How will Penn State deal with the loss of a senior leader on ‘D’?

Jordan Lucas (left) is out for the season.
Jim O'Connor/Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State football's week off was not without news. 

Perhaps the biggest was the loss of safety Jordan Lucas to a season-ending injury. 

A senior captain, Lucas was fourth on the team with 56 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, and broke up three passes. 

A cornerback last year, he had 27 starts to his name. 

“Well, clearly the loss of a senior captain is going to hurt any unit,” PSU secondary coach Terry Smith told reporters in State College this week. “He was the leader of the secondary. He was the leader on the back end of our defense. He was a guy all of the players in the locker room respect and look to. 

“We are going to lose big time leadership and a big time player who could make plays. Like anything and any organization in football, we have to have the next guy step up.” 

Stepping into the void will be Malik Golden, a junior from Connecticut who has 17 tackles and one interception the season. He also has a pass breakup. 

“We have a really good defense, and we expect Malik to step in and fill Jordan’s shoes and play equally or better,” Lewis said. “That’s just the way we are shaped and molded as a defense. Malik will be ready to step in and play well on Saturday.”

Golden will be part of a secondary trying to stop a Michigan offense that has been on a hot streak, including reigning Big Ten Offensive Players of the Week Jake Rudock at quarterback and receiver Jehu Chesson. 

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