TWO THINGS I LIKED...
1. Jahan Dotson
Okay, so this wasn’t necessarily just the Wisconsin game, but Saturday was once again a terrific reminder of just how young Penn State’s skill position players are. Look at the reception list at wide receiver and tight end — other than DeAndre Thompkins, every other player was a true freshmen or redshirt freshmen. Of course, we have come to expect this from guys like KJ Hamler and Pat Freiermuth, but let’s talk about true frosh Jahan Dotson.
Making his first career start, Dotson put up modest numbers — just two receptions for 39 yards, but the kid looked pretty impressive on both catches. The first one, Dotson had to adjust to a ball thrown higher than it should have been, but he still hauled in the catch and was able to make his defender miss right after. On his second catch, Dotson found the soft spot in the zone on 3rd and 17, and then picked up an additional ten yards or so after.
Were these plays SportsCenter Top 10 worthy plays? No, not at all. But like James Franklin has been saying since Dotson arrived on campus, he’s just a natural wideout. Even on just two touches, it was clear to see.
2. Switch Up At The WILL
This was a long time coming, but Penn State finally made a switch at the WILL, going with Micah Parsons over Koa Farmer for 84% of the snaps. Not to harp on Farmer’s play too much, but for six of Farmer’s snaps (the first series of both halves), the Badgers accumulated 131 of their 209 rushing yards. Not a big “numbers” guy, but that doesn’t seem ideal.
Fortunately, Micah Parsons was strong in relief. He led Penn State with seven tackles on the day, and while he isn’t creating a ton of havoc in the backfield — he has just one TFL on the season — Parsons is just a very solid linebacker, especially considering this is his first year playing the position.
Moving forward, there should be no doubt that Parsons should see the lion’s share of the snaps — not only because it will help for his development, but because he is clearly the better player right now.
TWO THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE...
1. No “Mo Bamba”
I didn’t get into the stadium until Penn State’s second offensive drive so maybe it played pregame, but the fact that “Mo Bamba” wasn’t played once in the fourth quarter to get the juices going for the defense is quite honestly inexcusable. I get it, getting blown out by Michigan certainly took some of the buzz away from “Mo Bamba” being Penn State’s anthem, but I didn’t need it five times in one game — just once.
We all have off days, and maybe Beaver Stadium Music Man PJ Mullen was just off on Saturday. But it’s imperative that “Mo Bamba” is played for Senior Day. Don’t want it, need it.
2. The Idiot Behind Me Who Yelled “Come On Franklin” When Miles Sanders Ran Into The Bad Snap
There are plenty of things that happened this season that James Franklin can be blamed for. At the end of the day, he’s the head coach so the shortcomings of the program fall on him. But Michal Menet having a bad snap, and that bad snap hitting a moving Miles Sanders is not one of them. If you think so, you — and I am putting this as kindly as possible — are an absolute moron.