In his first season as Penn State's head coach, Bill O'Brien repeatedly showed that he was not afraid to put the ball in the air or use fourth down as an excuse to punt or kick a field goal. His gritty team displayed an ability to pull its way out of tough spots and correct previous mistakes. We go inside the numbers for the final time in 2012.
Zach Zwinak and Matt McGloin led the Big Ten's top offense in conference games.
First-time starters for Penn State this season. Just nine Nittany Lions -- Adrian Amos, Glenn Carson, Mike Farrell, Gerald Hodges, Matt McGloin, Stephon Morris, Allen Robinson, Matt Stankiewitch
and John Urschel
-- started all 12 games.
Touchdown catches by Penn State tight ends in 2012, three more than Penn State tight ends caught in the previous two seasons combined.
Penn State's yards per carry this season, which puts the Nittany Lions in 11th place in the Big Ten.
Carries by running back Zach Zwinak
over Penn State's final four games. The sophomore totaled 589 yards over that span -- at least 134 in all four games -- after gaining 411 yards on his first 96 carries through the first eight games of the season.
The Nittany Lions' total offense average in conference games, nearly 15 yards per game better than any other Big Ten team. Penn State was second in the conference in passing offense and sixth in rushing offense in Big Ten play.
Penn State's fourth-down conversion percentage this season. The Nittany Lions converted at least one fourth down in 10 of 12 games and were successful on 19 fourth-down attempts in their first season under Bill O'Brien
Different players who caught at least 10 passes for the Nittany Lions this season. Seven different players had at least one touchdown reception.
Consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass by quarterback Matt McGloin
, who finished his Penn State career with a school-record 46 touchdown passes.
Penn State's red-zone defense percentage. The Nittany Lions gave up only 27 total scores to opponents in 42 red-zone chances this season, the best mark in the Big Ten. Just 20 of those scores were touchdowns.
Third-down conversion rate by Penn State's opponents over the final 10 games of the season after the Nittany Lions allowed Ohio and Virginia, their first two opponents, to convert 22 of 36 third downs (61.1 percent).