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Analyzing Post-Ohio Reactions For Penn State Football

Penn State is coming off a dominant 46-10 win over Ohio University in which its younger players saw some extended action.

Drew Allar replaced Sean Clifford in the second half and completed 6-of-8 passes for 88 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Running back Nick Singleton had himself a phenomenal day, recording 179 rushing yards and two touchdowns on ten carries.

Now, the Nittany Lions will get ready to head down to Alabama for a Saturday afternoon matchup with Auburn. Ahead of Penn State’s clash with the Tigers, let’s discuss some hot takes.

“Nick Singleton Should Undoubtedly Be RB1”

Frankie Marzano: At this point, it has to be Singleton with Kaytron Allen helping deliver a good one-two punch. We haven’t seen that type of speed from a Penn State running back since 2017. If it’s not Singleton, then the carries at least have to still favor the two freshmen.

Sam Fremin: This is a tough one. Singleton appears to be the easy pick as the best in the room. That being said, an undoubted RB1 seems to indicate a departure from the running back rotation approach. In theory, I don’t love the strict adherence to a rotation, but as James Franklin pointed on in his post-Ohio press conference, the current scheme allows for guys to get hot and remain in the game.

I’ll take a wishy-washy approach and say Penn State should maintain the rotation, but Singleton needs to start as the clear top of that rotation. The sooner he’s hot, the better.

Ryan Parsons: Well, Nick Singleton basically is RB1 already. Despite technically getting the start against Ohio, Keyvone Lee finished the day with just one carry. Singleton was the feature back and put up numbers head and shoulders above everyone else. I’d be shocked if he wasn’t out there on the first play of the game against Auburn.

Gabe Angieri: I’ve been on the Nick Singleton hype train since the day he stepped foot in Happy Valley. He’s the most talented running back on the team, and it’s time to let him eat. That means giving him 15+ carries a game, in my opinion.

“Sean Clifford Should Have A Short Leash Against Auburn If He Struggles In The First Half”

Frankie Marzano: It depends on how much he struggles. If he throws, like, two interceptions and the team is down 17-3, then I’m all for putting Allar in. If it’s a tight game, though, it’s still Clifford’s time to shine.

Sam Fremin: Let’s not beat around the bush — this is a question about Drew Allar. Allar has 12 career attempts. Eight of those came against Ohio. I’m very encouraged by what Allar showed during his snaps (especially as a true freshman), but Clifford is the right guy to lead the team.

No quarterback is going to be perfect. And although Clifford’s detractors will hyper-analyze his every move in the first half against Auburn, unless something goes wildly wrong, No. 14 needs to stay in the game. There are too many unknowns about Allar at this time, and I wouldn’t want to find some of them out against a strong SEC team in crunch time.

Ryan Parsons: The “Drew Allar should start” chatter gets louder and less unreasonable every week. But, barring legitimate disastrous play, Clifford should be the guy all the way through against the Tigers. It’s hard to find a lot wrong with Allar’s game based on what we’ve seen, but Clifford has played pretty well so far this season, too. I expect him to silent his haters a bit Saturday.

Gabe Angieri: This is Sean Clifford’s team right now. It would take an absolute disaster for Clifford to be pulled in favor of Allar this Saturday. The only way Clifford should be pulled is if it’s abundantly clear he just doesn’t have it. Otherwise, you probably want to ride it out with your veteran quarterback in a tough environment.

“Penn State’s Abundance Of Young Talent Will Lead To Transfer Portal Entries”

Frankie Marzano: Unfortunately, it will. That’s what college football is nowadays. I think we’re most likely going to see members of the quarterback and running back room transfer at some point in their careers since there’s so much depth concentrated at those positions. It’s hard to blame them, too. Everyone wants to play and wants a shot at some valuable minutes.

Sam Fremin: I mean, probably. It’s the nature of college football now. However, James Franklin’s commitment to playing young players early and often will probably combat a good portion of those potential exits. Penn State has a strong and young future awaiting. There won’t be room for everyone.

Ryan Parsons: In the current era of college football, this feels inevitable. Perhaps this is why Franklin is trying to work so many young guys in this early — to keep them happy and in Happy Valley. But, alas, it’s a good problem to have if you’re Penn State. The coaches get paid the big bucks to manage the roster and “re-recruit” guys to stay on the team.

Gabe Angieri: This is just a reality. You’re not going to be able to make everyone happy, and that’ll lead to some exits from talented players. That isn’t a Penn State problem, though. That’s just college football nowadays.

“Sander Sahaydak Will Win The Full-Time Kicking Job By The Time The Season Is Over”

Frankie Marzano: Yep. Next question.

Sam Fremin: As much as he protests the opposite, I do think Franklin will eventually make this switch. Pinegar has lost the job outright before, so it’s not hard to believe he could again. Sahaydak is already encroaching on the 52-yard and longer attempts. A couple of bad misses from short and the redshirt freshman may be a permanent fixture.

Ryan Parsons: I would’ve agreed with this even before Franklin announced Sahaydak would handle field goals 52 yards or more. Pinegar’s struggles from range are well-documented, and I’d expect him to have a short leash moving forward.

Gabe Angieri: To me, this is a matter of when not if. I just don’t think you can trust Pinegar at this point. I’ll give it another two to three weeks before Sahaydak is the main guy.

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