Things went south in a hurry on Saturday afternoon. Maryland scored touchdowns on their first two drives of the game, and on the same play in fact! This quickly had Penn State fans, and former players, unhappy.
I HATE HATE HATE being a Penn State fan sometimes ☹️— ETHAN COLLINS (@Ecollins9898) November 7, 2020
Penn State looks lost. Worst I’ve ever seen them play. It is like they just accept defeat. I see no passion from the coaches on the sidelines. Just not the Penn State we all are used to seeing. #PennState #PSUvsMD— Sabrina_Shrawder (@SabrinaShrawder) November 7, 2020
Hey we suck! How do you get torched on the same exact play call twice? Lack of coaching, that’s how! #PennState— Dave Gernhart (@Gern_Daveed) November 7, 2020
On Penn State’s first drive they marched down the field and looked primed to score a touchdown. Well, on 4th & 3 Kirk Ciarrocca committed a cardinal sin of calling a fade route. Fans were not happy.
4th and 3 and we dial up a fade to the corner of the end zone against one of the worst running defenses in the B1G. Penn State is an absolute joke.— Mack Schrock (@schrockmr) November 7, 2020
The low-percentage fade route to a freshman on 4th down... Maybe it worked in practice, but the INC makes Penn State 1-4 on 4th down this season and ends a mostly productive opening drive with no points.— Mark Wogenrich (@MarkWogenrich) November 7, 2020
Penn State throws an incomplete fade to a 5-10 freshman wideout on 4th and 3 at the 7. Just mind boggling.— Matt Brown (@MattBrownCFB) November 7, 2020
Fade rout to a freshman on 4th and 3? worst call! Penn State is done 0-3— John DiTullio (@JohnDitullio) November 7, 2020
A fade pattern on 4th and 3 doesn't work and Penn State's first drive stalls without any points. Maryland takes over still leading 7-0.— The Football Letter (@PSUFBLetter) November 7, 2020
As the half, and game, unfolded the anger also spilled over to quarterback Sean Clifford. Not to be mean to Clifford, but it was warranted. He was just 6-for-20 in the first half and this included overthrowing multiple open receivers, including twice overthrowing a wide open Pat Freiermuth on what would have likely been a touchdown.
How don’t you bench Clifford? I truly don’t understand at this point. #PennState— Philly Sports Fanatic (@thunderducks26) November 7, 2020
I am a more accurate passer than Sean Clifford— Clay Sauertieg (@ByCSauertieg) November 7, 2020
I simply can’t watch Clifford throw the ball anymore, wasting my time— Brandon (@BrandonArentz) November 7, 2020
Anthony Morelli > Sean Clifford— Ryan Mackes™ (@RMackes) November 7, 2020
Sean Clifford has regressed. I mean bad. As both a passer and as a decision maker.— Drew Pellman (@Drew_Pellman) November 7, 2020
Yet another coaching failure.
Clifford needs to be benched. He simply cannot complete passes— Michael Lane (@mjlane24) November 7, 2020
Can we put Will Levis in for a few drives? Clifford needs some milk...— Nathan Ingram (@InGramWeTrust) November 7, 2020
Bench Clifford.. this is brutal— Matt Cousin (@MattCuz22) November 7, 2020
Clifford missing open WRs like PSU missing in-state elite recruits— JoePa's Doghouse (@RowlffDogg) November 7, 2020
The lone bright spot from the first half was Jahan Dotson mossing a Maryland defender for yet another impressive touchdown.
At least Jahan Dotson is here to save us.— Raymond Summerlin (@RMSummerlin) November 7, 2020
New week, new opponent, same Jahan Dotson making spectacular TD catches.#PennState— Jacob Benge (@JacobBenge) November 7, 2020
yo Jahan Dotson keeps making big plays— i Reporter Liam (@Blutman27) November 7, 2020
Jahan Dotson mossing someone while his team is getting blasted is my new favorite tradition.— AJ King (@allday_ajking) November 7, 2020
Jahan Dotson is that dude!— Rich Severin DPT, PhD(c), CCS (@ptreviewer) November 7, 2020
Dotson finsihed the game with 9 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown.
Early in the third quarter, Clifford fumbled and Maryland returned it for a touchdown. This made the score 35-7 Terps. As the half continued and Clifford continued to sturggle with hitting open receivers and his pocket presence, calls for back up Will Levis began.
Would it hurt anything to put @will_levis in? Asking for a friend.— HWeikel Photography (@hweikelphoto) November 7, 2020
When do we give Will Levis a chance?— Ethan Calkins (@EthanCalkins) November 7, 2020
It’s time for Will TheThrill Levis— Vince Vavala (@AVinceTale) November 7, 2020
I’ve seen enough. Let’s put lumbering Will Levis in— CitizenKane (@CitizenKane95) November 7, 2020
How do you not give Will Levis a chance? It literally can’t get worse.— Alex Moger (@alex_moger) November 7, 2020
Not to be too hard on Clifford, but his play this season simply has not been acceptable. His footwork and pocket presence have been bad, he still struggles to go through his progressions, bails out of the pocket too soon, and has missed plenty of open wide receivers, it would not hurt Penn State to try and shake things up at this point.
Another bright spot was true freshman wide receiver Parker Washington. Continuing to burst onto the scene, Washington caught 8 balls for 70 yards including a pair of nifty touchdowns.
Parker Washington can play. Love Dotson too— John DiTullio (@JohnDitullio) November 7, 2020
Parker Washington is going to be very, very good— Ben Ferree (@BFerree_) November 7, 2020
Parker Washington is good player. He’s gonna be a difference maker in a season or two— Owen Abbey (@theowenabbey) November 7, 2020
Ok Parker Washington is gonna be good— Fox (@jfox2088) November 7, 2020
Parker Washington Is really goood.— Jeremy Scott Mamba4Life (@jscoot1130) November 7, 2020
We’ll end it at that this week. The rest of Twitter was, well, rather unkind and a you-know-what show. There’s no need to go down that road on here. All of us are frustrated and unhappy enough.
There is no denying that things are ugly in Happy Valley right now. Considering how much talent is on this roster, this might be the low point of Franklin’s tenure. Next week the 0-3 Nittany Lions travel to Lincoln, Nebraska, to play the 0-2 Cornhuskers. Someone has to win a football game next Saturday,,, right?