Four days until game one, but QB1 is still yet to be announced
Quarterback questions seem to have been internally answered by Penn State’s coaching staff, but James Franklin refrained from announcing any starters at Tuesday’s press conference.
“We’ve got a pretty good idea of who we’re starting pretty much everywhere…most of the depth chart and roster is set,” Franklin said.
Throughout training camp, the coaching staff monitored each quarterback from a statistical standpoint to truly evaluate each player.
Tracking throws, completion percentages, the ratio between touchdowns and interceptions and explosive plays allows comparisons to be easily made between the active competition for the starting role and Penn State’s past.
“You’re able to compare it to Trace McSorley, you're able to compare it to Sean Clifford,” Franklin said. “I think there’s a ton of value in that in terms of trying to get an idea of how you are in camp.”
Situational football has been a focus, and the blue and white’s tough defense has allowed for the testing of different coverages so each quarterback’s decision-making can be evaluated.
As for Drew Allar and Beau Pribula, the two second-year quarterbacks vying for the starting gig, it’s been no secret that they’ve each had good camps.
Serving as Sean Clifford’s backup in 2022, the sophomore saw action in 10 games and Franklin highlighted Aller’s improved decision-making and overall completion percentage.
Earlier this month, during Penn State’s media day, Allar revealed that his biggest takeaway from last season was to be himself: “Just go out there and be you, don’t go out and try and force things, just let the game flow to you.”
While Pribula has yet to receive game time, Franklin noted the different look he brings to the offense as more of a rushing quarterback; yet those aspects have been tricker to evaluate in practice.
“It’s not like he’s out there making people miss and breaking tackles in practice, which I think is a little bit his style,” Franklin said. “He really reminds me of a bigger Trace McSorley.”
Regardless of who is named the starting quarterback with Saturday’s matchup against West Virginia looming, they’ll be receiving the play call from offensive coordinator, Mike Yurcich, who will be in the booth this season.
Each coordinator will be returning for at least their second year, which has built a foundation strong enough for Yurcich to have a bird’s eye view this season.
“I think as an offensive coordinator specifically, there’s no better place to call the game than in a controlled environment,” Franklin said. “You got your notes out, you can see it all, and you’re not relying on somebody else to echo information to you that maybe you can’t see across the field.”
It might appear as an advantage for the Nittany Lions to prolong their announcement of a starting quarterback, but it’s something that Franklin does not see “value” in disclosing.
Ohio State announced on Tuesday that Kyle McCord will start for the Buckeyes, which caused many to believe that Penn State might do the same on Tuesday.
Franklin noted that Allar and Pribula made impressive strides this camp, and Allar tossed just two interceptions, with his first coming in either practice 13 or 14.
Cornerback Kalen King echoed the same sentiment about Allar, noting he made the lives of the defensive backs extremely tough.
“I feel like that’s only going to help us because knowing that my quarterback can take care of the ball and he’s not going to be careless with it means a lot. In practice, it’s hard on me because I'm always trying to get the ball, and when he's not giving it away, it makes my job tough.”
Amanda Vogt is a sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Contributors
Amanda Vogt is a freshman broadcast journalism major at Penn State University. She has already gotten involved in several Bellisario organizations. She is a reporter for the Daily Collegian on the women’s soccer beat. In CommRadio, Amanda is in the sports department and loves to cover the NFL and talk everything sports! In addition, she is apart of Penn State Sports Night and those segments can be found on its Youtube channel. Amanda is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM).
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