Penn State football: By the numbers

UNIVERSITY PARK — With Penn State’s season opener still a few months away, we thought now is a good time to break down some of the numbers from Penn State’s memorable 2016 season.

Some you may know, some you may not (we learned a few things working on this story, too). Also included is some info from the off-season, and what fans can look forward to this year.

107,280: Beaver Stadium attendance for the victory over then-No. 2 Ohio State; more than 100,000 fans attended four of the Lions’ home games (Temple, Maryland, Iowa).

103,000: expected capacity for Beaver Stadium after renovations.

69,983: attendance for the Penn State-Pitt game, the largest crowd ever at a city of Pittsburgh sporting event.

10,337: average attendance last season (home and away) for Akron, which visits Beaver Stadium on Sept. 2.

372: rushing yards by Penn State against Maryland; the Nittany Lions claimed a 38-14 Homecoming victory.

306: all-purpose yards that Saquon Barkley had in the Rose Bowl, the third-most in Penn State history.

258.1: passing yards per game by Trace McSorley.

166: points that Penn State scored in the fourth quarter of games, the most of any quarter.

155: receiving yards for Saeed Blacknall in the Big Ten Championship; the most ever for the Big Ten title game and also ranks 19th all-time in Penn State program history for a single game.

110: tackles by safety Marcus Allen, a team-high.

106.9: rushing yards per game by Saquon Barkley.

102: margin that Penn State outscored its opponents in the third quarter (160-58).

87: yards of offense Penn State gave up to Rutgers, the fewest allowed by the Nittany Lions in Big Ten play and the fewest overall since Penn State allowed 74 yards to Temple in 2006.

81: combined points scored in the game against Pitt, an all-time high for the series that Penn State leads 50-43-4. And you can mark your Google calendars now for Sept. 14, 2019, when Penn State and Pitt will meet at Beaver Stadium in the 100th all-time meeting between the Nittany Lions and Panthers.

80: yards covered by Irvin Charles for a touchdown against Minnesota; the then-redshirt freshman caught a pass near midfield, and then broke free and sprinted the final 40 yards. It was the longest reception for a Nittany Lion since 2010.

62: points scored against Purdue, a season-high.

42.8: average yards for punt by Blake Gillikin, undoubtedly one of the unsung heroes for Penn State in 2016. He had 13 punts of 50 yards or more.

37.6: points per game that Penn State averaged.

30: yards that cornerback Amani Oruwariye covered while returning an interception for a touchdown against Kent State in the season opener. The play occurred shortly after halftime (when Penn State led just 16-13), and helped the Lions outscore Kent State 17-0 in the second half en route to a 33-13 win.

30: January bowl games that Penn State has played in; the Nittany Lions sport an 18-12 record.

25.4: point per game that Penn State allowed.

24: yards that Brandon Bell covered after intercepting a pass in the Rose Bowl, nearly scoring a touchdown. Bell, a senior standout linebacker, left the game after the play because of an apparent injury, acknowledging the Penn State fans with a thumbs-up while leaving the field.

19: combined number of pass deflections (10) and pass break-ups (9) by cornerback John Reid. He also had an interception against Temple, sealing the victory in the final minute. Reid may miss the entire 2017 season after suffering a knee injury during spring practice, and he’ll be missed in more than one place. He also handled the majority of punt returns for the Lions.

15: consecutive games in which Trace McSorley has thrown a touchdown, breaking the school record of 14 by Kerry Collins.

15: miles between the Rose Bowl Stadium and linebacker Koa Farmer’s home; Farmer started the Rose Bowl, his second career start (both which occurred last season).

11: receiving touchdowns by Chris Godwin, tied for second in program history.

11: tackles made by safety Malik Golden in the 49-10 loss to Michigan, a game in which Penn State played without three starting linebackers (Brandon Bell, Jason Cabinda, Nyeem Wartman-White).

10: players who caught a touchdown from Trace McSorley, who finished the season with 29 scoring passes.

9: consecutive games that Penn State won before the Rose Bowl, the longest winning streak for the Lions since 2008.

5: first downs allowed to Rutgers, the fewest Penn State has permitted in program history in a Big Ten game.

4: Top-10 opponents that Penn State played (at the time of the game): Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, USC.

2: field goals that Tyler Davis missed; he finished 22-of-24.

0: number of games that Penn State lost at home.

0: points allowed against Rutgers; the 39-0 victory was the largest road shutout for Penn State since starting Big Ten play.

Here’s one more number: 23 days until Penn State hosts Akron in the season opener on Sept. 2.

We know you’re looking forward to the game as much as we are.  

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