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Penn State football Game Grades: Michigan State

Story posted November 27, 2022 in

Penn State finished the regular season with a 10-2 record following its 35-16 victory over Michigan State on Saturday.

Here’s a look at how each position group performed in the Senior Day victory:

Offense: A

Efficient from start to finish.

The Nittany Lion offense was a well-oiled machine whether it was via the pass or run on Saturday.

In his final game at Beaver Stadium, quarterback Sean Clifford had arguably his most efficient game of the season throwing for 202 yards, four touchdowns and just five incompletions.

The sixth-year wasn’t the only one with a passing touchdown as KeAndre Lambert-Smith got in on the action with a trick play pass to Theo Johnson.

That was one of two touchdowns on the day for Johnson in what was his first career multi-touchdown game.

Running the football also proved to be effortless against the Spartans.

The freshman backfield of Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton combined for 160 yards on the ground.

Allen led the two with 82 yards, while Singleton scored the only touchdown from the group through the air.

Defense: A

Similar to the offense, the defensive unit balled out, but has had better games throughout the season.

Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne looked uncomfortable all night as he barely completed half of his passes for 229 yards with one touchdown and an interception.

That pick went to Kalen King for what was his second of the season.

While the Spartans moved away from the ground game as they fell further behind, the offense only compiled 25 yards on the ground.

That included just 33 yards from their leader in that category, Elijah Collins, who had 107 rushing yards the week before against Indiana.

Coaching: A+

Senior Day can provide its challenges with emotions running high throughout the pregame ceremony.

Many of the team's key players were honored including Clifford and Joey Porter Jr. who returned to the lineup in the win.

Playing a full 60 minutes after that is a tough task but the Nittany Lions played a complete game in its entirety.

James Franklin’s crew had a huge advantage in the time of possession battle holding the ball over eight minutes more than the Spartans.

The Nittany Lions also didn’t turn the ball over in the win, leading to an all-around complete victory.

Logan Bourandas is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.