“I know this is not what you guys want.”
This is how James Franklin began his answer to whether or not true-freshman Drew Allar will be Penn State’s backup quarterback for Saturday’s home opener against Ohio.
The “you guys” Franklin was referring to were, in all likelihood, mainly the reporters gathered in Beaver Stadium’s media room for the coach’s weekly press conference and other reporters who were covering the session remotely via Zoom.
But “you guys” also applies to most of Penn State’s fanbase.
Penn State reporters expect Allar to be the team’s Week 2 backup, as he was in Week 1, and Penn State fans are hoping for him to be the No. 2 QB, if not the starter.
Although it seems inevitable, Franklin didn’t officially proclaim Allar as the team’s backup as he did before the season-opener against Purdue.
“We haven’t really made any decisions,” Franklin said.
There’s no reason not to expect Allar to stay as Sean Clifford’s backup. The five-star from Medina, Ohio, helped his cause Thursday night by completing two of four passes– with another dropped– in his unexpected college debut after Clifford had to leave the game in the third quarter briefly.
But Franklin hasn’t made a final decision because Penn State hasn’t had a real practice yet this week.
The team had sessions Friday and Sunday, but those mainly served as walk-throughs to review mistakes made in Thursday’s game.
“Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s are our work days where we get the best evaluation of kind of where we’re at,” Franklin said. “That determines maybe some moves that we may or may not make.”
Penn State has a deep QB room, with Christian Veilleux, who threw three touchdowns in a win over Rutgers last season, being the No. 3 at Purdue. Penn State also traveled true freshman Beau Pribula, the No. 4.
Fans expect Allar to keep his standing as QB2 against Ohio throughout the season, but Franklin hasn’t made anything official yet.
“It’s a competition week in and week out, but I don’t have that answer for you right now,” he said.