Penn State Football: What Mark Allen’s injury means to RB group

It’s tough losing a veteran back like Mark Allen. He provided stability, but Penn State football has its share of runners to back up Miles Sanders.

A dynamic Penn State football backfield has the Nittany Lions flying high so far this season. Unfortunately for PSU, the team suffered a setback with the loss of senior running back Mark Allen to a season-ending injury. The news came earlier this week that the team would be without its fifth-year back the rest of the season.

Allen accounted for 123 total yards of offense in two scores in his most exclusive action of his career. He played in a reserve role over the last two years. Penn State’s ground attack shouldn’t worry though.

Starter Miles Sanders is off to a hot start with 495 rushing yards and five touchdowns on an explosive, seven yards per carry. Sanders earned player of the week honors from VBR last week going over the 200-yard mark against Illinois. He leads a ground game that’s averaging 274.8 yards per game on 6.4 yards per carry.

Without Allen, the offense will rely on freshman Ricky Slade who’s received a nice chunk of reserve carries. He’s added 147 yards and four touchdowns when Sanders or Allen needed a breather. Expect his workload to increase along with redshirt freshman Journey Brown and even fifth-year senior Johnathan Thomas could get some carries.

Brown and Thomas provide quality depth to an already stacked backfield that’s been a consistent threat for the majority of the James Franklin era. Thomas and Brown have combined for five carries for 94 yards and a couple of scores. This means the Penn State football running game has depth that goes four deep and has on-field reps, giving the team an edge against most backfield’s int the country.

Going into the Ohio State game Saturday, it wouldn’t surprise me to see three of the aforementioned players get quite a few touches with Sanders obviously leading the pack again.