BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — With last night’s national championship game marking the close of the 2016 college football campaign, the Conference USA Champion WKU Hilltoppers ended the season ranked among the nation’s best in numerous statistical categories.
For the second time in program history – and first in the FBS Era – WKU finished the season ranked as the No. 1 scoring offense in the country, tallying a school-record 45.5 points per game over the course of the season including seven games of 50 or more points. The Hilltoppers last finished with the nation’s top scoring offense in 1973 when they averaged 37.7 points per game.
WKU also led the nation in total points scored (637) and yards per play (7.65). WKU’s 7,324 total yards of offense in 14 games were second nationally behind only national champion Clemson (7,555 in 15 games) while ranking fifth nationally in total offense (523.1).
Individually, senior running back Anthony Wales led the nation in rushing touchdowns (27), scoring (13.4 points per game), total points scored (174) and total touchdowns (29). Kick returner Kylen Towner led the nation with an NCAA-record 40.3 yard per return average. Wales’ marks are all program-firsts while Towner becomes the second WKU returner to lead the nation in kick return average (Davlin Mullen, 1982).
Quarterback Mike White finished his first campaign on The Hill as one of the nation’s best quarterbacks, tallying top 10 finishes in the following categories: completion percentage (67.3; 3rd), passing efficiency (181.4; 3rd), passing touchdowns (37; 8th), passing yards (4,363; 5th), passing yards per game (311.6; 8th), passing yards per completion (15.58; 3rd), and yards per passing attempt (10.49; 2nd).
WKU finished the season in the Top 25 by a national publication for the second-consecutive season, as USA Today ranked WKU No. 23 in the nation in its final 1-128 team ranking poll on Tuesday.
The Hilltoppers also ranked in the top 10 in a bevy of other notable categories:
• Punt Return Average (17.93) – 2nd
• Rushing Defense (97.2) – 2nd
• Kickoff Return Average (26.67) – 3rd
• Passing Efficiency (174.87) – 3rd
• Passing Offense (336.8) – 5th
• First Downs Offense (344) – 6th
• Passing Yards per Completion (15.46) – 6th
• Tackles for Loss Allowed (4.29) – 6th
• Winning Percentage (78.6) – 8th
See the complete NCAA ranking summary here.
See the complete USA Today rankings here.
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