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Taking a Look at DaeSean Hamilton's Breakout Game

The NEW A-Rob? Sure, why not?

Patrick Bolger

Entering the season, much was made of who would be catching Christian Hackenberg's balls.

Would it be primarily the Tight Ends? Would it be Geno Lewis taking a jump in production? The freshmen? Hackenberg dismissed the questions all summer. I'd say that this question was answered on Saturday in Dublin.

DaeSean Hamilton - More like BaeSean*.

The talented young redshirt Freshman came into the year with no playing experience, and was coming off a wrist injury late his senior year of high school. He was a touted recruit, but he had a questionable outlook for 2014...or so we thought.

In Hamilton's first game as a Nittany Lion he had a terrific performance, catching 11 passes for 165 yards.

From the start of the game, Hackenberg and Hamilton had a connection. On the first play of the game, Hackenberg already showed good chemistry with DaeSean, hitting him as he looked back with nice anticipation; Hamilton snapped the ball out of the air for a 7 yard gain. With Hackenberg's next pass came another completion between the two...this one much more impressive than the last:

After a penalty on UCF on a punt attempt, Penn State got the ball back, and they would take advantage of the opportunity. Using the PA Pass, Hack would hit Hamilton downfield for a Big Gain into the Redzone. Following this connection, after 3 runs, PSU would score via Zach Zwinak.

The next drive saw Hamilton catch a screen pass (a John Donovan/Bill O'Brien Special) and YAC it for 5. Then, on a boot to the right, DaeSean emerged open on a comeback, but Hack threw the ball {way} short to him, so it was an incompletion. Later, Christian hit DaeSean on a successful comeback where Hamilton showed 1) great ability to get separation and 2) terrific talent to go up and get the ball; he would fall just short of a 1st down. Later on in the drive, the sophomore QB rolled to his right and hit DaeSean on a flawless corner route into the goalline.

After the field goal on that drive, Hamilton would catch yet another Hackenberg pass on the next drive, but for only 4 yards. The next completion between and Hamilton was possibly the best of Hamilton's day. Though he couldn't maintain his balance and continue for a touchdown, Hamilton showcased OUTSTANDING route running on the play, and ran right past his man for the huge gain. Hackenberg underthrew the pass; otherwise it potentially could have been an easy touchdown.

On the very next play, Hackenberg launched a fastball at Hamilton, but it was way out of the reach of the redshirt freshman WR. At this point, Hamilton comes off the field and ESPN shows the graphic of that Hamilton has 8 catches for 152 yards, to that point. They then re-show the above replay of their Hack-DaeSean deep ball.

From this point on, Hamilton had 3 catches for 13 yards, and all of that came on screen passes.

During and after the game much was made of Hamilton's performance, specifically is immediate connection with Hackenberg. Comparisons were drawn between him and a (freshman) Allen Robinson. High praise for DaeSean.

Among those comparing DaeSean Hamilton to Allen Robinson were:

All in all, there's a lot to be excited about with DaeSean Hamilton and the Penn State Passing Game.

*h/t our own Chad Markulics for both the "BaeSean" and BSD twitter hijinks.