Tight end was supposed to be a position of strength for the Penn State passing game this season. But after three outings, that has been anything but the case.
The air attack in general has struggled. And no single position — not even left tackle — has come up more empty than the tight ends. The numbers are brutal.
Six total catches for 33 yards. No touchdowns. An average of just over five yards per catch. In other words, the tight ends are accounting for two catches and 11 yards per game.
Athletic sophomore Mike Gesicki has four catches for 20 yards, but has dropped as many balls as he’s caught. Senior Kyle Carter, who was a first-team All-Big Ten pick way back in 2012, has two catches for 13 yards and has barely been targeted.
And that’s it.
Adam Breneman appears to be out for the season with lingering knee issues. And veteran Brent Wilkerson has been used solely as a blocker.
In fairness, after PSU allowed 10 sacks in the opener vs. Temple, the coaching staff has leaned more heavily on the tight ends to help in pass protection and even as run blockers. And that has worked, as the Lions have given up no sacks in the last two games while their rushing attack has flourished.
PSU coach James Franklin talks about his tight ends above.