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BSD Film Room: Seniors Part 2

Film Room says thank you to the seniors.

And now just one game remains for 15 Penn State seniors. In Part One we thanked seven. This week we thank 8 more. As Galen noted yesterday, it's been a special class.

#84 Matt Lehman - Tight End

Lehman was a captain last week. He was the gigantic 6'7" dude towering over everyone at midfield, in a letterman's jacket. What a bleeping shame, because as evidenced in the Syracuse game, Lehman had earned the #1 "Y" tight end spot a little more than a year after walking on to the team from, I believe, Shippensburg U.

In the shot below, Matt is going to fake a down block, and then release to the flat.


What's awesome about this downblock is how far he takes it. Lehman, below, really looks like a lazy tight end who's been beaten to the inside by a DE. If the safety who is responsible for Matt in man coverage (with yellow arrow) were a betting man, he'd be homeless in about 0.5 seconds.


And....the safety's homeless. So is most of the Syracuse defense, for that matter. But Hack takes the easy throw, and slings one to the 6'7", 260 lb dude, because this is the first quarter of a game at Giants Stadium (er, MetLife - whatever).


The big hoss turns upfield, uses a stiff arm, and clears 20 yards or so. First down. Dang, we missed you this year Matt Lehman.


#1 Malcolm Willis - Safety

I could have picked the play before half against UCF when Malcolm became the first guy to pick off Blake Bortles in 250 pass attempts. That would be too easy, and besides - I like this play better. In the shot below, Willis is one-half of a 2-deep safety look facing 2nd and 9 - that's passing down and distance. But Syracuse is going to run. In fact, the Orange are going to pull a guard and blast the ball off tackle.


Malcolm comes to the line like someone insulted his momma.


You're seeing that correctly - the black line is the line of scrimmage, and Malcolm Willis has already forced the back outside.


And Malcolm makes the Tackle For Loss, blasting thru the intended hole from 10 yards deep, chasing the Syracuse back down, and stuffing him for a 1 yard loss.


#45 Alex Butterworth - Punter

Butters has a banner at Beaver Stadium. We all know that, but I like alliteration. Who doesn't? Here comes a punt on 4th and 1 against Illinois, in the 4th quarter of a tight game. Butterworth knows down and distance.


Alex has a great drop - the key for every punter.


And he blasts the ball away. The yellow arrow in the shot below points out the ball rocketing toward some Illini returner.


Butters maintains awareness, and leaves his leg hanging out there on purpose, to draw the flag on this 4th and 1.


And, to sell it like a true punter, he acts like he just got shot by a cannon. Leg in the air, splayed out like a chalk outline, pronounced dead at the scene. Flag. First down. The PSU offense gets a fresh set.


#15 Alex Kenney - Wide Receiver

It's just before halftime in a tie game, the season opener, at MetLife (nee, Giants) Stadium. Alex Kenney mans the slot in the shot below. BOB calls his number.


Alex bubbles, and snares the quick toss from Hack.


Kenney's partner on the outside misses his block. But Alex gets low, and turns on his prodigious jets.


And though contact is made almost immediately, the senior bursts through for a gain of 8.


#75 Eric Shrive - Tackle

Eric Shrive has played in every game for the last two seasons - 24 straight games.

So what.

Listen to him barely mention - and then, only to answer a direct question - that he raised over $100,000, personally, in Lift For Life, and captained a squad which set a $300,000 goal in 2013. Wow. This guy won't be unemployed a day in his life, because anyone with half a brain is hiring him.

#7 Stephen Obeng Agyapong - Safety

Obeng had a coming out party in New Jersey, just across the river from his hometown. He forced a fumble, sacked a QB, and recovered a fumble, too. The play below, though, never officially happened, as Syracuse was flagged for holding. It was a great one, though, in no small part because Stephen had just entered the game for an injured Mike Hull. At Linebacker. For Penn State. In an NFL Stadium, broadcast for all the world to see.


The Syracuse lineman wants to block Stephen. Not today. He moves forward, taking on the block while maintaining correct leverage, and looks up the RB.


The RB elects to go wide - Obeng is in pursuit, having dropped his blocker, and wading through traffic.


Stephen hurdles, splits blockers, dives, and catches a foot for what would have been another tackle for loss. That is a great play from a full-time, Penn State, Ron Vanderlinden linebacker. That Obeng stepped in for an injured Mike Hull after parts of one fall camp, and ran the play down in front of his 80,000 family and PSU friends, plus another 3 million on TV? That's great work.


#91 DaQuan Jones - Defensive Tackle

DaQuan has been a beast in the middle for two seasons, at least. This year, as a true senior, the big man has been largely unblockable. That showed best before injuries, but it's continued to show all year. In the shot below, you'll get a taste of not just his 330lbs of power, but also his quick hands and short area change of direction.


Of course, everyone else knows DaQuan is a beast, too. So Syracuse tries to double him in the shot below. How about we give a plus one to DaQuan for keeping MLB Carson clean off the snap? We can't decipher much else from the sideline view.


Don't clap too long for that, though. The Syracuse run is already over. DaQuan, at one point in the shot below, was double teamed. No - seriously. He really was.

But no longer. In fact, no one is blocking him anymore, as he destroys the point of attack, giving the RB nowhere to run. (And sorry, by the way, MLB Glenn Carson, who is now being double teamed instead).


And that, friends, is what a run stuff looks like when you weigh 300+. You make the tackle, 1500 lbs of people fall over top of you, and some stat keeper credits a safety with the stop. The #59 Syracuse guy standing erect near the official? He was one of the guys supposed to block DaQuan.


#40 Glenn Carson - Linebacker

Glenn Carson, by the way, was far and away the best linebacker we had on the field vs. Ohio - last year's season opener, which featured All-American Mike Mauti and top ~100 NFL draft choice Gerald Hodges. What does that have to do with the play below? Absolutely nothing - but I wanted it made part of the record. For far too long Glenn has taken crap about pass defense, and it's time to set the record straight. Glenn Carson was far and away our best linebacker at pass defense this season. And below, you'll find a critical 4th and 1 to prove it.


Syracuse play fakes - as you can tell by others backpedaling late. Glenn is dropping into his hook zone. But playing a zone drop is about a lot more than just "getting to a spot" in this defense. You need to know down, and distance, and, if you know route combinations, that sure as heck doesn't hurt. In the shot below, Glenn is caught looking up an underneath receiver, even though a tight end, by design, is intended to draw his attention away. Smart - smart - football.


Glenn sees it, and then he gets there, nearly intercepting the pass which, by design, is intended to make him look stupid.


Yes, it falls incomplete, because that's a difficult catch. But give it up for the guy who was too often made to leave the field on passing downs. He always played like a Penn State linebacker. And I can't think of higher praise.


Thank you seniors.


You'll be missed.

(But before you go - could you go leave a mark on the Badgers for us?)

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