247sports very own Brad Crawford identified Penn State football as the 9th overall offense in terms of explosiveness in his article College football rankings: Top 23 most explosive offenses entering 2023.
The teams he lists in front of Penn State include Tennessee, Michigan, Texas, Oregon, Florida State, Ohio State, Washington, and USC. I feel that is a fair assessment; however just because it’s Drew Allar’s first year as a starter does that mean Penn State will automatically be more explosive?
Where many of the explosive plays came last season were from long rushes. Running back Nick Singleton’s career-long was 87 yards in the Rose Bowl, he also had rushes of 70 yards against Ohio and 54 yards against Auburn. Then, running back Kaytron Allen accounted for a 59-yard rushing attempt against Rutgers last season as well.
Many of the Nittany Lions’ explosive plays will come from the ground game. But, I would be foolish to believe that Penn State football won’t generate more explosive passing plays with Drew Allar at the helm.
After watching the Blue-White game, it’s clear that Omari Evans is someone Allar is very comfortable with. The two connected for a touchdown last season on a deep ball as well.
In Crawford’s article, he speaks about the veteran offensive line leading to more explosive plays for Penn State in 2023 and that is a major factor. Not only will this allow Drew Allar to have more time in the pocket to look downfield, but that same offensive line will be able to develop rushing lanes for Singleton and Allen.
There are three other players that I believe will lead Penn State football’s offense to be one of the most explosive units in the country, let’s start with TE Theo Johnson. He can stretch the field vertically with his seam routes. He has the speed and athleticism to make defenders miss in the open space. Theo will be a big part of the explosive plays Penn State football generates next year.
The other two are WRs KeAndre Lambert-Smith and Dante Cephas. Lambert-Smith has next-level speed, I think we all saw that on display in the Rose Bowl. With him returning as the veteran in the wide receiver room, he will come up with many big plays next season. Cephas on the other hand is still waiting to get on campus as he transfers in from Kent State. But once you put his highlight reel on, you know this guy is full of explosive plays.
Not only can Cephas be a deep threat, but he also can take a screen-pass 75-yards for a touchdown, and even as a return man, he can create big plays.
With all of the returning talent, and the incoming speed Penn State football has the opportunity to be one of the most explosive offenses in the country in 2023.