Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics
Photo by Tim Weight
Clifford sets Penn State career passing touchdown record; Washington has career-high 179 yards on 11 catches
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 13/13 Penn State football team (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) dropped a back-and-forth decision to No. 2/2 Ohio State (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten), 44-31, in front of a lively crowd of 108,433 fans for the annual Penn State Stripe Out game.
Wide receiver Parker Washington had a career-high 179 receiving yards today to become just the second Nittany Lion in program history with two 100-yard receiving games against Ohio State, joining Jahan Dotson.
Quarterback Sean Clifford claimed a pair of Penn State career passing records against the Buckeyes, tossing his 78th career touchdown passes to break Trace McSorley’s career mark of 77. Clifford also claimed the Penn State record for career pass attempts, finishing the game with 1,239 to bypass McSorley (1,215; 2015-18) for second place and Christian Hackenberg (1,235; 2013-15) for the top spot.
Clifford threw for 371 yards and three touchdowns in the game, finding Washington for 11 catches for his career effort and a score. KeAndre Lambert-Smith and Kaytron Allen were also on the receiving end of Clifford touchdown passes.
On the defensive side, Ji’Ayir Brown led the Nittany Lions with eight total tackles (6 solo). Johnny Dixon and Abdul Carter both picked up sacks in the game, as they contributed to Penn State’s total of seven tackles for loss.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Buckeyes got on the board first with a 38-yard field goal on the game’s opening drive. On the ensuing Penn State possession, the Buckeyes tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage and intercepted the ball at the Penn State 47-yard line, but the Nittany Lion defense held firm and the Buckeyes’ 53-yard field goal attempt went wide right.
Following another Penn State interception, Ohio State scored on a 4-yard touchdown run by Miyan Williams to put the Buckeyes up 10-0 with 2:48 to go in the first quarter.
Penn State got on the board early in the second quarter on a 58-yard catch-and-run from Sean Clifford to Parker Washington with 11:13 left in the half to cut the Buckeye lead to 10-7. Washington broke a tackle near midfield and outran the entire Ohio State defense en route to the score. On their next possession, the Nittany Lions found the end zone once again with a 23-yard pass to KeAndre Lambert-Smith to put Penn State up, 14-10.
The Buckeyes answered with a 37-yard field goal to close within one point at 14-13 with 3:14 left in the first half. After a Penn State punt, Ohio State drove down to the Penn State 8-yard line with just seconds left on the clock in the opening half, but a strip-sack by Johnny Dixon ended the threat and sent the game into halftime with Penn State up by a point (14-13).
The squads exchanged possessions for most the third quarter until the Buckeyes connected on a 40-yard field goal with 0:10 remaining in the third quarter to retake the lead at 16-14.
The Nittany Lions converted a 4th-and-1 play inside their own 10-yard line and Kaytron Allen followed with another fourth-down conversion, this time for a touchdown to increase the Penn State lead to 21-16 with 9:26 left in the fourth quarter.
The Buckeyes responded quickly in just over 30 seconds. Two passes and a 41-yard touchdown run for TreVeyon Henderson put Ohio State in front again, 23-21, with 8:51to play in the game. On the ensuing Penn State drive, Ohio State forced a fumble and recovered the ball at the Penn State 24-yard line. A 24-yard pass from C.J. Stroud to Cade Stover added another touchdown for the Buckeyes, bringing the score to 30-21 with 8:17 to play.
Despite a 27-yard run from Allen on first down, Ohio State’s defense held the Nittany Lions to a 44-yard field goal from Jake Pinegar to cut the score to 30-24 with 5:49remaining.
Another set of back-to-back touchdowns for Ohio State in the final three minutes of the game gave them a 20-point lead. After a 7-yard rushing touchdown for the Buckeye offense, Sean Clifford’s first down pass was intercepted by Ohio State’s defense and returned for a touchdown. Ohio State’s lead increased to 44-24 with 2:42 left in the game.
The Nittany Lions scored the game’s final touchdown as Clifford connected with Allen for a 5-yard score to make it 44-31 with 1:12 left. The scoring pass was the 78th of Clifford’s career, giving him sole possession of the Penn State career passing touchdowns record, jumping McSorley.
Penn State’s on-side kick was unsuccessful and the Buckeyes were able to run the clock out for the win.