PSU QB Clifford caps profession with Rose Bowl win
12:11 AM ET Paolo UggettiESPN PASADENA, Calif.– When Penn State coach James Franklin last stood inside the Rose Bowl in January
2017, he could just look on as USC kicked a game-winning basket in the last seconds to end the 103rd edition of the game in heartbreaking style for the Nittany Lions.Six years later on, Franklin was able to offer his present quarterback, Sean Clifford, an appropriate send-off. Clifford, a sixth-year senior, walked off the field to an ovation in the 4th quarter of Monday’s game after helping Penn State redeem that 2017 loss by leading the Nittany Lions to a 35-21 triumph over Utah.”I was here in 2016, one of the better Rose Bowl games, and viewed someone else celebrate, and I desired this for them,”Franklin said.
“I couldn’t have actually written the script any better for Sean Clifford to be the offensive player of the game. … It’s awesome to be sending out these men out properly.”Clifford didn’t simply leave with a win. He had one of the more reliable games of his college profession, tossing for 279 backyards and two goals on simply 21 attempts and 16 completions. One of
those scores was something that had actually never been seen in the Rose Bowl’s 109-year history.
After Penn State running back Nicholas Singleton divided a crowd of Utah protectors with an 87-yard goal run in the third quarter, Clifford’s 88-yard goal pass to KeAndre Lambert-Smith set a record for the longest passing touchdown in Rose Bowl history– and all but sent the Utes and the sea of red-clad fans who had come down on Pasadena home with a 2nd straight loss in the yearly Huge Ten-Pac-12 matchup.Penn State ended up being the first string in the history of the bowl to have 2 scoring plays of 80 lawns or more.
“It was up for dispute whether we wished to take a shot,” Clifford said of the pass. “I ‘d been seeing the very same look all game, so I was absolutely an advocate for taking that shot, and I understand KeAndre wanted it, too.”
Asked about Clifford’s “up-and-down” career, Franklin made certain to explain that Clifford had “a lot of ups” more so than downs, but the ending up discuss his profession couldn’t have been more fitting. Clifford said he remembers his papa unexpected him with a journey to the Rose Bowl when he remained in elementary school and that it became a core memory for him.
“It means a lot,” Clifford stated of getting to close out his career at the Rose Bowl. “I simply keep in mind truly falling for football, particularly falling for the quarterback position. For it to come cycle and then to be able to simply be a spoke in the wheel for this team in the Rose Bowl is just such a true blessing.”
While Clifford indulged in celebration on one end of the stadium, Utah quarterback Cameron Increasing walked off in discomfort on the other end, with a brace on his knee and a noticeable limp. For the 2nd straight year, Rising exited the Rose Bowl game with an injury and did not return.Down 7 points
with simply over eight minutes left in the third quarter, Rising put his head down and tried to transform a long third down with his legs. The junior quarterback, who made plays on the ground all season, crossed the first-down marker but did not have time to slide before being sandwiched by three Nittany Lions defenders.Rising remained down
for a couple of moments prior to strolling off the field gingerly with the aid of Utah trainers. He then got in the injury tent prior to walking off to the locker room under his own power. Increasing later went back to the sidelines wearing street clothing.
“The injury to Webcam is a leg injury and it doesn’t look great, I can tell you that,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham stated. “We’ll wait for verification from the medical individuals at a later date, either tonight or tomorrow. It looks like it could be something that takes a while to recover from.”
Just like last season versus Ohio State– when Rising left the game with a head injury– the Pac-12 champions might not recover from losing their beginning quarterback. Sophomore Bryson Barnes entered the game after Increasing’s departure and without delay ended his first 4 drives with an interception and 3 punts. Increasing is qualified to return to Utah for another season, but it stays to be seen whether he will do so or get in the NFL draft.