In December of 2011 and January of 2012, fans of college football and EA SPORTS NCAA Football 12 helped cover all 35 Bowl Games here at STAT BOX STORIES for the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL. This week, we’re taking a look at some of the statistics that came out of those 35 games. In today’s installment, we look at individual player statistics for Special Teams players.
The first “Top 10” data tracks the greatest number of field goals made in single game; that distinction belongs to CPU-controlled K #37 out of Purdue, whose 4-for-4 field goal performance helped his team to a win in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Interestingly, six of the top 10 field goal kicking performances belonged to kickers whose teams ended up losing–Stanford, FIU, Clemson, Ohio State, Auburn, and Northwestern–leaving only four of these players on the winning side.
As for the players with the highest number of extra points made, K #40 of West Virginia had many short conversions to attempt thanks to his team’s eight touchdowns against Clemson in the Orange Bowl. While only four of the top ten field goal performers ended up winning in the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL, it should come as no surprise that all of the kickers on the Top 10 for extra points converted came from winning teams; after all, in order to be kicking so often, your team has to be putting a lot of points on the board by way of touchdowns. A more interesting tidbit is that no CPU-controlled kicker made the Top 10 for this list.
No CPU players made it on the list for kick returners who converted return touchdowns for their teams in the BOWL BLITZ INVITTIONAL either. Over the 35 Bowl Games, there were five kickoff return touchdowns–three of those converted with yours truly at the controls (West Virginia, Western Michigan, and Arizona State)–and 97 yards was the shortest yardage for a kickoff returned for six points. Surprisingly, only three of the teams who had a player score a special teams touchdown–West Virginia, Arizona State, and Cal–ended up victorious in their games.
In terms of total kickoff return yardage by a player, HB #7 of Arizona State took the title by a narrow margin with a total of 279 kickoff return yards on eight attempts for the Sun Devils against Boise State in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. Next up were WR #1 of West Virginia and CB #30 of Western Michigan, both of whom ended up with 273 kickoff return yards and both of whom scored on 98-yard kickoff return plays. No other returners tallied above 200 yards in a single game, though FIU’s WR #4 came close with a 190 effort on five returns including a touchdown.
Finally, the special teams returner with the highest per-return average was HB #20 of Cal, whose 42.7 yards per return in the Holiday Bowl against Texas included a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Wyoming’s CB #4 came in second with 39.6 yards per return on three attempts against Temple in the New Mexico Bowl. Eight spots in the Top 10 here belonged to user-controlled players, while two CPU-controlled players–FS #20 of Florida State and HB #28 of Louisville–made the list of the elite kick returners for the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL.
That wraps up this first day of BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL statistical analysis; be sure to return to STAT BOX STORIES tomorrow as we look at some of the defensive numbers!