February 13 2022 06:30 pm

Penn State struggles to run ball against Michigan State

Nittany Nation

Penn State ended their season on a sour note, losing 30-27 to Michigan State in near whiteout conditions. Despite the snowy conditions, Penn State’s offense came primarily through the air.

“During the week, we knew we were going to be throwing the ball around no matter what the conditions were, and we did that today,” said Jahan Dotson. “I don’t know how many passes Sean threw, but we were connected– me, Parker, KeAndre, the tight ends– we all played a big part in this. We were connected.”

Dotson finished 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He’s now 2nd all time at Penn State with 11 career 100-yard receiving games.

One problem Penn State faced was third down conversions. The Nittany Lions converted just 38.5% of their third downs..

“It’s hard to win games in the Big Ten,” said Sean Clifford. “You can’t make a lot of mistakes and you have to be able to do some things on 3rd down specifically probably as well that, especially 3rd and short, we gotta be able to punch it in and get a first down.”

“Not being able to convert on 4th and 1, and giving up 4th and 15, against this type of opponent, on the road, is going to make it difficult to win and be successful,” said Head Coach James Franklin. “Obviously, it all starts with their running back. I think their quarterback did a good job extending plays, and #1 has made big plays all year long.”

For the 4th time this season, Clifford threw for over 300 yards, but it wasn’t enough, as Michigan State claimed the Land Grant Trophy, after it stayed in University Park for two straight seasons. 

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