We already did this for the offense, let's look at the defense.
|Freshmen (True)||13.5% (7.5%)|
Penn State had 992 total defensive snaps across its 13 game season. The road win against Indiana had the season's most snaps, with 106. The season low was a tie, with 58 snaps in both the Wisconsin and Kentucky games.
The junior class had by far the most snaps, with the sophomores, seniors, and freshmen following in that order.
|No.||Defensive End||Class||Total (%)||Season High|
|48||Shareef Miller||RS Junior||676 (68.1%)||71 (Michigan State)|
|99||Yetur Gross-Matos||Sophomore||633 (63.8%)||62 (Indiana)|
|18||Shaka Toney||RS Sophomore||325 (32.8%)||47 (Indiana)|
|49||Daniel Joseph||RS Sophomore||186 (18.8%)||34 (Kent State)|
|34||Shane Simmons||RS Sophomore||134 (13.5%)||30 (Indiana)|
|28||Jayson Oweh||Freshman||65 (6.6%)||31 (Kent State)|
|46||Nick Tarburton||Freshman||18 (1.8%)||13 (Pitt)|
|50||Max Chizmar||RS Freshman||4 (0.4%)||2 (Kent State/Maryland)|
|95||Donnell Dix||Senior||1 (0.1%)||1 (Maryland)|
The defensive end rotation was pretty defined, though the injury to Simmons that cost him the first five games of the season led to more playing time for Joseph, as well as a tag team effort by true freshmen Oweh and Tarburton, making good use of the revised redshirt rules, to give the rotation depth in his absence. Toney was on the second unit all season, as well as a situational pass rusher often deployed when Gross-Matos would move inside to tackle on passing downs.
|No.||Defensive Tackle||Class||Total (%)||Season High|
|30||Kevin Givens||RS Junior||648 (65.3%)||78 (Indiana)|
|54||Robert Windsor||RS Junior||605 (61.0%)||74 (Indiana)|
|55||Antonio Shelton||RS Sophomore||246 (24.8%)||34 (Kentucky)|
|93||P.J. Mustipher||Freshman||196 (19.8%)||31 (Kent State)|
|53||Fred Hansard||RS Freshman||97 (9.8%)||27 (App State)|
|42||Ellison Jordan||RS Sophomore||65 (6.6%)||31 (App State)|
|69||C.J. Thorpe||RS Freshman||38 (3.8%)||12 (Kentucky)|
|90||Damion Barber||RS Freshman||12 (1.2%)||7 (Illinois)|
|58||Evan Presta||RS Freshman||2 (0.2%)||2 (Kent State)|
Givens and Windsor bookended the season with respective suspensions, but otherwise were stalwarts on this unit. The inexperienced depth, combined with season-ending injuries to Jordan (played 3 games) and Hansard (played 6 games) meant a heavy workload. The lack of faith in Shelton, true freshman Mustipher, and converted end Barber forced the staff to move offensive guard Thorpe to this position starting with the Ohio State game.
|No.||Linebacker||Class||Total (%)||Season High|
|6||Cam Brown||Junior||711 (71.7%)||88 (Indiana)|
|7||Koa Farmer||RS Senior||535 (53.9%)||68 (Indiana)|
|11||Micah Parsons||Freshman||494 (49.8%)||57 (Rutgers)|
|36||Jan Johnson||RS Junior||490 (49.4%)||58 (Indiana)|
|13||Ellis Brooks||RS Freshman||205 (20.7%)||32 (Illinois)|
|9||Jarvis Miller||RS Junior||95 (9.6%)||24 (Pitt)|
|40||Jesse Luketa||Freshman||61 (6.1%)||18 (Pitt)|
|33||Jake Cooper||Senior||28 (2.8%)||9 (Pitt)|
|41||Dae'lun Darien||RS Sophomore||18 (1.8%)||9 (Pitt)|
|39||Frank Di Leo||Junior||8 (0.8%)||5 (Illinois)|
|51||Jason Vranic||Senior||3 (0.3%)||2 (Kent State)|
|25||Brelin Faison-Walden||RS Freshman||2 (0.2%)||2 (Kent State)|
The first four represent the bulk of the linebacking from this team in 2018. Parsons and Farmer essentially were co-starters at the weakside linebacker position, and Parsons eventually also backed up Brown at the strongside position as well with Miller essentially losing his role after four games and being relegated to garbage time contributions. Johnson was used more at middle linebacker than Brooks, but the team used nickel frequently to keep just two linebackers on the field. Luketa made appearances at both middle and outside linebacker while mainly playing on special teams, and is likely to see a much larger role in 2019.
|No.||Cornerback||Class||Total (%)||Season High|
|21||Amani Oruwariye||RS Senior||765 (77.1%)||101 (Indiana)|
|29||John Reid||RS Junior||606 (61.1%)||79 (Indiana)|
|5||Tariq Castro-Fields||Sophomore||596 (60.1%)||69 (Indiana)|
|2||Donovan Johnson||RS Freshman||137 (13.8%)||33 (Michigan State)|
|14||Zech McPhearson||RS Sophomore||121 (12.2%)||41 (Kent State)|
|19||Trent Gordon||Freshman||37 (3.7%)||32 (Kent State)|
|20||Jabari Butler||RS Junior||31 (3.1%)||17 (Illinois)|
Reid's rough start to the season ended up being simply a matter of getting into game shape, and he became a feature corner again after sitting out the Pitt and Kent State games. Castro-Fields gave them the depth to essentially split the duties evenly among with Reid and Oruwariye. Johnson backed up Reid in the slot, but also played on the outside from time to time like Reid does. McPhearson was the fifth option, and struggled in some big moments (like the Michigan State game). Gordon retained his redshirt.
|No.||Safety||Class||Total (%)||Season High|
|4||Nick Scott||RS Senior||870 (87.7%)||106 (Indiana)|
|17||Garrett Taylor||RS Junior||713 (71.9%)||78 (Ohio State/Michigan State)|
|26||Jonathan Sutherland||RS Freshman||202 (20.4%)||50 (Indiana)|
|38||Lamont Wade||Sophomore||117 (11.8%)||20 (Pitt)|
|23||Ayron Monroe||RS Junior||73 (7.4%)||24 (Kent State)|
|16||John Petrishen||RS Junior||36 (3.6%)||18 (Kent State)|
The safety position does not feature as much rotating for Penn State as other positions. Sutherland played a little bit more than the typical third safety for this team, though Taylor's suspension for targeting against Indiana played a factor there. Wade was primarily used as the dime safety, which explains his limited playing time, as Penn State rarely goes to dime defense. Monroe appeared ready for a larger role earlier in the season, but Sutherland bypassed him by the Illinois game. Petrishen remains a special teamer.