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.
|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%|
|TE||11||RS Junior||Brent Wilkerson||40||67%|
|RB||22||RS Junior||Akeel Lynch||19||32%|
|WR||7||RS Junior||Geno Lewis||12||20%|
|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.
|OLB||42||RS Freshman||Troy Reeder||59||75%|
|DT||99||RS Junior||Austin Johnson||55||70%|
|DE||94||RS Junior||Evan Schwan||36||46%|
|DE||90||RS Sophomore||Garrett Sickels||27||34%|
|S||6||RS Junior||Malik Golden||23||29%|
|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||93||RS Freshman||Antoine White||16||20%|
|CB||21||RS Freshman||Amani Oruwariye||6||8%|
|S||7||RS Freshman||Koa Farmer||6||8%|
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.