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TMQB: Who Will Lead Penn State in Sacks in 2018?

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Who is set to get after the quarterback the most this fall?

Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

No, this isn’t the countdown- but we’re 95 days from watching a member of the Penn State defense sack the Appalachian State quarterback and send the Beaver Stadium quarterback into a frenzy (which was something the subject of today’s countdown really excelled at). It’s one of the most exciting plays in football- getting to the quarterback before he has time to get the ball out of his hands, killing a drive or at least making it that much harder to move the chain. With that in mind...

Who will be Penn State’s sack leader in 2018?

The safe bet is Shareef Miller. The redshirt junior showed his ability to be a disruptive force from the very beginning of his Penn State career. He now seems poised to elevate his play to become one of the Big Ten’s top defensive ends this fall. But there are many other possibilities outside of Miller.

Ryan Buchholz also enters the season with high expectations as an upperclassman. If offenses really focus on slowing down Miller, it could really free Buchholz to get after the quarterback from the opposite end. Kevin Givens will finally become a full-time starter after notching plenty of time during his first two seasons of eligibility. Givens has stunning speed for a defensive tackle, and can make his way into the backfield with his explosive first step. Torrence Brown has been working his way back onto the field, and is easily one of the team’s top pass rushers when healthy. True sophomore Yetur Gross-Matos is a star-in-the-making, and could also have a big season ahead of him with one full season under his belt.

We could also look beyond the defensive line. James Franklin has stocked the roster with speed during the last few years, and despite the general lack of experience at linebacker, the athleticism at the position is matched by few others in the nation. Plus, defensive coordinator Brent Pry really likes to bring the heat from different places to keep the quarterback from getting too comfortable in the pocket. Koa Farmer is one of the fastest players on the team, and can easily get to the quarterback from the outside. Micah Parsons may just be a true freshman, but has already has the skill set of a fearsome pass rusher once Pry is ready to unleash him.

So what say you, BSD reader? Who will lead Penn State in sacks in 2018, and what’s your prediction for their total by the end of the season?