As it turns out, first-time starter Drew Allar was the least of Penn State’s worries in its 38-15 season-opening victory over West Virginia.

While the former 5-star recruit was showing off a full arsenal of quarterback talents, the new field goal kicker was missing left and right from inside 40 yards, the middle of the defensive line was caving in and standout linebacker Abdul Carter was doing a lot of unproductive running.

In the end, it still turned out to be a dominant opening statement for the No. 7 Nittany Lions in front of a record home-opening crowd of 110,747 at Beaver Stadium. NBC got its money’s worth in the network’s initial prime time B1G Saturday night broadcast.

In the first matchup of the former regional rivals since 1992, Allar staked the Lions to an early 14-7 lead by completing 9 of his first 10 passes for 165 yards. His effort was needed as several celebrated fellow true sophomores had significantly lesser impacts. Backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen both were held well under 100 rushing yards, even while averaging better than 5 per carry. On defense, Carter disrupted a few plays but often took bad angles or simply missed his target. He was credited with only 1 tackle.

Player of the Week: Drew Allar

The 19-year-old finished 21-of-29 for 325 yards and 3 TDs, the best starting debut for a Penn State quarterback since at least 2003, when Michael Robinson threw for 379 yards and 2 TDs in a midseason loss to Wisconsin. Allar threw accurately on the run; he bought time with movement in the pocket; he shrugged off tackles and threw the ball away to avoid sacks, taking only 1.

Given the efficiency and the stakes, Allar’s performance probably tops Robinson’s. It could be the best first start by a QB in program history.

Newcomer of the Week: Malik McClain

The transfer receiver from Florida State caught 4 passes for 58 yards and a TD, making a better first impression than Kent State transfer Dante Cephas, who had 1 catch for 22 yards and dropped a pass near the goal line.

Biggest surprise: Abdul Carter lost in space

Coming off a breakout true freshman season, Carter struggled Saturday night, recording just 1 tackle, an 11-yard sack. Playing the weakside linebacker spot, he struggle to get home or zero in on ball carriers. He disrupted a couple plays in addition to the sack, but overall he didn’t look like the guy who led the Lions in sacks and was 2nd in tackles a year ago. On the flip side, veteran Curtis Jacobs played one of the better games of his career on the strong side, with a team-high 10 tackles, including a sack.

Biggest concern: FG kicking

Sander Sahaydak got the first shot to replace Jake Pinegar, and missed from 38 and 34 yards in the first half. Alex Felkins, an All-Ivy League transfer from Columbia, took over in the second half and hit a 25-yard FG and 3 PATs. Whether anyone on the roster is ready to hit a clutch kick in crunch time remains a concern.

Developing trend: Soft in the middle

The Mountaineers weren’t explosive enough to hang with Penn State in the second half, but they did pound away with some success on the ground. WVU ran for 9, 7 and 11 yards on the first plays of its first 3 drives. Both of its TDs came on 1-yard rugby-scrum plows up the middle. The Mountaineers finished with 146 yards on 3.7 per carry, far from dominating. But they did enough to expose a recurring issue that Penn State will have to fix before the Lions face bully-ball B1G teams. (Michigan comes to Beaver Stadium in Week 11.)

Key stat: 110,747

Allar’s starting debut drew the largest home-opener crowd in Penn State history, topping the 109,313 that watched a 33-7 loss to Miami in 2001. It was the 4th largest crowd at Beaver Stadium ever, just 142 people short of the mark of 110,889 for the 27-26 loss to Ohio State in 2018. If Penn State remains in the top 10 this season, the record could fall vs. Iowa (White Out on Sept. 23) or Michigan (Nov. 11). The Roar has been restored.

5  final Week 1 notes …

Freshman LB Tony Rojas saw action, making 2 tackles. … Backup QB Beau Pribula saw his first action as a Lion and scored his 1st TD on a 5-yard run. … The returning wide receivers outdid the transfers. KeAndre Lambert-Smith caught 4 balls for 123 yards and 2 TDs, while Harrison Wallace III had a team-high 7 receptions for 72 yards. … JB Nelson started at LG in place of injury-retired Landon Tengwall. The o-line looked good but far from great. The longest run from scrimmage went for just 14 yards. … The TEs did next to nothing in the passing game, as Tyler Warren hauled in 1 pass for 9 yards and Theo Johnson posted zeros.

First impression about Week 2

vs. Delaware, noon Saturday: The Blue Hens (1-0) are 24 points better than Stony Brook, and that’s about the extent of what’s known about the FCS program that will visit Beaver Stadium next weekend.

Quarterback Ryan O’Connor will probably face more resistance from the Lions than he did while throwing for 346 yards in a 37-13 Colonial Athletic Association victory over the Seawolves.

Penn State will be playing Joe Biden’s alma mater for the first time, and the main worry for fans not attending in person will be gaining access to the Peacock streaming service.