Deion Barnes becoming top pass-rusher

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Deion Barnes is fast becoming the Nittany Lions' most feared pass-rusher.

Initially pegged as a situational defensive end, the redshirt freshman's time on the field has increased because of a variety of injuries to starter Pete Massaro. And Barnes has made the most of the added playing time.

Barnes recorded his third sack of the season Saturday and now leads the team. For the second consecutive game, he also forced a fumble by reaching for the ball when going after the quarterback.

"I'm very confident right now in my ability to be a big pass-rusher," Barnes said after the game.

Only one other Penn State player has more than one sack this season. Anthony Zettel recorded two Saturday and is No. 2 on PSU's sack list. But Barnes said he plans to remain the team leader in that statistical category.

"We all battle about it every week who's going to get the most sacks," he said. "I definitely did think before the season I was going to have the most."

Barnes has seven tackles this season and a team-high two forced fumbles.