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3 Takeaways From Penn State’s 42-0 Dismantling of Michigan State

Penn State wins big on Black Friday to reach 10-2.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 24 Penn State at Michigan State Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

1. The Defense Dominates Yet Again

It’s basically become a ritual this season to be wowed by the defensive performance, only to be further floored when examining the box score once the dust settles. The latest masterpiece from the Penn State defense included allowing just five first downs and 53 total yards by the Spartans — not 53 passing or rushing yards, but a grand total of 53 total yards of offense on the night. They held Michigan State to -35 yards rushing and -1.3 yards per attampt weeks after allowing -49 to Maryland. The defense totaled seven sacks and 12 TFLs as they completely shut down another offense for their third shutout of the season.

This defense has been special from start to finish in 2023, and among the very best in program history.

2. A Poised Drew Allar

The recent changes behind the scenes on offense seem to have resulted in a more comfortable, poised Allar on Saturday night. He was in control from the start, and knew where he wanted to go as he found the soft spots in the Spartans defense. Allar did an exceptional job spreading the ball around as 10 different Nittany Lions recorded catches as the offense piled up 42 points. He finished the night 17-of-26 for 292 passing yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, raising his total to 23 touchdowns on the season to just one interception.

3. A Cathartic Night for the Running Backs

Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton both had good seasons, but they had to be feeling frustrated with the lack of big plays on the ground. As Penn State’s passing game struggled to do the same, defenses were able to focus more on stopping the run with less field to defend without having to worry about the deep ball. Things finally opened up as Allen and Singleton were both able to take advantage of the space the passing game created for them, reeling off long runs throughout the night to help lead the way for the offense. The duo combined for 255 rushing yards as each exceeded the century mark, with Singleton even leading the team in receiving yards with 68 on two catches.