No. 7 Penn State presents massive challenge for Delaware

no.-7-penn-state-presents-massive-challenge-for-delaware

Drew Allar was as good as advertised in his first career start at quarterback for No. 7 Penn State.

Allar will look to follow the strong outing when the Nittany Lions (1-0) host FCS program Delaware on Saturday at University Park, Pa.

Allar completed 21 of 29 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s 38-15 victory over West Virginia.

He is the first Penn State quarterback to pass for at least 300 yards in his first career start since Michael Robinson threw for 379 against Wisconsin in 2013.

“It’s really rewarding,” Allar said. “I mean, as a quarterback the only stat I really care about are the wins at the end of the day. To beat a team like West Virginia in a great environment is definitely really cool, especially being my first start.”

Allar is being counted on to replace Penn State all-time passing-yardage leader Sean Clifford (10,661). Allar threw four touchdown passes against no interceptions in 60 attempts as the backup last season.

Nittany Lions coach James Franklin was impressed with what he saw from the 6-foot-5 Allar last week.

“I thought he did a really good job of managing the game from a decision-making standpoint,” Franklin said. “He’s extremely poised. Like we’ve talked about in the past, he’s mobile for a big guy who does a great job of climbing a pocket and keeping his eyes up. I was very pleased.”

Receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith caught two touchdown passes, including a 72-yarder. He had four receptions for 123 yards.

Defensively, linebackers Abdul Carter, Dominic DeLuca, Curtis Jacobs each recorded a sack. Jacobs had 10 tackles for his third career double-digit output.

Jacobs was pleased to see the offense put together a 10-play, 81-yard touchdown drive after West Virginia scored a touchdown early in the second quarter to tie the game at 7.

“We’re resilient. Obviously, they came down and punched us in the mouth early with that touchdown,” Jacobs said. “And to see the offense come right back out and strike down the score. It gives you confidence just being able to play complementary football like that.”

Delaware (1-0) opened its season with a 37-13 victory over host Stony Brook on Thursday in Coastal Athletic Association play. The Blue Hens, ranked No. 19 in the FCS coaches poll, had a 559-327 edge in total offense.

Now Delaware will be on the type of stage it hasn’t seen before — Penn State drew 110,747 fans for the opener against West Virginia. The game at Stony Brook was attended by 11,132.

“We’re excited about it,” Blue Hens coach Ryan Carty said Monday on a conference call. “It’s a great opportunity for us to go out there and showcase who we are and play against the best.”

Ryan O’Connor completed 24 of 38 passes for 346 yards and one touchdown against Stony Brook in his first career start. Marcus Yarns rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries, while Chandler Harvin had five catches for 100 yards.

Defensive backs Tyron Herring, Christian Pierce and Ty Davis all had interceptions. Davis returned his 50 yards for a touchdown.

Of course, visiting Penn State is vastly different than a road game at Stony Brook. Carty said crowd noise will be pumped into parts of practices, but otherwise his club won’t change its routine.

“We’re going to try to not make it too big of a moment,” said Carty, “but we also have to make sure we are dialed in and focused in preparations so we can go out there and perform.”

–Field Level Media

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