UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — While Penn State’s road win at Indiana was a win for the big fellas on offense, the defensive line helped set the stage for a record setting day.
Coach James Franklin opened his Tuesday press conference naming each defensive linemen as a Player of the Week after the Nittany Lions performance in Bloomington. That group of course includes defensive end Chop Robinson, who transferred to Penn State from Maryland.
“Obviously, he’ll be excited to play,” said James Franklin, Penn State’s head football coach. “They’ve got some players on their team from Pennsylvania, they’ll be motivated.”
Robinson was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and his transfer to Penn State was splashy for the Nittany Lions. He recorded just his second sack of the season against Indiana, but has been a big part of the team’s pass rush.
Penn State is fourth in the Big Ten in sacks and while the team has notoriously leaned on blitzing linebackers and safety’s to get home. Five of Penn State’s six sacks Saturday came from the guys on the line.
“It’s about match ups,” said Franklin. “It’s about, you know, they threw the ball a lot. It’s about us, you know, play man coverage and, you know, forcing the quarterback to hold onto the ball. It was about, you know, our guys are getting better and some of the matchups were favorable.”
Protecting quarterbacks has not been a strength this year for Maryland who ranks towards the bottom in the Big Ten in sacks allowed. Against conference opponents, they have allowed on average three-sacks-per-game, including five last Saturday against Wisconsin.
No. 14 Penn State and Maryland kickoff from Beaver Stadium at 3:30 on Saturday.