Study Hall: Nebraska 24, Michigan State 3

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 29: Defensive back Lance Thorell #23 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers takes the ball away from wide receiver B.J. Cunningham #3 of the Michigan State Spartans during their game at Memorial Stadium October 29, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

It took about three drives for Ivan Maisel to gush "The Blackshirts are back!!" on Twitter. They need to show up more than once in a season to be "back," but ... they certainly showed up on Saturday.

Nebraska 24, Michigan State 3

State Nebraska State Nebraska
Close % 79.7% STANDARD DOWNS
Field Position % 43.9% 42.3% Success Rate 37.9% 37.8%
Leverage % 50.9% 63.4% PPP 0.10 0.17
S&P 0.482 0.545
TOTAL
EqPts 6.6 18.3 PASSING DOWNS
Close Success Rate 26.8% 39.3% Success Rate 14.3% 30.8%
Close PPP 0.06 0.30 PPP 0.13 0.42
Close S&P 0.332 0.695 S&P 0.273 0.723
RUSHING TURNOVERS
EqPts 4.5 13.2 Number 1 1
Close Success Rate 38.1% 38.3% Turnover Pts 5.6 4.7
Close PPP 0.13 0.28 Turnover Pts Margin -1.0 +1.0
Close S&P 0.510 0.665
Line Yards/carry 3.36 2.74 Q1 S&P 0.192 0.706
Q2 S&P 0.323 0.238
PASSING Q3 S&P 0.613 0.967
EqPts 2.1 5.1 Q4 S&P 0.500 0.096
Close Success Rate 15.0% 42.9%
Close PPP 0.00 0.37 1st Down S&P 0.370 0.359
Close S&P 0.145 0.794 2nd Down S&P 0.469 0.795
SD/PD Sack Rate 10.0%/14.3% 0.0% / 16.7% 3rd Down S&P 0.203 0.734
Projected Pt. Margin: Nebraska +12.7 | Actual Pt. Margin: Nebraska +21

Quick glossary (complete with national averages) after the jump.

A Quick Glossary

F/+ Rankings: The official rankings for the college portion of Football Outsiders. They combine my own S&P+ rankings (based on play-by-play data) with Brian Fremeau's drives-based FEI rankings.

Field Position %: The percentage of a team's plays run in their opponent's field position. National average: 43%.

Leverage Rate: A team's ratio of standard downs to passing downs. National average: 68%. Anything over 68% means a team did a good job of avoiding being leveraged into passing downs.

Passing Downs: Second-and-7 or more, third-and-5 or more.

PPP: An explosiveness measure derived from determining the point value of every yard line (based on the expected number of points an offense could expect to score from that yard line) and, therefore, every play of a given game. National average: 0.32.

S&P: Think of this as an OPS (the "On-Base Plus Slugging" baseball measure) for football. The 'S' stands for success rate. The 'P' stands for PPP, an explosiveness measure that stands for EqPts Per Play. S&P is measured for all non-garbage time plays in a given college football game. Plays are counted within the following criteria: when the score is within 28 points in the first quarter, within 24 points in the second quarter, within 21 points in the third quarter, and within 16 points (i.e. two possession) in the fourth quarter. For more about this measure, visit the main S&P+ page at Football Outsiders. National average: 0.747. Standard downs S&P average: 0.787. Passing downs S&P average: 0.636.

Standard Downs: First downs, second-and-6 or less, third-and-4 or less.

Success Rate: A common Football Outsiders tool used to measure efficiency by determining whether every play of a given game was successful or not. The terms of success in college football: 50 percent of necessary yardage on first down, 70 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third and fourth down. National Average: 42%.

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