Penn State Receiving Chart vs. Indiana: The Lack of Depth Rears Its Head Once More

By Nick Polak on November 19, 2019 at 10:00 am
Nov 16, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Jahan Dotson (5) signals a first down during the second quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Indiana 34-27.
Matthew O'Haren-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 (Indiana)
Receiver Catch Rate Yards Drops Down (1/2/3/4) TD Hands+ Rating
KJ Hamler (WR) 2/4 52 - 2/1/1/0 - 150
Pat Freiermuth (TE) 2/3 32 - 2/1/0/0 - 100
Jahan Dotson (WR) 2/4 30 - 0/2/2/0 - 100
Journey Brown (RB) 2/2 20 - 1/0/1/0 - 100
Ricky Slade (RB) 1/1 18 - 0/0/1/0 - 100
Mac Hippenhammer (WR) 1/2 15 - 0/1/1/0 - 150
Nick Bowers (TE) 1/1 12 - 0/1/0/0 1 150
Dan Chisena (WR) 0/2 - - 1/0/1/0 - -
Devyn Ford (RB) 0/1 - - 0/1/0/0 - -
Hands+ Rating is explained below.
A Continued Lack of Significant Depth

KJ Hamler left the game during the first quarter. He still led the team in receiving yards and tied for the team lead in receptions. Much of that has to do with the fact that the rushing attack took the lead, but it also speaks to the lack of established options outside of Hamler and Freiermuth. Dotson has been solid when targeted, but even he hasn't had nearly as many opportunities as his play would seem to warrant.

Some of that can be chalked up to Clifford's clear comfort level when throwing to Nos. 1 and 87, but it's also fair to question why no one outside of those two and Dotson has done enough to warrant more than 16 targets on the season.

As you may be aware, there is a football game on Saturday with rather high stakes. If Penn State is to have any hope of taking down Ohio State, they desperately need someone to step up and make an impact outside of those top three. And if Hamler isn't able to play, the Lions will need this group to grow up very quickly.

Getting the Backs Involved

Something that Penn State fans clamored for after the lack of it a season ago, was a push to get the running backs involved in the passing game. The numbers for those guys haven't been huge (Journey Brown leads the group in targets and yards with 15 and 130), but it has been apparent that Ricky Rahne has made an effort to use them in 2019.

The third-down pass to Ricky Slade was a very well-executed play and is the kind of thing it would be great to see more of over the final few weeks of the season. Slade got to Penn State with the reputation of being an excellent pass-catcher and hasn't had enough chances to prove it.

The Drops

NO DROPS THIS WEEK!!!

Receiving Chart (Season)
Receiver Catch Rate Yards Drops Down (1/2/3/4) TD Hands+ Rating
Nick Bowers (TE) 9/13 202 1 4/5/4/0 3 95
Journey Brown (RB) 11/15 130 2 6/6/3/0 1 88
Noah Cain (RB) 7/8 52 - 3/2/3/0 - 94
Weston Carr (WR) 3/3 27 - 2/1/0/0 - 133
Dan Chisena (WR) 3/17 66 5 7/5/5/0 - 42
Jahan Dotson (WR) 22/37 412 3 11/16/10/0 3 109
Devyn Ford (RB) 5/7 30 - 1/5/1/0 - 110
Pat Freiermuth (TE) 34/48 424 1 21/12/13/2 7 124
Daniel George (WR) 6/14 74 2 4/6/4/0 - 89
KJ Hamler (WR) 45/76 791 10 36/19/20/1 8 103
Mac Hippenhammer (WR) 1/7 15 3 1/3/2/1 - 31
Des Holmes (OT) 1/1 -5 - 0/1/0/0 - 100
Zack Kuntz (TE) 2/4 18 - 1/2/0/1 - 125
Isaac Lutz (WR) 1/1 15 - 0/1/0/0 - 150
Justin Shorter (WR) 9/16 109 2 10/4/2/0 - 101
Ricky Slade (RB) 12/14 105 - 5/4/5/0 - 104
Brenton Strange (TE) 1/1 4 - 0/1/0/0 - 150
Cam Sullivan-Brown (WR) 8/8 56 - 2/4/2/0 - 119
Justin Weller (WR) 1/1 10 - 0/1/0/0 - 100

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.

Hands+ ratings shouldn't be taken too seriously until said player has seen at least 10 targets.

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