Inside the Big Ten Numbers Week Three
We take a look at some Iowa football statistics through three games and there are several numbers I would not have predicted one month ago. Now, realize that stats through three weeks only begin to tell stories. They are very incomplete and really take shape midway through October. But it’s football talk, so we’ll take it.
RANKING AMONGST BIG TEN TEAMS
SCORING OFFENSE: Michigan State, Iowa and Wisconsin are 10th, 11th and 12th in the league
TOTAL OFFENSE: Iowa is 11th and Wisconsin is 12th
SCORING DEFENSE: Iowa is 2nd, behind Michigan State. Not surprised by the latter but am by the former. Nebraska’s scoring defense is 11th and Michigan’s is 12th and I am surprised by both.
TOUCHDOWNS SCORE: Iowa has four and Wisconsin has five, everyone else with at least seven
TOTAL DEFENSE: Iowa is 4th in this category, which really surprises me. I am also surprised to see Ohio State 9th, Penn State 10th and Nebraska 11th.
RUSHING OFFENSE: MSU is 9th, Iowa 10th and Wisconsin 11th. All three surprise me to some degree, but MSU and Wisconsin REALLY surprise me. Both are having OL issues with Wisconsin’s OL issues seeming least likely to get corrected this year. Iowa and MSU will keep climbing the ladder.
RUSHING DEFENSE: Penn State is 10th, Michigan is 11th and Nebraska is 12th. Michigan has played Alabama, so these stats can be misleading a bit. However Nebraska was abused at UCLA by a very young Bruins offense and Penn State’s calling card in recent years has been defense, and they have been exposed by the likes of Ohio and Virginia. Penn State is also last in Pass Efficiency Defense; that’s a deadly duo.
NET PUNTING: Iowa is 11th in this category which is not a surprise given they are starting a true freshman. However, Conor Korbrath has done a solid job this season on 13 attempts. I was surprised to see that Iowa’s 14 punts was no where near tops in the league. Wisconsin has punted 20 times through three games, which is a pace for 80 punts. That’s real, real bad. In 2011, Wisconsin punted 48 times in 14 games last year and 39 punts in 13 games in 2010. Illinois and Ohio Stat have punted 17 times this year.
FIRST DOWNS: The only thing of note for me was that Indiana is averaging nearly 30 first downs per game, but 14 of their first downs have come by penalty. The next nearest Big Ten team in that category is Northwestern with six.
REDZONE TOUCHDOWN PERCENTAGE: Iowa has had 12 trips to the redzone and just three touchdowns. That’s a 25% touchdown percentage in the redzone, which is worst in the Big Ten. Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Penn State and Michigan have fewer redzone trips than Iowa, which is surprising. Now, if you score from 21 yards out, that doesn’t factor into these numbers. Purdue has 13 trips to the redzone with 12 touchdowns.
TACKLES: Anthony Hitchens is #1 in the Big Ten with 12.3 tackles per game. James Morris is 5th.