Iowa Snap Counts: Collapse Continues with More Injuries and No Answers at Quarterback

By Dan Smith on November 23, 2020 at 10:53 am
Nov 21, 2020; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions safety Lamont Wade (38) celebrates his fumble recovery with teammates against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the third quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
© Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

There are only four games left in this season. Enjoy your holidays.

Offense (75 plays)

Pos. First Team Second Team Third Team
QB Will Levis (44) Sean Clifford (31)  
RB Keyvone Lee (40) Caziah Holmes (30) Devyn Ford (6)
WR Jahan Dotson (69) TJ Jones (17)  
WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith (31) Daniel George (21) Cam Sullivan-Brown (3)
WR Parker Washington (67) Isaac Lutz (8)  
TE Brenton Strange (56) Theo Johnson (16) Tyler Warren (5)
LT Rasheed Walker (75)    
LG Mike Miranda (69) Juice Scruggs (6)  
C Michal Menet (75)    
RG Will Fries (69) CJ Thorpe (6)  
RT Caedan Wallace (69) Will Fries (6)  
  • Levis Starts, Benched for Clifford as Carousel Continues: They say when you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks. But Penn State just has no quarterbacks. Levis got the start and was tasked with avoiding interceptions by never throwing a pass more than three yards down the field. Eventually, Iowa settled on forcing fumbles, which got him benched. Clifford came in, threw two strikes for touchdowns, and then returned to his previous ways of being interception-prone. He had at least three passes knocked at the line of scrimmage, two for picks, and often those defenders were barely raising their arms. The quarterback situation is a five-alarm fire in Happy Valley.
  • Ford Injured, Running Back Room Gets Even Thinner: Journey Brown's career is over, and Noah Cain is out for the season. Now, Ford has been injured, after not even finishing the first drive of the game. It's down to two true freshmen, who are clearly not ready, or at least not ready to rescue this sinking ship of an offense.
  • Tight End Room Also Slammed with Injuries: Pat Freiermuth has clearly been fighting injuries this season, and we learned after the game that he will miss the remainder of the season. Strange is the starter going forward. Zack Kuntz was also unavailable after having missed the prior game as well. We saw Johnson and Warren get their first snaps in the regular rotation.
  • Sullivan-Brown's First Action of Season: The "veteran" wide receiver finally was healthy enough to get on the field, but was not really part of the rotation.

Defense (77 plays)

Pos. First Team Second Team Third Team
DE Jayson Oweh (57) Adisa Issac (21)  
DT Antonio Shelton (42) Hakeem Beamon (28)  
DT PJ Mustipher (35) Fred Hansard (29) Judge Culpepper (20)
DE Shaka Toney (41) Shane Simmons (22) Nick Tarburton (13)
OLB Jesse Luketa (62) Lance Dixon (15)  
MLB Ellis Brooks (75) Jesse Luketa (2)  
OLB Brandon Smith (55) Curtis Jacobs (17)  
CB Keaton Ellis (59) Daequan Hardy (5)  
S Lamont Wade (77)    
S Jaquan Brisker (50) Jonathan Sutherland (27)  
CB Joey Porter Jr. (56) Marquis Wilson (39)  
  • Several Players Injured but Return in Same Game: Smith, Toney, Hansard, and Brisker all were shaken up at some point in the game, but all managed to return to get snaps on defense.
  • Mustipher Misses Almost Entire Second Half: More concerning was Mustipher, who played the first two snaps of the second half and then never returned. No word yet on his status, but he had been getting a heavy snap load all season. It would be a big loss for a position that has struggled to get consistent push.
  • Still No TCF: Tariq Castro-Fields was a gametime decision for the second straight week, and once again did not play. Ellis took his place. Wilson is getting more regular run in the cornerback rotation.
  • No Brown at Safety: Ji'Ayir Brown was in on special teams, but was absent on defense. The only reserve safety in the rotation against Iowa was Jonathan Sutherland, though that was increased by Brisker missing some time in the second half after getting shaken up.