UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — After facing many questions about quarterback, Sean Clifford reminded fans Saturday why head coach James Franklin has his back.
Clifford overcame an early interception to finish the night with 295 passing yards and tied a season-high four touchdowns.
The White Out was Clifford’s best performance of the season. It was the first time fans saw a handful of explosive passing plays. Three 30-plus-yard passing plays was his most in a game this year.
Clifford faced a number of critics after his performance at Michigan, and had a big performance in a big moment.
“I’m proud of Sean and he’s a battler and he’s resilient and he’s tough, and he played really well,’ said Franklin. “I think if you look around the country, there’s a lot of programs that would be super excited and happy about Sean Clifford being the quarterback and what he was able to do tonight against one of the better defenses in the country. I’m real proud of him.”
“I thought the offense played an amazing game, a little bit of a slow start to start the game, but that’s typically how offenses work,” said Bryce Effner, a senior offensive lineman. “Defenses don’t really need to create anything. They just need to destroy. And offenses have to create certain things. So it’s a little harder to get things going on offense. So I think the offense played great I thought Cliff played great, and I’m very happy to have Clifford QB.”
Clifford threw two of this four touchdowns in the third quarter for a momentum shift.
But, the defense deserves recognition. Ji’Ayir Brown’s interception set up one of Nick Singleton’s touchdowns. A week ago, Penn State’s third down defense was abysmal, but against the number one third down offense in the country, the Nittany Lions held the Golden Gophers to 2-13.