Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph Demands Respect in Our Week 11 Statistical Leaderboard

As the season draws nearer and nearer to a close, the stadium lights seem to shine a bit brighter and the ball appears to soar just a little higher – even the turnover chain seems to sparkle more brilliantly.

The beginning of the season is a clean slate, a fresh playbook filled with endless possibilities and unlimited potential. The beginning weeks are about proving yourself.

But the end of the season is about respect – earning it, demanding it and trying not to lose it.

This week, Miami, Auburn and Oklahoma State earned it in a big way while Georgia and Washington definitely lost some and Alabama managed to escape joining either category. Wisconsin is working hard to gain it, but the nation isn’t quite ready to buy in despite the Badgers posting a perfect 10-0 record and leading the nation in several statistical categories.

Meanwhile, Stanford’s Bryce Love showed his grit when he scored three touchdowns against Washington’s normally stingy defense despite a serious ankle injury that caused him to hobble off the field in between plays. Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson reminded the nation why the SEC is such a dangerous place to play with the 167 rushing yards he put up against the Georgia Bulldogs. And Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph put up Mayfield-like numbers against a sneaky Iowa State squad, orchestrating a game-winning touchdown drive in the last few minutes of the game.

Those were just a few of the statistical performances that earned our respect this week, check out the rest below.

No. 1 in Passing Yards: Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State – 3,690

Baker Mayfield got all the attention last week after he defeated the Cowboys, 65-52, while Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph’s 448 yard, five touchdown game flew under the radar.

But this week, Rudolph’s poise in the Cowboys' last-minute 49-42 victory over Iowa State and his 376 yards and three touchdowns earned him the top spot on this week’s statistical leaderboard. Well that and his continued presence at the top of several national passing statistic categories. He not only leads the country in passing yards with 3,690, but also in passing yards per game with 369 per contest. He has 30 touchdowns this season, has thrown only seven interceptions and has been sacked just 15 times.

With two games left against Kansas State and Kansas, Rudolph has the perfect opportunity to pad his statistics and plead his Heisman case.

No. 1 in Total Defense: Wisconsin – 247.6 yards per game

Fact: Wisconsin leads the nation in four categories (total defense, 3rd down conversion percentage, rushing defense, team passing efficiency defense).

Fact: Wisconsin is undefeated; a perfect 10-0 with wins over Iowa and Northwestern.

Fact: Wisconsin ranks 50th in the nation in strength of schedule, whereas every other team in the Top-10 ranks in the top twenty-three.

So call it what you want to call it, but the Badgers’ statistical success is very real. They boast a 52% third down conversion percentage, they only give up an average of 81.5 rushing yards per game and 2.82 yards per rush, and their team passing efficiency defense is 94.46.

No. 1 in Rushing Yards per Game: Bryce Love, Stanford – 180.2 yards per game

Bryce Love can do more with one leg than most people can do with two and probably more than most jungle cats can do with four.

On Friday night he was instrumental in the Cardinal’s big 30-22 upset of the Huskies with 30 carries for 166 yards and three touchdowns. The kid has not had a full practice in a month but he keeps punching the ball through some of the nation’s toughest defensive lines.

Stanford’s victory over Washington was its fifth in a row at home against an AP Top-10 opponent. And Love earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors for the third time this season. He has 181 carries on the year, gaining 1,622 yards and 15 touchdowns. He leads the nation in yards per game and total rush yards and he has 10 runs of at least 50 yards. Plus he has been a major key in every win Stanford has.

Fun fact: his GPA (4.5) his higher than his 40-yard dash time (4.3)

No. 1 in Scoring Defense: Alabama – 11.2 points per game

For the first time this season, the Crimson Tide looked like they were beat. Mississippi State was punching them repeatedly in the mouth and it didn't look like Bama was going to get up.

But, ‘Bama gon ‘Bama. And what looked like an L quickly turned into a fourth-quarter comeback – the kind you only see under Nick Saban. The Tide outgained the Bulldogs 192-34 in the fourth quarter to win, 31-24, after quarterback Jalen Hurts found freshman wide receiver DeVonta Smith on a 26-yard pass that sent him scampering into the endzone.

The numbers Mississippi State put up on the Tide through three quarters were more than usual, but Alabama snapped back to its old self in the fourth and allowed the Bulldogs three drives of just 18 yards, negative-one yard and 31 yards respectively.

The Tide also held the Bulldogs to a 0-of-3 conversion rate in the final 15 minutes.

It kinda looked like Clemson, except this time there was no Hunter Renfow.

Alabama has long been a defensive force and the 24 points it surrendered to Mississippi State was the most this season. But the Tide still leads the nation in turnovers lost on offense (a mere five), fourth down conversion percentage (100%), passes intercepted (just two out of 236 attempts) and of course, scoring defense.

They have only given up 112 points to opponents this season: that is 13 touchdowns, 11 extra points, seven field goals and one safety.

No. 2 in Scoring: Kerryon Johnson, Auburn – 12.8 points per game

This is a bit unorthodox, but the respect for the junior Tigers running back is so real we had to give him some runner-up love.

Especially after Auburn’s thorough routing of Georgia this past weekend.

Kerryon Johnson may not have scored any rushing touchdowns, but his 32 carries for 167 yards and 5.2 yards per carry was the perfect compliment to Tigers QB Jarrett Stidham’s 214 yards and three touchdowns. He did however catch two passes for 66 yards including a 55-yard touchdown in the fourth that was the nail in the coffin.

And while Florida Atlantic running back Devin Singletary may top the category, Johnson has only played eight games compared to Singletary’s 10. In eight games, Johnson has scored 17 touchdowns for a total of 102 points and is averaging 12.8 points per game – just one point less than Singletary. You could also argue that Johnson has played a slew of tougher opponents with more punishing defenses, but we won’t go there. Auburn’s win over Georgia made things very interesting in the SEC and as usual we can’t wait for the Iron Bowl.

Carry on, Kerryon.

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