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Numbers, Statistics & Lies: Michigan State Edition

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Nebraska football has its first 1000 rusher since 2014 and a few other milestones still to be achieved

Michigan State v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Rock, paper, scissors....rock rock rock! Don’t bring paper or scissors to a Big Ten rock fight. Fortunately, Nebraska brought Barret Pickering.

Most fans assumed that Michigan State’s defense and the weather would slow down the Husker offense. No one imagined that Nebraska’s shaky freshman field goal kicker would carry the day. Barret Pickering has been quietly maturing as the season moved along. No one, save Scott Frost and Co., foresaw the growth spurt he displayed during the fourth quarter of MSU-NU. At a place that calls itself “Kicker U”, Pickering managed to notch his name proudly into the goalposts of Husker history.

As many have pointed out, all the points scored in a 9-6 Husker win were by kickers...on a day when two deceased punters were honored during the pregame ceremonies. Football is often called a ‘game of inches’. From their lofty perview, Foltz and Sadler surely enjoyed this particular game of inches - decided by feet.

Color Coded Pile of Numbers

The red in the defensive section of the pile belies what actually happened on Saturday. The Blackshirts regained their swag. They played the Big Ten-est game of recent memory and were Big Ten-er than their opponent. Yes, that opponent had a bad offense. Yes, that opponent dropped passes. Yes, that opponent couldn’t make the plays when it mattered. That opponent had shown many of those tendencies all season long.

The Nebraska defense took what they were given and decided they wanted more. What they were given wasn’t good enough. They made their opponent question themselves at every turn.

That is what it means to be a Blackshirt.

Day by day.

Which numbers are lying? I don’t care. Bring on Iowa.

March Toward 1000

-Devine Ozigbo put up a very good day against a stingy Spartan rush defense. He gained 74 yards on 18 carries for 4.1 ypc average. This performance took him to 1032 yards on the season - the first 1000 yard rusher at Nebraska since Ameer Abdullah in 2014. Even more eye-popping...Ozigbo has averaged 7.1 yards per carry this season, ranking him #8 in all of FBS. Go crush Iowa and get yourself invited to an NFL training camp Truly Devine!

-JD Spielman did not play against MSU. His season total is 818 yards receiving. He would need 182 yards against Iowa to reach 1000 yards. It seems unlikely, but we are talking about the only guy in Husker history to notch 200 yards receiving in a single game (JD has done it twice.) Count him out at your own peril.

-Stanley Morgan Jr. sits at 923 yards receiving on the season. He needs 64 yards to break his own single season receiving yards record. He needs 77 yards to be the first Husker to tally 1000 yards receiving.

Opponent Color Coded Pile

This is your typical Iowa football team - they excel in rushing offense and punting....wait, what?!?

This Iowa team is well-balanced. While unspectacular, they can attack from anywhere on the field. The Husker offense and defense needs to be at their most-disciplined to keep the Hawkeyes in check.

What else do you see Corn Nation? Let me know in the comments!