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Penn State’s Running Backs Deliver In Delaware Win

It took running backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen just 40 minutes of football to combine for 150 rushing yards.

Singleton and Allen led the way for Penn State football in the team’s 63-7 win over Delaware Saturday. The Nittany Lions gained 541 total yards in an offensive explosion. Penn State’s running backs, in particular, led the way with 250 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

The performance was a bounce back for Penn State’s running back room, after combining for 157 total rushing yards against West Virginia a week prior. Singleton and Allen combined for just 121 yards before James Franklin let his backups into the game. In some ways, it felt like the resurgence of a sleeping giant that missed its alarm clock.

From the opening drive, the running backs were crucial to the Nittany Lions’ play. In Penn State’s opening drive, Singleton and Allen combined for 41 rushing yards. It culminated in a touchdown after 13 plays before Singleton burst into the end zone to open the scoring.

Singleton and Allen ran all over the Blue Hens’ defense in a resurgence of what they showed last season as freshmen. Singleton scored two more touchdowns after the opening drive – each in the first half – for the first hat trick of his collegiate career.

Allen, who was introduced as the starter on the video board before the game, scored his first touchdown of the season in the first quarter.

As Penn State increased its lead, the duo ceded carries to backup players, most notably Trey Potts and Tank Smith. Allen led all running backs with 103 rushing yards, while Singleton finished third behind Potts with 47 yards despite his success reaching the end zone.

Despite pulling them from the game early, Franklin affirmed that they will continue to share carries for the Nittany Lions.

“Those guys have bought into the idea that we have two starting tailbacks,” Franklin said postgame. “They’re competitors, and they get out there and they want the ball, and they want opportunities to make plays.”

Allen and Singleton have operated as co-starters since last season. Both running backs were highly touted coming out of high school, and each has arguably lived up to expectations so far.

Singleton has blazing speed which can leave a defense dumbfounded at any point in the game. His speed and physicality make him capable of squeezing through holes and making big plays.

Allen, on the other hand, is a physical, hard-hitting back who runs opposing players over like a freight train. He referred to his style of running the ball as “angry.”

“I still got a lot of things to prove to myself,” he said after the game. “Just anything. Running, catching the ball, anything. I feel like I can get better each and every day.”

The duo’s separate styles of play have allowed a strong relationship to blossom between the two. Allen said Singleton is like a “brother from another mother” to him. Meanwhile, Singleton said sharing carries with his teammate went positively in today’s game.

“We always just talking and communicating,” Allen said. “If we see something during a drive, we talk about it on the sideline, or we sit on the bench and talk to each other about what we’ve seen or certain things like that.”

Quarterback Drew Allar was impressed with the duo’s performance. He cited both of their styles of play as critical to Penn State’s success.

“They had a really good game,” Allar said. “I know Kaytron in a couple of places… was very patient and made some crazy cuts that not many backs in the country can make. And then obviously Nick is just an explosive runner. But I think they both did a really good job.”

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a third-year journalism major from Silver Spring, Maryland. He's an avid fan of all D.C. sports teams and Liverpool F.C. If Nolan isn't writing about or watching sports, you can probably find him listening to all sorts of music or traveling. To keep up with Nolan, you can follow him on Twitter @nolan_wick or email him at [email protected].

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