September 15, 2012 at 9:11 PM
Penn State defenders said game planning for a triple option offense was like nothing they’ve ever done before.
But their performance against Navy — holding the Midshipmen to just seven points — made it seem as though they have been facing such an offense their entire lives.
Coach Bill O’Brien said the most important facet of Penn State’s blueprint to stopping the triple option was switching things up.
“You can’t stay in one front, one coverage all game and expect yourselves to stop them,” O’Brien said. “We just felt like that was a really good gameplan. I thought [defensive coordinator Ted Roof] called a heck of a game and more importantly, I thought the kids played great.”
O’Brien added that the defense containing Navy’s quarterback, Trey Miller, who had just 17 passing yards and 21 rushing yards, was crucial.
The defense did give up 371 yards, but forcing four turnovers for the second straight week prevented Navy from breaking things open.
Senior cornerback Stephon Morris said the defense did well against the specialized offense as a whole, but in particular because of the players in front of him.
“We did a hell of a job. We did well,” Morris said. “It makes things easy when you have [linebackers] Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti, guys like that.”
Senior safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong stressed the importance of the defense’s ability to quickly adjust to Navy’s offensive scheme on the fly.
“We just had to play fast,” Obeng-Agyapong said. “You know, Navy’s offense, they’re disciplined and they really get after it. Especially with their linemen…they’re undersized but they’re quick. For us to be able to get after it real quick, that was our key.”