Penn State Receiving Chart (Purdue): Dotson and Bowers Pace the Group

By Nick Polak on October 8, 2019 at 9:03 am
Oct 5, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Jahan Dotson (5) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Purdue Boilermakers during the first quarter at Beaver Stadium.
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
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Welcome to the Penn State receiving chart. Every week we'll show you what happened when each receiver was targeted in the most recent game. There may be a few differences here and there from the stat lines you see on ESPN, Sports Reference, or elsewhere, but I'll try to make sure to explain each of those differences below.


Receiving Chart (Purdue)
Receiver Catch Rate Yards Drops Down (1/2/3/4) TD Hands+ Rating
Jahan Dotson (WR) 2/3 79 - 0/2/1/0 1 150
Nick Bowers (TE) 3/3 66 - 1/0/2/0 - 148
KJ Hamler (WR) 3/4 41 - 4/0/0/0 1 133
Daniel George (WR) 2/2 31 - 0/1/1/0 - 125
Noah Cain (RB) 3/4 25 - 2/1/1/0 - 100
Pat Freiermuth (TE) 3/5 16 - 0/2/3/0 1 117
Dan Chisena (WR) 1/2 6 1 1/1/0/0 - 68
Journey Brown (RB) 2/2 1 - 0/1/1/0 - 100
Ricky Slade (RB) 1/2 -1 - 1/0/1/0 - 100

Hands+ Rating is explained below.

A Nearly Flawless Day For the Pass-Catchers

If not for the Dan Chisena drop (more on that below), this would have been a clean day for the receivers on catchable balls. Still, this was a great showing for this group. Jahan Dotson and Nick Bowers were the stars of the group and paced the receiving game in both yardage and Hands+ rating.

Low Running Back Involvement

The screen game wasn't as prevalent against Purdue, which led to much lower involvement from the running backs overall. The targets were there for the backs, but they weren't able to turn them into yards the way they were against the Terps.

However, as Penn State heads into matchups with some of the country's top defenses in Iowa, Michigan, and Michigan State, the ability to neutralize the pass rush with quick passes to the backs will be incredibly important.

The Pick

A quick note on the interception–hard to say what this play was supposed to be, but this was clear miscommunication between Clifford and Hamler.

The Drops

Dan Chisena was the only drop on Saturday, though it would have been a tough grab. Clifford threw the ball a bit behind the speedster, but he still got two hands on the ball.

Receiving Chart (Season)
Receiver Catch Rate Yards Drops Down (1/2/3/4) TD Hands+ Rating
KJ Hamler (WR) 19/32 394 4 22/5/5/0 4 105
Jahan Dotson (WR) 12/19 242 1 7/8/2/0 3 127
Pat Freiermuth (TE) 15/21 178 - 8/5/7/1 3 132
Nick Bowers (TE) 5/7 136 - 1/3/3/0 1 129
Ricky Slade (RB) 7/8 89 - 3/2/3/0 - 100
Journey Brown (RB) 7/9 89 2 3/4/2/0 1 71
Justin Shorter (WR) 7/9 88 - 5/2/2/0 - 129
Daniel George (WR) 4/6 59 - 2/2/2/0 - 138
Cam Sullivan-Brown (WR) 8/8 56 - 2/4/2/0 - 119
Noah Cain (RB) 5/7 47 - 3/2/2/0 - 100
Dan Chisena (WR) 2/8 46 3 3/2/3/0 - 51
Devyn Ford (RB) 5/5 30 - 1/4/0/0 - 110
Weston Carr (WR) 3/3 27 - 2/1/0/0 - 133
Zack Kuntz (TE) 2/4 18 - 1/2/0/1 - 125
Isaac Lutz (WR) 1/1 15 - 0/1/0/0 - 150
Justin Weller 1/1 10 - 0/1/0/0 - 100
Brenton Strange (TE) 1/1 4 - 0/1/0/0 - 150
Mac Hippenhammer (WR) 0/4 - 3 1/2/0/1 - 0

Hands+ Rating Explained

The Hands+ Rating is a Roar Lions Roar-created statistic designed to rate a receiver's hands. It both rewards players for making catches with a higher degree of difficulty and punishes players for missing easier catches on a variable scale. Passes that are deemed uncatchable are also eliminated from the equation.

For reference, a player with a Hands+ Rating of 100 is exactly average–they've made every catch they're supposed to make, nothing more, nothing less. Above 100 is better, below 100 is worse.

While I'm presenting these numbers now, I wouldn't put too much stock into them until after a player has accumulated at least 10 targets.

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