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.
First impression: Um, wow. There's a lot of blue on that chart and just a speck of orange.
Illinois has a pretty robust rushing attack fueled by Juice Williams and the zone read option. Penn State has an outstanding rushing defense, but this rushing attack will be unlike any they have seen yet.
Once again Penn State gets a chance to pad their incredibly horrible kickoff coverage stats as Illinois is equally terrible at returning kicks.
Advantages for Illinois
Illinois has a slight advantage in special teams. Like last week, it's not that they're great, it's just that Penn State is terrible. Really everything is pretty even on special teams except for when Illinois kicks. They do a pretty good job of covering while Penn State does a horrible job on returns. Let's just hope if everything goes well and Illinois scores as much as they did last week, that Penn State will only have one kick return in the game.
Advantages for Penn State
Wow, where to start. Illinois is teh suck at pretty much everything. I guess losing two of your three games by a combined score of 67-9 will do that to you. They have looked pathetic on offense and defense. Though Penn State's offense hasn't been lighting the world on fire, they should get opportunities against the Illini defense. It's almost incomprehensible how poorly the Illinois offense has performed. Juice and Benn were supposed to be the most dangerous combination in the league this year.
I consider the bottom portion of the chart to be an indication of how well disciplined a team is. Executing in the redzone and on third down, protecting the ball, and minimizing penalties are indications of well coached teams. Though Penn State has had issues finishing in the redzone and protecting the ball, they have done better than Illinois in just about every category.
Outlook For The Game
Illinois is a team in shambles right now. Not only are they not performing on offense or defense, but they just don't appear to be well coached. Expect them to shoot themselves in the foot repeatedly with penalties.
Of course, Arrelious Benn has established himself as a Nittany Lion killer. His two best games ever were arguably against Penn State in 2007 and 2008. What can I say? He likes him some Cover-3.
But Illinois has to run the ball in order to be effective. Ohio State shut down their running game and the rest of the offense crumbled. I would look for Penn State's front seven to have similar results and Penn State should get back on the winning track in this game.