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Penn State Football: Clifford Enjoying His Moment In Spotlight, Even If It's Almost Over

by on September 19, 2018 2:10 PM

If you were going to make a list of the parts of a quarterback's body you would rather not have break, a hand would be pretty high up there.

And yet, excited and as competitive as ever, Penn State third-string quarterback Sean Clifford punched a bench in the weight room last year, breaking his hand in the process.

"That's not the way to do it," Clifford said during a conference call on Wednesday. "I learned a lot, and learned how to hone my competitive nature. You have to keep a level head all the time."

On the flip-side Clifford has thrown four passes this season for a total of two touchdowns and 151 yards to his name. The most recent a 95-yarder that set a Penn State program record, the first a beautiful 34-yard bomb against Pittsburgh the week prior.

So maybe breaking your hand is the key. Super powers activated.

"I'm just glad I got the opportunity to play and help the team, and when my number is called, I relied on my guys, and everyone did their job," Clifford said. "You dream about moments and it's tough to dream about the record. That was cool, but I keep doing what I need to do, and Coach [Ricky] Rahne's made some really good play calls for me."

With Tommy Stevens slated to return to action this weekend and beyond, Clifford will once again slip into the background with Stevens still the next in line if Trace McSorley were to go down with an injury of his own. And in 2019 the team is almost certainly Stevens to command with Clifford entering his sophomore year.

In turn, the few snaps Clifford has taken over the past two weeks will have to hold him over until the next time his number is called; be it during this year or two seasons from now when he is veteran in the quarterback room.

"One day, we want to be a playoff team in the very near future. We just have to take it one day at a time and it's Illinois this week, so that's what really matters," Clifford said.

Whenever that day does come, it will be hard for Clifford to top the two weeks he has had so far this season, and the 582.1 quarterback rating he currently holds.

And if he wants to, maybe he'll have to break the other hand this time.

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