Saturday’s Blue-White Game at Beaver Stadium was more of a practice than a scrimmage.
Although it was hard to tell much from the game that was more of a practice, there were still some takeaways from it for Penn State players, coaches and fans.
It was the first time Penn State sixth-year quarterback Sean Clifford got to work with receiver Mitchell Tinsley in front of a crowd.
The Western Kentucky transfer caught a pretty touchdown pass from Clifford– who is also his roommate– and has been impressing all spring.
“I think he’s a great football player,” Clifford said. “We were actually talking about it a little bit. He’s not going to run a 4.3 (40-yard dash), and he might not have the… I think he’s a pretty good-sized wide receiver, but at the same time, he plays football well. He’s just a good football player. He’s like Jahan Dotson. He catches the ball strong. He makes good plays. He makes the big plays when they matter.”
For many Penn Stat players, such as safety Ji’Ayir Brown, it was the first chance they had to play a Blue-White game in front of a normal crowd. Brown got to Penn State in 2020, a year that will be remembered for COVID-19, and didn’t get to play a spring game that year.
Last season, Penn State’s spring game was played before a limited audience, and although Beaver Stadium didn’t sell out for 2022’s Blue-White game, Brown was happy to play in front of the announced audience of 62,000.
“It was great,” Brown said. “Seeing the fans out there and us being able to play in front of fans (after) not seeing them for a while. It wasn’t a typical Blue-White game, but in our situation, I feel like we made the best of it.
One of the main storylines of spring practice has been the play of defensive end Adisa Isaac, who missed all of 2021 with an injury. Isaac has been practicing with the team, played in the Blue-White game, and is poised to be one of the most important players on Penn State’s defense.
After the Blue-White game, Isaac said he knows that without working this spring, he can’t get back to where he was before the injury.
“I knew that without me doing this work, I wouldn’t be back where I was,” Isaac said. “I knew I had to go through work first. So I just tried to take to work a positive mindset and use it as, ‘I’m hurting, but I know it’s going to make me better.'”