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Nebraska Football: Numbers, Statistics & Lies Week 2

We review the books for notable Husker football performances, knee-jerk analysis, and why you should not believe any of it.

Gallery: Armstrong Sets Record, Huskers Move to 2-0 David McGee

I explained the reason for this series in the first installment. I am also aware that looking at stats and rankings this early in the season is an incomplete picture. The table at the bottom is something that will become more useful as the season continues. Until then you get varying emphasis on numbers, statistics, and lies. Enjoy.

Numbers - Statistics - Lies

Number: 57
Statistic: With his 57th career touchdown pass, Tommy Armstrong became the all-time leader for TD passes in Husker history.
Lie: Not gonna lie. Whatever you think of Tommy, he deserves a tip-o-the-cap for this accomplishment.

Number: 412 - 138. This is the number of passing yards vs rushing yards for the Huskers vs Wyoming.
Statistic: Nebraska QBs completed 60% of their passes and averaged nearly 20 yards per completion.
Lies: OMG! Air Langsdorf is back and he refuses to #RunTheDangBall. We are doomed!

Wyoming absolutely sold out to stop the Husker run game. They dared Nebraska to take to the air and let Tommy and the Receivers (did I just create an awful boy band name?) beat them. When you break it down, the Huskers had 43 rush attempts to 35 pass attempts, a 55/45 ratio.

In last week’s NS&L (not bragging- I would never do that) I hinted at an improved Cowboy rush defense and the need for a more balanced Husker attack. The fact that the coaching staff stuck to finding ways to open rushing lanes for as long as they did in this game actually gives me hope. For all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the close game, part of that was due to Nebraska sticking to their guns in trying to establish the run. Once it was clear that [mostly] Good Tommy suited up, and the Huskers could pull off a balanced offensive attack, Wyoming commenced to melt down.

There is one prediction from last week’s NS&L that looks to be really off.

I assumed that the 2015 woes in the Oregon secondary (worse than the Husker pass defense - really!) would dictate the need for a pass-oriented game plan this Saturday. Right now, it looks like the Duck defense is susceptible to the rush. Let’s hope the Huskers try to establish the run, force the Ducks to commit resources to stop it and continue the effective passing game we’ve seen so far in 2016.

Running the dang ball will also help if the Blackshirts struggle against a very fast-paced and potent Duck running game. This Saturday, the Husker offense will need to run and chew clock. Coach, make sure to rotate those backs and keep the big boys up front rested and hydrated.

Number: 1
Statistic: Nebraska tops FBS in interceptions and turnover margin.
Lies: I am sleeping and will wake up to our usual 100-ish ranking in turnovers soon.

OK, maybe that is not a lie. I have no idea. Given the lack of Husker pass rush, it will be up to the secondary to generate the turnovers.

I am scared too.

Obligatory Pile of Numbers

The table below will become more useful at the season rolls along. I will begin adding some more numbers and graphs after the non-con is over.

For now, celebrate that our defense is back in the top half of most FBS categories (/sobs and realizes how far the mighty have fallen).

Non-Nebraska Numbers & Statistics

You asked for it! This section highlights an unbelievable performance from a non-Husker player. This week features (who else?) Lamar Jackson (QB, Louisville).

Number: Eight
Statistic: Jackson’s eight touchdowns in two games are more than 115 other FBS TEAMS have scored.

In week 2, he accounted for 610 yards of offense. That would rank 13th among FBS teams.