Penn State’s defensive line has long been an integral part of the program’s success, dating back to the days of Joe Paterno and position coach Larry Johnson. But that unit’s dominance has continued under James Franklin and Sean Spencer, anchored of course by the 1-2 punch of Austin Johnson and Anthony Zettel inside. The front four are making even more noise this season as the Nittany Lions with the third-most sacks (21) and fourth-most tackles for loss (46) in the country.
The emergence of fifth-year senior Carl Nassib as a dominant force has been a big key for Franklin’s defense. The 6-7, 272-pounder ranks No. 2 nationally with eight sacks and No. 5 with 10 tackles for loss. His path into opposing backfields has been undoubtedly made more clear by playing alongside Johnson and Zettel, who continue to attack extra attention, and for good reason.
Former NFL offensive lineman Ross Tucker broke down the group, how it has been so effective and why winning the battle in the trenches is so important on this week’s Keystone Kickoff Show. Check out audio of the show in this post and be sure to check back in to KeystoneSportsNetwork.com for plenty more Penn State podcasts and analysis.