Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry mentioned three specific players he believes have made significant improvements this year: defensive end Shareef Miller and defensive tackles Kevin Givens and Robert Windsor.
“As the year went on, they got more comfortable at their positions, and we got more comfortable with them,” Pry said. “They allowed us to take the handcuffs off a little bit.”
Miller, a redshirt freshman pass rusher from Philadelphia, has totaled 22 tackles, 4.5 stops for a loss and two sacks, while Windsor has the same amount of tackles, 1.5 for loss and one sack.
Givens has made the biggest impact. Not only has the Altoona native made six starts, but he’s also recorded 24 tackles, seven stops for a loss and 4.5 sacks (second-most on the team).
Pry, also an Altoona native, had some love for his hometown player.
“He would clean a block, stop his feet and size up the situation,” Pry said. “Now he cleans that block and is accelerating through the play. He’s faster and more comfortable.”
All three of them figure to have opportunities in the Rose Bowl when the No. 5 Nittany Lions face No. 9 Southern California at 5 p.m. on Monday.