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James Franklin: Drew Allar is living up to the hype, will challenge defenses moving forward

After Saturday’s win, James Franklin explained why Penn State QB Drew Allar living up to his hype will challenge defenses moving forward.



Penn State football, Drew Allar, James Franklin
September 9, 2023. Penn State QB Drew Allar (15) throws a pass during the Nittany Lions' 63-7 win over Delaware. Credit: Grace Carella // Basic Blues Nation, 2023.

The offense for Penn State football has been humming through two games in the 2023 season. The driver of this offensive explosion has been new QB Drew Allar, who has looked impressive in his first two starts, most recently a 63-7 blowout of Delaware Saturday afternoon. After Saturday’s win, Penn State head coach James Franklin explained how Allar is living up to his high expectations, and why this will make the lives of opposing defensive coordinators miserable this season.

James Franklin: Drew Allar’s performance has been “exciting”

To say Penn State QB Drew Allar has transitioned well into the starter’s role may be an understatement. The sophomore QB has been thoroughly impressive through two games this season.

After an electrifying 325-yard outing last week against West Virginia, Allar followed it up with a solid two-and-a-half quarters of work against Delaware. Allar finished the day completing 22 of 26 passes for 204 yards and one touchdown.

Following Saturday afternoon’s win, James Franklin addressed the media on Allar’s performance. Allar’s play hasn’t necessarily surprised the Penn State coaching staff. Nevertheless, Franklin explained that the last two weeks have been exciting.

“…Obviously, he showed signs last year, but it was a small sample size,” Franklin said. “And this training camp, as well as these first two games, there’s a ton of plays to be able to evaluate. And what you guys are now getting to see, a larger number of reps, a larger sample size, is what we saw really all training camp… It’s exciting to build on; it really is.

Allar, Penn State offense will leave defensive coordinators questioning moving forward

Coming into the year, some opposing defensive coordinators openly doubted if Drew Allar could live up to his hype. But now, beyond helping the Nittany Lions improve to 2-0 on the year, Allar’s play is a promising sign for Penn State moving into its first Big Ten opponent next week.

As Franklin explained, Allar is proving that he can live up to his high expectations as a former five-star prospect. Combined with Penn State’s dynamic duo of Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen at running back, this will leave opposing defensive coordinators guessing all season.

“I think if you’re the first two opponents, specifically the first opponent, you say, ‘I’m not going to let Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen beat us. I’m going to make a first-time starting quarterback prove that he can do it,'” Franklin said after the game.

“No matter what the hype has been like, he’s still got to prove that he’s done it. Well, now I think the defensive coordinators moving forward, you’re in a tougher spot. You got two running backs that can be challenging. And you got a quarterback that’s shown that he’ll do it and can make the throws and make the plays. So now, there’s enough evidence out there that as a defensive coordinator, you’re questioning, ‘What is our model for beating Penn State in terms of our offense?'”

While Drew Allar still needs to prove his skill against the tougher opponents on the Penn State football schedule, Nittany Lions fans should be pleased with what they’ve seen from their 19-year-old QB so far.

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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