clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Silver Linings or How Nebraska Learned to Stop Worrying and Run the Damn Ball

Colorado v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

There was a lot to love and a lot to be concerned about after the Huskers 33-28 loss to the Buffs on Saturday. To me, one stat seemed WAAYY out of “the Westboro Baptist Church Youth Choir at a gay bar” out of place.

Nebraska rushed for 329 yards. I have play by play data on 159 Nebraska games since 2006 and Nebraska has rushed for more than 329 yards only 13 times. It won all of those games. In fact, prior to Saturday Nebraska’s previous highest rushing total in a loss was 282 yards versus Wisconsin in 2012.

Tom Osborne used to say that if they (Nebraska) could rush for 300 yards they would have a chance of winning of greater than 99%. The actual probability of win isn’t quite that high, but it’s very high nonetheless.

Since 2006, there have been 1700 games of 300 yards rushing in all of college football. 87% of the those were by winning teams. Dr. Tom was close. 300 yards rushing is a very difficult stat to achieve (less than 8.4% of stat lines reach it) but when it does appear it almost always points to a win.

When faced with an unlikely event that nevertheless occurred the question has to be asked ‘why?”. In the case of Saturday it was two turnovers that spotted Colorado a 14-point lead and one really poorly timed penalty. But those don’t change the fact that NU cranked out a rushing total that should have resulted in a win almost 9 times out of 10. Nebraska clearly has the tools to run the football this season, and that alone should give hope to Husker Nation.