Penn State Uses a Career Day from Sean Clifford to Defeat Villanova

Story posted September 25, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Zech Lambert

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Sean Clifford’s career day which included a career-high tying four touchdowns and a career-best 401 yards led No. 6 Penn State to a 38-17 win over Villanova Saturday afternoon.

Clifford found a plethora of receivers on the afternoon, connecting with a different target on three of his four touchdown passes and assisting three receivers over 80 yards on the day en route to throwing for the second-most yards in a single game in Penn State history.

His main target on Saturday, though — Parker Washington.

The sophomore hauled in five passes, on five targets, for a career-best 148 yards and a career-high tying two touchdowns.

Jahan Dotson was not to be outdone, though, as he reeled in all seven of his targets for 117 yards and a touchdown.

A host of long, explosive plays were the primary factor for Penn State’s success through the air, one of which included KeAndre Lambert-Smith’s 83-yard touchdown snag, the sixth-longest throw and catch in Penn State history.

The Nittany Lion offense struggled to get much of anything going on the ground in the first half, racking up only 18 yards on 17 carries, but Clifford got the passing game going throughout.

Penn State’s defense was up to the task of stopping Villanova, though.

The Wildcats only racked up 280 yards of total offense, 174 of which came in the fourth quarter when most of the Nittany Lions starters were already on the sidelines.

The blue and white consistently got into the Wildcat backfield and notched 3 sacks and 8 tackles for loss, while also picking off a Daniel Smith pass in the process.

Saturday’s blowout win let James Franklin and company get some of the reserves a few reps as Penn State prepares to dive into the bulk of its Big Ten schedule.

Penn State will put its 4-0 record to the test again next Saturday in primetime when Indiana travels to Happy Valley.


Zech Lambert is a fourth-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email