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Franklin Hoping to use QB2 Allar Again Saturday

Penn State coach James Franklin surprised some people during the team’s Week 2 win over Ohio when he put backup QB Drew Allar in the game minutes into the third quarter.

In his postgame press conference, Franklin surprised more people when he revealed that Penn State planned to put Allar in during the second quarter.

“I wanted to try and do that,” Franklin said after the game. “I think sometimes, in the past, we have planned on getting guys in the game once there was a certain lead, and when the game doesn’t play out that way, then they don’t get the time that you really wanted them to have.”

Two weeks later, Franklin again planned on using Allar in the first half. But Penn State didn’t put Central Michigan away as quickly as it would have hoped, and as a result, Allar didn’t get into the game until the fourth quarter.

It’s not yet certain if or when Allar will play this Saturday against Northwestern, and Franklin told reporters in this week’s Tuesday press conference that the coaching staff hasn’t discussed a plan for when it wants Allar in the game yet. 

But Franklin hopes circumstances allow it to happen sooner rather than later and said this concept applies to more than just the quarterbacks.

“We have a very similar discussion about how we’re going to rotate Hunter Nourzad and how we’re going to rotate (Bryce) Effner in, the running backs, I can go on and on. Kind of every position on both sides of the ball.”

“But yeah, I think the more experience that we can get for guys… (Allar’s) situation is probably a little bit different because he just hasn’t played college football as much, but the more experience that we can gain and allow those guys to get, the better we are.”

Nourzad and Effner are offensive linemen. 

Allar has gotten into each of Penn State’s four games this season. 

Against Purdue, Allar unexpectedly entered the game in the third quarter after starter Sean Clifford had to leave briefly. 

Allar’s appearances against the two MAC teams didn’t surprise anybody, but his garbage-time outing against Auburn did because there wasn’t supposed to be any garbage time against Auburn.

Franklin credited Clifford and, really, the whole program for putting Penn State in situations to use Allar. 

Northwestern is 1-3 with consecutive home losses to Duke, Southern Illinois and Miami (OH). 

Maybe this is the week Allar comes in during the first half.

“Fortunately, Sean Clifford and the offense and the coaches and the defense have allowed us to be in a situation where we’ve been able to get him time in every game,” Franklin said. “Not just Drew, but CV (third-string quarterback Christian Veilleux) as well. There’s a ton of value in that. We would love to be able to do that again this week.”

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