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Nebraska Football’s Numbers, Statistics, and Lies: Ohio State Edition

Do you want the bad news first? Or the really bad news first?

Ohio State v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

N,S,&L is about basic stats and where the Huskers rank relative to other FBS teams and Big Ten teams. We apply the “eye test” to figure out if the numbers are lying or not. If you noticed any stats or made observations that aren’t covered here, add them in the comments!

Color-Coded Pile of Numbers

That was pretty much what I expected. Of course, I hoped I was wrong, but alas. The Buckeyes marched into Lincoln and methodically picked apart the Huskers. The carnage moved quite a few of the basic stats deeper toward the yellow and red side of the color-coded pile.

Numbers - Statistics - Lies I

Number: 200+60+1

J.D. Spielman accumulated 200 receiving yards, 60 kickoff return yards, and 1 rushing yard for a grant total of 261 all-purpose yards.

Statistic: Spielman’s reception total breaks (shatters) the previous record of 167 yards in a single game held by Matt Davison (1998).

Truth or lies? Truth. Spielman is going to be a treat to watch in Lincoln. In a game where it was again painfully obvious that Nebraska has some work to do to upgrade speed and athleticism in a few more spots, Spielman was one Husker that clearly belonged on the same field as the Buckeye athletes.

Here is where I’ll reengage the rant I started in my game recap. While this was a great accomplishment, Spielman should not have been out on the field to reach 200 receiving yards so late in a blowout game. He took a nasty hit at the end of that last catch, was clearly hurting, and did not reenter the game. Given his workload that day and the terribadness of the score, Patrick O’Brien should have been slinging the ball to a backup (and I do recognize Nebraska’s depth at wideout is precarious right now and maybe there weren’t many options).

My concern partly builds from the situation with Tre Bryant in which the staff appears to have badly mismanaged his workload in the first couple of games this season. Bryant had known issues with his knees and 3 capable backs behind him who weren’t seeing the field. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and players are notorious for wanting to be on the field every snap, but it seems like someone should be monitoring player snaps and workload and giving feedback to the coaches.

Numbers - Statistics - Lies II

Number: Eight

The Buckeyes possessed the ball 10 times on Saturday and scored touchdowns on the first eight.

Statistic: Those drives ranged from 59 to 96 yards, lasted from 7-9 plays each (~3 minutes on the clock). They averaged 10.5 yards per play. Not per pass or pass attempt. PER PLAY.

Truth or lies? Truth. The Buckeyes were surgical and unstoppable.

Stanley Morgan March Toward 1000 Updater

Number: 30

Stanley accumulated 30 reception yards and sits at 540 yards for the season. He needs to average 92 yards/game through the rest of the regular season to reach 1000. He needs to average 72 yards/game to become only the fourth Husker wideout to achieve 900 yards in a season.

Some Random Stuff from Around the B1G

  • Penn State [looks ahead to schedule and winces] is holding opponents to an average of 9 points per game.
  • Wisconsin and Ohio State are averaging 5.5 and 6.0 yards/rush respectively while their defenses are both holding opponents under 3 yards/rush.

So, tell me Corn Nation....what did your eyes tell you in relation to the numbers? What did I see right and what did I miss?