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Snap Counts: vs Maryland

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Who played where when Penn State destroyed Maryland.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Notes:

  • Andrew Nelson suffered a season-ending injury, and that really stinks.  Mahon moved from LT to RT, and Paris Palmer returned to the field.  Rumblings are that true frosh Will Fries is potentially our new 3rd tackle.
  • So many receivers.  Saeed Blacknall returned to action for the first time since Week One vs Kent State.  Thompkins bumped inside to the slot during Saeed's first series, while DaeSean took a breather.
  • At closing time, Gregg Garrity came in at slot, rather than Jet Sweep Specialist Brandon Polk.  Zero snaps for Polk since...Pitt?  The staff may be thinking of giving Polk a redshirt year.
  • DJ Durkin will want to light things on fire, and the reason is Trace-McSorley-runs-for-14-on-3rd-and-9.  How many 3rd and longs did McSorley convert with his legs?  Yuuuge plays by Trace.

Defensive Notes:

  • The starting LBs for the first few snaps were: Cameron Brown (WLB), Manny Bowen (MLB), Koa Farmer (SLB) - the same crew that closed out the overtime win against Minnesota.
  • By the third series, Brandon Smith - who I've once again mistakenly labeled "Johnson" (sorry, Brandon) - entered the game (and picked off his first pass), Cam Brown went to the bench, and Bowen moved to WLB.
  • Jarvis Miller played the final series at SLB, becoming the 10th Nittany Lion to play linebacker this season.
  • That's crazy.

Completely Random, Probably Useless Thoughts

  • Head Bald Coach James Franklin let slip a mention of Tyrell Chavis post game, as an offensive tackle.  With Curtis Cothran's return to the field, Chavis was bumped to Nose, and he's not getting more than 10-ish snaps per game there.  Plus, everyone on the DL - except for Evan Schwan - returns next year.  Moving to OT would probably cut that snap count to zero, but it would help the coaches sleep a bit better at night.  Makes us wonder about redshirt sophomores Beh, Sorrell, and Brosnan, though.
  • Based on Saturday's contest, out of the defensive front seven and OL starters, even with our injuries, Maryland would have one guy - Jesse Aniebonaum - who'd get decent snaps for PSU.  If I'd have known that last Tuesday, I'd have made a better score prediction.  But who wants to watch Maryland play Howard or FIU?
  • If we're going to have a punt blocked, then better to do it against Maryland than someone with a pulse.
  • Franklin's had 3 other decisive wins against P5 opponents at Dear Old State - specifically, Illinois, Indiana, and Rutgers last year.  Each of those came bundled with excuses.  Illinois had fired mouth breather Tim Beckman right before training camp, and had an interim coach who stupidly refused to blitz us.  Indiana played without their QB and RB, choosing to roll with someone named "Zander".  Rutgers had an interim coach while secret agent Kyle Flood served a suspension (and, you know, they're Rutgers).  This one, against Maryland, was clearly different.  Zero "yeah, but" strings attached - the Terps were a slim favorite at kickoff.  They were coming off a decisive win of their own (against Purdue, sure).  And Penn State put 372 yards rushing on them.
  • Hey, I get it - Maryland sucks.  I know it, you know it, and now Maryland knows it.  As noted above, their OL and defensive front seven are triple-homicide-gruesome.  But 372 rushing?  Out-gained them 524 to 270?  With our injuries?  Pretty great way to head into the bye-week.  Congrats on that, James.