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5 Things QB Will Levis can do to take the next step

Photo by Penn State Athletics

Welcome to our new 5 Things feature, which will be exclusively for our Nittany Pride members. This feature will take a look at one important topic and provide five quick-hitting pieces of information and analysis.

Today’s topic centers around QB Will Levis, who is widely expected to get the start Saturday against Iowa over Sean Clifford, who was benched last week at Nebraska.

Here are 5 Things Levis can do to take the next step in his QB development:

1: Don’t just take off and run immediately: Is Levis a running back playing quarterback, or a true quarterback? We used to say the same things about Tommy Stevens. The reason? Levis’ first instinct in the times we’ve seen him appears to be to take off and run whenever he can. He carried 18 times for 61 yards against the Huskers. He hasn’t seemed all that interested in letting things develop downfield or going through a bunch of progressions. Yes, he is a very good runner, and he can pick up good yardage on occasion that way. But … it’s dangerous. If he’s going to be taking a lot of hits running the ball, it will impact him as a passer. Penn State needs a quarterback, someone who can win games with his arm when he needs to. Can Levis be that guy? He’ll have to be in order to keep the job.

2: Get rid of the ball quickly on short routes: This was true for Clifford, as well, and any quarterback nowadays when you’re going against a good pass rush. It would be good for offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca to design some quick-hitting throws for Levis to make and get some confidence right out of the chute Saturday. Speaking of which …

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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