Penn State’s “Disappearing Defense” Makes USC Look Great In Rose Bowl

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Penn State’s “Disappearing Defense” Makes USC Look Great In Rose Bowl

By Dave Levine

Some will blame Penn State’s horrific performance on defense against USC in the Rose Bowl on their coach’s suspending star linebacker Manny Bowen a few days before the game. I however blame the Coach’s refusal to blitz the USC sophomore QB who came out unscathed and racking up 52 points against the Nittany Lions.

Penn State blitzed at the start of the game but that effort failed, so the coaches gave up on it. By the 4th Quarter, he was rushing the USC QB with just 3 men in what is known as “the prevent defense”, a defense that prevents the defense from winning.

Some will point to the inability of the Penn State defense to stop the screen pass, a pass that should be easy to break up. Instead, they never made the proper adjustments and USC had a field day on offense.

After losing #11 (a safety, I believe) to a broken arm in the third quarter, Penn State’s defense “went into the tank”.

Some will undoubtedly blame Penn State QB McSorley for throwing that last, game-losing interception into double coverage instead of going for the first down (I believe it was third and nine).

The Penn State cornerbacks and safeties couldn’t cover. They were ofter 10 yards from the USC receivers. It was truly pathetic.