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.