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Snap Counts: Big Ten East Champs Penn State vs Michigan State

Who played where, and amazing season stats.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

On Offense

  • 5th-year senior Derek Dowrey got the start at LG, but redshirt frosh Gonzalez went the rest of the way.
  • Juniors and Seniors had 73 offensive line snaps in this one.  Freshmen and Sophomores had 212.
  • Ryan Bates has been really good at LT.  So good that it makes me wonder if he found a permanent home out there.
  • That was Irvine Paye at RB the last few snaps, not Cordell Mitchell.  Had me fooled for a minute, though.

On Defense

  • John Reid got a bit of a breather Saturday for the first time all season.
  • 14 dudes took snaps on the defensive line, including Marine walk-on Immanuel Iyke.
  • Big shout out to #39 Frank Di Leo, a 5'9", 210lber who became the 13th guy to take linebacker snaps for Dear Old State this year.

Completely Random, Probably Useless Thoughts

  1. Mike Gesicki became the single-season record holder for receptions by a tight end on Saturday, with 44 balls in 12 games.  He caught just 12 in 13 games last season.  But here's two other things that are really cool about Gesicki in JoeMo's offense:  a) he's averaging 14 yards per reception - the highest mark for a TE, probably ever at PSU, but definitely pre-Andrew Quarless; i.e., Mike's getting to run down the field, not just on 2-yard outs; and b) JoeMo's not asking him to be a blocker, too much.  Which is a really good thing for a receiving TE.
  2. In totally unrelated news, highly rated 2018 pass receiving TE Zach Kuntz verballed to PSU.  He was previously considered a not-PSU lean.
  3. Last year's offense produced an eye-popping 67 big plays (20+ yards) on offense in 13 games - the most since 2008.  Thru 12 games this year?  80.
  4. 2016 is 13.4 points per game better than 2015.  Two touchdowns better.  At 36.6 ppg, 2016 is a safety shy of 2008's 38.9 ppg.  And 2008 didn't have to play 6 different offensive tackles and 5 different guards.
  5. In the first 5 games, PSU averaged 365 ypg on offense, which would be 105th nationally.  In the last 7 games, they're averaging 476 ypg.  That'd be 25th.
  6. This season's craziness is not limited to the offense, of course. In the first five games, opponents averaged 403.6 ypg, which would make our defense 61st nationwide.  In the last seven games, they've averaged 306.0 ypg.  That'd be 8th.
  7. The offense added 110 yards per game to their total, while the defense trimmed 100 yards off their per game average.
  8. In the middle of the season.....both sides of the ball went from bottom half nationally, to top 25.  At the same time.  Halfway thru the year.
  9. You, don't see this very often.
  10. What a crazy year, friends.