After not allowing any points in Week 2 against Eastern Michigan (the Eagles scored on a fumble recovery), the Penn State defense struggled in Week 3. Central Florida ran and threw all over defensive coordinator John Butler’s defense, handing Penn State its first loss of the season.
Through the first two games of this season, the defense looked very solid. The unit gave up an average of just 221.5 yards per game, including just 66 rushing yards per game. Last Week, Central Florida racked up 507 total yards, including 219 on the ground. The Nittany Lions were unable to stop quarterback Blake Bortles and failed to record a sack for the first time all year.
Star defensive linemen Deion Barnes and DaQuan Jones were held in check, as both had a quiet game against the Knights. Safety Malcolm Willis came up with the defense’s only turnover when he picked off a pass in the second quarter.
The defense has an excellent opportunity this week to put up a good performance when Kent State visits Beaver Stadium. The Golden Flashes have a record of 1-2 and are coming off of back-to-back losses to Bowling Green and LSU. They have struggled on offense without the services of their top running back and potential Heisman candidate, Dri Archer. The talented back suffered a leg injury in Kent State’s season-opener and has yet to return to action.
For the season, Kent State has averaged 258 total yards per game and have scored 17.3 points a game.
The Nittany Lions should be able to dominate the game, especially on the defensive line. Players like Barnes, DaQuan Jones and C.J. Olaniyan will make it difficult on the Kent State offensive line.
After being plagued by poor tackling and coverage mistakes in the secondary last week, look for the defense to step up and have a very strong game this week.
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