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Analysis

According to Analytics: Who Have Been Penn State’s Best Offensive Players?

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Parker Washington

Penn State has played well through three weeks, and plenty of players have played a role in the 3-0 start. 

Here are Penn State’s top performers on offense according to Pro Football Focus.

*Note: Only players who have reached the snap count minimum will have their grades mentioned in this article. 

QUARTERBACK

SEAN CLIFFORD

Snap count: 170

Grade: 68.5

Clifford has been solid this season, and Penn State fans who don’t see that don’t want to.

Through three games, Penn State’s quarterback who has reached the snap count minimum is 53-83 with 673 yards, five touchdown passes, just one interception and a 63.9 completion percentage.

Interestingly enough, Clifford’s current PFF grade is slightly lower than the 70.5 rating he got last season. Nonetheless, Penn State’s QB situation is fine and dandy.

RECEIVER

Parker Washington

Snap count: 116

Grade: 71.5

Despite many seeing Washington as Penn State 1B to Mitch Tinsley’s 1A– a view backed up by Tinsley having 30 more snaps than Washington so far– the third-year receiver is Penn State’s highest-rated player at the position. 

Washington doesn’t have spectacular numbers (10 catches for 148 yards and no touchdowns through three games), but he’s made plays for Penn State and has had a reception of 20 or more yards in each game thus far. 

Against Auburn, Washington caught four passes for 58 yards, including a 26-yarder on a second-and-24 in the third quarter that led to the scoring drive that essentially sealed the game. 

Others

Mitchell Tinsley

Snap count: 146

Grade: 69.4


KeAndre Lambert-Smith

Snap count: 134

Grade: 63.3


RUNNING BACK 

NICK SINGLETON

Snap count: 67

Grade: 80.6

Penn State fans don’t need advanced numbers to know that Singleton has been outstanding. 

The traditional numbers (30 rushes, 334 yards, four touchdowns) are good enough. 

To no surprise, Singleton’s PFF stats have been excellent as well. With an 80.6 overall grade, Singleton has been Penn State’s best offensive player, according to the site, and not many people would argue that he’s been its best offensive player overall. 

Interestingly, Kaytron Allen has the highest snap count among Penn State running backs. With all due respect to Allen, anybody watching knows who Penn State’s top runner has been 

Others

Kaytron Allen

Snap count: 74

Grade: 71.5

TIGHT END

BRENTON STRANGE

Snap count: 155

Grade: 77

With Theo Johnson out for the first two games, Strange has been Penn State’s leading man at tight end, playing 55 more snaps than Penn State’s No. 2 tight end, Tyler Warren.

He’s up to the job. 

Strange has caught nine passes for 169 yards and a touchdown, and that touchdown– a 67-yarder in the last minute of the first half against Purdue– has been one of the biggest plays of Penn State’s young season. 

Six of Strange’s nine receptions and 80 of his yards came against Auburn, and his PFF ratings were fantastic. The site gave Strange a 93.9 overall grade, a 92.1 pass catching grade and an 83.6 run blocking mark in 26 snaps. 

Look out if the Auburn game is a sign of things to come for Strange.

Others

Tyler Warren

Snap count: 100

Grade: 49.3


CENTER

JUICE SCRUGGS

Snap count: 188

Grade: 69.7

Scruggs is the only player who’s taken the minimum snaps at center, so he is Penn State’s highest rated by default. 

But he’s been pretty good for Penn State, according to PFF, with an overall grade of around 70. 

According to the site, Scruggs has fared particularly well in pass blocking, posting marks of 83.7 and 83.6, respectively, in 60 pass blocking snaps against Ohio and Auburn.


TACKLE

OLU FASHANU

Snap count: 192

Grade: 70.8

Fashanu has been Penn State’s best offensive lineman this season, and that’s not something many Penn State fans would dispute. 

Although respectable, his overall grade of 70.8 doesn’t look otherworldly, but Fashanu has made a name for himself doing his No. 1 job, which is to protect Sean Clifford’s blindside.

Fashanu’s 92.3 pass blocking grade is outstanding, and he hasn’t allowed a sack in 110 pass blocking snaps this season. He also showcased his run blocking against Auburn, helping Kaytron Allen score his first college touchdown.

Others


Bryce Effner 

Snap count: 80

Grade: 53.8

 

Caedan Wallace

Snap count: 149

Grade: 52.5

GUARD

Landon Tengwall

Snap count: 150

Grade: 62.3

Tengwall, the highest-rated signee in Penn State 2021 class, had high expectations coming into the season and still does. 

But his PFF numbers aren’t where Penn State fans would want them to be. Although Tengwall’s pass-blocking grade of 71.2 is solid, his run-blocking mark of 59.3 could be better.

Nonetheless, it’s too early in the season and in Tengwall’s career for Penn State fans to worry about him much. 

Tengwall has played 46 fewer snaps than Sal Wormley at guard. 

Others

 

Sal Wormley

Snap count: 196

Grade: 58.6

Hunter Nourzad

Snap count: 75

Grade: 46.1

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