Penn Staters At The Next Level: Week 4

Penn State’s defensive line has been among the best units in the country in recent years. 

On Sunday, one former member of the “Wild Dogs” made his opening mark in the NFL. 

Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Carolina Panthers

Gross-Matos has been working through a minor injury early this season and had struggled to make an impact through the first three weeks.

But he flashed his potential in the Panthers’ upset win over the Cardinals on Sunday. 

YGM came up with a big sack/forced fumble in the third quarter with Arizona driving into Carolina territory, displaying a great burst off the edge to blow by Cardinals left tackle D.J. Humphries.

He would finish the game with that sack/fumble and three total tackles. 

Sam Ficken, K, New York Jets

Photo by Steve Manuel

Look, the New York Jets aren’t very good. They’re probably the worst team in the league and look a safe bet to pick No. 1 in the NFL Draft next spring.

One glimmer of positivity for the Jets, however, is former Nittany Lion place kicker Sam Ficken.

Ficken made all five of his field goal attempts — including a season-long boot of 54-yards — and his lone extra point try. 

He nailed a 36-yard attempt in the 4th quarter to give his team a 28-27 before the Jets collapsed late in the game. 

Donovan Smith, OT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Photo By Steve Manuel

Donovan Smith anchored the left side of the Tampa Bay offensive line as the group protected QB Tom Brady almost perfectly on Sunday.

The Buccaneers offense put up 484 yards of total offense in a 38-31 win over the Chargers and Brady stayed clean in the pocket.

The Chargers defensive line, one of the better pass-rushing groups in the league, didn’t bring down Brady for a single sack thanks to Smith and his teammates up front. 

After an up-and-down first few games, Smith and the rest of Tampa’s offense is starting to gel, even with injuries to former Nittany Lion Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette. 

Allen Robinson II, WR, Chicago Bears

We normally only highlight three Nittany Lions who had a standout week in the NFL, but Robinson II made that impossible. 

He’s now featured in our NFL recap three out of the first four weeks of the season. 

While Chicago’s offense was stagnant for much of the afternoon in its loss to Indianapolis, Robinson shined once more. 

ARob led his team in receiving yards again with 101 yards on seven receptions, marking his second-straight 100-yard game. 

He made a trademark leaping grab over a Colts defender late in the fourth quarter to give him his second touchdown grab of the season. 

Nittany Lions In The NFL
Baltimore Ravens (1): Trace McSorley
Buffalo Bills (1): Ryan Bates
Carolina Panthers (2): Yetur Gross-Matos
Chicago Bears (2): Jordan Lucas, Allen Robinson II
Dallas Cowboys (2): Sean Lee, Connor McGovern
Denver Broncos (2): DaeSean Hamilton, KJ Hamler 
Detroit Lions (3): Jason Cabinda, Jesse James, Amani Oruwariye
Green Bay Packers (1): Adrian Amos 
Houston Texans (1): John Reid 
Indianapolis Colts (1): Robert Windsor 
Las Vegas Raiders (2): Nick Bowers, Carl Nassib
Los Angeles Rams (1): Nick Scott
Miami Dolphins (1): Mike Gesicki
Minnesota Vikings (1): Dan Chisena 
New Orleans Saints (1): Blake Gillikin 
New York Giants (3): Saquon Barkley, Cam Brown, Austin Johnson
New York Jets (1): Sam Ficken, Chris Hogan, Ross Travis
Philadelphia Eagles (2): Miles Sanders, Trevor Williams 
Pittsburgh Steelers (1): Marcus Allen, Stefen Wisniewski 
San Francisco 49ers (2): Kevin Givens, Robbie Gould 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3): Chris Godwin, A.Q. Shipley, Donovan Smith 
Tennessee Titans (2): Jack Crawford, DaQuan Jones
Washington Football Team (1): Troy Apke 

Nittany Lions On NFL Coaching Staffs
Matt Rhule – Carolina Panthers Head Coach
Tom Bradley – Pittsburgh Steelers DBs Coach
Bobby Engram – Baltimore Ravens TEs Coach
Al Golden – Cincinnati Bengals LBs Coach
D’Anton Lynn – Houston Texans Secondary Coach
Mike Munchak – Denver Broncos OL Coach
Jeff Nixon – Carolina Panthers Senior Offensive Assistant

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