Franklin did a huge disservice to Clifford, the team, and the fans.

bdroc

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2021
98
108
1
Clifford played in pain. I don't think he could throw the ball downfield because it hurt too much. There were a lot of plays where a healthy Clifford would have taken off and ran. Today he went down for a loss because he didn't want to get hit.

Roberson could have thrown the ball downfield. He might have missed his target but at least he could take a shot. He could have also run the ball. I don't know if we would have won with Roberson but I can't imagine him doing a lot worse than what we saw from Clifford today.

So where are we now? Clifford is in no shape to play vs OSU. He got hit a few times today so he's going to be in worse shape than he was coming into the game. I can see a 28 point loss to OSU. Michigan will kill us with their running game. The only question is if we can beat MSU, Maryland, or Rutgers. IMO 6-6 is quite possible.

What about next year? I assume Mustipher, Castro Fields, Brisker, Tangelo, Ebiketie, Brooks, Luketa, and Brown will be gone from the defense. Clifford, Dotson, Walker, Wilson, and Scruggs will be gone from the offense. Stout will also be gone. We have some highly ranked recruits coming in but face it, we're looking at a big rebuilding year. It seems the only chance of being good next year is if we can fill a lot of holes via the portal like MSU did this year. I'm not sure we have room on the roster to do that.

Please tell me where I'm wrong. I really think we're looking at 6-6. Best case 7-5 and a rebuilding year in 2022. That's what makes this one of the most painful losses in PSU history. I'm having difficulty seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. If we rested Clifford this week and next week we "might" have beat Illinois with Roberson (6-1) and lost to OSU (6-2). Then maybe Clifford comes back in better shape vs Maryland. Maybe we still lost to Michigan but finish 8-4. Tough year but blame it on bad luck with injuries. But now we're spiraling down and Clifford is in worse shape.
 

psu2016

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2015
622
931
1
Totally agree. We tried to force the run on the first few series and no designed Clifford runs and no Clifford scrambles the entire game. The staff clearly was hoping to walk away with a win without having to use Clifford much at all. So why not just start Roberson? If it’s a disaster you can pull him and then put Cliff in. But again, if you were hoping the run game and a few bubble screens were going to be enough for the W, you can try that with Roberson and have the added bonus of his mobility.
 

fairfaxlion2

Well-Known Member
Oct 12, 2014
7,565
5,730
1
It was one of the weirdest things I have ever seen from a PSU coach.

We were playing a bad team. We would have won with Roberson at QB.

Instead they rush back a quarter-healed Clifford and risk a more serious injury. And he was at 20% and played terrible.

Worst decision I have seen from Franklin
 

psu2016

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2015
622
931
1
Clifford played in pain. I don't think he could throw the ball downfield because it hurt too much. There were a lot of plays where a healthy Clifford would have taken off and ran. Today he went down for a loss because he didn't want to get hit.

Roberson could have thrown the ball downfield. He might have missed his target but at least he could take a shot. He could have also run the ball. I don't know if we would have won with Roberson but I can't imagine him doing a lot worse than what we saw from Clifford today.

So where are we now? Clifford is in no shape to play vs OSU. He got hit a few times today so he's going to be in worse shape than he was coming into the game. I can see a 28 point loss to OSU. Michigan will kill us with their running game. The only question is if we can beat MSU, Maryland, or Rutgers. IMO 6-6 is quite possible.

What about next year? I assume Mustipher, Castro Fields, Brisker, Tangelo, Ebiketie, Brooks, Luketa, and Brown will be gone from the defense. Clifford, Dotson, Walker, Wilson, and Scruggs will be gone from the offense. Stout will also be gone. We have some highly ranked recruits coming in but face it, we're looking at a big rebuilding year. It seems the only chance of being good next year is if we can fill a lot of holes via the portal like MSU did this year. I'm not sure we have room on the roster to do that.

Please tell me where I'm wrong. I really think we're looking at 6-6. Best case 7-5 and a rebuilding year in 2022. That's what makes this one of the most painful losses in PSU history. I'm having difficulty seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. If we rested Clifford this week and next week we "might" have beat Illinois with Roberson (6-1) and lost to OSU (6-2). Then maybe Clifford comes back in better shape vs Maryland. Maybe we still lost to Michigan but finish 8-4. Tough year but blame it on bad luck with injuries. But now we're spiraling down and Clifford is in worse shape.
A 28 point loss to OSU would be a decent outcome tbh. Illinois ran for 350+ on us with one of the worst QBs at a P5 program. They had just 94 total yards last week. OSU has a better run game and the ability to pass
 

psu2016

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2015
622
931
1
It was one of the weirdest things I have ever seen from a PSU coach.

