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Sean Clifford Passes Trace McSorley as Penn State’s All-Time Leading Passer

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Sean Clifford

Move over, Trace McSorley: Sean Clifford is Penn State’s all-time leading passer.

Penn State’s sixth-year QB came into Saturday’s game against Maryland at Beaver Stadium 16 yards away from passing McSorley— who preceded Clifford as Penn State’s starting quarterback— as No. 1 on the school’s all-time list.

He got those 16 and on Penn State’s first drive, with a 16-yarder to tight end Brenton Strange sealing it. 

This isn’t the first time in 2022 that Clifford has broken a record held by his predecessor. He passed McSorley as No. 1 on the program’s all-time passing touchdowns list late in Penn State’s 44-31 loss to Ohio State Oct. 29 at Beaver Stadium. Clifford likely would have gotten the school’s passing record in last Saturday’s 45-14 win over Indiana the previous Saturday, but he departed that game midway through the third quarter with Penn State ahead, 31-7. Clifford and McSorley were teammates for the 2017 and ’18 seasons before the latter left Penn State. McSorley was at Penn State from 2014-18, starting his last three years.

Clifford is near the end of his sixth season and has been the team’s regular starter since 2019. Since succeeding McSorley, Clifford has become a polarizing figure amongst Penn State fans. Both Clifford and the team, in general, have had plenty of ups and downs, especially since 2020. Penn State went 11-11 over the 2020 and ’21 seasons, and many blamed Clifford for that lack of success. But this year, Clifford has quarterbacked Penn State to a 7-2 record, and the team could have its first eight-win season since 2019– Clifford’s first year as a starter— in a matter of hours.

Regardless of individual records, Clifford is proud to be Penn State’s quarterback and let that be known after the Indiana game.

“I wake up every day, win or lose, a very happy person,” Clifford told reporters, “just because not many people get to experience this. So (I’m) taking every day as a blessing for sure.”

Penn State leads Maryland, 30-0, in the third quarter. A three-yard pass from Clifford to Strange were the game’s first points.

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