By The Numbers: Northwestern

Here are the NCAA Stats for Penn State and Northwestern:
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NCAA Stats Comparison

Category: Penn St. Northwestern
Rushing 29 92
Passing Offense 37 23
Total Offense 23 49
Scoring Offense 32 57
Rushing Defense 4 39
Turnovers Gained 38 15
Passes Had Intercepted 51 68
Pass Defense 9 68
Net Punting 110 116
Punt Returns 99 91
Kickoff Returns 116 103
Turnover Margin 45 61
Fumbles Recovered 80 23
Passes Intercepted 18 18
Fumbles Lost 32 95
Turnovers Lost 39 92
Passing Efficiency 21 53
Pass Efficiency Defense 4 73
Total Defense 3 46
Scoring Defense 1 61
Fewest Penalties Per Game 6 39
Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game 4 27
Punt Return Yardage Defense 117 49
Kickoff Return Yardage Defense 83 68
Offense Third-down Efficiency 3 6
Offense Fourth-down Efficiency 54 32
Defense Third-down Efficiency 11 57
Defense Fourth-down Efficiency 8 31
Tackles for Loss 4 73
Offense Tackles for Loss 16 57
Pass Sacks 8 36
Pass Sacks Allowed 20 78
Time of Possession 6 52
First Downs 22 14
First Downs Allowed 4 44
Red Zone Efficiency 44 19
Red Zone Efficiency – Defense 1 15
Average NCAA Rank: 32.49 52.43
Weighted Avg. Rank: 26.5 61.5

Just like last week, there is no indication statistically, that this should be a close game. (Northwestern is actually better than THEM in average NCAA rank, but not when weighted for important categories.)

Offensively, the Wildcats have a slightly better passing unit, but this will be offset by Penn State’s better ranked pass defense. Both teams are excellent on third down conversions, but Penn State has the edge defensively. Penn State has the third best overall defense in the nation and the best scoring defense in the country.

NW is actually worse in TO margin and TO’s lost. Both teams are struggling with KO returns and net punting.

The factors which work against Penn State this week aren’t on paper. They are a showdown on the horizon with the Buckeyes and a natural letdown against an allegedly inferior opponent after a big win. These disadvantages can be nuetralized by coaching and leadership–which I think Penn State has at this point.

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

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