STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — James Franklin wasn’t going to bench Sean Clifford during a lopsided loss to Maryland, and the Penn State coach is not about to turn away from his quarterback despite Penn State’s winless start.
Still, Franklin would like to get his team’s embattled starter some help. That could come as soon as this weekend at Nebraska. The Nittany Lions will try to avoid an 0-4 start by potentially using two quarterbacks.
“We need to get [backup Will Levis] involved in a lot of different ways, to help Sean out and also to continue investing in Will,” Franklin said Tuesday. “I think you’ll see that moving forward. Not just this week, but for the rest of the season.”
Levis has come to the offense’s aid in the past. Now Franklin is hoping the bullish runner can provide an additional dimension for a group that has yet to get on track. The Nittany Lions (0-3) rank in the bottom half of the Big Ten in nearly every major offensive category.
They’ll limp into Lincoln with the nation’s 84th-ranked scoring offense led by a second-year starter who’s been battered physically and mentally to start the season.
After absorbing six sacks over the first two games, Clifford was brought down seven more times in Penn State’s loss to Maryland last week. He tossed a pair of interceptions, fumbled once and completed just 47% of his passes on 57 dropbacks.
“I’m not going to point a single finger,” Clifford said. “There’s plays that need to be made and I need to make them.”
Clifford traded his filthy, grass- and dirt-stained uniform for a shirt adorned with shamrocks after the game. When he emerged from the locker room, he stared straight ahead, at times fixing his gaze downward while speaking to reporters. Read from source….