PENN STATE: Five Days and Counting

Indiana gets its second chance at bowl eligibility on Saturday when it hosts Penn State at Noon for Homecoming. looks at five numbers to note about Saturday's match-up...

12.71 – points/game the Penn State defense is surrendering this season, which ranks fifth nationally. Coach Joe Paterno's team has held four of its seven opponents to 10 points or less, including Iowa and Wisconsin which were both limited to seven points in lopsided Nittany Lion wins the last two weeks. What's the key to their success? The Lions do it with a pair of the Big Ten's best linebackers in Sean Lee and Dan Connor, and a defensive line that has PSU ranked second to Indiana nationally in sacks. Dating back to last Oct. 21, the Nittany Lion defense has surrendered only 12 touchdowns in their last 13 games.

368 – career wins for Joe Paterno since taking over the Nittany Lion program in 1966. He ranks fourth on the all-time career victories list, trailing only John Gagliardi (450 wins), Eddie Robinson (408) and Bobby Bowden (370). Gagliardi, who coaches at Division III St. John's (Minn.) University, and Bowden, who coaches are Florida State, are both still active. The 80-year-old Gagliardi has been coaching at St. John's since 1953, while Bowden is in his 42nd year as a head coach overall and 32nd at Florida State. In contrast to Paterno's 368 wins since 1966, the IU football program has won only 181 games during that same time span, or less than half of Paterno's total.

3 – touchdown passes for Penn State quarterback Anthony Morelli in four Big Ten games this season. Many were touting the Lions as Big Ten favorites after the non-conference thanks to much improved play from the senior signal caller. But after he completed 55-of-87 passes (63.2 percent) for 628 yards and eight touchdowns and had only one interception in non-conference wins over Florida International, Penn State and Buffalo, Morelli hasn't navigated the Big Ten as easily. He's completed only 54 percent of his throws (70-of-128) and has five interceptions and only three touchdowns. That's a big reason why the Nittany Lions started conference play 0-2 before winning their last two to get back to 2-2 in league play.

10 –straight losses for Indiana against Penn State since the Lions joined the Big Ten. While Penn State has dominated the series since joining the conference, Indiana has certainly had its chances on a couple of occasions. Of the ten losses, four have been by seven points or less. Among the most memorable was the inaugural meeting in 1993, when IU wideout Thomas Lewis had an IU-record 285 receiving yard day in a 38-31 Penn State win. Then, most recently, IU had its chances in a 2004 contest in Bloomington, but four failed attempts from Penn State's one-yard line resulted in a 22-18 Hoosier loss in the final year of the Gerry DiNardo era.

150 – potentially the magic number for IU's success or failure this weekend? IU is 1-2 when it rushes for less than 150 yards and 4-0 when it hits the 150-yard mark. Unfortunately for Coach Bill Lynch's team that will be extremely difficult against Penn State, which is yielding only 81.4 yards/game on the ground. Penn State surrendered a combined 53 rushing yards to its three non-conference foes, and has given up 150 rushing yards to a team only twice this season (166 by Michigan and 214 by Illinois). Not surprisingly, those are the Lions' only two losses this season.

What's coming up:
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday - Four Players to Know
On Wednesday – Three Big Concerns
On Thursday – Two Key Match-Ups
On Friday – One Bold Prediction Top Stories