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James Franklin commends ‘phenomenal’ leadership from Drew Allar following injury

Penn State football coach James Franklin praised the ‘phenomenal’ leadership from Drew Allar on the sidelines after he was forced to leave the Rutgers game with an injury.



Penn State football, James Franklin, Drew Shelton, Fully Cleared
Penn State quarterback Drew Allar (15) leaves the field following a 27-6 win over Rutgers at Beaver Stadium Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in State College, Pa. Allar exited the game in the second half with an undisclosed injury.

Penn State football overcame its share of late-season adversity to defeat Rutgers 27-6 on Saturday in the final home game of 2023. Not only did the Nittany Lions battle back from a devastating loss to Michigan the week prior, but the team put together a strong second half despite losing starting QB Drew Allar to injury. While on the field, Penn State rallied around backup QB Beau Pribula, on the sidelines, it was Allar’s leadership that helped galvanize the Nittany Lions to the win. After the game, Penn State football coach James Franklin praised Allar’s response to the injury that knocked him out of the game.

Penn State football rallies despite losing Drew Allar to injury

After a sluggish first half, things could have gone from bad to worse for Penn State football after Drew Allar left the game with an injury early in the third quarter. Allar’s numbers weren’t specular up to the hit on a QB run that knocked him out of the game. But the loss could have been a significant blow to an offensive unit that has looked to the sophomore QB’s leadership all season.

Rather than fold, Penn State football rallied behind backup QB Beau Pribula. The Nittany Lions outscored Rutgers 17-0 in the second half to earn the 27-6 victory on senior day.

The performance through the air wasn’t anything to write home about for the Nittany Lions Saturday. Allar and Pribula combined to go 7-14 for 88 yards on the day. But the Penn State QBs led the way on the ground against the Scarlet Knights. Allar ran the ball 3 times for 28 yards before leaving the game, while Pribula led the Nittany Lions with 8 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown in the second half.

James Franklin praises Drew Allar’s ‘phenomenal’ leadership from sideline in second half

He may have been kept off the field after visiting the medical tent following his injury, but Drew Allar was never out of the game. Although visibly upset that he couldn’t return to action, Allar actively participated throughout the second half. The sophomore QB was seen frequently interacting with players and the coaching staff from the sideline while working through what appeared to be an upper-body injury.

After the game, James Franklin discussed the play on which Drew Allar suffered an injury and the effort his starting QB made from the sidelines in the second half.

“Obviously, we never want to put our players in a position where they’re going to get an injury, bumps, bruises, whatever it may be,” Franklin said. “At that point, he [Allar] was averaging like 10 yards per rush. And really what he had done the whole game, or what he really done the whole season, is get as many yards as he can and get down. And he’s done a really good job of managing that all season long.”

“Right there in that situation, he was just about to get down, and somebody flashed from behind another player and hit him just right,” Franklin continued. “He was really good as the game went on. I thought his leadership was phenomenal on the sideline. But it’s like anything else, right? Whether it’s football, whether it’s business, whether it’s offense, whether it’s defense: it’s all about risk-reward and everything we do.”

You can watch the full remarks from James Franklin on the Basic Blues Nation YouTube page.

Penn State football now begins a short-rest final week of the season, as the Nittany Lions will take on Michigan State Friday night in Ford Field.

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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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