Well it was the trickiest game for me to count snaps because I had to check the official roster. on the final couple drives and double check the OL for every drive. I want to apologize to Henry Fessler for calling him Billy in all of my notes on this game. It was a great Senior Game, I think every active senior who hadn't seen game action this season got some time on the field.
Offensive Snap Counts (total 78):
- QB: Clifford (15), Veilleux (54), Stahl (9)
- RB: Lee (46), Cain (23), Smith (5), Holmes (4)
- WR: Dotson (57), KLS (59), Washington (52), Meiga (5), CSB (11), Weller (9), Fessler (9), George (2), Wilson (7)
- TE: Strange (40), Johnson (34), Warren (25), Dinkins (2)
- OL: Wilson (LG-66, C-3), Whigan (RG-69), Effner (LT-9, RT-57, LG-3), Scruggs (C-66), Wallace (RT-9), Tengwall (LT-66), Christ (RT-12), Knuttson (RG-6, LG-3), Konigus (LG-6, LT-3), Zalar (C-9), Israel-Achumba (RG-3)
- The offensive line shuffled a lot in this game. It started with LT Bryce Effner, LG Eric Wilson, C Juice Scruggs, RG Anthony Whigan, RT Caedan Wallace. Wallace left after the 2nd drive and it was then LT Landon Tengwall, LG Wilson, C Scruggs, RG Whigan, RT Effner. For the 3 snaps with Scruggs on the sideline, Wilson moved to C, Effner to LG, and Jimmy Christ came in at RT. On Mason Stahl's drive it started LT Tengwall, LG Kaleb Konigus, C Blake Zalar, RG Will Knuttson, RT Christ. After 6 snaps it became LT Konigus, LG Knuttson, C Zalar, RG Golden Israel-Achumba, RT Christ. Whew, I think that's all the shuffling of the day.
- You may have noticed Sean Clifford left the field after four uneventful drives and Christian Veilleux took over as QB until the final drive with Mason Stahl.
- Keyvone Lee got the highest percentage of snaps for a RB since Noah Cain in the Auburn game.
- WR was a tight rotation and thankfully they were all healthy enough to go nearly the full game.
- TE really spread the snaps out and each guy got a drive as "the guy" though only 3 drives didn't have at least two TEs on the field for a play (drive 6 [punt], 9 [punt] & 11 [TD]).
- It was our first offensive sighting of the season for the following guys: QB Christian Veilleux, LT Landon Tengwall, RT Jimmy Christ, QB Mason Stahl, OL Kaleb Konigus, OL Will Knuttson, C Blake Zalar, RG Golden Israel-Achumba, WR Henry Fessler, WR Justin Weller, WR Benjamin Wilson, and TE Khalil Dinkins. Congrats to all of them.
- DE: Ebiketie (53), Luketa (15), Tarburton (34), Vilbert (14), Fisher (7), Vasey (4), Wilson (1)
- DT: Tangelo (36), Izzard (41), Ellies (32), Mulbah (10), van den Berg (8), Vanover (1), Brevard (1)
- LB: Smith (56), Brooks (45), Sutherland (54), Luketa (15), Katshir (7), Chizmar (3), Buddin (1), Romano (1)
- CB: JPJ (41), TCF (48), Hardy (9), King (26), Wilson (11), Wheatley (1)
- S: Brisker (60), Brown (45), Ellis (18), Reed (4), Seider (1)
- PSU stayed largely in a base 4-3 for most of the game, as shown by Daequan Hardy only getting 9 snaps. They didn't fear Rutgers passing attack and never went into dime for I believe the first time all season.
- There was a bit more rotation than more competitive games but for the first 12 drives it was the normal suspects.
- It was our first defensive sighting for the following guys: LB Max Chizmar, DE Dan Vasey, DE Jake Wilson, DT Cole Brevard, LB Cody Romano, and S Jaden Seider.
Rutgers Passing Chart - Clifford
Rutgers Passing Chart - Veilleux
- Sean Clifford: On Target - 2, Catchable - 0, Miss - 3, Uncatchable - 3, Throwaway/Batt - 1
- Christian Veilleux: On Target - 6, Catchable - 9, Miss - 2, Uncatchable - 6, Throwaway/Batt - 0
- First thing first, Sean Clifford was sick as a big red dog and it showed. Only 2/9 passes were deemed catchable on his first four drives and most weren't really even close. He was a walking zombie, as was Caedan Wallace. This was not representative of his ability.
