Penn State defense shines in latest showing against Ball State

·2 min read

Going into the 2021 college football season, it was widely expected the Penn State defense would be the biggest strength on the team. Two weeks into the year, that idea has carried through. Penn State’s defense was once again solid in all areas in a win against an experienced Ball State team and the defense is providing reasons to continue being optimistic about what the Nittany Lions could do this season.

Ball State racked up 295 yards of offense on Penn State, with a good chunk coming in the second half once the first-team players started coming out for Penn State. Despite playing with its first string a little bit longer, Ball State was unable to get the football across the goal line until late in the fourth quarter, when the game was all but official.

Penn State has now played eight quarters of football and forced five turnovers and allowed just two touchdowns. Not too many teams around the country can say the same thing right now. In fact, Penn State’s defense has now scored half as many touchdowns as they have yielded.

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Penn State’s secondary, led by Jaquan Brisker and Tariq Castro-Fields, was up against one of the better under-the-radar receivers in college football, but Ball State’s Justin Hall caught six passes for just 35 yards. Ball State accomplished its goal of getting their top offensive player the football, but Penn State excelled in not letting him turn a big play.

It’s still just two games, but the Penn State defense has lived up to its billing against two competent opponents in Wisconsin (on the road) and a heavily experienced Ball State program. Bigger challenges still are coming, beginning next week against an Auburn team that has already put up 120 points in two games, an Iowa team that is locking down a spot in the top 10 this week, and, of course, Ohio State.

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