By The Numbers: Illinois

Here are the NCAA statistics for Penn State and Illinois:

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NCAA Stats Comparison
Category: Penn St. Illinois
Rushing 80 35
Passing Offense 40 110
Total Offense 56 82
Scoring Offense 75 108
Rushing Defense 11 59
Turnovers Gained 75 88
Passes Had Intercepted 104 79
Pass Defense 19 100
Net Punting 99 57
Punt Returns 93 107
Kickoff Returns 115 101
Turnover Margin 98 89
Fumbles Recovered 101 55
Passes Intercepted 27 78
Fumbles Lost 70 19
Turnovers Lost 91 57
Passing Efficiency 52 110
Pass Efficiency Defense 23 102
Total Defense 9 90
Scoring Defense 6 88
Fewest Penalties Per Game 6 106
Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game 3 107
Punt Return Yardage Defense 113 24
Kickoff Return Yardage Defense 108 28
Offense Third-down Efficiency 11 65
Offense Fourth-down Efficiency 18 75
Defense Third-down Efficiency 21 106
Defense Fourth-down Efficiency 9 88
Tackles for Loss 5 37
Offense Tackles for Loss 35 105
Pass Sacks 12 85
Pass Sacks Allowed 59 111
Time of Possession 36 72
First Downs 34 73
First Downs Allowed 6 89
Red Zone Efficiency 100 49
Red Zone Efficiency – Defense 7 93
Average NCAA Rank: 49.38 79.11
Weighted Avg. Rank: 47.33 85.83

Penn State is abysmal in special teams categories. 115th in KO returns and 108th in KO defense. 98th in turnover margin, but there is a bright spot: Illinois is 89th in TO margin and 101st. in KO returns. We’ll make them look better this week.

Going by the stats, Illinois should get more penalties than us.

Offensively, we have a pretty decent ranking in 3rd down efficiency–much better than the Illini. Our defense is also siginificantly better on third down than Illinois.

Defensively, the teams are night and day.

Compared to Iowa, we match up much better against the Illini. But turnovers–if they continue–will hurt us. The KO situation will put us in bad field position. That will hurt us like it did last week.

One thing that stats don’t tell us is how conservative the playcalling will be. This is the first road game of the year, the team’s confidence is shaky and the coaching staff is hell-bent on protecting Clark. I am afraid things will be scaled back, thereby effectively negating any advantage we have. We will have to depend on not turning the ball over, not making the critical mistakes, and basically play not to lose this game. I hope Joe proves me wrong.

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Filed under football, Illinois, NCAA, Penn State, statistics

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