We saw a lot of interesting results in Big Ten play over the weekend. Some were surprising, some were not. Peeling back the layers of those results, however, you’ll find numbers that tell a huge part of the story. Numbers never lie, and this past weekend, they spoke volumes.
Unfortunately, we start with Iowa. This is the number of rushing yards the Hawkeyes had against Michigan State. Some of you travel a greater distance than that just by getting up off your couch and walking out into the garage to punch holes in your walls after Iowa rushes for only 19 yards in a game. It wasn’t great, and both the players and coaches are to blame.
All of that said, I heard something interesting on the radio the other day. Someone asked if Notre Dame’s one-point loss to Georgia was the best loss of the college football season so far. It may be. And if that’s the case, Notre Dame went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the nation. Maybe Notre Dame IS one of the best teams in the nation. The Irish are the only team that has been able to hand Michigan State a loss this season.
Maybe we we’ve all been sleeping on Michigan State this year. I’m ready to admit my guilt on that front.
This is how many rushing yards Nebraska’s Devine Ozigbo ran for in the Huskers’ 28-6 win over Illinois. It was Ozigbo’s second-straight 100 yard game after logging a grand total of two carries combined in Nebraska’s first three games. It was Ozigbo’s powerful and efficient running style that allowed Nebraska to control the tempo against both Rutgers and Illinois.
I keep getting into “tiffs” on Twitter with Nebraska writers and bloggers who are oddly slow to compliment Ozigbo and quick to “white knight” for Nebraska coach Mike Riley and his decision to not play Ozigbo earlier in the season. It’s a thing, and it’s weird. Anyone outside of the Husker Nation fishbowl can tune into a game and clearly see he is their most effective runner.
For now, we have a trend: Nebraska is 2-0 when Ozigbo runs for 100 yards. Or maybe those wins came against the two worst teams in the Big Ten and I’m overreacting. Time will tell.
This was Maryland’s third-down efficiency in their win over Minnesota. That’s pretty incredible, and more than anything else you’ll see in the box score of that game, it was the reason Maryland was able to hand the Gophers its first loss of the season.
This was the number of sacks Wisconsin had against Northwestern. This was a much closer game than many expected and the first time the Badgers were challenged. Those eight sacks were the difference. Looking forward to this coming weekend, the Badger defense faces a Nebraska squad that wants to toss the ball around. If they can get the same sort of pass rush against the Huskers, you can expect the same result with possibly a larger margin of victory.
That’s how many catches, yards and touchdowns Penn State receiver DaeSean Hamilton had against Indiana. As much attention as Saquon Barkley has received this season, it would be foolish of anyone to believe that Penn State is 100 percent the Saquon Barkley show. Iowa caught the Lions and roped them into playing an Iowa-style game. I’m not sure how many more teams are going to have much luck doing that against Penn State this season. They are one of those teams you talk about that has so many weapons, there’s no possible way to stop them all. Somebody is going to hurt you.