We were playing a bad team. We would have won with Roberson at QB.

Instead they rush back a quarter-healed Clifford and risk a more serious injury. And he was at 20% and played terrible.

Worst decision I have seen from Franklin
Idk if we would have won, but it is infuriating they didn’t try. CJF pulled the same crap with Trace in 2018.
 

bdroc

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2021
98
108
1
I think we would have won. Illinois is not very good. Playing with a badly injured QB is ridiculous. And he never pulled him when it was clear he needed to pull him
I understand that Franklin thought we had a better chance with Clifford. But after a while he was just trying to get rid of the ball to avoid being hit. He couldn't run so he just took a dive when he couldn't get a pass off. By halftime it should have been obvious that Clifford couldn't do it today but we stuck with him. The only thing I can think of is that Franklin had confidence that Clifford wouldn't turn the ball over and he hoped that the defense would hold. I'm not sure what he saw in that game that would have made him fell that way.
 
  • Like
Reactions: N&B4PSU

fairfaxlion2

Well-Known Member
Oct 12, 2014
7,565
5,730
1
I understand that Franklin thought we had a better chance with Clifford. But after a while he was just trying to get rid of the ball to avoid being hit. He couldn't run so he just took a dive when he couldn't get a pass off. By halftime it should have been obvious that Clifford couldn't do it today but we stuck with him. The only thing I can think of is that Franklin had confidence that Clifford wouldn't turn the ball over and he hoped that the defense would hold. I'm not sure what he saw in that game that would have made him fell that way.

I really don't get it. Clifford was scrambling and sliding for losses to avoid getting hit. Roberson would have been able to scramble and pick up yards. The game would not have gone to OT

Against OSU, I would understand playing Clifford. I don't get it today
 

AWS1022

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2011
28,888
27,999
1
It was one of the weirdest things I have ever seen from a PSU coach.

We were playing a bad team. We would have won with Roberson at QB.

Instead they rush back a quarter-healed Clifford and risk a more serious injury. And he was at 20% and played terrible.

Worst decision I have seen from Franklin
Please show me a coach who wouldn’t play their starting QB when he was cleared to play and their backup transferred and their remaining QB’s aren’t good. Every coach in the country would have played Clifford.
 

fairfaxlion2

Well-Known Member
Oct 12, 2014
7,565
5,730
1
Please show me a coach who wouldn’t play their starting QB when he was cleared to play and their backup transferred and their remaining QB’s aren’t good. Every coach in the country would have played Clifford.

Against a bad team when you probably don't need him to win, with your biggest game coming up next, yes. I think many coaches would sit the QB just due to the healing factor. Never mind the fact that he could barely play
 

searay26

Well-Known Member
Feb 13, 2016
373
304
1
Certainly, that was not good. But Illinois scored only 1 TD all day.
It's mostly on the offense -- they've been productive this year, but couldn't move the ball or make key plays today.
Third most rushing yards against Penn State in the past 25 years. If the defense could have gotten off the field more, the offense gets more chances to score. They dominated the time of possession.
 
  • Like
Reactions: N&B4PSU

AWS1022

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2011
28,888
27,999
1
Against a bad team when you probably don't need him to win, with your biggest game coming up next, yes. I think many coaches would sit the QB just due to the healing factor. Never mind the fact that he could barely play
Not if you didn’t have a serviceable backup. Obviously, Illinois wasn’t the automatic win everyone thought they were. So if Franklin would have sat Clifford and we would have lost with Roberson, then Franklin would have gotten lambasted for doing that especially if people knew Clifford was cleared to play. We had a shot at a really good season, we had some key injuries that changed that, it happens, that’s football. Only a couple of teams could overcome that and we’re not one of them.
 

Psugo823

Well-Known Member
Aug 17, 2021
896
842
1
Please show me a coach who wouldn’t play their starting QB when he was cleared to play and their backup transferred and their remaining QB’s aren’t good. Every coach in the country would have played Clifford.
You don't know that and you can't prove that.
 

lein

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2001
12,436
2,120
1
Aloha, Oregon
Third most rushing yards against Penn State in the past 25 years. If the defense could have gotten off the field more, the offense gets more chances to score. They dominated the time of possession.

and the offense doesn’t have to start their drives inside their 20
 

PSUriseANDfire

Well-Known Member
Jun 3, 2012
14,298
8,479
1
37
Central PA
Not if you didn’t have a serviceable backup. Obviously, Illinois wasn’t the automatic win everyone thought they were. So if Franklin would have sat Clifford and we would have lost with Roberson, then Franklin would have gotten lambasted for doing that especially if people knew Clifford was cleared to play. We had a shot at a really good season, we had some key injuries that changed that, it happens, that’s football. Only a couple of teams could overcome that and we’re not one of them.

I generally agree with you in regards to Franklin but the issue wasn't just starting Clifford. It was obvious very quickly he was just a shell. That was probably the end of Roberson at PSU because if he couldn't get snaps today he is apparently completely incapable of even performing at a level that someone who should have had their own second bye week heading into OSU.
 
  • Like
Reactions: therod

bdgan

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2008
57,333
31,169
1
Please show me a coach who wouldn’t play their starting QB when he was cleared to play and their backup transferred and their remaining QB’s aren’t good. Every coach in the country would have played Clifford.
I'm OK with that initial decision but by halftime it was pretty obvious that Clifford was hurting too bad to be effective. If he couldn't run and he couldn't throw you've got to try something else.
 

AWS1022

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2011
28,888
27,999
1
I generally agree with you in regards to Franklin but the issue wasn't just starting Clifford. It was obvious very quickly he was just a shell. That was probably the end of Roberson at PSU because if he couldn't get snaps today he is apparently completely incapable of even performing at a level that someone who should have had their own second bye week heading into OSU.
Obviously Roberson isn’t good enough to play at this level. It happens….many highly recruited players don’t pan out. Had Levis stayed, no one would have noticed and Roberson would have quietly transferred out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ivan brunetti

AWS1022

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2011
28,888
27,999
1
I'm OK with that initial decision but by halftime it was pretty obvious that Clifford was hurting too bad to be effective. If he couldn't run and he couldn't throw you've got to try something else.
Not when all you really needed was one TD to put the game away. I’m quite sure the coaches thought Clifford still gave us the best shot to score that one TD. And if Johnson catches that perfectly thrown pass, we likely would have put the game away. This loss was not just on Clifford. We had four quarters and nine OT’s for someone to step up and make a play and they didn’t. The defense gave up way too many rushing yards….that’s not on Clifford. Brisker dropped a game winning INT, that’s not on Clifford. Strange dropped a game winning pass. Many blocks were missed throughout the game. It’s too easy just to blame Clifford….this was a team loss for sure.
 

rag195

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Jan 22, 2006
11,747
7,809
1
71
NE Pa
It was one of the weirdest things I have ever seen from a PSU coach.

We were playing a bad team. We would have won with Roberson at QB.

Instead they rush back a quarter-healed Clifford and risk a more serious injury. And he was at 20% and played terrible.

Worst decision I have seen from Franklin

I have to disagree with you saying we would have won with Roberson. I would hope hope so but the staff was with T R all week. They were in a much better position to evaluate the talent level. Gotta go with their evaluation. Have to win the game you are playing today
 

bdgan

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2008
57,333
31,169
1
Not when all you really needed was one TD to put the game away. I’m quite sure the coaches thought Clifford still gave us the best shot to score that one TD. And if Johnson catches that perfectly thrown pass, we likely would have put the game away. This loss was not just on Clifford. We had four quarters and nine OT’s for someone to step up and make a play and they didn’t. The defense gave up way too many rushing yards….that’s not on Clifford. Brisker dropped a game winning INT, that’s not on Clifford. Strange dropped a game winning pass. Many blocks were missed throughout the game. It’s too easy just to blame Clifford….this was a team loss for sure.
I completely agree that there were other missed plays and there's plenty of blame to go around. My point is that Clifford got progresivly worse after getting hit a few times. So not only did we lose, but now Clifford is in worse shape physically than he was coming into this week.
 

Shadow99

Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2017
1,250
2,013
1
I really don't get it. Clifford was scrambling and sliding for losses to avoid getting hit. Roberson would have been able to scramble and pick up yards. The game would not have gone to OT

Against OSU, I would understand playing Clifford. I don't get it today
Clifford not being able to scramble or throw downfield certainly costed PSU the game...but after TR's performance last week, there is zero justification to assume that "the game would not have gone to OT." As AWS1022 posted, some teams have the depth to overcome key injuries...in contrast PSU needed the good fortune for starters to avoid injury to reach the next level...it happened up until 2 weeks ago...

You certainly are correct that Clifford was a shell of himself and it cost PSU the game both of the last 2 games...but he also did NOT turn the ball over...that is also a very significant factor in the game...if TR or CV turned the ball over, then how would that affect an already tired defense that struggled to stop the run but somehow only gave up 1 touchdown?

It doesn't make sense to keep making comparisons in a vacuum. CJF compared to an heretofore UNNAMED replacement coach in several other threads, Roberson being awarded a victory in this thread because he could have had a couple of successful scrambles...completely ignoring factors such as potential TR or CV turnovers...either way the result is undesirable, but we need to be rational.
 

AWS1022

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2011
28,888
27,999
1
I completely agree that there were other missed plays and there's plenty of blame to go around. My point is that Clifford got progresivly worse after getting hit a few times. So not only did we lose, but now Clifford is in worse shape physically than he was coming into this week.
Depends on the injury. Of course, if our defense doesn’t get better, it won’t matter.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheGLOV

83wuzme

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2005
13,279
12,448
1
they gave up what , 10 points, in regulation??? Yeah they struggled to stop the run but if you can’t score more than 10 vs the 102nd ranked defense in the country …. Your D isn’t the issue
When you have an offense that can’t make 3rd and 2 because your QB is injured and your OL and TE’s haven’ t blocked all season, expect a worn down defense by the second half every game.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheGLOV and ram2020

NC2017

Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2015
1,659
2,181
1
Obviously Roberson isn’t good enough to play at this level. It happens…Had Levis stayed, no one would have noticed and Roberson would have quietly transferred out.

No way. Roberson is this team's version of Anthony Stanko. He likes it here and is ok not playing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheGLOV

psu2016

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2015
622
931
1
Not if you didn’t have a serviceable backup. Obviously, Illinois wasn’t the automatic win everyone thought they were. So if Franklin would have sat Clifford and we would have lost with Roberson, then Franklin would have gotten lambasted for doing that especially if people knew Clifford was cleared to play. We had a shot at a really good season, we had some key injuries that changed that, it happens, that’s football. Only a couple of teams could overcome that and we’re not one of them.
I think many teams could overcome injuries to a starting DT and QB against a 2-5 team that gained 94 total yards the week before. The injuries have been unfortunate, but they’re not an acceptable excuse for today
 

AWS1022

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2011
28,888
27,999
1
I think many teams could overcome injuries to a starting DT and QB against a 2-5 team that gained 94 total yards the week before. The injuries have been unfortunate, but they’re not an acceptable excuse for today
You think that, but you don’t know that. If the injury to your starting QB makes you change your entire game plan, it may have a bigger effect than you think regardless of who you’re playing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheGLOV

fairfaxlion2

Well-Known Member
Oct 12, 2014
7,565
5,730
1
Clifford not being able to scramble or throw downfield certainly costed PSU the game...but after TR's performance last week, there is zero justification to assume that "the game would not have gone to OT." As AWS1022 posted, some teams have the depth to overcome key injuries...in contrast PSU needed the good fortune for starters to avoid injury to reach the next level...it happened up until 2 weeks ago...

You certainly are correct that Clifford was a shell of himself and it cost PSU the game both of the last 2 games...but he also did NOT turn the ball over...that is also a very significant factor in the game...if TR or CV turned the ball over, then how would that affect an already tired defense that struggled to stop the run but somehow only gave up 1 touchdown?

It doesn't make sense to keep making comparisons in a vacuum. CJF compared to an heretofore UNNAMED replacement coach in several other threads, Roberson being awarded a victory in this thread because he could have had a couple of successful scrambles...completely ignoring factors such as potential TR or CV turnovers...either way the result is undesirable, but we need to be rational.


I don't agree. Roberson was bad at Iowa, but still able to put together a FG drive after coming in cold. and they had two weeks to get ready for a bad team. they could have used a healthy Roberson instead of a hurt Clifford
 

LionRange

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2019
197
284
1
Roberson could have ran the ball with effectiveness and based on how Cliff looked throwing it wouldn’t have been too big of a downgrade there

so the upside of Robinson rushing today should have given him the nod imo. Added bonus of more cliff rest. Very strange and really difficult to understand move by Franklin especially once he saw the pain his QB was in
 

AWS1022

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2011
28,888
27,999
1
Roberson could have ran the ball with effectiveness and based on how Cliff looked throwing it wouldn’t have been too big of a downgrade there

so the upside of Robinson rushing today should have given him the nod imo. Added bonus of more cliff rest. Very strange and really difficult to understand move by franking especially once he saw the pain his QB was in
It’s great to be able to make these decisions after the fact. I’ll bet all coaches wish they could do that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheGLOV

bdgan

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2008
57,333
31,169
1
Roberson could have ran the ball with effectiveness and based on how Cliff looked throwing it wouldn’t have been too big of a downgrade there

so the upside of Robinson rushing today should have given him the nod imo. Added bonus of more cliff rest. Very strange and really difficult to understand move by Franklin especially once he saw the pain his QB was in
Bring Roberson in for at least 1 series and see how it goes.