Freshman Tracker: Garrett Wilson and Zach Harrison Help Put Penn State In Its Place

By Matt Gutridge on November 24, 2019 at 3:30 pm
Garrett Wilson

Penn State clawed back from a 21-point deficit and prevented the Buckeyes from turning the game into a blowout. Due to the close nature of the game, only six freshmen were able to contribute in the 28-17 victory. It was the lowest total of the season since when five freshmen played against Wisconsin.

Zach Harrison entered the game for the first time during Penn State's second offensive drive. The Nittany Lions were facing a third down and Harrison was used in a 4-2-5 defensive scheme. He did not line up at his usual defensive end position. Instead, he was strategically placed at defensive tackle next to Rashod Berry.

With Tyreke Smith and Chase Young playing on the ends, the athletic four-man front was a success as Young, Smith and Baron Browning were able to drop Sean Clifford for an 8-yard sack. In the 4th quarter, Harrison was called upon again to play defensive tackle. 

The defensive wrinkle continued to work as the Buckeyes forced Penn State to throw an incomplete pass and turn the ball over on downs with 3:08 remaining in the game. Harrison playing some snaps at defensive tackle might be something to look for against Michigan.

In all, Harrison played 22 defensive snaps and tallied four tackles. The Silver Bullets recorded four sacks with Harrison on the field. 

With the return of Austin Mack to the receiver rotation, Wilson's snaps were affected. Against the Nittany Lions, Wilson was on the field for 27 plays. The last time Wilson played fewer snaps than 27 was against Northwestern, which naturally was the last game Mack played.

On a day during which Justin Fields only threw 22 passes, Wilson was able to come down with two grabs for 21 yards. The first catch should have only been a 3-yard gain, but the talented youngster made a great side step, then sprinted down the sideline to pick up another 13 yards and a first down.

Wilson's second catch was in the third quarter. Fields' pass was sailing high, but Wilson climbed the ladder and brought it down for a five-yard gain. It wasn't the biggest gain of the day, but it turned what should have been 2nd and 10 into a reasonable 2nd and 5. Wilson also had two punt returns for seven yards.

Offensive linemen Dawand Jones and Harry Miller were used as blockers for extra points. Wide receiver Jameson Williams and linebacker Craig Young saw their action as gunners for the kickoff coverage team. 

Under the NCAA's redshirt rules, a player can appear in up to four games at any point throughout the season and still count it as his redshirt year. In all, 14 freshmen have seen playing time this season, with Marcus Crowley, Harrison, Jones, Miller, Williams, Wilson and Young now ineligible for redshirts since they have played in more than four games this season.

Chambers, Potter and Stover have played in four games this season, so Ohio State will have to make a decision on whether they should play in any more games and burn their redshirts.

ZACH HARRISON DE FAU 4 tackles 11 18 tackles, 4 TFL, 2.5 sacks
JAMESON WILLIAMS WR FAU Special teams only 11 6 catches, 112 yards, TD
GARRETT WILSON WR FAU 2 catches, 21 yards
2 punt returns, 7 yards
11 21 catches, 250 yards, 4 TD
10 punt returns, 82 yards
HARRY MILLER OL FAU Special teams only 10 135 offensive snaps
CRAIG YOUNG LB FAU Special teams only 9 5 tackles
MARCUS CROWLEY RB FAU   7 25 rushes, 237 yards, TD
1 catch, 7 yards, TD
DAWAND JONES OL UC Special teams only 7 51 offensive snaps
STEELE CHAMBERS RB UC   4 19 rushes, 135 yards, TD
CADE STOVER DE/LB UC   4 3 tackles
NOAH POTTER DE FAU   4 2 tackles
BRYSON SHAW S MIAMI   3 2 tackles
TOMMY EICHENBERG LB MIAMI   2 7 defensive snaps
ENOKK VIMAHI OL MD   2 16 offensive snaps
JADEN McKENZIE DT MIAMI   2 11 defensive snaps
View 8 Comments