The crowd during the Maryland game on Nov. 12 was like any at Penn State: Packed with pride. The student section rumbled and chanted while the Penn State starting lineup was presented on the jumbotron. However, the crowd’s spirit took a turn. When Sean Clifford’s face came across the screen, announcing him as the starting quarterback, a loud boo emerged from the crowd, with some instead chanting “we want Allar!”
Fans have seemingly turned on the sixth-year quarterback and want to see a change. With Clifford’s unpredictability on the field, fans wonder if Drew Allar is just what Penn State Football needs.
Excitement for a New Quarterback
After Penn State’s 7-6 record over the 2021 season, fans were excited for Allar, who was a five-star commit, thinking he would be a fresh asset to the team. That is, until Clifford announced his sixth year. Due to the COVID-19 season in 2020, players became eligible for an extra year in college football. While some like Jahan Dotson (a first-round pick for the Washington Commanders) declined and joined pro teams, others decided to take the extra year.
Even though not all fans were happy with Clifford’s decision, they figured he could perhaps become a mentor for Allar, helping him adjust to the pressure, crowds and fame. Ultimately though, fans wanted Allar to eventually take Clifford’s starting spot.
The start of the season was hopeful for fans, with Allar gaining some playing time in the final quarter of the games. However, as the season has gone on, they have grown frustrated.
The tides really began to turn after the Ohio State game on Oct. 29. The crowd was ecstatic when the Nittany Lions pulled ahead in the second quarter with a 14-13 lead. While Clifford had already thrown two interceptions, he had also thrown two touchdowns. However, Clifford went on to lose a fumble and throw yet another interception, causing a total of four turnovers throughout the game. Ohio State scored a touchdown after Clifford’s fumble, leading them 23-21, in which the Nittany Lions could not recover from.
The hope of beating the number two ranked team in college football quickly faded from the student section, resulting in a wave of fans leaving Beaver Stadium just before the end of the game. Fans were angry and wondered if Allar could have done a better job. Many question James Franklin’s strategies, and wonder if putting Allar in for the fourth quarter would have won them the game.
Although the season is coming to a close, Penn State still has two games left: the Michigan State game and their Bowl game. With these last games, fans are interested to see if Franklin will let Allar start a game to finish up his freshman year. While it is unclear what Franklin will do, the fans have made their pick crystal clear: they want Allar.
Will Allar be able to take the starting position from Clifford in these last two games? Will Franklin go for the comfortable choice or give the fans what they really want?
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