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Just the Stats: Penn State vs Michigan

A way-too-early look at what to expect when the Nittany Lions take the field in Ann Arbor.

Penn State Nittany Lions (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten East) at Michigan Wolverines (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten East)

3:30 pm ET, September 24, 2016 - ABC

Michigan Stadium (Capacity: 109,901 / Ann Arbor, MI)

Penn State Value (Nat'l Rank) Value (Nat'l Rank) Michigan Advantage
Rushing Offense (ypg) 111.7 (113) 140.0 (57) Rushing Defense (ypg) Michigan logoMichigan logo
Passing Offense (ypg) 276.0 (T-30) 156.0 (16) Passing Defense (ypg) Push
Pass Efficiency 151.95 (41) 102.8 (24) Pass Efficiency Defense Push
Total Offense (ypg) 387.7 (83) 296.0 (23) Total Defense (ypg) Michigan logoMichigan logo
Scoring Offense (ppg) 35.3 (T-49) 15.0 (18) Scoring Defense (ppg) Michigan logo
Rushing Defense (ypg) 176.3 (92) 197.7 (52) Rushing Offense (ypg) Michigan logo
Passing Defense (ypg) 168.7 (22) 254.3 (T-47) Passing Offense (ypg) new PSU logo
Pass Efficiency Defense 122.6 (61) 163.18 (21) Pass Efficiency Michigan logo
Total Defense (ypg) 345.0 (46) 452.0 (T-45) Total Offense (ypg) Push
Scoring Defense (ppg) 27.3 (T-77) 53.0 (4) Scoring Offense (ppg) Michigan logoMichigan logo
Net Punting Yds 39.79 (39)
22.89 (6) Punt Return Yds Michigan logo
Punt Return Yds 6.36 (74) 28.2 (125) Net Punting Yds new PSU logonew PSU logo
Kickoff Return Yds 21.62 (61) 19.5 (47) Kickoff Return Defense Push
Kickoff Return Defense 30.0 (122) 19.0 (T-90) Kickoff Return Yds Michigan logo
Turnover Margin -.67 (T-90) +.67 (T-35) Turnover Margin Michigan logoMichigan logo
Penalty Yds/Game 50.67 (44) 31.33 (7) Penalty Yds/Game Michigan logo
Sacks 3.33/gm (T-17) 1.67/gm (T-49) Sacks Allowed new PSU logo
Sacks Allowed 1.67/gm (T-49)
3.67/gm (T-11)
Sacks Michigan logo
Redzone Offense (%) 81.3% (76)
33.3% (1)
Redzone Defense (%) Michigan logoMichigan logoMichigan logo
Redzone Defense (%) 92.3% (T-93)
88.9% (T-46) Redzone Offense (%) Michigan logo
Redzone TD % 50.0% 33.33%
Redzone TD % Defense Michigan logo
Redzone TD % Defense 69.23% 66.67%
Redzone TD % Michigan logo
3rd Down Conv. % 27.3% (118)
10.5% (1)
3rd Down Defense % Michigan logoMichigan logoMichigan logoMichigan logo
3rd Down Defense % 28.6% (27)
48.8% (28) 3rd Down Conv. % Push
4th Down Conv. % 75.0% (T-29) 37.5% (35) 4th Down Defense % Push
4th Down Defense % 50.0% (T-51)
75.0% (T-25) 4th Down Conv. % Michigan logo
1st Downs 60 (T-66) 46 (T-32) 1st Downs Allowed Michigan logo
1st Downs Allowed 48 (T-38) 69 (T-36) 1st Downs Push
Time of Possession 26:42 (101)
31:18 (48) Time of Possession Michigan logoMichigan logo


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:

Yes, it's way too early, but since it's Big Ten season, I figured I'd start too early.

I have to say, I was surprised there weren't more three- and four-Michigan logos here. The Wolverines are much better on offense in 2016 than they were headed into this matchup last season, but their defense isn't quite as good (it was a killer last season). That bodes not horribly.

Also, with how good (save last week's fluke) Penn State has been on special teams, I kind of expected more of a PSU swing in those categories--but those logos belie the earliness of this post. Penn State has had only four kickoffs returned--so that 122 ranking is a little inflated, since they've kicked off at least 14 more times than that. Similarly, punt return defense hasn't been something I track on here--I compare punt returns to punting itself instead--but PSU's punt return D has been stellar (when Blake Gillikin has allowed punts to be returned; only 3 have been returned, for an average of 1 yard) and they are 15th. Michigan, on the other hand, is 121st in punt return defense, but it's only because they've had 4 punt returns to defend, and they've averaged 17.5. Let's go, John Reid.

As for something else that stood out? Michigan's red zone defense. On paper, 33.33% is a great red zone defense number--but their opponents have only been in the red zone three times. They've allowed their opponents to score from outside the redzone, so that seems to be a key here.

What say you guys?