Quarterback: TraceMcSorley set a new PSU record with 258 yards passing in the first half. He finished the game 18 for 23 with 309 yards passing and four touchdowns. However, it may have been his pocket presence that was most impressive. Not only did he avoid multiple sacks, but he converted many of those throws. Also, shoutout to Tommy Stevens. He could start at most other Big Ten schools, but he’s stuck with the Lions and the staff has rewarded him with plenty of playing time.
Running Back: As expected, it was the Saquon Barkley show in the first half, as he totaled 185 yards of total offense before halftime, 142 of which were receiving. Running back Miles Sanders also had a solid performance, scoring the second touchdown of his career, while Andre Robinson got in on the action with a 41-yard touchdown late in the game.
Wide Receiver: DaeSean Hamilton and DeAndre Thompkins were open throughout the night, but it was Saeed Blacknall that may have impressed the most. He only had three receptions, but his touchdown catch in the back of the end zone from Stevens was a thing of beauty. There aren’t many receivers that are able to track down that ball.
Offensive Line: If there was one thing that was a cause for concern Saturday night, it was the pressure that Georgia State was able to consistently get on McSorley, especially in the first half. With that said, the Panthers had only one sack on the night and the line paved the way for more than 500 yards of total offense.
Defensive Line: Georgia State had just over 200 yards of offense before the backups took over in the fourth quarter. When you consider that Tennessee State held this team to 273 yards of total offense in the first game of the season, it’s understandable that some fans may have expected more, especially in the running game, as Georgia State converted a few nice runs throughout the game. However, the front four also totaled 6.5 tackles for loss.
Linebackers: Manny Bowen led the team in tackles with six, while Jason Cabinda had four. You could tell that they were playing conservative throughout the night, so it’s tough to really grade this group. One thing that’s still clear is that the entire defense, not just the linebackers, need to improve their tackling.
Defensive backs: Georgia State had quite a few receivers open at times in the first half. A better quarterback would’ve had more success, but it’s tough to give them anything less than an A when Grant Haley, Marcus Allen and Tariq Castro-Fields all pulled in interceptions. Saf. Lamont Wade was also second on the team in tackles with five.
Special Teams: Gillikin had another solid game, averaging 45.3 yards per punt. Thompkins also had a solid punt return in the third quarter. Georgia State’s punter didn’t make it easy on Thompkins, as multiple punts were awkward to receive. However, Tyler Davis missed a 39-yard field goal.
Coaches: Penn State scored regularly and the defense pitched a shutout. It was against Georgia State, so the result was expected, but it’s hard to find much fault.
Crowd: Considering the opponent and the kickoff time, the attendance was a pretty solid at 102,746. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the No. 5 team in the country. How quickly things have changed over the past few seasons.