Penn State entered the San Diego State game on Saturday already down a man in senior safety Jordan Lucas. The game itself saw James Franklin and his staff also having to adjust to a number of injuries during the game. It forced some changes in rotations and scheme that we had not seen before.
|LG||53||RS Junior||Derek Dowrey||70||100%|
|C||66||RS Senior||Angelo Mangiro||70||100%|
|RT||70||RS Sophomore||Brendan Mahon||70||100%|
|RG||72||RS Junior||Brian Gaia||68||97%|
|WR||5||RS Sophomore||DaeSean Hamilton||53||76%|
|TE||11||RS Junior||Brent Wilkerson||39||56%|
|TE||87||RS Senior||Kyle Carter||34||49%|
|WR||7||RS Junior||Geno Lewis||26||37%|
|RB||22||RS Junior||Akeel Lynch||21||30%|
|RB||8||RS Freshman||Mark Allen||21||30%|
|RB||24||RS Freshman||Nick Scott||14||20%|
|WR||3||RS Freshman||DeAndre Thompkins||3||4%|
|RG||55||RS Junior||Wendy Laurent||2||3%|
|WR||80||RS Senior||Matt Zanellato||1||1%|
The big story on the offensive side of the ball involved injuries to starter Akeel Lynch and feature back Saquon Barkley, both in the second quarter. That meant relying throughout the second half on co-third stringers Mark Allen and Nick Scott. Allen received a few more carries, but it was a somewhat even split.
The tight end position is starting to resemble the depth chart, as Mike Gesicki earned more snaps this week. A couple of key dropped passed against Buffalo had him playing less and Kyle Carter playing more. It seems that Gesicki is earning his way back into the good graces of the coaching staff.
Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton continue to be the top wide receivers, with Geno Lewis and Saeed Blacknall mixing their way in. Brandon Polk and DeAndre Thompkins are still mostly being used in jet sweeps and fake jet sweeps, though Polk ran a couple of patterns Saturday. Matt Zanellato saw his first offensive action of the season, getting in for a snap on the last series of the game.
Speaking of the last series of the game, Wendy Laurent briefly appeared in place of Brian Gaia. It did not appear that Gaia was injured, and that they simply just wanted to get Laurent onto the field for a couple of snaps.
|S||6||RS Junior||Malik Golden||63||100%|
|OLB||42||RS Freshman||Troy Reeder||54||86%|
|DT||99||RS Junior||Austin Johnson||41||65%|
|DE||90||RS Sophomore||Garrett Sickels||39||62%|
|DE||52||RS Sophomore||Curtis Cothran||21||33%|
|DE||19||RS Freshman||Torrence Brown||20||32%|
|DT||41||RS Sophomore||Parker Cothren||18||29%|
|DT||93||RS Freshman||Antoine White||10||16%|
|MLB||8||RS Junior||Gary Wooten Jr.||8||13%|
|CB||21||RS Freshman||Amani Oruwariye||4||6%|
|DE||94||RS Junior||Evan Schwan||3||5%|
Though it was not mentioned until much later by the television broadcasters, Marcus Allen got hurt on the second play of the game and did not return. With Jordan Lucas already declared out of the game before kickoff, that left the safety position in the hands of Malik Golden and Troy Apke for the remainder of the game. Normally in nickel situations, Lucas played slot corner and Golden entered the game for a linebacker. With Lucas being injured, Grant Haley played slot corner in nickel situations. Haley also played outside cornerback in rotation with Trevor Williams and John Reid.
Gary Wooten made his first appearance at middle linebacker since the Temple game, playing on two series in the fourth quarter. Jake Cooper briefly appeared as an outside linebacker. The garbage time secondary saw appearances by Amani Oruwariye and Jordan Smith at cornerback.
The other defensive injury that occurred early in the game knocked Evan Schwan out of the rotation at defensive end. Beyond that, the defensive line rotation went mostly as it has over the last few weeks, albeit with some more staggering from the "pair in, pair out" style that kept a starter at the tackle and end positions at all times. At times three starters were on the bench. What they do there against Army may be an indication of how they intend to rotate the defensive line heading into the rest of the Big Ten play.