Roar Lions Roundtable: Penn State MVP vs. Purdue

By Matt de Bear on October 9, 2019 at 8:00 am
Oct 5, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive end Shaka Toney (18) sacks Purdue Boilermakers quarterback Jack Plummer (13) during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State's defense has been downright dominant in the last two games. On top of holding the Terrapins and Boilermakers to just a seven combined points, the Nittany Lions have allowed just 232 total yards, and an absurd 41 yards on the ground. 

On a day where the defense tallied 10 sacks, and shut down the Purdue offense, one defensive lineman stood out among his peers.

Shaka Toney

Bill DiFilippo - Pretty easy: If the team gets 10 sacks and you get more of them than anyone, it's you. Plenty of defensive players deserve credit here — Yetur Gross-Matos, Lamont Wade, etc. — but let's show Toney some love.

Michael Stanley - Purdue couldn't get anything going on offense and that was largely due to the Penn State pass rush. Toney was an absolute menace from the start, finishing with three sacks. Purdue receivers couldn't run any route past five yards without Toney putting the pressure on Jack Plummer.

Nick Polak Penn State won this game because of how they performed in the first quarter. Thanks to Toney quickly snuffing out Purdue's first two drives with third down sacks, the defense was able to quickly give the ball back to the offense. The entire defense outstanding on Saturday, but Toney deserves extra love for setting the tone early for what was nearly a record-breaking day of sacks.

John Morgan - Toney started off fast and set the tone for the defense against Purdue. His two sacks on the Boilermakers first two possessions highlighted his speed, and he added one more for good measure.

Jarrod Prugar - Can’t beat getting three first half sacks and dominating the line of scrimmage like Shaka did Saturday. His pass rush was on another level and it showed throughout the game.

noah cain

Craig Fritz - Penn State needed a shot in the arm against a team that hung relatively close for too long. After a sluggish middle half of the game, Cain went to work against the Boilermakers, relentlessly pounding their tiring defense to the tune of 12 carries for 105 yards and a tuddy. Quite a performance for the freshman.

Lamont Wade

Matt de Bear - The junior safety played his most complete game in a Penn State jersey, and was flying around the field to the tune of 11 tackles, including a sack, and a defended pass. Wade's transition to safety hasn't been perfect, but you can see him improving game to game, and becoming a true threat in the secondary.