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KeAndre Lambert-Smith explains what led to his career night against West Virginia

KeAndre Lambert-Smith had a career performance last night against West Virginia. We spoke to Penn State’s self-proclaimed WR1 about what led to his breakout game.



Penn State Football, UMass, Bye Week
Penn State wide receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith runs to the end zone for a 72-yard touchdown against West Virginia at Beaver Stadium September 2, 2023 in State College.

All offseason, questions swirled as to who would emerge at the wide receiver position for Penn State football. Now after the Nittany Lions’ 38-15 Week 1 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers, those questions appear to be answered. KeAndre Lambert-Smith put on an electrifying performance from the opening whistle last night in front of the Beaver Stadium faithful, becoming one of the top playmakers from either team in the matchup. After the game, the Penn State wide receiver explained what led to his career night.

Penn State WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith has flipped a switch

The Penn State wide receiver competition was one of the tightest position battles for the Nittany Lions in all of fall camp. While no player was evidently able to pull away during practice, it appears that KeAndre Lambert-Smith has now cemented himself as the top man in the room.

Lambert-Smith had four catches for 123 yards last evening against West Virginia. This mark is one yard shy of his career high, which came the last time Penn State took the field in the Rose Bowl. The junior wide receiver also hauled in a career-high two touchdown passes against the Mountaineers.

Electric from the get-go, Lambert-Smith put his play-making ability on full display last night versus West Virginia. Connecting on a 72-yard bomb with new quarterback Drew Allar on Penn State’s opening drive, Lambert-Smith now has three touchdowns of 70+ yards in his career. The introduction to the 2023 season feels almost poetic for Lambert-Smith, given that Penn State fans’ last memory of him is his 88-yard touchdown reception in the Rose Bowl.

Although eight months to the day apart, KeAndre Lambert-Smith appears to have flipped a switch in his last two games. After only tallying 182 yards and two touchdowns in the first 11 games of 2022, Lambert-Smith has had career performances in back-to-back contests.

Add in the regular season finale against Michigan State last year, and Lambert-Smith has 330 yards and four scores in the last three Penn State football games.

Self-proclaimed WR1 explains what has led to his breakout play

There’s no doubt that KeAndre Lambert-Smith is now one of the emerging stars on this Penn State football team. While he has shown flashes of this potential at points throughout his career, the consistent level of play over the last three games has been impressive. When asked what has led to his breakout performances, Lambert-Smith’s answer was simple.

“I would just say more opportunity,” Lambert-Smith said. “That’s all I wanted since I’ve been a freshman here. And I’m the number one guy now. The opportunity is here; I’ve got to make the most of it every game.”

Lambert-Smith now believes he’s “the guy” for Penn State in the wide receiver room, and his recent play has justified that belief. And if he’s right, then Lambert-Smith could become one of the most important players for Penn State’s bid to the College Football Playoff in 2023.

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A third-generation Penn Stater, Matt is Editor-in-Chief for Basic Blues Nation, co-host of the podcast PSU Tailgate Talk, and a credentialed member of the Penn State football media. Matt also works as a staffer in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Matt lives in central Pennsylvania with his wife and a small army of pets.


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