Football.com - everything football

PSU Returnees: Offensive Playmakers, Bland Defense

By



Running back Zach Zwinak rushed for 1,000 yards after becoming the starter by default. Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images.
Running back Zach Zwinak rushed for 1,000 yards after becoming the starter by default. Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images.

Alex Butterworth has thrown more passes for Penn State than any other quarterback on the roster.

Problem is, he is the punter.

So while Tyler Ferguson and Christian Hackenberg impatiently wait until August to determine who will surpass Butterworth's nearly nonexsistent passing totals, let's take a quick refresher on who will be back.

Passing

Name Completions Attempts Yards Average Touchdowns Interceptions
Alex Butterworth (P) 0 1 0 0 0 0

Butterworth has as many tackles as he does pass attempts in his three seasons at Penn State, and it can only mean that Penn State is in trouble if he has to do either.

 Rushing

Name Rushes Yards Average Touchdowns
Zach Zwinak 203 1,000 4.9 6
Bill Belton 60 258 4.3 3
Glenn Carson (LB) 1 19 19.0 0

The departure of Silas Redd to USC and injuries to Bill Belton and Derek Day propelled Zach Zwinak into the spotlight last season as the Nittany Lions'feature running back just as the team began conference play. Zwinak didn't disappoint, racking up tough ground and pound yards between the tackles and leaving a lasting memory with the many Big Ten defenders he bulled over. Belton may seize a more prominent role this season if he can stay injury-free and offers more speed than Zwinak.

Receiving

Name Receptions Yards Average Touchdowns
Allen Robinson 77 1,018 13.2 11
Kyle Carter (TE) 36 453 12.6 2
Brandon Moseby-Felder 31 437 14.1 1
Matt Lehman (TE) 24 296 12.3 3

Justin Brown left a void at wide receiver when he skipped town for Oklahoma. No worries, Allen Robinson had one of the best years any Penn State receiver has ever had. Robinson caught 77 passes, a Penn State single-season record, and became only the second Nittany Lions wideout with more than 1,000 receiving yards in a single season. Bill O'Brien also got his tight ends involved in the passing game, taking away a lot of potential receptions from Moseby-Felder.

Defense

Name Tacklers Loss Sacks Interceptions Forced Fumbles Fumble Recoveries
Glenn Carson (LB) 85 3 1 0 0 0
Malcom Willis (S) 45 0 0 0 1 0
Adrian Amos (S) 44 2.5 0.5 2 0 0
Stephen Obeng-Agyapong (S) 41 2.5 0.5 0 1 1
Deion Barnes (DE) 27 10 6 0 3 0
DaQuan Jones (DT) 22 2 0.5 0 0 0

Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges, Jordan Hill and Sean Stanley are gone, leaving the Nittany Lions depleted on defense. Deion Barnes figures to be a dominating presence agaisnt offensive lines and quarterbacks, but there aren't any proven playmakers after him. If teams are able to shut Barnes down with double teams, the Penn State defense will look blander than their old jerseys.