Against Houston, Penn State will need these guys to make Case Keenum's life a living hell. (Mike Pettigano/BSD)
|Penn State||Value (Nat'l Rank)||Value (Nat'l Rank)||Houston ||Advantage|
|Rushing Offense (ypg)||165.08 (54)
||171.77 (78)||Rushing Defense (ypg)||Push
|Passing Offense (ypg)||180.33 (95)
||214.23 (47)||Passing Defense (ypg)|
|Pass Efficiency||105.34 (112)
||Pass Efficiency Defense|
|Total Offense (ypg)||345.42 (94)
||Total Defense (ypg)|
|Scoring Offense (ppg)||19.75 (110)
||Scoring Defense (ppg)|
|Rushing Defense (ypg)||138.75 (48)
||155.23 (62)||Rushing Offense (ypg)||Push
|Passing Defense (ypg)||162.17 (5)
||443.77 (1)||Passing Offense (ypg)||Push
|Pass Efficiency Defense||100.04 (5)
||175.35 (3)||Pass Efficiency||Push
|Total Defense (ypg)||300.92 (10)
||599.00 (1)||Total Offense (ypg)||Push
|Scoring Defense (ppg)||15.67 (5)
||50.77 (1)||Scoring Offense (ppg)||Push
|Net Punting Yds||35.70 (78)
||Punt Return Yds|
|Punt Return Yds||6.97 (77)
||Net Punting Yds||Push
|Kickoff Return Yds||23.35 (32)
||Kickoff Return Defense|
|Kickoff Return Defense||21.80 (64)
||Kickoff Return Yds||Push
|Turnover Margin||+0.33 (32)
|Penalty Yds/Game||42.50 (29)
|Sacks Allowed||1.00 (16)
|Redzone Offense (%)||0.76 (91)
||Redzone Defense (%)|
|Redzone Defense (%)||0.94 (118)
||0.85 (41)||Redzone Offense (%)|
|Redzone TD %||0.49
||Redzone TD % Defense|
|Redzone TD % Defense||0.65
||Redzone TD %|
|3rd Down Conv. %||36.78 (95)
||3rd Down Defense %|
|3rd Down Defense %||38.62 (53)
||3rd Down Conv. %|
|1st Downs Per Game||18.67 (90)
||1st Downs Allowed PG|
|1st Downs Allowed PG||17.08 (19)
||1st Downs Per Game||Push
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 =
The "Old" Mike's 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 judgment.
Analysis below the jump...
Wait, what?! On this computer screen, Houston should beat Penn State. The Cougars won the battle of the logos by an astounding 22-1 over the Nittany Lions. This could have easily been mitigated if Penn State could do two things better--quarterbacking and red zone offense. What's really disgusting is that the Penn State offense makes the Houston defense look good on this chart, with the Cougars' D actually getting more logos than Linebacker U. Pretty pathetic.
Then again, as you'll read below, the teams are very difficult to compare. Houston played a schedule composed of 13 teams that Penn State would typically schedule as non-conference walkovers. Yes, teams like Tulsa, East Carolina and Southern Miss aren't cupcakes by any means. But when they show up on Penn State's schedule, they're put there to get the "W" and move on.
Penn State also typically does very well against teams that are super-heavy on one side of the ball. The Houston defense is okay, but can't really stack up against what the Nittany Lions will put out there when Case Keenum gets the ball. Keenum scares the hell out of me, as he should anyone whose team has to defend against his arm. But this is doable. The only game Penn State played this year against a comparable offense would be at Wisconsin. It was a blowout. But considering about 115 of the 120 FBS programs would meet a similar fate against this year's Badgers team, there's little reason to think Penn State won't be able to gameplan accordingly against Keenum & Co.
Opponent comparison... I can't bring myself to actually compare each schedule team-by-team, side-by-side. The difference between the Big Ten schedule--especially Penn State's schedule including Alabama and Temple as non-conference opponents--and Houston's C-USA schedule is so drastic, it's nearly impossible to do it with a straight face. Jeff Sagarin has Penn State's schedule up at No. 34 nationally. Houston? Though the Cougars are ranked higher by Sagarin than the Nittany Lions, UH's strength of schedule is in the triple digits, at No. 107 nationally.
What say you?
Unstoppable force, meet immovable object... who you got?
Unstoppable force (Houston's Offense) (79 votes)
Immovable object (Penn State's Defense) (236 votes)
315 total votes