovechkin deflected. Carlson then managed to hit the puck past the goal line in a scrum next to Johnson. It looked initially like Kyle Okposo had managed to kick out the puck just before it crossed, but Carlson was awarded the goal as a review showed the puck had completely crossed the line.

3. Philipp Grubauer: A Sabres team that ranks last in the NHL in scoring and that was also without its leading scorer did not test Grubauer much in the first two periods. Facing a 2-0 deficit, however, Buffalo made a third period push to try to tie the game, but Grubauer was up to the task as he turned aside 15 of the 17 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes. He finished with 32 total saves on the night.