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Scouting Penn State's Week One opponent, the Purdue defense: BWI Daily

Sean Clifford Penn State Purdue On3
STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 05: Sean Clifford #14 of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates after making a first down against the Purdue Boilermakers during the first half at Beaver Stadium on October 5, 2019 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Penn State football is hard at work getting ready to face Purdue in Week One of the 2022 season, and so is film analyst Thomas Frank Carr. Today, he and senior editor Nate Bauer flip spots on the BWI Daily Edition so Bauer can ask questions of T-Frank and find out what he saw on film.

Will Purdue pass rush be good enough to slow down Penn State?

To start, T-Frank and Bauer asks T-Frank to describe the overall scheme for Purdue and how the defense functions for the Boilermakers. However, T-Frank takes a different approach by describing the players that Purdue lost and how that changes what they might want to do on defense. That way, he can explain how Penn State can attack this unit.

Then, he follows back up to explain how the scheme flows from the defensive line. Without first-round edge rusher George Karlaftis bringing the heat on Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford, can the Purdue defense be successful? T-Frank points to Murray State transfer Scotty Humpich as a potential solution and gives his thoughts on the talents of the transfer edge rusher.

Next, they discuss the secondary and what Purdue likes to do defensively. T-Frank describes how conservative or aggressive the team is and what coverages they like to play.

Strength of the Purdue defense is up the middle

From there, he talks about the strength of the Purdue defense, which is up the middle. He is impressed by senior defensive tackle Branson Deen and his ability to cause havoc on the interior. But can Penn State control Deen and fellow returning starter Lawrence Johnson? Bauer digs deeper into that group, and T-Frank gives his thoughts.

Scouting Penn State’s first opponent, Purdue QB Aidan O’Connell

During an audio exclusive BWI Daily Edition, Nate Bauer and I discussed the Purdue offense and senior quarterback Aidan O’Connell. If you missed the show, check out the full in-detail breakdown of Penn State’s first opponent. 

However, I wanted to illustrate some of the points I made during the show about O’Connell’s willingness to throw the ball anywhere on the field. At his best, he’s a fearless quarterback that pushes the ball down the field and into tight windows over the middle. 

These high-quality throws are transformative for the Purdue offense and would be in the Penn State offense as well. In addition, O’Connell throws with timing and anticipation, the hallmarks of a great quarterback. These traits are essential to hit windows downfield in a passing offense, regardless of scheme. To illustrate how good he was last season, we’ll look at an advanced stat from PFF. His Big Time Throw Rate, or BTT, was 7.4%, which ranked 6th nationally. Only Michael Penix (2020) of Indiana and Justin Fields (2019) have had higher BTT % in the last three seasons.

To check out the rest of this breakdown, click here

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