Friday, October 7, 2011
Did you know? Big Ten in Week 6
By Adam Rittenberg
Some notes and nuggets from ESPN Stats & Information and other sources to make you smarter as you head out to the games this weekend.
- Nebraska is 6-0 against opponents from automatic-qualifying conferences when quarterback Taylor Martinez completes better than 40 percent of his throws of 15 yards or longer, and 0-5 when he does not. Martinez has thrown four touchdowns and no interceptions in the six wins and no touchdowns and five picks in the five losses.
- Ohio State has allowed seven touchdown drives of two minutes or less since the start of last season, the third fewest total in the FBS. Nebraska has 24 touchdown drives of three plays or less since the start of last season, the second most in the FBS.
- The Illinois defense has forced at least one turnover in 20 consecutive games, dating back to a Nov. 14, 2009, game against Northwestern. The streak was extended on the final play of last week's Northwestern game when defensive end Whitney Mercilus fell on the Wildcats' last-ditch lateral attempt.
- Indiana has outscored its opponents 59-24 in the fourth quarter this season. The Hoosiers also have a 31-10 edge in first-quarter scoring, but they've been outscored 51-16 in the second quarter.
- Iowa is 7-4 in games played at Penn State, with wins in five of the last six played in Beaver Stadium. The visiting team has won 14 of the 23 meetings in the Iowa-Penn State series.
- Nebraska's Martinez remains a big-play threat with his feet. Since the start of last season, he has 18 rushes of 25 yards or more, including nine touchdowns. Both totals are tied for the most in the FBS. The Cornhuskers are 9-0 when Martinez has at least one run of 25-plus yards.
- Michigan has produced 26 plays of 20 or more yards in its first five games: three vs. Western Michigan, seven vs. Notre Dame (from five different players), five vs. Eastern Michigan, five vs. San Diego State and six vs. Minnesota.
- Minnesota ranked dead last in the FBS (No. 120) in sacks during the 2010 season, tallying just nine. The Gophers have failed to record a sack in three of five games in 2011. The Gophers have gone without a sack in nine of their last 17 games.
- Northwestern ranks second nationally in fewest turnovers lost with two. (Stanford is the only FBS team with exactly one turnover.) The Wildcats are among 16 FBS teams in the country that have thrown one or fewer interceptions this season and also had not lost a fumble until the final play of the game at Illinois.
- Should Caleb TerBush start at quarterback for Purdue on Saturday, it would mark the first time since 2009 that a Boilermaker signal-caller makes five straight starts. Joey Elliott started every game in the 2009 season.
- Penn State has held four of its five opponents to 10 points or fewer for the first time since 1996. Penn State is ranked No. 7 in the nation in scoring defense (12 ppg). Penn State is fifth nationally in total defense (250.4 ypg), sixth in pass defense (155.4 ypg) and eighth in pass efficiency defense (91.88).