Sep 6, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Mike Hull (43) during the second quarter against the Akron Zips at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Akron 21-3. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O
Boston College vs. Penn State: 5 Big Questions — #2
Q: Meanwhile, the Penn State defense has been extraordinary. What has made it so good this season statistically?
BL: Unlike the Penn State offensive line, the defensive line has a lot of experience. Those guys really set the tone for the rest of the defense. Austin Johnson, Deion Barnes, C.J. Olaniyan and Anthony Zettel are all veterans who each had a great season this year.
Zettel is probably the most improved player on the line. He moved from defensive end to defensive tackle and was really a force on the line. He spent the year disrupting the backfields of opponents.
There is also a lot of experience at linebacker, but depth was an issue. The clear leader of the defense is middle linebacker Mike Hull. His 134 total tackles was the best in the Big Ten Conference. He transformed into one of the best linebackers in the nation.
The secondary is yet again an area where there is a lot of experience. However, the injury bug hit several defensive backs, causing the need for several freshmen to step up. Safety Marcus Allen is one of those freshmen who found himself in a starting role and made an instant impact. Senior safety Adrian Amos is a leader on the backend for the unit.
Penn State’s defense is very tough, thanks to a lot of talent and a good mix of veterans and up-and-comers. The Nittany Lions make things tough on all opposing offenses.