Penn State’s spring practice session has come to a close with the Nittany Lions hosting their annual Blue-White Spring Game on Saturday!

This time around, the Nittany Lions split up the roster and coaching staff into separate Blue and White teams to try and pull off a more traditional game feel for the spring game. While the action provided some highlights, the White Team (led by most of the first-team offense) pulled away for a 27-0 victory.

There were a few standouts (and some concerns) on either side of the ball, but we’ll have to wait and see how the team addresses things in the summer and fall. For now, the spring is complete, and here are the key takeaways from the afternoon:

Drew Allar inconsistent throughout

All eyes will be on Drew Allar heading into his junior season, especially with offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki hoping to unlock the offense a bit. Unfortunately, Allar left something to be desired on Saturday, showing some of the same issues he had in his first season as the starter a year ago.

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In the spring game, Allar finished 15-for-32 for 202 yards. He was held out of the end zone until the final minute of the game when he found a wide-open Andrew Rappleyea down the sideline for a touchdown.

At this point, fans do not need a reminder that Allar finished 5 games a season ago with a completion percentage below 50%. Hopefully, Saturday’s performance was just a sign of some rustiness involved, and Allar actually felt the offense as a whole played well.

“Overall, I thought it was a really good day… I thought we had a really good day overall,” said Allar as the White team “won” with a shutout of the Blue team. We’ll see how Allar looks once we hit the fall, but his performance to end the spring will not leave many individuals feeling warm and fuzzy.

Abdul Carter leads another group of key pass rushers

James Franklin has raved about Abdul Carter and his move to defensive end this spring, admitting the transition for the linebacker has gone probably smoother than expected. Fans wondering if that was coach speak or hyperbole quickly got their answer.

Carter’s first step off the ball is elite and gives him a dynamic speed rush to work with out of the gate while he adds pass-rush moves to his repertoire. He clearly has the instincts to rush the passer and can help immediately replace some of the production that is off to the NFL.

During the spring game, it was revealed that it was Carter’s idea to make the move to defensive end, something he asked defensive coordinator Tom Allen if he could do. After the game concluded, Carter was asked about why he wanted to move closer to the line of scrimmage.

“Just wanted to play fast and do what I do best which is get after the quarterback,” explained Carter. “Not having to think too much, just play fast and get paid.”

Carter is not the only player on the defensive front who stood out with a strong showing from the pass rush. Jameial Lyons, a 4-star recruit and key in-state prospect from the 2023 recruiting class, also flashed on Saturday.

Lyons had 2.5 TFL and a sack in limited playing time as a true freshman, and he could be a breakout candidate for the defense as a sophomore.

Quinton Martin Jr. looks like a serious playmaker

Quinton Martin Jr. will likely have to wait a bit to play a key role for the Nittany Lions with Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen anchored into the top spots in the backfield. However, Martin looks ready to add some serious depth to the running back room and could find some playing time if injuries crop up this fall.

He recorded a pair of touchdown runs in the spring game, helping lead the White team in the 27-0 win:

Martin was listed as a 4-star prospect out of Belle Vernon High School and the No. 3 prospect out of Pennsylvania for the 2024 recruiting class. Even if playing time will be limited as a true freshman, he could be a key piece in the near future.

KeAndre Lambert-Smith?

Fans hoping for any firm update on KeAndre Lambert-Smith were disappointed. Lambert-Smith was not seen in action on Saturday after previously being listed on the White team roster amid swirling reports and rumors that he will enter the transfer portal when it opens.

Asked about the situation after the game, James Franklin declined to comment on Lambert-Smith. Instead, Franklin simply said he would be interested in talking about any player that was on the field or is in the locker room.

If Lambert-Smith is indeed headed for the portal, the Nittany Lions will need Julian Fleming and Harrison Wallace III to step up even further this fall. Also don’t rule out the possibility of adding from the portal if Lambert-Smith departs the program.

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