Penn State Football

Drew Allar’s Historic Start Powers Penn State Football Past West Virginia, Into National Conversation

Penn State Football opened the season Saturday night in Happy Valley in front of over 110,000 fans dressed mostly in white in a picture-perfect night in Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions moved to 1-0 on the season with a comfortable win over the Mountaineers 38-15, in Drew Allar’s first career start for Penn State.

There was much to love about Allar’s first career start, but the biggest takeaway is a simple one; Allar’s passing ability is as advertised.

The hype over Drew Allar has been building since he signed with Penn State and enrolled in January 2022.

Saturday night, Allar finally started his first game as a Nittany Lion and proved worthy of all of the hype.

Allar joined Daryll Clark as only the second Penn State quarterback in history to throw for 300+ yards and three touchdowns in a season opener.

The former five-star and No. 1 ranked quarterback prospect wasted no time proving to a national audience he belongs on the biggest of stages, completing his first drive 2-of-2 passing for 81 yards and a 72-yard touchdown pass.

On the touchdown pass, Allar stepped up in the pocket, avoided the pressure from the West Virginia defensive line, and delivered a great ball to KeAndre Lambert-Smith who broke loose for the score.

Allar finished the game 21-of-29 passing for 325 yards and three touchdowns. With no interceptions.

Allar continued his streak of not turning the ball over, without an interception in his first 89 collegiate pass attempts. Allar’s night could have been even more efficient without drops from receivers.

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On one drive in the third quarter, Dante Cephas and Harrison Wallace dropped potential touchdown passes on consecutive pass attempts on a drive that eventually led to a Penn State field goal.

🦁 21/29
🦁 325 yards
🦁 3 TD
🦁 0 INT@AllarDrew joined @CaptainClark17 (2009) as the only @PennStateFball QBs to throw for 300+ yards and 3 TDs in a season opener.#B1Gstats pic.twitter.com/vILulYM6bN

— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) September 3, 2023

Against the Mountaineers, Allar showed he has plenty of mobility, can throw well on the run

Sean Clifford was always seen as a mobile quarterback with “sneaky athleticism” that Penn State used in the ground game. Penn State, wisely, did not use Allar in many designed quarterback runs Saturday, however Allar still was able to showcase his abilities as a mobile quarterback. On the 72-yard touchdown pass to KeAndre Lambert-Smith on Penn State’s first drive, Allar evaded defenders, stepped up in the pocket with his eyes downfield, and delivered a strike to Lambert-Smith to lead Penn State to an early 7-0 lead.

Later in the game, Allar once again stepped up in the pocket to deliver a strike to Harrison Wallace III while avoiding a sack.

In a glimpse of what could be to come for the Penn State Football offense, Allar spread the ball around to many different Nittany Lions

One of my favorite takeaways from Saturday night’s game was Drew Allar’s use of a multitude of weapons in the passing game. Allar completed 21 passes to 9 different Nittany Lions.

Through his first seven passes of the game, Allar had completions to six different targets. While the tight ends were not as involved as they should be yet this season, Allar worked the ball around to plenty of different receivers and both starting running backs.

As Penn State looks to settle the rotation at wide receiver, especially at the third receiver spot, Allar was able to hook up with each receiver at least once against the Mountaineers.

If Drew Allar continues to play like he did against West Virginia, Penn State absolutely has the ability to challenge for the Big Ten Championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Allar showed why he was rated as the number one quarterback in his recruiting class according to 247 Sports and why Penn State fans have been so excited to see number 15 on the field in blue and white.

 

Drew Allar, Penn State Football
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Robert Casturo

Expertise: College Football, Penn State Football Education: Saint Vincent College, Penn State Law School Location: Washington, DC Experience: Robert Casturo has covered Penn State football for NittanyCentral since 2022. Casturo previously covered Penn State football through a social media presence (@PSU_FB_Thoughts on X) since 2019. Casturo earned his bachelor's degree from Saint Vincent College in 2015, where he was a punter for 1 season on the Saint Vincent College football team and worked in the athletic department for 2 years as a student manager. Casturo earned his JD from Penn State Law in 2018 where he was a senior editor of the Penn State Law Review.