Monday, November 19, 2012
Penn State 10: Week 12 power rankings
By Josh Moyer
Welcome to Week 12 of NittanyNation's power rankings, a top-10 list of Penn State players who are surpassing expectations, and those to keep an eye on.
After a convincing win against Indiana, several offensive contributors returned to the list. Some new players also stepped up, and a few made big leaps on the list.
Whose performance left the biggest impression, and whose contributions were the most surprising? This week's top 10:
1. WR Allen Robinson Ten catches, 197 yards, three touchdowns. What else needs to be said? Not only did he break Penn State's single-season receptions record, but he absolutely had his way with Indiana's defense. He caught several jump balls and even took a screen pass 53 yards for a touchdown, the longest play of the year for this offense. Robinson showcased his athleticism Saturday, and no one played better.
2. LB Gerald Hodges He has really turned it up these past few weeks, and he was called upon even more after an injury to Penn State's star linebacker. Hodges didn't disappoint, finishing with a dozen tackles and an interception destined for his highlight reel. He leaped into the air, deflecting the ball with his fingertips, and then caught it on its way down. His turnover led to a Penn State touchdown that gave PSU a 15-point halftime advantage.
3. QB Matt McGloin The former walk-on said this wasn't his best game, but he looked pretty good nonetheless. McGloin finished with 395 passing yards, the second most in Penn State history, and also broke Daryll Clark's records for most passing yards in a single season and career touchdowns. McGloin leaned heavily on Robinson, but he also put the ball where it needed to be. Maybe it wasn't his best performance, but it was still a game to remember.
4. LB Mike Hull He has become a mainstay on this list, and he faced a tall task Saturday when Ted Roof asked him to take over for Penn State's best linebacker. Hull stepped up in a big way. He finished second on the team with 11 tackles and also added a sack, a pass breakup and 1.5 tackes for loss. He might technically be a backup linebacker right now, but he should be this team's best 'backer next season. (Sorry, Glenn Carson.)
5. DE Deion Barnes Yes, he's a redshirt freshman and, yes, he'll clearly be the best defensive lineman on the team next year. Barnes impressed again by sacking Cameron Coffman for an 11-yard loss, and he helped pressure Indiana's offense all day long. Indiana couldn't run and, although the Hoosiers finished with a lot of passing yards, that certainly didn't fall on Barnes.
6. CB Adrian Amos He's the third "Supa Six" player to earn a spot on this list, but he certainly deserves it. The hard-hitting sophomore made a nice interception in the fourth quarter and returned it 54 yards. He didn't get beaten often Saturday, as he finished with pass breakup and four tackles. The secondary as a whole didn't play well, but Amos gets a nod here after his second interception of the season.
7. RB Zach Zwinak The redheaded redshirt sophomore would've found himself much higher on the list had he gotten his fumble issues under control. He fumbled twice -- and seemingly dropped a pass that was ruled a TD anyway -- but he still had a nice game on the ground and added balance to Penn State's offense. Zwinak was expected to carve up Indiana's poor run defense, and he finished with 135 yards and a 4.7 yard-per-carry average.
8. DE Sean Stanley Stanley finished with four tackles, the most of any defensive lineman, and had one sack that came five yards behind the line of scrimmage. The senior has battled some injuries this season, but he has remained a strong player for this defense. Like Barnes, he helped bottle up this rushing attack, and he's an easy choice to make this list.
9. WR Brandon Moseby-Felder Robinson grabbed most of the receiving spotlight, but Moseby-Felder was McGloin's No. 2 target. He finished with four catches for 42 yards -- and made a critical catch in the third quarter. With PSU clinging to a six-point lead and facing 4th-and-9, Moseby-Felder hauled in an 11-yard pass to keep the drive alive. Penn State ended up scoring a touchdown four plays later. And, without Moseby-Felder's catch, the game could still have been in question.
10. LB Michael Mauti Mauti's teammates call him the heart and soul of this defense. He might have been injured in the first quarter and finished with just three tackles, but he kept this team motivated -- and he's been important to the team's success all season, even when he has been on the sideline. Notre Dame won one for the Gipper; Penn State won one for the Mauti.