Penn State vs. San Diego State Grades

6 of 10

Sep 26, 2015; University Park, PA, USA; San Diego State Aztecs quarterback Maxwell Smith (17) is sacked by Penn State Nittany Lions defensive end Carl Nassib (95) during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated San Diego State 37-21. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren- USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Line:

With a heavy heart after the passing of his father Friday, defensive tackle Anthony Zettel put on his best performance of the season and helped the defensive line turn out another outstanding performance.  Zettel led the team in tackles with seven.  He also had a half sack, 2.5 tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.  All in a day’s work and I couldn’t even imagine what was going through his mind during the game.  Condolences to him and the rest of the Zettel family.

Carl Nassib created havoc in the backfield.  He had two tackles which were both sacks and a forced fumble.  That fumble was recovered by defensive tackle Austin Johnson and the big man rumbled 71 yards to the end zone for his first career touchdown.  That was quite the scene watching Johnson run down the sidelines and was a huge momentum swing, as San Diego State was only down 6 points and driving towards the end zone at the time.

Garrett Sickels also had a good day, contributing three tackles, a half sack, a forced fumble and a pass breakup.  Late in the game, the backups of Antoine White and Curtis Cothran got some extended playing time and combined for five tackles and 1.5 sacks.

The defensive line turned in another performance that us fans expect weekly from this group.  They are one of the best lines in the country.

Grade: A

Next: Linebackers