making their mark: Lions rewriting penn state's offensive record books

By Craig Fritz on November 29, 2016 at 8:11 am
Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
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Stats for days. Behind Penn State's brash resurgence, its most talented offensive players have compiled statistics that could rewrite the most prestigious records in school history. The Lions' first season in Joe Moorhead's offense has been a revelation. Here's a rundown of what to look for to close out this season, and a peak into records that could fall in 2017.


trace mcsorley

  • McSorley will obliterate Matt McGloin's single-season total offensive mark of 3,215 yards set in 2012. He already has 3,348 (2,976 passing, 372 rushing) with at least two more games to play.
  • Those 2,976 passing yards are already the fourth highest single-season total in school history. He needs 316 yards to top McGloin's record of 3,271, also set in 2012. The magic here is McSorley has thrown 119 fewer passes than Moxie did that year.
  • On to the tuddies: McSorley is tied for the fourth most passing touchdowns in a single season with 21. He needs just four more to overtake Daryll Clark, who set the record with 24 in 2009. With 27 total touchdowns, he's also nearing Clark's 2009 single-season record of 31.
  • Looking ahead, McSorley currently sits 15th on Penn State's all-time passing list with 3,161 career yards. He needs 1,259 yards to go by Wally Richardson and into the top 10. Another 3k season would vault McSorley into the top 4 in school history. He's also 15th all-time in total offense with 3,567 career yards. He needs 1,344 total yards to supplant Todd Blackledge in the top 10. 

saquon barkley

  • Barkley already holds Penn State's single-season rushing record for a freshman at 1,076 yards. He's now just 18 yards short  of Evan Royster's single-season sophomore record of 1,236. Without his injury against Michigan State, he'd likely already have that record. The junior record is 1,539 yards by Ki-Jana Carter, which is also the 2nd best single-season rushing total in school history.
  • His 1,219 yards this year is the 11th best single-season rushing total in school history. He needs just 23 yards to bounce Silas Redd from the top 10.
  • Barkley is the eighth Nittany Lion to have consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. He'll look to join Evan Royster as the only players with three straight years over 1,000 yards in 2017.
  • He is currently 13th on the career rushing list with 2,295 yards. He needs 524 yards to pass Matt Suhey into the top 10.
  • Barkley's 15 tuddies in 2016 is good for the 7th best single season. While Lydell Mitchell's 26 tuddies in 1971 is likely out of reach (likely), Mitchell's career record of 38 rushing touchdowns may be attainable. Barkley has 22 career touchdowns.

mike gesicki

  • After a brutal 2015 season, Gesicki has been born again in 2016. Through 12 games he now holds Penn State single-season records for receptions and yards by a tight end. His 44 catches topped Andrew Quarless' 41 in 2009, and Gesicki's 610 yards beat Mickey Shuler's 39-year-old record of 600 yards.
  • He needs 495 yards to supplant the great Ted Kwalick (1,343) as the all-time leader for yards by a tight end. Gesicki needs just 20 receptions to take the all-time lead from Andrew Quarless, who finished his career with 87. 

chris godwin

  • Penn State's consistent deep assassin has climbed all the way to 5th on the career receiving list with 2,201 receiving yards. He needs just 195 to move over Derek Moye for 4th all-time, and 826 yards to take over the top spot from Bobby Engram (3,026). If he comes back for his senior year, that would certainly be within reach.
  • Godwin's 9 tuddies this year tie him for 5th on the single-season list with Lion legends Deon Butler, Freddie Scott and O.J. McDuffie. Engram holds the single-season mark with 13.
  • His 16 career touchdowns are good for 6th all-time (again tied with McDuffie). Next up are Allen Robinson (17), Moye (18), and Butler (22).
  • With 142 career catches, Godwin is just 37 behind Butler (179). That's another record he would likely grab if he returns in 2017.

tyler davis

  • Unless something completely unforeseen happens, Davis will have the most accurate season for a placekicker in Penn State history. He is 21 of 23 (2 blocks) for 91.3 percent accuracy. The previous record was held by Joey Julius and Brett Conway (83.3 percent).
  • He needs 9 more attempts to qualify for the career mark, but his current 93.5 percent would annihilate the previous career high of 77.6 percent by Nick Gancitano in 1981-83.
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