White Out Weekly Ep. 4: The Penn State Auburn Whiteout Recap
Nearly 110,000 fans packed Beaver Stadium last Saturday night (mostly all in white as Auburn had quite a turnout) to watch the Nittany Lions win yet another close game against a Top 25 opponent. They needed every bit of support as not only were they up against a formidable SEC opponent in Auburn, but also the officials found a way to very blatantly make their mark on the game.
Starting with an intentional grounding call on Sean Clifford that was a simple route miscommunication with Parker Washington, but resulted in the Lions punting on 3rd down because the officials told them it was actually 4th down. I can also throw in the PJ Mustipher blown forward progress call and the botched Bo Nix intentional grounding….but I’m not going to do that because Penn State is 3-0 with two wins against Top 25 ranked opponents and it’s the first time they’ve achieved such accolades within the first 3 games of a season in the program’s history.
Let’s talk about Sean Clifford, who played the game of his life going 28 for 32 for 280 yards, 2 TDs and a non-impactful first INT of the year (we can call it a punt). The Mike Yurcich experiment seems to be getting better and better each week as he installed some new wrinkles this week with a Tyler Warren wildcat TD leap at the goaline, and a play that placed Jahan Dotson in the “Passing” box score going 1 for 1 for 22 yards.
Most importantly, Clifford is playing the best football we’ve seen him play…thanks in large part to some stellar offensive line play which allowed him to have ample time in the pocket and buy time with his legs when needed. Clifford distributed the ball to 7 different receivers, finding Dotson 10 times for 78 yards and 1 TD. For someone that exudes as much confidence as any QB in the country, Clifford is certainly backing it up on the field….which should have 5-star QBs knocking on the door sooner rather than later, to have a chance to take the wheel of the Yurcich offense.
Flipping to the other side of the ball, the defense was nothing short of excellent with yet another strong performance from the secondary. Bo Nix finished 21 for 37 for 185 yards with 0 TD and 0 INT as Tank Bigsby was his usual self and the only sign of life on offense rushing 23 times for 102 yards and 2 TDs. The inexperienced WR group for Auburn was held in check by the likes of Joey Porter Jr and Tariq Castro Fields, and Jaquan Brisker again proved why he is one of the best safeties in the country with a critical 4th and goal stop on what should have been an offense PI, and a near game ending interception that was instead a game ending PBU. Brandon Smith finished with a game high 10 tackles, and a near INT that he bobbled for what seemed to be a full minute.
Penn State, now ranked #6 in the AP Poll, turn their attention to the in-state Villanova Wildcats as they make the journey up the PA Turnpike to Beaver Stadium. Although an FCS opponent, the Nittany Lions are maintaining the “1-0” mentality as they will look to put the 3-0 Wildcats away early, to allow for some very meaningful game reps for their younger rotation guys.
White Out Weekly Ep. 4
On this week’s episode of White Out Weekly, we dive right into the white out game that was and give a full blown recap…along with each of our “One Name All Game” nominees. We provide you with a slight inside scoop on this week’s matchup against Villanova, and finish with yet another week of B1G Betting Bonanza…as Lucci looks to right the ship and avoid a continued downward spiral.