As you and we prepare for Big Ten Media Days Thursday in Chicago, here are a few numbers from last season to chew on as we hit up coaches and players this week:
273 – Combined tackles of returning Wisconsin linebackers Mike Taylor and Chris Borland.
62.1 – Percentage of pass attempts completed against Iowa’s defense in the last two years. That’s third-worst in the league ahead of Minnesota and Indiana. The Hawkeyes haven’t contended for a league crown in those years as a result.
53 – Put a + in front of it and you have Ohio State’s cumulative turnover margin for the last four seasons. That’s 61 ahead of Nebraska, which clocks in at -8 since the Bo Pelini era began.
45 – Number of sacks last year by Michigan State’s defense. That’s more than double what Nebraska had in 2011. No Big Ten defensive coordinator gambled like Pat Narduzzi in 2011, but the Huskers protected quarterback Taylor Martinez well, giving up just one sack in a 24-3 win. NU sacked MSU quarterback Kirk Cousins four times, by comparison.
43 – Number of sacks given up by Northwestern’s offense. Nebraska tallied just one of them vs. the Wildcats – tying the Huskers with Eastern Illinois and Rice.
44.5 – Brett Maher’s gross punting average. The Nebraska kicker led the Big Ten in that category and field goals made (19).
33.5 – Kickoff return average by Purdue’s Raheem Mostert in 2011. He finished with 837 yards and a touchdown. If there’s one guy likely to buck the trend of taking that touchback at the 25, he’d be the one.
25 – Number of starts by Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez, second in the league behind Michigan’s Denard Robinson.
20 – Rose Bowl appearances by Michigan, which leads all Big Ten teams.
17.8 – Fewer points allowed per game by Michigan’s defense in 2011 compared to 2010, after which the Wolverines hired new defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.
Four – Career number of combined pass attempts and rushes by Nebraska backup quarterback Brion Carnes.
Two – Big Ten teams never to win a Rose Bowl: Indiana and Nebraska.
1.7 – Fewer points per game scored by Nebraska’s offense in 2011 compared to 2010, after which the Huskers promoted Tim Beck to offensive coordinator.
One – Big Ten Rose Bowl victory since 2000. Ohio State beat Oregon 26-17.
One – Victory by Duke in 2005 and 2006 combined, when new Penn State coach Bill O’Brien was the Blue Devils’ offensive coordinator.