Penn State scored 42 points against the top-ranked defense in the country on Saturday, but wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton wasn’t surprised.
Hamilton was an integral part of the success. The senior made six receptions for 115 yards in the 42-13 crushing of No. 19 Michigan (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) at Beaver Stadium.
The second-ranked Nittany Lions (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) started preparing for the Wolverines during their bye week. Hamilton said they watched about seven games of Michigan film.
After taking in the win, Hamilton strayed from the topic for a moment to reflect on the first game of the season against Akron. Despite Penn State dominating, 52-0, Hamilton had three drops and couldn’t seem to get into a rhythm.
“That Akron game — I hated that game,” Hamilton said. “I really just never wanted to have a game like that again.”
And his determination ever since has been noticeable. Offensive lineman Connor McGovern said Hamilton is always the first to arrive to practice and the last to leave. The extra work seems to be paying off.
In his postgame press conference, coach James Franklin highlighted a big play where Hamilton caught a ball in traffic on Michigan’s sideline.
“They’re the plays you have to make in these types of games, especially against this style of defense,” the fourth-year head coach said. “You have to be able to make them pay for playing so aggressively.”
“I’ve been doing this for a long time, and the environment was unreal.”
Franklin’s opening statement at his press conference last night: pic.twitter.com/mb28KYESRc
— Jill Beckman (@_jillbeckman) October 22, 2017
Penn State made some adjustments at halftime. Michigan plays man-to-man defense and tries to funnel everything to the safety. After the Nittany Lions beat the Wolverines on a few long balls, Michigan adjusted even wider, and Penn State began running slants, using Hamilton.
“We didn’t even really have that in the game plan,” Franklin said. “It was just something that we were able to make an adjustment at halftime and then get that done. We have a mature team, so we’re able to make adjustments like that on the fly and have success with it, so there’s a lot of value in that, obviously.”
Moving forward, Hamilton said he’s working on making the most of his opportunities and honing the details of his game.
“That guy puts in more work than anyone I’ve ever seen,” McGovern said. “It’s paying dividends how hard he’s working and all the extra effort he’s putting in.”