Grading the Nittany Lion defense vs. Indiana - The Daily Collegian: Football

Welcome!
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Grading the Nittany Lion defense vs. Indiana

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, October 5, 2013 7:09 pm

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Penn State defense received a renewed lesson on facing a hurry-up offense Saturday afternoon in Bloomington, losing 44-24 to a high-flying Indiana attack. Led by quarterback Nate Sudfeld, the Hoosiers’ fast-paced offense gradually picked apart the Nittany Lions’ defense until the game was no longer in reach.

Here are our position-by-position grades for the three sections of the Lions’ defense from Bloomington.

Defensive line

The Lions’ front four made its presence felt in Sudfeld’s personal bubble early Saturday, with defensive end Anthony Zettel grabbing his first career sack to keep the Hoosiers’ first drive to a three-and-out. The unit’s day as a whole, despite netting four sacks, varied, however. Keeping up with the Hoosiers’ no-huddle offense prevented the Lions from substituting as often as usual and the line’s inability to consistently disrupt the quick release of Sudfeld left the pass defense helpless at times. It wasn’t the line’s worst game so far this season — the Hoosiers averaged less than four yards per rush — but it certainly won’t be remembered as its best.

Grade: B-

Linebackers

The much-anticipated return of Mike Hull resulted in a mixed bag for the linebacking corps. Although middle linebacker Glenn Carson and Hull tallied 10 tackles each, there were still several plays where the middle section of the Lions’ defense was exposed. Hull said he was playing at "90 or 95 percent" and believes he will gradually get healthier as the season goes on. While the junior missed a few tough tackles, his playmaking ability still shown through. Meanwhile, Stephen Obeng-Agyapong got the start over Nyeem Wartman, who O’Brien said has injury issues as well, but the converted safety wasn’t able to provide much in the area of pass defense assistance in Sudfeld’s 321-yard day.

Grade: C+

Secondary

At the position where there has been the most question marks in Penn State’s five-game season, questions remain abound. The Lions’ secondary once again saw the defense’s most inexperienced members, corners Jordan Lucas and Trevor Williams, be targeted with success. Lucas, especially, had trouble keeping up with speedy wide receiver Cody Latimer, who gained 140 yards in the air on the day. However, Lucas did make strides when it came to tackling, as he finished with nine tackles, including 1.5 for a loss. Safeties Adrian Amos and Malcolm Willis performed well on occasion to shore up the Lions’ pass coverage; but, in all, Penn State’s defensive backs struggled to keep up with the play-by-play adjustments within Kevin Wilson’s offensive scheme. 

Grade: D

More about

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

Loading…
Loading…

NFL Draft Coverage

DaQuan Jones' father reacts to son's drafting
Posted: May 12, 2014

DaQuan Jones' father endured many hardships while raising his son, but it all paid off Saturday as the Tennessee Titans drafted DaQuan.

Comments (0)
Glenn Carson, Garry Gilliam sign deals as undrafted free agents
Posted: May 10, 2014

Former Nittany Lions Garry Gilliam and Glenn Carson signed with NFL teams after going undrafted. 

Comments (0)
Former Nittany Lions find NFL homes
Posted: May 11, 2014

Forget about Silas Redd and Khairi Fortt? Two NFL teams didn't

Comments (0)
NFL Draft Recap
Posted: May 11, 2014

Three former Nittany Lions were drafted in the 2014 NFL Draft. 

Comments (0)
Tennessee Titans draft DaQuan Jones in the fourth round
Posted: May 10, 2014

DaQuan Jones becomes the second Penn State player to get drafted as the Tennessee Titans selected him.

Comments (0)
Math meets football: Twitter adores John Urschel
Posted: May 10, 2014

Shortly after the Baltimore Ravens drafted John Urschel with the No. 175 pick in the fifth round, fans and teammates took to Twitter to discuss their thoughts.

Comments (0)
Fans, teammates react to Allen Robinson getting drafted
Posted: May 09, 2014

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected wide receiver Allen Robinson with the No. 61 overall pick in the second round. Robinson watched as 10 wide receivers were picked before the Jaguars ended his wait.

Comments (0)
Jacksonville Jaguars draft Allen Robinson in 2nd round of NFL Draft
Posted: May 09, 2014

The Jaguars ended wide receiver Allen Robinson's wait as they selected him with the No. 61 overall pick in the second round. 

Comments (0)
John Urschel's diary: Draft day arrives
Posted: May 09, 2014

John Urschel continues his journal series for the Associated Press with his newest post: Draft Day. 

Comments (0)
Matt McGloin's moxie running dry in Oakland?
Posted: May 09, 2014

With the Oakland Raiders selecting Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr with the No. 36 pick in the second round, the Matt McGloin era in Oakland might be coming to an end.

Comments (0)