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Study Hall: Wisconsin 59, Nebraska 24

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

From Matt Mills:

Win probability under 25% in the second quarter, near 100% midway through the third. Happens all the time. Sure.

Wisconsin 59, Nebraska 24

Confused? Visit the Advanced Stats glossary here.

Basics Nebraska Wisconsin Nat'l Avg
Total Plays 64 67
Close Rate (non-garbage time) 77.1%
Avg Starting FP 40.6 30.4 29.9
Possessions 17 18
Scoring Opportunities*
5 9
Points Per Opportunity 4.80 6.56 4.67
Leverage Rate** 60.9% 53.7% 68.2%
Close S&P*** 0.432 0.735 0.505
* A scoring opportunity occurs when an offense gets a first down inside the opponent's 40 (or scores from outside the 40).
** Leverage Rate = Standard Downs / (Standard Downs + Passing Downs)
*** When using IsoPPP, the S&P formula is (0.8*Success Rate) + (0.2*IsoPPP)
EqPts (what's this?) Nebraska Wisconsin
Total 13.6 47.4
Rushing 10.2 44.0
Passing 3.4 3.4
Success Rate (what's this?) Nebraska Wisconsin Nat'l Avg
All (close) 40.4% 57.1% 41.8%
Rushing (close) 52.9% 63.2% 43.4%
Passing (close) 16.7% 36.4% 40.2%
Standard Downs 43.6% 63.9% 47.1%
Passing Downs 30.8% 38.5% 30.5%
IsoPPP (what's this?) Nebraska Wisconsin Nat'l Avg
All (close) 0.55 1.39 0.85
Rushing (close) 0.47 1.47 0.74
Passing (close) 1.00 0.86 0.98
Standard Downs 0.56 1.29 0.77
Passing Downs 0.49 1.81 1.14
Line Stats Nebraska Wisconsin Nat'l Avg
Line Yards/Carry (what's this?) 3.06 4.51 2.92
Std. Downs Sack Rt. 22.2% 0.0% 4.7%
Pass. Downs Sack Rt. 11.1% 20.0% 7.5%
Turnovers Nebraska Wisconsin
Turnovers 5 4
Turnover Points (what's this?) 17.5 18.4
Turnover Margin Wisconsin +1
Exp. TO Margin Wisconsin +0.66
TO Luck (Margin vs. Exp. Margin) Wisconsin +0.34
TO Points Margin Nebraska +0.9 points
Situational Nebraska Wisconsin
Q1 S&P 0.622 0.420
Q2 S&P 0.340 0.826
Q3 S&P 0.297 0.928
Q4 S&P 0.454 0.532
1st Down S&P 0.487 0.709
2nd Down S&P 0.370 0.756
3rd Down S&P 0.247 0.454
Projected Scoring Margin: Wisconsin by 33.0
Actual Scoring Margin: Wisconsin by 35

In last week's preview, I said this about Nebraska's run defense:

The Husker defense ranks just 48th in Rushing S&P+. Nebraska has a top-notch pass defense, but that only matters so much against a Wisconsin team that really doesn't want to pass. The Badgers have run the ball 68 percent of the time on standard downs (20th in the country) and 47 percent on passing downs (ninth).

Whether the quarterback is Joel Stave or Tanner McEvoy, Wisconsin's success will be derived from how well the Badgers move on the ground.

Nebraska's season rush defense numbers aren't great, but the Huskers have had their moments. Northwestern's Justin Jackson and Illinois' Josh Ferguson combined for 189 yards on 33 carries (5.7 per carry), and Miami star Duke Johnson had 93 on 18 (5.2), but Purdue's Akeem Hunt, Rutgers' Justin Goodwin and Desmon Peoples, and Michigan State's Jeremy Langford totaled just 240 on 75 (3.2).

The more the run is a focus of your offense, it seems, the better Nebraska performs. But performing well against Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement could mean allowing six yards per carry.

Now, to their credit, the Huskers did allow only 4.4 yards per carry to Corey Clement. That may have been undone just a tad by Melvin Gordon rushing 25 times for 408 yards.

The best/worst part of this game: if Nebraska's offense had been allowed to succeed after the first quarter, and if Nebraska had been able to score enough points to keep Gordon in the game (instead of checking out after three quarters), Gordon might have reached 500 yards. Third-stringer Dare Ogunbowale, after all, carried 10 times for 62 yards. Give those carries to Gordon (and add a "He's Melvin F***ing Gordon" bump), and you get awfully close to getting into the 500-yard range.

Against a defense that held Jeremy Langford to 3.2 yards per carry.