EditorsNote: fixes Purdue total yards in 3rd graf, time of first score
Sean Clifford threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another on his first four drives as 12th-ranked Penn State cruised to a 35-7 victory over Purdue on Saturday in University Park, Pa.
Clifford completed 20 of 29 passes for 264 yards while throwing touchdown passes to Jahan Dotson, KJ Hamler and tight end Pat Freiermuth. The sophomore quarterback’s four-touchdown performance was his second in a row, as he earned Big Ten co-Offensive Player of the Week honors after throwing for three scores and rushing for another in the Nittany Lions’ 59-0 romp over Maryland on Sept. 27.
Noah Cain capped a 105-yard rushing performance by scoring from 2 yards out in the fourth quarter for Penn State (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten), which enjoyed a 460-104 edge in total yards.
Shaka Toney recorded three of the Nittany Lions’ 10 sacks, with the total falling just one shy of the school record set against Illinois in 1999.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Plummer received the start in place of injured Elijah Sindelar (broken clavicle) and completed 13 of 27 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown for the Boilermakers (1-4, 0-2).
Clifford engineered the Nittany Lions to an early 28-0 lead.
Clifford connected with Hamler on a 23-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring just 4:38 into the contest before electing to rush around left tackle for a 3-yard score to stake the Nittany Lions to a 14-0 advantage.
Dotson reeled in a pass from Clifford over the middle and scooted down the sideline on his way to a 72-yard touchdown with 5:20 remaining in the first quarter.
Freiermuth capped Penn State’s next drive after gaining the edge and stiff-arming an opponent before reaching the pylon to extend the lead to 28-0 just 43 seconds into the second quarter.
Purdue chipped into the deficit midway into the second quarter as Amad Anderson Jr. reeled in a 15-yard touchdown pass before tucking the ball inside the pylon.
—Field Level Media