It sure had all the makings of a disastrous loss: An Indiana team that was on the verge of quitting on the season came out and threw a couple of early haymakers against a Penn State team still hung over from a deflating performance against Ohio State the previous week, and kept the game within striking distance throughout, with a chance to steal a historic road win in the end. That potential historic moment for the Hoosiers of course, came when Drew Allar threw his first collegiate interception in his own red zone with five minutes to play in the game and the Nittany Lions clinging to a 24-21 lead, which ultimately led to Indiana’s game-tying field goal.
With less than three minutes to go and facing his first true “gut-check” situation, needing to lead a two-minute offense for a go-ahead score and salvage Penn State’s season, Drew responded in a manner everyone was hoping for. After throwing a nice check-down pass over the middle to Kaytron Allen for a 10-yard gain and fresh set of downs, Allar handed off to Kaytron once against for another 10-yard gain to get the Lions at midfield. The third play of the drive saw Allar drop back and launch one deep down the sideline towards a streaking KeAndre Lambert-Smith, who caught the ball in stride, and managed to keep his balance to tip-toe and somersault into the end zone. The fans cheered, Cory Giger smiled.
Time will tell if that TD pass was Allar’s equivalent of Trace McSorley’s pass to Irvin Charles against Minnesota in 2016, that lights a spark in the offense, but it’s plays like that which give you some hope...Sometimes great things do happen when you just chuck it deep.