June 16, 2024

Drew Allar ready for biggest stage of career heading to Horseshoe

Penn State Nittany Lions Football

Penn State quarterback Drew Allar warms up during a timeout in the first quarter against Illinois Saturday September 16, 2023 at Memorial Stadium. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The sophomore quarterback continues to do a marvelous job replacing Sean Clifford this season, and the Nittany Lions are one of the hottest teams in the country.

Drew Allar is raising eyebrows across the Big Ten because he has full command of Penn State’s offense. After all, Allar is second in the conference in completion percentage and passing touchdowns. The former four-star prospect is a big reason why the Nittany Lions are undefeated.

All Allar wants to do is compliment a defense that has recorded two shutouts over the past three games. He’s all about execution, and delivering in the clutch. Which is why Allar is performing like a seasoned veteran behind center, instead of a wide-eyed underclassmen.

“I think the key thing at the end of the day is just taking what the defense gives you, and don’t take unnecessary risks with the football, especially depending on the situations during the game,” Allar said. “There are situations where you have to force things that you wouldn’t if you were up, or if it was the middle of the game, but I think it’s taking calculated risks with the football, and being patient.”

Penn State (6-0) has only played one ranked team through its’ first six games, so Allar has yet to face the best the Big Ten has to offer. However, the seventh-ranked Nittany Lions will invade Ohio Stadium Saturday morning for the ultimate measuring stick. Allar is returning back to his home state, and is set to take the biggest stage of his career.

Ohio State is the No. 3 team in the country and undefeated, so there’s no denying the stakes are extremely high. This battle will have major Playoff implications, and all eyes will be watching. The Horseshoe is arguably the most intimidating venue in all of College football. Over 106,000 screaming fans makes the place a snakepit to visitors. Allar has an opportunity to do what Clifford couldn’t, which is beat Ohio State.

The Nittany Lions have lost six-straight games to the Buckeyes, and 10 of the last 11. Not to mention Penn State hasn’t won at the Horseshoe since 2011. Still, Allar and his teammates are focusing on changing that narrative. Practice has been intense all week, and Allar is confident the hard work is going to help the Nittany Lions pull off the upset.

“Just a great opportunity to go back home, obviously we’re going to be facing one of the top teams in the country on both sides of the ball, and it’s going to be a great challenge for us, but we’re looking forward to that challenge and opportunity we have this weekend,” he said.

Allar is working on different areas of his game, and expects to leave it all out on the field. The last thing the Nittany Lions want to do is leave the Horseshoe winless for a sixth-straight time. Allar knows he has to be mentally, physically and emotionally ready. His No. 1 priority is improving each game, and the rest will take care of itself.

“I think I still have a lot of room to grow in all areas of playing quarterback, and the biggest thing for me is probably being consistent in footwork,” he said. “I feel like the times I’ve missed throws that I shouldn’t be missing is because of footwork, and I have to stay calmer in the pocket.”

The 19-year old might have to use his mobility a lot because of Ohio State’s pass rush. The Buckeyes have the best defense Allar will face up to this point in the season, and are ninth nationally in total yards allowed. There’s no denying Allar is going to need his supporting cast to show up in a big way. That’s why he’s eager to prove himself to everyone, and show that the success through the first half of the season wasn’t a fluke.