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No. 12/11 Penn State Blanks Maryland, 59-0

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford (Cincinnati, Ohio) threw for 398 yards and three
touchdowns in less than three quarters of action to lead the No. 12/11 Nittany Lions (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) past
Maryland, 59-0, in the Big Ten football opener for both teams Friday night in Capital One Field at Maryland
Stadium.


It was a career night for the sophomore Penn State quarterback as he set personal bests with 26 completions on
31 attempts for 398 yards, including a Penn State-record 287 yards in the first half. Three of his throws went for
touchdowns and he earned his first career rushing touchdown on the Lions’ first play from scrimmage.
Quarterback Will Levis (Madison, Conn.) relieved Clifford with 5:45 remaining in the third quarter and added 23
passing yards to give Penn State 421 yards for the night, ranking as the second-most in program history (behind
Christian Hackenberg’s 454 passing yards against UCF in 2014) and the most in a Big Ten game in program
history.


Thirteen different Lions caught a pass, led by a career-high six receptions by KJ Hamler (Pontiac, Mich.), who
finished with 108 yards receiving and a 58-yard touchdown reception.
In total, Penn State’s 619 yards of total offense were its third-most in a Big Ten game all-time.
On defense Jan Johnson (Mohnton, Pa.) and Tariq Casto-Fields (Upper Marlboro, Md.) both hauled in
interceptions that led to Penn State touchdown drives and Ellis Brooks (Mechanicsville, Va.) led the unit with six
tackles and 2.5 sacks.


It was Penn State’s first shutout since 2017 (Georgia State), first Big Ten shutout since 2016 (Rutgers) and first
shutout of Maryland since 1970.


Johnson intercepted Maryland quarterback Josh Jackson on the Terps’ fifth play from scrimmage, returning it 17
yards to the Maryland 32, and penalties on the play and after the play gave the Nittany Lions the ball at the
Maryland 8-yard line. Clifford called his own number on the first play and scampered untouched into the end zone
for a quick 7-0 lead.


The Penn State defense forced a three-and-out on Maryland’s next possession, and the Lions went up 14-0 on an
electrifying 58-yard touchdown reception by Hamler with 9:28 remaining in the first quarter. Maryland threatened
on its next drive, but Castro-Fields intercepted Jackson at the goal line and returned it to the Penn State 5-yard
line, setting up a 95-yard touchdown drive that stretched into the second quarter. Running back Ricky Slade
(Meadville, Pa.) capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run for a 21-0 lead.


Tight end Nick Bowers (Kittanning, Pa.) caught a 15-yard touchdown pass with 9:40 remaining in the half,
Journey Brown (Meadville, Pa.) turned a check-down pass into a 37-yard touchdown with 3:04 remaining and
Jake Pinegar (Ankeny, Iowa) kicked a 21-yard field goal as time expired for a 38-0 halftime lead.
Brown added a touchdown on the ground in the third quarter and Levis rushed for two touchdowns in the fourth
quarter for the final margin.


Penn State returns to Beaver Stadium for its annual Homecoming game Saturday, Oct. 5, hosting Purdue for a
noon kickoff on either ABC or ESPN.

Courtesy: Penn State Athletics