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SEC Football by the Numbers: Top 10 for the 2018 regular season

The SEC’s 86th football regular season is in the books. The conference will crown its champion for 2018 at the league title game, with Alabama and Georgia squaring off for the crown at 3 p.m. CST Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Here are 10 numbers to wrap up the 2018 regular season:

3 Consecutive Auburn games included a blocked field-goal attempt by Tigers DE Marlon Davidson. On Oct. 6, Davidson blocked a 31-yard attempt by Mississippi State’s Jace Christmann. On Oct. 13, Davidson blocked a 48-yard attempt by Tennessee’s Brent Cimaglia. On Oct. 20, Davidson blocked a 40-yard attempt by Ole Miss’ Luke Logan. Davidson became the first Auburn player to block three kicks/punts in a season since Alton Moore in 2001. But Davidson wasn’t the only Auburn player with three in 2018. DB Jordyn Peters blocked a punt against Alabama State, Arkansas and Liberty. Only one player in the nation has blocked more kicks/punts than Davidson and Peters. Toledo TE Reggie Gilliam has blocked four punts for the Rockets in 2018.

4 Players in SEC history have recorded 1,000-yard rushing seasons in each of their first three years after Kentucky RB Benny Snell Jr. ran for 1,305 in the 2018 regular season. That came after Snell rushed for 1,091 yards in 2016 and 1,333 yards in 2017. Snell joined Georgia’s Herschel Walker (1980-82) and Arkansas’ Darren McFadden (2005-07) and Alex Collins (2013-15) as the only SEC players to reach 1,000 rushing yards in their freshman, sophomore and junior seasons. Two other SEC players recorded three 1,000-yard seasons, but not in their first three years — LSU’s Kevin Faulk (1996-98) and Georgia’s Nick Chubb (2014, 2016-17).

5 Victories in eight conference games for Kentucky in 2018, ending the longest streak of seasons without a winning record in league play in SEC history. The Wildcats went 6-0 against their SEC rivals in the 1977 season and, until 2018, had not finished better than .500 in conference play in any year — a streak of 40 seasons.

8 Consecutive games featured a TD on Alabama’s first possession. The streak started when QB Tua Tagovailoa threw an 11-yard TD pass to WR Jerry Jeudy on Alabama’s seventh snap in a 51-14 season-opening victory over Louisville on Sept. 1. On Sept. 8, Jeudy caught a 58-yard pass from Tagovailoa on the fifth snap of a 57-7 victory over Arkansas State. On Sept. 15, RB Damien Harris ran 43 yards for a TD on Alabama’s third offensive snap in a 62-7 victory over Ole Miss. On Sept. 22, WR DeVonta Smith caught a 30-yard pass from Tagovailoa on Alabama’s first offensive snap in a 45-23 victory over Texas A&M. On Sept. 29, RB Josh Jacobs ran 9 yards for a TD on the eighth snap of a 56-14 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette. On Oct. 6, TE Irv Smith Jr. caught a 76-yard pass from Tagovailoa on the first snap of a 65-31 victory over Arkansas. On Oct. 13, Jeudy caught an 81-yard pass from Tagovailoa on the second snap of a 39-10 victory over Missouri. On Oct. 20, Jeudy caught an 11-yard pass from Tagovailoa on the ninth snap of a 58-21 victory over Tennessee. Alabama’s streak ended when it punted to end its first possession of a 29-0 victory over LSU on Nov. 3, even though the Tide reached the Tigers’ 14-yard line on its opening series. Alabama came back with touchdowns on its opening series in the next two games against The Citadel and Mississippi State before punting on the first possession of its regular-season finale against Auburn. Seven of Alabama’s 12 opening possessions ended with TD passes by Tagovailoa.

10 Years since the previous time the SEC East won the conference’s interdivision series. In the 2018 regular season, Eastern Division teams won nine of the 14 games against their Western Division rivals. In 2008, the SEC East had an 11-7 record against the SEC West in the regular-season series. Last year, the East won only three of the 14 interdivision games in the regular season. The West won the interdivision series 9-5 in 2016, 12-2 in 2015 and 10-4 in 2014 and 2013. The divisions split the 14 games in 2012. The West won the series 12-6 in 2011, 15-3 in 2010 and 11-7 in 2009.

SEC Football by the Numbers: Top 10 from Week 13

12 Consecutive games were won by Alabama with a margin of victory of at least 20 points. The Crimson Tide swept its regular-season schedule with the closest game a 45-23 victory over Texas A&M on Sept. 22. The Alabama run is the longest of 20-or-more-point victories in one season in NCAA FBS history by two games. Boise State defeated 10 consecutive opponents by at least 20 points during the 2002 season.

31 Consecutive losses had been inflicted on Kentucky by Florida before the Wildcats defeated the Gators 27-16 on Sept. 8. Kentucky’s first victory over Florida since a 10-3 win in 1986 ended the SEC’s longest winning streak against one opponent and the fourth-longest in major-college football history in an uninterrupted series. Florida played Kentucky annually, yet went 11,620 days between losses to the Wildcats.

53 Victories for Alabama since the start of the 2015 season — tied for the NCAA FBS record for most victories in a four-year period. The Crimson Tide also won 53 games from 2014 through 2017. Alabama won 14 games in 2015 and 2016, 13 games in 2017 and has won 12 in 2018. On its way to tying the record, Alabama became the first team in major-college football history with at least 11 victories in eight consecutive seasons and with at least 12 victories in five consecutive seasons. It had been tied with Southern Cal (2002-2008) at seven consecutive seasons with at least 11 victories and with Boise State (2008-2011) and Ohio State (2012-2015) at four consecutive seasons with at last 12 victories.

60.8 Yards were averaged on five punts by Texas A&M’s Braden Mann in the Aggies’ 45-23 loss to Alabama on Sept. 22 — the best average for a player with at least five punts in a game in NCAA FBS history. Mann totaled 304 yards on his five punts to push two players out of the NCAA record book who had totaled 302 yards on five punts for a 60.4-yard average — BYU’s Lee Johnson against Wyoming on Oct. 8, 1983, and Oklahoma State’s Quinn Sharp against Nebraska on Oct. 23, 2010. Against Alabama, Mann had four of his 14 punts in 2018 that traveled at least 60 yards, which broke the NCAA FBS record for the most 60-or-more-yard punts in one season. Wake Forest’s Ryan Plackemeier had 13 punts of at least 60 yards in 2005. Mann will enter Texas A&M’s bowl with a national-best 51.15-yard average on his 47 punts in 2018. The SEC and NCAA FBS single-season record for punting average (with a minimum of 36 punts) is 50.28 yards by LSU’s Chad Kessler in 1997. The NCAA FBS record with a minimum of 40 punts is 49.84 by Iowa’s Reggie Roby in 1981.

146 Points were scored in Texas A&M’s 74-72 seven-overtime victory against LSU on Nov. 24, the highest-scoring game in NCAA FBS history. The previous record had been 137 points in Pittsburgh’s 76-61 victory over Syracuse on Nov. 26, 2016. The SEC record for points in a game had been 134 in Arkansas’ 71-63 victory over Kentucky in seven overtimes on Nov. 1, 2003. The 2018 regular season also included the highest-scoring non-overtime game involving an SEC team when Ole Miss defeated Southern Illinois 76-41 on Sept. 8. The 117 points scored in the game pushed Texas A&M’s 59-57 victory over Louisiana Tech in 2012 out of the conference record book and is No. 3 overall on the list of highest-scoring games involving SEC teams.


SEC Football by the Numbers: 15 single-season records that might never be broken

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.

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