Penn State is a little bit banged up on both sides of the ball, and Saturday was a worrying sign of what that could mean. Obviously Army plays a different style of football than the Nittany Lions are going to be seeing throughout the rest of Big Ten play, but that's of little comfort after a game like that.
|LG||53||RS Junior||Derek Dowrey||53||100%|
|RG||72||RS Junior||Brian Gaia||53||100%|
|RT||70||RS Sophomore||Brendan Mahon||53||100%|
|C||66||RS Senior||Angelo Mangiro||37||70%|
|TE||87||RS Senior||Kyle Carter||36||68%|
|WR||5||RS Sophomore||DaeSean Hamilton||35||66%|
|TE||11||RS Junior||Brent Wilkerson||35||66%|
|RB||24||RS Freshman||Nick Scott||31||58%|
|C||55||RS Junior||Wendy Laurent||16||30%|
|RB||8||RS Freshman||Mark Allen||11||21%|
|RB||20||RS Freshman||Johnathan Thomas||10||19%|
|WR||7||RS Junior||Geno Lewis||8||15%|
|WR||3||RS Freshman||DeAndre Thompkins||5||9%|
|TE||86||RS Junior||Albert Hall||1||2%|
The main development in this game was the injury to senior center Angelo Mangiro, who went down with an apparent leg injury in the third quarter and did not return. He was replaced by Wendy Laurent, with mixed results. Hackenberg was sacked multiple times in the second half, and though Laurent wasn't directly responsible for them, it's fair to wonder whether or not line communication with Mangiro out of the game had something to do with them.
Akeel Lynch and Saquon Barkley did not play after suffering injuries last week against San Diego State. Mark Allen started the game, but the bulk of the carries went to Nick Scott, who had a good touchdown run in the first quarter. We also saw the debut of redshirt freshman Johnathan Thomas in this game.
The tight ends were used heavily in this game with the passing game struggling. There was even an instance of a four tight end set, where walk-on Albert Hall (who until this point was only playing on the field goal unit) was put in the game on a 3rd-and-2. Hackenberg was again inaccurate throwing short passes and the receivers had instances of drops and falls while running their patterns that contributed to the offensive's ineffectiveness. Saeed Blacknall is definitively seeing more playing time than Geno Lewis at this point.
|OLB||42||RS Freshman||Troy Reeder||41||72%|
|DE||90||RS Sophomore||Garrett Sickels||36||63%|
|DT||99||RS Junior||Austin Johnson||36||63%|
|DE||52||RS Sophomore||Curtis Cothran||21||37%|
|DE||19||RS Freshman||Torrence Brown||21||37%|
|DT||41||RS Sophomore||Parker Cothren||15||26%|
|S||6||RS Junior||Malik Golden||12||21%|
|DT||93||RS Freshman||Antoine White||7||12%|
|MLB||38||RS Senior||Ben Kline||3||5%|
Brandon Bell did not play after getting banged up last week, and Von Walker started in his place. He split snaps with freshman Manny Bowen at Bell's spot. Troy Reeder may have been injured late in this game, Jake Cooper was in his place on Army's final drive of the game with the score 20-14. And Jason Cabinda left the field briefly with an injury, being replaced by Ben Kline in his first appearance of the season.
Penn State is back to a full "first unit" vs. "second unit" strategy on the defensive line, and the second unit struggled against the triple option. Both Army touchdowns occurred with the second unit defensive line on the field, with A.J. Schurr's 56-yard touchdown run coming on the first play of that drive after the first unit left the field. The triple option is obviously a different animal from typical offenses, but it is a concerning trend to have seen them allow long drives when they've been on the field together. It should be noted that defensive end Evan Schwan missed this game after getting injured on the first series last week.
In the secondary, Jordan Lucas did not appear to be fully healthy and did not play after getting run over by Schurr on the long touchdown run. Troy Apke was the only defensive player in on every snap. Malik Golden saw limited action with the triple option essentially negating the need for the nickel package throughout the game. At corner, we've seen a consistent rotation develop with Trevor Williams, Grant Haley, and John Reid more or less splitting playing time. It is encouraging to see young guys like Haley and Reid hold their own there with Williams and Lucas both set to graduate.