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Nebraska Football: Numbers, Statistics, and Lies, Week 12

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Our weekly dive into the Husker books focuses on the declining production of the offense, turnovers, and takes a sneak peek at Iowa.

Gallery: Huskers Cap Home Schedule with Win Over Maryland David McGee

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you are all well and enjoying time with family, friends, or just some time off. We have much to be thankful for here on the ranch. I hope you do as well.

Numbers - Statistics - Lies

Number: 6

Statistic: It has been six games since the Huskers rushed for that magical 200 yards in a game. After week 5, the Husker rush offense was #23 in FBS. After this latest game, it has dropped all the way to #56.

Lie: We are doomed.

The offense has been beat up and slowly declining in productivity, but they still display a lot of heart and fight. One of the big differences between the early games and recent ones is the running back rotation. The Huskers used several RBs early but have settled on a feature back now in Terrell Newby. I don’t think there is anything wrong with Newby’s play, he is playing the best ball of his career, but the Huskers have several good backs and should be using them to wear down opponents.

There may be other factors, especially the offensive line and their injuries. Also worth noting is the running threat (or lack thereof) from Tommy as he has been battling injuries since the Illinois game; not coincidentally the last game Nebraska rushed for over 200 yards.

I really did not do much to convince you that was a lie, did I?

Husker offensive output by game 2016

Numbers - Statistics - Lies II

Number: Zero

Statistic: The game vs. Maryland marks the second straight match in which the Huskers did not turn the ball over. Nebraska currently ranks #28 in FBS in turnover margin at +0.45 per game. The offense ranks #25 in FBS in turnovers lost with 13 on the year. The defense is #51 in FBS in turnovers gained at 18 (almost all of which are interceptions).

Lie: We can count on the Huskers to take care of the ball on Friday.

Well, maybe. We know that Tommy will probably be limited in his running ability and our offensive line has been struggling. If Tommy gets rattled early, we could start to see some of those cringe-worthy decisions that have marked a large chunk of his career.

Hopefully Coach Langsdorf continues to dial up a game plan that takes this into consideration and gives Tommy high percentage passes that let his talented receivers and tight ends do more of the work.

Obligatory Pile of Numbers

The defense continues to solidify and climb up the rankings. The improving rush defense will be heavily tested against a versatile and effective Hawkeye attack. The passing game has been a bit off for Iowa, but Beathard should not be overlooked. The Blackshirts and their ability to hold the Hawkeyes in check will be imperative to keep the struggling Husker offense in the game.

It’s OK to skip the special teams section. I give you permission. No need to give anyone indigestion on Thanksgiving.

Non-Husker Numbers

Here are some basics about Iowa. You can see their offense has been pretty bad most of the season, but they are finding their stride. As usual, they sport a solid defense.

One especially important thing to notice is that while the Hawkeye offense has not been piling up yards, they are incredibly effective once they get into the red zone. They take advantage when they get to scoring position. They also take care of the ball and are not heavily penalized. In other words, they don’t beat themselves, they make you work for it.

Stat Rank Value
Total Offense 121 326.5
Rushing Offense 79 163.5
Passing Offense 113 162.9
Scoring Offense 87 25.5
Total Defense 30 365.2
Rushing Defense 50 158.9
Passing Yards Allowed 38 206.3
Scoring Defense 15 18.6
Turnover Margin T-19 0.64
Red Zone Offense 17 0.912
Red Zone Defense 12 0.719
Time of Possession 117 26:35

Husker Haiku

Rivalry week. Sigh.
Black and gold teams are like
Leftover turkey.