Through three games, Penn State’s defense has been the bright spot of the team. The Nittany Lions offense and special teams, on the other hand, didn’t help a whole lot in their loss to Alabama and is the main reason they only barely escaped with a 14-10 win at Temple on Saturday.
Among the 120 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), Penn State (2-1) is 103rd in total offense (306 yards per game) and is 106th in passing offense (158 yards per game). Both marks rank last in the Big Ten.
The Nittany Lions have run 210 plays on offense with just 918 yards (4.37 per play) to show for it. They are 90th in the nation in scoring offense with 22 points per game, also worst in the conference.
Led by signal callers Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin, Penn State is a lowly 115th in pass efficiency with a 47.92 completion percentage and a quarterback rating of 85.23. Only Army, San Jose State, Florida Atlantic, UAB and Kent State have worse grades in that category. Bolden and McGloin lead one of six offenses yet to have thrown a touchdown pass this season.
On to the special teams: Penn State’s 1-for-6 (16.7 %) on field attempts is the worst in the Big Ten. Northwestern ranks second-to-last, having gone 1-for-3 (33.3 %) on field goals thus far.
Minnesota is the only other Big Ten team to have missed more than two field goals this season. The Nittany Lions are also one of four conference teams to have missed an extra point.
Penn State’s average of 33.1 yards on punts is 108th in the country and worst in the Big Ten.
Luckily for Penn State’s offense, the defense is second in the conference in total defense and among the Big Ten’s best in most other defensive categories.