Allen Struggles in Debut

Drew Allen had a lot of hype coming into Syracuse from Oklahoma. However, his performance in week one left a lot ot be desire. We break it down inside.

Syracuse's starting quarterback remained a mystery until Drew Allen trotted on the field with the first team offense on Saturday. His debut, along the rest of the offense, did not go as planned.

Allen finished the day 16-37 for 189 yards with two interceptions. He failed to throw a touchdown pass. But it wasn't just the numbers that were subpar for the Oklahoma transfer.

Allen struggled with his reads and couldn't get the ball down field with accuracy. He looked for Adrian Flemming on deep balls on a number of occasions, but led him out of bounds on seemingly each attempt. 

In the pocket, Allen seemed confused at times and forced a few throws. His first interception was one of his worst reads of the day. Looking for a slant, Allen never took his eyes off his primary target. When he threw his pass, it went right into the gut of Penn State defensive back turned linebacker Stephen Obeng-Agyapong

The senior signal caller never saw Obeng-Agyapong standing in the path of his attempt. That led to three Penn State points. 

Overall, there were trends that should be of concern. Allen had erratic footwork in the pocket. He seemed a bit too amped and wanted to get the ball out as quickly as possible. When his first read wasn't there, he got flustered. 

The biggest area of concern may be his accuracy.

Allen overthrew open receivers on a few occasions. He did so trying to find Adrian Flemming on an out-route. The ball sailed over Flemming's head and into the sidelines. Or in the first quarter on a slant to Broyld, where he was high on the pass. While still catchable, a more accurate throw could have resulted in a touchdown.

There were some positive moments for Allen, however. He threw a strike to  Broyld in the first quarter that set up their first score, a Krautman field goal. It was third and long and Broyld had gone up the seam. Allen read the opening and threw a dart into the belly of Syracuse's slot receiver. 

In the third quarter, Allen found Jeremiah Kobena for a big gain after Penn State had grabbed momentum. It was slightly under-thrown, but Allen had a nice playaction fake and delivered a solid deep ball. Jerome Smith scored on the next play.

Allen clearly has a strong arm. The team seems to believe in him, as does his head coach. But going forward, he must get better at going through his progressions and accuracy down the field. Syracuse has a lot of corrections to make heading into their week two matchup with Northwestern. Head coach Scott Shafer believes Allen will have a bounce back performance. He will need to in order for the Orange to pull off the upset.

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