Just the Stats: Penn State vs Nebraska

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

After a strong showing against the Boilermakers, the Cornhuskers come to town on Senior Day. How do our Nittany Lions stack up?

Penn St. Nittany Lions (6-4; 3-3 Big Ten) vs Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-3; 4-2 Big Ten)

3:30 p.m. ET, November 23, 2013--BTN
Beaver Stadium (Capacity: 106,572
/ University Park, PA)

Penn State Value (Nat'l Rank) Value (Nat'l Rank) Nebraska Advantage
Rushing Offense (ypg) 179.2 (57) 160.8 (65) Rushing Defense (ypg) Push
Passing Offense (ypg) 255.4 (45) 212.7 (32) Passing Defense (ypg) Push
Pass Efficiency 130.07 (63) 119.82 (37) Pass Efficiency Defense Nebraskalogo_medium
Total Offense (ypg) 434.6 (50) 373.5 (41) Total Defense (ypg) Push
Scoring Offense (ppg) 29.3 (62) 24.6 (46) Scoring Defense (ppg) Push
Rushing Defense (ypg) 144.0 (34) 240.3 (16) Rushing Offense (ypg) Push
Passing Defense (ypg) 231.7 (66) 200.3 (89) Passing Offense (ypg) Push
Pass Efficiency Defense 126.45 (65) 134.79 (57) Pass Efficiency Push
Total Defense (ypg) 375.7 (45) 440.6 (45) Total Offense (ypg) Push
Scoring Defense (ppg) 26.7 (67)
35.1 (33) Scoring Offense (ppg) Nebraskalogo_medium
Net Punting Yds 35.9 (89)
3.61 (111) Punt Return Yds Push
Punt Return Yds 8.22 (63) 37.71 (46) Net Punting Yds Push
Kickoff Return Yds 19.97 (87) 17.75 (9) Kickoff Return Defense Nebraskalogo_mediumNebraskalogo_mediumNebraskalogo_medium
Kickoff Return Defense 24.74 (112) 22.14 (49) Kickoff Return Yds Nebraskalogo_mediumNebraskalogo_medium
Turnover Margin -.6 (99)
-.8 (T-106) Turnover Margin Push
Penalty Yds/Game 33.3 (9) 42.0 (81) Penalty Yds/Game Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium
Sacks 2.3/gm (T-41)
1.2/gm (T-19) Sacks Allowed Push
Sacks Allowed 2.1/gm (T-74)
1.33/gm (T-106)
Sacks Nebraskalogo_mediumNebraskalogo_medium
Redzone Offense (%) 85.7% (49)
93.3% (119)
Redzone Defense (%) Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium
Redzone Defense (%) 84.4% (T-73)
90.2% (15)
Redzone Offense (%) Nebraskalogo_medium
Redzone TD % 64.29% 63.33%
Redzone TD % Defense Psulogo_medium
Redzone TD % Defense 59.38%
73.17%
Redzone TD % Nebraskalogo_medium
3rd Down Conv. % 35.9% (95)
30.9% (7)
3rd Down Defense % Nebraskalogo_mediumNebraskalogo_mediumNebraskalogo_medium
3rd Down Defense % 37.4% (49)
44.4% (37) 3rd Down Conv. % Push
4th Down Conv. % 54.2% (47) 37.5% (T-19) 4th Down Defense % Nebraskalogo_medium
4th Down Defense % 36.4% (T-16)
75% (T-3) 4th Down Conv. % Push
1st Downs 239 (T-30) 207 (T-65) 1st Downs Allowed Psulogo_medium
1st Downs Allowed 187 (26)
236 (T-35) 1st Downs Push
Time of Possession 29:59 (58)
29:38 (69) Time of Possession Push

Difference <25 in National Rank = Push

Difference >25 in National Rank = Psulogo_medium

Difference >50 in National Rank = Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium

Difference >75 in National Rank = Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium

Difference >100 in National Rank = Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_mediumPsulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium

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: There are a LOT of pushes up there, especially in most categories that matter (ie, the offensive and defensive matchups). This basically matches up well with what I thought going into creating this post--this will be a very evenly matched game.

The problem, of course, comes with Penn State's season-long weaknesses on special teams and third downs, where the Huskers clearly have the edge. I'm actually quite surprised that punting, from this, doesn't seem like it will be much of a liability for the Nittany Lions in this game (not having to punt a single time last week definitely helps), and giving up a kickoff return TD to the Boilers last week definitely skews things--but only a bit.

This may just been the week that Jesse Della Valle gets his special teams score, as Adam "Argyle" Collyer's been predicting for a bit now. I wouldn't bank on it...but it'll be a much better shot than next year. And we're against a team that averages less than four yards per punt return, so I say pressure on special teams, and pressure hard--a mistake in that crucial and oft-overlooked third part of the game, on either side, just might be the deciding factor come Saturday.

What say you all?


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