STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State Football made quick work of the Ohio Bobcats, in front of a sold out crowd, running away with a 46-10 victory on a day that flashed the potential of two of the Nittany Lions‘ building blocks.
Freshman quarterback, and former five-star and top-rated prospect at his position, Drew Allar tossed his first touchdown in his first extended work with the starting offense, and Nick Singleton seemed to grab a stranglehold on the starting job.
Here are five takeaways from Saturday’s Penn State Football victory over Ohio:
Nick Singleton is the best RB on the roster
In Week 1 against Purdue, we found ourselves collectively confused about how a running back room so loaded with talent couldn’t get a good rotation figured out.
Against the Boilers, it seemed like Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen were the two best backs but didn’t necessarily get the bulk of carries.
That changed this week with Singleton having his breakout game against the Bobcats.
The freshman superstar tallied 10 carries for 179 yards, and two touchdowns. The reason there was so much excitement around Singleton coming out of high school was his big play ability, and that shined through against Ohio, in a big way.
Singleton started with a big 70-yard touchdown on the Nittany Lions’ second drive of the game, and added a big 48-yard run on the opening drive of the second half.
Throughout the game, Singleton looked patient waiting for the holes to open but explosive once they did. If Saturday showed us anything it is that this kid is just plain special.
Allen finished with six carries for 23 yards for a solid 3.8 YPC, but never was able to break any big runs like Singleton.
The upperclassman Keyvone Lee only really played on the opening series tallying one carry for zero yards and a reception for 8 yards. It is very possible that Lee passed the baton to Singleton and Allen in the Lions’ backfield, in this contest.
The coaching staff did what we wanted last week by rotating different backs in early and going with the hot hand. This week, that was Singleton and it looked like that may be the bell cow heading forward with Allen becoming the change of pace back.
Drew Allar is the real deal
Nittany Lions fans got a small sample of Drew Allar last week against Purdue when Clifford had to go to the locker room with cramps, Saturday was an entirely different animal.
Against Ohio, Allar came in on the second drive of the second half, and ended up leading Penn State Football to three touchdowns out of his four drives.
While Clifford played well to start the game, and the lead was already 26-7 when the game was handed to Allar, the young quarterback looks to be as talented as the hype.
While the game was against Ohio, and playing against a better opponent might give a better idea of his true potential, it at least gave a glimpse into what Penn State Football’s future may be.
On his first drive of the game, Allar capped it off with an incredible 32-yard touchdown to Omari Evans. He led Evans perfectly and put the ball in front where the defender couldn’t catch up to it. Something that can’t always be said about Penn State quarterbacks.
Allar’s second passing TD came early in the fourth quarter, where Allar stepped up in the pocket and looked like he was going to take off and run but instead kept his eyes downfield to deliver a strike to Khalil Dinkins for the 28-yard touchdown.
Both scores showed different flashes of what Allar could be in the passing game and his raw arm talent.
The final passing stat line was six-of-eight- passing for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
Allar was also able to pick up 11 yards on 5 carries with a long of 8.
After not running his first two drives, the big quarterback ran when he had to and made it a point to pick up a few yards if need be, to at least avoid the negative play.
Obviously more reps will be needed to continue development, but Saturday was a heck of a start.
Dropped passes Improved
Last week the Nittany Lions were plagued with six drops from four different receivers against Purdue. Saturday, there weren’t any notable drops from the starters.
Whatever was pushed during practice throughout the week seemed to have been absorbed by the offense as the Nittany Lions were able to sustain drives much easier this week without giving away free yards due to drops.
Now, it could be that receivers were so much more talented than the secondary they were facing that it causes them to relax and focus on catching the ball. Likewise, playing at home is certainly beneficial as well.
We will have to see whether the Purdue game was just an off game or if this is something that will have to be monitored going forward. A big road matchup at Auburn next week will give better insight into which situation this Nittany Lion wide receiver room is in.
Jake Pinegar looked off
The Nittany Lions didn’t attempt a field goal last week against Purdue. Pinegar went fve-for-for on extra points last week, but his 42-yard attempt to cap the opening drive of the second half this week just missed to the right.
While he did make a 25-yarder in the first half, this wasn’t a great way to cap off a drive that saw Singleton break a 48-yard run.
What was more concerning was the missed extra point early in the fourth quarter.
While neither of these misses ultimately made that big of a difference in the game it is certainly surprising from a senior kicker.
Many fans wondered last season why Franklin decided to go with Jordan Stout as the full-time kicker instead of the Pinegar inside 45 and Stout beyond 45 that was used in prior seasons. Maybe this inconsistency was part of that decision or maybe Stout had just improved that much.
One thing is for certain, missing kicks will have a much bigger impact next week in Auburn and when the Nittany Lions start conference play.
Amor is once again elite
Amor shined in the opening week win over Purdue and continued his impressive performance into the Ohio win.
While only punting three times during this game, the transfer sure made the most of it.
Armor punted three times for a total of 147 yards, an average of 49 yards per punt. His long of the day was 52 yards, but the more key stat was that two were downed inside the 20 with one at the 7 yard line.
Amor seems to have a talent of getting a lot of side spin on the ball that keeps it out of the endzone.
If the senior can continue to punt at this level for the rest of the season there may be a game or two that the Nittany Lions can credit the win, simply to his ability to flip the field position and pin opponents in their own territory.
With a tough road game at Auburn looming next week, another talented punting display could certainly help with flipping the field in a hostile environment.