PSU-Pitt matchup: Key players, positions

Penn State’s defense is looking to rebound. Pittsburgh is determined to score more points against the Nittany Lions after PSU held the Panthers to one touchdown and a couple of field goals in the 2017 contest at Beaver Stadium. Something has to give. Here are some players and positions to watch.

QUARTERBACKS

Penn State: Trace McSorley (9) produced some late-game magic in the opener and it was a little bit reminiscent of his final drive in the win at Iowa last year. Will talented backup Tommy Stevens (2) finally see the field?

Pittsburgh: Kenny Pickett (8), a 220-pound sophomore, is making just his third start, and the first two were pretty good. He debuted in the upset win over Miami. Dangerous player who can also do damage as a runner.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Penn State: Shareef Miller (48) and Yetur Gross-Matos (99) can cause problems off the edge and the middle of the D-line should benefit greatly from the return of 3-technique tackle Kevin Givens (30), who was suspended in Week 1.

Pittsburgh: Pat Narduzzi and his defensive coaches feel very good about this year’s defense and the depth at tackle and end is a big reason why. Dewayne Hendrix (8) can be disruptive and Keyshon Camp (10)had a pair of sacks vs. Albany.

SECONDARY

Penn State: Veteran CB Amani Oruwariye (21) had the game-winning interception last week and the Lions are still breaking in new safeties Nick Scott (24) and Garrett Taylor (17). James Franklin said CB John Reid (29) is still shaking off the rust after missing last year with a knee injury.

Pittsburgh: The Panthers clinched their 2016 win over Penn State with a late interception and there are playmakers on the back end. Two players to watch are Dennis Briggs (20) and Damar Hamlin (3).

ADVANTAGES

QUARTERBACK: Penn State

RUNNING BACKS: Penn State

RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS: Even

OFFENSIVE LINE: Even

DEFENSIVE LINE: Pittsburgh

LINEBACKERS: Even

SECONDARY: Even

SPECIAL TEAMS: Pittsburgh

COACHING: Penn State

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