If you were living under a rock or simply were too busy to pay attention, Penn State played its annual Blue & White game on Saturday, April 15. The Lions played a traditional game format for the first time since 2019, including “on air” kicks of all kinds. Unlike last season, there were enough bodies to go full contact, so we got a bit of a glimpse of things to come. Here are three that stood out.
1: The kids are alright
As Drew Allar astutely reminded the media not long ago, he —and his counterpart Beau Pribula, is 19. While you saw some of that “19 year-old making 19-year old decisions” throughout the game, you also saw glimpses of why the former was a 5-star quarterback coming out of high school, and the latter was highly regarded by the staff.
Both players played under pressure for a good portion of the game, and both managed to make “something out of nothing” plays out of the pressure, and, at some points, they made a whole lot of something out of possible nothings.
Pribula played on the White team for most of the game, so he spent the majority of the time with the second team. The few opportunities he got with the Blue team, however, looked quite polished.
There’s no reason to believe anything other than the quarterback job is Allar’s to lose, but Pribula might make it a competition after all.
2: No need to panic
As mentioned above, the quarterbacks were under constant pressure throughout the game. However, keep in mind:
- Olu Fashanu did not play.
- Quarterbacks were, and will always be, no contact. Some plays that were called dead because a defender was in the same zip code as the quarterbacks would actually go on in a real game scenario.
That said, the line certainly has tape to work with for the summer.
3: Year 2 Surge
The defense looked like it did not miss a beat from last season. The secondary was all over the place, the linebackers were ballhawks, and the linemen were fast and active. It’s almost as if being in the second year of Manny Diaz’s system has paid dividends for both returning players and those who joined early.
Two of those young players were freshman Tony Rojas and sophomore Kevin Winston, Jr. Both players, in the time they saw, made a clear impact in the game.
Bonus: Tank Smith did it again
With Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen having nothing to prove, Tank Smith got the bulk of the carries in the second half. He did not disappoint.