PENN STATE: Five Days and Counting

Indiana's postseason hopes rely on winning its final two regular season games, starting this Saturday with a team its never beaten - Penn State. Hoosier Nation begins its day-by-day preview of this weekend's match-up...

3 - Penn State's national ranking in scoring defense. The Nittany Lions are yielding only 10.8 points/game, ranking them behind only Florida (10.1) and Nebraska (10.3) nationally. Penn State has recorded one shutout (Minnesota) and has held seven of its 10 foes to 10 points or less. Iowa and Ohio State are the only two teams that have scored 20 or more points against Joe Paterno's team this season, and those are also the two teams that own wins against them this season. Penn State has been exceptional against both the run and pass this season, ranking 14th in rushing defense (98.5 yards/game) and 9th in passing defense (166.1 yards/game).

0 - wins for Indiana in the all-time series against Penn State. The Hoosiers have some long-running droughts against other conference foes such as Michigan (22 years) and Ohio State (21 years), but nothing matches the 0-for-forever against the Nittany Lions. The Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten in 1990 and began competing in athletics in the conference in 1993. Since then Joe Paterno's team is a perfect 12-0 against IU, including 6-0 record in Happy Valley. Despite the imperfect record for Indiana, it has had a handful of close games. In 1993, IU wideout Thomas Lewis had an IU-record 285 receiving yards in a 38-31 loss to the Lions. In 2000 Penn State slipped by Indiana 27-24 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, and in 2004 IU's four failed efforts from the Penn State one-yard line late resulted in a 22-18 Lion win.

391 – career victories for Joe Paterno during his 44 years as Penn State's head coach, ranking him No. 1 all-time among Division I-A coaches. There was a time when Paterno was jockeying with Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden for the all-time lead in coaching victories, but Paterno has pulled away from the Seminole coach in recent years (the 79-year-old Bowden has 386). Paterno has been able to do that thanks to a recent surge in success – after posting sub-.500 records in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004, Penn State has been among the nation's best since 2005. During the last four-plus seasons Penn State is 48-13, ranking the Lions ninth nationally in winning percentage during that time span.

0 – catches for Penn State' leading receiver, Derek Moye, in Saturday's 24-7 loss to Ohio State. Moye entered the game as quarterback Daryll Clark's favorite target with 39 receptions for 648 yards and five touchdowns, but Ohio State managed to shut him out with help from its safeties over the top. In Moye's absence slot receiver Graham Zug stepped up with a seven-catch, 96-yard effort, but Moye's lack of productivity clearly hurt a Penn State offense that managed a season-low 201 yards of total offense.

130 punt return yards for Ohio State's Ray Small on Saturday against Penn State. If Indiana has any chance of being competitive this weekend it's probably going to need a big play or two from its special teams, and Small's performance suggests that a big play could be had on a punt return. Small had returns of 41 and 45 yards over the weekend, setting up two of the Buckeyes' three touchdowns. Special teams was also an issue in Penn State's other loss this season against Iowa. In that game a 53-yard blocked punt return for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter turned the tide in a game that Iowa eventually won 21-10.

Coming Up
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday – Four Names to Know
On Wednesday – Three Key Match-Ups
On Thursday – Two Big Concerns
On Friday – One Bold Prediction

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