Penn State vs. Rutgers Grades

8 of 10

Sep 19, 2015; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions safety Marcus Allen (2) gets his jersey tugged after running with the football after a play ended in the first quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports


In last week’s grades versus Buffalo, I wrote about how the secondary was the weakest part of a good defense and that they needed to play more aggressive.  They must have got the memo since they woke up Saturday night.

Senior safety Jordan Lucas, wearing  number 5 for injured teammate and roommate Nyeem Wartman-White,  had himself an impressive night. He had nine tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a pass breakup.  He also played impressively on special teams.  Safety Marcus Allen led the defense with 11 tackles, seven of them solo.  The return of cornerback Grant Haley sparked the team and Haley had a solid night with an interception and a pass breakup.  Freshman John Reid, who played the first two games for the injured Haley, returned an interception for 44 yards, recovered a fumble for 19 yards and had a pass breakup.

The secondary seemed to be in Cover 2 most of the night and they kept most passes in front of them and then immediately made the tackle.  They zeroed in on where they needed to be.  The longest pass completion for Rutgers was 30 yards, but the secondary seemed to be in position for most plays.  An impressive night that will give them some momentum moving forward.

Grade: A

Next: Special Teams