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Penn State football: passing attack in question ahead of Drew Allar era

The Nittany Lions’ new quarterback will need to step up if Penn State expects to compete.



Penn State football, Ryan Montgomery
Apr 23, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Drew Allar (15) throws a pass during the Blue White spring game at Beaver Stadium. The defense defeated the offense 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

For over a year now, Nittany Lion fans have been calling for Drew Allar to step up and become Penn State’s starting quarterback. After Sean Clifford led PSU to a Rose Bowl win in his final outing as a starter, Penn State football will have its rising sophomore star under center this fall. Still, the Nittany Lions’ passing attack is in question ahead of the 2023 season.

Penn State football passing attack is in question

On Monday, Alex Hickey of Saturday Tradition published his biggest storylines for every Big Ten program this year. For Penn State football, that storyline is whether or not the Nittany Lions can get the Drew Allar-led passing attack going throughout his first year as a starter in the Blue and White. Here is what Hickey had to say about Allar & Co.:

“Penn State fans have been calling for Drew Allar since he was still in high school. They’re finally getting him as he heads into his sophomore season.

But the first-time starter does not have the benefit of a veteran receiving corps, and that’s what makes this spring so vital for the Nittany Lions. The team lodged in third place in the Big Ten pecking order needs the passing attack to come together this fall to have any chance at changing that.

Junior KeAndre Lambert-Smith is by far the most accomplished wideout in the group at this point. (Kent State transfer Dante Cephus won’t be in Happy Valley until the summer.) James Franklin abruptly dismissed receivers coach Taylor Stubblefield and replaced him with former Virginia receivers coach Marques Hagans this offseason. This spring is Hagans’ first opportunity to make an impact — and it’ll be needed.”

Allar, Nittany Lions will adapt

Throughout the 2022 season — which saw Penn State football finish 11-2 and No. 7 after its Rose Bowl win over Utah — PSU fans were thrilled to see Drew Allar get significant in-game reps. Allar impressed in many games, including Penn State’s Week 2 victory over the MAC East champion Ohio Bobcats.

This year, the Nittany Lions will have an even better run game (behind Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen), a talented and experienced offensive line, and a revamped receiver corps. Sure, Penn State football is losing some talent from its 2022 receiving corps, but just as we saw last year when Jahan Dotson left, someone will step up. The Nittany Lions have some solid home grown talent on top of two incredible transfer portal additions out wide.

On September 2nd, we will get our first glimpse at the new and (hopefully) improved Penn State football offense when the Nittany Lions host the West Virginia Mountaineers to kick off the season.

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Chris Mangum is currently a Penn State student and serves as a writer and editor covering Big Ten athletics. He has served as a beat writer, online reporter, print reporter, and more over the past few years of his career. He currently serves as the managing editor for Basic Blues Nation and others.