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QB 2 & QB3 need to prepare like the starter for Penn State football

The Penn State football team has high expectations for the 2023 season, many of them rely on a healthy Drew Allar. But, if Allar was to be injured Beau Pribula and Jaxon Smolik need to be prepared for the moment.



Penn State football, Beau Pribula, Jaxob Smolik, Drew Allar
Apr 15, 2023; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Beau Pribula (9) looks to throw a pass during the first quarter of the Blue White spring game at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone is anticipating the first game of the season to watch Penn State football quarterback Drew Allar make his first career start. He has been surrounded by some offseason hype and the expectations are high for Allar to be successful. But, the quarterback room has two other players that hold a very important role for the 2023 season. If the worst-case scenario happens, the Nittany Lions may have to rely on both Beau Pribula and Jaxon Smolik.

Beau Pribula needs to stay ready

Many of us within the Penn State football community remember the 2021 season quite well. Just when it felt like the team was going to hit their stride and win some big games, adversity struck and QB Sean Clifford left the game in Iowa City. This threw Ta’Quan Roberson into the fire on the road in a hostile environment, and Roberson was unable to deliver. One of the more frustrating parts of that game was when Roberson and the Penn State offensive line struggled to get the snap off, which added up to several false start penalties. The Nittany Lions went on to lose that game against Iowa and the season unraveled after that.

Fast forward to 2023, Drew Allar is the only quarterback on the roster that has any meaningful game experience under his belt. The college football season is long and anything can happen, so there is quite a bit of pressure on the backup quarterbacks. Beau Pribula enters his redshirt freshman year in 2023, the York, PA native brings a different skill set to the table when he is under center. Pribula is a dynamic athlete who has some versatility to run and pass well. In both Blue-White game appearances, he showed his command of the offense. But it will be up to the Penn State coaching staff to make sure that he is preparing like he is the starting quarterback each week. In-game reps are critical for Pribula’s growth, there are a few games next season where you would hope Penn State would have a large enough lead to get Pribula on the field and gain more comfort under center.

Jaxon Smolik has two great assets in front of him in Penn State QB room

On the depth chart behind Drew Allar and Beau Pribula comes true freshman Jaxon Smolik who was an early enrollee for the Penn State football team. Smolik appeared in the 2023 Blue-White game; however, his reps were limited because Allar and Pribula needed the time on the field. For Smolik, he needs to take advantage of every practice rep he gets while asking the two veteran quarterbacks as many questions as possible. If anything were to happen to Allar this season, Smolik is just a few snaps away from being thrown into live game action.

At the end of the day, Allar will most likely take 95% of the snaps on the field this season. But, there is that element of college football that cannot be controlled, which is the adversity that injuries can bring to a team. Penn State cannot afford to have a massive dropoff in production if Allar were to miss a series or a game for whatever reason.

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Former Editor-In-Chief at Victory Bell Rings, Morgan is the current Site Manager for Basic Blues Nation, host of the Basic Blues Podcast, and co-host of the weekly Penn State Roar Room spaces. Morgan lives in upstate New York with his wife and cats.


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