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Lions’ rally falls short at Nebraska, sinks them to 0-4

The Nittany Lions are 0-4 for the first time since 2001.

Penn State could not totally overcome two first-half turnovers by quarterback Sean Clifford and after falling behind by three touchdowns, the Lions saw their late rally fall just short in a 30-23 loss at Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium.

Clifford was intercepted on State’s first series and his fumble after a sack in the second quarter was returned 26 yards for a touchdown by Deontai Williams, who had punched the ball loose.

The scoop and score gave the Cornhuskers a 24-3 lead with 11:29 remaining in the first half.

“The turnovers continue to be an issue for us,” James Franklin said. “What we did in the second half was good, and we’ve got to build on that.”

Clifford was then benched in favor of backup Will Levis, whose engineered four scoring drives (two touchdowns, two field goals) before Nebraska stopped the Nits at the Cornhuskers’ 11-yard-line in the last minute.

Franklin did not name Levis the starter going forward, instead preferring to discuss it first with his players and staff.

The Lions outgained the Huskers 501-298, but their two turnovers led directly to 14 Nebraska points.

The win was Nebraska’s first of the season as the Huskers improved to 1-2.

Penn State will host Iowa next Saturday. The kickoff time has not yet been announced.

The Mirror will have a full report in Monday’s Penn State Extra.

If you’d like to register for the Altoona Mirror’s free “Lion Online” newsletter, an expanded account of Saturday’s game, click bit.ly/2SAy1J4. It’s emailed at noon each Sunday.

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