Penn State vs Purdue - Keys to the Game

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Pressure

Oct 12, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (91) during the second quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren- USA TODAY Sports

At this point, imagine Billy Joel’s hit song, “Pressure” playing in your mind.  That is what the Penn State defensive front four needs to be reminding themselves on Saturday.  The Boilermakers are allowing a near league-worst 3.22 sacks per game, only Northwestern allows more sacks to opposing defenses.  DaQuan Jones, CJ Olaniyan, Deion Barnes, and Kyle Baublitz, Penn State’s defensive front four, has ben very dominant against lesser opponents.  Look for that trend to continue on Saturday.  Against Eastern Michigan, Indiana, and Michigan, Penn State recorded three sacks in each game.  Against opponents like Central Florida, Ohio State, and Minnesota, Penn State recorded a total of just two sacks.

On Saturday, keep your eye on Penn State’s ability to generate a pass rush with just their four defensive linemen.  If the Nittany Lions can force Purdue’s freshman quarterback Danny Etling into errant or hurried throws, it could be a long day for the Boilermakers.  Etling has been improving, but he has already thrown five interceptions in just five games.  I see Penn State registering at least 2 sacks and getting at least 1 pick.  The defensive linemen have been salivating all week at the chance to get at the freshman Purdue signal-caller, and I think the big dogs will eat on Saturday!

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