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Penn State-Iowa Statistical Comparison

Psulogo_medium Iowalogo_medium 

Rush Offense (yd/game) 226.3 (11) 100.7 (12) Rush Defense (yd/game) Push
Pass Offense (yd/game) 233.4 (39) 200.9 (56) Pass Defense (yd/game) Psulogo_medium
QB Rating 148.4 (18) 100.5 (9) Opp. QB Rating Push 
Total Offense (yd/game) 459.8 (11) 301.6 (24) Total Defense (yd/game) Psulogo_medium
Sacks Allowed/Game .78 (4) 1.56 (83) Sacks/Game Psulogo_medium 
3rd Down Conv. Offense 50.9% (9) 33.6% (28) 3rd Down Conv. Defense Psulogo_medium 
Scoring Offense (PPG) 41.8 (8) 13.2 (7) Scoring Defense (PPG) Push
Rush Defense (yd/game) 99.1 (11) 189.0 (26) Rush Offense (yd/game) Psulogo_medium
Pass Defense (yd/game) 166.8 (8) 190.1 (85) Pass Offense (yd/game) Psulogo_medium 
Opp. QB Rating 96.0 (4) 130.1 (51) QB Rating Psulogo_medium 
Total Defense (yd/game) 265.9 (6) 379.1 (41) Total Offense (yd/game) Psulogo_medium 
Scoring Defense 11.1 (4) 29.1 (43) Scoring Offense Psulogo_medium 
Sacks/Game 2.67 (21) 2.22 (82) Sacks Allowed/Game Psulogo_medium 
3rd Down Conv. Defense 30.4% (12) 31.2% (104) 3rd Down Conv. Offense Psulogo_medium 
Kickoff Defense 22.4 (85) 20.2 (87) Kickoff Returns Push 
Kickoff Returns 29.0 (1) 16.7 (34) Kickoff Defense Psulogo_medium 
Net Punting 36.4 (41) 10.22 (47) Punt Returns Push 
Punt Returns 10.4 (45) 36.5 (40) Net Punting Push
Takeaways 17 (45) 17 (75) Giveaways Psulogo_medium
Giveaways 8 (3) 20 (21) Takeaways Psulogo_medium
Penalty YPG 27.2 (2) 34.8 (7) Penalty YPG Push 


So there doesn't appear to be a single statistical category where the Hawkeyes hold a statistical advantage. This is odd since usually there is some oddball stat like Net Punting or Kickoff returns where Penn State has a disadvantage. So this is a first, but we shouldn't confuse this to mean Iowa is a bad team. It's more of a reflection of how dominant Penn State has been. But there are several things Iowa does well.

It's no surprise they feature a potent running game with Shonn Greene averaging 189 yards/game. But you can see they struggle in passing the ball, and their third down conversion rates suggests this team will struggle if Greene can be contained on first and second down forcing them to convert third and long situations. The biggest discrepancies on the chart come in our pass defense vs. their pass offense and our third down conversion defense vs. their third down conversion rate. Looking at our sack numbers against their sacks allowed it looks like Aaron Maybin and the defensive line should be able to get good pressure on Stanzi.

Their rushing defense is stellar and the pass defense is more than respectable. So those of you expecting us to go back to their prolithic scoring ways may be disappointed. The Iowa defense will prove a formidable test which is unfortunate. If we score 26 points we'll double their scoring allowed average, but I'm not sure that will be very impressive to the voters.

Special teams should be interesting to watch. Three out of four categories I list are a push, and the lone category where PSU holds an advantage is not really a weakness for Iowa. It's just that we're #1 in the country at returning kickoffs.