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B1G Numbers: Wisconsin Owns Nebraska, Sparty Owns Michigan, You Have Homework

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The numbers are beginning to tell the story every week in the Big Ten.

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Whether it was on social media, at work or around my house as my wife and kids gave me strange looks, I was calling this past weekend of Big Ten football “Who Are You?” week.

It turned out to be just that.

I feel like this past weekend of Big Ten football told us exactly who and what each Big Ten team was, is and will be going forward in 2017. Rutgers didn’t play, but I’m not sure how much more we need to learn about them anyway.

As always, the weekend yielded or added to some interesting numbers pertaining some Big Ten teams.

Here’s what I pulled after Saturday’s games:

One

This is the number of quarterbacks in the Big Ten who have thrown more touchdown passes than Iowa’s Nathan Stanley this season. Stanley has tossed 15, and only J.T. Barrett has thrown more — 16.

Additionally, Barrett is also the only regular starter all season in the Big Ten to throw fewer interceptions than Stanley. Barrett has thrown one, while Stanley has thrown two.

If makes me think back to the questions surrounding the position we had coming out of the Spring game. If I were to give you those numbers after that outing and tell you that Iowa would be 4-2 at midseason, I’m guessing upwards of 90 percent of you would have gladly taken it.

Four

This is the number of pick sixes Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee has thrown this season. He tossed another one against Wisconsin on the very first drive of the game. It wasn’t totally his fault, but count it. We here at BHGP are big fans of watching Lee toss touchdowns to the other team, and we look forward to watching it continue throughout the season.

On the positive side for Lee, he is no longer the nation’s leader in interceptions thrown. His ten picks are now good enough for only second place nationally.

723

This is how many rushing yards Wisconsin has piled up against Nebraska since Mike Riley took over. For those without a calculator or who went to Iowa State, that’s 241 yards a game. The single game total has increased each year under Riley’s watch. On Saturday, the Badgers went for 353 yards on the ground. This was against a Bob Diaco 3-4 defense supposedly designed to prevent such an outcome. Once Paul Chryst figured out that Nebraska was simply not equipped to stop the run, the Badgers ran the ball on 30 of their last 32 plays to pull away and put the game away.

3

This is how many passes Maryland completed against Ohio State. That’s not a misprint. That’s not in one quarter. Four quarters. Sixty minutes of football. Three completed passes.

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT: Someone go back and research the last time a Big Ten teams completed three or fewer passes in a football game. Post your findings in the comment section.

210

This is how many points Ohio State has scored since losing to Oklahoma. That’s 52.5 points per outing. Sure, the competition during that stretch hasn’t been the most formidable, but the Buckeyes are taking care of business and showing no mercy in doing so. It seems like that early season loss has lit a competitive fire under Urban Meyer’s team. It also seems like we’ve seen this movie before, and it doesn’t end well for anyone outside of Columbus.

One

With Saturday’s 14-10 loss to Sparty, this is how many wins Jim Harbaugh has over Michigan State and Ohio State combined since he arrived in Ann Arbor. He was not only hired to resurrect Michigan football, but to specifically win THOSE games. Odds are, after three seasons, his record against the two schools will be 1-5 unless his team can upset the red-hot Buckeyes to cap off the season.

Now let’s not just pile onto Jim Harbaugh. He may only be 1-2 against Michigan State, but it is also worth noting that the Wolverines have lost eight of their last ten games against the Spartans. It’s been a long time since Michigan State was Michigan’s little brother.