Nittany Nation in Ireland: Key Matchups

Nittany Nation in Ireland: Key Matchups

Penn State's defense could have their hands full with UCF's receiving corps Saturday.
DUBLIN, IRELAND – Crews are working on Croke Park putting the lines on the field for Saturday’s Penn State/UCF game, and the matchup many are looking at are UCF’s wide receivers against Penn State’s defensive backfield.

“I honestly think they might be the best corps of receivers we face this season,” said Penn State cornerback Jordan Lucas.

Lucas and the rest of the Penn State defense has been studying on the Knights’ trio of returning wide receivers, who have combined for more than 2,400 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2013.

“You're talking about all their experience, all their production coming back,” said Penn State Head Coach James Franklin.

A wrinkle in the Nittany Lions’ preparations comes from their new quarterback, Pete DiNovo.

“It's a little bit different,” said Lucas. “Because you never know if the new quarterback will be able to make some of the throws and keep plays alive like (Blake) Bortles did.”

At the same time, talent on the outside can help young QBs produce; something the Nittany Lions know firsthand.

“You think about Hack last year and Allen Robinson and all the plays that Allen made for him,” said Franklin. “You know, if he throws a hitch and someone makes a play for him or a shallow cross or a drag and someone makes a play for him, that's gonna give a quarterback confidence.”

Saturday’s game kicks off at 8:30 a.m. ET and will air on ESPN2.
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