The Nittany Lions opened Big Ten play this past weekend with a resounding 35-7 defeat of Illinois. As Penn State (3-2, 1-0) gears up for what could be an entertaining Homecoming matchup this Saturday against Northwestern (5-0, 1-0), let's take a look at a few statistical trends and key numbers.
Glenn Carson and Penn State's linebacking corps have been productive in every game.
35Points scored by Penn State against Illinois. It was the team's highest point total of the season and its highest against an FBS opponent since the Nittany Lions scored 41 against Indiana on Nov. 20, 2010.
0First-half touchdowns allowed by the Nittany Lions this season. Nine of 19 touchdowns scored by Penn State's next opponent, Northwestern, have been scored in the first half.
Number of completions by senior quarterback Matt McGloin through five games. It took McGloin (who was splitting reps with Rob Bolden) until the 10th game of 2011 to reach that total.
Yards per punt return by Penn State opponents this season. Northwestern leads the Big Ten with a 21.5 average on punt returns and junior Venric Mark has a 25.8 average and an 82-yard touchdown this season.
Rushing touchdowns by the Nittany Lions in the last two games after they did not score a rushing touchdown in the first three contests. Four of those six touchdowns have been scored by McGloin and none of the six have come from more than 2 yards out.
Tackles made by linebackers Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges, Glenn Carson and Mike Hull, who have seen the vast majority of reps at the three linebacker positions so far. That total accounts for 36.9 percent of the team's total stops. Mauti (48), Hodges (39) and Carson (33) rank 1-2-3 on the team in tackles.
Number of turnovers committed by Penn State this season (two interceptions and two fumbles) in five games. Among Big Ten teams, only Iowa and Indiana have fewer giveaways.
Northwestern's red-zone conversion rate, which leads the Big Ten. The Wildcats have 23 red-zone scores, including 13 touchdowns, in 25 chances.
Penn State's red-zone defense conversion rate, which leads the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions have allowed only eight red-zone scores, including six touchdowns, in 13 chances.
Number of running backs who have carried the ball for Penn State this season (Bill Belton, Zach Zwinak, Derek Day, Curtis Dukes and Michael Zordich). All five have accounted for at least 17 percent of the running back carries and no one has accounted for more than 26 percent of those carries.