Saturday marked a happy homecoming moment for many Penn State students, players, and fans after months away from football in Beaver Stadium.
On the field, it turned into a coming out party for many members of the ballyhooed 2022 recruiting class, namely Nicholas Singleton and Drew Allar.
Penn State Nittany Lions fans got exactly what they wanted on the day, an easy 46-10 win against MAC opponent Ohio and explosive play after explosive play from the star-studded freshman quarterback and running back.
Singleton finished with 179 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, racing for long runs toward the north end zone on three occasions. Allar, meanwhile, connected for the first two touchdown passes of his career.
Three of those touchdowns came during the second half where Penn State was able to get a lot of different players on the field ahead of their road trip to the plains next week to face SEC opponent Auburn.
The first quarter went exactly as planned for Penn State. The defense allowed no points, while the offense produced both an explosive play and a sustained drive.
Chop Robinson nearly single-handedly ruined Ohio’s opening drive, coming up with a tackle for loss and a third-batted ball to get the Nittany Lion defense off the field.
Then, it was time for Penn State to work its way down the field as Sean Clifford spread the ball to a few different receivers and patiently waited before hitting Tyler Warren over the middle on a fourth down play. Clifford capped the drive with a scramble to the goal line and then a second-straight week of being shoved into the end zone by Brenton Strange.
After Penn State’s defense held again (shout out Abdul Carter for multiple plays where he showed a ferocity that we are going to like over the years at linebacker), Nittany Lion fans got what they were looking for with Nick Singleton breaking the most explosive run play since the 2019 season. Aided by a great lead block from fulling right guard Sal Wormley, Singleton showed the burst and balance to get down the right sideline on his way to an 80-yard touchdown run.
The second quarter saw the offense stall some until the closing moments. Thanks to a brilliant Barney Amor punt, Penn State picked up a safety and went up 16-0 after Ohio fumbled in the end zone but was able to fall on it. The Nittany Lions got to the red zone, but were forced to settle for a short Jake Pinegar field goal.
Down 19-0, Ohio went deep in the bag of tricks to get on the board and make fans a little restless. Two trick plays saw the Bobcats get to the goal line before punching in a touchdown to make the score 19-7 with less than two minutes left in the quarter.
For the third time in two games, Clifford engineered a two-minute scoring drive. Parker Washington snatched a low throw and took it into the end zone only to have the ball brought back to the seven-yard line. A play later, Clifford hit Mitchell Tinsley in a tight window on a slant and it was 26-7. For the half, Penn State racked up more than 300 yards of offense.
The second half started with a long Singleton run on Penn State’s opening drive, though it ended with a missed Pinegar field goal.
Enter Allar and he capped his first drive by hitting fellow freshman Omari Evans for his first career touchdown pass. On the next drive, it was Singleton exploding again, going down the sideline for a 44-yard touchdown.
Tight end Khalil Dinkins caught another Allar touchdown strike early in the fourth, a play where Allar showed great pocket presence and was aided by freshman Kaytron Allen astutely picking up a blitz.