Lions out to stall Hoosiers

From Mirror reports

UNIVERSITY PARK – Usually Penn State’s offense is the one in hurry-up mode.

That could change Saturday at Indiana (2-2) as the Nittany Lions (3-1) will open their Big Ten season by trying to slow down a Hoosiers’ offense that Bill O’Brien said will be “trying to run 90-100 plays.”

“Number one is to be able to handle their tempo,” O’Brien said during his weekly press conference Tuesday.

“They do a fantastic job. [Coach] Kevin Wilson has done a really good job from when he was at Oklahoma to now being at Indiana.”

He thinks the Lions’ defense will have to be especially adept at open-field tackling, which hurt Penn State in its loss to Central Florida.

“They get you into situations where you’re going to have to make plays … so handling the tempo and being able to tackle in space and not give up a ton of explosive plays is a big part of the game plan,” O’Brien said.

Offensively, the Lions will need to keep the ball, O’Brien said, and finish drives.

“You can see that we have different types of tempos, where we go really fast, medium fast and sometimes we huddle up,” he said. “You have to gauge, ‘How is the game going?’ Again, you don’t want to put your defense in bad situations where they’ve just been out there for a while and you go up-tempo, it’s a 30-second drive, you’re three-and-out, and your defense is right back out there. That’s not being a very good head coach or offensive coordinator.

“They play an up-tempo style of offensive football so what do we have to do to make sure that we’re scoring. I don’t think we can come out of this game with a bunch of field goals. We’ve got to score points, but we have to do it in mixing tempos. We can’t go into this game thinking we’re going to go warp speed every drive.”