Statistically Speaking: Hawkeye Pierce Edition

Here are the NCAA stats for Penn State and Iowa:
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NCAA Stats Comparison
Category: Penn St. Iowa
Rushing 61 69
Passing Offense 66 28
Total Offense 80 45
Scoring Offense 92 21
Rushing Defense 24 52
Turnovers Gained 21 57
Passes Had Intercepted 52 2
Pass Defense 6 89
Net Punting 94 4
Punt Returns 83 56
Kickoff Returns 73 48
Turnover Margin 51 16
Fumbles Recovered 25 42
Passes Intercepted 22 55
Fumbles Lost 96 28
Turnovers Lost 94 8
Passing Efficiency 103 29
Pass Efficiency Defense 8 87
Total Defense 5 73
Scoring Defense 7 53
Fewest Penalties Per Game 35 17
Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game 33 10
Punt Return Yardage Defense 75 33
Kickoff Return Yardage Defense 58 101
Offense Third-down Efficiency 72 45
Offense Fourth-down Efficiency 7 22
Defense Third-down Efficiency 24 104
Defense Fourth-down Efficiency 116 77
Tackles for Loss 13 83
Offense Tackles for Loss 11 3
Pass Sacks 78 53
Pass Sacks Allowed 20 37
Time of Possession 50 63
First Downs 73 24
First Downs Allowed 8 89
Red Zone Efficiency 95 12
Red Zone Efficiency – Defense 115 15
Average NCAA Rank: 52.59 44.59
Weighted Avg. Rank: 49.75 47.17

Despite being a 4-point underdog, the Hawkeyes are slightly better than PSU with probably a slightly worse schedule, since they haven’t faced a team like Alabama, and they lost to unranked Iowa State.  They are a better passing team, but our pass defense probably negates that advantage.

Defensively, the Hawkeyes had better hope that we continue to put the ball on the ground or throw interceptions.  This is shaping up to be a low scoring affair, but if the Lions can stop shooting themselves in the paws and figure out how to score points in the red zone, this game might not be that close. 

Am I drinking the Kool Aid again?  You bet.  Seriously–this Hawkeye team is not as good as the team that has given us fits recently.  We may actually have more talent, particularly defensively–than Iowa.  But Ferentz seems to have our number, so until I actually see the win, I’m not betting anything on this game.

Let’s revisit my preseason prediction:

Prediction: For the sake of my sanity and all that is holy, PENN STATE MUST WIN THIS GAME. This Iowa team will probably be no weaker in the near future than they are this season. We must strike while the oven is hot and pop the corn while we can. The game will be close because for the life of me, there isn’t enough Kool Aid in the world to make me think we could defeat these guys. I know how the Buffalo Bills feel about Super Bowls. It defies all explanation. I’d rather have corn stuck in my teeth for the next year than lose another game to Iowa.

Hmm.  Not very confident was I?  Still am not.  Not much has changed in old Happy Valley.  But if the oddsmakers think we got a chance, then I can Haz Win.
 
Penn State 17-Iowa 9. 
 
You might as well mark it down because there is no way in hell I could be right on this.  You can laugh about it afterwards.  It’s okay.  I’m used to it.
 

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Filed under analysis, football, Iowa, Penn State, statistics

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