Saturday’s win over the Indiana Hoosiers had plenty of fine performances, but no finer than the record-setting day had by senior wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton.
After Allen Robinson, perhaps Penn State’s greatest receiver, left for the NFL after the 2013 season, the most pressing question for the program was whether we had a receiver who could possibly replace his enormous offensive output. But in September 2014, redshirt freshman DaeSean Hamilton stepped onto the field. Eighty two catches and 899 yards later, DaeSean Hamilton was a household name in Penn State circles, stepping in Robinson’s shoes as Christian Hackenberg’s top target.
After an star making freshman performance, Hamilton saw his targets reduced in 2015 and 2016, mostly due to the emergence of Chris Godwin. But Hamilton stayed relevant, catching 45 balls in 2015 and 34 in 2016. Now, with Godwin gone, Penn Staters have again wondered whether there was a receiver on the roster who could fill his shoes. Once again, DaeSean Hamilton answered the call.
On Saturday against Indiana, Hamilton caught 9 passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns - two from redshirt junior Trace McSorley and one from All World Everything Saquon Barkley. In doing so, Hamilton showed off all of his best attributes. Perhaps most impressively, though, was how representative this performance was of his entire career. After tying Penn State’s all-time receptions record (previously set by Deon Butler in 2008) with a third quarter touchdown, Hamilton broke it with a fourth quarter catch.
And he still has 7 regular season games to go.
Jason Cabinda. Although Penn State’s defense has been lights out for much of the year, the leader of Linebacker U has been the subject of some criticism for the unit’s occasionally sloppy play. This was clearly not the case on Saturday, as Cabinda led his crew to a dominating performance. Fourteen tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery, and one awesome neckroll that looked great with the throwback uniforms. Great game, Jason.
Saquon Barkley. Seriously, Barkley could be the MVP every week, so the least we can do is mention him in our post. Barkley had some tough sledding on the ground with Indiana’s entire defense keying on to him. He did manage to make up for it in plenty of other ways, including once again showcasing his receiving capabilities and, of course, showing the world why he’s returning kicks with an electric 98-yard kick return touchdown. And by the way, he also threw a touchdown jump pass to Hamilton in the fourth quarter.