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Penn State - Michigan State Stat Comparison

Psulogo_medium Michiganstatespartans3_medium 

Rush Offense (yd/game) 218.3 (12) 148.5 (73) Rush Defense (yd/game) Psulogo_medium
Pass Offense (yd/game) 224.4 (51) 191.4 (39) Pass Defense (yd/game) Michiganstatespartans3_medium
QB Rating 139.5 (26) 102.5 (12) Opp. QB Rating Michiganstatespartans3_medium
Total Offense (yd/game) 459.8 (11) 339.8 (48) Total Defense (yd/game) Psulogo_medium
Sacks Allowed/Game 1.0 (10) 2.09 (46) Sacks/Game Psulogo_medium 
3rd Down Conv. Offense 50.0% (10) 37.3% (55) 3rd Down Conv. Defense Psulogo_medium 
Scoring Offense (PPG) 39.4 (12) 19.5 (25) Scoring Defense (PPG) Psulogo_medium
Rush Defense (yd/game) 101.5 (10) 147.8 (64) Rush Offense (yd/game) Psulogo_medium
Pass Defense (yd/game) 157.2 (4) 207.4 (65) Pass Offense (yd/game) Psulogo_medium 
Opp. QB Rating 94.9 (2) 119.1 (75) QB Rating Psulogo_medium 
Total Defense (yd/game) 258.6 (4) 355.2 (66) Total Offense (yd/game) Psulogo_medium 
Scoring Defense 11.9 (5) 26.9 (53) Scoring Offense Psulogo_medium 
Sacks/Game 2.64 (20) 1.36 (30) Sacks Allowed/Game Push 
3rd Down Conv. Defense 31.3% (14) 36.2% (84) 3rd Down Conv. Offense Psulogo_medium Psulogo_medium
Kickoff Defense 21.4 (74) 19.1 (105) Kickoff Returns Psulogo_medium 
Kickoff Returns 26.5 (4) 21.8 (79) Kickoff Defense Psulogo_medium 
Net Punting 36.0 (44) 10.2(43) Punt Returns Push 
Punt Returns 10.4 (40) 34.3 (73) Net Punting Psulogo_medium
Takeaways 20 (50) 19 (61) Giveaways Psulogo_medium
Giveaways 13 (14) 22 (31) Takeaways Psulogo_medium
Penalty YPG 27.1 (2) 45.4 (36) Penalty YPG Psulogo_medium

Before I get into talking about the matchups, just take a second and stare in awe at those defensive numbers for Penn State. We're ranked in the top ten in rushing defense, passing defense, opponent QB rating, and scoring defense. Four of those are top five rankings. And we're ranked #14 in 3rd down defense and #20 in sacks. For all the crap we give our defense at times, those are some pretty historical numbers. I don't care what your level of competition is.

Michigan State is a middle of the road team. They don't excell or suck at anything. Most of their rankings fall in the mushy 30-75 range. So it's going to be hard for Penn State to dominate them in anything. They are a good team that isn't going to beat themselves.

I'm a little surprised by their offensive rushing yardage. With all the talk about Javon Ringer for Heisman I figured they would be averaging over 200 yards per game. What's interesting here is that while MSU is averaging 148 yards per game, Ringer is averaging 140 yards per game. So yeah, he's all they got. The next highest rusher on the team only has 97 yards for the season. Considering the way Penn State held P.J. Hill, John Clay, Beanie Wells and Shonn Greene (relatively) in check I think we'll do the same against Ringer. But if he's getting four yards on more on first downs look out.

So while Penn State holds the advantage in nearly every statistical category, only one or two of them can be considered a blowout. All of the evidence points to this being a close game, but one that Penn State should win by a score or two.