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Just the Stats: Penn State vs Purdue

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

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)

Penn State Value (Nat'l Rank) Value (Nat'l Rank) Purdue Advantage
Rushing Offense (ypg) 167.0 (68) 223.6 (111) Rushing Defense (ypg) Psulogo_medium
Passing Offense (ypg) 260.2 (41) 214.9 (T-34) Passing Defense (ypg) Push
Pass Efficiency 128.46 (70) 141.77 (91) Pass Efficiency Defense Push
Total Offense (ypg) 427.2 (55) 438.4 (94) Total Defense (ypg) Psulogo_medium
Scoring Offense (ppg) 27.6 (75) 37.2 (91) Scoring Defense (ppg) Push
Rushing Defense (ypg) 155.4 (T-55) 68.1 (122) Rushing Offense (ypg) Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium
Passing Defense (ypg) 232.7 (66) 191.0 (97) Passing Offense (ypg) Psulogo_medium
Pass Efficiency Defense 126.69 (66)
99.4 (118) Pass Efficiency Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium
Total Defense (ypg) 388.1 (61) 259.1 (120) Total Offense (ypg) Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium
Scoring Defense (ppg) 27.3 (72)
11.8 (120) Scoring Offense (ppg) Psulogo_medium
Net Punting Yds 35.9 (87)
12.38 (21) Punt Return Yds Purduep_mediumPurduep_medium
Punt Return Yds 8.56 (58) 42.47 (2) Net Punting Yds Purduep_mediumPurduep_medium
Kickoff Return Yds 20.27 (84)
26.19 (118) Kickoff Return Defense Psulogo_medium
Kickoff Return Defense 23.75 (99) 22.28 (52) Kickoff Return Yds Purduep_medium
Turnover Margin -.8 (T-105)
-.8 (T-105) Turnover Margin Push
Penalty Yds/Game 35.33 (12) 40.33 (T-34) Penalty Yds/Game Push
Sacks 1.89/gm (T-64)
3.11/gm (T-113) Sacks Allowed Psulogo_medium
Sacks Allowed 2.33/gm (T-81)
1.33/gm (T-106)
Sacks Psulogo_medium
Redzone Offense (%) 82.9% (64)
94.7% (121)
Redzone Defense (%) Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium
Redzone Defense (%) 83.3% (T-59)
64.7% (120)
Redzone Offense (%) Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium
Redzone TD % 60% 81.58%
Redzone TD % Defense Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium
Redzone TD % Defense 56.7%
Redzone TD % Psulogo_medium
3rd Down Conv. % 31.6% (112)
50.4% (114)
3rd Down Defense % Push
3rd Down Defense % 37.5% (T-46)
30.6% (114) 3rd Down Conv. % Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium
4th Down Conv. % 54.2% (49) 56.3% (T-79)
4th Down Defense % Psulogo_medium
4th Down Defense % 33.3% (T-12)
44.4% (76)
4th Down Conv. % Psulogo_medium
1st Downs 208 (47) 200 (T-77)
1st Downs Allowed Psulogo_medium
1st Downs Allowed 173 (34)
132 (119) 1st Downs Psulogo_mediumPsulogo_mediumPsulogo_medium
Time of Posession 29:16 (74)
27:57 (104) Time of Posession 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

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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