Oct 27, 2018; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver DeAndre Thompkins (3) runs with the ball during the fourth quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Iowa 30-24.

Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Penn State receiving chart. Each week we’ll show you what happened when each receiver was targeted in the most recent game. There may be a few differences here and there from the stat lines you see on ESPN, Sports Reference, or elsewhere, but I’ll try to make sure to explain each of those differences below.

Not a bad day for most of the receiving corps.! DeAndre Thompkins struggled to start the season but appears to be finding his rhythm once again, leading the Nittany Lions in targets on Saturday. We saw more good things from K.J. Hamler and Jahan Dotson, as well as disappointing days for Brandon Polk and Miles Sanders. Check it out below.

Receiving Chart (Indiana)
Receiver Catch Rate Completion % Yards Drops Down (1/2/3/4) TD
DeAndre Thompkins (WR) 5/9 55.5% 59 1 4/3/2/0 0
K.J. Hamler (WR) 5/7 71.4% 96 1 3/2/2/0 0
Pat Freiermuth (TE) 1/3 33% 18 2/1/0/0 0
Brandon Polk (WR) 0/3 0% 0 1 2/1/0/0 0
Jahan Dotson (WR) 2/2 100% 21 0/1/0/1 0
Miles Sanders (RB) 0/2 0% 0 1/0/1/0 0
Mac Hippenhammer 0/1 0% 0 0/1/0/0 0
Juwan Johnson (WR) 0/1 0% 0 0/0/1/0 0
  • DAT BACK. For what I’m guessing is the first time all season (I only started tracking specific receivers two weeks ago), DeAndre Thompkins led the team in targets. And before you ask, only one of those targets came via Tommy Stevens. He dropped his first chance of the game (a third down toss over the middle) but then looked like the reliable DAT that we’ve grown to know and love over the years. A full return to form for him would be huge for this passing attack.
  • We’ve been begging for weeks for Ricky Rahne to find ways to get K.J. Hamler the ball in space. Thankfully, Rahne reads the blog and called for multiple short crossing routes that were designed to have Hamler receiving the ball at, or close, to full speed. And boy, did that work. Hamler ended up gaining 18 yards on a pass thrown behind the line of scrimmage, and 13 more on a pass thrown just beyond the line of scrimmage. And none of this mentions his body control on the 36-yard toss down the left sideline. He is a treat.
  • Another solid day for Freiermuth. He saw fewer targets than he had been in recent games, presumably due to Thompkins’s uptick, but still made his reps count. He found himself space in the back of the end zone for the first touchdown of the day for Penn State.
  • Shoutout to Jahan Dotson not only for grabbing two more passes, but also for being trusted enough by McSorley to be his target on fourth down.
  • Brandon Polk, man. His drop would have been a great catch, but it’s a play he needs to make.
  • So much for Miles Sanders being a big part of the passing game! After nearly doubling his season totals for catches and receiving yards against Indiana, the junior running back registered just two targets on Saturday, one of which was simply a throwaway into his area. However, it’s becoming more and more apparent that his lack of production through the air has a lot to do with McSorley simply not looking his way. There have been many times this season, and notably so against Iowa, when Sanders has been open in the flat or open for a short gain, and McSorley has opted to throw elsewhere. Considering how often the senior quarterback threw to Saquon Barkley in those same spots over the past two years, it’s an odd development for sure.