Illness plagues Nittany Lions on Senior Day

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) – Over the past week, a flu-like illness went about the Penn State football team. James Franklin said 35 players were unavailable in Saturday’s 28-0 win over Rutgers.

Franklin said Friday night they didn’t have a scholarship quarterback available and were preparing to play Mason Stahl, a walk-on. But Sean Clifford got an IV, he did not warm up but felt ready to go.

“The defense got hit early in the week, and get through it,” said Franklin after the game. “Then, the offense got hit late in the week, then a few more defensive guys. I’m telling you guys, between throw up and IVs it was an interesting week.”

Sean Clifford got the start. He did not particularly play well, and when he came out after the third possession Franklin looked at him and said he was done. The flu, a bug, whatever Clifford was battling was too much.

In came Christian Veilleaux and he proved he was ready for the task at hand. He threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns while completing 63 percent of his passes.

“I think Greg is a good defensive coach and they do a great job on the defensive side of the ball,” said Franklin. “They were pressuring us and going cover 0 and I thought I guys battled. I though Veilleaux did a good job escaping the pocket a few times, and a couple times hanging in there and delivering a tough throw. The touchdown we ran on Dino wheel was a big time play with guys in his face.”

Many are going to watch this tap and ask why didn’t Veilleaux come in against Iowa, or play against Illinois?

James Franklin addressed that and said it was two different environments and the atmosphere at Kinnick being backed up on the goal line against the number two team in the nation wasn’t the best place for a true freshman.

And these were his first live bullets in two years, his senior season was canceled by the pandemic. So, he hadn’t played in a live game in two years, but he came through today on senior day leading Penn State to a 28-0 victory.

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