Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, September 11, 2017

Numbers, numbers, numbers. Who doesn?t like some good numbers to broaden their knowledge? BTN research guru Harold Shelton assembles some fascinating stats each week.


And here is one for each team that catches my eye.

7, true freshman starters for Illinois last week vs. Western Kentucky, the most ever to start a game in Fighting Illini annals. Illinois started four true freshmen on offense for the first time ever, including two on the offensive line for the first time. In total, 18 true freshmen played on Saturday in a 20-7 win vs. Western Kentucky.

9, wins in the last 10 non-conference games for the Hoosiers. The only loss came in the third game last season at home against Wake Forest. IU's Week 3 game vs. Florida International was canceled Monday night, but the Hoosiers plan to schedule a home game Oct. 7.

1987, the year Iowa last had a quarterback throw for five touchdowns and 300 yards in a game. Chuck Hartlieb did the honors back then. Nate Stanley chucked five touchdown passes vs. Iowa State last week. Stanley?s eight TD passes in his first two starts are the most by any Iowa QB under Kirk Ferentz.

63, points for the Terrapins last week vs. Towson. It?s the most Maryland has tallied in a game since 1954. And it?s the first time the Terrapins scored 50-plus points in consecutive games since 1951, and it?s the first time they?ve ever opened the season with consecutive 50-point games after hanging 51 on Texas in the opener.

9, consecutive home wins for the Wolverines, which is tied with Penn State for the longest active streak in the Big Ten. They are 7-0 in non-conference home games under Jim Harbaugh, winning by an average of 30.9 points. Michigan plays host to Air Force Saturday.

Michigan State
0, touchdowns allowed by the Spartan defense this season. Last week, Western Michigan scored touchdowns on a fumble return and a kickoff return in a 28-14 MSU victory. In a 35-10 win vs. Bowling Green in the opener, the only touchdown the Spartans allowed came on a fumble return.

2, 60-yard completions this season. The Gophers had two in the previous five year combined. Tyler Johnson caught a 61-yarder for a TD vs. Buffalo in the opener. Last week, he nabbed a 67-yarder for a TD at Oregon State.

1,063, yards allowed by Nebraska in the first two games, vs. Arkansas State and at Oregon. The Cornhuskers also have yielded 78 points and 780 passing yards playing a new 3-4 scheme installed by coordinator Bob Diaco.

54, plays the Wildcats ran last week in a 41-17 loss at Duke. The Blue Devils got off 104 plays. The 538 total yards allowed and the 305 passing yards yielded to Duke were the most NU has allowed in a non-conference game in four years (549 total and 460 passing at Cal). Duke went 15-22 on third down and had the ball for 41 minutes and 18 seconds.

Ohio State
20, points or fewer the Buckeyes have scored in four the last five games in regulation, fresh off a 31-16 home loss to Oklahoma. Ohio State closed out the 2016 season scoring 17 (at Michigan State), 17 (vs. Michigan, before winning 30-27 in 2OT) and 0 (Clemson) points.

Penn State
30, points or more the Nittany Lions have scored in each of the last nine games. That is the third-longest active streak in the nation behind South Florida and Oklahoma. It?s tied for the fifth-longest streak in Big Ten history, as well.

2012, the last year the Boilermakers won consecutive games. In 2012 under Danny Hope, Purdue closed the regular season with three wins in succession. It also was the last time the program played in a bowl.

11, losses in a row for the Scarlet Knights, marking the longest active streak in the nation. That streak ranks in the Top 10 in Big Ten history. There won?t be a better chance to snap that drought than this week when Rutgers plays host to FCS Morgan State.

223, yards rushing for Jonathan Taylor. He became the Badgers? first true freshman to start at running back since Zach Brown in 2007. And Taylor became the fourth true freshman in school history to run for 200 yards in a game, joining Brown, Ron Dayne and Alan Ameche. (Dayne and Ameche won Heisman Trophies.) Taylor also is the first UW true freshman with three rushing touchdowns in a game since James White in 2010.