Lions defend run, well sort of
Conversely, the Nittany Lions defense plays the run well. They average just 119.2 yards per game on the ground. But the Huskies faced a comparable Oregon defense, and shredded them for 247 rushing yards on their way to a lopsided 38-3 victory. In the Fiesta bowl, it will be the Nittany Lions lauded linebackers trying to stop a nearly unstoppable running back in Myles Gaskin.
As so much of the nation talks Saquon Barkley, Gaskin had an even more impressive season. He carried the ball 208 times for 1232 yards and 19 touchdowns. And while the Washington Football team faced Bryce Love, the Nittany Lions rushing defense benefited from not facing any of the nations top rushers. They did face Ohio State freshman J.K. Dobbs, who put up 88 yards on just 13 carries. But that game quickly turned into a scoring fest, which took the running game out and put the game’s outcome into the hands of the passing offense.
Pass on passing game? Perhaps..
Unlike Washington’s 19th ranked pass defense, Penn State struggles against the passing game, finishing the year with the nations 43rd ranking. Still, the skies are not safe over Penn State, as they allow over 210 yards per game, but held offenses to just 12 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and 38 sacks. In contrast, Washington allowed just eight touchdowns to 13 interceptions and 37 sacks.
Hopefully, the Washington offensive game plan will not be tempted to exploit the Lions passing defense. But if they do, this would be the perfect game to go with a tight end trio sets. Tight end Hunter Bryant is practicing with the team once more, and adding him to the lineup gives Penn State defender plenty to think about. Is it a running play with big bodied blockers? Is it a passing play with big bodied receivers?
In the end, the Washington Football team has a solid chance to emerge from the Fiesta bowl with the win. But if they neglect Myles Gaskin, it could turn into a Siesta bowl pretty quickly.