'Secret of Penn State Football Success: Drop the Ball, Cheating Everybody's Dreams'
Penn State football has surprised many with its prudence, patience, and efficiency, winning games through small gains and a lack of turnovers.
Penn State football has surprised many with its newfound prudence, patience, and efficiency. While the team was expected to rely on its star quarterback, talented tailbacks, and skilled tight ends, it has instead excelled in playing small ball. In their recent victory against the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Nittany Lions ran an exhausting 97 plays but only averaged 4 yards per play. Despite this, they dominated the game and held onto the ball for an impressive 45 minutes and 27 seconds.
This unexpected success can be attributed in part to their suffocating defense, but there's more to it than that. Penn State is the only team in the nation that has not turned the ball over and has only allowed two sacks. They have prioritized ball security and avoiding big losses, which has paid off for them.
Running back Kaytron Allen emphasized the importance of ball security, stating that dropping the ball means cheating everyone's dreams. He and his teammate Nick Singleton have been controlled by opposing defenses, with no runs of 20 yards or longer between them. However, they remain committed to staying the course and continuing to pound the ball. They believe that the breakthrough will come if they remain patient and persistent.
Quarterback Drew Allar has also embraced this style of play, with none of his touchdown passes traveling more than 9 yards. He has yet to throw an interception in his college career and is willing to throw the ball away or pick up a few yards when under pressure.
Penn State's willingness to grind out victories rather than relying on explosive plays may serve them well as the season progresses. They are steadily becoming a team that can wear down opponents and capitalize on their depth and desire.
With upcoming games against ill-equipped Northwestern, a bye week, and non-Power 5 Massachusetts, Penn State has the opportunity to continue embracing their new-found style of play. They may not have eye-popping statistics, but they are focused on respecting the ball and carrying the entire program in their hands.
This change in approach is proving to be enlightening and may lead to further success for the Penn State football team. As they continue to prioritize ball security and efficiency, they are demonstrating that winning doesn't always require flashy plays or impressive numbers.