EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — Though Syracuse officially announced that quarterback Drew Allen was the starter just prior to Saturday’s 23-17 loss to Penn State, the coaching staff had decided much earlier.
“It was probably about 10 days ago we sat down and talked and thought that’s the direction we were going to go,” Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer said.
Allen, a fifth-year senior transfer from Oklahoma, was battling for the starting position with redshirt sophomore Terrel Hunt during summer camp.
Hunt didn’t appear against the Nittany Lions.
“(Allen has) prepared himself well, and as a staff we went around the room,” Shafer said. “It was a tough decision because we like both those kids.”
Allen showed his potential, and also his rust, completing 16 of 37 passes for 189 yards and two interceptions.
The first of the two interceptions was the most frustrating, as Allen threw a telegraphed interception to defensive back Stephen Obeng-Agyapong.
But in that same quarter, Allen threw a perfect 55-yard strike to Jeremiah Kobena. That set up Syracuse’s first touchdown of the game.
“I just think Drew was ready,” Shafer said. “He’s waited a long time for this opportunity.”