STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Drew Allar’s pants were spattered with blood and marred by grass stains as he walked off the field.
With his helmet pulled down low over his eyes, Allar’s gaze was fixed on the ground as he shuffled his feet toward Penn State’s locker room. He never glanced up until offensive tackle Olu Fashanu caught up to him and put an arm around the quarterback’s shoulders.
Try as his left tackle might, nothing could ease the sting of another loss to a Big Ten heavyweight.
The sophomore completed 10 of 22 passes for just 70 yards and lost a fumble in No. 9 Penn State’s 24-15 loss to No. 2 Michigan on Saturday. The Nittany Lions, who already lost to Ohio State this season, fell to 1-14 against the Buckeyes and Wolverines during coach James Franklin's tenure when each school is ranked in the top 10 at the time of the game.
“I’m not the type of guy that’s going to put the blame on anybody else,” Allar said. “To me, it’s always looking yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and seeing what you did good and bad and just learning from it. It is what it is. I personally feel like I didn’t play well enough to win the game today so that’s what it is.”
Penn State's offense struggled once again in a matchup with a top-flight defense.
The Nittany Lions (8-2, 5-2) managed just 238 total yards, went 4 for 14 on third down, turned the ball over twice and punted five times against the Wolverines.
Allar, who missed a wide-open KeAndre Lambert-Smith in the first half on what could have been a long pickup, also pointed the finger at himself for throwing behind Kaden Saunders on third down with less than five minutes to go.
“I missed plenty of throws today,” Allar said.
Penn State turned it over on downs on its next play when another Allar throw fell to the ground. Michigan’s Blake Corum sprinted for a 30-yard touchdown one play later to seal the game.
Allar attempted just seven passes in the first half.
“We’ve got to do a better job of calling a game to allow a quarterback to get into a rhythm,” Franklin said.
Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich is not made available to reporters after games, but Allar has been accountable after all of them.
Like he did in Columbus when Penn State lost 20-12, Allar was critical of his own play. He quickly pointed to his fumble on Penn State’s opening possession of the third quarter as the “turning point of the game.”
“I think Drew’s harder on himself than what a lot of people would be,” center Hunter Nourzad said. “I think that’s just a reflection of how hungry he is to be successful.”
Penn State’s fans are hungry, too. And angry.
Hundreds of them lined metal railings as the players and coaches left the field. Many booed and jeered as staff members hurried by. Penn State has four 11-win seasons since 2016 under Franklin, but it is 3-16 against top-10 teams.
“A lot can happen in college football,” Allar said. “So we just have to stick together, keep sticking together and just learn from it tomorrow, be very critical of ourselves and move on. At this point, we’ve just got to bounce back this week in practice and play our hearts out.”
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