The Penn State Nittany Lions have had an up-and-down season in 2013. That’s especially true on the defensive side of the ball, as the Nittany Lions have really struggled to stop opposing offenses at times this season. However, beginning with the second half last week against Minnesota, the Penn State defense has really been effective. That solid play continued against the Purdue Boilermakers.
The Penn State defense has been much maligned this season, and for good reason. The Nittany Lions have allowed opponents to put up some big numbers and have looked extremely vulnerable at times. In fact the unit had a historically bad performance when it gave up 63 points at Ohio State.
Defensive Coordinator John Butler has taken much of the heat for the struggles of his defense. However, he deserves credit for making adjustments and beginning to turn things around. In the last six quarters, the Nittany Lions have given up just 14 total points.
In the most recent game against Purdue, the defense had one of its best performances in a while. Penn State held the Boilermakers to 264 yards of total offense. With the exception of a few big plays, Purdue was unable to get much offense going, especially on the ground. The Boilermakers were held to just 41 yards rushing.
Things could have turned negatively when Purdue sustained a long drive to start the third quarter that resulted in a touchdown. That score brought the Boilermakers to within seven points. However, the defense clamped down after that drive and didn’t allow any more points to be scored.
Penn State made plays all over the field on defense, pressuring freshman quarterback Danny Etling and causing several mistakes. The Nittany Lions recorded six sacks and forced a total of three turnovers.
Cornerback Adrian Amos had a monster game, leading the team with eight tackles. He also recorded one-and-a-half sacks in the contest. Jordan Lucas also had a good game, making three tackles and coming up with a big interception. Lucas also made some big hits and pass deflections that won’t show up on the stat sheet.
After being talked about negatively for much of the year, this was a great game for the defense. With two games remaining in the season, the Nittany Lions will look to continue their strong play on defense and close out the season in top form.
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