Statistically Speaking: Boilermaker Edition

Here are the NCAA stats for Penn State and Purdue:

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NCAA Stats Comparison
Category: Penn St. Purdue
Rushing 53 20
Passing Offense 82 93
Total Offense 81 50
Scoring Offense 93 42
Rushing Defense 17 59
Turnovers Gained 15 99
Passes Had Intercepted 60 6
Pass Defense 5 32
Net Punting 102 6
Punt Returns 79 49
Kickoff Returns 92 34
Turnover Margin 36 43
Fumbles Recovered 24 78
Passes Intercepted 13 92
Fumbles Lost 83 11
Turnovers Lost 84 5
Passing Efficiency 101 74
Pass Efficiency Defense 4 33
Total Defense 4 36
Scoring Defense 5 30
Fewest Penalties Per Game 30 113
Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game 33 114
Punt Return Yardage Defense 63 55
Kickoff Return Yardage Defense 54 113
Offense Third-down Efficiency 77 50
Offense Fourth-down Efficiency 5 22
Defense Third-down Efficiency 35 49
Defense Fourth-down Efficiency 100 71
Tackles for Loss 22 44
Offense Tackles for Loss 8 99
Pass Sacks 42 107
Pass Sacks Allowed 19 100
Time of Possession 39 51
First Downs 74 34
First Downs Allowed 7 67
Red Zone Efficiency 95 37
Red Zone Efficiency – Defense 119 106
Average NCAA Rank: 50.14 57.41
Weighted Avg. Rank: 48.58 43.17

The stats this week show an interesting reversal.  When you just look at the straight up average NCAA rank (add each rank for each category and then divide by the number of categories) Penn State ranks better than Purdue.  But when you look at the weighted ranking (i.e. give more weight to categories like total offense, total defense, and less emphasis on first downs allowed or yards penalized per game) and Purdue actually appears to have the edge.

Our ranking is inflated by the uniformly bad numbers on the offensive side of the ball.  Purdue is simply an average team–neither offense or defense is outstanding.  The Boilers are good at net punting (6th), passes had intercepted (6th) and turnovers lost (5th.)  They are ranked 11th in the country in fumbles lost, and after that, most of their rankings are above 25.

On the other side of the ball, Penn State is ranked in the top 25 (if not the top 10) in practically every defensive category except for red zone defense.  Fortunately for us, Purdue is almost as bad in red zone defense, so maybe we have a chance of scoring some TDs this week.

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Filed under analysis, Big Ten, football, Penn State, Purdue, statistics

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