Noah Cain (Finally) Moved To Top Of Penn State Football’s Depth Chart

Penn State football released its Minnesota week depth chart on Monday, and it features one notable change at the running back position: Noah Cain is the first running back listed.

Cain leap-frogged Journey Brown and Ricky Slade, who now occupy the second and third slots on the depth chart, respectively. Those three all still have “OR” next to their name, which means they’ll continue to rotate in and out of the game along with Devyn Ford at different points in the game. Cain got his first collegiate start against Michigan State on October 26, but Brown was listed as the first running back on the depth chart prior to that game.

Running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider made his desire to utilize multiple players at the position very clear throughout the offseason, and that has definitely come good through eight games this year. All four running backs have scored multiple touchdowns and registered at least 35 carries so far this year.

Cain leads the way with 68 attempts for 350 yards and six touchdowns. His simplistic running style and knack for falling forward and keeping the offense on schedule have helped him stand out among the committee. He’s been counted on in late-game situations to help Penn State pick up game-sealing first downs — particularly against Iowa — and he helped spark a lethargic Nittany Lion offense in its 17-10 win over Pitt in week three.

Elsewhere, Journey Brown has 51 carries for 297 yards and three scores this year, and Ford’s posted a team-leading 6.5 yards per carry on 37 attempts. Ford has found the end zone twice and totaled 242 yards on the ground in his true freshman season. With just 119 yards and a pair of scores on 35 carries, Ricky Slade has struggled a bit, but he definitely has the straight-line speed and quickness to make plays in the open field.

As far as the rest of the depth chart is concerned, there weren’t too many other changes. CJ Thorpe occupies the top spot at right guard ahead of Mike Miranda with an “OR” next to his name, and PJ Mustipher is the second starting defensive tackle in Antonio Shelton’s absence due to suspension.

Cain was banged up a bit in the Nittany Lions’ 28-7 win over Michigan State, but he had the bye week to rest and recover. If this week’s depth chart is any indication, expect to see the freshman take the field along with the rest of the offense’s starters at the beginning of Saturday’s clash with No. 13 Minnesota, which will kick off at noon Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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