Football, Sports, WVU Sports

Drew Allar shines in No. 7 Penn State’s opening victory over West Virginia

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — With a mere flick of his wrist, rocket-armed Drew Allar began a new era in Happy Valley.

This is what the 6-foot-5, 242-pound quarterback’s teammates and coaches gushed about all summer. The sophomore signal caller can make it look easy.
Allar, who sat behind five-year starter Sean Clifford last year, threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start to help No. 7 Penn State beat West Virginia 38-15 on Saturday night in their season opener.

“That’s the Drew we saw in preseason camp. That’s the Drew we saw in limited reps last year,” Franklin said. “He was extremely poised.”

KeAndre Lambert-Smith caught two touchdown passes — including a 72-yard dart that required very little windup from Allar, even though he was scrambling through the pocket when he launched it downfield. The ball soared over a lunging Mountaineer defender and fell perfectly into Lambert-Smith’s hands. The wideout didn’t even need to hit full speed to finish the scoring play.

Nick Singleton added a rushing touchdown, Malik McClain caught a touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter for the Nittany Lions, who pulled away after leading 14-7 at halftime.

Backup Beau Pribula ran for a touchdown with six seconds left and kicker Alex Felkins added a 25-yard field goal.

It was the first time the two regional rivals played since meeting every year from 1947 until 1992. Penn State won all but six of those games and, with a deep, experienced roster that expects to contend for the Big Ten championship and more left little room for the Mountaineers to err in the opener.

Penn State outgained West Virginia 405-198 through three quarters. Meanwhile, a swarming defense forced four punts and three turnovers on downs.

Still, the Big 12 foes played hard after making the 184-mile trip north to Beaver Stadium. Quarterback Garrett Greene accounted for 233 total yards and CJ Donaldson scored on a short run to tie it at 7 early in the second quarter.

Singleton powered in from two yards out to give his team the lead for good two possessions later and Allar and his receivers helped Penn State pull away. He mimed a crisp fake handoff before hitting a wide-open Lambert-Smith in the end zone from 12 yards out to complete Penn State’s first possession of the second half.

From there the Mountaineers ran out of steam until Greene plunged in from a yard out with 3:34 to play. He hit Donaldson for a 2-point conversion to cap the scoring.

By The Associated Press