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Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford played his final regular season college football game on Saturday after what feels like forever. As the 24-year-old, sixth-year senior closed out his last game in Happy Valley, he was looking to help out the folks at home who may have had money on the Nittany Lions.
Clifford, a former four-star recruit in the Class of 2017, is in his fourth year as the starter after taking the keys to James Franklin’s offense from Trace McSorely in 2019. He has led No. 11 Penn State to a 10-2 record in 2022 with losses only to Michigan and Ohio State.
On Saturday, (super super) senior night, Clifford completed 19 of 24 pass attempts for 202 yards and four touchdowns. It was a remarkable way to go out in front of fans who have stuck with him through thick and thin.
Penn State ended up beating Michigan State 35-16, but it wasn’t enough for Clifford. The Nittany Lions were 19.5-point favorites over the Spartans and he wanted to cover.
With three minutes and 56 second left in the game, Clifford found wide receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith for a 35-yard touchdown. It all-but sealed the win.
Despite the fact that the game was on ice, Clifford wanted the ball back and wanted to score again. Penn State was exactly one point away from covering the 19.5-point spread.
When the camera cut to the sideline after the final touchdown pass, Clifford turned to his teammate.
“We have to cover, we need a touchdown,” he exclaimed, with a big smile on his face.
Unfortunately for Clifford, Franklin did not let him run up the score. The offense got the ball back with just over two minutes left and put the game to bed on the ground. The Nittany Lions won by 19 and did not cover.
After the win, Clifford returned to the field in street clothes for one last catch on the field.
It was a pretty special moment for a player who gave everything to his team— except for a cover in his final game on Saturday.