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Penn State Football

Olu Fashanu: Analytics Detail Dominant Week 1 Outing for Penn State LT

Photo by Matt Lynch: Nittany Sports Now

The biggest story of Penn State football’s 38-15 opening-night win over West Virginia at Beaver Stadium Saturday was Drew Allar.

In his first college start at QB, the former five-star from Medina, Ohio, went 21-for-29 with 329 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, highlighted by a 72-yard TD pass to KeAndre Lambert-Smith on the fourth play of the game.

But Allar’s left tackle, Olu Fashanu, played a dominant game that not as many people are talking about.

Part of this is because offensive linemen generally fly under the radar compared to quarterbacks.

Another factor could be that Penn State fans have grown to expect nothing less from the 6-foot-6, 317-pound hoss. If Fashanu declared for the draft after 2022, he would have almost certainly gone in the first round. But he surprised everybody and decided to stay, and as a result, there’s an outside chance he’ll be the No. 1 overall pick in 2024.

Fashanu missed Penn State’s last five games of 2022  with injury, but looked like he never left. Per Pro Football Focus, in 31 pass-blocking snaps, he didn’t allow a single sack, hit or pressure. He’s also allowed just seven pressures in his career over 363 pass-blocking reps and five over 126 true passing sets.

NFL Rookie Watch, a Twitter account with more than 131,000 followers, wrote that it was “one of the BEST starts for an offensive lineman in college football.”

“Fashanu has yet to allow a sack in his ENTIRE college career,” the tweet says, “and has allowed just one QB hit.”

NFL Rookie watch, an account run by Bradon Deacon, then wrote that “many scouts reportedly thought that Fashanu could have gone top-10 in last year’s draft, and have compared him to Trent Williams.”

Trent Williams is a 10-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro.

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