Penn State quarterback Drew Allar impressed in his first career start.
In No. 7 Penn State’s 38-15 win over West Virginia, Allar completed 21-of-29 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. And the fireworks came early for Allar and the Nittany Lions.
On his second pass of the night, Allar evaded pressure, stepped up in the pocket and delivered a dart downfield to KeAndre Lambert-Smith. Lambert-Smith evaded a West Virginia defender and scampered to the house for a 72-yard touchdown.
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Allar, the 6-foot-5, 242-pound sophomore, continually showed what made him such a coveted recruit. He was impressive as he showed the ability to fire the ball on a line or loft one over defenders with touch. He also deftly evaded pressure with his legs and delivered accurate passes on the move.
There were a few misses, of course. He got away with what should have been a West Virginia interception in the end zone in the first half. Allar also missed Lambert-Smith on a quick slant that could have been a huge gain if he delivered the pass in stride.
All in all, it was a very encouraging performance for Allar in his first career start as Penn State hopes to contend for the Big Ten title and a potential College Football Playoff berth in 2023.
The Penn State defense played well, too. West Virginia moved the ball, but turned it over on downs on three separate drives, including two in PSU territory. PSU limited West Virginia QB Garrett Greene to just 162 yards on 16-of-27 passes. WVU’s strength is on the interior of the offensive line, and the PSU front limited the Mountaineers to only 3.5 yards per carry.
Other than breaking in a new quarterback, Penn State entered the season with questions about the receiving corps. Was Lambert-Smith ready to be a No. 1 option? Who else would emerge behind him? Well, Lambert-Smith passed his first test as he caught four passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Elsewhere, Harrison Wallace caught seven passes for 72 yards and Florida State transfer Malik McClain had four catches for 58 yards and a touchdown.
The backfield duo of Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen had a workmanlike outing, combining for 121 yards on 23 carries. Singleton also had a 2-yard touchdown run to give PSU a 14-7 lead at the 9:10 mark of the second quarter.
PSU, which hosts Delaware next week before opening Big Ten play on the road versus Illinois, never relinquished the lead from there.