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Penn State Football’s Trey Potts Steps Up In Kaytron Allen’s Absence

Penn State football’s running back room suffered a blow late in the first half against Northwestern when Kaytron Allen was taken to the locker room. Allen stayed on the sideline for the second half, but he was without his helmet.

Allen went down in what was a disappointing first half of football from Penn State that saw the running backs combine for 67 yards and one touchdown. Penn State’s only touchdown in the first half came on a 13-yard strike from Trey Potts after Allen had moved to the sideline.

During a second half without Kaytron Allen, the offense was able to overcome its sluggishness and put up 31 points to Northwestern’s three.

Potts entered the game as soon as Allen went down and got hot quickly as his first-half touchdown was also his first touch of the game.

“I prepare like a starter week in and week out in practice,” Potts said after the game. “So when my number was called, I was prepared.”

As for Allen, James Franklin said postgame that he hadn’t had the chance to meet with his medical staff yet and would stay consistent with his normal operating procedure and not share the details even once he had the information.

Potts, a Williamsport, Pennsylvania, native began his collegiate football career in Minnesota in 2019. During his most prolific season with the Golden Gophers, Potts appeared in all 12 games, carrying the ball 101 times for 471 yards and three touchdowns. Despite appearing in every game, Potts only started one, giving him experience in the backup role.

Penn State’s third-string back, however, hasn’t had the chance to play many meaningful reps up to this point in the season and was thrust into a very different situation than he’s used to Saturday. Franklin said he believed that today’s game is a testament to not only the depth that Potts has created but who he is as a player.

“He just kept a great attitude and kept working and when he got opportunities, he maximized them,” Franklin said. “We feel like we got three backs that we can win with in this league.”

All throughout the preseason, Franklin bragged about the depth he’s been able to build at each position. In a game that saw both Allen and offensive lineman JB Nelson exit the game during the first quarter, that depth paid off.

Before Saturday’s matchup with Northwestern, Potts had recorded 84 yards on 16 carries. Potts only added 21 yards to his rushing column Saturday, but scored both a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown from backup quarterback Beau Pribula late in the game.

Although Allen leaving the game was a big concern for Franklin and co., fellow running back Nick Singleton knew the Nittany Lions would be just fine with Potts.

“Trey stepped up big time,” Singleton said. “He’s the older cat in the running back room. You never see him complaining about anything. I got a lot of respect for him.”

The late-game touchdown pass from Pribula was Potts’ first receiving touchdown of the year. With the catch, Potts has now scored a passing, receiving, and rushing touchdown this season.

The flexibility and ability to impact all three facets of the offensive are something Potts doesn’t take for granted, and he said he’s happy with the role that Franklin has given him. The tailback even said a former coach called Potts and told him he was like a Swiss Army knife, a comparison that Potts clearly enjoyed.

“I think that’s my role right now,” Potts said. “Any way I can help this team win and just use my athletic ability, I’m happy to do that. So it feels good.”

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About the Author

CJ Doebler

CJ is a junior double majoring in broadcast journalism and finance. He is from Northumberland, Pa, just east of State College. CJ is an avid Pittsburgh sports fan, but chooses to ignore the Pirates' existence. For the occasional random retweet and/or bad take, follow @CDoebler on Twitter. All complaints can be sent to [email protected].

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