Penn State Football: Position grades at midseason

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Penn State football is 0-4 at the midway point of this abbreviated eight game schedule, looking for their first win as they prepare to host the Iowa Hawkeyes  Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

This season has not gone how Penn State planned and there is plenty of blame to go around.

Penn State has had some freshman bright spots and some veteran disappointments to his point. At 0-4, the Nittany Lions must do some soul searching if they are going to rectify this season, win out the rest of the way and get to a bowl game.

Here is a deep dive on positional grades through four games for Penn State football.


Grade: D

Under new offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca, quarterback Sean Clifford was expected to make strides in his second year as the starter. Unfortunately for Penn State that has not been the case.

For the season, Clifford is completing only 57% of his passes for 896 yards and nine touchdowns, with six interceptions. He has been inaccurate, and turned the ball over too much to give the Nittany Lions a chance to win games.

Clifford’s interceptions early in losses to the Indiana Hoosiers and Nebraska Cornhuskers buried the Nittany Lions in holes that were too deep to overcome. Clifford was benched in the second quarter of Saturday’s loss at Nebraska after those two early turnovers, bringing to question if we will see Clifford again this season under center.

Backup quarterback Will Levis came in to replace Clifford Saturday and sparked the team, nearly mounting the comeback only to fall short in the red zone.

Levis should take over the starter role from here on out, as head coach James Franklin has mentioned a couple of times over the past week, he deserves that opportunity.

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