Thursday, October 13, 2011

Statistically Speaking: Boilermaker Edition

Here are the NCAA stats for Penn State and Purdue:

NCAA Stats Comparison
Category:Penn St.Purdue
Passing Offense8293
Total Offense8150
Scoring Offense9342
Rushing Defense1759
Turnovers Gained1599
Passes Had Intercepted606
Pass Defense532
Net Punting1026
Punt Returns7949
Kickoff Returns9234
Turnover Margin3643
Fumbles Recovered2478
Passes Intercepted1392
Fumbles Lost8311
Turnovers Lost845
Passing Efficiency10174
Pass Efficiency Defense433
Total Defense436
Scoring Defense530
Fewest Penalties Per Game30113
Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game33114
Punt Return Yardage Defense6355
Kickoff Return Yardage Defense54113
Offense Third-down Efficiency7750
Offense Fourth-down Efficiency522
Defense Third-down Efficiency3549
Defense Fourth-down Efficiency10071
Tackles for Loss2244
Offense Tackles for Loss899
Pass Sacks42107
Pass Sacks Allowed19100
Time of Possession3951
First Downs7434
First Downs Allowed767
Red Zone Efficiency9537
Red Zone Efficiency - Defense119106
Average NCAA Rank:50.1457.41
Weighted Avg. Rank:48.5843.17

The stats this week show an interesting reversal.  When you just look at the straight up average NCAA rank (add each rank for each category and then divide by the number of categories) Penn State ranks better than Purdue.  But when you look at the weighted ranking (i.e. give more weight to categories like total offense, total defense, and less emphasis on first downs allowed or yards penalized per game) and Purdue actually appears to have the edge.

Our ranking is inflated by the uniformly bad numbers on the offensive side of the ball.  Purdue is simply an average team--neither offense or defense is outstanding.  The Boilers are good at net punting (6th), passes had intercepted (6th) and turnovers lost (5th.)  They are ranked 11th in the country in fumbles lost, and after that, most of their rankings are above 25.

On the other side of the ball, Penn State is ranked in the top 25 (if not the top 10) in practically every defensive category except for red zone defense.  Fortunately for us, Purdue is almost as bad in red zone defense, so maybe we have a chance of scoring some TDs this week.

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