Early Look at Nebraska Versus Minnesota
Nebraska heads into a bye week while Minnesota prepares to head to Evanston to face Northwestern. That contest against the Wildcats might change the way we look at the Golden Gophers. For now, we can compare how the two teams look with their regular season halfway done.
As you’d imagine, Nebraska has the advantage in most of the offensive categories. Minnesota has been more efficient in the red zone, converting fourth downs, and avoiding tackles for losses. They are also one of the least penalized teams in the country.
The Golden Gophers have allowed fewer rushing yards and fewer total yards, and been more successful at denying their opponents points in the red zone. They’ve been fairly good at putting their opponents behind schedule on first down as well.
Minnesota has also been stronger in the return game. They’ve gotten more yards per kick return and punt return and have done a better job of limiting yards per return both punting and kicking.
In terms of wins and losses, Nebraska’s already played the tougher schedule thus far so if the stats are inflated for any team, it might be Minnesota.
The picture painted by these stats is one where Nebraska might struggle on both sides of the ball in the running game. But NU should be able to be more productive than the Golden Gophers through the air. If the Huskers can continue to be the better team in the turnover department, that may be enough to allow Nebraska to escape with a 10 or 11-point victory.