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Nebraska-Penn State: Five Key Battles

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Defensive back Jesse Della Valle was the team's fifth safety to start the season, but nearly no depth on defense has forced him into a starting role. Photo by David Dermer/Getty Images.
Defensive back Jesse Della Valle was the team's fifth safety to start the season, but nearly no depth on defense has forced him into a starting role. Photo by David Dermer/Getty Images.

Penn State vs. Depth

The lingering effects of sanctions against Penn State are becoming more apparent as the season progresses.

The team lacks depth at every position except tight end. The lack of quality, veteran players has forced safeties Stephen Obeng-Agyapong to play weak side linebacker and Adrian Amos to play cornerback.

That’s just two examples. Fatigue could be the reason the Nittany Lions fall short to Nebraska today.

Just how much can a small team take in one season?

It’d be nice to think that heart, which Penn State has plenty of, can overcome fatigue.

Unfortunately, the other more obvious problem here is that Penn State is fielding a lot of players out of their natural positions, which has caused problems on both sides of the ball.

Don’t believe me? Go back and watch the first half against Minnesota. Tell me Brandon Moseby-Felder is a No. 2 receiver. Tell me Obeng-Agyanpong and Amos don’t look out of position on defense. Tell me Jesse Della Valle and Ryan Keiser should be starting safeties.

You can’t.