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Penn State’s Depth Shows In Win Over Rutgers Amid Parker Washington Injury

Well, that was certainly an interesting game to watch.

After dismantling Maryland at home last week at Beaver Stadium, Penn State marched into Piscataway and did the same to Rutgers, taking a 55-10 victory at SHI Stadium on Saturday evening.

Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen combined for 179 rushing yards on 20 combined carries, while the team rushed for 237 yards as a whole and passed for 199 yards. Penn State’s defense and special teams contributed to the scoring too, as Nick Singleton housed a kickoff and Ji’Ayir Brown & Kobe King each scored scoop-and-score touchdowns.

Still, it was a great day for Penn State’s offense, and it did all that without star wide receiver Parker Washington.

Rumors started flying around Friday night that Washington would miss the game against Rutgers. That sad reality was confirmed when he wasn’t listed on Penn State’s travel roster, as he didn’t even make the trip to Piscataway. Mike Yurcich’s offense didn’t seem to let that affect its on-field product, though.

Trey Wallace got the start due to Washington’s absence and had a fine game, catching three passes for 49 yards on four targets. The Nittany Lions were also able to leverage its running game to help get the offense back on track, as Allen and Singleton dominated on that front.

Mitchell Tinsley embodied Penn State’s “next man up” mentality in the win, as he was WR1 and punt returner for the day. The Lee’s Summit, Missouri native did his job, recording five catches for 63 yards.

Without Washington, Franklin was proud of how the team handled the sudden loss.

“We’ve had a lot of moving parts,” Franklin said in his postgame press conference. “The coaches have handled it the right way and [have] not allowed it to become an excuse. The players have handled it the right way. I also think we have some depth, and we got some young talented players that have been able to come in and step in and allow that to not be an issue for us, as well…I’m proud of them.”

Penn State has filling in the injury gaps for the last few weeks, though. The Nittany Lions’ offensive line has been pretty banged up recently with Hunter Nourzad, Olu Fashanu, and Landon Tengwall all missing time in the last few weeks. Not to mention, Joey Porter Jr. also missed his second consecutive game with appendicitis.

James Franklin mentioned last Tuesday that he’s happy with how the team has handled that “next man up” mentality.

Even though it seemed like Penn State was able to easily fill in for Washington, it didn’t go that well at the beggining of the game. Franklin said that Penn State’s offense was a bit out of rhythm. He still gave praise to receivers like Wallace and Omari Evans, saying that did a “nice” job.

“We’ll see how this plays out with Parker, but we’re going have to build on it,” Franklin said. “Either way, [Evans’ and Wallace’s] rep count is going to go up.”

Wide receiver Mitchell Tinsley offered some insight into how Penn State’s receivers were able to step in and fill the void.

“Don’t make things bigger than what they are,” Tinsley said in his postgame media availability. “Parker [is] a great player, but at the end of the day, each man has to come in, step in, and do that job.”

It’s important to keep in mind that we don’t know the extent of Washington’s injury, or what that injury even is. After rumors were swirling around Twitter Friday night regarding his status for the rest of the season, Franklin is electing to wait until his Tuesday press conference to address the injury and his availability for the rest of the season.

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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a senior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the New York Rangers and Mets, along with every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Rangers and Penn State content or email him at [email protected].

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