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

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Stanley Morgan is closing in on a huge accomplishment.

Gallery: Huskers Stun Spartans

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!

That game was somewhat unexpected. When the Huskers scored 10 points and took a temporary lead in the first quarter, I was ecstatic because I wasn’t sure they could do that. When the halftime score stood at 42-10 in favor of the Nittany Lions, I was resigned to the fate that awaited.

It was great to see the team show some signs of life. Yes, those last couple of touchdowns were garbage time scores earned against PSU’s backups, but it looked like some of the players were having fun out there. Especially Stanley Morgan (more later).

Color-Coded Pile of Numbers

Look at all that red.

Numbers - Statistics - Lies I

Number: 48

Nebraska has scored 48 points so far this season off of turnovers. They have allowed opponents to score 59 points off turnovers.

Truth or lies? This is a crazy one. Nebraska actually ranks #2 in FBS for fumbles lost (in a good way). They don’t give up the ball much via fumble. That explains why the interception part of the equation is so horrific. For the Huskers to give up more points than they gain via turnover when so much luck is on their side...I give up and want this season to be done.

Stanley Morgan March Toward 1000 Updater

Mea culpa. Last week I called a 1000 yard season ‘unlikely’ as Stanley needed over 270 yards to reach that mark with two games to go, both against stingy defenses. Well, he went out and earned 185 yards against the Nittany Lions, putting him squarely back in the hunt to become the first 1000 yard receiver in Husker history.

Number: 912

Stanley Morgan has become only the 4th receiver in Husker history to break the 900 yards/season mark. He needs 30 yards against Iowa to tie Johnny Rodgers’ 1972 season total.

The only 900+ receiving yard seasons in Husker history are:

1. Johnny Rodgers - 942 (1972)

2. Nate Swift - 941 (2003)

3. Jordan Westerkamp - 918 yards (2015)

4. Stanley Morgan, Jr. - 912 and counting (2017)

#8 needs 88 yards against Iowa to reach 1000 yards in 2017.

Spielman Alert

J.D. Spielman sits at 830 yards receiving this season after accumulating 96 yards against the Nittany Lions. This makes Morgan and Spielman the first Husker receiving duo to ever both reach 800+ yards in the same season. JD was hurt in the Penn State game but played through it for quite a while. I am unsure if that will cause any problems for his availability or expected workload against Iowa.

He improved upon his unofficial freshman receiving yardage record, bettering the 641 yards posted by Nate Swift in 2005.

Not only have zero Husker receivers ever reached 1000 yards, and only four attained 900+ yards, only four more have ever achieved 800-899 yards in a season. Those include:

5. Johnny Rodgers - 872 (1971)

6. Kenny Bell - 863 (2012)

7. JD Spielman - 830 and counting (2017)

8. Maurice Purify - 814 (2007)

Niles Paul came close to this achievement with 796 yards in 2009.