- Next, Christian Veilleux is fearless. Maybe he just didn't know enough to be scared. He was out there stepping into hits on his throws, lowering his shoulder, throwing at back of defender's helmets, and overall just balling. He was not perfect though, his accuracy was lacking. His "on target" percentage was lower than any game of Clifford's I've charted in 2021 (aka not Illinois yet). He made some throws that would get Clifford roasted in the comments, so keep that in mind. His confidence exuded though and it was really good to see. His arm talent was evident. He can make some throws with ease that Sean has to exert, but he's throwing more into the radius of the receiver and less into the torso/head area right now. It was a great debut, but don't put program savior expectations and hopes on his shoulder quite yet. That throw to Dotson for TD was awesome, right on point and where only he could catch it. The throw to Washington was fearless, he threw it right at the back of the defender's helmet and let Washington make the play. Ideally that ball would be outside and where only Washington could make the play but he saw a head turned and released, no doubts in his mind.
- Another debut was Landon Tengwall and similar to Veilleux it wasn't perfect but I think it was an even stronger debut. He isn't quite the athlete you look for in a LT but his technique is so so so good that it makes up for any limitation. He did a better job on stunts and such than we've seen all season, albeit against Rutgers not Michigan. As he gets more comfortable I expect the physicality will come through, for this game he wasn't really pushing for extra he was just playing within himself and not making mistakes. He had some misses in man run blocking but I liked his quickness in getting to far shoulder in the zone game.
- Anthony Whigan at times appeared lost, especially facing a 5 man front he tried to double team the NT and let Lewis 71 untouched to the QB. He often was missing guys or going for a double on a guy that was under control, showing awareness issues. It's a good thing it was Rutgers.
- The run game looked better but still not explosive. The only designed run over 10yds was Mason Stahl's 17yd run on the final drive. That's not good enough. I'm glad that the only RB run for a loss was Noah Cain's -3yd carry that ended in a personal foul on the defense, but Franklin/Yurcich/Seider want explosive plays. Keyvone Lee appears to be the best option at the moment, though Cain looks better and Caziah Holmes had an "ah ha" run (vs Rutgers reserves).
- Once Veilleux took over, there was far less play action. And the RBs moved in front of him to more easily block or get into a pass route, although it removed play action as an option. I think the goal was to simplify for him a bit.
- WRs played well, there was a higher rate of passes this game thrown near them but not truly at them where they made plays. Jahan Dotson had his second drop of an on target pass on the season, a thing so rare it should be noted. Overall, they made a young QB look good and that's exactly what experienced WRs should do for the guy. Washington is going to get a lot of screen passes when Dotson leaves, he turns into a RB when he catches it.
- This squad set a B1G PSU record with it's 2nd shutout in B1G play. Need I say more (I will).
- Derrick Tangelo & Arnold Ebiketie, where would we be without these two transfers? Take a bow gentlemen.
- Speaking of the DL, Coziah Izzard is turning into a real player and I think we are seeing the formation of a star before our eyes. He's exactly what John Scott Jr looks for in DTs and the type that he's turned into NFL Draft picks at his former stops. He's long and the strength has recently arrived, allowing him to control the OL blocking him.
- Jesse Luketa is going to be coveted at the next level for his smarts and run defense. He's not much of a pass rusher but he's very good against the run. He sees the game like the MLB he was and at DE that's not normal for this level.
- Kalen King has instincts for the ball, just a couple finishes on the ball away from having himself a big day. Marquis Wilson also dropped an INT, though the WR did a good job of being physical and breaking it up.
- Daequan Hardy deserves more praise, even though he barely saw the field he popped when out there. For a guy whose size will always be questioned, he is not out-physicaled. He controlled his blocker on the way to blowing up a screen pass.
- Kudos to Jonathan Sutherland for making that INT. It covered up some of his issues with angle of attack and missing tackles.
- His name is Jordan Stout, he kicks the ball really far and well.
CB Kalen King #4 (10 games) - redshirt burned
S Jaylen Reed #7 (6 games) - redshirt burned
LB Kobe King #41 (4 games)
LB Jamari Buddin #42 (4 games)
WR Tre Wallace #85 (2 games)
CB Kaleb Brown #30 (2 games)
LB Dominic Deluca #34 (2 games)
CB Zakee Wheatley #6 (2 game)
LT Landon Tengwall #58 (1 game)
QB Christian Veilleux #9 (1 game)
TE Khalil Dinkins #16 (1 game)