The Penn State Players Michigan is Most Wary Of on Offense

The Penn State Players Michigan is Most Wary Of on Offense

Football

The Penn State Players Michigan is Most Wary Of on Offense

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — It might not have as high as flying of an offense as it did a year ago — when Penn State was ranked 23rd in the country in passing offense. But, even without Saquon Barkley running the ball, and the Nittany Lions stepping back to 68th passing, PSU boasts the 25th-ranked rushing offense, and can still make big plays when needed.

All of it starts under center, with senior quarterback Trace McSorley leading the charge.

But, he’s not the only big time player that Penn State is relying on this year.

While Michigan cornerback David Long sang running back Miles Sanders’ praises on Monday, there are a few other players that safety Josh Metellus is wary of. One, particularly, is a local product here from Michigan.

But still, Metellus is on high alert for what Trace McSorley brings to the table.

“They’ve got some key guys they like to go to, like No. 1 – (Pontiac, Mich. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s ATH KJ Hamler) – he’s a fast guy,” Metellus said. “He creates space well for himself. He has the acceleration to take a five yard play to an 80 yard play. And then on the outside, they’ve got No. 84 (WR Juwan Johnson) – and we know he’s a good, deep ball threat, possession guy, too. Third-and-nine, they’ll go to him on a curl out, something like that.

“And, you know – Trace McSorley. He keeps plays moving with his feet. Extend plays really well. It’s one of those things, as a defensive back in man coverage, you don’t want a play to extend. You cover your man for six seconds when it could have been three or four. So I just think that’s what makes the passing attack hard to defend.”

Should the pass coverage — currently rated No. 1 in the nation — for Michigan lock down Hamler and Johnson, there’s always the threat that McSorley can take off. How does Michigan intend to defend that?

Well, Metellus says it starts up front and relying on everything the coaching staff has been preaching post-Michigan State.

“The D-line being disciplined on their rushes,” Metellus said. “Not running past the quarterback, not trying to jump out the gap to make a play. Just doing everything we were taught throughout these last two weeks.”

We’ll see just how disciplined the defense remains. Michigan will take it’s top-rated, No. 1 defense and field it against the Nittany Lions and their 28th-ranked offense and attempt to hold them in check on Saturday, when the two teams face off in The Big House at 3:45PM EST.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN.

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