Penn State’s defense boasts the best stop rate in the country through the first few weeks of the season.

In a graphic compiled by Max Olson with The Athletic, the No. 6 Nittany Lions (4-0) have a national-best 88.9% stop rate, less than a percent better than Duke’s 88.6% followed by Michigan at 87.8% and Oklahoma at 85.7%. Stop rate measures how often the defense holds opponents to punts, turnovers on downs, or gets a takeaway.

In 36 opponents’ drives this season, the Nittany Lions have done it 32 times. Penn State has allowed 35 points all season in the process.


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The Nittany Lions allow 0.78 points per drive and 8.75 points per game. Teams can’t run well against Penn State, which surrenders 77.5 yards per contest, and opposing passing attacks struggle amid 142 yards per game.

Penn State has 14 takeaways already with 9 fumble recoveries and 5 interceptions. The Nittany Lions also forced opponents into 24 punts and 3 turnovers on downs through 4 games.

Amid Penn State’s success, the Nittany Lions defense hasn’t stopped an opponent in the red zone. Opposing offenses are 4-4 for TDs upon entering the red zone.

Penn State will look to continue its defensive dominance at Northwestern (2-2) on Saturday in Evanston, Illinois, for B1G play.