Connect with us


Win over Indiana doesn’t mask nagging flaws for Penn State football

Should Penn State football be feeling good about where it is at following Saturday’s win over Indiana?



Penn State Football, Indiana, Ohio State, CBS Sports, Tom Fornelli
October 28, 2023. Penn State QB Drew Allar (15) prepares for the snap during the Nittany Lions' 33-24 win over Indiana. Credit: Grace Carella // Basic Blues Nation.

It may not have been the prettiest game ever, but Penn State football rebounded after suffering its first loss of the season, defeating the Indiana Hoosiers 33-24 in Beaver Stadium Saturday. The Nittany Lions are now 7-1 on the year despite needing some late-game heroics to beat a two-win Hoosiers squad. Although it showed resiliency after a tough loss, one national sportswriter argues that the win shouldn’t necessarily be a confidence boost for the Penn State program. This week, CBS Sports writer Tom Fornelli highlighted several of the flaws that still plague this Nittany Lions team.

CBS Sports writer highlights continued issues with Penn State offense vs. Indiana

Many in the Penn State football program likely didn’t expect to be in a dogfight with two-win Indiana, but that’s exactly what they got on Saturday. The Nittany Lions defense uncharacteristically gave up three long scores to allow the Hoosiers to hang in the game.

However, the primary concern continued to be the Penn State offense. The unit once again struggled to find consistency, coming up scoreless in six of its first seven drives. QB Drew Allar threw his first career interception deep in Nittany Lion territory with under five minutes to play, allowing Indiana to tie the game at 24. But Allar and the Nittany Lions responded immediately, with a 57-yard strike from Allar to KeAndre Lambert-Smith that proved to be the deciding score.

Despite bouncing back from its first loss and the adversity of the game, CBS Sports writer Tom Fornelli argued that Penn State football was fortunate to come out on top.

“A win is a win is a win, but they don’t erase the problems,” Fornelli wrote after the game. “Penn State was not near its best today. Had it played a team of a higher caliber than the Indiana Hoosiers, it’s probably sitting on a two-game losing streak. While it had its moments, the Penn State offense continued to struggle running the ball and finding explosive plays.”

Will Drew Allar turn the page?

The leading storyline coming out of the win was the late response from Drew Allar. The first-year starter bounced back from what could have been a critical error to lead the Nittany Lions on a game-winning drive.

Of course, the conversation now centers around whether the adversity of Saturday and the Ohio State game are enough to help mold the young QB. While Tom Fornelli highlighted his late-game performance, he also noted that Allar again looked like a first-time starter against Indiana.

“In the passing game, QB Drew Allar hit Keandre Lambert-Smith for a 57-yard go-ahead score,” he wrote. “What made it stand out was the fact you just haven’t seen this team make those kind of plays all year. Indiana deserves some of the credit for today’s struggles; the Hoosiers continually heated up Allar in the pocket and forced him into throws earlier than he wanted to make.”

“But Allar looked hesitant at times, too,” Fornelli continued. “He looked like a QB lacking confidence after a performance last week that, in his own words, ‘sucked.’ There are too many times when Allar looks like he’s more afraid of making a mistake than he’s willing to make a play. Perhaps that will change over time, but it’s a problem right now.”

A chance for a statement

Whatever the narrative has been around the offense this season, Penn State football will have the opportunity to flip the script in the coming weeks. The Nittany Lions embark upon what could be the toughest three-game stretch of the entire year.

Penn State travels to College Park this weekend to face the top-25 rushing defense of the Maryland Terrapins. The Nittany Lions then return home to face 8-0 Michigan and 6-2 Rutgers in a stretch that will define Penn State’s postseason expectations for 2023.

While the Nittany Lions still have everything to play for, they desperately need to see some sort of spark from the offensive side of the ball. We’ll see if that happens as the calendar now flips to November.

Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at [email protected] or direct message us on our social media. Also, be sure to check out our new site shop. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!

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.


Spinstralia Casino: online pokies real money, real fun! Get in on the action today!