Rose Bowl Stat Comparison

 

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Advantage
Rush Offense (yd/game) 211.6 (15) 83.3 (5) Rush Defense (yd/game) Push 
Pass Offense (yd/game) 240.6 (36) 122.8 (1) Pass Defense (yd/game) Usclogo1_medium
QB Rating 147.5 (19) 81.5 (1) Opp. QB Rating Usclogo1_medium
Total Offense (yd/game) 452.2 (15) 206.1 (1) Total Defense (yd/game) Usclogo1_medium
Sacks Allowed/Game 1.0 (8) 2.33 (37) Sacks/Game Psulogo_medium 
3rd Down Conv. Offense 52.8% (6) 26.6% (2) 3rd Down Conv. Defense Push 
Scoring Offense (PPG) 40.2 (11) 7.8 (1) Scoring Defense (PPG) Push
Rush Defense (yd/game) 95.9 (9) 206.0 (17) Rush Offense (yd/game) Push
Pass Defense (yd/game) 168.0 (12) 247.1 (31) Pass Offense (yd/game) Psulogo_medium 
Opp. QB Rating 97.3 (6) 157.7 (12) QB Rating Push 
Total Defense (yd/game) 263.9 (5) 453.1 (14) Total Offense (yd/game) Push 
Scoring Defense 12.4 (4) 37.5 (14) Scoring Offense Push 
Sacks/Game 2.67 (18) 1.42 (32) Sacks Allowed/Game Psulogo_medium
3rd Down Conv. Defense 30.8% (10) 45.5% (26) 3rd Down Conv. Offense Psulogo_medium
Kickoff Defense 21.4 (68) 27.6 (1) Kickoff Returns Usclogo1_medium 
Kickoff Returns 25.7 (5) 20.2 (45) Kickoff Defense Psulogo_medium 
Net Punting 36.9 (25) 8.1 (73) Punt Returns Psulogo_medium
Punt Returns 10.4 (41) 32.8 (99) Net Punting Psulogo_medium
Takeaways 22 (59) 21 (49) Giveaways Push
Giveaways 13 (5) 26 (29) Takeaways Psulogo_medium
Penalty YPG 28.0 (3) 74.0 (115) Penalty YPG Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium

I must say, there is a lot more blue on that chart than I expected to see before I put it together. We all know USC's defense touts some ridiculous statistics, so their advantage over Penn State's offense is no surprise, but they don't exactly blow the Nitts out of the water in anything.

When you compare Penn State's defensive statistics against USC's you see just about everything is a push, but when you look closely you see that Penn State is ranked slightly higher in all of the categories suggesting the USC advantage on defense is just about cancelled out by Penn State's advantage on defense.

This suggests to me that the game will be decided by the factors that people always forget about: Special teams, turnovers, and penalties. And when you look at the bottom half of this chart you see a whole lot of blue. Penn State should hold a considerable advantage in special teams with the exception of kickoff coverage. (That being said, I hope USC gets to return a lot of kicks.) Hopefully the advantage in the punting game will translate into shorter fields for the Penn State offense to work with negating the USC advantage on defense. The Trojans will also be more likely to give us free yards as they are one of the most heavily penalized teams in the nation. And of course we already detailed Mark Sanchez's inconsistency when it comes to making good decisions. Put all of these things together and I'm feeling a lot better about our chances on January 1st.

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