UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa (WTAJ) — Penn State may not be tested by Auburn, but playing Auburn will be a test and the guy many people are looking at is number 14, quarterback Sean Clifford.
Clifford did not hide from his 2020 struggles this fall, but made it clear he wasn’t going to let it define him and through two games, he has shown improvement. The redshirt senior has shown a comfort in the Nittany Lions’ new offense, he has been patient with his reads and exudes a general comfort level in Mike Yurcich’s new system.
Statistically, Clifford has not taken any major leap forward, and Penn State’s offense hasn’t dazzled in either game, but zero turnovers through two games has been a real bright spot.
“I feel extremely confident and extremely experienced when it comes to seeing looks, recognizing and making plays in the short amount of time that I have in the pocket,” said Clifford.
Saturday’s game will provide a real test. Auburn has given up just one score in its two games, though nobody will mistake Alabama State or Akron for Power Five competition. New Auburn Head Coach Bryan Harsin has not show his team’s full hand, but Clifford said there are nuggets all around to what he expects to see.
“I think that you kind of got to go back through the coach’s history and watch a little bit of their tape from there,” said Clifford. “But, in the end, you’re going to see schemes, it’s not like people are reinventing the wheel. They’re going to play what they play. They’re going to have wrinkles like every team does. No team comes into the game with the same exact game plan as the one before.”
“They’ve blown out the first two opponents, so you don’t have a lot of legitimate game tape from this year,” added Franklin. “They’ve got a new coach, new offensive coordinator, new defensive coordinator. And not having two games to figure it out. Like, you watch the Wisconsin game, you really learn a lot about Penn State football. We don’t really have that from them so its challenging.”
Auburn has lost its last nine games against Top-10 teams. The Tigers have played Big Ten teams in each of the last three seasons, all bowls, going 1-2 in those matchups.
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