Snap Counts: Penn State Dominates Georgia State, But Injuries Linger for the Nittany Lions

By Dan Smith on September 19, 2017 at 8:01 am
Irvin Charles, Saeed Blacknall, and Miles Sanders celebrate a score.
Adriana Lacy, Roar Lions Roar

Usually these Snap Counts posts are compiled via a rewatch. However, I was out of the country and missed this game live, so this was just a watch. Did you know Penn State won 56-0 and James Franklin iced a kicker at the end? I only just found that out on Monday night!

Offense (54 plays)

Pos. First Team Second Team Third Team / Reserves
QB Trace McSorley (40) Tommy Stevens (9) Billy Fessler (4) / Michael Shuster (1)
RB Saquon Barkley (33) Andre Robinson (8) Miles Sanders (6) / Mark Allen (6) / Nick Eury (1) / Johnathan Thomas (1)
WR Saeed Blacknall (31) DeAndre Thompkins (19) Cody Hodgens (3)
WR Juwan Johnson (29) Irvin Charles (17) Dae'lun Darien (7)
WR DaeSean Hamilton (28) Brandon Polk (21) Tyler Shoop (4)
TE Mike Gesicki (32) Jon Holland (13) Tom Pancoast (7) / Tommy Stevens (3) / Joe Arcangelo (1)
LT Ryan Bates (50) Will Fries (3) Sterling Jenkins (1)
LG Will Fries (50) Michal Menet (4)  
C Connor McGovern (50) Zach Simpson (4)  
RG Steven Gonzalez (53) Charlie Shuman (1)  
RT Chasz Wright (42) Andrew Nelson (8) Alex Gellerstedt (4)
  • No Brendan Mahon: Mahon missed the game with an apparent injury, so redshirt freshman Fries took his place in the lineup. Gonzalez slid over to Mahon's right guard spot will Fries stepped in at left guard. Fries was recruited as a tackle but has the ability to play both guard and tackle and appears prepared to do so on the left side of the line.
  • Increased WR Rotation: The raw totals are the byproduct of the blowout, but they were trending towards more use of the reserve wide receivers even before this game was out of hand. Blacknall had his first receptions of the season and seemed to be rewarded with more playing time.
  • A Number of Debuts: Shuster, Eury, Darien, Hodgens, and Arcangelo made their Penn State debuts. Allen, Thomas, Fessler, Shoop, Jenkins, and Shuman made their 2017 debuts.
  • Two Tight End Set: As far as I can recall, since Joe Moorhead arrived as offensive coordinator, Penn State has only ever had two tight ends in on an offensive play when kneeling down. But we saw Gesicki and Holland on the field together for one play late in the first half: McSorley's touchdown run.
  • More Stevens at TE: Three more instances of Stevens playing tight end for Penn State, getting the ball on two of the plays he was in the game for before taking over at quarterback.

Defense (82 plays)

Pos. First Team Second Team Third Team / Reserves
DE Shane Simmons (28) Shareef Miller (26) Shaka Toney (25) / Torrence Brown (8)
DT Curtis Cothran (26) Robert Windsor (22) Tyrell Chavis (19) / Ryan Monk (7) / Immanuel Iyke (7)
DT Ellison Jordan (23) Parker Cothren (22) Antonio Shelton (18) / Kevin Givens (15)
DE Ryan Buchholz (28) Yetur Gross-Matos (28) Daniel Joseph (15) / Colin Castagna (6)
OLB Manny Bowen (41) Jake Cooper (30) Jason Vranic (11)
MLB Brandon Smith (35) Jason Cabinda (33) Jan Johnson (14)
OLB Koa Farmer (34) Jarvis Miller (23) Frank Di Leo (4)
CB Grant Haley (42) Lamont Wade (33) Tariq Castro-Fields (23)
S Troy Apke (42) Nick Scott (33) Garrett Taylor (14)
S Marcus Allen (35) Ayron Monroe (34) John Petrishen (6)
CB Christian Campbell (39) Zech McPhearson (37) Desi Davis (14)
  • Brown Injured Early: The most notable injury during this game was that of redshirt junior end Torrence Brown, who left on the cart after taking a helmet to the knee. There is plenty of depth at defensive end to replace Brown in a game like this, but you do not want to see injuries like that to your starters. Hopefully James Franklin is right and Brown's injury is not expected to keep him out for a long time.
  • Allen Shaken Up in Second Half: It was unclear on the broadcast whether Allen injured his leg or possibly his face, but regardless, he did not return after being lightly aided off the field early in the second half.
  • No Amani Oruwariye or Cam Brown: Oruwariye was shaken up towards the end of the Pitt game, and was held out of the Georgia State game. It is unclear why Brown did not play. Brent Pry responded by tightening up his rotation at corner. Cooper replaced Brown as the second string weakside linebacker behind Bowen.
  • Some Debuts: First Penn State playing time for Desi Davis. Di Leo's first action of 2017.
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