October 7, 2008

Inside the numbers: Penn State

MADISON, Wis. - Come Saturday night, the Badgers three game gauntlet of the leagues top three programs will come to an end. With it, UW hopes their losing streak stops at two after deflating losses at Michigan and at home to Ohio State over the last two weeks.
However, as Penn State comes to town as the highest ranked (No. 6) Big Ten team, that feat will not be easy.

The following is a look inside the numbers in preparation for Saturday's showdown:

8-5: If history is any indication, the Badgers will hope to continue their success against the Nittany Lions. UW has claimed victory in eight of thirteen attempts in the school's series.

5: Since 1993, PSU's first season in the Big Ten, the visiting team has won five out of 11 times in the series.

37-9: Although UW holds the series edge, Penn State has won 80.4 percent of their games since the beginning of that time span. Overall, that record ranks sixth in the country during the 46 game stretch.

9: It has been nine years since PSU has won consecutive road games during conference play. After winning 20-6 last week at Purdue, the Nittany Lions have a chance to accomplish that somewhat rare feat. On top of their consecutive road win drought, Penn State has dropped their last 10 games on the road against ranked opponents. Unfortunately, their last win against a ranked team on the road came in Madison against No. 19 Wisconsin in 2002.

1st: PSU ranks first in the Big Ten in rush defense (80.2 ypg), pass efficiency (96.3 rating), total defense (250.3 ypg) and sacks (2.8 sacks per game). They also rank second in the league allowing only 11.7 points per game.

499.7: Nearly 500 yards of offense are racked up by Penn State's multi-faceted offensive scheme per game, nearly double that of their opponents.

44.8: Points PSU averages per game, 33.1 points more than their opponents.

2: Number of receivers that have over 300 receiving yards so far in 2008. Jordan Norwood leads the team with 318 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. Deon Butler has recorded 311 receiving yards and has tacked on 2 touchdowns of his own. Do not forget about Derrick Williams and his 240 receiving yards as well.

90: In six games this season, the Nittany Lions have scored 90 more points than their opponent in the second quarter alone. In total, the margin stands at 269-70.

9: Of UW's last three losses, only nine points have been the difference.

5: Come Saturday night, it will be five years to the date that the Badgers defeated No. 3 Ohio State at home. Connecting that game and the upcoming one against Penn State is that the Nittany Lions are the highest ranked team to come into Camp Randall since that game.

6.7: Yards per carry John Clay has averaged when he gets the ball. That number jumps to 9.3 yards per carry in Big Ten play so far in 2008.

42.2: Freshman punter Brad Nortman's average per punt. That total ranks him fourth in the Big Ten.

28.8: UW is averaging nearly 29 points per game in their five contests in 2008. Don't expect Saturday's game to be a shootout however as UW's defense has limited opponents to only 17.6 points per game.

4 If this weeks game is close in the fourth quarter, the Badgers may not be in good shape. In their two losses this season, UW has blown fourth quarter leads in each contest. In fact, they have been outscored by their opponents 37-33 in the final frame.

512: Rushing yards P.J. Hill has on the season. He is followed by Clay's 260 yards rushing and Zach Brown's 174 rushing yards on the season.

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