We've discussed some stats that are typical of winning football, namely TO margin and 3rd down conversion rate.
Today, we were officially +1 in TO margin, but I'm counting that as even b/c of the onside kick recovery by Purdue.
On 3rd downs, we won that battle with a 57.1% (8/14) rate compared to Purdue's 46.67% (7/15).
So, what other numbers are behind winning? How about hidden yardage? Well, we had 204 return yards to their 103, and we were out-gained in punting by a total of 165-139, so we won the hidden yards battle by 75.
As a former Defensive Coordinator, I always emphasized first downs. The team that does better on first downs has a better chance to win. Saturday, Purdue *averaged* 8.03 yards on first down, *including penalties against them*. We were good at 5.94, but we still lost that battle.
Of course, the real reason we lost is b/c our safeties are an absolute abomination, but the stats above do help tell a story.