Comparing the Penn State defense to 2021 featuring way too many stats

On3 imageby:Thomas Frank Carr10/05/22


On3 image
Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on before the game against the Ohio Bobcats at Beaver Stadium on September 10, 2022 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Once again, Penn State’s defense was instrumental in the Nittany Lions’ 5-0 start. As a result, the team finds itself with a familiar undefeated record against three Power Five teams heading into a gauntlet of Big Ten play that will shape and define the season for history.  So what are the differences between this defense under Manny Diaz and last season’s team under former defensive coordinator Brent Pry? First, we’ll dive into the numbers to find the significant changes between last year’s team and this one. We’ll use advanced analytics, raw stats, and PFF grades to describe both teams through the first five games. But be warned, look away if you don’t like a barrage of numbers.