Thursday, October 22, 2009

By The Numbers: THEM

Here are the NCAA statistics for Penn State and THEM:

NCAA Stats Comparison
Category:Penn St.Michigan
Passing Offense3786
Total Offense1925
Scoring Offense429
Rushing Defense658
Turnovers Gained6868
Passes Had Intercepted6885
Pass Defense1480
Net Punting862
Punt Returns9671
Kickoff Returns11937
Turnover Margin6788
Fumbles Recovered9785
Passes Intercepted3143
Fumbles Lost3966
Turnovers Lost6382
Passing Efficiency3254
Pass Efficiency Defense1238
Total Defense564
Scoring Defense246
Fewest Penalties Per Game930
Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game536
Punt Return Yardage Defense11646
Kickoff Return Yardage Defense8487
Offense Third-down Efficiency344
Offense Fourth-down Efficiency6449
Defense Third-down Efficiency2134
Defense Fourth-down Efficiency456
Tackles for Loss733
Offense Tackles for Loss1088
Pass Sacks1186
Pass Sacks Allowed1649
Time of Possession9114
First Downs1630
First Downs Allowed347
Red Zone Efficiency6778
Red Zone Efficiency - Defense147
Average NCAA Rank:37.1455.38
Weighted Avg. Rank:28.9246.5

The only common opponent for both to date is !*w@. Both teams lost, and both teams had late opportunities to tie/win that went for naught on turnovers. For all the talk about how close this game will be, the NCAA stats are heavily in favor of the Lions. THEM leads significantly in a few categories: net punting, punt return yards, kick-off return yards and kickoff return defense. I hope they lead in punting this week as well, since you don't put points on the board if you are punting! They are also better in offensive fourth down conversions, but that is a rather dubious honor since it implies that the team has had to go for it on fourth enough times to pad those stats. When you look at the actual numbers, as opposed to the rank, you see PSU has a 4th down conversion of 50%. That is four attempts with 2 conversions. But for THEM, they rank higher based on a 56% efficiency--NINE attempts with five converted. That said, I really hope this game doesn't come down to whether they are able to convert a fourth down or not.

Another quirky stat is the time of possession, where THEM ranks 114th in the country. Yet they have the 8th ranked rushing defense. You would think that a team that good at running the ball, would be pretty good at chewing up the clock. Apparently not. But their offense does make good use of its time, being 9th ranked in the nation in scoring. The time of possession skewing is probably a combination of turnovers, poor passing, and poor defense. They can stop the run, but not the pass. PSU averages TOP of 32:57 while THEM averages 27:07, so the actual disparity of those ranks is about 6 minutes--give or take a COUPLE OF SECONDS! We really should not bet atlking about time in Ann Arbor.

I think the key stats for a Penn State win on the road is our rush defense against their rush offense. Force THEM to pass, and we will have a good chance to win. If we can't contain their run game, it could be a long, dreary afternoon.

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