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ESPN doesn’t give Penn State’s QB situation high marks

Most of the talk throughout last season surrounded Penn State’s wide receiver group and their lack of consistent production and explosiveness. However, despite an impressive 25:2 touchdown to interception ratio, starting quarterback Drew Allar did not have the greatest season. ESPN’s David Hale ranked all 134 FBS QB situations (subscription required), and Penn State wasn’t as high as you’d expect from a likely top-10 team.

Allar, the No. 2 ranked pocket passer in the Class of 2022, came to Penn State with sky-high expectations, but those have yet to be met. Allar has only had one entire season as the Penn State starter, and a lot of the finger-pointing can go to the wide receivers, but Allar was dead last in the percentage of throws (8%) that traveled at least 20 yards downfield in the air.

Whether it was the offense or not, it is a big reason why ESPN has Penn State’s quarterback situation in tier seven out of 20 tiers. Hale even goes as far as to say that Allar and the Penn State offense’s ability to throw the deep ball could make or break the Nittany Lions’ playoff push.

Whether Allar’s lack of aggressiveness downfield was a matter of game plan or ability will be one of the biggest factors in Penn State’s push for a playoff berth this year. – David Hale, ESPN

The other QBs in tier seven, aptly named “The Curse of ’22,” include Clemson’s Cade Klubnik, Duke’s Maalik Murphy, and Texas A&M’s Connor Weigman.

It is a tier of severely underachieving, highly recruited signal callers that Allar can hopefully break out of during the 2024 season. A new offensive coordinator and a more productive wide receiver room should also help his cause.

Related: Ranking each Penn State opponent by ESPN’s FPI, Penn State schedule with updated kickoff times

As Hale noted, Penn State’s passing game is arguably the top storyline heading into the season, where it needs production in that area to achieve its lofty goals.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire