Blue Knocks Off White 10-0 In 2023 Blue-White Game
Football returned to Beaver Stadium Saturday afternoon for Penn State football’s annual Blue-White game, resulting in a 10-0 shutout propelling the Blue Team over the White squad. For the first time since 2019, the matchup returned to its traditional scrimmage format.
Drew Allar and Beau Pribula battled it out at the quarterback spot, but after settling down, Allar ultimately found his rhythm. The former five-star commodity finished the battle by completing 19-of-30 passes for 202 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Omari Evans proved to be his most reliable target, picking up five catches for 80 yards, including the lone touchdown score.
How It Happened
Drew Allar began the contest sluggishly for the Blue Team, going 0-for-2 during a quick three-and-out on the first possession of the scrimmage.
Beau Pribula, however, came out firing and delivered a quick seven-yard strike to Malik McClain over the middle of the field. Pribula stepped up in the pocket on the very next play and targeted redshirt sophomore Liam Clifford, but Johnny Dixon laid a big hit on the receiver and the ball came free.
White eventually was forced to punt the ball back to Blue, where Allar started to find his rhythm.
Kaytron Allen received his first touch of the game with six minutes left in the first period, resulting in a five-yard gain over the middle. Allar followed up the gain with a keeper that was good for three yards, and then the Ohio native completed his first pass of the game on a four-yard swing the Omari Evans.
After back-to-back short running plays, Allar found a wide-open Evans on a crossing route, who was able to dash to the end zone from 28 yards out for the game’s first score. After Alex Felkins’ extra point, the Blue Team led 7-0.
The White Team was not able to answer on a drive that saw both Curtis Jacobs and Kalen King record a sack, which resulted in the White Team going backward over three plays.
In the opening drive of the second quarter, Pribula took reps with the Blue Team and mounted a run-heavy drive. Evans continued to play a big role for the Blue Team and caught a 22-yard strike from Pribula in the corner, and he was ultimately dropped at the three-yard line by safety Mehki Flowers. The Blue Team couldn’t cash in on the big play and had to settle for a Felkins field goal that pushed the Blue Team’s lead to 10-0.
Early enrollee gunslinger Jaxon Smolik got his first chance in a Nittany Lion uniform after the three-point drive, but it finished in a three-and-out distinction with negative yardage for the White Team.
The Blue squad gave up a sack early in their next drive leading to a 3rd-and-13 set. Allar found Khalil for seven yards and set up a 4th-and-6. Then, Allar overthrew an open Kaden Saunders on the conversion attempt, and the Blue Team turned the ball over to the White Team on downs.
Pribula struggled during the White Team’s next drive, starting 0-for-2 along with an intentional grounding call. It then set up a lengthy 3rd-and-19 try, but Tank Smith couldn’t convert the long-yardage scenario.
The Blue Team found itself back with the ball back at its own 35-yard line with just under a minute left in the half. Miscommunication between Allar and Allen resulted in an incompletion, and Allar nearly threw an interception on the very next play.
Shortly after, Allar redeemed himself and delivered a 17-yard beauty to Kaden Saunders that gave the Blue Team a fresh set of downs. With time running down in the first half, Allar saw the pocket collapse but managed to step up and toss a deep ball to Tyler Johnson who made a diving grab. The second-year product came up short of the endzone, but the Blue Team took a 10-0 lead to the locker room at the half.
Pribula and the White Team started the second half with the ball at the 25-yard line. After an Amiel Davis rush and an eight-yard completion to Trey Wallace, the White Team found themselves with a fresh set of downs.
Davis broke off yet again for an eight-yard rush that set up a 4th-and-2 that was later converted by Davis on a 5 yard gain. The drive stalled after the second first down when Pribula overthrew McClain on 3rd-and-14.
The Blue Team then retained possession on its own nine-yard line after a 34-yard punt by redshirt freshman Alex Bacchetta. Singleton then fired off three rushes that resulted in 11 yards and a first down for the Blue Team.
Allar continued to find his targets throughout the rest of the drive, as he founds Evans once again for 19 yards, taking the Blue Team down to their own 40-yard line.
The third quarter came to an end with the Blue Team still leading 10-0.
Allar opened up the fourth quarter with a 16-yard completion to Saunders, and Tank Smith followed it up with a 13-yard rush up the middle. Tony Rojas got involved for the White Team’s defense on a 2nd-and-14, breaking up a pass from Allar at the line of scrimmage. Smith was unable to find the line to gain on a fourth-down conversion attempt, and Blue gave the ball back to White.
The Blue Team’s defense ruled the next drive, notching two sacks and a hurry during a drive that only went backward for Pribula and the White Team.
The Blue Team took advantage of a favorable field position, as Allar completed a 23-yard pass to Saunders and followed it up with a sidearm heave. The tough throw concluded with a catch by Saunders, who toted the rock down to the 25-yard line.
Blue couldn’t find the end zone in four chances from the 9-yard line, as Tony Rojas and the White defense completed a goal-line stand, preventing an Anthony Ivey touchdown.
With limited clock remaining, White took the field on offensive back with a minute remaining on their own two-yard line. Despite the bad starting positions, three completions and a 15-yard illegal use of hands penalty quickly moved the White Team past midfield with just under 30 seconds remaining.
However, Pribula took a shot downfield that was intercepted by redshirt freshman safety Jashaun Green, giving the ball back to the Blue Team with seven seconds remaining.
Allar looked to air the ball out but ended up dumping it to Joey Schlaffer in the closing seconds, who gained four yards and ended the game with the score still at 10-0.
- Drew Allar received a chorus of groans after his first two pass attempts dropped to the turf. But shortly after the tough start, Allar quickly calmed himself down and found his targets for some big plays. Allar finished the game with 202 yards through the air, including a promising touchdown toss to Omari Evans on his fourth read.
- Early enrollee Tony Rojas stepped up during his first time in a Penn State uniform. Rojas proved to be a tough cover defensively for any Blue player to get past, notching six solo tackles and a half-stop in the backfield for a loss.
- Omari Evans made his case for the third starting spot at wide receiver during the spring game. Evans had multiple big plays through the air, with his longest being a 28-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Evans finished the game with 80 receiving yards and a score.
Penn State will open its 2023 campaign at Beaver Stadium against West Virginia on Saturday, September 2. The matchup’s start time and TV network will be announced at a later date.
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About the Author
For the second year in a row, the Land Grant Trophy is headed back to State College.
Tickets for the event will go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, December 1.
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