Clifford status unknown

From Mirror reports

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford was knocked out of Saturday’s game on a hard hit by Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell in the second quarter.

He was holding his back when he jogged to the locker room. He returned without pads and was done for the game.

How much longer he remains out is uncertain. The Lions are idle this Saturday before resuming Oct. 23 against Illinois.

James Franklin generally doesn’t comment on injuries, unless they’re season-ending, and he had little information on Clifford after the Nittany Lions’ 23-20 defeat.

“No, I don’t at this stage,” Franklin said. “As you guys know, I don’t get into injuries a whole lot.”

In addition to Clifford, the Lions lost defensive tackle P.J. Mustipher (knee) and several others.

Penn State led 17-3 after the series Clifford was injured. The offense struggled in his absence and was hit with numerous false-start penalties as backup quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson had trouble at the line of scrimmage and the noise created by Iowa’s crowd.

“We weren’t ready for that on the road,” Franklin said. “We did not do a good job of that. That starts with me. I didn’t have the guys ready for that.”

Hostile crowd

The crowd at Kinnick Stadium booed Penn State’s players who were on the field after being injured, as if the Lions were doing it intentionally.

That didn’t sit well with Franklin.

“I do have a little bit of a hard time with our players getting hurt and the fans, the coaches and the staff booing our players,” Franklin said. “It was not part of our plan. Obviously, we didn’t want Cliff, PJ, Lovett, Ford and Sutherland, guys who play significant football for us, to get injured. I don’t think that’s the right thing for college football — booing guys that get hurt.”

The players took it in stride.

“It’s a great stadium and they have great fans,” safety Jaquan Brisker said. “It is what it is.”

Franklin did think the crowd made a difference in the game.

“It’s a tough environment,” he said. “Their entire stadium is standing up. They pour their energy into the players on the field and it makes a significant impact.”

Notable …

n Four of the last five Penn State-Iowa meetings have been decided by one score.

n The Lions’ scoreless fourth quarter broke a streak of 21 straight quarters.

n With 182 total yards, Clifford increased his career total to 7,121. He is the fourth Penn State player to reach the 7,000-total yard mark and with his 15 completions, Clifford now has 464 for his career, fifth all-time at Penn State.

n Jahan Dotson has at least five catches in eight-straight games, dating back to the Michigan State game in 2020. His consecutive games with a reception ties Allen Robinson (2013) for Penn State’s most since 2000.

n Ellis Brooks’ 14 tackles marked a career-high.

n Jordan Stout had three punts of 50-plus yards, giving him 14 for the season. He is also 33-of-35 in touchbacks.


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