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Just the Stats: Illinois at Penn State

Let's try this again, shall we? (Photo: <a href="">LBU/Mike Pettigano</a>
Let's try this again, shall we? (Photo: LBU/Mike Pettigano

Two teams heading, quite briskly, in very opposite directions meet this week in central Pennsylvania for a divisional matchup bigger than any (seriously) we've seen so far this season to date. Penn State needs this win to stay on track for a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game. Meanwhile, Illinois needs this win to simply pull out of its fiery tailspin.

The weather should be rather November-y this weekend, with light snow or sleet surely affecting some of the gameplans. Expect heavy doses of running game from both sides, in what should turn out to be something of a retro Big Ten football game. And I'm going to enjoy every second of it.

Penn St. Nittany Lions (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten)
3:30 p.m. ET, October 29, 2011
Beaver Stadium (Capacity: 107,252)

Penn State Value (Nat'l Rank) Value (Nat'l Rank) Illinois
Rushing Offense (ypg) 168.88 (50)
101.88 (T-19)
Rushing Defense (ypg) Illinoislogo_medium
Passing Offense (ypg) 206.25 (84)
187.13 (21)
Passing Defense (ypg) Illinoislogo_mediumIllinoislogo_medium
Pass Efficiency 115.26 (98)
121.39 (42)
Pass Efficiency Defense Illinoislogo_mediumIllinoislogo_medium
Total Offense (ypg) 375.13 (76)
289.00 (10)
Total Defense (ypg) Illinoislogo_mediumIllinoislogo_medium
Scoring Offense (ppg) 23.25 (89)
18.13 (15)
Scoring Defense (ppg) Illinoislogo_mediumIllinoislogo_medium
Rushing Defense (ypg) 101.88 (T-19) 199.25 (8) Rushing Offense (ypg) Push
Passing Defense (ypg) 180.00 (14)
217.88 (72)
Passing Offense (ypg) Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium
Pass Efficiency Defense 97.47 (5)
147.40 (31)
Pass Efficiency Psulogo_medium
Total Defense (ypg) 281.88 (8)
417.13 (45)
Total Offense (ypg) Psulogo_medium
Scoring Defense (ppg) 13.13 (5)
28.63 (64) Scoring Offense (ppg) Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium
Net Punting Yds 34.74 (95)
1.82 (116)
Punt Return Yds Push
Punt Return Yds 6.61 (79)
34.16 (102)
Net Punting Yds Push
Kickoff Return Yds 24.58 (20)
23.67 (100)
Kickoff Return Defense Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium
Kickoff Return Defense 22.06 (73)
16.33 (118)
Kickoff Return Yds Psulogo_medium
Turnover Margin +0.63 (T-27)
-0.25 (T-74)
Turnover Margin Psulogo_medium
Penalty Yds/Game 43.75 (31)
38.75 (15)
Penalty Yds/Game Push
Sacks 2.63 (23)
2.88 (106) Sacks Allowed Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium
Sacks Allowed 0.88 (14)
3.38 (8)
Sacks Push
Redzone Offense (%) 0.76 (87)
0.80 (44)
Redzone Defense (%) Illinoislogo_medium
Redzone Defense (%) 0.95 (117)
0.87 (34)
Redzone Offense (%) Illinoislogo_mediumIllinoislogo_mediumIllinoislogo_medium
Redzone TD % 0.47
Redzone TD % Defense Illinoislogo_medium
Redzone TD % Defense 0.55
Redzone TD % Psulogo_medium
3rd Down Conv. % 39.32 (73)
32.17 (18)
3rd Down Defense % Illinoislogo_mediumIllinoislogo_medium
3rd Down Defense % 34.92 (35)
50.43 (13)
3rd Down Conv. % Push
1st Downs Per Game 20.13 (73)
16.00 (14)
1st Downs Allowed PG Illinoislogo_mediumIllinoislogo_medium
1st Downs Allowed PG 15.75 (13)
21.63 (45)
1st Downs Per Game Psulogo_medium


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

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 judgement.

More analysis after the jump.  

Logos: Not a fan of those first few lines, where Illinois has a statistical advantage when its defense is matched against Penn State's offense. But Penn State makes up for it when the opposite sides are matched. Also, Penn State matches up extremely well when it comes to sacks for and against. This could be a major factor in this game, considering how the Nittany Lions front seven absolutely demolished Dan Persa and Kain Colter last week with seven sacks. The big benefit to Illinois is their running game, something Northwestern severely lacked. But the Illini have been shut down the last two games, including against Purdue. So there is hope that Penn State's defense can smother Illinois enough to cover the PSU offense.

Opposition comparison: Penn State's list moved around a bit this week, with Temple falling down the strength chart, while Iowa and Purdue moved up. Illinois' best opponent was Arizona State, which is now 5-2 after a blowout loss (but close early) to Oregon. Still, no one on the schedule this season will top having Alabama as an opponent. So comparing down the list, I've subjectively ordered each of the opponents from best (top) to worst (bottom). For more on each team, click on their linked names. Comparing across the table, Penn State has played the slightly stronger schedule, helped by the Bama game, and two quality MAC teams. Penn State's opponents, matched as they are below, would have a winning record against their counterparts on Illinois' side of the chart.

Penn State Illinois
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide (L) 11 - 27 #21 Arizona St. Sun Devils (W) 17-14
Iowa Hawkeyes (W) 13 - 3 Ohio St. Buckeyes (L) 17-7
Purdue Boilermakers (W) 23 - 18 Purdue Boilermakers (L) 21-14
Temple Owls (W) 14 - 10 Northwestern Wildcats (W) 38-35
Northwestern Wildcats (W) 34-24 Indiana Hoosiers (W) 41-20
Indiana Hoosiers (W) 16-10 Arkansas St. Red Wolves (W) 33-15
Eastern Michigan Eagles (W) 34 - 6 Western Michigan Broncos (W) 23-20
Indiana St. Sycamores (FCS) (W) 41 - 7 South Dakota St. Jackrabbits(FCS) (W) 56-3


What else do you see in these stats? Let's discuss...

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