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Numbers, Statistics and Lies: Northern Illinois Edition

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The one we proclaim that a defensive identity has emerged. Bonus - the penalties section is mostly green, really!

NCAA Football: Northern Illinois at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a week makes. A win soothes many frayed nerves. Even though the offense still looked a bit out of sorts, it was light years ahead of the previous two weeks. The passing game for Nebraska has been of the big play sort. If you look at the color-coded pile, the Huskers are middling in terms of yards/game passing, but are #14 in all of major college football in terms of yards/completion. The rush offense is finally seeing a bit of life, but seems to be feast or famine to my eyes. I’ll do a little digging and see if SBNation can get me some analysis on yards/carry and how the Huskers compare for next week.

The defense has shown us largely the same thing each week thus far. I think it is safe to say, the 2019 Blackshirts are developing an identity. The rush defense has been stout (but we may not know how stout until the Buckeyes come to town) and the defense as a whole has been opportunistic. They are getting sacks, tackles for loss and forcing turnovers. They are giving up a lot of yards in the pass game, but if you look at pass efficiency defense, you can see that looks better. The pass efficiency formula counts more than yards, but also includes turnovers, passing touchdowns and completions. The interceptions have helped mitigate the yardage yielded.

Special teams still has a surprising amount of green - mostly because I haven’t added the blocked kicks allowed stat. There, the Huskers have allowed four - ranking them #130 in all of FBS (yes - that is dead last).

TAKE A LOOK AT THE PENALTIES (bottom of the color-coded pile). We can haz green!!

Flashback - 2018 Huskers After Three Games (Week 4)

Feel better now?

Only Because I Love All of You

I giphy’d the first three weeks of the color-coded pile from 2019. Don’t get used to this luxury. It might reappear every few weeks, but not likely every week.

Illinois Color-Coded Pile of Numbers

To be honest, I expected a little more red. Illinois had a very convincing win in Week 1 vs Akron and then squeezed by a bad Connecticut team by 8 points in Week 2. The Illini then fell to Eastern Michigan in Week 3.

Both the Huskers and Illini defenses have largely kept opponents in check when it comes to running the ball, but both teams give up yards through the air. Thus far Illinois’ opponents have scored 100% of the time when they reach the end zone. Muhahahaha!

The Illini defense seems to be as opportunistic as Nebraska’s. They like to force turnovers, get after the quarterback and have racked up tackles for loss. For a Husker offense that likes to cough the ball up, this could be trouble.

So, what do you see in the color-coded piles (for Nebraska or Illinois)? Let me know in the comments!