Difference <25 in National Rank = Push
Difference >25 in National Rank =
Difference >50 in National Rank =
Difference >75 in National Rank =
Differences >100 in National Rank =
Note: The Redzone TD% and Redzone TD% Defense are calculated by me and not ranked by the NCAA. Determining who has the advantage in these categories is strictly my arbitrary judgement.
More analysis after the jump.
The LSU defense and the Penn State offense should be pretty well matched up with each other. We know the Penn State offense struggles when the defensive line can get pressure on Daryll Clark. Fortunately, LSU does not blow you away in their sack totals.
There's nothing that really jumps out at you where both teams suck. LSU isn't great at returning kicks which is kind of surprising considering their punt return numbers. LSU fans suggest opposing teams won't kick to Trindon Holiday, the reigning NCAA 100 meter dash champion, and instead to squib kick to a fullback or tight end. This makes a lot of sense to me, and I hope Penn State follows suit considering our inability to cover kicks this year.
Advantages for LSU
Special teams, obviously. The Tigers are ranked No. 1 in the nation in punt returns...which scares me to death. But as long as the PSU offense can move the chains and keep the ball off of Jeremy Boone's foot, this will not come into play. Penn State has to just catch the ball on kickoff and punt returns, and avoid punts where blocks and big returns can come into play and special teams should not be a factor in this game.
Advantages for Penn State
The statistical advantage of the Penn State defense over the LSU offense jumps off the page. LSU doesn't do anything particularly well on offense. They have the play makers, but they tend to shoot themselves in the foot alot. Penn State will have to shut them down defensively, and hope LSU can't exploit their advantages in special teams if they hope to win.