'I'm here to beat Ohio State': Sean Clifford confident as Penn State prepares for Buckeyes
A loss to Indiana in the first weekend of the college football season may have tempered expectations among the media and Penn State fans, but that’s not the case in the Nittany Lions locker room this week. Quarterback Sean Clifford is among the most confident.
Clifford met with the media on Tuesday to preview this week’s B1G East showdown between No. 3 Ohio State and No. 18 Penn State at Beaver Stadium. Despite a 36-35 overtime loss to the Hoosiers on Saturday — as well as the Buckeyes’ 52-17 drubbing of Nebraska — the second-year starting QB is ready to compete with OSU.
“I think that we can play with any team across the country,” Clifford said, per 247Sports. “It’s not something that really goes through my mind, like, ‘Oh, we can hang with this team.’ Like, I’m not here to hang with Ohio State. I’m here to beat Ohio State. I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t have that mentality.”
Clifford had some highs and lows Penn State’s opener against Indiana. He completed 24-of-35 passes for 238 yards and 3 touchdowns, but at two ill-timed interceptions that proved costly in the game. He also rushed for 119 yards and a score.
Last season, Penn State fell to Ohio State 28-17 in Columbus. The previous two seasons, the Nittany Lions fell by one point in each game (2017 and 2018) to the Buckeyes. The last win for PSU came in 2016.
But, as James Franklin pointed out this week, Penn State is one of the few teams in the B1G over the last five years to have beaten Ohio State. That list includes just three other teams since 2015 — Michigan State, Iowa and Purdue.
Kickoff between the two teams is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.