In his weekly Tuesday press conference, James Franklin didn’t flat out say that Sean Clifford would be Penn State’s starting quarterback in Saturday’s regular-season finale at Michigan State. But it seems clear to those listening that Clifford will be the man in East Lansing.
The coach said that Clifford is back to normal and the Nittany Lions will “go back to the rotation that we have had.” That rotation, for all 11 games, has involved Clifford starting at quarterback.
With Clifford being a victim of a campus-wide flu bug this past weekend, the main storyline late Saturday morning was whether the fifth-year senior would be able to play on Senior Day after not warming up pregame.
Clifford tried to tough it out but didn’t get any results. With his voice so shot that Franklin said the offense had to use a silent cadence, Clifford went 2 for 8 before leaving the game late in the first quarter.
“Everybody had envisioned that they were going to be the Michael Jordan flu game… It didn’t necessarily play out that way for a lot of our guys that were sick.”
Franklin said that Clifford had what the coach felt was his best week of practice before the sickness hit. After Clifford’s effort ended in disappointment, Christian Veilleux took over and threw for 235 yards and three touchdown passes as the Lions overcame a slow start to win 28-0.
Franklin said that the staff is excited about Veilleux’s performance and awarded the freshman from Canada with their Offensive Player of the Game.