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Penn State defensive coordinator says UK “majoring in ways to run the football”

Quarterback Terry Wilson will be looking for running room Saturday against Penn State. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Penn State has gone into full game mode and is working on how to stop Kentucky’s running game led by All-American running back Benny Snell.

Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry said stopping UK will be a challenge because of the diversity the UK offense has.

“They’re unique in the way they run the football — jet motion, unbalanced, wildcat, RPOs, reads, they do it all They are majoring in ways to run the football,” Pry said. We have our hands full.”

Penn State sophomore defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos knows what Snell can do to defenses.

“He’s a really good player,” Gross-Matos said. “He has great play potential. We’ll try to keep him within the box and not let him out.”

Junior linebacker Jan Johnson says Penn State just has to keep doing what has worked it this season.

“They run a similar style to our offense, so we’ve had a lot of chances to run a defensive against what their kind of scheme is. I think that we just kind of revert back to what we’ve practiced throughout the whole season,” the Penn State linebacker said.

“The first game against App State we had a lot of new starters, a lot of new people in the defense and we gave up more points than we thought and more yards than we thought. I think that we’ve tightened it up throughout the year. I think it’s just people getting more comfortable with what we’re doing. The communication has gotten a lot better from the start of the season, and people have been executing better.”

Gross-Matos says the Lions cannot forget about UK quarterback Terry Wilson and his running skills.

“It’s obviously more difficult when the quarterback is as mobile as he is. If you’re not taking great angles on him or trying to get in too close, he’ll just turn right around on you,” Gross-Matos said. “For us it comes down to being more disciplined.”

 

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