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Just the Stats: Penn State at Northwestern

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Penn St. Nittany Lions (7-2; 4-1 Big Ten East) vs Northwestern Wildcats (6-2; 2-2 Big Ten West)

12 p.m. ET, November 7, 2015--ESPNU
Ryan Field (Capacity: 47,130
/ Evanston, IL)

Penn State Value (Nat'l Rank) Value (Nat'l Rank) Northwestern Advantage
Rushing Offense (ypg) 145.2 (96) 145.5 (43) Rushing Defense (ypg) Logo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_medium
Passing Offense (ypg) 204.1 (88) 164.8 (7) Passing Defense (ypg) Logo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_medium
Pass Efficiency 135.33 (52) 95.22 (3) Pass Efficiency Defense Logo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_medium
Total Offense (ypg) 349.3 (104) 310.3 (17) Total Defense (ypg) Logo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_medium
Scoring Offense (ppg) 25.7 (91) 17.6 (T-19) Scoring Defense (ppg) Logo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_medium
Rushing Defense (ypg) 143.9 (42) 186.1 (46) Rushing Offense (ypg) Push
Passing Defense (ypg) 157.9 (4) 145.6 (119) Passing Offense (ypg) new PSU logonew PSU logonew PSU logonew PSU logo
Pass Efficiency Defense 104.81 (15) 100.76 (118) Pass Efficiency new PSU logonew PSU logonew PSU logonew PSU logo
Total Defense (ypg) 301.8 (14) 331.8 (116) Total Offense (ypg) new PSU logonew PSU logonew PSU logonew PSU logo
Scoring Defense (ppg) 17.1 (17) 20.9 (111) Scoring Offense (ppg) new PSU logonew PSU logonew PSU logo
Net Punting Yds 35.91 (91)
10.0 (48) Punt Return Yds Logo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_medium
Punt Return Yds 8.04 (70) 37.5 (67) Net Punting Yds Push
Kickoff Return Yds 23.9 (26) 20.96 (58) Kickoff Return Defense new PSU logo
Kickoff Return Defense 23.86 (107) 25.1 (14) Kickoff Return Yds Logo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_medium
Turnover Margin +.89 (17) +.25 (50) Turnover Margin new PSU logo
Penalty Yds/Game 38.33 (10) 40.25 (17) Penalty Yds/Game Push
Sacks 3.89/gm (1) 1.63/gm (T-41) Sacks Allowed new PSU logo
Sacks Allowed 3.44/gm (T-124)
2.0/gm (T-63)
Sacks Logo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_medium
Redzone Offense (%) 91.2% (14)
75.0% (T-17)
Redzone Defense (%) Push
Redzone Defense (%) 91.3% (113)
83.3% (T-69) Redzone Offense (%) Logo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_medium
Redzone TD % 55.88% 45.83%
Redzone TD % Defense new PSU logo
Redzone TD % Defense 69.57% 29.17%
Redzone TD % new PSU logo
3rd Down Conv. % 28.9% (125)
31.8% (18)
3rd Down Defense % Logo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_medium
3rd Down Defense % 33.3% (T-34)
44.1% (29) 3rd Down Conv. % Push
4th Down Conv. % 30.0% (T-114) 46.7% (T-57) 4th Down Defense % Logo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_medium
4th Down Defense % 16.7% (3)
42.9% (T-85) 4th Down Conv. % new PSU logonew PSU logonew PSU logo
1st Downs 147 (99) 137 (T-19) 1st Downs Allowed Logo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_mediumLogo-northwestern-wildcats-575x575.s600x600_medium
1st Downs Allowed 152 (T-49) 140 (111) 1st Downs new PSU logonew PSU logo
Time of Possession 29:24 (79)
29:23 (80) Time of Possession Push


Difference >25 in National Rank = new PSU logo

Difference >50 in National Rank = new PSU logonew PSU logo

Difference >75 in National Rank = new PSU logonew PSU logonew PSU logo

Difference >100 in National Rank = new PSU logonew PSU logonew PSU logonew PSU logo

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: In nearly every category, Penn State saw improvement after the thorough dismantling of the Illinois Fighting Illini that was last week's game--the notable exception, of course, being redzone defense, as the defense didn't even allow the Illinois offense into the redzone.

I note this because this bodes well for the matchup this week, against the Wildcats. The Wildcats look, statistically, very similar to Illinois--defensively very strong, offensively not so much. The difference, of course, is that Northwestern gets their offensive yards on the ground rather than through the air--and their defense is slightly better than Illinois' (and, of course, they run different schemes on both fronts). Either way, provided Bob Shoop's guys can keep Clayton Thorson relatively in the pocket, and keep their defense off the field for much of the game (much like Iowa and Michigan were able to do), then this shouldn't be as close of a game as Vegas seems to think.

What do you guys think?