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Penn State Football’s 2024 Blue-White Report Card

After some significant changes this offseason with three new coordinators, multiple players declaring for the NFL Draft, and some freshmen making an immediate impact, Penn State football made its 2024 debut in Team White’s 27-0 victory in this year’s Blue-White Game.

Drew Allar and the run game propelled White’s offense as Team Blue struggled to get anything going on the attack. Both defenses played well, but the Blue’s lack of offense put its defense in multiple tough spots.

Let’s break down how each position group did in the Blue-White Game.

Quarterbacks: D+

Other than Allar, the quarterbacks didn’t play well at all. Allar missed some throws, but for the most part, he had a solid performance. The third-year signal caller ended the game 15-for-32 on passing attempts with 202 yards and a 30-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Rappleyea.

Beau Pribula and freshman Ethan Grunkemeyer were the other two quarterbacks to get significant playing time, and they both struggled. Pribula completed five passes on 10 attempts for 25 yards and an interception. He also rushed nine times for 16 yards.

In Grunkemeyer’s first time wearing the blue and white, he completed four passes on eight attempts for 11 yards and an interception. Penn State seems to still have a talented defense with lots of depth, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that the quarterbacks, as a whole, played poorly.

Running Backs: B-

Six different backs got touches on Saturday and none of them were named Nick Singleton or Kaytron Allen. Without the starting running back duo, the six backs combined for 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

The two scores came from true freshman Quinton Martin Jr., who accounted for 34 yards on six carries with the two scores. Cam Wallace was the leading rusher in the game with seven carries for 36 yards. London Montgomery showed flashes despite only rushing five times for eight yards.

Wide Receivers: D

The wide receivers didn’t show much improvement from last season. Trey Wallace led the group with five catches for 72 yards, but that was pretty much it. Ohio State transfer Julian Fleming only had one catch for five yards, and Penn State’s leading receiver last season, KeAndre Lambert-Smith, did not participate Saturday after being rumored to have entered the transfer portal.

Despite the lack of production, James Franklin said after the game he is still optimistic about the receivers, but the lack of a connection between them and the quarterbacks is cause for concern. The return of Wallace to the offense was the only bright spot as he appeared to be the best receiver on the field.

Tight Ends: C

Like the running backs, the tight ends were missing their top two players from last season. Theo Johnson was on the sideline as he prepares to hear his name called at the NFL Draft in a couple of weeks and Tyler Warren was inactive.

Rappleyea was the most targeted receiver on the team. The redshirt freshman had three catches for 33 yards and a 30-yard touchdown from Allar. Luke Reynolds made his first appearance as a Nittany Lion but was limited to just one catch for three yards.

In all, the tight end room produced 77 yards of offense and a touchdown.

Offensive Line: C

Both offensive lines had solid performances. They held up well, for the most part, as they allowed a combined six sacks, and Team Blue only allowed two. They also paved the way for the running backs to hit the century mark in rushing.

The defensive ends caused some trouble throughout the game, and Team White allowed four sacks without Sal Wormley, Drew Shelton, and JB Nelson.

Front Seven: B+

The front seven was all over the field. Despite losing Adisa Isaac and Chop Robinson, Dani Dennis-Sutton, Abdul Carter, Joseph Mupoyi, Jameial Lyons, and Amin Vanover filled in well.

Vanover, Lyons, and Dennis-Sutton each recorded a sack and a tackle for loss. Mupoyi had a sack and Vanover picked off a ball, too. Carter didn’t get in the sack column but recorded a tackle for loss and got consistent pressure from his new defensive end position.

Dom DeLuca led the linebackers in tackles with three as the second level totaled up 14 tackles and three tackles for loss.

Secondary: B+

Georgia transfer A.J. Harris had an impressive debut as a Nittany Lion. He was a blanket in coverage most of the afternoon and had seven tackles, one for a loss, and a pass breakup in the corner of the end zone. Franklin noted Harris’ versatility throughout the spring, but he mostly played on the outside on Saturday.

The top four tacklers for Team Blue were defensive backs. The group was led by Harris, followed by Kolin Dinkins who had four tackles, a sack, and a tackle for loss, and DaKaari Nelson and Lamont Payne Jr., who each had three tackles.

Special Teams: C

There wasn’t much to say about the special teams because they weren’t asked to do much. Ryan Barker made the only two field goals of the game and was asked to do so over Sander Sahaydak and transfer Chase Meyer. Riley Thompson had two punts and averaged 48 yards a kick while Gabe Nwosu had four punts and averaged 37 yards a kick.

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About the Author

Mitch Corcoran

Mitch is a junior broadcast journalism major from Johnstown, PA. He is a big Pittsburgh sports fan and in his free time he likes to listen to music, play video games, and rewatch old football games. He also loves Seinfeld, Star Wars, bucket hats, and Dua Lipa. If you want Justin Herbert propaganda or random sports content, follow him on Twitter/X @MitchCorc18 or email [email protected]

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