Penn State has been bottled up by teams that defend the lane really effectively. As good as we can be on the perimeter sometimes, it can be astonishingly easy to find layups against us. I asked fans of teams that beat Penn State how it's even possible to do so, and apparently defending the lane with a real big boy is how you do it.
Of course, "force penn state to shoot threes" isn't a viable strategy when they're incapable of missing against our team.
It's fitting that you say you don't "know" this team personally because this team seems difficult to understand in all aspects (yes I know you were mostly talking about not having as much exposure to these guys personally as our veterans, but bear with me) and they are full of what seem like contradictions (bad at shooting threes but do it all the time, underwood screams at these guys but then sticks with melendez through an extended struggle).
AND YET, from a pure results standpoint, they're very easy to understand. They're middle of the pack in a Big Ten that has a deep middle, they lose to top-50ish teams on the road but rarely lose at home, they don't win the big road game but they won't drop a particularly embarrassing game. They've absolutely dominated their wheelhouse and rarely succeeded outside of it.
They're REMARKABLY consistent, but they take very interesting routes to achieve those results.