Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Nittany Pride

Giger’s Game Breakdown: Look for Clifford to start at QB, and for Lions to lose yet again

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Sean Clifford

OFFENSE

PSU: The guess here is that Sean Clifford will start at QB, for one simple reason. Penn State could beat Michigan with Clifford. It cannot beat Michigan with Will Levis.

Clifford has the ability to make big plays with his arm or his legs. Levis is a good running QB, but it was easy to see last week against Iowa that either he can’t do certain things with his arm, or the coaches don’t have enough confidence in him to let him do certain things with his arm. Now clearly, Clifford can lose the game with turnovers. We’ve seen that several times this season. If he can’t protect the ball, then he will get benched again. But if he can protect the ball and make some plays down the field, the Lions could cash in against a subpar Michigan defense.

RB Devyn Ford is questionable after missing most of last week’s game with an injury. If he can’t go, it’ll be up to true freshmen Keyvone Lee and Caziah Holmes to carry the load. Can they do that effectively? They didn’t last week against Iowa, but the Wolverines’ defense has some holes.

Michigan: It looked like the Wolverines found something last week in backup QB Cade McNamara, who led the team back from a 17-0 deficit for a dramatic three-OT victory at Rutgers. McNamara took over for ineffective Joe Milton and completed 27-of-36 for 260 yards and four TDs. Jim Harbaugh didn’t name a starting QB this week, but let’s be clear: There is no way Harbaugh can go back to Milton after the way McNamara rallied the team.

RB Hassan Haskins had 111 yards rushing last week and 274 for season, and Zach Charbonnet also will get some touches. Coordinator Josh Gattis, PSU’s former WR coach, has been under fire for the offense’s poor performance. He’s very familiar with what James Franklin and defensive coordinator Brent Pry like to do, so he should have a good game plan in this one.

Advantage: Michigan

DEFENSE

PSU: The tackling has been awful all season.

This content is for Nittany Pride members only. You can sign-up for $3.99 per month or get a yearly subscription for only $38.00.
Current subscribers, please log in to view.
Log In Join Now

Get Nittany Sports Now in your inbox

Sign-up for email updates and get the whole story first from Cory Giger and the Nittany Sports Now team, delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Written By

Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

Get NSN in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get notifications of new posts by email.

Most Viewed

PSU lands 4-star CB Cam Miller, Lions' 10th commitment of July
Big Ten or ACC? Which is the better home for Penn State?
Where does Mike Gesicki rank in Madden's NFL tight end ratings?
Watch me! Check out all PSU players on preseason watch lists
Podcast: On PSU's win total, Clifford, concerns, the schedule and COVID
PSU commit Lonnie White Jr. will sign with Pirates: report
Q&A: Everything Altoona Curve fans need to know about tickets for games this season
Franklin: 'We've got a chip on our shoulder'
Early 2022 mock drafts have Steelers, Eagles taking PSU players in first round
Franklin makes it official, saying goodbye to Tyler Bowen

More from Nittany Sports Now

PSU Football

0 What are you most loing forward to seeing from the Penn State football team this season? Can Sean Clifford take the next step?...

PSU Football

0 This is our running list of Penn State players selected for preseason watch lists. Outland Trophy (best interior man) OL Rasheed Walker OL...

Analysis

0 There are a lot of Penn State fans out there — maybe you’re one of them — who have always felt a certain...

PSU Football

0 James Franklin’s usual excitement and energy level came through during his press conference at Big Ten media days in Indianapolis on Thursday. And...

Get Nittany Sports Now in your inbox

Sign-up for email updates and get the whole story first from Cory Giger and the Nittany Sports Now team, delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Send this to a friend