STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Drew Allar threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start to help No. 7 Penn State beat West Virginia 38-15 on Saturday night in their season opener.

KeAndre Lambert-Smith caught two touchdown passes — including a 72-yard dart launched with a simple flick of Allar’s wrist on his second attempt of the game — while Nick Singleton added a rushing touchdown.

Malik McClain caught another midway through the fourth quarter for the Nittany Lions, who pulled away after leading 14-7 at halftime.

Backup Beau Pribula ran for a touchdown with six seconds left and kicker Alex Felkins added a 25-yard field goal.

It was the first time the two regional rivals played since meeting every year from 1947 until 1992. Penn State won all but six of those games and, with a deep, experienced roster that expects to contend for the Big Ten championship and more left little room for the Mountaineers to err in the opener.

Penn State outgained West Virginia 405-198 through three quarters. Meanwhile, a swarming defense forced four punts and three turnovers on downs.

Still, the Big 12 foes played hard after making the 184-mile trip north to Beaver Stadium. Quarterback Garrett Greene accounted for 233 total yards and CJ Donaldson scored on a short run to tie it at 7 early in the second quarter.

From there the Mountaineers ran out of steam until Greene plunged in from a yard out with 3:34 to play. He hit Donaldson for a 2-point conversion to cap the scoring.


West Virginia: Greene played relatively mistake-free but didn’t get a lot of help from his receivers who caught just 10 of 18 targets. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers’ defense hung in as good as it could. A similar effort might be pretty solid against teams with fewer weapons than the Nittany Lions.

Penn State: There is a lot of excitement in Happy Valley and for good reason. Allar checked all the boxes in his first start. He went 21 for 29, while Lambert-Smith looked every bit a No. 1 receiver. Meanwhile, star tailbacks Singleton and Kaytron Allen picked up where they left off last year and moved piles all night with 137 combined offensive yards.

Up Next

Penn State: Hosts FCS foe Delaware on Saturday.