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Dan Orlovsky on Penn State Football’s Playcalling: ‘They Didn’t Protect Drew Allar’

Drew Allar and the Nittany Lions get set to take on Ohio State. Photo by Matt Lynch, Nittany Sports Now

Penn State QB Drew Allar feels he “sucked” in Saturday’s 20-12 loss at Ohio State.

Allar finished the day 18-for-42 passing with 191 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.

Talking with reporters postgame, an emotional Allar used the word “sucked” to describe how he felt he played.

But Dan Orlovsky doesn’t feel the Penn State coaching staff did Allar any favors.

In a video posted to Twitter after Ohio State won 20-12, Orlovsky, a former NFL QB and now an analyst for ESPN, said he feels PSU head coach James Franklin is “an awesome coach.”

But he didn’t seem thrilled with Penn State’s coaching staff Saturday afternoon.

“Just the way that the game played out,” Orlovsky said, “OK, you watch the football game. The saying, ‘Well, they’re protecting the quarterback,’ there is validity in that if you’re running the football well or if you’re gaining some explosive runs or you’re being very efficient in your run game. If you’re doing that and doing ‘run, run, pass,’ then the saying of ‘protecting the quarterback,’ that’s valid. But when your run game isn’t very efficient, you’re not explosive in it, and you’re living in that ‘run, run, pass’ world, you’re not protecting the quarterback more. You’re completely hurting the quarterback. You’re putting the quarterback in the worst situation.”

For Orlovsky, the “worst place for a quarterback” is third down and seven or longer.

Penn State was in that situation seven times Saturday and went 1-for-16 on third down overall.

“That’s the hardest place to play,” Orlovsky said. “So instead of actually protecting the quarterback, when you’re going about it that way, you’re putting him in the worst possible places.”

Orlovsky feels that these situations aren’t helping Allar or anybody else on Penn State’s offense.

“Not only are you not protecting the quarterback anymore,” he said, “you’re not protecting your offensive line, but you’re also not protecting your receivers, there’s no ‘protection’ going on, because you’re placing all of those players, not just the quarterback, in the hardest places and situations to play ball consistently and aggressively and confidently. So, in my eyes, they didn’t protect Drew Allar today.”

Orlovsky said that whether Allar “stinks or not” is up for college football fans to decide.

“I don’t know if we have enough evidence to sit here and say he does or doesn’t,” he said. “Obviously, a highly talented kid, but we can’t think that, like the premise was ‘well, we’re going to go and protect the quarterback
when if you’re not being really efficient in the run game, you’re doing the complete opposite.”

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