Thursday, December 30, 2010
Outback Bowl keys for Penn State
By Adam Rittenberg
Three keys for Penn State in its Outback Bowl matchup against Florida.
1. Offensive line play: The line played better down the stretch in the regular season but faces a big test with the Gators' defense. If All-Big Ten guard Stefen Wisniewski and his line mates create lanes for Evan Royster and Silas Redd, Penn State will be able to control the clock and open up the passing game for Matt McGloin. The Lions' line is a group that can make strides during the pre-bowl layoff, and it needs to step up.
2. Harass John Brantley: Florida's starting quarterback hasn't had a great season and could be transferring after the bowl game. He doesn't seem like a confident player right now, and Penn State should do all it can to get in his face. Penn State ranked ninth in the Big Ten in sacks with 16, so it's critical for a line that hasn't met expectations this season to generate some pressure.
3. Red zone defense: The Gators ranked last in the SEC in red zone offense, scoring points on just 69.8 percent of their trips inside the 20-yard line. The problem? Penn State ranked last in the Big Ten in red zone defense, allowing scores on 30 of 32 opportunities. Something has to give, and Penn State's defensive front seven must buckle down and keep Florida out of the end zone.