Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Statistically Speaking: Wildcat Edition

Here are the stats for Penn State and Northwestern from the NCAA site:

NCAA Stats Comparison
Category:Penn St.NorthwesternDelta
Passing Offense8168-13
Total Offense7852-26
Scoring Offense9662-34
Rushing Defense227654
Turnovers Gained105040
Passes Had Intercepted648-56
Pass Defense79992
Net Punting9594-1
Punt Returns7513-62
Kickoff Returns326836
Turnover Margin2017-3
Fumbles Recovered336734
Passes Intercepted73730
Fumbles Lost7014-56
Turnovers Lost706-64
Passing Efficiency10236-66
Pass Efficiency Defense3108105
Total Defense610195
Scoring Defense68882
Fewest Penalties Per Game3328-5
Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game3728-9
Punt Return Yardage Defense656-59
Kickoff Return Yardage Defense8512-73
Offense Third-down Efficiency7320-53
Offense Fourth-down Efficiency510297
Defense Third-down Efficiency3211482
Defense Fourth-down Efficiency879710
Tackles for Loss329664
Offense Tackles for Loss69488
Pass Sacks487729
Pass Sacks Allowed1810284
Time of Possession277346
First Downs7429-45
First Downs Allowed76154
Red Zone Efficiency91910
Red Zone Efficiency - Defense11960-59
Average NCAA Rank:47.7859.311.52
Weighted Avg. Rank:47.3370.0822.75

Unlike Purdue last week, whose weighted stats were considerably better than the straight up average, Northwestern is actually worse when key stats are weighted.

In the offensive categories, NW is ranked on average 21.25 spots better than PSU.

In the defensive categories of rushing, pass, pass efficiency, scoring and total defense, Penn State is ranked on average 85.6 spots BETTER than the Wildcats.

Neither team performs well in the red zone.  If it weren't so sad I'd be laughing.  And as good as our defense is, our red zone defense is tied for last in the country.  It's like the goal line is some weird electromagnetic force that creates havoc whenever our players get near it, whether they are on offense or defense.  It's creepy really.

But on the bright side, they can't get any worse and there's only one way to go from here.

My preseason countdown had this game ranked as our 6th most difficult gameIllinois was #7 and Iowa was #5.  Here was my prediction:

I think Penn State will be 6-1 going into this game and building momentum. I look for a shaky start, a solid third quarter and pulling away with a win by at least 10 points. Don't ask me why. It's just a feeling I have. It might be gas.

I may be a fool, but I'm standing by that prediction, even though the line has us favored by 4.  The best thing for a struggling offense is to face a struggling defense.

No comments: