Penn State continued its dominant November with a 55-10 demolition at Rutgers on Saturday. I graded every position group and how they performed in Saturday’s win.
Sean Clifford was efficient going 17 for 26 for 157 yards and a touchdown, the offense sleepwalked through a quarter and a half, but it was not due to Clifford, Penn State’s offense turned it on for the rest of the game. Allar went 5 for 10 for 42 yards. Those numbers don’t do him justice because of some dropped passes.
Running Backs: A-
Kaytron Allen rushed for 117 yards and a rushing touchdown, and Nick Singleton averaged 6.9 yards a carry. The duo combined for 20 carries for 179 yards a carry. That is an average of almost eight yards a carry between the two backs. I grade this an A- because of the Singleton fumble.
Wide Receivers: B-
I am grading this on a curve because they were without Parker Washington on Saturday. Mitchell Tinsley led Penn State with five catches for 63 yards, but I was looking for the younger receivers to step up but the only one who did was Trey Wallace. Someone will have to step up in Washington’s absence, and Wallace seems like the man who is doing that so far.
Tight ends: B
It was nothing remarkable, but they were solid on Saturday. Brenton Strange caught four passes for 24 yards, and Ty Warren caught a touchdown pass. Khalil Dinkins caught a pass in garbage time and seems to be building chemistry with Allar, and that will be something to look for moving forward. They didn’t put in big numbers, but they didn’t need to Saturday.
Offensive Line: B
The offensive line gave up two sacks on 36 drop backs and allowed four tackles for loss, and that’s why they only get a B. However, they pushed Rutger’s defensive line around for 237 yards rushing on the day and Drew Shelton has done an exemplary job coming in for Olu Fashanu the last three games. The offensive line has become dominant and has found its groove later in the season.
Defensive Line: A
Penn State allowed 32 yards on 35 attempts on Saturday. Nick Tarburton recorded 1.5 tackles for loss, Amin Vanover recorded two tackles for loss, and Hakeem Beamon recorded 1.5 tackles for loss. P.J. Mustipher did his usual space-eating in the middle of the defensive line. Penn State imposed their will up front after the first two drives, and Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt looked uncomfortable from their last scoring drive forward.
Curtis Jacobs had a sack-strip-fumble that led to a 75-yard touchdown by Ji’Ayir brown. Kobe King has a scoop and score. Abdul Carter was a game wrecker with a sack and two tackles for loss. Jonathan Sutherland contributed to the win with four tackles. The linebackers were lights out, and the best thing is the three linebackers I mentioned will all be returning for 2023.
Rutgers only threw for 135 yards, and Wimsatt only completed 10 of his 29 passing attempts on Saturday. Johnny Davis recorded an interception that would have been a touchdown had it not for an illegal block in the back. They gave up only one big play, and that was to Sean Ryan in the first quarter. The communication was consistent, and all seemed to know where they were doing in their assignments.
Special Teams: A
Singleton’s 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown made this grade an A. Jake Pinegar and Sander Sahaydak made all of their extra points and field goals and Barney Amor pinned Rutgers inside the 20 twice.
All in All, a dominant performance by Penn State once they got going on Saturday they did not let up even when the reserves were in. Penn State will look to better its case for a New Year’s Six Bowl Bid when they play Michigan State at home to finish the season.