Can Drew Allar elevate Penn State football in 2024?

Former five-star quarterback Drew Allar was good last season for Penn State football. But can be elite?

Dec 30, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Drew Allar (15) runs with the
Dec 30, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Drew Allar (15) runs with the / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State football fans have been hoping that Drew Allar would be the quarterback to take them to the promised land. However, so far, it hasn't happened.

Allar didn't play a ton as a freshman during the 2022 season. That wasn't a bad thing. He got some experience and by the start of the 2023 season, he was ready to start. He was also effective.

Plenty of college football teams would love to have Drew Allar as their starting quarterback. Hell, Michigan and Ohio State would. They'd trade their current starters for him in a heartbeat.

Last season, the Penn State football quarterback threw 25 touchdown passes compared to just two interceptions. He was 26th in college football QBR. That's better than average, which perfectly describes Penn State football underJames Franklin.

Better than average.

Can Penn State be better than average?

Yet, can Penn State get beyond that? Allar is a threat to run and had 210 yards last season on the ground but one way or another he needs to take a major step forward as a playmaker.

Allar completed 59.9 percent of his passes for the season but had five different games in which he was held under 50 percent. That's not going to cut it and that's not going to get Penn State football to the next level which means winning the Big Ten or making a run in the now 12-team playoff.

Penn State would have made the playoff in 2023 if it was the first year of the 12-team playoff. And the schedule this season is easier with Michigan not on it. Ohio State comes to Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions have road trips to West Virginia, Wisconsin, and USC.

That's not an easy schedule but it should get the Nittany Lions to the playoff. Allar is the key to Penn State taking the next step. If he plays like he did last year, the Nittany Lions are looking at a playoff berth and a first-round exit at best.

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In the grand scheme of things, that's better than average, but unless Allar becomes the star that Nittany Lions fans hoped he would, that's all Penn State football is going to achieve.