Difference <25 in National Rank = Push
Difference >25 in National Rank =
Difference >50 in National Rank =
Difference >75 in National Rank =
Difference >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.
So what can we gain from this weeks chart?
For one thing, when Penn State has the ball it's going to be a cripple fight. Michigan's defense is on par with Minnesota's, though a bit more stiff against the run. You have to wonder if Penn State will ever get to the point this season where they completely give up on the run and decide to throw the ball 75% of the time. If ever there were a game to do it, this is the one. The Wolverines are one of the worst pass defenses in the nation.
We all know what to expect when Michigan has the ball. Basically just hold on for your life and hope somebody can grab one of those untied shoelaces before Denard Robinson scampers all the way to the endzone. Forcing them into third and long situations will be critical as Penn State has been surprisingly good at getting off the field this year when they can get the opponent to third down.
I find it interesting that neither team is particularly good at generating a pass rush. I think this is an advantage for Penn State. Obviously we want the Penn State quarterback, whether that be Bolden or McGloin, to have time to throw in the pocket. But the flip side is I think it's to Penn State's advantage to not pressure Robinson. Let him feel comfortable in the pocket and try to throw the ball. If it's 3rd-and-7, I like our chances better if Robinson is trying to throw it rather than try to run for the first down.
The way it looks to me, it's a push when Penn State has the ball, and Michigan has a considerable advantage when they have the ball. So in order for PSU to win the game, they have to force Michigan into making turnovers while limiting their own, win the penalty game, and win the special teams game. In my opinion, turnovers will be the key to the game.