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MMQB: What's Up With The Defense?

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So...about Saturday night...

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

So that sucked.

With most Penn State teams, racking up 455 yards, scoring 31 points, and being relatively clean when it comes to penalties is enough to win any game. Not because it's an earth-shattering offensive performance, but because there's no way in hell that a Penn State defense would allow more points when the offense is that locked in.

In the last decade, Penn State has scored at least 31 points in a loss twice: in a 2007 loss at Michigan State (35-31), and in a 2002 overtime loss to #3 Iowa (42-35). In neither of those games have the opposition put up as many total yards (507), rushing yards (219), or passing yards (288) as UCF put up on Penn State over the weekend. Long story short, when Penn State's offense puts the team in a position to win, the defense comes through.

Of course, the 2013 version of Penn State's defense is a bit different from ones in the past. Its defensive coordinator, John Butler, is a DC for the first time in his career. Its secondary is starting two inexperienced -- albeit talented -- guys at cornerback in Jordan Lucas and Trevor Williams. Its second best linebacker this year has been a safety, Stephen Obeng-Agyapong. Its defensive line has been solid, but has gotten no production from arguably its best player, Deion Barnes.

So put on your coaches caps and answer this, BSD faithful:

What was Penn State's problem on defense against UCF, and can it be fixed? If so, how? If not, why?


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