The Nebraska football team had a couple of big weaknesses but right at the top of the list for 2023 was the offensive line. One stat illustrates why.
One of the biggest issues for the Nebraska football team the last few years has been an offensive line that simply could not get the job done. The offensive line was in fact, so bad that it cost a coach his job when Greg Austin was fired.
Even when Austin was fired and he was replaced by Donovan Raiola, things didn’t get a whole lot better. The line was still a big part of the problem for the Nebraska football team in 2023. There were all kinds of indicators that the unit wasn’t pulling its own weight in 2022. However, there is one stat above all others that indicate why the Huskers offense simply wasn’t effective enough to win more games.
The Twitter account @Statsowar recently posted a graphic that drastically underlined a big problem the Nebraska football offensive line faced last year at the very least. That statistic is “yards before contact per rush.”
It shouldn’t be hard to realize why the statistic is important. When the Nebraska football team ran the ball, they usually had a problem finding a hole.
According to the graphic, the Cornhuskers managed just 1.76 yards per rush before contact. That sounds bad on its own. It means the Nebraska football team was 57th among 69 Power 5 programs in the country.
Nebraska football couldn’t find running room
Interestingly enough, while the Huskers were very bad at running the ball before a defender reached the ball carrier, they weren’t the worst in the conference. Iowa, Michigan State and Northwestern were worse.
The Wildcats in fact, were the worst of any Power 5 team in the country. Of course, Pat Fitzgerald’s crew won just one game last year.
Being at the top of this list doesn’t absolutely guarantee great success. Oklahoma was fourth in the country and suffered through a terrible season. However, TCU and Georgia, who faced off for the national title were in the Top 10.
One thing is clear. A Nebraska football team that is much higher on the list next year is going to have more success in 2023.