PSU season snapshot: 2019

A daily series featuring each Penn State football season from 1947-2019:

Year: 2019

Coach: James Franklin

Final record: 11-2

Final ranking: AP No. 9, Coaches No. 9

Regular-season wins: Idaho, Buffalo, Pitt, Maryland, Purdue, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Rutgers

Regular-season losses: Minnesota, Ohio State

Bowl game: Beat Memphis, 53-39, in the Cotton Bowl

Team stat leaders: Journey Brown rushed for 890 yards and 12 TDs; Sean Clifford passed for 2,654 yards and 23 TDs; KJ Hamler caught 56 passes for 904 yards and 8 TDs; Micah Parsons had 109 tackles; Yetur Gross-Matos had 9 sacks

All-American: LB Micah Parsons

Neil Rudel’s take: After QB Tommy Stevens unexpectedly transferred in the spring, Sean Clifford inherited the starting job and led the Lions to an 8-0 start, including a home win vs. Michigan, and rose to No. 10 in the polls. However, they stubbed their toe at Minnesota as the Gophers’ passing game carved up the Nits’ secondary. Ironically, Minny offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca would be the architect that day, and James Franklin hired him to replace Ricky Rahne in the offseason after Rahne was tabbed as Old Dominion’s head coach. PSU finished 11-2 by beating Memphis in the Cotton Bowl as Journey Brown rushed for 202 yards, and linebacker Micah Parsons was outstanding with 14 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles. It would be his last game with the Nittany Lions after just two seasons as he opted out of 2020.


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