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B1G Numbers: Tanner Lee and the Art of Turnovers

We are starting to see some patterns in Big Ten play.

Rutgers v Nebraska
If actual games were played in t-shirts and shorts, Tanner Lee might win the Heisman.
Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Welcome to another edition of B1G Numbers here at BHGP! Wow, what an incredible week of college football! There were some very entertaining games, the very best of which was played Saturday night in Iowa City. In addition to some great games, we continued to learn more about several B1G teams, including who might be for real and who might have a tough time as the season progresses.

Here are some relevant B1G numbers:


This is how many interceptions Nebraska’s hot mess of a quarterback, Tanner Lee, tossed against the mighty Scarlet Knights of Rutgers on Saturday. One of those two interceptions was a pick-six that gave Rutgers the lead early in the second half and earned Lee a chorus of boos from his fellow students. Lee continues to dominate the nation in the category, logging nine picks so far on the year. As one local Nebraska radio host said on the air after the game, “Looking back at how we talked about him over the summer, a lot of us should be embarrassed.” I agree.


This is how many Big Ten teams there are with losing records heading into the fifth week of the college football season. Not bad, boys. Not bad at all. Rutgers earned this title with its loss to Nebraska this weekend in a slobber-knocker of futility — a true showcase of two of the worst Power-5 teams in the nation.


This is the combined number of rushing and receiving yards Saquon Barkley racked up against the Hawkeyes on Saturday. Now that the loss has settled in, we can look back and appreciate just how good this guy is. They say one man does not make a team, but its tough to imagine the Nittany Lions winning that game without Barkley on the field. If there’s a better player in the country, I haven’t seen him.


This is how many yards per carry Maryland running back Ty Johnson was held to by the Central Florida defense in the Terrapins’ 38-10 loss to the Knights. This is significant, as Johnson had been averaging basically a first down per touch heading into this game. The Big Ten coaches who face Maryland this year might wanna pick up the phone to pick Central Florida head coach Scott Frost’s brain. Or maybe just watch the film.


This is the number of turnovers Michigan State had against Notre Dame. Everybody knows it’s tough to win when you lose the turnover battle, but this was a textbook case of that cliché. Michigan State led in offensive yards and time of possession, but thanks in large part to the three gift-wrapped possessions they gave the Irish, they got rolled by 20 points. Gotta take care of the ball.


This is how many tackles for loss the Iowa defense had against Penn State. There are no moral victories, but the Hawkeyes gave one of the most explosive offenses in the country all it could handle. Josey Jewell and A.J. Epenesa wowed the entire country, and the Hawkeyes came away looking like they could go blow-for-blow with anyone.


This is how many yards per game the Michigan defense is currently allowing. They held Purdue’s explosive offense to just ten points, 189 yards and eight first downs on the day. I don’t know how much the offense the Wolverines need to must to be a national title contender. Honestly, this team is starting to look like some of Nick Saban’s more offensively challenged Alabama teams that still went on to win or play for the national championship.