HEADLINE

No. 11 Penn State expects QB Drew Allar to play vs. Michigan State

Field Level Media

November 22, 2023 at 5:09 am.

Whichever team prevails between No. 11 Penn State and Michigan State on Friday night might be possessing the Land Grant Trophy for a while.

The winner of the game each year claims the trophy, but with four new teams coming to the Big Ten from the Pac-12 next year, Penn State and Michigan State won’t be playing each other every year anymore and won’t play in 2024.

That should add intrigue to the Big Ten East finale for both teams when the Nittany Lions and Spartans meet at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday.

Both teams prevailed last Saturday, with Penn State (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten) earning a 27-6 win over Rutgers, while Michigan State (4-7, 2-6) posted a 24-21 victory at Indiana.

Despite the win, Penn State had to finish the game without starting quarterback Drew Allar, who suffered an undisclosed injury in the third quarter and didn’t return.

Backup Beau Primula filled in from there.

On Monday, Penn State head coach James Franklin said he expects Allar to play and expects both quarterbacks to have roles.

But if Allar can’t play, Franklin doesn’t have an issue putting his faith in Primula.

“I think Beau will be ready to go,” Franklin said. “He did a great job. He competed and didn’t flinch. The staff didn’t flinch and the players didn’t flinch. He went in and made plays like we expected him to make.”

The biggest mismatch will likely be Penn State’s defense against Michigan State’s offense, given Penn State is ranked second in the Big Ten in scoring defense, while Michigan State is 11th in scoring offense.

“They play really good defense,” Michigan State head coach Harlon Barnett said. “They’ve got good players. They play hard and they understand the scheme. They’ll come after you a bit. We know what to expect from these guys, we’ve just got to go out and execute our plan.”

One potential issue for Penn State could be Michigan State senior tight end Maliq Carr, who had a career game against Indiana when he caught seven passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

“It’s a challenge there and a problem there,” Franklin said of Carr.

For Michigan State, it will be the last game of a trying season that likely won’t end in a bowl game for the second straight year, unless the Spartans can upset Penn State and not enough 6-6 teams qualify for postseason play.

The Spartans have had to deal with the firing of head coach Mel Tucker during the season over sexual assault allegations along with close losses to Iowa and Rutgers.

The game site also caused some controversy among the Michigan State fan base because it took away a home game from campus in a move directed by the conference and TV executives.

Barnett hopes it can still be somewhat of a home atmosphere in Detroit.

“They didn’t ask for this adversity that came upon them this season,” Barnett said of his players. “I would love for Spartan Nation to come out and show love for our guys. Show love for them and respect for them for what they’ve done this season. They’ve never given up. They’ve always kept fighting.”