In Penn State’s final non-conference matchup, the Nittany Lions will look to right the ship as they play a team in Kent State that has managed a single win against FCS division Liberty and two sound defeats at the hands of Bowling Green and last week at LSU.
For the Lions, they need to find a defensive identity as they head into Big Ten play. The Lions have been getting gashed for large chunks of yardage and big plays. This past week, it finally caught up to them. The combination of timely big plays by UCF and Penn State’s inability to force stops on 3rd down, was a deadly combination. Penn State needs to make some adjustments this week.
While I did not expect Penn State to go undefeated this season, I was not expecting the UCF offense to completely dominate the line of scrimmage and render former Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Deion Barnes, an afterthought, nor did I think that DT DaQuan Jones would not be able to generate a pass rush either. Certainly kudos are due to a good and highly underrated UCF team, but the Penn State defense, which has always been a staple of the Nittany Lions team, must find a way to improve itself before they hit the Big Ten slate of their schedule or it could very well be a long year in Happy Valley. They need to begin making those corrections starting this weekend against Kent State.
Continue reading to find out what I see are the keys to a Penn State victory over Kent State.