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Penn State’s makeshift offensive line holds up in easy win

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Penn State’s offensive line was short-handed on Saturday, but the guys up front were undeterred.

Former Downingtown West star Drew Shelton, who made the first start of his career, was one of the chief reasons why the Nittany Lions piled up 483 total yards in their 45-14 rout of Indiana at Memorial Stadium.

The 6-5, 296-pound Shelton replaced injured left tackle Olu Fashanu, who has blossomed into a top NFL prospect, and did not allow a sack. Fashanu did not make the trip.

“He’s very athletic,” right tackle Bryce Effner said of Shelton. “He still needs to kind of grow into his body a little bit, just like every freshman offensive lineman. But he definitely has all the necessities to be an amazing offensive lineman.

“I thought he played great today. I’m super proud of him. I think he’s gonna be a great offensive lineman.”

Shelton, a four-star prospect, was rated as the No. 7 offensive tackle in the 2022 recruiting class by On3. He had played in two games before Saturday, against Ohio and Minnesota.

“Shelton has not played a whole lot,” Franklin said. “We were trying to redshirt him if we could. Not only did he play, but he played well.”

Effner made his second start in place of Caedan Wallace, who was in uniform Saturday but did not play. Right guard Sal Wormley played through an undisclosed injury. Left guard Hunter Nourzad sustained a leg injury in the first quarter and saw periodic action the rest of the afternoon.

J.B. Nelson, a transfer from Lackawanna College, saw a lot of time at guard.

“When you have a great line, you’ve got good depth,” Effner said. “You can plug guys in and out. We weren’t concerned coming into this game. We have a lot of really good offensive linemen on our team and we want to get them work.”

They allowed only one sack and opened room for freshmen Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton, who combined for 159 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

“I’m super proud of those guys, starting with Juice (Scruggs),” quarterback Sean Clifford said. “It runs through Juice (at center). He’s somebody I look up to as a leader. He’s somebody who’s always had my back. He set the tone all week.

“I thought everybody contributed at a high level. I was really happy with those guys.”

Strong day for Pinegar: Penn State kicker Jake Pinegar enjoyed an outstanding game in the windy conditions.

Pinegar kicked a 50-yard field goal in the second quarter, his career long, and sent all five of his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.

“Jake Pinegar is playing really well,” Franklin said. “We were concerned about their return man (Jaylin Lucas) being a factor in the game. I thought his kickoffs were consistent and that really made that guy a non-factor.”

Injury report: Four Penn State players sustained injuries Saturday, two on offense and two on defense.

Nourzad was injured in the first half and returned; Wormley limped off in the second half and did not return.. But linebackers Curtis Jacobs and Tyler Elsdon were hurt in the first half and did not return. Elsdon had two tackles, and Jacobs had none.

Kobe King, who usually alternates with Elsdon at middle linebacker, had a team-high eight tackles, including 2.5 for loss, and a quarterback hurry. Reserves Charlie Katshir and Dominic DeLuca saw extended playing time because of Jacobs’ injury.

Time is set: Penn State’s home game next Saturday against Maryland will have a 3:30 p.m. kickoff and will be televised by FOX, it was announced Saturday night.

Source: Berkshire mont

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