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Three Takeaways From No. 7 Penn State’s 31-15 Win Over West Virginia

The Nittany Lions opened their season with a win over longtime rival West Virginia.

Nicholas Singleton #10 of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the first half at Beaver Stadium on September 2, 2023 Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Nittany Lions opened their season with a win on Saturday, in the long anticipated debut of Drew Allar’s career as the starting quarterback. Here are your takeaways.

1: Allar as good as advertised

With a stat line of 21 of 29 for 325 yards and 3 touchdowns, Allar had the kind of opening game everyone in blue and white was hoping for. He had big throws from different kinds of situations, showcasing his arm talent, and, most importantly, calm demeanor as he commandeered the offense.

Allar wasn’t perfect, and were West Virginia defenders able to hold on to the ball, he would have finished with two interceptions on the night. But the early returns are quite good.

2: Offensive line had some brain lapses

Whether this was due to Landon Tengwall announcing his retirement just a few days ago, or whatever other reason, the line had a few plays where you couldn’t help but remember the bad times. First one that comes to mind was, on the Mountaineers’ lone sack of the night, Caden Wallace was shown standing around, looking for someone to block, as his defender passed right by him and onto Allar.

This is not to say the line played badly by any stretch of the imagination, but clean up those mental lapses and the sky's the limit.

3: West Virginia’s rushing night a concern

All offseason, we wondered if Penn State would solve their most glaring deficiency coming into the season. The Mountaineers return all five offensive linemen, so this would be a good test to see how the defensive front would hold up. While West Virginia’s 136 yards on the ground are by no means the 418 Michigan put up a season ago, it still feels a bit uneasy to see a team have so much success running the ball on this defense. The Lions will need to clean that up moving forward, as there is nothing but teams who do nothing but run the football on the schedule.