clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Midweek Musings - Lion in Wait

It’s a pun, you see

Penn State quarterback Beau Pribula (9) runs with the ball during the second half of a NCAA football game against Massachusetts Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in State College, Pa. The Nittany Lions won, 63-0. Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

Penn State is gearing up for one of its biggest games of the year when it travels west to take on the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes.

Until now, the offense has run 100% through Drew Allar, who has been effective - if not always explosive - in keeping the chains moving and putting up points on the board. Through six games, Drew has taken a seat at some point in the second half and backup Beau Pribula has come on.

Beau’s role has been simple - run the dang ball. Churn clock, stay healthy, maybe tack on some garbage time points (gotta beat the spread don’tcha know), and get out of there with basically no pressure.

Here’s the thing though - when Pribula comes on, I don’t see an offense “taking it easy.” Perhaps its because these are all the depth players, and they want to get as much out of their playing time as possible, but other than a near allergy to throwing the ball, I see an offense that’s actively trying to get down the field.

Typically, the opposing defenses are some combination of a) worn down from the beating the starting offense has dished out, and b) their backups getting playing time in a game that’s out of hand. But Beau has ripped off quite a few big plays in mop up duty, and even when not busting out 20-yard runs or 30-yard passes, he’s still consistently been able to move the chains.

All of this prelude has me wondering: does Penn State have a Lion Package in its playbook for Beau?

I don’t know that Pribula is a polished passer, so I’m not sure if the coaches would be willing to throw him some sort of option play, but then again, maybe they are? Adding another potential passer to the offense muddies the water for an OSU defense that is good, if not quite as good as years past.

On the season, and again bearing in mind his role in clean up, Beau has rushed 34 times for 225 yards, good for 6.6 yards per carry, and three touchdowns. Is that sort of productivity enough for Mike Yurcich to reach into his bag of tricks and get Pribula involved with the starters? Maybe, maybe not.

It’s entirely possible that Beau Pribula is lying Lion in wait.