Blue Knocks Off White 10-0 In 2023 Blue-White Game

Penn State football returned to Beaver Stadium on Saturday afternoon for the annual Blue-White game, with the Team Blue shutting out the White squad 10-0 in a matchup that marked the first time since 2019 that the scrimmage followed its traditional format.

Evans Omari, the wide receiver, proved to be the most reliable target, picking up five catches for 80 yards, including a lone touchdown. The former five-star commodity finished the battle by completing 19-of-30 passes for 202 yards. After ultimately finding his rhythm, Allar settled in and battled it out with Pribula Beau and Drew Allar for the spot at quarterback.

How It Happened

Drew Allar started the contest for Team Blue sluggishly, going 0-for-2 during the first possession scrimmage with three-and-quick outs.

The ball became loose and Johnny Dixon delivered a powerful blow to the receiver, but Pribula moved forward in the pocket on the immediate following play and aimed for redshirt sophomore Liam Clifford. In the middle of the field, Malik McClain caught a swift seven-yard pass from Beau Pribula, nevertheless, started throwing aggressively.

Eventually, White had no choice but to kick the ball back to Blue, where Allar began to discover his groove.

Omari Evans, a native of Ohio, completed his first pass of the game in the swing-yard, followed by a good keeper for three yards by Allar. In the first period, Allen Kaytron received his first touch of the game, resulting in a five-yard gain, with six minutes left.

After Alex Felkins’ extra point, the Blue Team took a 7-0 lead. To secure the first score of the game, Allar connected with Evans on a wide-open crossing route following two consecutive short running plays. Evans swiftly sprinted 28 yards to reach the end zone.

The White Team regressed during three plays due to the combined efforts of Curtis Jacobs and Kalen King, who both successfully recorded a sack. Consequently, they were unable to respond during the drive.

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The Blue Team’s advantage was extended to 10-0 when Felkins made a successful field goal. However, the Blue Team was unable to capitalize on this significant play, and Evans was ultimately tackled at the three-yard line by safety Mehki Flowers after receiving a 22-yard pass from Pribula in the corner. Pribula took turns playing with the Blue Team and led a drive heavily focused on running in the beginning of the second quarter.

The White Squad experienced a loss in yardage for the three-and-out recognition, but it managed to score a field goal after Jaxon Smolik, a freshman quarterback who enrolled early, had his inaugural opportunity in a Nittany Lion jersey.

Team Blue took possession of the ball as Team White turned the ball over. During the conversion attempt, Kaden Saunders from Team White overthrew an open Allar. Then, on a 4th-and-6 situation, Khalil found Allar for a gain of seven yards. In the following drive, Team Blue faced a 3rd-and-13 situation and their early sack gave the Blue squad a setback.

During the Team’s White next drive, Pribula struggled to convert a long-yardage scenario as they faced a 3rd-and-19. Despite an intentional grounding penalty and an incomplete pass, Smith Tank couldn’t manage to complete the necessary play.

Miscommunication between Allen and Allar resulted in an incompletion. With just a minute left in the first half, Team Blue found itself back with the ball on its own 35-yard line. On the very next play, Allar nearly threw an interception.

Shortly after, the Blue Team carried a 10-0 advantage into the locker room at halftime, although the second-year player fell just short of reaching the endzone. Despite the collapsing pocket, Allar made a remarkable throw and Johnson made an impressive diving catch on a long pass. In the first half, Allar made up for his earlier mistake and successfully connected with Saunders for a beautiful 17-yard gain, resulting in a new set of downs for the Blue Team as the clock ticked down.

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Team White, with a new downs set, discovered themselves with Trey Wallace completing an eight-yard pass and Amiel Davis rushing after a 25-yard line to start the second half with the ball, alongside Pribula.

Davis broke off yet another eight-yard rush, setting up a 4th-and-2 that was converted by gaining five yards on a 3rd-and-14 play when McClain overthrew Pribula. The drive stalled after the second down, following the first down.

The Blue Team, led by Singleton, quickly executed three running plays that led to a gain of 11 yards and a fresh set of downs. Following a 34-yard punt from redshirt freshman Alex Bacchetta, the Blue Team maintained possession at their own nine-yard line.

Allar continued to find his targets throughout the rest of the drive, as Evans once again found 19 yards down the field, taking ownership of the ball for Team Blue.

The Blue Team maintained their 10-0 lead as the third quarter concluded.

White returned the ball to Blue and Smith couldn’t locate the line to achieve the necessary distance on a fourth-down conversion try. Tony Rojas participated in the White Team’s defensive efforts on a 2nd-and-14, disrupting a pass from Allar at the line of scrimmage. Tank Smith then followed with a 13-yard rush through the center, and Allar initiated the fourth quarter with a 16-yard completion to Saunders.

Pribula and the White Team regressed during a drive that only resulted in two sacks and a hurry, dominating the subsequent drive against The Blue Team’s defense.

Team Blue took advantage of a favorable field position as Allar completed a 23-yard pass to Saunders, who toted the rock down to the 25-yard line. The throw concluded with a tough catch by Saunders, followed up by a sidearm heave.

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Blue was unable to find the end zone from the 9-yard line, despite four chances, as Tony Rojas and White Anthony completed a goal-line defense, preventing a touchdown.

With just 30 seconds remaining on the clock, Team White swiftly advanced past midfield by using an illegal 15-yard penalty and completing three passes. Despite starting in a bad position with two yards to go on their own 15-yard line, they managed to get back on the offensive field with a minute remaining. The remaining time on the clock was limited.

However, Team Blue was given the ball back with seven remaining seconds, as Green Jashaun, a redshirt freshman safety, intercepted the downfield shot taken by Pribula.

The game ended with a score of 10-0 and in the closing seconds, Joey Schlaffer dumped the ball up in the air, but Allar looked to catch it and ended up gaining four yards.

Takeaways:

  • During his fourth read, Allar discovered his targets for several significant plays and swiftly composed himself following the challenging beginning. Following the first two pass attempts that fell to the ground, Drew Allar garnered a collective sigh of disappointment. Allar concluded the game with 202 yards passing, which included a hopeful touchdown throw to Omari Evans.
  • Tony Rojas, an Early Enrollee, proved to be a tough defensive player, notching six solo tackles and making a half-stop in the backfield. He stepped up during his first time in a Penn State uniform.
  • Evans finished the game with 80 receiving yards and a score. In the first quarter, Evans had multiple big plays through the air, with his longest being a 28-yard touchdown. Omari Evans made his case for the starting spot at wide receiver during the spring game, playing in the third position.
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