And all of it comes back to national defensive player of the year and outside linebacker Josh Allen, who is at the center of all of Kentucky’s defensive prowess. According to Odds Shark, Allen has the second best odds of being the No. 1 overall NFL Draft choice, and a good performance against Penn State would certainly help his cause. His 14 sacks are fourth best in the nation, his 18.5 tackles for a loss just 1.5 behind Penn State’s own Tariq Castro-Fields.
So keeping an eye on him is up there on Trace McSorley’s priority list.
“You definitely have to have an awareness of where he’s at at all times,” McSorley said of Allen. “Especially in certain situations where passing downs, with a guy like him, he’s able to pin his ears back and go for the quarterback. But you definitely do have to have an awareness of a guy like him, not only because of what he can do in the pass rush, but he’s extremely good at getting in and getting strips back and attacking the ball. So I think that’s also part of his edge.
“Going through the week of preparation, you’re putting a heightened level on ball security in the pocket when you’re stepping up, not letting the ball get away from you and those types of things. Yeah, you definitely need to have an awareness of where a guy like him is at at all times.”
For a Penn State team ranked 117th in fumbles lost, it’s safe to say Allen — who leads the nation with five forced fumbles — is all too aware of that fact.
But again, the good news, the Nittany Lions have seen good defenses before.