Penn State football has Big Ten title hopes in 2023 and they are tied directly to the development of quarterback Drew Allar.
Many folks, when they think of the Big Ten think only of Michigan and Ohio State. The two programs have dominated the league in recent years but don’t forget about Penn State football, especially with rising star Drew Allar at quarterback.
The Nittany Lions are fresh off a fourth 11-win season under James Franklin and a Rose Bowl victory over Utah. Penn State football finished in the top 10 in the final AP poll and armed with a pair of top-10 recruiting classes in 2022 and 2023, a Big Ten title isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.
Penn State football has talent on both sides of the ball and one of the best running back duos in the country in sophomores-to-be Nicholes Singleton and Kaytron Allen.
The freshman standouts at running back combined for over 1,900 yards plus on the defensive side of the ball Abdul Carter had a stellar season with 10.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 56 tackles, two forced fumbles, and four passes defended.
Adisa Isaac and Chop Robinson are both back on the defensive line too, so Penn State football is loaded. But you win, you need stellar quarterback play and that’s where the former five-star Drew Allar comes in.
Can Drew Allar lead Penn State past Michigan and Ohio State?
Allar threw just 60 passes last season but 247 sports have already projected him as a breakout candidate for the 2023 season and it’s easy to see why.
Allar was the No. 4 QB in the 2023 class and he threw four touchdowns in limited action. Yet, he’s got all the ability in the world and is easily the most talented quarterback of the James Franklin era.
Very similar to J.J. McCarthy at Michigan, Penn State has had quality quarterbacks, but no real stars under James Franklin and if the Nittany Lions are going to get over the hump, it will be on Allar to get them there.
Michigan will head to Happy Valley for a showdown next season. But Penn State football also travels to Ohio State. Penn State needs to win at least one of those games, if not both to win the Big Ten East, which is as tough as any division in the country.
Ohio State and Michigan both made the playoff in 2022. Penn State also made the Rose Bowl, so they aren’t a pushover. Frankly, a three-way tie could be easy to foresee next season.
But the quarterback position has held Penn State back in recent years and if Allar can deliver on his potential, Penn State might just win its first Big Ten title since 2016 — which was the last time someone besides Michigan or Ohio State did that.