STAT WATCH: Michigan’s Lew Nichols takes the lead


A new name appears at the top of the Football Bowl Subdivision rush chart after Central Michigan’s Lew Nichols III turned in his second straight 200-yard game and Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III had his least productive game of the season .

Nichols’ 1,516 yards and 137.8 yards per game average lead the nation, just ahead of Walker in both categories. Walker is 1,498 yards and an average of 136.2 yards.

Nichols became the first mid-Michigan player since 2014 to stage back-to-back 200-yard games. He had a career-high 219 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries in a 37-17 victory over Ball State on Wednesday. He tallied 215 yards and four touchdowns in a 54-30 win over Kent State on Nov. 13.

Nichols, 5-10, 220 pounds, was a three-star Detroit rookie in 2019 and was due to share his runs with Kobe Lewis this season. But Lewis was injured in pre-season testing and is out for the season, leaving Nichols to carry the load for the Chippewas.

In five games, Nichols was 53rd nationally with 81 yards per game. His average has more than doubled, to 185.2, in his last six games.

Walker was limited to six carries for 25 yards, the two lowest of the season, in Michigan State’s 56-7 loss to Ohio State. Spartans coach Mel Tucker said Walker was caught off guard, which is why his workload was limited.

THE 200 CLUB

There were five more 200-yard rushing performances over the past week to bring the total to 40 for the season.

On Saturday, 17-year-old Braelon Allen from Wisconsin ran 22 times for 228 yards and three touchdowns against Nebraska and Marshall’s Rasheen Ali had 23 carries for 203 yards and three touchdowns against Charlotte.

Air Force DeAndre Hughes carried 23 times for 221 yards and two touchdowns against Nevada on Friday.

Louisville’s Malik Cunningham ran 11 times for 224 yards and two touchdowns against Duke on Thursday, and Bryant Koback of Toledo ran 21 times for 203 yards and four touchdowns against Ohio on Tuesday.

THE BIG DAY OF BRYCE

Bryce Young of Alabama set the national season record for passing yards in a game with 559 against Arkansas, the most since Dillon Gabriel of Central Florida threw 601 against Memphis in October 2020.

Young became the first Crimson Tide player to throw 500 in a game. The previous record was 484 by Scott Hunter in 1969.

FORCING FUMBLES

Hawaii linebacker Darius Muasau became the first player this season to force three fumbles in a game, doing so against Colorado State. Muasau also hit the 100 tackle mark for the second year in a row.

OH, OKLAHOMA STATE

Oklahoma State’s 23-0 win at Texas Tech marked the first time the Red Raiders have been excluded since 1997 and the first time the Cowboys have shut out an opponent on the road since 1995.

Before Saturday, the Cowboys hadn’t recorded a shutout since an 84-0 win over Savannah State in 2012. Savannah State was in the Championship Soccer Division at the time.

Texas Tech entered the game averaging 33.6 points and 440.6 total yards of attack per game. OSU held the Red Raiders to 108 total yards.

ROTATING DASHBOARD

UCLA’s 62-33 victory over Southern California was the most offensive of 91 games between rivals Crosstown.

The combined 95 points were the most important in the series, the 62 points were the most scored by UCLA against the Trojans and the most abandoned in a single game by USC since 2013. The margin of 29 points was most important in UCLA since a 34-0. win in 1954.


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