Seven days after getting gutted by - of all teams - the Indiana Hoosiers for 268 sack-adjusted yards on the ground, Penn State returned to Beaver Stadium, and responded with an outstanding defensive effort against the 18th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes. It came in just the nick of time, as the Hawkeyes’ run-heavy offense sought to mash our Lions. Fortunately, the Hawks failed, for the most part.
Film Room was a little hard on our boys last week, but they certainly earned a pat on the back after this week’s effort. Let’s get to the atta-boys.
Kill The Lights
At Indiana, even in the shadow of their own goal line, PSU’s defense looked hesitant. Not so, versus the Hawks. Iowa tries to blast an ISO BOB Lead into our faces, and Jan Johnson - with a little help from safety Nick Scott - launch like scud missiles to stuff the run. What a contrast in effort, and result.
This is a reminder, friends, that we’re playing in the Big Ten Conference. And in the Big Ten Conference, this mugging of Jan Johnson - below, directly in front of the umpire - is definitely not offensive holding. Because it’s not holding, it’s instructive of two things in particular: 1) it’s mighty difficult to stop the run completely; and 2) it still pays to recruit 240+ lb linebackers, who wear big boy pants.
Commence praise of Ellis Brooks and Cam Brown - playing like Penn State linebackers vs Iowa.
Praise for Micah Parsons, reading and trusting his keys on 3rd and 20.
Praise for Shaka Toney, who not only doesn’t pass-rush himself out of the play, but fights like crazy not to get hooked by the tight end (but does get tackled), and spills the runner to the sideline, for Ayron Monroe to make the tackle (after Jonathan Sutherland, filling in for suspended Garrett Taylor, got dinged).
Praise for the End-Tackle stunts in the run game causing tackles for loss in the gif below...
...and in this gif, too. (ET stunts ruining a run play. Where have we seen that.)
Praise for Robert Windsor’s constant hustle, and for Shareef Miller, whipping TJ Hockenson at the point of attack...
...as well as for chasing down runs away from him like Lawrence Taylor.
Praise for Yetur Gross-Matos, creating a film cut up that will play on an NFL Draft show at some point in the future.
Complete Rush Chart with Linky to Gifs, including Less-Than-Perfect Plays
|Drive||Down||Distance||FieldPos||Personnel||Formation and Play Call||Yds Gained||Note|
|1||1||10||P29||12||Shotgun Ace IZ||5||Jan fills|
|1||2||5||P24||12||Wing Right Jet Sweep||4||Shareef just misses|
|1||3||1||P19||21||I Form ISO BOB||-3||Blowed up, facemask|
|1||1||G||P10||11||Shotgun 3x1 OZ||5||Koa caught inside|
|1||2||G||P5||21||I Form ISO BOB||1||Jan and Nick|
|2||2||5||P37||21||Wing Right OZ||4||Jan got tackled|
|2||3||1||P33||21||I Form Sweep Left||9||gave up edge|
|2||1||10||P24||21||I Form Lead Draw||3||Jan and Micah read|
|3||1||10||I25||21||I Form OZ||3||Cam and Brooks stuff|
|4||1||10||I43||12||Shotgun Ace OZ||4||Brooks fills|
|4||3||20||I47||11||Shotgun 2x2 Draw||2||Micah stays patient|
|5||1||10||I31||21||I Form Sweep Right||1||Shaka spills|
|6||1||10||P46||21||I Form ISO BOB||11||we got got|
|6||1||10||P35||21||I Form OZ Lead||4||Micah fills|
|6||2||6||P31||12||Wing Right OZ||0||ET stunt, Yetur TFL|
|7||1||10||I35||12||Ace OZ||2||Simmons sticks with it|
|7||2||8||I37||20||Shotgun 2 Backs Split Zone||4||gave up edge|
|7||2||4||P36||11||Shotgun 2x2 OZ||-3||Yetur boss|
|8||2||10||I25||12||Wing Right OZ||23||Cut back, Jan shoots gap|
|8||1||10||I48||12||Ace OZ||-4||Givens and Yetur boss|
|9||1||10||I25||12||Wing Left OZ||10||Cut back, Jan overruns|
|9||1||10||I35||12||Wing Left IZ||12||Koa, Simmons, Taylor|
|9||1||10||I47||12||Wing Left IZ||4||Koa shoots gap|
|9||2||6||P49||21||I Form ISO BOB||1||Shelton anchors vs double|
|10||2||7||I32||21||I Form OZ||0||Windsor + Shareef|
|11||2||10||I25||12||Wing Left OZ||0||Shareef pursuit|
|11||1||10||I36||12||Wing Left OZ||4||Cut back, Koa recovers|
|11||2||6||I40||21||I Form Lead Draw||2||Koa and Jan make stop|
|13||1||10||I25||12||Wing Right IZ||0||ET stunt, Shareef TFL|
|13||1||10||I48||11||Shotgun 2x2 Split Zone||20||gave up edge|
|13||1||15||P37||11||Shotgun 3x1 Jet Sweep Reverse||5||Amani stayed home|
Hit The Lights
This post is already too long. PSU’s run defense played inspired bootball vs Iowa. We’ll need another inspired effort on Saturday at Michigan.