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Rutgers Snap Counts: Barkley and Blacknall Seeing More Time

Younger talent is earning playing time at key positions.

Chances are this play was a positive for Penn State's defense.
Chances are this play was a positive for Penn State's defense.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Noel wrote about the depth chart last night, and there were some changes that more accurately reflect the playing time we're seeing. Still, these snap counts shed more light on how the position groups are developing.


Pos. No Class Offense Snaps %Snap
QB 14 Junior Christian Hackenberg 56 93%
LT 73 Junior Paris Palmer 56 93%
LG 53 RS Junior Derek Dowrey 56 93%
C 66 RS Senior Angelo Mangiro 56 93%
RG 72 RS Junior Brian Gaia 56 93%
RT 70 RS Sophomore Brendan Mahon 56 93%
TE 87 RS Senior Kyle Carter 47 78%
WR 5 RS Sophomore DaeSean Hamilton 43 72%
WR 12 Sophomore Chris Godwin 41 68%
TE 11 RS Junior Brent Wilkerson 40 67%
RB 26 Freshman Saquon Barkley 37 62%
TE 88 Sophomore Mike Gesicki 25 42%
RB 22 RS Junior Akeel Lynch 19 32%
WR 13 Sophomore Saeed Blacknall 16 27%
WR 7 RS Junior Geno Lewis 12 20%
WR 10 Freshman Brandon Polk 10 17%
WR 3 RS Freshman DeAndre Thompkins 6 10%
QB 9 RS Freshman Trace McSorley 4 7%
LT 75 RS Freshman Brendan Brosnan 4 7%
LG 71 RS Junior Albert Hall 4 7%
C 55 RS Junior Wendy Laurent 4 7%
RG 68 RS Senior Kevin Reihner 4 7%
RT 60 RS Freshman Noah Beh 4 7%
RB 8 RS Freshman Mark Allen 3 5%
RB 24 RS Freshman Nick Scott 1 2%

Akeel Lynch is still the starter, but if Saturday night was any indication, Saquon Barkley is the featured back moving forward. Meanwhile, Geno Lewis is seeing his role in the offense decrease while Saeed Blacknall is playing more. Both are behind Hamilton and Godwin on the depth chart at this point, with Polk and Thompkins getting occasional snaps to threaten opposing defenses with the possibility of the jet sweep. And at tight end, we are still seeing plenty of two and three tight end sets, with Kyle Carter being the most used.

We also got to see one garbage time series once the game was out of hand. Trace McSorley got in at quarterback, with Mark Allen and Nick Scott getting in at running back. The whole offensive line was replaced, with two redshirt freshmen getting into the game. While Andrew Nelson is still being listed on depth chart as the backup left tackle, we know that he is injured and likely not playing for some time. Who is actually the backup left tackle? Based on this second unit, it's Brendan Brosnan.


Pos. No. Class Defense Snaps %Snap
MLB 40 Sophomore Jason Cabinda 71 90%
S/CB 5 Senior Jordan Lucas 71 90%
S 2 Sophomore Marcus Allen 71 90%
OLB 42 RS Freshman Troy Reeder 59 75%
DE 95 Senior Carl Nassib 55 70%
DT 99 RS Junior Austin Johnson 55 70%
OLB 11 Junior Brandon Bell 54 68%
DT/DE 98 Senior Anthony Zettel 53 67%
CB 10 Senior Trevor Williams 52 66%
CB 15 Sophomore Grant Haley 40 51%
DE 94 RS Junior Evan Schwan 36 46%
CB 29 Freshman John Reid 33 42%
DE 90 RS Sophomore Garrett Sickels 27 34%
S 6 RS Junior Malik Golden 23 29%
CB 1 Sophomore Christian Campbell 21 27%
DE 19 RS Freshman Torrence Brown 20 25%
DT 41 RS Sophomore Parker Cothren 18 23%
DE 52 RS Sophomore Curtis Cothran 17 22%
DT 91 Senior Tarow Barney 16 20%
DT 93 RS Freshman Antoine White 16 20%
OLB 35 Senior Matthew Baney 13 16%
S 28 Sophomore Troy Apke 11 14%
MLB 33 Freshman Jake Cooper 8 10%
OLB 43 Freshman Manny Bowen 8 10%
CB 21 RS Freshman Amani Oruwariye 6 8%
CB 12 Junior Jordan Smith 6 8%
S 7 RS Freshman Koa Farmer 6 8%
OLB 25 Junior Von Walker 3 4%

Brandon Bell returned this week, relegating Von Walker to primarily mop-up duty. In nickel situations, Bell was usually the linebacker to come off the field, though occasionally he would stay in and Reeder would leave. When Reeder was briefly shaken up in the second half, Matthew Baney took his place. Also returning this week was Grant Haley, and Penn State used this as an opportunity to rotate their corners more to keep them fresh. Jordan Lucas was shaken up at one point this week, but went to the locker room and came back in time to not miss any snaps because of it.

Last week against Buffalo, Penn State would take the whole first team defensive line off the field in the middle of the half to give them a breather. That strategy didn't quite work, as Buffalo's two scoring drives both occurred against the second team defensive line. So, they made adjustments this week, and rotated them more evenly. One of the starting defensive tackles and one of the starting defensive ends was generally on the field at all times up until garbage time. This was a more effective approach and may be what they stick with in conference play.