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James Franklin has by no means seen something fairly like Penn State’s dynamic duo throughout his practically 30 seasons of teaching faculty soccer.
Freshmen Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen have made a outstanding affect on the Nittany Lions in simply three video games, together with their gorgeous 41-12 blowout win Saturday at Auburn.
The emergence of Singleton, the previous Gov. Mifflin star, and Allen has made the operating sport, the offensive line, the offense and all the program higher.
“I have not seen two guys have this type of success (this early) in their careers,” Franklin stated. “We have been fairly excited signing them. We have been fairly excited as soon as they obtained on campus. Recruiting is fantastic, however you by no means actually know till they get on campus. They stored making performs and doing issues.
“They have complementary styles, but they both have the ability to make plays.”
Along with his explosive pace, Singleton carried 10 occasions for 124 yards and two touchdowns in opposition to Auburn. He had simply 10 yards on 4 makes an attempt till he sprinted 53 yards down the suitable sideline on Penn State’s first play of the second half. He scored two performs later from the 1 to place the Lions up 21-6.
“We definitely started taking off with the momentum (after that),” broad receiver Mitchell Tinsley stated. “We felt it for sure.”
Then early within the fourth quarter, Singleton adopted blocks by sort out Bryce Effner and broad receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith and ran for a 54-yard TD. Tight finish Brenton Unusual pointed Singleton house though he had defenders in entrance of him.
“I’ve seen it too many times already this year,” Unusual stated. “That’s how I knew he was gone. I’ve seen it. (When) he gets out in open space, nobody’s catching him. That boy’s too fast. Too fast.”
Singleton has 30 carries for 334 yards and 4 touchdowns this season. He ranks first nationally in yards per carry (11.1), runs of fifty yards or extra (3) and runs of 40 yards or extra (5). He’s averaging 111.3 yards per sport, which ranks tenth nationally and fourth within the Massive Ten.
Rolling up large numbers in opposition to Ohio was one factor; doing it on the street in opposition to a Southeastern Convention protection was one other.
“Nick definitely took a huge step today,” quarterback Sean Clifford stated. “He did it last week and I thought it was impressive. But to do it on a big stage like this, a lot of people will be talking about him.”
Allen, whose nickname is “Fatman,” ran 9 occasions for a career-high 52 yards and two touchdowns. On his first rating from the three, he made a pointy cutback that former Penn State All-American Curt Warner typically used.
Allen has but to be thrown for a loss on any of his 23 carries for 106 yards.
“Kaytron has really good vision,” Franklin stated, “and might take a 4-yard run and switch it right into a 12- or 16-yard run on a constant foundation. He and Nick are doing nicely. (Working backs coach) Ja’Juan Seider has completed an important job of getting them prepared from a psychological perspective with protections.
“I’ve been pretty impressed.”
Singleton and Allen have helped Penn State make an enormous enchancment in its floor sport, going from an anemic 107.8 yards per sport final yr to 192.3 up to now this yr.
With their presence, the offensive line is obstructing with super confidence and Clifford is discovering extra openings within the passing sport.
“You have to be balanced,” Clifford stated. “That was the objective within the offseason of the O-line and the operating backs. They set their minds to it. They stated they have been going to vary the narrative. We’re going to run the ball.
“I have to get us into the right runs. That’s the one thing I had to prepare for when I came back (for his sixth year). I have to make sure that we’re always ID’d up so we can let our backs fly.”
The Lions ran for 245 yards and 5 touchdowns in opposition to Auburn, their finest dashing efficiency for the reason that 2019 Cotton Bowl in opposition to Memphis.
Singleton and Allen may very well be the beginning of a particular backfield pairing at Penn State, which has had a number of of them over the past six many years, together with Lydell Mitchell and Franco Harris, Warner and Jon Williams and D.J. Dozier and Blair Thomas.
Welcome to Nick and The Fatman. It may very well be fairly a run.
“It’s just crazy to see young guys really shine so early,” Lions defensive finish Chop Robinson stated. “I’m proud of them. They’ve been doing good. They’ve been working hard. They have the right mentality. I think they’re going to be great players.”
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