One month of the 2016 college football season is complete and trends have emerged. Five weeks is enough time to take a look at what’s happened so far and figure out how the 2016 season may play out. One factor to consider: Some of the more high-profile nonconference games occurred earlier in 2016 than past seasons, so that could impact statistics. Let’s take a look at some of the teams as this will help to determine how you can get high value in your betting season.
Louisville’s offense is on a record pace: Bobby Petrino coaching Lamar Jackson is the offense he always wanted in the NFL with Michael Vick. Louisville is averaging 63.5 points, 682 total yards and 9.03 yards per play, all which are on pace to break Football Bowl Subdivision records. The records: Army averaged 56.0 points in 1944, Houston gained 624.9 yards per game in 1989, and Hawaii averaged 8.58 yards per play in 2006.
Jackson has accounted for 25 touchdowns. Michigan is the only team with more touchdowns than Louisville’s quarterback in 2016. Jackson is on pace for 75 passing/rushing touchdowns in the regular season, which would shatter the FBS record of 55 set by Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in 2007.
Jackson and Louisville will come back to Earth at least some. So far, the highest-ranked scoring defense the Cardinals have played is 106th-ranked Syracuse. Top-five scoring defenses Clemson and Houston still remain. But no one won September more than Petrino and Jackson.
Jabrill Peppers had a special first month: While Jackson dominates the headlines, Michigan’s do-everything star Jabrill Peppers enjoyed his own exceptional month. Peppers ranks second nationally in tackles for loss (2.4 per game) and third in punt returns (22.7 yards per return, one touchdown). Since the NCAA started tracking tackles for loss in 2000, no player has led the nation in tackles for loss and punt returns. Those are stats that typically don’t belong to the same player.
The closest resemblance to Peppers’ jack-of-all-trades start to 2016 may be LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu in 2011. Mathieu finished fifth in punt returns and fourth in forced fumbles. A hybrid safety/linebacker, Peppers accumulates 8.3 tackles per game. He has made 48 percent of his tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage, according to CFB Film Room.
Defenses may be catching up to running games: Don’t misunderstand. Teams are still scoring. FBS scoring in September (31.9 points per game) was up less than 1 percent from last September. The FBS set a scoring record with 29.7 points in 2015 and it’s on pace to do so again.
But check out some other September 2016 stats. The yards per play (5.9) stat was slightly down compared to September 2015 and yards per carry (4.58) declined 2 percent. Passing yards per attempt (7.56) are slightly up again for the second straight September after those numbers had been declining.
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