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Penn State Football: Clifford a Game-Time Decision Saturday Against Rutgers

by on November 26, 2019 3:20 PM

Penn State fans could be seeing more of backup quarterback Will Levis as the Nittany Lions take on Rutgers this Saturday.

"Yeah, I know you guys hate to hear this, but it'll be a game-time decision," coach James Franklin said of starter Sean Clifford's availability. "It's really probably magnified this week, but it's been a little bit like this for the last three, four weeks with him. I really could see a situation where Will plays this week.

"Now, how much he plays, I'm not sure. But I could see us playing Will this week, and Will is going to have to get a little bit more reps in practice just because Sean is not ready to take the normal amount of reps that he normally would."

Levis entered the game in the second half against Ohio State last weekend in place of the injured Clifford and put forth a respectable effort in his first meaningful action. By the game's end, Levis had gone 6-of-11 for 57 yards while running the ball for a net of 34 more, a figure lowered by late sacks in the game's final minutes.

On the season, Levis is 20-for-33 and 142 yards passing. He also has three rushing touchdowns to his name, two of which came in Penn State's blowout win over Maryland.

"We'll follow medical recommendations like we always do on what they're able to do today and what he's able to do tomorrow," Franklin said of Clifford. "And then between what the doctors and trainers and what Sean says, we'll factor into it. I will tell you, Sean is not the easiest guy, just like Trace wasn't, to pull off the field. They're competitors. But at the end of the day, those will be medical decisions."

In the long run it may not matter much who quarterbacks the Nittany Lions against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are 94th in pass defense and 124th in scoring defense, allowing an average of 37.5 points a game.

A win would push Penn State's record to 10-2 on the year with a bowl game remaining.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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