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Penn State QB Sean Clifford Named Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Sean Clifford

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford, who led his team on a 10-play, 80-yard drive in 1:25 to the team a 35-31 season-opening win over Purdue Thursday night at Ross-Ade Stadium, has been named Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week for Week 1.

The sixth-year senior finished his 2022 debut with 20 completions in 37 attempts, throwing for four touchdown passes and rushing for another one a quarterback sneak.

The night almost ended much differently for Clifford and Penn State. For a while, it looked like Clifford’s ill-advised pick-six to Purdue’s Chris Jefferson, which put the Boilers ahead with less than eight and a half minutes remaining, would be the defining play of the game.

But Clifford regrouped to lead perhaps his most impressive drive at Penn State that ended on a wheel-route touchdown pass to Keyvone Lee with less than a minute left.

This is the third time Clifford has received Offensive Player of the Week honors, winning the first two, coincidently, the week Sept. 27 in both 2019 and 2021.

In 2019, Clifford got rewarded for his performance in Penn State’s 59-0 win over Maryland, where he went 26-31 for 398 yards and three touchdowns.

Two years later, Clifford went 19-26 for 401 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Villanova.

Clifford is sharing his first Offensive Player of the Week honor for 2022 with Nebraska running back Anthony Grant, who rushed for 189 yards and two  on 23 carries in Nebraska’s 38-17 win over North Dakota.

Clifford also broke 8,000 yards passing for his career in Week 1, becoming the third quarterback in Penn State history to reach that plateau, joining his predecessor, Trace McSorley, and McSorley’s predecessor, Christian Hackenberg. With 8,121 career yards, Clifford is likely to pass Hackenberg and move into second on Penn State’s all-time list during the next two games. He’s only 337 yards away from doing so.

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