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Kaytron Allen Reliable Piece Of Penn State Football’s Shaky Offense In Win Over Rutgers

Kaytron Allen stood in the backfield. He received the handoff and dashed to the left, barreled over Rutgers’ defensive linemen, and tumbled into the end zone to give Penn State football its first touchdown en route to a 27-6 win over Rutgers on Saturday afternoon.

Allen ended up scoring two touchdowns and rushed for 69 yards in the contest. It was the third multi-touchdown game of his career.

“Man, it felt great,” he said with a smile when asked about finding the end zone. “A relief — any time I find the end zone, it’s great for real.”

The sophomore had 16 carries, which tied with Rutgers’ Kyle Monangai for the most carries of the game out of any running back. However, Allen’s explosiveness appeared to be the difference-maker between the two in addition to his total yards gained being twice as much as Monangai’s.

Plenty of things happened in the game that made it a crazy affair. Rutgers kept Penn State’s offense, which didn’t have a coordinator, in check throughout the first half. The Scarlet Knights made things worse, though, as they continued to utilize their own rushing attack and the occasional explosive passing play to make it a four-point deficit to end the first half — knowing they’d get the ball to begin the third quarter.

None of this helped Penn State’s offense. Receivers dropped passes, including Tyler Warren on third down, which forced a three-and-out to end the team’s inaugural drive. Drew Allar, who only threw for 79 yards, was replaced by understudy Beau Pribula in the third quarter after he exited with what appeared to be a shoulder injury. Despite all this wackiness, Allen was the lone consistent and reliable piece that propelled Penn State to win the game because of what he was able to do on the ground.

Eventually, the rest of the team figured it out and took the game over in the second half. The Nittany Lions wound up with 322 total yards and an average of 6.1 yards per play. While Pribula led all players with 8.9 yards per play, Allen finished with a modest 4.3 per play. This led to the defense becoming increasingly worn down by the rushing attack’s prowess.

“Anytime we do that, it’s great because it shows who wants it and who doesn’t want it,” he said. “We kept wearing them down and kept running the ball, it was great.”

It became apparent that Penn State was likely on its way to winning when Allen put the team ahead 20-6 at the start of the fourth quarter. Life for the Nittany Lions became easier from then on, as Pribula ran it in for a touchdown on the next drive.

Allen has shown flashes throughout the season that he’s capable of being not only a good running back, but one of the best in college football. His explosiveness is evident, as he occasionally pops off a gain for 15 or more yards. Try stopping him at your own risk, as his way of imposing his will is by bulldozing other players.

“I love talking trash, I love having fun,” he said. “You’ve gotta have fun. If you aren’t having fun, what are you doing? I’m always talking trash, I don’t care who it is… I pick me over anybody.”

Dubbed “Fatman” by his teammates, Allen has fun while he plays, but he also runs with anger. Those emotions are juxtapositioned on the field, as he simultaneously runs opponents over with a physical play style while chirping them, too.

“I feel like I did that well,” Allen said after Penn State defeated Illinois. “When people try to hit me, they will feel me, you feel me? So it’s gonna be hard to keep hitting me each and every play, each time I get the ball I’m gonna make it a long day for the defense.”

Allen and Nick Singleton have shared starting running back duties throughout their two seasons in Happy Valley. They were supposed to be one of the best backfields in the country this season, but that hasn’t quite panned out.

While Singleton was supposed to be the better of the two, that arguably hasn’t been the case. Although his seven rushing touchdowns trump Allen’s four this season, the latter has 645 rushing yards compared to the former’s 584.

It remains to be seen what’ll happen when a new offensive coordinator takes over. Yet slowly but surely, Allen is becoming the primary running back in Happy Valley. However, he maintains that his relationship with Singleton is healthy despite the two competing for snaps.

“Anytime Nick got the ball, I feel like I’ve got the ball. I’m always locked into getting better, seeing what he’s seeing, so I can tell him what I’ve seen when he gets to the sideline — anything I can do to help him and anything he can do to help me,” he said. “My brother for real, we’re tight. We just always connect with each other, see certain things, and help each other out in any type of way.”

As for now, though, Allen is focused on what’s coming. Penn State still has a good chance of making a New Year’s Six bowl game, but a trip to Detroit to face Michigan State on Black Friday is all that stands in the way.

“It’s time to get back to work, for real,” he said. “Just enjoy this while we enjoy it, but tomorrow we’ll get back to work and do everything possible to prepare for the next game.”

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a third-year journalism major from Silver Spring, Maryland, which means he's an avid fan of all D.C. sports teams. 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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