Two hot topics have been PSU's 1st Q vs 2-4 Q performance and redzone O. Another topic that I think should be "hot" is PSU vs Iowa/Bama compared to PSU vs. the others. This review will consider those topics among others. Stats below the jump.
People don't realize just how good 'Bama and Iowa really are. Consider this, Stanzi is #5 in passing efficiency while McElroy is #10 and Robinson (Iowa) is #24 in rushing yards while Richardson (who is the back-up again) is #36. Those were two very good offenses that PSU went up against early in the year. Even more impressive are their defensive numbers; Iowa is #4 in yards allowed while 'Bama is #20, additionally, Iowa is #2 in points allowed beat out only by...'Bama. And it isn't like these guys have been beating up on complete nobodies. Other than PSU, Iowa played Arizona (and lost due to special teams) who is coincidentally #3 in points and #2 in yards allowed defensively while 'Bama has beat Arkansas (away) and Florida. PSU didn't lose to "mediocre" or even good teams, they lost to great teams with great upper-classmen leadership.
Side Note: Another thing I noticed while compiling these stats (for the first Q at least) was that our troubles start before we get to the redzone. First Q drives have stalled out on the 28, 32, 20 (int), 28, and 15.
Bama and Iowa were hard to watch. Scarier still is seeing how well parts of scUM, MSU, and Northwestern are playing. I'm sticking to my 9-3 mark but I'm thinking 8-4 might be in the cards. We still have to go up against some great QBs and RBs:
Passing Eff: Robinson (scUM) #3, Chappell #11, Cousins #12, Pryor #14, and Weber #30
Rush Yards: Robinson (scUM) #1, Baker/Bell (MSU) #14/#28.
Those will be tough games if our O and D come out slow in the first quarter. That brings us to the STATS. The 1st Q stats below are for all drives starting in the 1st Q, even if they carried over into the 2nd. We all know how slow the team starts, this really makes it obvious. The good news is that the Defense is great in Qs 2-4 and the Offense can move the ball, especially when we aren't playing top ranked defenses. If we can figure out how to score and how to start a game in the 2nd Quarter this team could end up alright. Just remember, they will get better - they are very young and they will get better.
First Q Avg (giving Temple the extra pt they missed): 9
2-4 Q Avg: 2
First Q Avg w/o Bama/Iowa: 4.2
2-4 Q Avg w/o: 0.46
Opponents Yards Per Play
First Q Avg: 7.97
First Q Avg w/o: 7.51
2-4 Q Avg: 4.05
2-4 Q Avg w/o: 2.22
First Q Avg: 5.2
First Q Avg w/o: 8.67
2-4 Q Avg: 4.67
2-4 Q Avg w/o: 7.78
PSU Yards Per Play
First Q Avg: 4.89
First Q Avg w/o: 6.27
2-4 Q Avg: 5.12
2-4 Q Avg w/o: 6.01
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