clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Numbers, Statistics and Lies: Ohio State Edition

It was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day for Nebraska. But you already knew that.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a week makes.

The Huskers had a loud primetime crowd and a houseful of recruits. Ohio State kindly allowed the Nebraska offense to have the ball first as they deferred their choice to the second half.

In the first half, the Husker offense got seven possessions. Three of the first four ended in interceptions. The drive chart listed interception, punt, interception, interception, punt, punt, punt. One of those possessions was two plays and lasted nine seconds.

We could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

On defense, things were not any better. The Buckeyes took their seven first half possessions and turned them into touchdown, touchdown, field goal, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, end of half. Two of those touchdown scoring drives lasted less than a minute.

We could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

The Huskers got three possessions in the second half. Those ended in punt, touchdown (against the backups), turnover on downs. The average starting field position for Nebraska was at their own 20 while OSU started (on average) at their own 32.

We could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Maybe we could move to a state with a beach. I hear things are a lot more fun there.

Nebraska only gained 231 yard total offense in the game. 184 of those were rush yards. Eight completions out of 17 attempts with three interceptions leads to a stat line in which the Huskers averaged 2.8 yards/attempted pass and 5.9 yards/completion. The only stat line in which the Husker offense had really excelled up to this point of the season was that they were an explosive passing offense averaging over 15 yards/completion.

We could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

We interrupt this sad story to bring you the color-coded pile of numbers.

The sad story continues.

The Buckeyes made it to the red zone eight times. They scored all eight times. They were 10 of 13 on third down conversions while Nebraska was 4 of 12. OSU was penalized twice for 25 yards while Nebraska (again) “won” the penalty battle with six for 57 yards. The power “I” and trap plays in the second quarter were small comfort to Husker fans.

They reminded us of bowl games past in states with beaches. We’re going to move to a state with a beach.

Only three wide receivers caught a pass and totaled 20 yards between the three of them. That is not a winning formula. The defense managed six tackles for loss and four sacks. Unfortunately the Buckeyes countered with 11 tackles for loss and three sacks of their own.

We could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Even in states with beaches.

At least we’re not Rutgers.

Opponent Color-Coded Pile of Numbers

You realize that despite that tantalizing amount of red that represents the Northwestern offense, it means nothing. When the Huskers and Wildcats play, it is a slog, a dogfight, a battle to the very last play no matter what? Let up on one play somewhere and that could be the play that makes the difference.

Northwestern tends to start slow every season and despite their poor offensive numbers, the Huskers oblige them with career days for whichever struggling quarterback they put under center or running back who just hasn’t found his footing early in the season.

If this game comes down to letting up on one play somewhere, which team do you think is more likely to make that mistake?

Don’t trust the lies these red offensive numbers are telling you. All stats go out the window in the annual battle for NU.

What do you see in the numbers Corn Nation?

Your thoughts on the upcoming game vs the Wildcats?