In the standard cliche to all football game, this one will be fought and won in the trenches. But in this one, the line of scrimmage will truly be the test and the deciding factor for the game. It will be Washington’s defensive line against the power of Penn State’s offensive front. And that will be a clash of titans.
Effective offensive line
Penn State’s offensive line blocking allowed the Nittany Lions to rush for over 2000 yards. On top of all that, they protected quarterback Trace McSorley well enough to allow him to throw for over 3000 yards and 26 touchdowns, while only tossing 8 interceptions. You of course know that the Huskies will be very aware of Lion’s running back Saquon Barkley. Barkley carried the ball 199 times and rushed for 1,134 yards and 16 touchdowns. Surprisingly, McSorley rushed for 132 times for 431 yards and 11 touchdowns.
In short, the Nittany Lions are just as dangerous when the play breaks down. That means the defensive line must know their assignments, stick to their lanes, and contain the quarterback. But as the loss to Michigan State proved: control Barkley and you control the Lions’ offense. The Spartans held Barkley to 14 carries, 63 yards, and 0 touchdowns. And that got them the win. Now, it’s up to the best rushing defense in the nation to attempt a similar outcome.