Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Penn State goes on the road, commits a couple of dumb turnovers in the first half, falls behind, then loses at the last second despite an exciting comeback attempt and an advantage of about 200 in the yardage department.
Yes, the 30-23 loss to Nebraska felt like deja vu after PSU fans sat through many of the same scenes that made the defeat at Indiana such a torture rack. The two key differences against the Cornhuskers were that the Nittany Lions never had the lead in Lincoln and that Will Levis replaced Sean Clifford in the second quarter.
That’s it. That’s the play that prompted James Franklin to finally pull Clifford and take his chances with the unproven Levis. Clifford has now fumbled into an opponent touchdown for the second week in a row and has generally been a turnover machine in 2020. Earlier in the game he killed a Penn State drive with a critically misplaced throw. He also threw a pair of interceptions against both Maryland and Indiana.
I thought the Ohio State game was a sign of good thing to come for Clifford, as he connected with Jahan Dotson for three touchdowns and didn’t turn the ball over until very late, but he fell hard back to old habits in these last two painful losses. Enter Levis, who clumsily filled in for Clifford when he got hurt in Columbus last season and barely led Penn State to a win over Rutgers.Continue reading