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December 1, 2009

Inside the stats: Roses are red (zone)

Each week, we'll look at some statistics involving individuals and/or teams that we find intriguing.

1. Seeing red. Thursday's Oregon-Oregon State game features the nation's top two teams in red zone conversion percentage. Oregon State has had 50 red zone opportunities and scored on 48 of them (37 touchdowns, 11 field goals). That's a 96 percent conversion rate, with 74 percent of the conversions being touchdowns. Oregon has had 48 red zone opportunities; the Ducks have scored on 46 of them (36 TDs, 10 field goals). That's a 95.8 percent conversion rate, with 75 percent of the conversions being touchdowns. (Here's the list of where all 120 FBS teams rank, from cfbstats.com).

2. Stop right there. Florida is No. 2 nationally and Alabama No. 5 in third-down defense. The Gators have allowed foes to convert just 26.2 percent of their third downs; Alabama is at 28.9 percent. Offensively, Florida is fifth nationally, converting 50 percent of its third downs. Alabama is 78th, at 37.7 percent.

3. Good numbers. The only team in the top 10 in both total offense and total defense is TCU. The Horned Frogs are fifth offensively (469.1 yards per game) and second defensively (233.3 ypg).

4. Scaling the heights. Houston's Case Keenum has thrown for 4,922 yards; he's more than 1,000 yards ahead of everyone else nationally. Keenum is all but certain to throw for 5,000 yards this season, and he would be just the sixth quarterback to reach that plateau in the past four seasons. Only three others - Troy's Levi Brown (3,868 yards), Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen (3,722) and Bowling Green's Tyler Sheehan (3,664) - even have a shot at reaching 4,000 yards. Troy will be in a bowl, but neither Notre Dame nor Bowling Green is guaranteed a bowl bid. Last season, there were two 5,000-yard passers and three who reached the 4,000-yard level. In 2007, it was two 5,000 guys and four 4,000 guys. In '06, there was one 5,000 guy and two 4,000 guys. There were no 5,000-yard passers in 2004 or '05, but there were two 4,000-yard guys in '05 and three in '04.

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

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