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Stat check: Woes shift to 1st down

Statistics alone never tell the full story of a college football game, but some of the unseen numbers can reveal some interesting trends about teams or individual players. This week's numbers show an offense that was actually better in the red zone and protecting the football it had been earlier in the year (but not as prolific), where a certain receiver could wind up in the record books and what should be another tough afternoon for the defense this Saturday.

Zach Zwinak and the offensive line could not consistently run the ball against Indiana on Saturday.


Average gain on Penn State's 19 first-down rushing attempts Saturday. Against the Big Ten's worst rushing defense, only two of those attempts went for more than 10 yards and four resulted in negative yardage.


Career catches junior wide receiver Allen Robinson would have at the end of the season if he continues at his current season pace (7.6 catches per game). That would put him second on Penn State's career list, behind only Deon Butler, a four-year starter who had 179 career receptions.


The last time Penn State, which surrendered 44 points to Indiana, had allowed 40 points in regulation, a 49-14 loss at Michigan State. (The Nittany Lions gave up 42 in an overtime loss to Iowa in 2002). EDIT: Actually, the Nittany Lions had allowed 45 points in the loss at Wisconsin in 2011. Overlooked that as I was putting the notes together originally, but the point still stands -- it hasn't happened often to this defense.


Christian Hackenberg's completion percentage over his last two games. Penn State's freshman quarterback was at 71.7 percent through the first three games of the season.


Turnovers by Hackenberg over the last three games (one interception and no lost fumbles) after he had three interceptions and one lost fumble over the first two games).


Catches by Kyle Carter against Indiana, more than the sophomore tight end had made in the first four games of the season combined. His 79 yards receiving were 11 more than he'd had in the first four games combined.


Penn State's third-down conversion percentage over the last two games. The Nittany Lions are still at a conference-worst 29.7 percent on the season.


Michigan's third-down conversion percentage, the best mark in the Big Ten. Penn State has allowed opponents to convert just 29.5 percent of their third downs, the fourth-best mark in the conference, so far.


Turnover margin for both Penn State and Michigan. Among Big Ten teams, only Purdue (minus-4) has a worse mark.


Average total offense for Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner, which puts him second in the conference. Gardner is getting 207.2 yards through the air and 63.6 on the ground.

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