|NCAA Stats Comparison|
|Passes Had Intercepted||48||48||0|
|Pass Efficiency Defense||5||42||37|
|Fewest Penalties Per Game||27||17||-10|
|Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game||31||15||-16|
|Punt Return Yardage Defense||71||53||-18|
|Kickoff Return Yardage Defense||73||100||27|
|Offense Third-down Efficiency||73||13||-60|
|Offense Fourth-down Efficiency||4||118||114|
|Defense Third-down Efficiency||35||18||-17|
|Defense Fourth-down Efficiency||82||82||0|
|Tackles for Loss||25||6||-19|
|Offense Tackles for Loss||5||70||65|
|Pass Sacks Allowed||14||106||92|
|Time of Possession||33||20||-13|
|First Downs Allowed||13||14||1|
|Red Zone Efficiency||87||34||-53|
|Red Zone Efficiency - Defense||117||44||-73|
|Average NCAA Rank:||46.16||51.00||4.84|
|Weighted Avg. Rank:||47.50||43.17||-4.33|
The disparity between the straight up stats and the "weighted" stats, where key categories such as total offense or defense are given more weight than categories like fewest penalties per game, is again apparent this week.
Purdue was better in weighted stats than actual straight stats. Northwestern was worse. Illinois is again better when the stats are weighted. Does that mean anything?
Well, the Illini lost to Purdue, whom we beat, and neither Northwestern or Purdue could win the most points on the scoreboard stat.
But neither of those teams was as close in the defensive categories to Penn State as Illinois is. Pass efficiency defense is the only major defensive category that Illinois is not within 10 rank points or less of matching PSU. Illionois leads PSU in all major offensive categories by at least 12 rank points.
We are very poor on third down efficiency on offense; Illinois is considerably better.
Overall, weighted or not, the two teams are closely matched on paper.
Penn State is favored by 5 in what appears to be a defensive clash. And the weather appears to be cold and wet . . .