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Numbers, Statistics & Lies: Iowa Edition

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A little bit about Iowa, a lot about the accomplishments of the 2018 season.

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska finally has its first 1000 yard (season) receiver. Devine Ozigbo became the 36th Husker player to record 1000 yards rushing in a season, but no Husker before Stanley Morgan, Jr. has ever caught the ball to the tune of quadruple digits. I guess we know why there’s so many #RunTheDangBall people in Nebraska.

To expand, not only is Stanley the first 1000 yard receiver, but only four Huskers have even recorded 900 yards receiving in a single season. One of those is Morgan (986; 2017). The others are Johnny Rodgers (942; 1972), Nate Swift (941; 2008) and Jordan Westerkamp (918; 2015). I couldn’t even find where the Husker record book listed 900 yard rushing seasons. I’m guessing there would be a pile of them.

Numbers of Note: Iowa

  • The Hawkeyes averaged 5.9 yards/carry every time they rushed. They averaged 5.5 yards/attempt every time Nate Stanley dropped back to pass.
  • The Huskers average starting field position was at their own 20 yard line. The Hawkeyes started, on average, from their 32 yard line. In a game that came down to a last-second field goal, field position looms large. It was a theme throughout the season and one that I’m sure the coaches will pay attention to for 2019. Cough * special teams * Cough.

Color-Coded Pile of Numbers

I added fumbles lost (offense) and fumbled recovered (defense) to the color coded pile.

2017’s Color Coded Pile

Here is the tale of a different 4-8 season. The Husker offense was ahead of the defense last year too but both units took steps forward in 2018. I fully expect it to be at least two more seasons before we will probably see an above average defense.

Statistical Accomplishments in 2018

How about that quarterback?

Adrian Martinez notched his name prominently in a number of areas of Husker record book-dom (not really a word.)

  • 2,617 passing yards (season) ranks 8th all time among Husker quarterbacks and set a freshman record
  • 224 completions (season) ranks 6th all time - also a freshman record
  • a 64.6% completion percent (minimum 150 attempts; season) ranks SECOND all time (guess what, it is also a freshman record.) Joe Ganz (2008; 67.9%) holds this record.
  • 17 passing touchdowns (season) is tied for 10th all time. Fun fact, Tanner Lee (2017; 23) ranks third.

Pro Tip: If you ever involved in a trivia game or making an appearance on Jeopardy in which Husker quarterback season records are a category, guessing Joe Ganz or Zac Taylor (usually in that order) will often give you the right answer as to the top two names on most categories.

  • 3,246 yards of total offense ranks 5th all time (season) — yet another freshman record.
  • Seven games with 300 yards of total offense breaks Ganz’ and Tommy Armstrong’s record (6).
  • Three games with 400 yards of total offense tied Ganz’ 2008 record

From the Punting Is Winning department

  • Isaac Armstrong’s, err Leg-strong’s, 43.63 yard average ranks ninth all-time among Husker punters. Topping the list is Sam Koch (2005) with 46.51 yards.

The defense has a star in the making

  • Sophomore Dicaprio Bootle broke up 15 passes this season. This puts him into a tie for second. The all-time season leader is DeJuan Groce with 17 (2000). Others tied with Bootle include Ralph Brown (1999) and Fabian Washington (2004). Not bad company...

#RUNTHEMDAMNBALL

  • Devine Ozigbo’s eye-popping 6.98 yards/carry average this season only finishes in 7th place among Husker I-backs. Those ahead of Ziggy are #1, Mike Rozier (1983; 7.81 ypc), Ahman Green (1995; 7.70), Keith Jones (1987; 7.25), Calvin Jones (1992; 7.2), Jarvis Redwine (1980, 7.17; 1979, 7.04).
  • Devine Ozigbo posted this impressive ypc while NOT FUMBLING A SINGLE TIME this season. There isn’t a nice line anywhere in the stats where I can find out if any of the other legendary Husker I-backs fumbled in their record-setting seasons. I would have had to pore through individual game stats. Sorry, I didn’t have time to do that today (but might this offseason.)

The Morgan and Spielman show

  • Stanley holds the #1 and #2 spots on the season receiving yards list at Nebraska (1004 in 2018; 986 in 2017). Sophomore JD Spielman sits at #8 and #9 (818; 2018) and (830; 2017).
  • Morgan’s 70 receptions are the 2nd most in a season by a Husker and the most by a wide receiver. Spielman’s 66 receptions rank 3rd all-time and #2 by a wide receiver. The season record for receptions by a Husker was by running back Marlon Lucky with 75 in 2007.

Career records standings for 2018 players will be coming in the NSL editions through December (along with lots of graphs.)