The 500 Club: Honorary membership to Cal, which, at Stanford, gained 383 yards, yet lost by 50 points. Cal is averaging 454 yards of offense per game, and is 1-11. Honorary membership to Old Dominion, which, visiting North Carolina, gained 371 yards, yet lost by 60 points. The coaches mutually agreed to shorten the fourth quarter, in which the Tar Heels did nothing but run up the middle. Honorary membership to Idaho, which, at Florida State, gained 345 yards, yet lost by 66 points.
The 600 Club: Hosting Navy, San Jose State gained 600 yards, scored seven touchdowns, yet lost. Visiting Wyoming, Hawaii gained 624 yards, scored 56 points. yet lost. The Warriors allowed 793 yards by Wyoming, which has a losing record. Reader Paul Vergnani of Sacramento, Calif., notes, "Laramie is 7,200 feet above sea level, maybe it's easier to move the ball where the air is less dense." Visiting Eastern Washington, Portland State gained 603 yards, yet lost. In its past two games, Portland State has gained 1,316 yards, yet lost both times.
The 800 Club: Reader Michael Lischio Jr. of Saint Augustine, Fla., reports that quarterback John Wolford of Bishop Kenny High in the Sunshine State personally gained 773 yards -- 539 passing, 234 rushing -- as Kenny lost a playoff contest to Clay High 74-73. The game featured 21 touchdowns, which on the 48-minute high school clock means a touchdown was scored almost every two minutes.
Clayton Freeman, a sportswriter for the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, adds these details: Bishop Kenny racked up 834 team yards, and lost. Wolford's 773 total yards appears to be a national individual yardage record, according to the National Federation of High Schools. The teams' 147 combined points set a record for Florida prep action. Three Clay rushers gained more than 140 yards as the visitors finished with 489 rushing yards. Bishop Kenny scored 11 touchdowns to Clay's 10, but three missed extra points combined with five successful deuce conversions by Clay made the difference.
"This game will be available for public viewing over the Internet after the state playoffs end on Dec. 15. The link is here. If you enjoy football shootouts at their best, it's worth checking out when it opens up."
Adventures in Officiating: After the flag for pass interference was picked up on the final down of the Carolina-New England game, football insiders were all over the map trying to figure out what happened. Your columnist thought the call should have been defensive holding, which would have given the Patriots five yards and one more try. I thought the key fact was this NFL rulebook definition: "It is defensive holding if a player grasps an eligible offensive player (or his jersey) with his hands, or extends an arm or arms to cut off or encircle him." Luke Kuechly "encircled" Rob Gronkowski with his arms.
On "SportsCenter" the day after, Jay Crawford read that definition to former NFL official Gerry Austin, who dissembled. Austin allowed that holding might have been called, but wouldn't answer Crawford's questions about the wording of the rule. Instead he talked about whether Gronkowski was trying enough to reposition his feet. Repositioning feet isn't mentioned in the rules, but might be in the NFL officiating manual.