Thursday, October 6, 2011

Statistically Speaking: Hawkeye Pierce Edition

Here are the NCAA stats for Penn State and Iowa:

NCAA Stats Comparison
Category:Penn St.Iowa
Passing Offense6628
Total Offense8045
Scoring Offense9221
Rushing Defense2452
Turnovers Gained2157
Passes Had Intercepted522
Pass Defense689
Net Punting944
Punt Returns8356
Kickoff Returns7348
Turnover Margin5116
Fumbles Recovered2542
Passes Intercepted2255
Fumbles Lost9628
Turnovers Lost948
Passing Efficiency10329
Pass Efficiency Defense887
Total Defense573
Scoring Defense753
Fewest Penalties Per Game3517
Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game3310
Punt Return Yardage Defense7533
Kickoff Return Yardage Defense58101
Offense Third-down Efficiency7245
Offense Fourth-down Efficiency722
Defense Third-down Efficiency24104
Defense Fourth-down Efficiency11677
Tackles for Loss1383
Offense Tackles for Loss113
Pass Sacks7853
Pass Sacks Allowed2037
Time of Possession5063
First Downs7324
First Downs Allowed889
Red Zone Efficiency9512
Red Zone Efficiency - Defense11515
Average NCAA Rank:52.5944.59
Weighted Avg. Rank:49.7547.17

Despite being a 4-point underdog, the Hawkeyes are slightly better than PSU with probably a slightly worse schedule, since they haven't faced a team like Alabama, and they lost to unranked Iowa State.  They are a better passing team, but our pass defense probably negates that advantage.

Defensively, the Hawkeyes had better hope that we continue to put the ball on the ground or throw interceptions.  This is shaping up to be a low scoring affair, but if the Lions can stop shooting themselves in the paws and figure out how to score points in the red zone, this game might not be that close. 

Am I drinking the Kool Aid again?  You bet.  Seriously--this Hawkeye team is not as good as the team that has given us fits recently.  We may actually have more talent, particularly defensively--than Iowa.  But Ferentz seems to have our number, so until I actually see the win, I'm not betting anything on this game.

Let's revisit my preseason prediction:
Prediction: For the sake of my sanity and all that is holy, PENN STATE MUST WIN THIS GAME. This Iowa team will probably be no weaker in the near future than they are this season. We must strike while the oven is hot and pop the corn while we can. The game will be close because for the life of me, there isn't enough Kool Aid in the world to make me think we could defeat these guys. I know how the Buffalo Bills feel about Super Bowls. It defies all explanation. I'd rather have corn stuck in my teeth for the next year than lose another game to Iowa.

Hmm.  Not very confident was I?  Still am not.  Not much has changed in old Happy Valley.  But if the oddsmakers think we got a chance, then I can Haz Win.
Penn State 17-Iowa 9. 
You might as well mark it down because there is no way in hell I could be right on this.  You can laugh about it afterwards.  It's okay.  I'm used to it.

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