Nittany Lions enter the Shoe in fragile state

Penn State's tweaked defense is taking some getting used to, even for vets like Paul Posluszny. The Nittany Lions are using a lot of 3-4 this season, with a standup defensive end and shifted responsibilities for the linebackers. Posluszny, trying to show he's fully recovered from a partial ACL tear, has been asked to play on the strong side. He has been asked to cover the tight end often, and that changes his assignment from playing in more space and flying from sideline to sideline in pursuit of ball carriers.

So, why did he look so slow against Notre Dame on Sept. 9? Was it just getting used to the new job that made him seem a step slow? Was it the bulky brace -- the kind offensive linemen use -- that doctors insisted he wear? Or was it just that he and the Lions' defenders were gassed in the early going, as Charlie Weis wisely went no-huddle and dinked and dunked them into the aerobic red zone?