COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — For years, Penn State set its white out game for when Ohio State visited Happy Valley. The Buckeyes are turning the tables a bit Saturday night with a scarlet out, including scarlet jerseys in front of an expected a capacity crowd.
It’ll be a homecoming of sorts for Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford who went to St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati.
“It is always nice just to go back to Ohio because I have so many friends and family that I don’t get to really see,” he said. “It’s always nice to see everybody especially from Cincinnati . . . but if you treat it any differently you start worrying about the wrong things.”
The Nittany Lions need Clifford at his best, but who knows if that will happen. He left the Iowa game with an undisclosed injury and returned last week against Illinois but was moderately effective and lacked mobility, a big piece to his game.
Ohio State’s been getting after the quarterback over the past month with 21 sacks in eight games. Clifford says today he hopes to be close to 100% by Saturday, but he’ll certainly be prepared mentally.
“They are definitely a lot to handle but that’s what the week of preparation is for,” he said. “Making sure you’re getting all the looks, understanding the concepts and where the problems are and being able to see them, so I think they do a lot but I’m excited to take it on this week.”
This is Clifford’s second time at The Horseshoe after playing in 2019 when the Buckeyes won 28-17. Clifford suffered an injury early in the third quarter after taking a hard hit from OSU linebacker Malik Harrison. He also landed awkwardly on his shoulder earlier in the game after taking a hit from Chase Young.
This season, Clifford has 1,647 yards, 12 touchdowns, five interceptions and a QBR rating of 72.6, which is 25th-best in the nation.