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Penn State Football Debuts Beau Pribula Package Against Maryland

It was magical. After months of waiting, James Franklin, offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich, and Penn State football put Drew Allar and Beau Pribula on the field at the same time.

The play itself was even more magical. Pribula took the snap in shotgun while Allar lined up as a slot receiver. Once the play started, Allar raced toward the pocket, took the ball from Pribula, and once he was hit, started going to the ground and dumped the ball off to tight end Theo Johnson, who was standing at the front of the end zone for a touchdown.

What might be the best part of that sequence was that Pribula, who dashed to the left side of the field after giving Allar the ball, was wide open in the end zone. Had Allar seen him, the play could have resulted in a touchdown pass from a quarterback to a quarterback.

Franklin teased Pribula’s involvement since longtime quarterback Sean Clifford departed for the NFL and the Nittany Lions needed a new starting gunslinger. Penn State’s head coach even told media and fans that there was a quarterback battle raging in his locker room and either player could take the starting role.

Allar, though, was always the presumed heir to Clifford’s throne and even told media that his role as the starter was just assumed among the players.

But during that preseason ruse of a quarterback competition and the regular season games that followed, Franklin also had another quip: not only did Penn State have a plan to get Pribula on the field earlier in games, but it also had a plan to get Pribula on the field next to Allar.

As the weeks drew on without any involvement from Pribula, Franklin continued to receive questions about Pribula’s package. In recent weeks, he went as far as to say that he had almost sent the young Pennsylvania native out onto the field at one point, but held back.

Finally, against Maryland, Franklin decided it was time. He sent Pribula onto the field by himself for one play, then brought Allar onto the field for the next — the same play that culminated in a touchdown.

“We’ve had it in for a while now and sometimes [we were] just looking for the right opportunity and time to use it,” Franklin said after the Maryland game. “But I still think it causes some issues and it [gives] the next opponents that we’re going to play one more thing on film that they have to deal with now.”

That’s the most important part of the Pribula package: it makes teams sweat. When No. 3 Michigan arrives to Happy Valley in less than a week, Jim Harbaugh and his staff will have to strategize for a Penn State lineup that can put two quarterbacks on the field at once.

Penn State may never show the world a Pribula package again. Don’t bet on it, though. For a team that continues to evolve and improve on offense, the dual-quarterback option may have arrived exactly when Penn State needed it.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a junior journalism major at Penn State and an associate editor at Onward State. He covers Penn State football and enjoys yelling on Twitter about Philadelphia/Penn State sports. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. Please send all positive affirmations and/or hate mail toward him on Twitter (iamjoelister) or via email ([email protected]).

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