Penn State Football

How Penn State Football QB Drew Allar Can Take Another Step vs. Maryland

Everyone is excited to see more and more of five star quarterback, Penn State Football true freshman Drew Allar over the final three regular season games and whatever bowl game the Nittany Lions are invited to.

While balancing winning for this season, Penn State Football head coach James Franklin mentioned using this time to develop Allar’s skills for next year when he takes full control of the Penn State offense.

Here are 3 ways Penn State Football QB Drew Allar can improve Saturday vs. Maryland:

Continue learning pre-snap reads

This is one of the biggest differences from high school football to college football.

Allar can use more game repetitions to learn pre-snap reads, and changing his protection against live defenses.

In the game last week against Indiana, Allar looked much more comfortable making these reads and communicating to his offensive line before the snap. More snaps in game action will only improve his ability to see what the defense is giving him and adjust protection and hot routes accordingly.

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Learning when to keep ball in read option

Penn State Football has been using read option runs for the entirety of Franklin’s tenure as head coach.

In the past 7 years, the offense has counted on Trace McSorely and Sean Clifford to pull the ball at least occasionally to keep the defense honest.

While keeping Allar healthy and avoiding taking unnecessary hits should be a priority for our offense, Allar needs to be able to pull the ball and take off to keep the defense from overselling to stop the running back.

Against Indiana in the third and fourth quarters, there were numerous occasions of a read option play where the entire defense focused on the running back and ignored the possibility that Allar would pull the ball. From my memory, I don’t recall a single instance of Allar pulling the ball on a read option play this season.

If Penn State Football wants to continue being successful running the football with read option plays with Allar under center, then he must pull the ball at least on occasion to keep the defense on their heels.  

Continue to play clean football

One very positive aspect of Allar’s game so far this season has been his ability to protect the football. Smart reads, an understanding of the defense pre-snap, and good judgement on when to throw the ball away or tuck and run will help continue this trend.

On the occasion that Allar does turn the ball over, I want to see him bounce back from adversity and not be afraid to throw the ball again. I want to see Allar remain confident, throw quickly to his reads, and keep his head up once he eventually makes a mistake.

Overall, if the game goes to plan, Allar should get a handful of snaps Saturday against Maryland to continue to improve his game. As long as his development continues on the path that he has been on so far this season, Penn State’s offense is in good hands for the next few years with Allar under center. 

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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.