Penn St. Nittany Lions (5-4; 2-3 Big Ten) vs Purdue Boilermakers (1-8; 0-5 Big Ten)
12:00 p.m. ET, November 16, 2013--BTN
Beaver Stadium (Capacity: 106,572 / University Park, PA)
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 judgment.
Quick thoughts: The best cure for what ails a team that looks to be struggling on both sides of the ball is playing one of the worst teams in not just the league, but arguably in all of the FBS. Statistically, Purdue is one of those teams.
Of the 29 metrics I look at, Penn State is ahead of Purdue by more than 25 places in 20 of those rankings. There's a difference of less than 25 in six of those metrics (with PSU ahead in four of them, the two teams tied in one, and Purdue ahead in one). In only three of the metrics is Purdue ahead of the Nittany Lions greater than twenty-five places, and all three are special teams--punting, and receiving kickoffs--areas in which Purdue players are regrettably quite familiar with this year.
The biggest surprise to me? Our much-maligned defense matches up better to Purdue's offense than our offense does to their defense. The culprit is the one bright spot in the Boilermaker's otherwise porous D; their pass defense, which is surprisingly decent. I haven't delved too deep into it, but it may be because teams don't end up passing too much against them because they simply don't need to, and just run out the clock on the ground.
What say you all? Is this reassuring, or a harbinger of our inevitable disappointment?
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