Improving on both sides of the ball is difficult to do
0-6 vs 4-2. A team can’t show a net improvement of 4 wins from the first half to the second half of a season without improving in nearly every aspect of the game. What Husker fans should know about the way that Nebraska improved is how unlikely it was.
Considering only scoring offense and scoring defense, a team can improve on both, one or the other, or it can get worse on both. Only about 20% of teams get better on both offense and defense but 38% get worse on both. There are a number of possible reasons for this; with the second half of the season typically being more difficult a primary reason.
From 2007 to 2018 Nebraska improved on scoring offense and scoring defense only once. That was this year. This chart shows the scoring offense and defense of each season half since 2007. The upper right quadrant (Q1) is above average for both, with the lower left (Q3) below average for both. The only second half of a season to lie in Q1 is 2018.