Penn State Receiving Chart (Indiana): Dotson & Freiermuth Lead the Way, Lambert-Smith & Washington Show Potential

By Nick Polak on October 28, 2020 at 9:41 am
Oct 24, 2020; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Jahan Dotson (5) runs the ball to the end zone for a touchdown in front of Indiana Hoosiers defensive back Jamar Johnson (22) during the second half of the game at Memorial Stadium. The Indiana Hoosiers defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions 36 to 35.
Marc Lebryk-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
Jahan Dotson (WR) 4/6 94 - 4/2/0/0 1 150
Pat Freiermuth (TE) 7/10 60 1 1/7/1/1 1 124
Daniel George (WR) 3/5 29 1 1/0/4/0 - 96
KeAndre Lambert-Smith (WR) 2/2 25 - 0/1/1/0 - 125
Parker Washington (WR) 2/3 12 - 1/1/1/0 1 180
Devyn Ford (RB) 3/4 11 - 2/1/1/0 - 117
Keyvone Lee (RB) 2/2 6 - 0/1/1/0 - 125
Brenton Strange (TE) 1/1 1 - 1/0/0/0 - 100

Hands+ Rating is explained below.

Dotson and Freiermuth Fill Expected Roles as Top Targets

As the two returning players in this group with the most experience, it was widely expected that receiver Jahan Dotson and tight end Pat Freiermuth would lead the way for this unit. And that is exactly what they did. The two combined to be targeted on 16 of Clifford's 34 passes (not including throwaways) and were productive. Dotson's day was fueled by his 60-yard touchdown grab, while Freiermuth led the team in targets and was often Clifford's first look.

George Shows Improvement

Daniel George was a bit maligned in 2019 simply based on the fact that fans were expecting the former four-star to challenge for a starting role. It's important to remember that not every player develops the same way, and it often takes at least two years for players to really feel comfortable. For George, it appears that time is now. His numbers won't jump off the page and he did have a drop that would have improved field goal position on Pinegar's second miss, but he had a good day overall. He was on the receiving end of one of Clifford's best throws of the day on a 3rd-and-long out-route to the sideline, and also made a spectacular catch and toe drag along the sideline for another third-down conversion.

 

Lambert-Smith, Washington Earn Their Keep

From the days they each committed, Penn State fans were told nonstop about how both KeAndre Lambert-Smith and Parker Washington would be ready to be parts of the offense from day one. After Saturday, it's very evident why. Lambert-Smith looked smooth on both of his catches and wasted little time showing that he's going to be a dangerous player with the ball in his hands after the catch, as well.

The real star of this duo on Saturday, though, was Washington. Despite being held catch-less for much of the game, he made a major impact. As I showed in the passing chart, he was on the receiving end of Clifford's best throw of the day (which didn't count because Washington was interfered with). Aside from that one, however, the two catches Washington did make both graded out as "hard" on my scale (his third target was uncatchable). One of those was this overtime touchdown grab where he slid low and kept the ball from hitting the turf for a 3rd-down score.

 

The Drops

I'm not going to declare that 2020 will just be a repeat of everything we saw in 2018 and 2019 with respect to dropped passes just yet, but this was not not a step in that direction. Both Pat Freiermuth and Daniel George suffered drops in week one, though George's was of a higher degree of difficulty. Both were surrounded by defensive backs, which plays a part, too. As mentioned above, though, if George had been able to reel his in, it would have made for a shorter field goal attempt and potentially been the difference in the game. Freiermuth's drop was one that he'll be kicking himself for.

Receiving Chart (Season)
Receiver Catch Rate Yards Drops Down (1/2/3/4) TD Hands+ Rating
Jahan Dotson (WR) 4/6 94 - 4/2/0/0 1 150
Pat Freiermuth (TE) 7/10 60 1 1/7/1/1 1 124
Daniel George (WR) 3/5 29 1 1/0/4/0 - 96
KeAndre Lambert-Smith (WR) 2/2 25 - 0/1/1/0 - 125
Parker Washington (WR) 2/3 12 - 1/1/1/0 1 180
Devyn Ford (RB) 3/4 11 - 2/1/1/0 - 117
Keyvone Lee (RB) 2/2 6 - 0/1/1/0 - 125
Brenton Strange (TE) 1/1 1 - 1/0/0/0 - 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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