3 biggest Penn State football storylines to follow in 2024 Blue and White Game

Penn State v Maryland
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A massive spring game slate is set to unfold this Saturday as some of the top programs in the country will be padding up for the first time ahead of the 2024 season. Today, we will turn to the Big Ten and focus on Penn State football.

A lot is in store for a revamped Nittany Lion squad in what will be the eleventh season under head coach James Franklin, who’s hot seat is beginning to warm up in Happy Valley after missing out on the playoff once again in 2023.

While the roster is coated with talent, Penn State will have a new identity on both sides of the ball following the additions of offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki and defensive coordinator Tom Allen this offseason. Their impact, as well as a few newcomer players, are a huge must in order for the Nittany Lions to claw their way into the playoff and make a legitimate run at a national championship.

Here are three can’t-miss storylines on the Penn State football program in the spring game this Saturday.

1. Impact of two new coordinators

As previously mentioned, Franklin hired Kotelnicki and Allen to reshape the offense and defense this offseason. While there’s little to complain about either addition, Kotelnicki seems like more of a home-run hire for Penn State.

Saturday marks the former Kansas coordinator’s first audition in front of the Nittany Lion faithful, where he gets the opportunity to showcase his explosive, high-octane offense that has proven to be very effective in previous years. In 2023, Kotelnicki piloted a Jayhawk offense that ranked 12th in the country in third-down conversion rate (47.7%) and top 30 in explosive play rate, which are two categories that Penn State had fits in.

In the same vein, it will be intriguing to watch how much more of Allar’s potential Kotelnicki can unlock. The coordinator not only has a history of developing successful quarterbacks, but also tends to use multiple ones in his system. This begs the question as to how much will he factor in backup quarterback Beau Primula’s wheels (or even Allar’s), especially in the red zone.

While Penn State has had its fair share of offensive issues, the defense has been nothing short of stout in previous seasons. Much of that had to do with former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, who is now the head coach at Duke, which makes fans wonder if Allen can produce similar results as the new architect of the defense.

As the head coach of Indiana, Allen led the Hoosiers to their highest AP Poll ranking (No. 12) in nearly six decades back in 2020. Now the tenured college coach (32 years of experience) inherits the top-ranked defense in the country and has excellent personnel to work with.

The Blue and White Game will give fans a sneak peek at how Allen’s schemes will all shake out on defensive and if there is a noticeable step forward or back from last season.