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Nebraska Football’s Numbers, Statistics, and Lies: Minnesota Edition

The one where we start to compare the Huskers to Scott Frost’s Central Florida team.

Nebraska v Minnesota Jon Johnston

NS&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!

Well, we witnessed a team that has packed it in. I’m not going to say they aren’t putting in effort, because they are. On defense, they look like they don’t trust what they are being coached to do or trust that they’ll be in the right place to make the play. On offense, the lack of development and injuries on the offensive line + way too many interceptions have derailed a promising unit.

Color-Coded Pile of Numbers

Look at all that red.

Numbers - Statistics - Lies I

Number: 5.3

Nebraska’s opponents are averaging 5.3 yards/rush.

Statistic: Nebraska ranks #113 in FBS in yards/rush.

Truth or lies? Truth. Diaco’s defense has been a disaster. Even taking into account the whole “takes time to adjust to a whole new scheme” thing, this is really bad. Nebraska is allowing 200.1 yards/game on the ground, which is #105 in FBS.

Scott Frost’s UCF team is allowing 151.1 yards/game rushing (#51 in FBS) and 4.06 yards/rush (also #51 in FBS).

Numbers - Statistics - Lies II

Number: The Huskers have scored 31 touchdowns while allowing 42 by opponents.

Statistic: Eighteen of Nebraska’s 31 touchdowns have come in the red zone (58%) while 28 of 42 opponent touchdowns have come in the red zone (67%).

Frost’s Knights have scored 59 touchdowns while allowing 25. Thirty-five of those 59 have come in the red zone (59%). UCF’s opponents have scored 17 out of 25 touchdowns in the red zone (68%).

Truth or lies? I would need to look at a lot more data to see if there is any significance to this or not, but the % of touchdowns in the red zone doesn’t seem to signal much. The total number of touchdowns does. It is clear that Nebraska has struggled to score inside the red zone or out and to keep opponents out of the end zone.

Stanley Morgan March Toward 900 Updater

Number: 727

The past two weeks have not been kind to Stanley as he accumulated 38 yards against Northwestern and 37 yards against Minnesota to bring his season total to 727 yards.

He has to average 137 yards per game to be the first Husker receiver to reach 1000 yards for the season and 87 yards/game to become the fourth Husker to reach 900 yards in a season. One thousand yards is not impossible, but it seems really unlikely.

Spielman Alert

J.D. Spielman has taken over the lead for receiving yards on the team with 734 yards in 2017. He now holds the unofficial freshman receiving yardage record, bettering the 641 yards posted by Nate Swift in 2005. He has to post similar numbers to those calculated above for Stanley Morgan to reach 900 (possible) or 1000 (unlikely).

J.D.’s 49 receptions also eclipse Swift’s 45 as a freshman.

Some Random Stuff

The Cornhuskers are champions of the third quarter.


Score by Quarters 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT
Score by Quarters 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT
Nebraska 55 65 75 56 0
Opponents 101 107 44 66 7
Scoring by quarters

Meanwhile, a certain team in a southern state is allowing opponents to score more points in the third quarter than Nebraska is allowing its opponents to score. Of course, the first, second and fourth quarters count on the scoreboard too.


Score by Quarters 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT
Score by Quarters 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT
UCF 110 154 80 93 0
Opponents 48 59 52 27 0