Thursday, December 25, 2014

For the defense

CHICAGO -- Two months ago, everyone (including yours truly) felt that the losses along Penn State's defensive line would haunt the Lions as they winded deep into the Big Ten portion of its schedule. With three games to go, that hasn't been the case at all. In fact, the line has been a strength for a unit that slipped under the radar as the new "Spread HD" offense garnered all the headlines. Coordinator Tom Bradley hasn't gotten his recognition at all for the job he's doing. I try to give him some in this morning's story.

For the defense

CHICAGO -- Two months ago, everyone (including yours truly) felt that the losses along Penn State's defensive line would haunt the Lions as they winded deep into the Big Ten portion of its schedule. With three games to go, that hasn't been the case at all. In fact, the line has been a strength for a unit that slipped under the radar as the new "Spread HD" offense garnered all the headlines. Coordinator Tom Bradley hasn't gotten his recognition at all for the job he's doing. I try to give him some in this morning's story.

But when it came time to win a closely fought, hard-nose game, the defense made its case as Penn State beat Ohio State two weeks ago to move to 9-0. With three games to play, including tomorrow's test at Iowa, the Lions will need their defense as the weather switches into full autumn mode. They're calling for a mixture of rain, sleet and snow in Iowa City and that's usually a recipe for offensive disaster.

I'm sitting in O'Hare International waiting for my connecting flight to Cedar Rapids. I guess I'll see (or feel) what the weather is like upon my landing in Iowa. Ah ... the midwest.

About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joining Joe this season will be John Stuetz, an intern for The Inquirer and senior at Penn State majoring in print journalism and marketing. This is John's third season covering the Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A native of Glenside, Montgomery County, John graduated from Cheltenham High School.

For Joe, this will be his fifth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

Reach Joe at jjuliano@phillynews.com.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected