After a disappointing showing against the Michigan Wolverines a week ago, things went from bad to worse for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Drew Allar and the PSU offense struggled in the first half against Rutgers.
Then, in the third quarter, Allar injured his throwing shoulder. What do we know about the injury, and how could this impact the Penn State offense?
Drew Allar Injury Update
Things weren’t going well for the PSU QB before Beau Pribula replaced him in the third quarter. Allar was only 6 of 13 for 79 yards before remaining on the sideline. In that time, he had shown some uncharacteristically poor accuracy, hinting that the injury may have occurred at some point earlier in the contest.
However, Allar scampered on what looked like a designed run on his final drive. He was tackled high by a Scarlett Knights’ defender on the play, and it appeared to contact his throwing shoulder.
After a stint in the injury tent, Allar returned to the sideline, where he worked with trainers to loosen up his throwing shoulder. However, it appears their work was unsuccessful.
College injuries are always more difficult to navigate than at the NFL level. We’re afforded much less information about the players at the NCAA level without legitimate injury reports during the week, and the sideline rarely ever gets a legitimate explanation about injuries during games.
Hopefully, Allar avoided any significant damage that could require surgery. AC joint sprains can make for a long recovery. But the PSU QB showed a lot of toughness trying to work through the pain and get back on the field, even in vain.
Who Is Beau Pribula?
Pribula was a four-year letterman and the first three-year captain from Central High School in south-central Pennsylvania. ESPN rated him as a four-star recruit, but the rest of the big recruiting sites handed him three-star ratings.
The Central standout redshirted as a true freshman in 2022. He has an incredibly rich family history in collegiate athletics and football, including a father, brother, uncle, grandfather, and aunt who competed.
Pribula hasn’t found much success early in his Nittany Lions career as a passer, but he’s athletic enough to be a weapon on the ground. He’s scored four touchdowns on the ground in mop-up duty and averaged 5.5 yards per carry in those situations.
What This Means For Penn State
Allar’s injury will likely hamper their passing attack significantly. The problem with caring too much about that is that the passing attack hasn’t been particularly explosive at any point this season, and Allar has struggled in each of the past two weeks.
The PSU strength is in Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton. The rushing attack can dominate, and Pribula’s athleticism could provide even more value to the offense by adding a gap for the defense to worry about in the option game. Allar is athletic enough to hurt a defense, but he’s not as explosive or creative as Pribula.
So if the passing attack averages only six yards per attempt, why not lean all the way into the run and get out of this Rutgers game as quickly as possible?
As for looking at the macro, Michigan State a week from now doesn’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of anybody in the conference. If Allar can’t go, Penn State will simply hand the ball off and option Sparty into the dirt, as Michigan did to them a week ago.
After that, we’re into Bowl season. If Allar’s injury is significant, likely, they will simply shut him down and get things ready for next season. For now, we might get to see what strides Pribula can make in the coming weeks.