Blue White Illustrated

December 2023

Penn State Sports Magazine

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Page 27 of 67

T he Penn State offense ranks among the best in the Big Ten but has been something of an enigma this season. Some weeks, it has been nearly unstop- pable. Other weeks, it has slogged along, doing enough to win (except at Ohio State) while lacking the explosive, game- changing plays that can turn a close game into a blowout. The Nittany Lions' 51-15 victory over Maryland on Nov. 4, a game in which sophomore quarterback Drew Allar threw for 4 touchdowns and the offense amassed 404 total yards, offered an ex- ample of just how effective the team can be when it's operating at something ap- proaching peak efficiency. "I thought offensively, probably the most important thing was that we were able to stay on schedule on first and sec- ond down," coach James Franklin said. "We were efficient, creating manageable third-down situations. I thought the of- fensive line did a great job of protecting the quarterback. Drew [Allar] was com- fortable moving through his progressions and using his eyes to open people, and we grinded out the run game. "They played an aggressive defense. They played a ton of cover zero. No safe- ties, overload the box for the run game, overload the protections in the pass game, and we were able to get a lot of guys in- volved, which was good." Here's what we know about the Lions' attack after nine weeks, and also what we learned about it over the past month: Quarterback Allar has been up and down — as should perhaps be expected of a first-year starter. He can look so poised and strong in some moments. In others, he misses throws and seems to rush out of the pocket to avoid pressure that isn't always there. W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M 2 8 D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 Split Personality Split Personality Penn State's offense was up and down through the season's first nine weeks G R E G P I C K E L | G R E G . P I C K E L @ O N 3 . C O M

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